Changing Your Perspective From the Stern to the Bow

In 30 or so years of looking at salary surveys, I don’t think I ever heard a description of this critical tool of the compensation professional that made me think as hard and as critically about what I do as, “Salary surveys are like the wake of a boat; they only tell you where you’ve been, not where you’re going.” Think about that for a minute.  Why is that the case? Why can’t we make that more strategic turn towards a future view of where to go?  Here are a few reasons I’d offer up: We’re comfortable just doing what we’ve…

Be the Wizard, not the Geek

A couple of years ago, a well-known leader and pioneer in the salary survey industry called me and wanted to talk.  Now that in and of itself is a little unusual, one of your vendors calling about something other than an unpaid bill.  But what he wanted to talk about held my attention, especially as I had tried to invent something similar internally at my company, but couldn’t secure the IT resources due to “other priorities.” Remember the quotes, and if you saw me writing this, they would be BIG air quotes there. Anyway, we talked.  And the more we talked…

Survey or Strategy?

This isn’t a discussion about the latest in rewards strategy, just plain old salary surveys.  Compensation surveys have come a long way over my 30+ years in the profession.  From 4” 3-ring binders with three sets of tabs stacked on top of 4-drawer file cabinets full of job descriptions, to the desktop access or even mobile device through the Cloud, with custom calculation capabilities, this profession has changed profoundly in so many ways.  And yet some things haven’t changed at all, nor would I want them to. Keeping with surveys, and since so many of us rely almost exclusively on market data to…