The three C’s to an excellent pay review process

Forget you’re a manager… for just a minute. Remember you’re also an employee.  You’ve completed performance reviews, gone into great detail as to all the contributions you’ve made over the course of the year to ensure your manager knows every single positive impact you’ve made to your team and your company.  Now think about how those conversations have gone.  Do you think all those inputs had an impact on your merit and/or bonus awards at the end of the year? Do you think your team does?

According to Willis Towers Watson’s 2016 Global Talent Management and Rewards Study, only 18% of employers disagreed with the statement that their managers are effective at fairly reflecting performance in pay reviews.  Ouch.  After all that hard work, your team may not think you will reward them appropriately.  What do you do now? Here are some ideas.

CONSIDER everything in those performance reviews.

Set aside some time and REALLY read them.  Do you remember all the things they mentioned? Be honest with yourself. It’s not just about what’s happened in the last few weeks or months.  An annual review includes all those things that happened back in Q1 — those matter too!  Take a moment to consider your team’s collective achievements and milestones over the past year and then focus on how individual employees contributed.

COMMUNICATE those reviews with your employees.

Have an open, honest conversation about things that have gone well and any possible opportunities for improvement.  Like any good debrief – discuss the hits, misses, and lessons learned.  Employees need to hear your perspective on how you think they performed.  If you haven’t told them before, tell them now. Make an effort to tell them regularly in the future – good, bad and ugly – no one wants any surprises.

CONNECT pay to performance.

Employees need to understand the corporate line on how performance and pay are linked.  More importantly, they need to understand how their performance resulted in their merit and bonus increases.  If they’ve done a great job – TELL THEM! If their increase was not what they wanted them to be, TELL THEM how they can improve in the future.  Compensation planning software can facilitate transparency here – showing employees the clear connection between their performance and pay.  Employees who find the performance management process effective and understand the link to their pay are more likely to be highly engaged.

The bottom line is, the more clearly we can communicate expectations, progress, and results, and then directly tie those to compensation, the more engaged employees we’ll have.  Our job is to help our employees develop and grow, and to show them that their efforts are rewarded accordingly.  Remember during this pay review season – as an employee, you want your own pay to reflect your performance.  As a manager, it’s your responsibility to consider, communicate, and connect.

About Jennifer Kelly

Jenn Kelly is a Product Leader at Willis Towers Watson, responsible for the vision, strategy and roadmap for Willis…
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