The time I messed up a comp plan
Plus, what would you like to see more of?
One of the more nuanced pay transparency projects I worked on was at a company that already had base salary transparency. We wanted to extend the transparency to equity as well as give people three options on their salary-to-equity ratio.
Higher salary / Lower equity
Mid-salary / Mid-equity
Lower salary / Higher equity
I was nervous because there were a lot of variables to forecast. What would the option pool look like if most people chose high equity? What would runway look like if most people chose higher salary?
And, it was a lot to pack in to train people on a new framework as well as a new type of choice when it comes to the makeup of their total compensation. It was important that everyone truly understand the value of their options.
With the support of the CEO, COO, and CTO, I dove in.
I was blown away by their proactive drive to give team members agency over the makeup of their total compensation as well as articulate how this model aligned with their DEI roadmap to make tech more inclusive.
I didn't get it right every step of the way. Like, at one point I really got it wrong on forecasting what would happen if most people chose the high equity option. And a kind and thoughtful member of the team (who is also a decision scientist!) pointed it out to me and walked me through the right calculation.
As we pushed through with the entire company asking thoughtful questions and providing feedback, what surfaced was a deep appreciation from everyone about the work that was being done.
Pay transparency work can be intimidating and you won't get it perfectly right the first time. It is a People Ops product that should evolve based on feedback, just like any product.
Make it a conversation with your team about why the work is being done (compensation philosophy!) and share your company's reasons for transparency often. This is the top skill to hone when it comes to compensation work.
On the note of asking for feedback…
What do you wish people talked about more when it comes to pay transparency? What do you wish there were more resources about? 👇
P.S. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions about your company’s approach to pay transparency.
Stay tuned!: On Thursday, I’ll share my interview with Lance, Director of Talent Acquisition at XWP.
XWP has included salary ranges in their job descriptions for about 3 years now so Lance and I dive into how XWP adjusts to candidate feedback about market rate salary ranges, how they keep the gap between the bottom of the range and top of the range low while still adjusting for cost of living, and what he sees on the horizon for pay transparency.
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