No news is good news for the Reward Manager

Posted by Simon Garrett

One of the odd things about pay is that you know there’s something wrong when people start getting excited about it. The aim of the reward manager is to conduct his or her business engendering as little fuss or emotion as possible. If your people start punching the air with glee when you give them their pay review letter, you’ve probably paid them too much: if they decline into despondency, you’ve been too mean. A po face is often what you want.

Unfortunately, in recent years, the noise around pay in general, and top people’s pay in particular has become pretty deafening. Every journalist and politician has an opinion and the pressure is building for something to be done. Particular bug-bears include; the increasing ratio between top pay and everybody else’s, the perceived obsession with following the market, and the apparent tendency to pay huge bonuses regardless of performance. If you believe everything you see in the media, you would be forgiven for thinking that Remuneration Committees are stuffed full of incompetents who lack independe ...

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