Ann Bares over at Compensation Force writes about the Growing Employee-Employer Disconnect on Compensation. She notes that the workforce today is more savvy and demanding about compensation policies and practices, and a "because I said so" approach to doling out comp just won't cut it anymore. She advises organizations (i.e, HR Reps and Managers):
"[we have] an employee population that is more inclined to challenge and/or disbelieve an employer's pay data, practices and policies than in the past. We - as HR and reward professionals - need to appreciate and be prepared to respond to this challenge, and I think one of the best tools is transparency. I'm not talking about necessarily sharing everyone's personal compensation information with everyone else, but rather openly sharing how the pay program is built, where the data used to build it comes from, how it is designed to operate, and what its philosophical underpinnings are meant to be. And - certainly - I think individual employees should fully understand how the program applies to them (i.e., their salary range, etc.).
I love this advice because it advocates that both organizations and individuals have a responsibility to be savvy and transparent in the comp arena. If an organization is "secretive" about pay practices, and employees are focused on personal financial desires rather than trying to connect to the marketplace, it's a recipe for disaster in the relationship. But if both are focused on market data and the demand for particular skill sets, they can have a productive conversation about results and rewards.
Just imagine what we could create together in the workforce if companies were transparent in their pay practices and employees had clear, reasonable, and business-savvy salary expectations!