Relationships at Work - the Employee Experience and Workplace Culture Podcast

How Employee Compensation Compliments Development with Crystal Henrickson and Annika Reinhardt

September 05, 2022 Russel Lolacher Episode 31
Relationships at Work - the Employee Experience and Workplace Culture Podcast
How Employee Compensation Compliments Development with Crystal Henrickson and Annika Reinhardt
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Relationships at Work, Russel chats with organizational consultants and compensation experts Crystal Henrickson and Annika Reinhardt on the role of compensation in professional development and workplace culture.

Annika and Crystal share their thoughts and experience with...

  • The various levels of compensation
  • How compensation is determined in an organization
  • How a job description/job profile connects to compensation
  • Compensation's link to growth and motivation
  • How to address a job that grows in responsibilities but not compensation
  • Why transparency is so important and so hard.
  • The complications of including salaries in job postings
  • Why you need a compensation and rewards philosophy

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Russel Lolacher
On the show today, we have Crystal Henrickson and Annika... I'm gonna get it right... Reinhart. See I tried to be more dramatic by taking a pause with it. So I'm gonna say it again. Annika Reinhart. She's smiling at me I can see her going "Yep, finally got it right. Thanks." And here is why they are awesome. They are the co-founders of Talent Collective, a consulting agency helping organizations grow their talent through effective coaching, compensation planning and career development. They've been featured on all the news outlets, CTV CBC, Forbes, Globe and Mail blah, blah, blah, to talk about gender and pay equality... equity sorry. It's important to get that right between equality and equity. Crystal has played key hiring roles in companies such as Yelp, and has advised 50+ startups, she's a certified Co-active coach, I'm not gonna get into the acronyms. I'm just given the full names here and certified Career Strategist. Over to Annika. Well, damn. She's a certified compensation, professional, certified, sales compensation professional, and a Global (word I learned today) Remuneration professional They each have over a decade of experience guiding organizations and leadership, whether they were in them or outside guiding them. And a breath, welcome to the podcast.

Crystal Henrickson
Thanks for having us. And you deserve an applause for this. Well done Russel,

Russel Lolacher
I stretched ahead of time, it was just sort of like bending at the knees sort of thing was good. Thank you, again, to be on the show. So excited to talk about our topic today, which is we're gonna be talking about compensation and professional development and how they're linked and other important all the employee experience. But first, I want to know about your experiences. So I'm going to throw out the question that I throw to every guest on the podcast, which is what's your best or worst employee experience?

Crystal Henrickson
Okay, let me go first, because I'm going to do the worst one. And we don't want it we don't want to finish with worst, right? Okay.So my worst was, I was asked to start at a company, which wasn't located in the town that I lived in, it was actually quite far away. So I was going to be working remotely. And I was asked to fly to HQ for my first week. And not one person, not even the founder who arranged for me to start on that day, nor the folks who put that date into my employee contract remembered that I was flying in that day or that week. And the office was quite an open space office with no real front area. So you just basically walked in to the to the fray. And it was an awkward half hour. So while they tried to figure out who I was because no one knew what I looked like, because they had hired me remotely. Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Russel Lolacher
Go sit on the beanbag chair over there. We'll go figure out what we're going Oh, my God, that's horrible.

Crystal Henrickson
Is this a sales rep trying to sell us office furniture? Something like...

Russel Lolacher
That is shockingly shitty, I am so sorry. It is horrible.

Crystal Henrickson
Perhaps now it's it's obvious where my bias is in wanting to create good onboarding experiences. So people feel a sense of belonging right from the beginning and are able to make a good first impression.

Russel Lolacher
It's amazing how the worst experiences are like, okay, that I'm going to make sure never happens to anybody else ever again. Thank you for sharing and revisiting your horror Crystal. I apprecaite that. Thank you. Annika?

Annika Reinhardt
Well, I'll go the complete opposite direction. But it also kind of plays into some of interestingly enough, some of the work we do today. So my absolute best employee experience was when I was able to work with my company and negotiate with my company to go from full time to part time. And that was at a time we're flexible work arrangements, just were the thing is, I might be dating myself here. But I really loved my job. I had just passed probation, I was quite excited about the job. But it was very clear that it wasn't challenging me as a human. And I needed a creative outlet. And I've really wanted to try and kind of get this little side hustle off the ground that had nothing to do with the work that I was doing. And I worked with my manager through finding some solutions, how I could go from five days to four days and eventually three days. And I ended up working for that company for almost eight years in a part time capacity, which they never planned for, and had the best time of my life and was incredibly loyal to the organization and did some really fantastic work, I think. And again, it's like I think, you know, kind of thinking about flexibility in the workplace. And I'm trying something out. And it was definitely an organization that was quite large and still is a very traditional organization. So for them to even be willing, and for me and my manager to be willing to try out something completely different, was a really great, great experience. And yeah, I again, it's like, I think it also opened up some of the path that I went on and led me to kind of, you know, going out on my own with something completely different than what it was that I started and doing the work I do with Crystal today.

Russel Lolacher
Funny how loyalty comes from conversation. And it's, I always have this conversation with people, it's like, it's not rocket science, it's relationships, you will do more for friends that do stuff for you. It's a back and forth, it's one of the reasons I call the podcast relationships at work is literally it's about the relationship and people get so stuck in these cookie cutters. This is how we've always done it before. So I love that story.

Crystal Henrickson
See, it's heartwarming.

Russel Lolacher
It is. Much better than, Crystal.

Annika Reinhardt
It was really interesting to his again, it's like I think it was a very... it really helped like help. Part of what Crystal and I do today because, you know, before kind of really diving into the compensation world, I helped a lot of our clients with their negotiations, including negotiating for a part time or more flexibility at work was part of that. And then that kick started a whole other career path, which kind of led me down to become this compensation professional that with all these certifications that you just mentioned earlier. Yes. So let's get into compensation. And that word, I kind of want to define what it means because compensation immediately money comes to mind. But maybe it's not as clear as that. Well, we'll get into some compensation one on one for for you and everybody who is listening. So in the compensation world, like you said, the word compensation might mean so many different things, when you talk to HR professionals, or compensation professionals just kind of like three tiers to compensation. So Tier one is what we call total cash compensation. And that would be your base salary, and anything that we call short term incentive. So that's a typical bonus. Right. So that's total cash, the next layer up is what we call total compensation. And that would be any total cash compensation. Plus, in especially in tech companies equity made, so it's these long term incentives. And then the level up from that is what we call total rewards. And that would include your total cash, obviously, the equity piece, as well as any other rewards. So that's your vacation, your health benefits, retirement savings, flexible work arrangement, whatever that may be. This is what falls under the umbrella of total rewards. So three different words, again, that often folks, you know, quite frankly, don't know the terms. But very important to make distinction between those three things. How are they determined in an organization? I think, again, it's like anything that's cash is like the financial piece. So that's, you know, often kind of what, what people just fall into that. And in terms of total rewards, you know, it kind of depends on what approach the company takes. Hopefully, it is somewhat market driven. Ryan is like looking at what the market is doing. What what's happening out in the market, what are employees wanting and needing? Hopefully, it is somewhat employee driven in the sense of,you've asked your staff, what's important to them when it comes to, you know, total compensation, and obviously, total rewards. And basically, kind of combining those two things will generally help a company figure things out, I think there's table stakes man, clearly, vacation is a mandatory piece that you need to do however, going above and beyond might not be health benefits. Also very table stakes in most organizations. So there are certain things that you just see pretty much across the board. And then there's other things that I would say are more trending these days.

Russel Lolacher
So you work for an organization, you generally have that determined as to what the compensation will do, because you agreed to it when you applied for the job. What are the linkages once you're in the organization, to their development through the organization? Crystal, I'm kind of curious about your side of this is you come in you get your you know, here's your buffet of what you get when you sign on. But that's part of the employee journey, is it not?

Crystal Henrickson
Yeah, So, if we're thinking about what we think of as, like career developmental frameworks and how they tie together with compensation, we would think about what kinds of one performance metrics or you know, role criteria is linked with compensation, and then how to support employees through the role that they're in so that they can produce and be productive and also be rewarded, at the best extent possible, given the contributions that they're making to their organization. So think about, like, perhaps we want to talk a little bit about what career levels means. Perhaps you want to talk a little bit about what job profiles mean, and how those things support support companies in making the compensation decisions that they make once folks are inside the organization.

Russel Lolacher
Okay. Go ahead and talk about it.

Crystal Henrickson
Do you want to talk about career levels?

Annika Reinhardt
I was like, I think we should talk about these things. I was like, "Yes, we should."

Russel Lolacher
Weird! I don't know where that came up in my brain. Let's talk about job profiles.

Annika Reinhardt
Everybody should know about these things.

Russel Lolacher
Yeah.

Crystal Henrickson
So job profiles, we see as a foundational building block to building great career development structures inside of company. So it's basically like taking your job description, perhaps some people will only think of that as like a job advertisement that they have seen. But it's a internal document, a job description, and it's like putting it on, you know, 10x. So it's the responsibilities of the role, plus the success criteria of the role, or of those responsibilities, plus your skills that are needed to do that role, plus the behaviors that are needed to do that role plus the experiences that you needed to bring to do that role. And that serves as a foundation piece to help folks perform in the role both when they're just starting it. So that developmental zone, as well as what it means to be fully performing in it, as well as what it means to be maybe accelerating or exceeding expectations, something like that, in that role. So also, there was a third thing I missed saying at the beginning, there's competency zones are another piece of the building blocks. So I just started to talk into competency zones. But that's really important to have that clearly defined. So that folks that are in the role and folks that are managing the people in those roles, they all feel like they have a very clear idea of what it means to be performing well in the role and what a stretch means in in the role.

Annika Reinhardt
What I think is really interesting with the with the job profiles is there's lots of like interesting data and studies out on on this particular topic. And this is also something we always ask when we go into organizations. And we asked employees, are you clear on what you got to do?And you'd be surprised how often the answer is no. And that's a challenge, right? Because if we don't have clarity around our roles, we get disengaged. And we were on performing, obviously to the level we're supposed to, because we just don't know what the expectations are. So it seems like a pretty simple thing, right? And saying it's a job description. come on folks tonight. But in many organizations, these things don't exist. And you know, they use their job posting the job ads, but there's no clear definition of that piece, which then often leads again to folks potentially being disengaged and not as motivated and, and not as driven to perform. So again, lots of interesting studies out on that. And it's so fascinating that every time Crystal will go into organizations doing this type of work and asking employees, and that is a very common theme that we also hear kind of supporting what we see from studies in the marketplace.

Russel Lolacher
I'll just stop on that for one sec is what do you see from employees, organizations, culture, work, employee experience, when there's those job descriptions, regardless if they pull it from the job posting or not? But then the job changes and nothing else does. It's like, oh, we're just gonna keep adding new bullets to the job description. No, no, you're still in the job. You still make what you make, but we're gonna keep adding more duties. What are the impacts to that? How do you address that?

Annika Reinhardt
Yeah, it's actually interesting because again, building more structure around it also comes with maintenance of that structure, right. And so when we encourage folks to really be diligent about developing these drop successful faults, there's two things we also recognize number one, in small organizations, often it's all hands on deck. Right? And it is okay. And that's just what it is, right? If we were many, many hats in again, Crystal came from startup world, I don't even like I can't even count all the hats she has anymore. But the other piece to that is, how long is it okay for for you to kind of step in and help out versus Oh, wow, this has now become part of my job. So what we encourage companies to do is like, you gotta get on a schedule, to review these pieces, and also allow employees to provide input so that they can say, hey, hello, flagging, I've been doing this thing for more than three months, we should talk about how that impacts my job. And potentially, my compensation, because these job profiles is what we as compensation professionals use as the baseline to match to market buy, it's that's how we kind of get the data. So it's very important that companies kind of understand that if you, you know, if you commit to some of these pieces that it needs to be reviewed, and there needs to be some, some process for both sides to be able to update and make changes and knowing what that triggers. Right?

Russel Lolacher
How does compensation motivate the employee, like we've talked about this framework in which they're going to work in, but then crystal, you mentioned stretch, assignments, stretch opportunities, that aren't looked at, as we're just piling on more work, these are opportunities to grow. So how is that linked to motivation and that experience?

Crystal Henrickson
Yeah, so generally, when people are clear about what the what the reward is going to be from performing at, you know, a, let's call it like a higher, more advanced level, that can be a motivator in itself. Because usually, in a lot of organizations, it's not clear what the what the way to promotion or to advancement is, right? A lot of times that feels like it's done in a very vague, kind of subjective type of way. So that can be a real demotivator, if you don't know, what you could be doing to accelerate your own career development inside of an organization. So the flip is that the flip of that is, make it really clear what it would mean to be excelling inside your role. What and what does that mean, in terms of the salary band that's associated with it? So, you know, yeah. Could it be, you know, could it be that you started in a role like you were, you're saying, stuff got piled on, hopefully, the role got redeveloped, and then it got, it got matched to the market, so that you could know kind of, or the organization could know sort of where in the market it sits. And then inside the role, would it be more motivating to know that actually, you know, you're, you're new in this new role that we've just kind of piled on to you. And there's a lot of learning and opportunity to grow and advance within this role. It's like deepen your skill set within this role. And by deepening your skill set, or like deepening the experiences that you have within this role. These are the trigger points, where we will then compensate you for that skill development, because your contribution would be tied to the fact that your skill development is helping our organization in a deeper or more beneficial way. And so there, it's tied to it.

Annika Reinhardt
You know, this is a this is a very interesting topic, because every time I kind of talk about what Crystal sounds like your performance basically is directly connected to your salary. There's two camps out there, or is the camp that's like, no, no, those are two separate things. You know, they shouldn't be overlapping, they shouldn't be reviewed together. And there's the camp that's like, wait a minute, I hired you to do a job. So if you perform better in your job, it should be reflected in your salary. It is very clear that Crystal and I are on camera connection. Because I just don't see the point of this connecting it. And I think by connecting it, which let's be honest, again, a lot of companies don't do a good job at that. You are creating a framework for the employee to understand I can grow within my salary range or within my job, and there are at some point, other opportunities above instead, career levels we talked about, right? What is kind of how do we define what is above? From a? Here's me, the individual contributor side to here are as management tracks, how do you do these interact? Again, all of these things are connected. And then if you in my opinion are like saying it's like, oh, let's do performance review. Well, John, you meeting expectations? And then there's, there's like, oh, yeah, and then we'll review your salary. Three months from now, I'm just like, that makes no sense. To me. It's just, I get quite passionate about it. Because I do have a lot of these conversations with folks who I'm like, so how come made why is that disconnected? Is it because your organization hasn't LinkedIn? Because it's missing some pieces, the proper job, subsets of success profiles, proper career development frameworks? What's holding you back? Because at the end of the day, that should that hopefully is a motivating factor.

Russel Lolacher
I'm hearing something... we haven't said the word but it seems like it's over-art... over-archingly. I make up words, it's a word.

Crystal Henrickson
Coined here folks

Russel Lolacher
Good communication, bad grammar. TRANSPARENCY. Why is transparency so hard? Because everything you're talking about is, let's tell people the grid, let's tell people their next steps. Let's give them the monkey bars of the career they can take, let's give them an idea of the skills they'll need to acquire to make the next compensation grid blah, blah. But it seems like such a mystery when people get into these organizations, and they don't know which way is up or sideways. So why is transparency not obvious?

Annika Reinhardt
It's very again, it's like it I'm such a fan, obviously, off this topic. And I think there's a couple challenges with it. It I think some organizations not having built out the proper frameworks makes them afraid to share anything because they don't know. Well, is it right, is a wrong? Are we at market? Are we not? Do we have all the pieces together? So there is a little bit of this, this has, you know, hesitating, because you're just not sure if they've done right. And I think the other piece, too, is still this notion in companies that like oh, well, one knows, you know, like, if folks know too much, they can ask for too much. Again, to me, that comes from a place of fear, because the frameworks are not there. If you have all the frameworks, there is no reason. So I'm going to do a shout out to one of our clients, human five that have done a fantastic job in in being transparent with with their structures, but the only way they were able to do that is because they put in the work and the effort to build all the right pieces so that they could use it and communicate and communicate to their employees, so that they can be more transparent around it. And so you need to be willing to put into work in order to become transparent. And I see, again, the sector is this has made a lot of hesitation. And sometimes it's to be honest, it's it's rightfully so right, because you want to be prepared. And I think one of the pieces Krystal does a lot with with folks is preparing them from a communication perspective, too, because there's so many questions that will come in, and you better have managers in positions where they actually can answer these questions. So you got to spend, you got to spend the time, right, you've got to the best spent the time building it properly, so that you can be transparent, because it's not as easy as just like, OOOHHHH! I wish I wish. But if you want to do it properly, then I think that's an important part is putting the time in the effort to actually do the work.

Russel Lolacher
Communication is a good one to nail on. Because I'm a communication nerd. So I get all over that. What are we needing to communicate when it comes to this? Because I mean, what's the best way to communicate that maybe that's the better question.

Crystal Henrickson
The managers are going to be the front lines of communicating this in the one on one settings in the informal settings. So to me the best, the best way is having the managers like fully prepared, which means early and often communication with the managers so that they can feel like they've been well supported to understand, you know, what's gone into the decisions that are being made here. What is the essence of how we do compensation in our company? And then how do we how do we as the managers have these conversations with you know, the individuals in our team over and over again, in it to me, it often will fall fall down so to speak. If the managers aren't clear and the managers They don't feel confident or competent in having these types of conversations. So it's a little bit more than just, tada, here's what we're doing and close the door, we're not going to talk about it. This is just what the policy is, let's say, the heart the hardest part, the thing that's the most important to me is how do the managers show up in those conversations when, you know, they get asked the question on Slack, for example, in a direct message, or, you know, in in the olden times when they're stopped in the office hallway, and asked a question, right? Or when somebody comes to them and says, like, Hey, I've been in my role for, you know, a year now I'd like to talk about compensation, or about progression, and the manager is not sure what to talk about there, the managers have to be really clear and feel really competent in it.

Russel Lolacher
Let's start setting up for success and go maybe at the very beginning of the employee journey here, even maybe the hiring process, there is a big clamor. And you can certainly see this in online forums of transparency when it comes to compensation in job postings. That seems to be a much bigger topic. That was even a couple of years ago. Thoughts??

Annika Reinhardt
So many thoughts, so many thoughts, obviously, again, being a big supporter of transparency, clearly, you know, we're seeing, especially in the US lots of movement in mandatory in requirements and mandatory kind of push to have those be Denver, be it? Like, I mean, so many, you know, so many places in the US are kind of pushing for it and have been implementing it. And, you know, it would be very interesting to see what happens here, Ontario gets kind of pushed into that direction, though, obviously, BC hasn't in to that extent. And there is, you know, it's been talked about, but nothing has happened here. But to your point, it seems like there's a little bit more of a grassroots movement with obviously employees asking for more transparency, especially over the course of the last year with the market has been so hot. And again, companies kind of facing this, well, what are we going to do with that same situation as with sharing anything internally, it is incredibly hard to do. So if you haven't done the work, right, and just going out and kind of posting something is not going to is not going to be beneficial for anyone, if at the end of the day, you're not sticking to what you're kind of saying there. And, you know, it's if people push hard enough, you're gonna go above and beyond or below anyway, so you're gonna have to have a strategy in place as to how you're going to deal with that in the hiring process. The other big piece here to is, what you see might not be what's all there. So in the compensation world, and with huge discussion right now around well, what are we posting? are we posting the full salary range, meaning from the minimum all the way to the maximum and the maximum is what Crystal talked about earlier being like, you are excelling, you're like way above and beyond by what is expected from you. And should we just pose minimum to midpoint midpoint is generally Alpha salary range is generally reflective of what somebody fully proficient and should be receiving? Because realistically is like, you might only want to hire in somebody who's growing in the role who is proficient, you might not want to push above, because then you have to think about what am I going to do with these people? Because they need a promotion soon, right? So. So again, it's not as simple as just putting some numbers, you really have to put in some thought about, well, what is it that that we're willing uncomfortable to pose? How can we talk about this so that it's very clear, this is a hiring range versus a full compensation range? And there are, you know, discussions around what should we only post the minimum, right, and say, it kind of goes up from there, so, so lots again, it's like, and I don't have the answers of what's right or wrong. The only thing again, I will encourage companies to do is really think strategically about if you're posting this again, how are we going to back this up? How are we helping our managers understand? And the other piece which I've also run into some of these, within some of the US states that have mandatory postings? If you post externally, you better make sure you're also ensuring that your internal employees know what's going on and what what the ranges are? Which, believe it or not, there is a disconnect is like, well, they can just go on the job posting and see what you're posting there. Why are you not sharing this internally? So again, kind of having a full communication plan ready and being been thoughtful, quite frankly, about this. So as much as I am a very, very big fan of transparency. It has to be thought through. Because once it's out it, there's no going back.

Crystal Henrickson
I think the thing that's coming out as I'm listening to Annika share is whatever company, whatever the company decides to do, they're signaling something. They're signaling something about their culture, whether they decide to, you know, in Canada, where it's not mandatory, not mandatory, they're signaling, if they have done the work by actually being really thoughtful and posting, that whatever they decide to do the hiring range, the full range that make whatever decision you want, but they've, they've done the work to come up with all their philosophies and other signaling to the job market, the work that they have done in their just as companies who are my opinion, not being thoughtful about that, or not even saying why they haven't posted the salary range, then if they've chosen to be more restrictive on that knowledge, they're signaling something to so I think there's a lot more movement around this and a lot more thoughtfulness, maybe a lot more discernment to amongst the potential, like the candidates, the potential employees, about what types of companies what types of culture that they want to work in.

Russel Lolacher
And what is it saying about those cultures? Because I see this being tied, not only from the compensation standpoint, but also from the development standpoint, is them basically in big neon lights saying how they value or don't value their employees?

Crystal Henrickson
It's a big neon sign if you're looking for it.

Annika Reinhardt
Yes, exactly. Right. And I think this is again, and say, having seen over the course of the last year, how much more educated our candidates and our employees have become savvy, just again, having been they both Crystal and I have been doing this work for quite a long time. And just seeing the changes in terms of information that is available conversations are happening. It is quite exciting times for you know, employees and candidates, because information that was never readily available is everywhere now. And again, it's like you have the opportunity to engage more in these conversations in with that heightened awareness around some of these pieces. And again, bigger push for companies to to think more and quite frankly, quicker, right about, well, what are we going to do about this? So I'm hopeful that we're seeing more acceleration around transparency, because there is a little bit off that grassroots employee and candidate movement that are demanding some of these pieces and if you want to attract the best, right, you got to figure out where we're where you fit it,

Crystal Henrickson
I would say it's even I know, we're saying grassroots, because we're talking about it's not mandatory, you know, in in Canada here, but if we just look at some of the, you know, recent research or recent studies on this type of topic, you know, like McKinsey in, I think was that in 20, that was this year in 2022. This is saying that, you know, people don't it's not that people leave their bosses that's like, yes, relationships, etc. But actually what they leave is not like not having this level of transparency, not knowing what the career growth means, what their development opportunities mean, like how they can use their strengths, how they can, you know, be best rewarded in the talent marketplace, that that's what they're leaving, or in another way of saying what they want to join. So if you really organization that is, is true to wanting to attract the best talent than you, you'd have to create the, quote, unquote, like best environment, and the way that you compete is by, you know, revealing these things. And having done all the hard work to make your company, you know, be this way from the inside out.

Russel Lolacher
It's also a little generational because I, I'm a Gen X er, and I would put up with a lot more crap than a millennial or Gen Zed would because they seem to be and I'm being very general here, obviously. But they are seeing websites like Glassdoor and other things as opportunities to be transparent about the culture, the compensation and the frameworks when their own organizations won't. So if people are being more savvy, they're finding this information, overworked, underpaid, Glassdoor hate this organization. People read that. Let's let's get them on the right foot because you mentioned earlier crystal about onboarding, what is the right way to onboard new staff that that sets them on the right foot to understand the compensation and the framework they're about to enter into to set them up for success?

Crystal Henrickson
That's a good question. I don't know. I don't know if there's one right way, think all the ways are very thoughtful ways where the experience is being curated and being as transparent as it can be. To me, the I guess the right way is, it starts before the person is hired. It actually started when the posting of the job description went out into the world and the potential new employee saw that. So if we're thinking about the whole experience and being thoughtful from, you know, it's kind of like looking at the whole customer funnel, if you will, right. It's not just when they pay money to you, it's when they first interact with your brand, for example. So with this, it's like it starts when the first interaction with the brand happens or the company happens. And the best ones are ones that bring people along and educate them at the right levels through the whole candidate experience that they're having. And then that continues the same thing that they're experiencing. When being a candidate. It's kind of like the quote unquote, like the dating phase, that still experienced when we move into, you know, the marriage or common law stage, we still have a similar experience. There's no quote unquote, like bad surprises in here, because we're educating them all along the way. I think those are the best onboarding experiences by me.

Annika Reinhardt
Because I think one great tool almost like your marriage contract, I'm going by that is

Russel Lolacher
Good metaphor, keep going.

Annika Reinhardt
is a Compensation and Rewards Philosophy. So often, again, that is a really great starting point for organizations to really think through, how do we want to value and reward our people in spending some time with that, and using that, as part of your onboarding experience, no matter if it is on, you know, on your website, as folks come to you, or as it is, when they come into the organization to shine a light on, hey, here's how we position ourselves in the market. Here's how we do performance reviews, here's how career development looks like for us, Hey, here's all the rewards that we offer. And all the benefits that kind of come along with this, here's how we deal with when the market changes, right? So being very, very transparent that way. And often, that comes in the form of a calm philosophy. Very fascinating to me. I would say about two, three years ago, there was no movement on companies having compensation philosophies, it was kind of like maybe just over half would have them. And again, within the last year, we've seen this massive jump where lots of organizations showing a pay scale on salary.com, they did some some analysis on this. And we've seen jumps to like almost 80% of companies actually now have compensation philosophies, cause they need a tool as part of this onboarding experience to share with companies or... sorry, share with the employees and share within the company. So a great tool I always say is like, if companies are not, you know, are not doing this, that is a great way to start and kind of help candidates as well as employees really understand stand is what is it that you're offering here?

Russel Lolacher
So I have to ask compensation philosophy, what is it? You mentioned it like three times. Love this thing, but what are we talking about?

Annika Reinhardt
What is this magical thing, so again, is sick often, you know, it is it can be a document or often is a document, although we've seen him in video formats and all kinds of other things. And again, it is a reflection of how a company values and rewards its employees. And it really considers trying to meet employees where they are it talks about their positioning in the market. It it really ties into here's our organization, here's where we're going and this is how again, we want to you know, compensate folks talks about the why, like, why are we compensating folks the way we do why is this important to us and oftentimes into values. So if you have, I always laugh about this if you have a value of transparency, and there is nothing transparent around calm. There is a bit of a conflict here right? So calm philosophy can pick up on some of these things. So we often see some really great tie ins into into the values and it will outline quite frankly that total rewards kind of package right. What are the financial incentives we have what's the what what do we have around well being. What are we doing around career, career and professional development? What are we doing about our work environment? Remote flexibility, all those pieces? And hey, what other perks do we have? And sometimes literally it is a bit of a marketing tool for folks. And then also have organizations that obviously use it quite strategically, to communicate to the leaders, executives to the managers, here's how we position ourselves in the market. So again, a very key tool, in my opinion, from a communication perspective, but also from a retention and attraction perspective.

Russel Lolacher
How do you handle consultants in an organization, because they seem to have a different pay structure. And they'll come in and conceivably look like they get paid a hell of a lot more to do the exact same work as staff that already works there. And then they go off and they leave again, as consultants yourself, I don't need to throw you under the bus. But it does tie to value and it does tie to their compensation. And they are if with transparency comes comparison, to be blunt, whether it's within the organization, or for those coming out. How do you approach that?

Annika Reinhardt
Very interesting question. And when I think about it, again, is like I'm thinking, you know, in my head, I'm thinking about these these salary ranges, right? So again, we're talking about, you have a minimum midpoint and a maximum offer range, potentially, right? If I were to hiring a consultant, I don't hire a consultant who is fully proficient, I hire a consultant who goes, like, who knows their stuff inside out, they're super deep, deep, deep in it. So realistic from salary range, they will be on top of the range, they would likely be quite high level, right? Depending on what do you need. I mean, sometimes you might, you know, hire somebody who's kind of more an intermediate level, but potentially, for more strategic projects, we're looking for quite high level folks. So again, they would definitely be in a different range. And the other thing, hence, compensation philosophy, as we all know, consultants don't have that full package I just talked about, right there, there is none of that. There's no bonus, there's no vacation, there's no health benefits, there's none of those pieces that again, as an organization will offering you and cool, it comes back to the fact it's not just about money, right? It's about that total rewards piece. And, again, what we're trying to install on companies to is to make sure their employees understand the total package, be it through total reward statements, right, where it's like Lilly will listing off all the things and be like, TADA, it's not just, you know, million dollars you're making here, it's actually a million point 25. Right? That'd be nice. Right, it's kind of making sure that people have a full understanding, especially if equity comes in and some of these other pieces, which again, as you know, as a consultant, potentially to rate might be higher. But if we're looking at total compensation and total rewards, it likely will balance out. Communication. Right? and ensuring that people understand that it's, it's comparing apples to oranges, really,

Russel Lolacher
What is the canary in a coal mine, for an organization that is getting to a point where they're going to need to hire an organization like the Talent Collective, where they may have to go look and go, Oh, okay, do we have a structure in place? Do we have our compensation framework figured out our philosophy? What are the first steps to sort of figure that out from a for lack of a better word, an audit approach, where they just trying to figure out their situational awareness? Where do you start?

Annika Reinhardt
With an audit! You know, it's actually funny. It's like, that's what we first do, right? Because you don't know what you don't know. And I think sometimes when, when we come in and do these audits, it's also nice, nice surprise for companies, because it's not all bad. You know, what I mean? is like, if we're looking at the whole piece, it's not like, you know, they often come to us, like people running away, you know, they're asking for the world. And we don't have the resources, or it's like, I thought it said, I heard that that's was the price, but now it's not. So it's kind of been like, cool. Let's take a deep breath. Let's actually look under the hood. Man. It's kind of like, it's hard to say how, you know, like, Ferrari might look nice, but I don't know how well that motor is running, if it's actually performing to, you know what it should be. So it's really looking under the hood and really seeing as like, what the company has and what they don't have, and doing a bit of an audit and that can be hard to do on your own van. But I think we already mentioned a couple things is like to me the priorities are do you have a calm philosophy? If no, like we we should work on that? And are you probably set up for your career frameworks be a degree levels or your job success profiles or profiles and generally, no, probably an area to work on. And then after that comes, well, let's actually work on your salary ranges or bands or structures or whatever that may be. Because often folks want to jump to that there is a lot of homework that needs to get done. But those are kind of the two, or the three things that often we see companies being like, if I see those things is like, clearly we're gonna have to start working on some stuff, while also recognizing you're likely doing some great work already. And so you might be like, I don't have any of these things, you know, and they come to us. And then we look at that and say, well, actually, you have some really great job postings, maybe, you know, we can turn those into some really great profiles, or, wow, you have a really great suite of other rewards that that maybe other companies don't have. Did you know that right, you're above what other companies are doing in terms of education. So sometimes you just don't know because it's just kind of naturally developed. So it's also giving them kudos for some of the things that they have done and again, helping them prioritize what's first, what's the priority? Now? What's a medium priority? And what can wait because it can get quite overwhelming?

Russel Lolacher
What is the biggest benefit to getting it figured out from a compensation and linking it to development?

Crystal Henrickson
Well, I don't know if it's the biggest, but one of them would be something along the lines of effectiveness, productivity from the people that are in their roles. Most of the time, what we see is people feel so much more stable, once they have access to a career development framework, once they understand how how compensation is actually, you know, done behind the book behind the curtain, the productivity tends to increase, because people feel like one that they've been taken care of. Right? Like they feel like it, we actually really care about them, because we put all this energy and effort into figuring it out and too vague, just really understand. So all that fear that's flying around, tends to dissipate. And stabilization happens even in chaotic environments, some stabilization happens. So I'd say that's one benefit.

Annika Reinhardt
I think if companies are thinking about scaling, you've got to figure this out. Otherwise, you're tripping over yourself. So basically, making sure that the resources you have are well deployed right now build the processes that can actually scale, so that you don't end up being one of those companies that have 300 or 500 employees with then you have to start, like just the time, effort, resources, money that needs to go into fixing that at that stage. It's a totally different ballgame. Right? So it's actually we really recommend thinking about this, you know, when you're quite small, because all of these pieces can scale...

Crystal Henrickson
Before the canary in the coal mine even exists or is needed,

Annika Reinhardt
Made and being proactive about it. So again, it's like you can deploy those resources, time and energy elsewhere, if you thought about it early. And how great is that? If your HR team is not overburdened? When you have an HR team Wait, you know, in the future, when they're not when they're not, you know, worrying about how on earth with everything else am I going to do this work? So I do think the scaling is a really big part of why you should think about it early on. And again, it's like I think we talked about this now, you know, through through the course of our discussion here today is from a retention perspective, as well as from a recruitment perspective, why wouldn't you, but it's like, it's almost again, it's like you are helping yourself, you're helping your company, in in really being very clear on what you offer, and also attracting those that feel that this is in alignment with what they have to offer and where they want to be.

Russel Lolacher
I'm gonna put a big old pin in it there. But I have to ask the one question I asked at the end of the podcast, which iswhat's one simple action people can do right now to improve their relationships at work?

Crystal Henrickson
I think every time you share an idea and opinion, or even directions or instructions, actually really pause and ask the person that you're speaking to, to share their thoughts and their opinions or their answer or open up the discussion. And then really listen to what the other person is saying. So you can have a true, you know, meaningful dialogue about whatever it was that you were talking about. Even just that to me that one small thing of asking a question that doesn't get answered with a yes or no or fine, can be huge for relationships developing deeply.

Annika Reinhardt
And then we're going to take this a little further, especially around the asking about new ideas and improvements in processes or just, you know, seeing if, if employees have some of these thoughts. Let them run with it, try it out. I am always thinking back to that manager that allowed me to try out this flexible work arrangement, there were no rules or regulations. And there was a very large organization around if we could or couldn't do it. And he was like, You know what, let's pilot this. Let's try it out. Let's look at what's working, what's not and we tweak my flexible work arrangement quite a bit to get their bed. Ah, am I happy that he did, right that he said, sure. What do we have to lose? You're right, except for you either proving your point or not. And we can always go back to the old way. Right, that doesn't that doesn't run away. So I think just allowing folks to, to really execute on some of those ideas and being willing and flexible and to to have them just thrive and try things out.

Russel Lolacher
Annika Reinhardt, Crystal Hendrickson, they are Talent Collective, a consulting agency helping organizations grow their talent. Thank you so much for being on the show today.

Crystal Henrickson
Thanks for having us, Russel.

Annika Reinhardt
Thank you!