Comp Cycle

Manager Enablement for Successful Comp Cycles in 2024

Manager Enablement for Successful Comp Cycles in 2024
Assemble Content Team

Assemble Content Team

Published on

November 15, 2023

1. Introduction

Compensation teams play a pivotal role in ensuring that their organization's compensation planning is aligned with company goals and industry standards. However, to successfully complete a merit cycle, it's essential to train managers who are on the front lines of making compensation decisions. 

In this guide, we will walk you through the key steps in training managers to navigate the 2024 compensation cycle, with a focus on three critical areas: Explaining your Comp Philosophy, Sharing your Leveling Framework, and Guidance for Comp Changes. 

If you want to see a real-life template of a Manager Training presentation, click here to download. 

2. Explaining Your Compensation Philosophy

Define Your Compensation Philosophy

Before diving into the intricacies of the comp cycle, it's crucial to establish and communicate your organization's compensation philosophy. This philosophy should serve as the guiding principle for all compensation decisions and should align with your company's values, mission, and strategic objectives. If you haven’t built a compensation philosophy yet, use this template for a best practice structure.

Communicate Your Philosophy

In the training session, highlight the core tenets of your philosophy based on your competitiveness in the market, what data benchmarks underlie the philosophy, and what compensation components are included in employee pay. Be sure to include your policy on pay transparency as well, especially as it pertains to managers and employees. Are managers allowed to see all compensation of employees in their reporting chain? Are they allowed to see the compensation bands associated with their departments? What can they share with employees? Ensure that you have clear and consistent policies to which managers can adhere.

Compensation Bands

Explain the compensation bands associated with each level, providing guidelines for the range of salaries, bonuses, and benefits that are typically associated with each level. Make sure managers are aware of the flexibility they have within these bands and the factors that may justify adjustments. If you haven’t built compensation bands yet, consider using our Salary Band Generator.

3. Sharing Your Company's Leveling Framework

A leveling framework is a vital tool for maintaining consistency and equity in compensation across your organization. It provides a structured way to categorize roles based on factors like responsibilities, experience, and skill sets. Training managers on your company's leveling framework is crucial to ensure that they make fair and informed compensation decisions, especially when employees are being considered for promotion.

Understand the Levels

Begin by ensuring that managers have a deep understanding of your organization's leveling structure. This includes defining the various levels and the criteria used to determine where a position falls within this structure. Discuss how leveling aligns with career progression and compensation bands.

Role Evaluation

Teach managers how to evaluate roles within their teams and match them to the appropriate level within the framework. This is vital for managers with employees eligible for promotion, as promotions can be both to the next level, or into a different job ladder. Emphasize the importance of consistency in this process and the need to avoid bias in role evaluations.

If you’re building levels for the first time, know that the process can be highly iterative. Ask Managers for their feedback leveling employees against the job structure. Highlight that this is a work in progress and that the purpose of the Comp Cycle is to get their input. 

4. Guidance for Compensation Changes

Once managers are well-versed in your compensation philosophy and leveling framework, they can move on to the critical task of deciding on compensation changes for their employees. This involves a careful analysis of individual and team performance, market trends, and budget constraints.

Merit Matrix Budget

Share with managers your merit matrix budget to ensure managers have some guidance on how to grant increases based on performance. 

Performance Evaluation

Train managers on how to conduct fair and objective performance evaluations based on your organization’s predefined performance evaluation structure. Encourage them to be transparent with their teams on how they are evaluated.

Merit Budget Management

In situations where merit matrix guidance falls short (i.e., when making a market adjustment), teach managers how to work within the confines of the compensation budget while still rewarding high performers and addressing pay disparities.

5. Conclusion

The success of your 2024 compensation cycle relies on effective manager training. Equipping managers with the knowledge and tools outlined in this guide ensures alignment with your company's values. Empowering managers in explaining your compensation philosophy, sharing your leveling framework, and guiding compensation changes is the key to a fair and equitable compensation strategy. As you move forward, may your commitment to equity and fairness shine through in your organization's compensation decisions.

If you want to learn about how Assemble enables you to run a Comp Cycle at scale through best-in-class software workflows, request a demo here!

Assemble Content Team

Assemble Content Team

Assemble is the world’s first compensation platform designed to empower your teams to attract, retain, and motivate top talent with fair and equitable pay.