Comp Cycle

Communicating the Results of Your 2024 Comp Cycle

Communicating the Results of Your 2024 Comp Cycle
Assemble Content Team

Assemble Content Team

Published on

November 15, 2023

1: Introduction

The annual or semi-annual compensation cycle can bring a whirlwind of emotions among employees. It's like Report Card Day in school where the anticipation and uncertainty can either lead to elation or disappointment. 

But unlike school, the repercussions of miscommunication or misunderstanding the outputs of a comp cycle are higher stakes. Missteps can lead to decreased employee morale, increased attrition, and a feeling of undervaluation or distrust. Both Managers and People leaders have a pivotal role to play in communicating the outputs of a comp cycle. Their approach, transparency, and tact can mean the difference between a motivated team and a disheartened one. 

This guide delves deep into the best practices for ensuring that your comp cycles communications foster trust and alignment across your employee population. If you want to get started immediately, check out our total rewards statement template.

2: The Importance of Compensation Change Letters

Compensation adjustments, while often anticipated, are not always understood in depth by all employees. This is where the importance of Comp Adjustment Letters comes into play.

The Imperative of Creating Comp Change Letters

Comp adjustment letters are increasingly becoming standard practice as a post-cycle communication tool. Adjustment letters are critical for multiple reasons: 

  • Clarity at Its Best: Compensation changes come in various shapes and sizes - merit-based, market adjustments, tenure-based, or even a combination of factors. The letter serves as a clear guide, explaining the reasoning behind each change.
  • Fostering a Transparent Culture: By clearly elucidating how compensation figures were arrived at, companies can proactively dispel myths and potential grievances, promoting a culture of openness.
  • Future References: Beyond the immediate utility, these letters provide an essential record for both the employee and HR for any future discussions (or disputes).

Tips for 2024 Change Letters:

  • Share Comp Letters in a one-on-one, face-to-face conversation where the results of a compensation cycle are communicated live, and letters are handed over personally. This ensures privacy and allows employees to have immediate discussions if they so wish.
  • Ensure that letters are distributed as soon as decisions are finalized. Any delay post-decision can lead to unnecessary apprehensions and speculations. 
  • In our hybrid working world, digital copies (ensured for confidentiality) are imperative. They not only serve remote workers but also provide an easy archive for employees to revisit

While many companies will customize their Adjustment Letters, many follow a similar format. Access a free template of a Comp Adjustment Letter here.

3: Equipping Managers for Thoughtful Conversations

Managers are the bridge between organizational decisions and employee understanding. Thus, preparing them is akin to laying a solid foundation for the entire process.

Compensation vs. Career Progression: 

While it's easy to see compensation adjustments as the be-all and end-all, it's but one part of the broader career progression landscape. Managers should be adept at conveying this. They should elucidate how role enhancement, opportunities for upskilling, additional responsibilities, and various forms of recognition are as integral as monetary compensation in an employee's journey.

Tackling the Tough Questions: 

Let's face it, no matter how well-prepared, there will always be some hard-hitting questions. Preparing managers with answers in advance can prevent miscommunication. Here are a few examples of questions you FAQs you might provide managers in advance of comp change discussions:

Question: My raise seems disproportionate to my efforts. Why is that?

Answer: "Compensation adjustments encompass various parameters, not just effort. Adjustments are driven by analysis of  the current labor market, your role positioning, and other factors. Let's break down the specifics of your role and discuss growth areas."

Question: I've seen market standards that differ from my raise. Why?

Answer: "We employ a combination of internal valuations and market benchmarks. Our aim remains competitive remuneration. I'd be happy to discuss how we arrived at your figure and talk about future growth possibilities."

Question: Why was I not promoted this cycle?

Answer: "Promotions are a culmination of various factors. While your efforts are recognized, there might be areas we can focus on for the future. Let's strategize on this together."

4: Conclusion

Post-compensation cycle communications, while challenging, present a unique opportunity. They offer a chance for organizations to reinforce their values, their appreciation of their workforce, and their commitment to employee growth. 

Managers, being at the helm of this interaction, carry a significant responsibility. Equipped with the right tools, training, and mindset, they can transform a potentially turbulent time into an opportunity for constructive dialogue and future-forward thinking. 

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.