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Compensation in 2010 - Are You In The Game?
By: Mary Barefoot, HR Services Consultant,

Are you worried about losing top talent now that the economy has started to rebound from last year's recession? If not, you should consider the potential impact this could have on your business. Many companies are concerned that high performers will be seeking employment elsewhere as the job market frees up. Last year, many companies took drastic measures cutting cost to ensure profitability in the worst of economic conditions. The affect of those strategies could be detrimental if companies neglect to adjust workforce compensation now that the tides are beginning to change.

When head count is reduced, remaining employees become increasingly vital to a company's core operations. These employees become more valuable because of cross training, decision making, and multitasking across a larger scope. From an employee perspective this is a great opportunity to increase your skill set and further develop your expertise. However, these new found skills can also lead employees to seek advanced opportunities outside the organization.

In an effort to retain core employees, companies are advised to closely inspect the impact of changes made within their organization in the last year. Regardless of the practice variety utilized, fair compensation may be muddled in reaction to these unexpected turns. Precedence in making adjustments as budget becomes available should be a priority especially for employees that have had an increase in job responsibility due to workforce reduction. In the event that the company is not able or does not wish to backfill the position, a review of the job components added to the employees existing workload should be considered. Being proactive in addressing the issue of more work for less pay will encourage employees that their extra efforts are noticed and appreciated.

2010 is a year to look at compensation trends. As the market begins to stabilize, organizations recognize the need to get back in the game of competitive market benchmarking. The importance of being up to date on market trends are of utmost importance with the risk of losing talented and high performing employees. The results can be a win-win situation if appropriately addressed.

Take the first step in addressing compensation strategy in your organization, join as we host our Compensation Strategy Workshop, September 14-15th in Minnetonka, MN. Our guest speaker Sharon Koss, SHRM’s compensation expert, will share a brief review of the overall trends in base compensation, incentive pay and benefits, and what has changed since the economic crisis. She will also provide suggested solutions to difficult compensation questions that employers might face within their organization. Click here to register!

If your company is in need of compensation data that is specific to the agriculture industry, please contact today and inquire about the Compensation Benchmark Review, an agribusiness salary survey. Data is being collected and now benchmarks 135 positions from a variety of agribusiness companies across the US and Canada. Please email or call today to find out how you can become involved and get started benchmarking your company’s positions. 800.929.8975 or

References: Reconfiguration Pay: Adjusting Salary Rates to Reflect Layoff-Induced Job Content Changes. Theodore E. Weinberger. WorldatWork Journal. First Quarter 2010.