Companies started throwing out performance rating scales and stopped ranking people from best to worst more than 10 years ago. The first lesson learned is conversations about compensation and conversations about performance improvement are two different conversations. Companies that still combine these conversations spend too much time looking backward.

Tip 1: The compensation conversation stands alone. Compensation is based on the contribution to the company. That contribution is defined by the execution of the position’s purpose, the well-written job description. Performance standards should clearly define the expectations and behaviors.

Nora T. Akins of Strategic Management uses employment law and neuroscience to make the world kinder, one workplace at a time. Reach Nora at 219 873-1735 or

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