Razed and Confused

Eight hours on airplanes and four hours in airports left me smelling very rank when I finally got home. What little I did for NNWM was in longhand. If I can decipher my own handwriting, and
find a nice, three-hour block of time this weekend, I want to write about organizational hijinks in the area of how compensation is determined.

At a previous company, the annual review system was referred to as “job-leveling,” with the implication of the benevolent use of the word “level,” e.g. “equality” or “fairness.” Upon hearing how the process was implemented, most of us felt the actual definition of “level” used was “raze.”
Concurrent with leveling are elaborate mechanisms to “objectively” come up with The Number. Like airport security, these schemes appear, to the external observer, complex. However, when examined closely, make no sense. I would guess the answer is the same as “Why I need to have my wool sweater X-rayed in airport security?”


2 thoughts on “Razed and Confused”

  1. In a past life as a Compensation Manager (yes, another phase of my life where the curses put on me by my math teachers forced me to get all quantitative), we would do the whole structure revamp thing every few years. I liken it to Costco, when after 6 months where you are able to find everything right where you expect it, they rearrange the entire warehouse in order to get you to wander aimlessly and find more giant sized things to buy that you would not have seen otherwise. Disorienting those around you for fun and profit.

    The most extreme example of this was where we took a year to put in a multiple linear regression job valuation system. Deviously complex, this black box took all the data that was provided by a manager, churned it, and responded that his or her admin support person was worth exactly the same as manager xyz’s admin support person. Rage and self-righteous indignation was often the by-product of this system.

  2. Excellent graphic. 🙂

    And I hope you do find time to merge your thoughts on compensation into your NNWM composition. Think of it as a public service: if you end up publishing these at some point, you’ll be helping thousands to laugh away their pain!

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