Fairness at Work Episode #7: Equity, Bonuses, and Incentives: The Dirty Secrets of Fair Pay

Webinar recording

Aired January 26, 2021


Rob Porcarelli: Thank you everyone for joining us at sin do are this is episode eight of our fairness at work series.

Rob Porcarelli: topic is equity bonuses and incentives, the dirty secrets of fair pay, we had a ton of people are register upwards of close to 700 folks registered so apparently people want to talk about bonuses and equity or your you just want to hear dirty secrets and let's get started let's go in.

Rob Porcarelli: So here's what we're going to talk about.

Rob Porcarelli: BONUS and stock, in particular, and really The topic is going to be discretion where there's discretion as bias, can we guide it.

Rob Porcarelli: guiding us today is going to be this amazing panel.

Rob Porcarelli: Here we go, so we have Chris i'll go left to right on the on the screen Christina is a senior leader, she is.

Rob Porcarelli: A veteran of not only was she just now she's the chro instacart but before that she was the chief people officer at linkedin she had been in compensation, as well as linkedin and Facebook and into it.

Rob Porcarelli: Thank you Christina for joining us.

Rob Porcarelli: brandon Gordon oh sorry.

Rob Porcarelli: brandon Gordon it was a director of HR at nerd wallet and before that he had also worked at bain he has a new exciting activity.

Rob Porcarelli: position at a company soon enough that maybe he'll reveal during the webinar maybe he won't but.

Rob Porcarelli: brandon, thank you for joining us during your your time off.

Brandon Gordon: happy to be here.

Rob Porcarelli: And then, Dr Dr Sarah winner is a is an I O PhD Sarah has a she's a recognized expert in and an ios psychologist she has worked, most recently, a glint now she's rock climbing.

Rob Porcarelli: And then doing some side hustle she's a she's an advisor up level before that she had worked at connects and IBM and is.

Rob Porcarelli: has a number of publications, you can you can find those probably on her bio somewhere and and Tony is you can't see her but she's there that's her picture she's helping organize and run the the PowerPoint I multitask poorly so Anna is going to keep us on task thanks Anna.

Rob Porcarelli: Okay, so before we get started, we that's what we're going to talk about his discretion and bonus and PayPal we also want to know what's up greatest interest to you, so you should be able to vote.

Rob Porcarelli: somewhere, I think, so please do if you're able to vote now with a topic that's of most interest to you and and also please feel free to use the chat we just ask that, if you do chat maybe.

Rob Porcarelli: send it to the panelists only unless you think it's appropriate to have everyone in the webinar read it.

Rob Porcarelli: Okay, thanks, Anna.

Rob Porcarelli: Oh we're gonna get see the like results live or should we.

Rob Porcarelli: And I have.

Rob Porcarelli: So, in the meantime i'll do so what we'll do.

Rob Porcarelli: Is while you're voting i'll let you know so we're going to talk a little bit of context i'll set some context in terms of what we're seeing at sin do.

Rob Porcarelli: You know in current events, generally speaking, around pay equity and then we're going to jump into this topic and have our our panel discuss, debate and think through those those questions that we're posing around this topic.

Rob Porcarelli: It looks like bold predictions is about one five a lot of people want to hear what other companies are doing so we'll talk about that.

Rob Porcarelli: analyzing pay Okay, this is helpful and then for.

Rob Porcarelli: it's interesting also let me just look at so does your so Anna can folks see the results of these polls.

Rob Porcarelli: Or is it just us.

Rob Porcarelli: attendees are interviewing poll results okay got it.

Rob Porcarelli: let's do it let's jump in let's talk about some of the momentum that's happening around all things fairness and some of the tension that's happening as well, in terms of what's happening at the government level corporate leadership and within your employee basis.

Rob Porcarelli: Okay, so there's a new administration, some of you may have noticed.

Rob Porcarelli: You know, both the President and Vice President, when they were presidential candidates had as a part of their platform pay equity in particular Gender Pay equity.

Rob Porcarelli: it's no surprise that they've already in the first few days the administration formed a White House gender policy Council so that's something to keep an eye on.

Rob Porcarelli: The The other thing is, you know there's a lot of companies that say they're their people, their other most valuable asset, while the SEC has taken note and adopted a rule requiring certain.

Rob Porcarelli: visibility and transparency into metrics around people it used to be that folks would put in their companies and put in the proxy statement sort of.

Rob Porcarelli: Limited statements that were really designed to limit liability really rather and provide metrics into their their their people how they treat their people turnover engagement pay equity.

Rob Porcarelli: And we see that we see those wins shifting dramatically, and then you can see, I just crammed in there, this morning, a little note about the CCP there's a new head of the CCP it's Jenny Yang those of you who recognize her name she used to be the.

Rob Porcarelli: The Chair of the eeoc and before that she was a plaintiff's lawyer who was with the firm that sued.

Rob Porcarelli: walmart the dukes we walmart case she worked on, if any of you recall dukes to walmart was the largest employment class action in history and involved paying promotions, so I suspect any of you who are doing work with the Federal Government right now.

Rob Porcarelli: it's going to be no surprise, which direction.

Rob Porcarelli: director Yang is going ahead.

Rob Porcarelli: All right, let's go in.

Rob Porcarelli: All right, and then, in addition to the Federal Government, we were seeing a ton of stakeholder activism and CEOs responding this barons articles just from a few days ago about corporations, of the new activists after the Capitol Hill riot.

Rob Porcarelli: And, and the survey that they included was that folks apparently are trusting the CEOs more than government.

Rob Porcarelli: And they're expecting CEOs to speak up on these topics right and and especially internal networks we're hearing more and more from our customers who are saying.

Rob Porcarelli: they're in their employee resource groups are pushing leadership for answers to certain questions and a CEO is going to have to be prepared to respond to those to those questions around fairness and equity.

Rob Porcarelli: Not everyone agrees here's a quote from someone who, who was not happy that that unelected CEOs are having an impact on on how we do things, at least in the US, but that doesn't seem I don't think it's going to change anytime soon.

Rob Porcarelli: And then, Google Doc that activism this isn't the started a few few years ago, but again, we regularly hear from our customers are on pack witty of.

Rob Porcarelli: folks opening up a slack channel or a Google Doc and crowdsourcing pay right in the nature abhors a vacuum and in the absence of a narrative.

Rob Porcarelli: Companies have got to realize that their employees will fill the vacuum with information as they crowdsource their pay and the problem is it's not often with accurate data so that that's something to keep an eye on.

Rob Porcarelli: And then you know we're you know, maybe there's we're going to emerge from coven this year that the carnage is still being assessed.

Rob Porcarelli: The you know we were seeing at least six months ago that coven was erasing easily years of pay equity advancements.

Rob Porcarelli: In particular, gender and race pay equity was years and the New York Times recently assessed that it was about 10 years now that we've that we've eroded.

Rob Porcarelli: So there's there's an uphill we've got an uphill challenge, right now, these are just some of the recent headlines that you can see in the New York Times series on on the impact of of code on on working women in particular working women of color.

Rob Porcarelli: We we we did this, so this was a poll question i'll tell you that your your your results are not terribly different from what we see at sin do we see that all of our customers are analyzing base pay.

Rob Porcarelli: Of those who are also conducted or more progressive about half are analyzing bonus, and maybe 10% are analyzing stock which is, which is pretty small number and let's let's let's dive into it and talk about why.

Rob Porcarelli: Okay, so here's our discussion topics, generally speaking, we'll keep an eye on the chat so we'll we'll keep the discussion relevant to the to the Q amp a.

Rob Porcarelli: And let's go right into the first topic Anna is an equity buried indiscretion and, in particular those discretionary elements of COMP.

Rob Porcarelli: Fast company had an article on this and you can see, in a blind test that men generally were viewed as more worthy of retention, this was these were fictitious folks and they managers were asked to give.

Rob Porcarelli: retention or potential grants to their people, and you can see that, generally speaking, we as a group, seem to look at men and women differently when it comes to who we need to retain.

Rob Porcarelli: So all right let's open it up.

Rob Porcarelli: Sarah Christina brandon.

Rob Porcarelli: Based on the stock first does each have a different purpose.

Christina Hall: Well, I can start, because I think this is one of those things that people who've been compensation for a while and you read you know.

Christina Hall: Any proxy disclosures People often talk about the fact that you know bonus is supposed to be a short term incentive or performance reward and stock isn't meant to be a long term retentive tool and.

Christina Hall: Those two things I think are sort of those are the sort of age old ways of thinking about those two elements of incentive, but I think we see that the lines get blurred all the time, depending on you know companies budgets companies practices, all that kind of stuff.

Rob Porcarelli: And when we look at potential do we think, do you think we look at men and women differently.

Christina Hall: And you know that that article that you cited from fast company just you know it didn't surprise me, it was more like oh that again because I think we've seen so many studies.

Christina Hall: done, you know with started off with resume titles and you know, changing the name at the top of a resume and it went to a really in depth study that was done.

Christina Hall: By someone using a linkedin profile and submitting jobs and simply changing either, gender or race or both, and how that impacted response rate.

Christina Hall: So I guess i'm a little jaded in that sure you see it in yet another space that simply this the smallest indication of a difference, can lead to different outcomes.

Rob Porcarelli: So brandon What should we do about it.

Brandon Gordon: We have a whole nother 40 minutes can't give the answers right now.

Brandon Gordon: Your first question kind of the difference purpose of you know base bonus and stopped, and if you.

Brandon Gordon: take a step back and just think about the employee kind of journey with the company, you know their their recruit that you really want you're doing anything to get them, perhaps.

Brandon Gordon: And then they have a tenure there, do you have that same feeling do you have that same are we doing anything to keep them.

Brandon Gordon: And to your point that might change over time, given their managers given performance, given how the company views and kind of work for our strategy.

Brandon Gordon: or these folks who are just going to be here for a few years are these folks that we need to be here for 10 years.


Brandon Gordon: Some of these companies, particularly some tech companies are not even 10 years old, so they're not even thinking about kind of long term employee.


Brandon Gordon: retention or employee journeys and then you know again taking the lens of the tech space you're selling people on the dream.


Brandon Gordon: Now you're in and you're having people notice the marshmallow test in some ways, you know you're.


Brandon Gordon: Not having that marshmallow now because you think they'll get to later, so they do play different roles for companies and different roles within that employee lifecycle.


Brandon Gordon: And in each of those points is an opportunity to kind of reaffirm how much that employee means to you and your business or not.

Brandon Gordon: And there are different people doing that reaffirmation along the way, so just think about how messy that gets how many inputs are in the output, hopefully, is a happy employee giving you know good service for the company.

Brandon Gordon: But the inputs they're just so many in so many different people and so many different variables over time, at the end of the day, you're looking at a number So what are all the influences that number and why over time.


Rob Porcarelli: So all right so speaking of the number, we have a couple questions already in the chat which are related to the question of transparency into the number and i'll read up just one of the questions is.


Rob Porcarelli: Looking to see the transparency for pay equity in fairness what what degree of it is the norm.


Rob Porcarelli: And are you know how much is a di advisory team involved in pay equity analysis and changes to the results.


Rob Porcarelli: And another question around speaking to the practice of posting a pay rate with job postings as an early steps or pay equity their number of companies that are pushing against this and they don't like it so, can you talk about.


Rob Porcarelli: your thoughts and your observations around transparency, whether into pay equity generally generally or even specifically about posting a posting the pay, along with each job description.


Christina Hall: I can speak to posting the pay, you know it's really interesting because obviously at some levels we have legal requirements.


Christina Hall: You know, in the old fashioned brick and mortar world to post posters that you know tell what certain jobs pay that's that's still a legal requirement and I have no idea how that all morphs once were.


Christina Hall: You know all working from home, of course, but there is a level of transparency around that in the larger you know sort of working world that that has existed for a very long time.


Christina Hall: I think in the more sort of modern sense of things definitely at linkedin We have lots of discussions about how to encourage employers and our meaning our customers and our Members to post pay for jobs that are being listed and people are very interested in that, and you know as.

Christina Hall: As the sort of as Ellis points out in the comment I think there is sort of a knee jerk reaction that makes people nervous.


Christina Hall: But the way that i've gotten more comfortable with it over time, is to really think about you know, having ranges that are.

Christina Hall: fairly broad talking to employees about that and then posting a number or arrange that is very much in the middle of that so that you have sort of some some leeway there without it.

Christina Hall: having to be like okay this job is going to pay 140 $2,000 a year, but allowing for there to be discussion, you know ranges and that type of thing.

Rob Porcarelli: And then, and then more question about branding you talked about some of the issues with.

Rob Porcarelli: analyzing stock and let's say let's say stock is less relevant either for nonprofits, which is one of the folks presented in chat but let's talk about bonus or the reasons why you know companies might be reluctant to do bonus, which is just just a number right, just like base pay.

Brandon Gordon: Sometimes it's philosophical you know it's you know, do you know if, in the world where you know your bonus is a larger percentage of your your take home the argument is you have outsized impact on the outcomes.

Brandon Gordon: So you know it's a motivating factor.

Brandon Gordon: You know, and then you know I think in some roles or in certain companies, the argument is how much influence as one individual really have.

Brandon Gordon: Now, are we are we do we have this old school mentality that this person is is the is the haymaker this person is the star salesperson perhaps that's true, but a lot of roles, you know, maybe your line of code isn't going to.


Brandon Gordon: Change the company, the way somebody else's wanted, so I think the concept of bonus and kind of what what it's meant in one one sense, in terms of you have outsized impact, so you should share in some of that.


Brandon Gordon: may not be as relevant to many jobs.


Brandon Gordon: And I think it also goes back to what are you trying to get from it, you know i've seen retention programs that state their intended purpose of our bonus retention bonus programs.


Brandon Gordon: And then you see people leave like two months after two weeks after and you know, in some ways, did it by you, those extra six months, maybe wasn't worth it.


Brandon Gordon: I don't think anyone can really tell you so, so I think bonus in general is just something that.


Brandon Gordon: You know, also from a cash flow perspective and balance your perspective, you kind of want to know what your what your liability is both personally and a company, so I think bonus just conceptually needs to be a little bit more clear.

Brandon Gordon: And you know it's also something that typically hasn't been ordered to everyone so in itself that you're you're already starting to kind of bucket out who's worthy of something more.


Christina Hall: Well, and rob to that citizens to the discussion question, the thing about bonuses is.


Christina Hall: You know if you analyze when you all have an annual bonus, at the same time that's great what I think is much harder to analyze is.


Christina Hall: discretionary spot bonuses that happen for all those reasons brandon was calling out, you know there's some special retention program or something off cycle.


Christina Hall: I mean that's where I think it's almost impossible to really get a good lens on that and, therefore, hard to probably analyze it fully.


Rob Porcarelli: let's talk about so Sarah i'm gonna i'm going to cue you up here for go to the next slide so in terms of retention bonuses your spot bonuses sort of to reward.


Rob Porcarelli: Potential or future or past work keep you unscented so I don't know if any of you saw did you see the Arthur.


Rob Porcarelli: yeah Christina so so For those of you who haven't you want to talk about so this is, this is the headline Arthur Levitt jr is the former Chair of the SEC, and he wrote a thing in The Wall Street Journal.


Rob Porcarelli: And there's the headline Christina since you left on do you want to talk about.


Christina Hall: What you recall from that piece, you know people I just laughed because I think the Wall Street Journal is is sort of.


Christina Hall: You know, really booking up on their reputation is this conservative sort of news source and that headline really felt like it was like underscoring that point of view.


Christina Hall: And you know we have sort of all this, this nice movement that we've seen in in California, you know within way I see and then to sort of see this felt like oh wow just you know i'm a bit of an old fashioned take.


Rob Porcarelli: It sure was I was it was interesting because I didn't I haven't heard anybody asked him for the business case for homogeneity.


Rob Porcarelli: know he he needs you to disprove him so there was that, by the way, as an aside, he is on the he's a board member of speaking of stakeholder activism.


Rob Porcarelli: he's on the board of Bloomberg he is also an advisor to carlyle group, both those companies when I looked at their websites after I read it.

Rob Porcarelli: Have prominently displayed the business case for diversity and put that in air quotes apparently he was unaware unaware, maybe when he wrote this thing he may.

Christina Hall: disagree, but.

Rob Porcarelli: He may he may or they may maybe he yeah he maybe they didn't preview what he wrote we'll see if there's any consequence.


Rob Porcarelli: But Sarah like that you know there's there's some studies around you know, do we view people differently by gender, as an example, or race when it comes to potential.


Rob Porcarelli: And I know there's some studies out there that say we judge women based on or evaluate them based on accomplishments and men, based on potential.


Sara Weiner: yeah they're.


Sara Weiner: Here yeah there are some studies that showed this you know, years ago, there was a study on MBA students about who would actually.


Sara Weiner: negotiate for a job and those kinds of studies seem to be showing more and more convergence of this negotiating style.


Sara Weiner: And so that's good, but then you know, there are there are some issues with whether or not when women asked for a raise they get it, and there was a recent study in Australia that highlighted that particular discrepancy.


Sara Weiner: And so, whether or not they're paid for you know potential or actual performance.


Sara Weiner: Is kind of not the issue if you're going to you know do what Cindy does, for example, or and or use another provider to figure out whether or not you've got discrepancies.


Sara Weiner: In your in your pain.


Sara Weiner: You know, pay for performance or.


Sara Weiner: Whatever plan, it is, and I think broadly about this as well rob you know I really think more broadly in terms of the whole picture of pay, as part of performance evaluation process as part of a retention process in terms of encouraging people to.


Sara Weiner: stay longer if they're talented people and you want them in your organization thinking about it in terms of engagement.


Sara Weiner: and pay has always been shown on you know a little bit lower down in the list of things that engage people on the job it's not the first thing.

Sara Weiner: To focus on for engagement there are other things that are more important like this sense of belonging feeling valued.

Sara Weiner: and recognition doesn't always have to be monetary so i'm going beyond your question and we'll talk more about some of these things later, but it's kind of a bigger picture.


Rob Porcarelli: yeah we're going to talk about about that in a moment for now let's advance one slide I want to ask follow up on one thing you said use an example of a woman who might ask for more to some people ask for more more than others.

Rob Porcarelli: And then also then you know, depending on your answer Christina and brandon, you know as HR professionals, what do you do, what do you do you keep track, you know everyone seems to be acutely aware of their own value.

Rob Porcarelli: Are some more acutely aware than others.


Brandon Gordon: Think there's perception.

Brandon Gordon: ones valued.

Brandon Gordon: which might be some folks might have a higher perception of their value, you know, I think.

Brandon Gordon: As I was listening to Sarah and you know just thinking about you know some of the things we talked about.


Brandon Gordon: This morning, that really is this underlying you know we're really trying to look for a formula and a science to something that objectively has some art in it.


Brandon Gordon: And that's just highly uncomfortable for everyone, you know and fairness is is something that you know very early in our psyches we learned what fairness is someone gets two pieces apple versus your one you're like what the hell.

Brandon Gordon: You probably don't say that at two years old, but you feel that.


Brandon Gordon: And you know I think at its core, you know i'm looking at some of the questions in the in the chat you know around you know di and gender.


Brandon Gordon: You know it's just if i'm an employer I want my employees focused as much as I can, on doing the work and not on the other things, so what can I do and here's the business case.


Brandon Gordon: What can I do as an employer to take this burden this mental burden off my employees plate, so they don't have to worry about the day not get the opportunity somebody else got because of X.


Brandon Gordon: Or are they valued the same way as somebody else, or does the manager see all the extra effort.


Brandon Gordon: The more REPS someone's thinking about that the less time they're thinking about the work or how much they love the company or referring somebody.


Brandon Gordon: So I think what can we do to set a foundation and that's a little bit of a science, but then people have to trust that there's art to this and that's an excuse.

Brandon Gordon: You want that you want them to understand that the art isn't like completely abstract.


Brandon Gordon: They might recognize some of it and that there are puts and takes over a long time period, now the studies will show that yeah lifetime earnings of different genders are different races like.


Brandon Gordon: The system doesn't always catch itself up and I totally recognize that i've experienced that myself.


Brandon Gordon: But, but I think some of what we need to try and do or can attempt to do.


Brandon Gordon: You know, you can work for the government, and you can go look up all your salary is going to be in what everybody else is going to be at doesn't mean that everyone who works in the government feels like they're fairly paid.


Brandon Gordon: or they fairly get the right opportunities to get the right promotions etc so just throwing numbers out there being transparent doesn't solve for the question behind the question which is a trust question.


Rob Porcarelli: So what is the best way, one of the questions related that it was it was you know what's the best way to educate folks.


Rob Porcarelli: Before sharing a transparent compensation schedule so to your to use your language brandon what's the best way to explain the science and the art.


Brandon Gordon: I think some of it is being clear internally with what you're paid practices and philosophy is our our because if you can't if you can't explain it in a way that your employees can understand you actually don't have anything.


Brandon Gordon: They might not agree with it, but you at least have to be able to explain it, whether or not people want to trust it or like it now that's their choice, but it's up to you as an employer to have one and explain it clearly.


Christina Hall: huge plus London that brandon is just so right, and I think.


Christina Hall: What he just said is like sort of the, the best way to get sort of get under the idea of the art.


Christina Hall: Because if we actually if you say that to a person, you know as you're sitting down and talking about why you're paying this you know program manager level seven.


Christina Hall: 140 $2,000 and you say well it's an art, not a science like they their their heads are going to blow up immediately.


Christina Hall: But to brandon's point if you if you have sort of clarity around how you arrived at that number, you know we have a range the range has core tiles and.


Christina Hall: Because you are new to the role you're in the first core tile or whatever the phrasing might be the more that you have articulated that.


Christina Hall: Within the leadership of the organization within the compensation team and the even to managers, so that they can make decisions based on that framework, the more you have something to work with.


Christina Hall: And it also, I think, is another way to check bias and help guide discretion, because then you're starting to come up with words and ways to sort of slot some of these decisions, even if they can't be you know formulaic through a spreadsheet down to a penny.


Rob Porcarelli: So when explaining then Christina the you know how policies are affecting your pay.


Rob Porcarelli: Well, the question that was posed to us, do you ever get questions about market rate to set comps and and, specifically, the question is.


Rob Porcarelli: You know the role of capitalism and if if we, by using market rates if I think the question is around if if the market rates are rooted in in equity is using market rates, a problem.


Christina Hall: Well i'll certainly let SAR and brandon speakers went to because it's super hard.


Christina Hall: I don't know that I have the perfect answer, but certainly I think using market rate like if you're talking about using margaret's that are based on systemic inequities that our generations in the making, you know why we pay.


Christina Hall: You know, an engineer more than we pay someone in marketing and, if you want to write a dissertation about how women are in different parts of those roles, or whatever it might be.


Christina Hall: Like I I kind of think about all of our jobs as being a little bit more of addressing the problem in front of us and acknowledging that, yes, there may be elements of that they're based in.

Christina Hall: You know systemic bias, historically, but we, we are still you know, have to be pragmatic, in that we're paying people based on market data in a way that is fair, based on what we have now.


Rob Porcarelli: let's say you explain that to me and I want to talk about this systematic under leveling so you understood you explain to me why i'm a level three engineer all the level three engineers get the same pay are pretty close to it.


Rob Porcarelli: Can you talk about or any of you really not just Christina I mean talk about system systematic under leveling.


Rob Porcarelli: And, and the degree to which this is a little bit of the Google lawsuit a little bit of like you know how do I know that i'm a three but maybe I should have been a four or I didn't negotiate to be a five and and you slotted me a to.


Rob Porcarelli: cater to our our our chief Labor economist called systematic and allowing the top issue in the top the top pay equity and equity issue right now attack he talked about some of the ways that you've you've tackled that are addressed it when you've seen arise.

Brandon Gordon: I can, I can start and love everyone else's parts as well.


Brandon Gordon: You know most jobs have some level of aren't necessarily input output kind of here's the formula.


Brandon Gordon: So I think it goes back to the to use an overused Framework Decision Making framework, you know grade rapid re see who's the final decision maker, and what are those other inputs into that decision.


Brandon Gordon: If your decision maker, some people might say, well, we have the same person deciding all the time, that means that same person's values never might never get fixed.


Brandon Gordon: If you have a variety of people, providing recommendations inputs are having to agree, sometimes saying a decision out loud makes you rethink a decision.


Brandon Gordon: What is your process for leveling, what is your process for hiring, what is your process for this committee, so to speak, do you have a committee that could start to unearth some things that it's not perfect, but I think it starts to.


Brandon Gordon: get to the driver of what could start to dismantle systemic under leveling.


Brandon Gordon: Is your panel on all men.


Brandon Gordon: Interesting maybe you might want to add a woman or maybe you might want to add a person of color.


Brandon Gordon: Sometimes just being the other voice in the room, sometimes just having a seat at the table changes the conversation.


Brandon Gordon: Just by your presence just by presence so, so I think there's a lot that you can do in terms of how decisions are made, who gets final say who gets to to influence those decisions that can start to get at the under leveling issue, at least on the hiring side.


Rob Porcarelli: Christina Sir, what are you, seeing as far as you know, due to do companies have objective measures that also help slot where we where we level someone or guide the degree of discretion that that actually leads to decisions about who's level where.


Sara Weiner: You know i'll talk more about you know comes really comes back to the performance evaluation system too because.


Sara Weiner: As people are in the organization and are performing how're they rated or evaluated and what are they actually doing in in their job that that may indicate that they are really doing things at a higher level than.


Sara Weiner: than their level death, so it really comes back to this ongoing conversation this ongoing evaluation and.


Sara Weiner: When it's just really strict in their strict boxes, you know as brandon brought up earlier, and you know the art doesn't come into play and and that's a big piece of it.


Brandon Gordon: And I think you know there's some basics and I don't mean this in a dismissive of it but there's you know there's some foundational i'll use the word foundational there's some foundational things that people can do in terms of skill matrix sees job descriptions job requirements.


Brandon Gordon: A lot of times, the issue is you write them once but you don't always go back and refer to them.

Brandon Gordon: So, once you put the Foundation in place you actually have to build upon it and revise it as things change particularly businesses that move very quickly.

Brandon Gordon: Smaller company, the more kind of you know, general athletes journalist and athletes, you have versus as you grow, you might become more specialized even have the right person to write the skills matrix for the specialist.


Brandon Gordon: You know is that I think.


Christina Hall: Are the time to read it.


Brandon Gordon: Exactly so while it's hard Those are some of the things like Okay, we hired you for the same title, are we expecting you to do the same thing.


Brandon Gordon: But so many of our jobs aren't you know you build 10 widgets a day, and he built the eight Year Level two and rebuild 12 year level five and that's a discomfort However, you can still build that foundation so clear job descriptions clear expectations, what does good look like.


Brandon Gordon: And then use it.


Rob Porcarelli: I mean here's a here's a question that I think this this discussions inspired and it's a good one, is how do we reconcile pay equity across the organization and competing for talent in those male dominated roles.


Rob Porcarelli: You have thoughts on that.


Christina Hall: Sorry, say that one more time.


Rob Porcarelli: yeah, how do we reconcile pay equity across the organization and competing for talent in those more male dominated roles tech in particular.


Rob Porcarelli: Right you're going to have let's let's go with engineering you're going to have you're going to have it more male dominated and especially those levels what we tend to.


Rob Porcarelli: Do our customers is we're going to have a lot more men at the higher level let's say you have a nine step system, we naturally see a lot more men at the higher levels than women, you might have 100% pay equity but that's that's when you're just looking across levels thoughts on that.


Christina Hall: Well um.


Christina Hall: First off, I mean, I think that currently in.


Christina Hall: A lot of the companies that we always think of as it comes to mind in high tech I think they are definitely thinking about us as one of the audience members noted in the comments you know, increasing that representation.


Christina Hall: And it's something that people are spending a lot of time thinking about you know how to recruit how to develop and promote internally to sort of bring more diversity up in the top levels of those organizations, I.


Christina Hall: that's that's sort of happening everywhere, it does you know it creates this.


Christina Hall: Sometimes, like.


Christina Hall: An issue that just takes a while to solve, and I think that you know there's a lot of good effort there but sort of.

Christina Hall: You know how do we, how do we make that happen more quickly it's it's sort of it's sort of starting, I think, lower down in the ranks and addressing these issues sort of sooner, so that we're able to see people you know, continue to rise, more quickly.


Sara Weiner: yeah I was gonna say oh sorry.


Sara Weiner: Sorry similar Christina in terms of it really starts from the time that you are recruiting it starts from time you are advertising for a position and where you advertise and.


Sara Weiner: You know where are you reaching out to get the broadest spectrum of people that might contribute to your organization and it's not about selecting people who are.


Sara Weiner: less qualified it's about finding the highly qualified people that can can bring a diversity into your organization that will will help you, it will help you in the markets that you want to market to.


Sara Weiner: In and maybe in adjacent markets that you haven't marketed to previously because somebody brings an idea that you haven't thought of before, so I completely agree with Christine it starts at the time that you are building your workforce and replenishing your workforce.


Brandon Gordon: Only thing I would add, and you know, particularly to the panelists I assume everyone hears and compensation or HR don't be afraid to own the conversation.


Brandon Gordon: tell the story own the narrative however it's a dialogue it's not just you know, a monologue or a memo.


Brandon Gordon: it's a dialogue you're going to have to engage your employees gonna have to understand the questions that you didn't address in your faqs.


Brandon Gordon: You know I think the worst thing you can do is like oh there's a page on the on the on the Internet, and we have an faq statement go read it.


Brandon Gordon: That feels super dismissive however there's a narrative around things that you should be you should feel ownership to talk about so into your question rob.


Brandon Gordon: How do you how do you solve this across the organization well you talk about the the whole organization, there are certain functions that you know either are valued more or drive more value.


Brandon Gordon: That might be an uncomfortable truth but it might be one that doesn't occur to people if you have female engineers who are being paid less.


Brandon Gordon: You can say hey are our paths are paid policies do not take gender into account, they do take 10 years out of town.


Brandon Gordon: And perhaps most of our more senior engineers at this level are men that could also be unsatisfying to people, but that could be part of the narrative and part of that dialogue.


Brandon Gordon: also give yourself credit for other things happening in and around pay, we had a situation where we had a higher promotion rate for female engineers.


Brandon Gordon: And it's actually an amazing story and we wanted to tell that story now because they were earlier in in their current in that part of their career, they were lower in the band.


Brandon Gordon: But the story about the promotion rate and the support and help me growing that we didn't want to lose that in the in the conversation so.

Brandon Gordon: So I do want people to feel empowered because if you are at all even thinking about this, this is miles ahead of others, but it's not simply the number it's the narrative but make sure you engage because people always want to know something more than what they're asking.


Rob Porcarelli: All right, there's a ton right there from one one thing i've heard you say brandon before is you and I wrote it down and you said COMP team should be well trained and bought as as as well trained and bias, as they are in excel can you talk about what you meant.


Brandon Gordon: As a former person who lives all his life and excel I met that was love.


Brandon Gordon: Sometimes you think the numbers are infallible you think the numbers are kind of perfect there's lots of things that go into the numbers and there's bias that exists.


Brandon Gordon: That, I think sometimes if you might consider yourself to be more analytical and scientific you may forget about the other bits that influence those scientific pieces so who are the managers in the room, suggesting the compensation.


Brandon Gordon: Who is getting who so one of the examples like someone asked for a raise do you have a system where people aren't even allowed to ask for a raise.


Brandon Gordon: what's the what's the talk track you give to managers do they even get it to the point where compensation makes a decision.


Brandon Gordon: I think if compensation professionals can start to ask more questions less around the the facts and more around the narrative it can help them deliver better better data and better better output.


Rob Porcarelli: You know there's the another thing you said, which is another topic entirely set for another day someday you talked about some groups drive more value, you know that some jobs drive more value, there is there's a New York Times did a piece on a mega study that.


Rob Porcarelli: A cornell university did looking at 50 years worth of data and actually the migration, at least by gender.


Rob Porcarelli: between different roles like initially you know computer was all data entry and it was women and then men flowed into those jobs and there were other jobs that were male dominated women went into are now women's shops, I put that in air quotes.


Rob Porcarelli: And the topic for another day is what happened as men flowed into jobs is pay went up what happened when women float into jobs is that paid came down so a question is, as we talked about.


Rob Porcarelli: You know sort of some functions within the company drive more value is, do we do we value those jobs, based on who's doing the work.


Rob Porcarelli: But that will be a topic for another day unless you want to answer it right now.


Christina Hall: Well, the only thing that i'd say, and this is like sort of a whole career that's been rooted in Silicon Valley, is that sort of.


Christina Hall: The fairy tale of the 10 X engineer is is literally you know the myth that surrounds almost everything we do, and you know when you look back and talk to you know.


Christina Hall: vcs and founders there you know, over the last 20 years has certainly been that's that's a narrative that is part of.


Christina Hall: How we think about pay honestly how I think things like discretion come in, because essentially we're saying.


Christina Hall: hey you as a leader, are able to anoint someone for this, because what and, in some cases, because their work has developed.


Christina Hall: A product, a tool, a technology that change the world or change the business and whether those ideas are inherently rude and bias is something that I think is just really.


Christina Hall: You know, tough to say it feels like you know I think all of us probably saw hidden figures and we certainly never heard about those women behind sort of.

Christina Hall: NASA Intel the movie came out for the most part, and maybe there will be sort of another element to all this when when the story is written about you know Silicon Valley in the last 2030 years but.


Christina Hall: Theoretically sure, but can we totally divorce ourselves from that narrative if we want to be successful.


Christina Hall: Compensation people in Silicon Valley tough to say.


Rob Porcarelli: So let's say we do all we nail all these things we get it right we've hired the right people we've retained people we've retained our way to a more diverse workforce.


Rob Porcarelli: And let's go to the next slide and the question then and Sarah this is coming your way and it's all right so so based bonus Doc or something else what's the best way to keep people engaged and do you mind playing that the clip for Saara just briefly here we go.

Rob Porcarelli: Oh there's no sound, oh no that's the best part is the sound in.

Rob Porcarelli: You know the words but we.

Sara Weiner: me the money.


Ana Anttonen: That that no sound, but we know what they were saying.


Rob Porcarelli: Okay sorry so, so in that.


Rob Porcarelli: Last I acted out Cuba gooding jr.


Rob Porcarelli: is all about the money and he was engaged like like pay me was how he was going to be engaged so is that is that the way it is, is that the way we engage people.


Sara Weiner: You know it's interesting because over you know 30 years of doing employee surveys and.


Sara Weiner: Looking for drivers of engagement and the outcome has changed over time, a bit, but what really contributes to people saying they want to stay with the organization.


Sara Weiner: That they would recommend the organization as a place to work and that they're happy in the organization, so if you take engagement is kind of.


Sara Weiner: Approximately those three things there's a lot of overlap about how people measure it.


Sara Weiner: And really what's coming up or things like belonging I feel like I belong here and I feel i'm accepted feeling value very similar to that right.


Sara Weiner: That your your work is valued career development and training, and you know we've talked about engineers, a couple of times engineers, especially.


Sara Weiner: They want that training they want that development and those opportunities, I saw on the chat people were talking about you know lateral moves and opportunities lots of people are very.


Sara Weiner: motivated and incentive by having those lateral opportunities and not just promotions, many people don't want those.


Sara Weiner: promotions up to manage people, for example, the other thing is feeling that the organization is going to be successful and that comes from top leadership setting that context in that tone about where we hit it as an organization and whether it's something I want to be a part of.


Sara Weiner: So these are the kinds of things that are some of the top drivers of engagement very, very consistently over time.


Sara Weiner: and engagement is you know, on the job being happy and also wanting to stay.


Sara Weiner: So when you want to retain people Those are some of the first things to work on what we see with compensation is that it's lower down typically unless there's an issue.


Sara Weiner: If there's a big issue in compensation, then it it climbs up right, so if people are aware.


Sara Weiner: That there's an equity where they're aware that, compared to market it's really off base in this particular company, and then it rises up but it's really down lower.


Sara Weiner: In the things that are most important to people and why they come to work every day and what their purposes, with working with that organization and I.


Brandon Gordon: Think i'd add to what Sarah said is you know what is money trying to accomplish you know what are some synonyms set of show me the money show me the investment in me.


Brandon Gordon: Show me the money show me the success so show me the money show me there's a reason I spend 10 to 12 hours at this place every day versus another place.


Brandon Gordon: Money is one way to do that, I will not say that it's not you know the bank doesn't take equity, for your mortgage the landlord doesn't take spot bonuses for your rent money is really important.


Brandon Gordon: But what are the other things that you can try and do, and if all we have is money it's a hammer and everything's looking like a now.


Brandon Gordon: And no really no maybe a little bit of a weird metaphor, but it's kind of like the five love languages right really try to understand what it is.


Brandon Gordon: How they how your employees are going to receive that message you're trying to send, are you talking past each other, this is a very blunt instrument is a very powerful instrument, but it can also be really like Sarah said, what is the problem, it is the only problem.


Christina Hall: I was gonna say I think I think what SAR is getting out, which is sort of the same thing that you're talking about it's like if if people feel that pay is fair, then it's one of many issues they consider if people feel it's unfair then it's the only issue.


Christina Hall: And you kind of can't get away from that and that's you know why.


Christina Hall: I think all the things we've been talking about it's important to be able to have principles and guidance and rules and be able to talk about them because.

Christina Hall: It is certainly one of many things that gets people excited but if it's wrong then it's people will definitely vote with their feet.

Sara Weiner: yeah yeah and you know it's true with all.


Sara Weiner: types of people and in an organization right it's not just true for certain age groups, people want that purpose.

Sara Weiner: And they want that recognition that they're valued employee and recognition, you know let's not forget non monetary recognition of a note from a senior exact thing you did a great job in the last project wow that that's.


Sara Weiner: You know, level of appreciation that people feel so yeah don't don't constantly look for the nail with the hammer being money.


Rob Porcarelli: The what's up so brandon I think you're you're you're you may have won the quote of the day, with the COMP team should be as well trained and biases they are an excel and so you know a good question is one from Elias asking.

Rob Porcarelli: You know how do you then educate in bias in COMP what, what do you recommend as a starting place.


Brandon Gordon: I would say not just bias and compensation it just by is generally where it can it show up well how does by a show of what is bias look like buys isn't just you make somebody sit in a different part of the room.


Brandon Gordon: biases you know hey we only have $100 you know i'm not going to give $10 everyone but i'm going to give it to these four Okay, why did you pick those four hmm it's just.

Brandon Gordon: I think so much of this is just asking further questions, and you know, sometimes compensation teams sit too far behind the computer.


Brandon Gordon: They don't kind of get in front of the business and ask the questions so it's like who are you asking the questions to work with your HR VP work with the managers themselves.

Brandon Gordon: Compensation folks can be you know you have the final say in many, many cases you're setting the parameters.


Brandon Gordon: So, ask the questions but yeah I wouldn't say it's just where is it in compensation it's how, how can you engage in a conversation, so that you can start to ask questions that might unearth some bias.


Sara Weiner: yeah and that's a really good point I mean somebody brought up training and in the chat and it really is very important, you know training is very important for managers and how they're making their decisions and for senior execs.


Rob Porcarelli: What do you all recommend when you know we put these in it in quotes in the bottom here Okay, but you know hey brandon for those we picked these forecasts were paying for performance really have to retain these, for we hire the best we pay for performance.


Rob Porcarelli: What what do your antenna wiggle when you hear these phrases and what do you recommend really all all three of you.


Brandon Gordon: What do you do for the folks for a bit with potential I always love when people say you pay for performance it's kind of like well you're paying for yesterday you're not paying for tomorrow.


Christina Hall: I don't know, I think that it's not like my antenna goes out because I mean these things are just they're choruses you hear them so constantly.


Christina Hall: it's more like I think it's it's always prompts me to want to ask what does that mean you know, to end depending on who's saying it, you know what are you getting out here just hire the best mean you have to be hiring someone.


Christina Hall: From Google, or you know, does it this pay for performance mean you know they work all night I mean it's always worth sort of digging in because I think those phrases themselves actually are.

Christina Hall: Really signify nothing.


Rob Porcarelli: yeah we're getting close to the end sorry Christine brandon anything that we that we've overlooked that is worth a call out that you've seen as a question posed to you on the panel that that we should address before we before we close it out.


Sara Weiner: There is there's a.


Sara Weiner: Industrial organizational psychologist Alan colquitt he worked for eli lilly for many, many years and he's out on his own now he published a book on performance.


Sara Weiner: Management and encourage people to take a look at that, because this whole paper for performance he digs into this a little bit more.


Sara Weiner: And really it comes back to do people work really for a paycheck shirt yes, you have to pay your bills.


Sara Weiner: But what people really are working for is much bigger than that it's a much bigger context and people are motivated by a lot of different things, and so that ongoing conversation is really important, I just wanted to reemphasize that.


Rob Porcarelli: There someone asked if you could repeat the name of the author and the book.


Sara Weiner: Ah it's i'll put it up put it in the chat yeah.


Rob Porcarelli: And there's a couple questions that we didn't get to around that are very answer, both in terms of age and location, you know, especially post coven or pre coated during coven.

Rob Porcarelli: whatever's going to happen next.


Rob Porcarelli: Those those are legit questions, we can follow up on it's 957 Pacific we have three minutes to go no one ever got yelled at for any webinar a little early so.


Rob Porcarelli: Thank you all Saara Christina brandon brandon you are highly quotable so I can see that the number of folks that may need to pay you royalties for for some of that.