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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth McFarlan Scott

A checklist to transform your compensation cycle for lasting success

One of the biggest struggles for the Chief People Officers we work with is how to operationalize strategy. Not least of which is to ensure the Talent Management and Total Rewards strategies comes to life in both every day decisions and during the important annual Performance & Compensation Cycle.

As the dust settles from the most recent cycle, now is a good time for HR leaders to reflect on the outcomes and assess whether or not they are moving the organization in the right direction. In particular, are the Talent and Compensation policies, programs, processes, and technology helping the organization to:

  • Move toward skills-based talent management

  • Increase productivity of HR, managers and employees

  • Leverage technology for improved efficiency

  • Drive data driven decision making

  • Enable greater pay transparency to attract and retain talent

If your Performance & Compensation cycle isn't helping you to achieve these goals, it might be time to take a 360 view of the process and identify areas to optimize for next year. 

Checkout the 5 areas we think are most critical to evaluate:

1. Consider refreshing your talent strategy and/or compensation philosophy

The talent strategy and compensation philosophy are the guideposts for the design of your performance and compensation cycle.

If you're not getting the outcomes you desire, it may mean it's time to update your strategy and philosophy.

2. Revisit your compensation architecture (job levels, pay structure, policies & programs)

Your job architecture is the cornerstone of talent management, much like a foundation is to a house. It is essential for building functional talent management processes underpinned by clarity for employee, fairness, and internal equity.

3. Map out the process end-to-end

Too often components of the performance and compensation process have been designed in isolation by different teams.

To drive efficiency, leverage technology and improve the user experience, the process must be reviewed end to end.

4. Conduct a technology deep dive

The proliferation of compensation tools in the market can be overwhelming. Each offers pros and cons, but at the end of the day what is most important is that the technology enables an efficient and user-friendly process and provides you with the insights and analytics you need to manage your business.

Before you buy any new technology, make sure you have optimized what you have and are clear on your requirements.

5. Review your change management strategy

Even the best process can fall down at the end if managers and employees have not been properly educated. This means not only educating them on the process but also the strategy and philosophy around the process and how it drives outcomes for the business.

Make sure you have thoroughly reviewed your change management strategy and align it with your overall strategy.

At Nua Group, we have a unique set of skills in the Compensation, HR Optimization, and HR Technology space to help you holistically assess your compensation effectiveness and build a roadmap for the future.

Want to learn more about how Nua can help you transform your annual compensation cycle? Drop us an email at

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