VisionLink Blog

Tom Miller

Compensation and the Recession

The Seven Imperatives

Growth companies understand that economies are cyclical.  Times of surge and prosperity are countered by periods of contraction and downturn. Great companies plan accordingly. To flourish during difficult economic periods, business leaders in growth oriented companies must strategically address the role of their human capital and reward systems in meeting the challenges they face. The following Seven Imperatives should guide any business leaders thinking in such times.

1. Assess Your Talent Pool–

Know who your best people are and make sure they know what their role is in the future of your company, especially at this time.

2. Create a Pay for Performance Philosophy and Strategy–

Now is the best and most critical time to align pay with performance. This starts with identifying a philosophy that defines how the company will address rewards issues in good economic times and bad.

3. Focus on Strategy not Just Tactics–

Your long‐term vision for growth hasn’t changed just because the economy is hurting. Strategies drive growth, tactical changes manage costs.

4. Define Clear Performance Expectations–

Star performers want a clear understanding of the key results indicators they are responsible for and what their stewardship will impact.

5. Nurture an Ownership Mentality–

An ownership mindset permeates an organization when there is “line of sight” between the shareholders’ vision and strategy, the roles and expectations of key people, how those individuals are rewarded for generating those results and how well those rewards align with personal goals and objectives.

6. Build a Value Statement–

The best way for a key people to visualize their financial future with your company is to receive a statement that summarizes and projects forward the total value of that relationship if performance expectations are met–salary, short-term incentives, long-term incentives, 401(k), etc.

7. Cut Business Expenses First, Incentives Last–

Reward performers and reinforce the results you need to continue to achieve—don’t try to resolve the company’s financial woes on the backs of your best people.


  • ken on June 16, 2009

    Our blog is brand new. Yes, we will be posting more again soon.

  • ken on June 16, 2009

    Our blog is copywrite protected. However, you can certainly forward the url to whomever you wish. If you want to use it for some other purpose, just contact us through the contact page or by phone to discuss.

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"VisionLink has helped us successfully navigate a number of complex issues regarding our rewards programs. It has dealt with all facets of these varied issues with a high degree of competence, integrity, and straight forward advice. VisionLink's experienced team has consistently delivered first class results in a timely, professional manner and has become a valued Storm partner."

Thomas K. Grzywacz
President/Chief Executive Officer
Storm Industries, Inc.

"VisionLink has helped us successfully engineer a long-term incentive plan that has empowered our company to reward and retain key talent while increasing shareholder value. The knowledge, patience and deep experience of its team members helped us navigate a road that was unfamiliar to us. Ultimately, VisionLink designed a plan that met the high standards of both stockholders and key management employees. We have further engaged VisionLink to address our business succession and transition planning needs."

Reggie Dupre'
Chief Executive Officer
Dupre Logistics

"Over the past several years, National Technical Systems has engaged VisionLink to provide insight and direction on a number of executive compensation issues, as well as a performance evaluation of our 401(k) plan. Under its direction, NTS completely revamped executive level rewards to align with our business growth objectives and the strategic plan of the company. VisionLink's insight and direction have been invaluable. NTS has achieved its growth objectives and our executives feel appropriately rewarded for their performance."

Bill McGinnis
President/Chief Executive Officer
National Technical Systems

"VisionLink arrived on the scene just in time for us. We needed a new framework for our short-term and long-term incentive plans. VisionLink's modeling and forecasting process broadened our horizons and expanded our view of how to use a good incentive system to build, retain and strengthen our senior management team. We remain impressed by their expertise, professionalism and great service."

James Keng
Jimway, Inc.

"Our firm has had a long-term incentive plan for over eight years but we never quite felt like it was firing on all cylinders. We hired VisionLink to re-energize our plan, and they did it! We now have a cohesive awards strategy that's fair to shareholders and valued by our employees. VisionLink's team is technically skilled and very creative. We're happy to recommend VisionLink to firms looking to upgrade their management incentive programs."

John M
FTO Inc.

"Our company was like VisionLink's typical clients. We were great at sales and haphazard at how we compensated our people. VisionLink's process brings great clarity and confidence to our growth planning - and makes compensation a great growth capability."

Dan Sullivan
Founder and President
Strategic Coach ©

"The team at VisionLink helped our company structure a long-term incentive plan that parallels the company's strategy for continued growth as a global market leader within our industry. Their approach resulted in a program that our corporate team and executives embraced on both a professional and personal basis. Through VisionLink's guidance and execution, we were able to create both a motivational tool for current team members and a recruiting device to attract future executive level associates. Well done!"

Mark Rhoades
Fluidmaster, Inc.

"As a leading direct seller of scrapbook photo albums and supplies, Creative Memories has independent consultants across the country. And for over six years now, VisionLink has helped us to stay connected and administer a voluntary 409A non-qualified plan for them. VisionLink has provided support for all aspects of our plan from notification of eligibility through registration and distribution. The VisionLink support team has offered suggestions for improving processes and provided us with outstanding service year after year."

Guy Walker
Creative Memories North America

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