VisionLink Blog

By Ken Gibson

February 15, 2018

The 4 “Ps” of Employee Engagement: Purpose, Passion, Pride and Pay


If you are trying to create greater employee engagement within your organization, consider this thought from Alice Zhou in her recent Strategy+Business article: “Emotional energy drives employees to go above and beyond, regardless of external incentives such as compensation and benefits.  Specific strengths that are sources of pride within a company feed this emotional energy, which in turn drives people to work harder toward bettering the organization.  The sense of pride that comes from this achievement further fuels emotional energy, motivating people to strive for even further success.  And so the cycle repeats.”

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By Ken Gibson

February 06, 2018

Job Market 2018: Why You’ll Need a More Competitive Value Proposition


This post should be titled, “See, I told you so!”  I’ll explain why in just minute.  First note the cover headline below from the February issue of Fortune Magazine.  The audience to whom the spotlighted article is directed is your company’s most highly skilled, strategic leaders.  The lead-in to the feature article tells them this: “The job market is hotter than ever—and, for those in search of a new adventure, now’s the time to take the leap.  Here’s what you need to know to land a new gig that showcases your talents…or to make the job you’ve got even better.”

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By Ken Gibson

January 30, 2018

3 Ways Your Pay Strategy Should Improve Performance Management Results


Unless you have been living on a different planet for the past couple of years, you know that performance management has undergone a transformation.   Flexible, agile, forward- looking approaches have replaced old, structured, rearward- facing assessments and reviews.  If you are one who has joined this trend, I do not have to tell you that the new methods are no panacea.  And they are ever evolving.  As a result, in the midst of this change you are likely trying to figure out what to do about your rewards approach—and not finding adequate solutions.  And so you are left wondering where your pay strategy fits in this less rigid environment and what role should it should play in helping your performance management system succeed.

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By Ken Gibson

January 23, 2018

3 Ways Your Value Proposition is Impacting Recruiting and Retention


When you are speaking with a potential new employee, does the subject of compensation ever come up?  Or when one of your key people announces she is taking an opportunity at another company, is pay ever mentioned as a factor?  Okay, forgive the insulting questions.  But with all that has been written in recent years about how small a role a rewards strategy plays in an employee’s performance, engagement and loyalty, I just thought I would ask what your “real life” experience has been.  I imagine the truth is that compensation is a huge factor in recruiting and retaining the kind of talent you want.  For most business leaders,having a compelling value proposition can make or break their ability to secure the people they are trying to attract--or keep.  So let’s stop pretending it’s not a big issue and examine how your compensation approach is impacting your competitiveness in today’s talent market place.

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By Ken Gibson

January 17, 2018

NEW REPORT: LTIP Options—9 Ways to Reward Long-Term Performance


In our work with new clients at VisionLink, the most common request we receive is for guidance on choosing an appropriate long-term incentive plan (LTIP).  Most of our engagements are with CEOs of private businesses who want to effectively reward those who help create value for the business over an extended period of time.  And because they lead companies that are not public, they are often looking for ways to do that without sharing equity.  With that need in mind, VisionLink has just produced a new guide that describes nine different types of long-term value-sharing plans and how to determine which one might be right for your company.

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By Ken Gibson

January 10, 2018

Are Culture, Employee Engagement and Line of Sight all the Same Thing?


Have you ever entered a new year without some thought about how to improve your company culture over the next 12 months?  And can you complete that thought without wondering what you need to do next to improve employee engagement?  Do you then find yourself asking whether those are really different concerns or one in the same?  And then someone brings up the need for creating greater organizational “line of sight”—and you feel like your head is going to explode.  In exasperation, you might find yourself blurting out something like this: “Would somebody please tell me how these things are different?” 

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By Ken Gibson

January 02, 2018

Is a High Performance Culture Achievable without High Performance Pay?


Not likely.  Not because a high performance pay strategy can create a high performance culture by itself, but because without one you discourage your people from fully investing in your vision of the future company you are trying to build.  If you want your employees to become growth partners in your business, then you need a pay strategy that communicates that.  So, what is a high performance pay strategy and how do you build one?

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By Ken Gibson

December 19, 2017

3 Pay Issues that will Require CEO Leadership in 2018


If you lead a company, pay strategy issues will demand more and more of your attention in the future than they have in the past.  This is because compensation has become as strategic an issue as any other aspect of your business—and strategy requires leadership.   Rewards approaches of the future need to align with the reinventions taking place in performance management and must incorporate the right combination of agility and stability.  That will be easier to achieve if some foundational groundwork has been laid.  So, as you head into the new year, you would do well to address three critical pay issues that will require CEO leadership—and that will ensure greater CEO success.

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By Ken Gibson

December 13, 2017

Five 2018 Pay Trends You Should Know About & Embrace


As a new year approaches, business leaders are making final decisions about how to adjust their compensation approach for 2018.  As they do, I hope they are paying attention to the trends driving employee rewards strategies in the increasingly competitive talent marketplace that currently exists.  If you’ve followed this column at all throughout the year, you know that trends in talent recruiting and retention, performance management, employee engagement and employer branding require all business leaders to adopt a fresh view of the value proposition they are offering.  Competitive pressure to have a superior pay offering in particular is intense and that intensity is only going to grow.  As a result, you will want to be in tune with where businesses are headed with their pay strategies over the next 12 months—and beyond.  And then you will want to adjust your approach accordingly.  So, here is a preview of five 2018 pay trends you should be aware of and adopt.

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By Ken Gibson

December 07, 2017

How Do You Measure ROI on Compensation?


Return on investment.  How often is that term spoken of in business?  It's what shareholders expect.  It's what CEOs are paid to achieve.  Yet, when it comes to pay, ROI is seldom referenced.  As a result, rewards programs are not typically held to account for their contribution to shareholder value and business growth in the same way other corporate investments are measured.  Well, we live in a business age where that lack of accountability isn't acceptable anymore.  So, let's talk about one way you can get a better handle on the ROI on compensation your company is generating.

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By Ken Gibson

November 29, 2017

Can CEO Success be Aided by the Company’s Pay Strategy?


As a matter of fact it can.  Yes, really!  Think about it, CEO success is largely determined by the value creation and sustained growth that occurs under that leader’s stewardship.  To accomplish that, he or she must be able to align the organization’s workforce with performance standards that will drive those results.  And a key tool in communicating those expectations is the rewards philosophy and strategy the chief executive employs.  Let me explain.

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By Ken Gibson

November 21, 2017

Employee Engagement: What Research Says about the Impact of Pay


Business leaders are perpetually in pursuit of an ever elusive employee engagement strategy that actually results in...well, more engaged employees.  Compounding their frustration is the constant wonder whether their pay strategy is helping or hurting that quest.  Analysis done of both these issues at the individual company level is typically based on instinct, anecdotal evidence and personal observation and experience.  To the extent engagement surveys are employed, they don’t usually tell the story employers want to hear.  So…the dilemma and disappointment deepen. 

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By Ken Gibson

November 17, 2017

3 Rules for Balancing Short and Long-Term Employee Incentive Programs


In an article for Strategy+Business, Ken Favaro offered the following perspective about organizational growth:

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By Ken Gibson

November 09, 2017

4 Ways to Make Your Employee Value Proposition More Compelling


To build a performance culture your organization must be able to attract, develop and retain great people.  That talent effort will require you to have a superior employee value proposition—one that doesn’t just mirror what “the market” is doing but that distinguishes your business from the competition in a compelling way.  And your offering must address more than just compensation—it must define a growth partnership and market a future.  So let’s discuss what that means.

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By Ken Gibson

November 02, 2017

5 Indicators You Need a More Comprehensive Employee Value Proposition


If you lead an enterprise, it is no secret to you that compensation is a huge investment.  For most organizations, it’s the biggest line item on their P&L.  So it’s no wonder your blood pressure rises every time an employee asks for a raise or expresses disappointment in the quality of your benefit package. You think you’re being generous with their pay level and they think they’re being undervalued.  Let’s face it, compensation is not a core competency for most business leaders.  As a result, you’re constantly questioning your pay strategy and whether it’s achieving what it’s supposed to.  And if it’s not, why isn’t it?

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CLIENT SUCCESS STORIES

"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
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'
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
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
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