Okay, let's get something out of the way at the outset. At VisionLink, we don't consider wealth to be a dirty word. Nor do we believe that those who pursue it are somehow less noble than the rest of humanity.
In fact, most of our client interaction is with financially successful people. We have found that the majority of them (yes, there are exceptions) view wealth creation as a means of serving multiple "worthy" ends, expanding their ability to "make a difference" in people's lives and to otherwise have a postive impact within their sphere of influence. At a minimum, because some actively pursue a superior level of economic well being (wealth), many others (employees, suppliers, customers, communities and so on) are able to meet their cash flow, standard of living, security and/or wealth accumulation needs and goals.
In short, wealth creates opportunities and options where the lack of it diminishes them. So...let's hear it for wealth.
Given that view, we conisder our core work at VisionLink to be one of enabling business leaders to grow from being simply wealth creators to becoming wealth mulipliers. A wealth creator is really anyone that is running a profitable business. Wealth multipliers, on the other hand, are those that are able expand both the level of economic benefit that is created and the number of people that participate in it. In simple terms, this means that not only shareholders but all stakeholders in an organization participate in the benefits of expanded value creation.
Done correctly, this is a key role that compensation can and should play in an organization. It is a strategic tool that a business owner or CEO should be using to create a more unified financial vision for growing the business. If this is going to occur, the rewards strategies--especially incentives--should be constructed in a way that communicates the following to all who have a vested interest in the company's success:
- Growth. We see tomorrow's company as bigger and better than today's. It will be different in size and scope and influence.
- Meaning. We recognize that you have a personal vision for the future that is bigger and better than today's as well. We don't expect you to be interested in helping us fulfill our vision if we don't help you fulfill yours.
- Partnership. As a result of our interdependent visions, we see you as a key partner in what we are creating. We recognize that the combined unique abilities and visions of each of our employees is what creates the unique culture that makes us successful.
- Clarity. Because our goals are connected, we need to have a shared vision of what it means to create value. As a result, we want you to have a clear perspective about the outcomes we must achieve and the results we need to drive to get there.
- Value Creation. Finally, we will adopt a rewards philosophy that communicates our commitment to share value with those who help create value. We recognize that this commits us to a self-reinforcing cycle of growth. The greater the value we are able to share, the more evidence we have that our shared vision has been achieved.
It is our strong view that companies that work from this core, philosophical premise find dealing with compensation issues a completely different experience. The process of developing specific metrics and measures for a given pay plan are easier to navigate if we understand that, at the end of the day, we are simply trying to move from being mere wealth creators to becoming wealth multipliers. When that occurs, everyone wins.
If this concept appeals to you, you should sign up today for our webinar next Tuesday entitiled: "Does Your Compensation Strategy Drive or Hinder Growth?" I hope you can join us.