VisionLink Blog

By Ken Gibson

April 24, 2018

How to Use Compensation to Build a High Performance Culture


Most business leaders agree that there should be a relationship between how employees are paid and how they perform.  If they are honest, however, they will admit that they don’t have a clue about how to create that pay for performance relationship.  They are attempting to build a high performance culture that will carry the business to new heights of growth but they really don’t know where pay fits in or how to draw a straight line between rewards and results.  Consequently, they end up with weak and diluted compensation plans.

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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

June 13, 2017

Pay and Employee Motivation: What’s the Relationship?


For too many, that question remains unanswered.  Business leaders are still trying to determine the connection between what they pay people and how those employees perform.  Most profess a belief in tying rewards to results but remain unable to draw a parallel between the two.  When they turn to the research, there are studies supporting all sides of the issue.  Some researchers, academicians and authors continue to serve up evidence that, as a general rule, performance incentives don’t work…and can even be destructive.  However, a study referenced in a recent Harvard Business Review article says: “Our analysis showed that performance-related pay was positively associated with job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and trust in management.”  These conflicting research conclusions leave enterprise leaders scratching their heads and wondering how to make sense of it all in their day-to-day “how should I pay this person?” world.

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By Ken Gibson

March 01, 2017

The Secret to Pay Strategies that Motivate Employees to Perform


What if you knew of a pay approach that would guarantee higher performance from your people?   You would start using it right away, correct?  I mean, who wouldn’t?  Well, presumably, improved performance is, in fact, the goal of your company’s compensation strategy, is it not?  You want to ensure that there is a link between how you pay your employees and how they perform—and that your compensation strategy is driving and not hindering better results, am I right?  Which begs the question,  is there such a thing as a magic potion when it comes to rewards?  Is there a secret strategy that you can just plug in and then sit back and watch performance soar?

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By Ken Gibson

November 01, 2016

Why Do So Many Incentive Plans Fail?


It is no secret that business leaders running companies of any size struggle with how to develop an effective incentive plan.  For many, it is the bane of their existence.  They roll out incentive plan after incentive plan—ever searching for, but seldom finding, the magic formula for success.  It’s frustrating.  Because I “feel your pain,” I’d like to help.  Let’s explore why so many incentive plans fail—and what we can do to make them more successful. 

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By Ken Gibson

October 13, 2016

The Death of Performance Management: Confronting the Challenges


This article is a sequel to my post earlier this week entitled: Pay and the Abandonment of Performance Management.

Ever increasing numbers of businesses are learning and adopting better ways of managing the performance of their people. The momentum is rapidly moving away from traditional annual appraisals and other performance management systems in favor of more regular and informal feedback sessions.  As indicated in my previous post, organizations are finding a more fluid approach better suits the rapid change environment in which businesses operate in the 21st century.  However, all is not nirvana as this disruption occurs.  Many challenges have to be anticipated and effectively addressed as companies make the transition to a new way of performance monitoring and assessment—especially as it relates to pay for performance issues.

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By Ken Gibson

October 10, 2016

Pay and the Abandonment of Performance Management


If you’ve been paying attention, you know that an increasing number of businesses worldwide are abandoning long-standing performance management systems and philosophies in an attempt to address the constantly shifting climate of talent acquisition, development and retention.  A recent Harvard Business Review article summarizes the reason for this trend:

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By Ken Gibson

July 27, 2016

CEO Memo: 3 Standards that Should Govern Employee Earnings Potential


You’re on the verge of hiring a group of highly talented people that you anticipate will take your business “to the next level.”   You are willing to pay a premium for these key employees because you’re confident they will help you achieve your most ambitious growth goals.  You’ve been tinkering with the value proposition you’ll offer these recruits, trying to come up with the right balance between guaranteed and variable pay and between short and long-term value sharing.  And then, in a brief moment of anxiety, you wonder:  “What if they don’t perform?  What if I pay them top dollar and the results don’t justify it?   What if there really is no such thing as paying people in a way that drives higher performance?  What if? (sigh).” 

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By Ken Gibson

June 24, 2016

How Effective CEOs Build a Performance Culture


If you are the CEO of a business, it is likely you see a gap between the company performance you want and the performance your organization is experiencing.  If that is not true, there’s no need to read any further.  However, if that is true, it’s probable you are very frustrated.  Perhaps you feel as though you are pressing on the gas pedal while those around you have their foot on the brakes.  However, as a smart business leader you also recognize that if performance isn’t where you want it, the buck stops with you.  So let’s talk about what successful CEOs do to create and sustain a performance culture.

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By Ken Gibson

June 03, 2016

How CEOs Should Pay “Strategic Leaders”


A recent Strategy+Business article, based on a 2015 PwC study, made the following observation:

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By Ken Gibson

March 18, 2016

6 LTIP Alternatives to Sharing Stock


Many private business owners and CEOs live with regret. They bemoan sharing equity with one or more employees and feel like they opened a Pandora’s Box by doing so. “I didn’t want to lose this person and they wanted equity—so I gave them stock,” is the common rationale offered when explaining why they expanded the ownership pool.  In other words, there was urgency to retain or attract a key person—and an assumption was made that they would lose that talent if they didn’t grant him or her shares. Expediency ruled the day.

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By Ken Gibson

February 01, 2016

Performance: There's a Framework for That


Performance is an elusive commodity in business. Few think they have enough of it. Less can adequately quantify it.  All enter each New Year wanting to improve it.  Talent strategies are formed, pay programs are adjusted and the business model is tweaked, all in an attempt to solve this mystery. However, for too many organizations the secret formula for improvement is never uncovered. This occurs because they haven’t yet formed the right framework for engineering sustained success within their businesses.  So let’s fix that, shall we?

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By Ken Gibson

January 21, 2016

Private Company Pay: The 3 Most Common Mistakes


If you lead a private company you probably often feel stuck when it comes to pay practices.  It likely starts with the frustration you feel about an inability to accelerate growth as quickly as you think is possible.  And you feel like every time you put your foot on the gas pedal those around you are putting theirs on the brakes. Right?

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By Ken Gibson

December 16, 2015

4 Pay Strategy Commitments to Make for 2016


 New Year's Day has come and gone.  You've “closed the books” on 2015.  It’s time to turn the page, look forward and...(insert your favorite cliché here).  So…as you anticipate the coming year, what will be different in your business? What will improve? How will your growth goals be met?  Will you bring on new talent, increase results expectations for current producers or raise standards of performance in other ways?  If so, what role will your compensation strategy play in that effort? And how will you know whether your pay approach is having the impact you want? 

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By Ken Gibson

November 01, 2015

The Five Essentials of Pay for Performance


Overview

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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