Entries from March 2009 ↓

Compensation in the reputation economy

In the world of compensation, a soft benefit is one which is not financial in nature. It may well cost the parent company money but is not perceived as monetary to the employee. They are hard to compare against each other as they often don’t have a hard monetary value. How much is it worth to you, for example, to have access to a gym with a swimming pool? What if the gym is on-site? What if your family could come to the gym?

I wrote a post last year for my internal company blog, and wrote about people who were not utilizing benefits like these, and how being smart about using them (as well as making more use of traditional “hard” benefits) could net you a decent raise.

In a year where a lot of benefits are being trimmed down, it’s time to look critically at an underutilized soft benefit: the ability to accumulate wealth in terms of reputation. People have been talking about a reputation economy since at least 2002, so clearly you should factor your reputation into your compensation. Some people are concerned that employees are gathering reputation wealth on their own and not gathering enough for their employers. In a world where everyday individual contributors are worried about personal branding, it’s obvious that this is only going to get more complex.

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The Two Month Checkup

When I was more actively pursuing my fitness, I noticed something interesting.  At 2/3 of the way through any training workout, I knew I could complete it. The repetitive and incremental nature of training left me with an understanding of my physical and mental capabilities, and with only a third of the workout left I was generally able to describe how the workout had gone.  I still had a full third of the workout left, but there were no surprises left in it (well, barring an injury or accident).

Creative Commons License photo credit: yoshimov

It’s the first week of March.  The quarter is two-thirds done.  If that pattern holds, there are no surprises left.  You know how this quarter is going, you know what is coming in the remaining month.  So now is a good time for a checkup.

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