Compensation Discussions: What to Expect

Hello all! I can’t believe another week has passed and we are already getting geared up to enter into the weekend. While our homes and sidewalks are blanketed in snow (for at least our Chicagoans), I hope that these next few days bring you relaxation and an opportunity to cozy up in your home. If you’re like me, you’ve been participating in end-of-year follow-up and wrap-up discussions throughout this month. Initially, I engaged in a review on my individual performance with my manager, but the next step that came surrounded compensation adjustments and bonus opportunities. So, how do you approach this conversation with grace and ease? Keep reading to find out HERE!

Engaging in Compensation Discussions…

  • Educate Yourself on Company Policies: Above all, we are firm believers in engaging in any type of preparation before meeting with leadership. Whether this is a weekly touch base or an annual compensation discussion, entering into the conversation with a clear understanding of what to expect is the best way to come across as knowledgeable, responsible, and accountable.  You can often access this type of information in your offer letter, goal setting, on an HR portal, or otherwise noted on your internal company page. Anticipate engaging in approximately 30 minutes of investigation, and jotting down any notes about metrics to take into the conversation (ex: target bonus rate, average compensation increase, company performance percentage and annual earnings, etc.).
  • Express Gratitude: Addditionally, no matter what happens, showing grace in the conversation by thanking your manager and any additional leadership is a key strategy of composing yourself and creating a positive atmosphere for years to come, You must remember that, on the other end of the call, your manager wants the best for you and any feedback is given so that you can achieve your greatest potential! If you didn’t achieve the bonus or salary increase that you had hoped for, this is a great time to truly hone in on and clarify the critique you’ve received to incorporate it into your growth for the year to come.
  • Ask Questions and Gain Clarity! On that note, ask questions! You should leave that meeting feeling completely well-informed about your compensation and bonus expectations, how that may grow over the next year, and how to track the performance metrics to tie back into your individual ownership. Remember, you are a participant in the conversation just as your manager is. They prepare and anticipate questions as you do as well, and it’s your responsibility to guide that component of the conversation.

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