Components of Compensation - Part I

The previous article introduced the topic of compensation management and how the “right” kind of compensation goes a long way in making employees motivated and happier.

Hertzberg’s Hygiene theory refers to how certain factors are necessary to maintain “Hygiene” or ensure that the employees are not dissatisfied.

  • These factors alone do not contribute to “quantum” jumps in employee satisfaction. Rather, the absence of these factors makes employees dissatisfied.

  • The point here is that if a fair and just compensation is provided, the employee has the “baseline” requirements met which ensures that he or she is now in a position to go for higher things like job satisfaction and fulfilment.

  • However, if compensation is found to be lacking, the employee might very well be unhappy and dissatisfied with the company leading to attrition and other such negative outcomes.

  • Hence, having the right compensation is the first step in getting the best of employees.

If we take a look at the components of a compensation system, we find that employers decide on what is the right compensation after taking into account the following points.

  1. The Job Description of the employee that specifies how much should be paid and the parts of the compensation package.

    1. The Job Description is further made up of responsibilities, functions, duties, location of the job and the other factors like environment etc.

    2. These elements of the job description are taken individually to arrive at the basic compensation along with the other components like benefits, variable pay and bonus.

      • It needs to be remembered that the HRA or the House Rental Allowance is determined by a mix of factors that includes the location of the employee and governmental policies along with the grade of the employee.

      • Hence, it is common to find a minimum level of HRA that is common to all the employees and which increases in proportion to the factors mentioned above.

  2. The Job Evaluation that is a system for arriving at the net worth of employees based on comparison with appropriate compensation levels for comparable jobs across the industry as well as within the company.

    1. Factors like Experience, Qualifications, Expertise and Need of the company determine how much the employer is willing to pay for the employee.

  3. It is often the case that employers compare the jobs across the industry and arrive at a particular compensation after taking into account the specific needs of their firm and in this respect salary surveys and research results done by market research firms as to how much different companies in the same industry are paying for similar roles.

The components of compensation that have been discussed above are the base requirements for any HR Manager who is in charge of fixing the compensation for potential employees.

There are other variables as well that would be discussed in subsequent articles. This article has introduced several concepts around the topic of components of compensation and these concepts are crucial for HR professionals as well as those aspiring management professionals who want to make a career in the corporate world.

Before concluding this article, it needs to be remembered that exit interviews have shown that over 70% of employees who quit their jobs do so because they are dissatisfied with the compensation that they are getting. Hence, all HR professionals and managers must take this aspect into account when they determine the compensation to be paid to employees.

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