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March 26, 2010
Communicate Your Organization’s Incentive Plans Early, Often and Fully

In a BLR webinar entitled ‘Incentive Pay: Best Practices for Designing and Managing Pay-for-Performance Plans’, Dan Kleinman explains why it is important to communicate your organization’s incentive plans early, often and fully. He provides the following information about communication involving incentive plans within the organization:

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  • Generate enthusiasm about your incentive pay programs by rolling it out in person (e.g. HR ‘road shows’ and in-person team meetings with frontline supervisors) instead of simply shooting out an email
  • Train managers to talk up the program constantly. Make it a crucial element in your orientation program for new hires
  • Consider every avenue for announcing recognized employees and promoting the rewards such as company intranet sites, bulletin boards, paper mail to employees’ homes (to get spouses involved), etc.
  • If your incentive pay plans are more individually targeted i.e. focused more on executives and salespeople, consider strategies such as regular in-person ‘update meetings’ with these workers and their supervisors to promote the incentives and to assess their performance progress
  • Use the SMART rule . This implies that your incentives during a recession should be Smart, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive

Dan Kleinman is the principal of Dan Kleinman Consulting, a California-based compensation and human resource consulting firm. He can be reached at

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