Valuing Employees

A coworker and I were recently having conversations over employee compensation. We covered the gambit around employee feedback, evals, and compensation. He mentioned Joel Spolsky, and his format of being very open about where individuals were ranked. He also pointed me to: http://alumnit.ca/~apenwarr/log/?m=200904#05 which provided good insight, though I most like his final point. The end goal with evaluating your employees and compensation for them is to make sure they’re happy. Sure the business should make sure they feel like you’re worth what you’re being paid, but usually there is no question about this, or if there is you’re quickly escorted out the door. While this is an interesting model, I think it can be much simpler, but companies usually confine themselves too much in giving credit to employees.

There was another recent occasion where a statement was made of ‘no more playing stick them up, until next year’. When I first thought about this, I knew I didn’t like the statement, but was unsure of why. The reason is that there can be several reasons why employees leave. Only one of which is compensation. If you feel you’re being adequately compensated for the job you’re doing it makes sense.

But there’s another reason thats very clear in the valley but less clear in other parts of the country. Paul Buchheit at Startup School this weekend in Berkeley said it very well: If you’ve been at your job too long, QUIT. Meaning if you’re comfortable, you know the people, you know how to do your job, and you’re not being challenged, then you should go somewhere where you are challenged.

So what does this have to do in regards to playing stick em up? Well if you’re at a comfortable place you should be compensate appropriately that’s fair. However if you’re at a comfortable place, you should either find ways to be challenged there or move on. If you’re challenged there it means your role over time will change, there’s not a standard guide for how quickly you become experienced in that role. It it’s two weeks, then salary should be re-evaluated then, if it’s 3 years salary should perhaps be re-evaluated yearly to keep up with changes in value to the dollar, but nothing more substantial to that.

At the end of the day it means you have to deliver value to an employer, and as long as your doing that the employer should recognize you for the value you deliver, based on merit, not based on policies laid out. Whether you jump to an extreme of merit/value being very clear such as a Joel Spolsky method, or follow something more traditional of a large company, the bottom line is you should give your employees what they’re worth, and as an employee its what you should expect.

A coworker (@danfarina) and I were recently having conversations over employee compensation. We covered the gambit around employee feedback, evals, and compensation. He mentioned Joel Spolsky, and his format of being very open about where individuals were ranked. He also pointed me to: http://alumnit.ca/~apenwarr/log/?m=200904#05 which provided good insight, though I most like his final point. The end goal with evaluating your employees and compensation for them is to make sure they’re happy. Sure the business should make sure they feel like you’re worth what you’re being paid, but usually there is no question about this, or if there is you’re quickly escorted out the door. While this is an interesting model, I think it can be much simpler, but companies usually confine themselves too much in giving credit to employees.

There was another recent occasion where a statement was made of ‘no more playing stick them up, until next year’. When I first thought about this, I knew I didn’t like the statement, but was unsure of why. The reason is that there can be several reasons why employees leave. Only one of which is compensation. If you feel you’re being adequately compensated for the job you’re doing it makes sense.

But there’s another reason thats very clear in the valley but less clear in other parts of the country. Paul Buchheit at Startup School this weekend in Berkeley said it very well: If you’ve been at your job too long, QUIT. Meaning if you’re comfortable, you know the people, you know how to do your job, and you’re not being challenged, then you should go somewhere where you are challenged.

So what does this have to do in regards to playing stick em up? Well if you’re at a comfortable place you should be compensate appropriately that’s fair. However if you’re at a comfortable place, you should either find ways to be challenged there or move on. If you’re challenged there it means your role over time will change, there’s not a standard guide for how quickly you become experienced in that role. It it’s two weeks, then salary should be re-evaluated then, if it’s 3 years salary should perhaps be re-evaluated yearly to keep up with changes in value to the dollar, but nothing more substantial to that.

At the end of the day it means you have to deliver value to an employer, and as long as your doing that the employer should recognize you for the value you deliver, based on merit, not based on policies laid out. Whether you jump to an extreme of merit/value being very clear such as a Joel Spolsky method, or follow something more traditional of a large company, the bottom line is you should give your employees what they’re worth, and as an employee its what you should expect.

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