Compensation Design

Base Pay Design

Incentive Plan Design

Compensation Strategy Development

Job Evaluation

Competitive Market Reviews

Pay Equity

Performance Management

Reviewing Your Current Approach

Employee Communication

Human Resources

Are your compensation programs delivering? If you're looking for ways to enhance how your organization attracts, retains, and rewards talent and drives business performance and results, a review of your approach to compensation management can yield the insights you need.

Your compensation programs - including salary and wage structures and incentive plans - represent the heart of your employment offering. They also represent a significant business expense. So getting compensation right is vital to achieving your organization's business and talent strategies.

Common challenges that we help our clients address include:

  • Establishing defensible criteria for aligning jobs to pay bands
  • Identifying gaps to competitive market practice
  • Creating more meaningful links between pay and performance
  • Engaging managers more effectively in pay decisions
  • Addressing concerns about internal equity and pay fairness
  • Ensuring compliance with pay equity legislation
  • Building employee understanding and appreciation of compensation programs

Kapel and Associates can help ensure your compensation programs are delivering optimal value. After understanding how compensation is intended to support your company's business objectives, we work to identify elements that aren't helping you get where you want to go and develop pragmatic solutions.

We offer a broad range of services addressing all the elements of strategic compensation management. Contact Us to find out how Kapel and Associates can help you...

Base pay programs represent the foundation of any compensation package. Kapel and Associates has extensive experience in designing salary and wage programs. We help you review and refine existing programs - or design brand new structures and processes, depending on your needs.

Our work typically includes:

  • Reviewing or developing a compensation strategy
  • Organizing jobs into pay bands through a job evaluation process
  • Analyzing how internal pay levels compare to market
  • Reviewing or designing salary ranges or hourly wage structures
  • Conducting pay equity analysis
  • Developing a pay for performance strategy
  • Drafting pay administration guidelines
  • Developing communication tools to explain the compensation programs

When developing new base pay programs, we model a few design options, so you can see the implications of different approaches with respect to implementation costs and the positioning of individuals within their new ranges.

We can also help you think through how decisions around salary and wage increases will be managed going forward. This can include developing pay administration guidelines that lay out the considerations when making decisions around pay and promotional increases, including any desired links between pay and performance, as well as the management of pay for individuals at or above their salary range maximum.

We recognize a solid program design is just part of the equation for effective compensation management. That's why Kapel and Associates also has extensive experience in compensation-related communications.

Depending on your needs, we can develop training and communication tools, tailored for the Human Resources team, people managers and/or employees. This type of implementation support can ensure those involved in making pay decisions or in communicating with employees about pay have the understanding and insights they need to apply pay programs appropriately.

Effective program designs, supported by effective communication, will help ensure your organization derives the maximum value from your compensation dollars.

Contact Us to find out how Kapel and Associates can help you review or develop a base pay program that aligns with your business needs.

For many organizations, incentive plans represent a significant part of their compensation offering. When effectively designed and implemented, incentive plans can create powerful links between performance and rewards. They can help focus the contributions of individuals and teams to support the achievement of business results.

To remain effective, incentive plans need to be periodically reviewed to ensure they continue to align with business priorities and drive desired performance and results.

Signs that an incentive plan may have gone off track include:

  • Award payouts are not appropriately funded or misaligned with the organization's financial realities
  • Incentive measures are not driving the right behaviours or results or are sending mixed messages
  • Bonus opportunities are not aligned with competitive market practice
  • There is conflict over which jobs should be bonus eligible
  • Employees are unclear about what they need to do to earn an incentive award

At Kapel and Associates, we help organizations create or refine incentive plans to ensure they are both well designed and well communicated.

Contact Us to find out how Kapel and Associates can help you strengthen how you use incentive pay to drive performance and results.

Effective compensation management starts with your compensation strategy. This strategy serves as the blueprint for program design and pay administration.

It sets out guidelines to address such key considerations as:

  • How your organization seeks to position itself relative to competitive market practice
  • Which comparator groups should be used when assessing pay competitiveness - with consideration to where you attract talent from and where your talent goes
  • Which roles or levels should be bonus eligible
  • What is your desired relationship between pay and performance
  • How much transparency do you desire in pay-related communications

At Kapel and Associates, we help you think through and document all the key considerations and decision points that shape both compensation design and pay administration.

Contact Us to find out how Kapel and Associates can help you develop or revisit your compensation strategy to ensure it aligns with your current business and talent strategies.

How you organize and group jobs will influence a lot of organizational decisions, including a job's pay band and its eligibility for other reward elements. So how you map jobs to levels will have a profound effect on how you design and deliver compensation programs.

Recognizing this, many organizations establish and maintain a job evaluation process to ensure they have a consistent and defensible approach for aligning jobs with organizational levels. Such a process is vital to effectively align compensation design with organizational design.

At Kapel and Associates, we design and implement point factor job evaluation tools as well as more qualitative career level frameworks. Both approaches enable you to group jobs into organizational levels using clearly defined and consistent criteria

This work is foundational and makes it easier to:

  • Identify which jobs are at the same level, within and across geographies
  • Develop more defensible base pay and wage structures
  • Define career paths within and across job families
  • Establish titling conventions

A points-based approach is commonly used to establish pay bands in jurisdictions with pay equity legislation. For example, Ontario and Quebec both have pay equity legislation covering public and private sector employers with 10 or more employees. Federally regulated employers are covered by pay equity requirements set out in the Canadian Human Rights Act.

At Kapel and Associates, we have extensive experience developing and implementing point factor job evaluation tools that deliver well-articulated job levels while meeting the requirements for pay equity compliance.

We also have extensive experience helping organizations achieve and maintain pay equity compliance.

Our tailored, hands-on approach makes it easy for clients to establish and maintain thoughtfully designed job evaluation processes that support effective compensation management as well as regulatory compliance considerations.

In our view, job evaluation is about a lot more than just pay equity compliance. We also implement job evaluation processes for clients in geographies without pay equity legislation that want a sound methodology for organizing jobs into levels or career paths.

Contact Us to find out how Kapel and Associates can help you establish a job evaluation process or address pay equity requirements.

A competitive compensation package is critical to any effective strategy for attracting, retaining, and motivating key talent.

If you're not sure how your internal pay levels compare to competitive market practice, Kapel and Associates can help you get the answers you need to manage pay more effectively.

Our work includes:

  • Helping you identify the compensation survey sources that would best meet your needs
  • Conducting custom compensation surveys that enable you to do targeted research on pay practices for key jobs not covered in traditional published surveys, as well as to collect data on broader reward practices
  • Completing market analysis that shows how your internal pay levels measure up, for base pay, target bonus opportunities, and total cash compensation
  • Helping you understand market trends related to budgets for merit increases and salary structure adjustments

We help you test for gaps to market - and develop practical solutions - so you can address emerging compensation issues before they become more significant challenges. We also undertake competitive market reviews as part of larger compensation design projects.

Contact Us to find out how Kapel and Associates can help you assess how your internal pay practice align with competitive market practice.

If your organization operates in a jurisdiction with pay equity legislation, ensuring continued compliance with regulatory requirements makes good business sense. Employers who don't address their regulatory obligations may find themselves facing financial or reputational risks.

You may also find that your organization is covered by more than one piece of pay equity legislation. For example, Ontario and Quebec both have pay equity legislation covering public and private sector employers with 10 or more employees. Federally regulated employers are covered by pay equity requirements set out in the Canadian Human Rights Act.

As a starting point, we help clients understand their obligations under each applicable piece of pay equity legislation. While the different jurisdictions address similar objectives and themes, they all have their own unique nuances and points of distinction that need to be understood and addressed.

Kapel and Associates offers a full range of services that can help you address pay equity requirements for Ontario, Quebec and federally.

These include:

  • Designing and implementing job evaluation tools
  • Providing hands-on support to complete the evaluation of jobs
  • Completing pay equity analysis
  • Supporting responses to pay equity audits or complaints
  • Addressing the filing and audit requirements in Quebec

The job evaluation process produces a numeric point score for each job. This generates a hierarchy of jobs, from smallest to largest, based on the emerging point scores. These results, along with information about the gender dominance and compensation arrangements of each job, become the basis for pay equity analysis.

Since compliance requirements are ongoing, we also help clients to periodically test how effectively they're maintaining pay equity, applying the analytical process set out by the applicable legislation.

Kapel and Associates also helps organizations respond to pay equity audits initiated by regulators or pay equity complaints initiated by employees.

Ongoing attention to pay equity requirements is important because non-compliance can have significant consequences. Proper maintenance can help mitigate the financial and reputational risks associated with being found offside with regulatory requirements.

Undertaking a pay equity review to see where you stand can highlight potential pay equity gaps and related issues so you can respond appropriately. Regular pay equity reviews are advisable to ensure continued compliance.

If you're covered by Quebec pay equity, you may want to update your pay equity analysis each year, prior to completing the annual declaration process.

Contact Us to find out how Kapel and Associates can help you address pay equity compliance in Ontario, Quebec and federally.

Many organizations struggle with how to get performance management right. Yet most agree that connecting what employees do day-to-day on the job with the organization's objectives and priorities is vital for business success. Organizational performance arises from the collective contributions of individual employees.

Further, most organizations agree the key elements of performance management - clarifying expectations, facilitating dialogue, providing coaching and feedback and supporting employee development - are the vital sparks that unleash employee performance and potential.

At Kapel and Associates, we understand the challenges organizations face with their performance management processes. We help clients take concrete and pragmatic steps to transform the managing of performance so it is embraced as management activity, not an HR administrative process.

Our work includes:

  • Revisiting the objectives for a performance management process and how it relates to the broader people management accountabilities of leaders
  • Undertaking research and analysis to identify the root causes of performance management challenges
  • Designing simplified tools and processes to reduce the administrative burden and refocus management efforts on dialogue, feedback and development
  • Developing competency models and other frameworks to help define performance expectations in a more holistic manner
  • Reviewing the organization's pay for performance strategy, including how performance ratings are used to support pay decisions
  • Reviewing how the organization addresses training, development and career progression
  • Developing training and communications for people managers and employees to build commitment for new, less bureaucratic ways, of addressing people management activities

Reviewing Your Current Approach

You don't have to look far to find news items declaring that performance management is both broken and unfixable. What such pundits miss, however, is that the essence of performance management is about managing relationships with employees to achieve the best and highest at both the individual level, as well as by the organization overall.

At Kapel and Associates, our work around performance management generally starts with an audit of your current state. Even if you don't have a "formal" performance management process today, people management activities are taking place all the time.

Once we understand the unique dynamics in your organization, we can help you find the best path forward to revitalize people management activities. We can help you consider all the interdependencies that shape these activities,

Interdependencies including:

  • The overall process, including expectations for managers and employees
  • The tools and forms being used
  • Opportunities to leverage technology to simplify the tools and process
  • The training and communication needs of managers and employees
  • The links between performance management, employee development, and career planning
  • The links between performance management and compensation management

There's never been a better time to introduce fresh thinking around performance management, including the real intent for this process. Eliminating the constraints in your current approach can establish a more meaningful and strategic context for people management activities that delivers the results you need for business success.

Contact Us to find out how Kapel and Associates can help you rethink your organization's approach to performance management to create a more meaningful and value-added process.

If you want your employees to deliver their best - in a way that contributes to the success of the business - you need to provide them with information and context. You also need to encourage dialogue, idea sharing, and effective problem solving.

That's why effective employee communication is so vital. And given the pace of change in organizations today, keeping the lines of communication open is more essential than ever before.

At Kapel and Associates, we can help you with a variety of employee communication initiatives.

Communication initiatives include:

  • Human resource communications - to explain new or changing HR programs and processes
  • Change communications - to build understanding and buy-in for major organizational changes, including shifts in strategic focus, mergers and acquisitions and organizational restructurings
  • Employer branding - to position the organization as a desirable place to work through holistic communications about the employee value proposition and/or the total rewards offering

Our communication work typically includes:

  • Conducting research and stakeholder analysis, to understand the communication needs of each of your affected audiences
  • Developing a communication strategy that details the audiences, key messages, communication tactics and timelines, highlighting issues that may be especially sensitive and suggesting tactics to address these
  • Preparing and customizing communications that meet audience-specific needs at all levels of the organization (e.g., scripted presentations, FAQs, etc.)
  • Providing coaching and training to key communicators so they can share information and answer questions effectively with diverse employee audiences

Contact Us to find out how Kapel and Associates can help your create effective employee communication strategies and tools.

Given your complex and rapidly changing business environment, you are no doubt juggling a number of projects and priorities at any moment in time. Life can get a little easier when you can access seasoned professionals - as you need them - to help lighten your load.

At Kapel and Associates, our knowledgeable and experienced team can help you with a wide range of assignments. We're also flexible in how we partner with clients - so whether you need resources for a project, a period or time, or on an ongoing basis - we can help!

In addition to helping clients with compensation, performance management and communication projects, we also assist with other types of initiativesl.

These include:

  • Conducting custom research on a variety of issues
  • Developing HR and total rewards strategies
  • Drafting HR policies and handbooks
  • Developing job descriptions
  • Developing ad hoc communication materials on a variety of subjects
  • Conducting investigations
  • Coaching and support on a variety of employee relations issues, including dealing with performance issues, disciplinary matters and terminations
  • Providing support around legislative compliance

So if you're looking for some additional resources, the help you need is just an email away.

Contact Us to explore how Kapel and Associates can provide you with the just-in-time resources you need to get through your do-to list.