e-Compensation Assignment Instructions
- Assess the advantages and disadvantages of using a Web-based compensation tool versus a client-server based or stand-alone PC-based system and then give your opinion on which system would provide the most value to an organization’s stakeholders. Include three (3) facts to support your opinion.
- Justify the use of e-Compensation tools in the job-evaluation process from the perspective of HR, management, and the employee.
- Evaluate three (3) benefits and three (3) drawbacks of a centralized approach to managing merit pay programs compared to a more decentralized approach.
- Suggest three (3) types of integrated analytic features that are needed for compensation planning and decision support in e-Compensation systems.
- Assess the barriers that prevent organizations from realizing the potential of Web-based internal equity tools and propose three (3) approaches to overcome those barriers.
- Recommend three (3) strategies that HR managers can use to evaluate the quality of market data (surveys, benchmark salary studies, etc.) that they receive from outside sources.
- Use at least four (4) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.
e-Compensation Sample Research Paper
Stand-Alone PC-Based or Client-Server Based Versus Web-Based Compensation Systems
One of the most essential HR functions in running organizations’ staff compensation systems and handling related matters. Ideally, staff compensation is executed devoid of errors and at the appropriate times. Over time, various tools, as well as technologies, have been developed to assist organizations with the execution of the function according to Gueutal, Stone and Salas (2005). An elementary compensation system has merit and base pay components. It has long-term, as well as short-term incentive along with perquisite components. Besides, it provides for staff retention, attraction, and recognition awards. Some compensation systems are web-based. Others are based on stand-alone personal computers or client-servers.
The strengths, or advantages, of the web-based ones include that they eliminate the possibility of human errors significantly in the management of staff compensation along with benefits. They do not regularly require human labor regarding their installation and updating. If individuals attended to them regularly, there would be a marked loss of otherwise useful time and manpower. They can be accessed at any given time, as well as from anywhere, provided the systems have internet connectivity. Their users are constrained to particular physical spaces. The systems require quite limited disk spaces. The systems allow stakeholders to share vital information easily and in real time according to Gueutal, Stone and Salas (2005).
Unlike the compensations systems that are web-based, the ones based on client-servers or stand-alone PCs are characterized by a high chance the occurrence of human errors in the management of staff compensation along with benefits. The ones based on client-servers or stand-alone PCs require regular human labor regarding their installation and updating, leading to a significant loss of time and manpower. They are only accessible at the physical locations of the servers or PCs, constraining their users to particular physical spaces. The systems require large disk spaces and do not allow stakeholders to share vital information easily and in real time (Gueutal, Stone & Salas, 2005).
Despite their numerous strengths, the compensation systems that are web-based have various downsides. First, they depend wholly on access to internet resources. They cannot function devoid of internet connectivity. Organizations that use the systems but experience regular internet connection outages suffer various challenges and possible losses. Second, the users of the systems require specialized knowledge on how to use them. Unlike the compensation systems that are web-based, the ones based client-servers or the PCs are not depended on internet resources. They can function devoid of internet connectivity. Besides, their users do not require as much specialized knowledge on how to make use of them as required by users of the web-based ones as amply illustrated by Gueutal, Stone and Salas (2005).
Certainly, the compensation systems based on the web provide organizations with more value than the ones based on stand-alone PCs or client servers owing to diverse reasons. First, the compensation systems based on the web help organizations simplify and streamline their HR processes related to staff compensation, reducing the possibility of human errors in the processes significantly. Second, the systems do not require regular updating or installation, saving organizations time and manpower. Third, the systems do not require physical administrators charged with their administration, maintenance, or development as made clear by Gueutal, Stone and Salas (2005).
Justification of the Utilization of e-Compensation Tools by Job-Evaluators
Perspective of HR
In job-evaluation, e-Compensation tools ease the accessibility of the requisite information devoid of any particular knowhow or IT infrastructure. It allows HR personnel fulltime availability of consequential information especially for decision-formulation support in line with their qualifications. The tools help in streamlining the attendant, unwieldy bureaucratic, or routine, tasks via real-time processing of information and use of structured workflow functionalities (Gueutal, Stone & Salas, 2005).
The personnel access the information in an interactive manner with employee as well as managers as demonstrated by Wright (2003). HR professionals prefer to have job appraisals done in ways that allow for interactions between employees and managers. Internet interactivity affords employees and managers many-to-many platforms for communication (Ceccon, 2004; Rynes & Gerhart, 2000).
Perspective of Management
Regarding job-evaluation, managers view e-Compensation tools increasing the accessibility of the requisite information devoid of any particular knowhow or IT infrastructure. They support the usage of the tools since they assure them fulltime availability of critical to support their decision-formulation processes. Managers are positive about the usage of the tools in job appraisals by HR departments in streamlining the attendant, unwieldy bureaucratic, or routine, tasks via real-time processing of information along with the utilization of structured workflow functionalities (Gueutal, Stone & Salas, 2005). Managers favor the utilization of the tools as they see them as allowing for the access of the requisite information in ways allow them to interact with job evaluation subjects, the employees (Wright, 2003). Managers, like HR professionals, prefer to have job appraisals done in ways that allow for stakeholder interactions according to Rynes and Gerhart (2000).
Perspective of the Employee
Employees support usage of the tools since they view them as convenient since they allow them to partake in job appraisal processes from wherever they are provided there is internet connectivity. They view the tools as simplifying the accessibility of the requisite information devoid of any particular knowhow or IT infrastructure. They view the tools as ensuring that they have fulltime accessibility of consequential information regarding own job appraisals according to Gueutal, Stone and Salas (2005). The tools allow employees to interact with their managers and voice out any concerns that they may have relating to job appraisals directly (Wright, 2003). As noted earlier, internet interactivity affords employees and managers many-to-many platforms for communication (Ceccon, 2004; Rynes & Gerhart, 2000).
Centralized Versus Decentralized Management of Merit Pay Programs
Merit pay programs are managed either in a centralized manner or a decentralized manner. The centralized management of the programs has various advantages over their decentralized management. First, the centralized management allows for top-down decision formulation. It does so by constraining the maneuverability of staffs regarding how they execute own jobs (Gueutal, Stone & Salas, 2005). Employees get to understand their roles thoroughly. As well, no employee is granted preferential treatment, thus eliminating the possibility of hurtful competitions between employees to get the attention of those managing the programs.
Second, the centralized management of the programs ensures the development of homogenous policies to guide the administration and running of the programs. There are homogenous programs that every staff is obligated to follow. Third, the centralized management is much faster than the decentralized one. In the centralized management, decisions are made pretty fast since those charged with making them are few (Gueutal, Stone & Salas, 2005).
Notably, the downsides of the decentralized management of the programs correspond to the strengths spelt above. First, the decentralized management does not allow for top-down decision formulation (Gueutal, Stone & Salas, 2005).Second, the decentralized management of the programs does not lead to the development of homogenous policies to guide the administration and running of the programs. Third, the decentralized management is rather slow since those charged with making decisions are many.
Even then, the decentralized management has various strengths. Since line managers are amply represented in the management, the unique realities of each department are taken into consideration in the programs management. In the centralized management, the line managers play rather peripheral roles if any. Besides, unlike in the centralized management, the decentralized one allows for the consideration of input by employees (Gueutal, Stone & Salas, 2005; Wright, 2003).
Compensation Decision Support and Planning Integrated Analytic Features
In any given e-Compensation system, a number of integrated analytic elements, or features, are required to help in the planning of compensations and formulation of the related decisions. One of the integrated analytic elements is the capability to allow access to competitive market compensation packages, or salaries, in real-time. Another essential integrated analytic element is the capacity to migrate the planning of compensations and formulation of the related decisions. The last of the essential integrated elements is the capability to execute higher-levels roles, or functions, representing activities with marked strategic worth (Gueutal, Stone & Salas, 2005).
Impediments to the Organizational Realization of the Prospects of Web-Based Internal Equity Tools
There are several hurdles that limit the realization of the whole range of the prospects, or potential, of internal equity tools that are web-based. The first hurdle is lack of stable internet connectivity. Outages in the connectivity prevent the usage of the tools for as long they last. The second hurdle the substandard quality of some of the data accessed by or using the tools. The implementation of the tools is as effective as they quality, or standard, of the data they access. The third hurdle is that in some organizations, the managers who in the end make decisions on the handling, or utilization, of the tools may lack the requisite knowhow or experience as demonstrated sufficiently by Gueutal, Stone and Salas (2005) and Rynes and Gerhart (2000).
The hurdles, or impediments, can be addressed and possibility eliminated through various actions. First, organizations should invest regularly in emerging technologies related to internet connectivity to keep the related outages at a bare minimum. Second, the managers should appraise the quality, or standard, of all data to be accessed by the tools beforehand and take appropriate actions to ensure that they only access quality data according to Gueutal, Stone and Salas (2005) and Rynes and Gerhart (2000). Third, the managers should undergo continuous training to become, as well as remain, adept in the formulation of the related decisions.
How Managers Can Appraise the Quality of Externally Sourced Market Data
There are various strategies that managers can adopt regarding the appraisal of externally sourced market data. First, they can outsource the function of appraising of the data to firms that specialize in data analysis services. Such firms, owing to the nature of the services, are equipped with the necessary resources for evaluating data quality. Second, the managers can adopt industry best practices with relation to the evaluation of the quality. Third, the managers can establish dedicated teams to carry out the functions within their organizations. The teams should be populated with data analysis specialists who should be obligated within particular quality control provisions.