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Amen, Ann! I've been preaching this same sermon for years, but still have clients 'thinking about' cost-of-living increases. The only thing a COLA does is increase payroll. It does not reward performance. It does not attempt to correct pay equity issues. It certainly does not motivate employees. Kill the COLA's!

- Barry


Thanks for the comment ... and corroboration!

For those who need more refrains to the song, see this ancient short article which updates one from decades earlier: http://www.erieri.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=NewsRoom.Dsp_Release&PressReleaseID=111 ... and I have two more, if this isn't enough to educate your senior management.

It drives me crazy to hear HR folks or (even worse!) comp people talking Cost of Living when they mean Competitive Wage or Salary; it's like a chemist talking about phlogiston. They shouldn't be trusted with matches, much less human resources.


My experience would suggest that we can't talk about this enough ... and our HR/Comp compatriots could use all the ammunition we can provide. So thanks much for the article links! Readers, check them out for more good info.

Agree on all accounts, Ann!

For readers who want to read more about these issues check out the Workspan article "Why CPI-Based Pay Policies Are Not the Answer" (http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=29395); and

"Pay Primer" (http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?filepath=/dailyfed/0909/090309pb.htm ) where Government Executive magazine is trying to get people to stop mischaracterizing federal pay adjustments.


Thanks for the great article links ... and for agreeing with me!

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About The Author

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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