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Excellent post and reminder for us all. Thanks for sharing!

As you stated , Ann, your list of contextual items is a great "starter" list, you could go on adding and expanding it ad infinitum.
I suggest that any HR/Comp professional who attempts to "dismiss" pay concerns is embarking upon the ultimate exercise in futility. Try explaining to an employees who was hoping and praying for at least a 5% increase (because their spouse just got laid off and they NEED the extra pay) how their 3% is really competitive in the current market, and that they should feel good about it, and the positive "message" about their value that the company is sending them!

The moment anyone asks a question, you immediately know that they don't know what you know or see the situation as you do. If they did, they would not raise a question for you to answer, in the first place.


Thanks for the comment .. and for the link back from HR Bartender. Much appreciated!


Agreed - context does help us understand and hopefully respond to the situation as it appears in the employee's eyes.


Great reminder. We would be well served to always assume that we and the question asker are looking at the situation from different contexts.

Thanks - all for the great comments here!

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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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