OUR SUCCESSES

What we've done

Case studies and kind words

TOTAL REWARDS | Private equity | private equity board | incentive plans

Lo$t in tran$lation

Responsive

CHRC received a call shortly after a private equity group had purchased another organization. The board wanted us to take a look at how the organization was paying its people. Could we help?

Insightful

The goal was to understand how this pay compared to the markets in which it operated. In order to understand the history of the organization, how it had grown and evolved, and how it made money, we began by interviewing its top executives. Once we had this important background in hand, market analysis was required for knowing how people were currently paid.  What CHRC uncovered was a bit more of an archeological dig than some straightforward payroll records.

Empowering

The heart of the solution lay in translating. Translating the dollar value of various pay elements into dollar amounts, so that those at the private equity board level could review somewhat equitable dollar amounts and compare to the EBITDA that the various units were generating. Changes required translating legacy pay plans into new pay plans in ways that employees understood how pay delivered differently was not necessarily a takeaway. CHRC designed an incentive plan (versus a bonus plan) that was funded by EBITDA attainment, that not only would reward the employees, but communicated, translated, how important EBITDA was to its new owners. 

SALES INCENTIVE | ORG DESIGN | STRATEGY

It’s the people, not their pay

Responsive

A newly hired COO contacted us concerned that a sales incentive structure he had inherited was not properly designed. Could we help?

Insightful

Since they were facing some political headwinds and treading in some sensitive waters, we agreed to meet and just discuss the organization. One look at the org chart and CHRC realized that sales was not the only issue that the COO was facing. The org chart revealed some other structural issues that would, of course, impact how sales went to market. Therefore, they would be important factors in the design of a sales incentive plan.

Empowering

As CHRC better understood the organization, and its go to market strategy, we understood how customer service and supply chain were integral parts of the entire sales cycle. With this knowledge, and further discussions with the COO, we altered the initial scope of the study to understand the entire ecosystem supporting the sales organization. This better understanding of the organization and its business lead to the right project scope. In the end, we were able to assure the COO that he did not need to alter the pay of those that were currently employed…but he might need to alter who was employed in the sales organization.

WHAT THEY SAY

“You don’t have a 5-10 year horizon. You have about 18 months. That means you have to make changes quickly. In the military there is a term called “force multiplier.” I see CHRC as a force multiplier.”

Chief Administrative Officer, Diversified Manufacturing Firm

BASE PAY | SALARY STRUCTURES | Comp STRUCTURE |  COMP PHILOSOPHY

Migrating to market based pay

Responsive

A company that had been family-owned wanted to migrate from a seniority-based salary approach to market-based compensation. Could we help?

Insightful

CHRC’s first action: interviews with top executives to understand how the company went to market, differentiated itself, and made money. We developed a clear understanding of the labor markets in which the client competed for talent. CHRC then selected compensation data from the appropriate labor markets for the correct job matches.

CHRC’s analysis revealed that some jobs did not have equivalent matches in published salary surveys. We led the client through “Position Information Questionnaires” (PIQs) to gather data on roles that were not easily defined and for which there were not clear or accurate job descriptions. With this customized approach, we established an internally equitable system anchored in market-based data.

Empowering

CHRC applied strategic assessment and a collaborative process.  This included: the client’s first Grade and Range structure, anchored with benchmark roles priced in appropriate labor markets. Once the PIQs were reviewed and collected, we began slotting the non-benchmark roles based on internal and external equity. We facilitated a slotting exercise in which senior executives worked together to discuss, understand, and determine the hierarchy within their company. This was a departure from their historic preference for working within silos. We left the company with a market-based compensation plan for equitable and simpler salary administration. This way, they were given tools to succeed on their own.

WHAT THEY SAY

“As a lifelong compensation professional, I can’t say enough good things about working with Kate and her team. They torture the numbers until they confess.”

Vice President Human Resources & Administration, Global Merchandiser of Commodities

ROOT CAUSE DIAGNOSIS | INCENTIVE PLAN DESIGN | TURNOVER ANALYSIS

Differentiation prevents turnovers

Responsive

A company experiencing high employee turnover contacted CHRC. Exit interviews suggested that people were leaving for higher compensation, but was this the real reason? Could we help?

Insightful

CHRC analyzed five years of compensation and financial data to determine if bonus pay had correlated with the company’s financial results. We discussed that there was little relationship between employee performance and the company’s results, in either base salary or bonus pay. Through market analysis we gleaned that high performers could expect to make substantially more than their peers in the broader market.

Empowering

To reduce the turnover and improve retention, we redesigned their incentive approach, this included:

  • CHRC modeled incentive plans against prior years’ results to reveal how different approaches could have paid out historically.
  • This helped the client understand which plan was the best fit for their industry, company, and culture.
  • It illustrated that differentiated pay for high performers would have been more in line with packages that “A” players were being offered at other companies.

CHRC designed the incentive plan and provided the client with the tools to model and calculate payouts tied to the value created by outstanding employees.

HR DEPARTMENT AUGMENTATION | DATA ANALYTICS | TOTAL REWARDS ANALYSIS

We dig deeper

Responsive

A former client called asking for our help. Her resource constrained HR department needed an extra pair of hands, and quick turnaround. Could we help?

Insightful

She needed some financial analysis around the costs associated with making changes to different aspects of the company’s benefits programs.  There were solid strategic reasons to make these changes, but a great deal of political resistance from field offices to making any changes, including takeaways and a reduction in pay.

Empowering

While CHRC knew the granular need was around benefit dollars, we understood that the entire project was contained in a Total Rewards structure. Knowing about the company’s Compensation Philosophy, we did further analysis that included geographic pay differentials, local labor markets and comparable employers, and demographic employee participation of the benefits plan. A few additional hours of work resulted in the client receiving not only the raw numbers that they have asked for, but contextual data to understand that from a Total Rewards point of view, the most resistant region was also the most richly rewarded employer in a 25 mile radius.  This context gave them a far better data set from which to make decisions going forward.

WHAT THEY SAY

“CHRC is a great sounding board for general HR issues, helping the HR function to be a true business partner in the organization rather than just a service.”

Change Management Consultant

DIVESTITURE | STRATEGY

Making a deal to divest

Responsive

A company was in the final stages of spinning off a division. In the eleventh hour, the executives going with the new owner began questioning their compensation packages, threatening the consummation of the deal. They raised questions about retention, severance, and change of control provisions. Could we help?

Insightful

Commonwealth HR Consulting (CHRC) analyzed the employment agreements of the executives, evaluating the facts and business circumstances around the divestiture. Based on our experience with similar situations, we advised the divesting company on what obligations it did or did not have under the circumstances.

Empowering

The CFO was able to return to the negotiating table with a strong grasp of the underlying employment agreements. He understood that the departing executives were being treated fairly and in accordance with typical practice. With this understanding, he was able to focus on the financial aspects of the deal and succeed. 

STRATEGY | COMPENSATION | NOT FOR PROFIT

Competing in a for profit world

Responsive

CHRC has worked with several NFP organizations.  Sometimes the call comes from the Board of Directors, sometimes from the Executive Director, and other times from the head of HR. All times they wonder:  Could we help?

Insightful

CHRC uses our compensation expertise, our grasp of labor markets, and the experience gained by our own Board service. At times we must ensure that an organization is mindful of their talent that competes outside of the NFP world. Other times, we help the Board develop an appropriate peer group by navigating the world of 990s. This enables the Board to assess, and address, the Executive Director’s compensation.

Empowering

We leave the NFPs informed about the extent to which they are being good stewards of their donors’ contributions. With this understanding, the organization is able to return to fulfilling their mission.

WHAT THEY SAY

“CHRC’s approach is holistic. They interview, research background and provide strategic perspective in developing the best compensation solution.

Chief Human Resources Officer

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