Last week I had the pleasure of participating in my first BlogTalk Radio show. Hosted by Paul Hebert of i2i, I joined a panel of fellow Compensation Café bloggers to discuss “Compensation & Rewards: What’s the Difference?”

I truly enjoyed the experience. It’s not often that you get people from the compensation side of the table and those from recognition and incentives on the same conversation. It quickly became apparent that those versed in compensation (the “spreadsheet jockeys” as Ann Bares referred to herself and fellow compensation colleagues) and those focused on recognition and incentives rarely collaborate.

Why is this? We dove into a couple of main reasons:

1) Compensation consultants look after the employee’s financial contract (competitive, appropriate, etc.). Those of us on the other side (in recognition and incentives) look after the psychological contract (reinforcing the right values and attitudes, feeding psychic income needs, creating an engaged environment).

2) Measurement – We know how to measure compensation. People aren’t so comfortable measuring the social or psychological aspects. Are they culturally aligned? How do we measure that?

That’s why we focus so strongly on measurement of recognition and reporting on the bottom-line impact. One problem has long been the technology available to make this possible. But now, technology is stepping up, allowing us to record and celebrate recognition with the same degree of depth as compensation.

And this is driving the convergence of what senior leaders are looking for – Total Rewards. As I said on the show, compensation constructs the building, but recognition adds the decorative “flair.” Both are necessary for creating a workplace people feel safe working in and want to come to and engage in.

Check out Paul’s summary of the show, and listen in to the entire show (just over an hour). Let me know your thoughts on the convergence between compensation and rewards.

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