Compensation Is a Core Function of Human Resource

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Compensation is a core function of human resource management, one that has important direct or indirect implications for recruitment, appraisal, training, retention, and labour relations. At the centre of competency, cost, and productivity issues in government, pay for performance is a key methodology in the compensation field and a central component of contemporary civil service reform. This technique is a fitting topic for the anniversary symposium. Most organizations, in fact, say they recognize merit, and most personnel believe that remuneration should be tied to contribution. Managers see pay for performance as a basis of control, and employees embrace its intuitive appeal. It is not surprising, then, that public and private organizations claim to give great deference to merit, the civil service system is even named for it. Yet substantial discontinuity exists between rhetoric and reality, as business scholars point out that performance pay “may not be as desirable, as easy to implement, or as widely used as commonly believed” (Fisher schoenfelt, & Shaw, 2006, p. 512). But the Public service experts such as Jonathan Bruel, IBM Centre for Business of Government, likewise find that it is “complex and deceptively difficult, both technically and politically” (Mosquera, 2008, August 18). Indeed, the managerial discretion promised by contingency compensation confronts agency missions lacking in simple profit maximization metrics, personnel who may be motivated as much by public interest as private gain, and legal provisions against political manipulation of employees. It is by no means clear that the benefits of developing such systems outweigh the costs. However, the concept of merit today is associated with commercial values and corporate-style performance pay. Although it takes many forms for most administrative, technical, and professional work, pay for performance typically seeks to use a portion of salary increases to award personal productivity....
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