Rebel Human Resources Podcast

RHR 111: Compensation Strategy with Thanh Nguyen

August 02, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 3 Episode 111
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
RHR 111: Compensation Strategy with Thanh Nguyen
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Thanh Nguyen is a comp expert and HR insider who has spent his career focused on compensation: he was a founding member of the Salesforce HR team, and then later executive director at Connery Consulting as a compensation consultant. Now, he's CEO and co-founder of OpenComp, a company focused on bringing compensation intelligence to high-growth companies to help them get pay right.

OpenComp empowers high-growth companies to get compensation right and pay employees fairly. With trusted market data, planning, analytics and professional consultation in one complete platform, OpenComp greatly simplifies compensation planning. Founded in San Francisco in 2021 by Thanh Nguyen and Nancy Connery, more than 2000 companies use OpenComp.

Learn more at www.opencomp.com.

linkedin.com/in/thanh-d-nguyen-336393

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Thanh Nguyen:

Look, listen to your employees, you know, we're gonna stay on topic here. Your employees have so much information as it relates to and generally speaking, they want improvement in growth in the organization, they're probably the biggest supporters and align to accompany success. And if you don't have an ability to tap into feedback coming from them. That's where a lot of companies fall down.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast where we talk to HR innovators about all things people leadership. If you're looking for places to find about new ways to think about the world of work, this is the podcast for you. Please subscribe from your favorite podcast listening platform today. And leave us a review. Rebel on HR rebels. All right, rebel HR listeners, welcome back. Thank you for joining us this week, we have a good show, we're gonna figure out all things comp. With us today we have Tang when he is a comp expert, and an HR insider who has spent his career focused on compensation, a founding member of the Salesforce HR team and Lynn, later executive director at Connery consulting as a comp consultant. Now he is CEO and co founder of open comp, a company focused on bringing compensation intelligence to high growth companies to help them get pay. Right. Welcome to the show.

Thanh Nguyen:

Thanks a bunch. Looking forward to this.

Kyle Roed:

Me too. You know, before I hit record, I was just told you, I've just really looking forward to figuring out all of these compensation issues, so.

Thanh Nguyen:

Well, we'll figure it all out. Oh, college try.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. So you know, that's actually kind of where I wanted to start with this, you know, we were going through a period of heavy disruption. You know, there, there's all sorts of headlines around the great resignation, the great recalibration, you can put whatever buzzword you want on it. But a lot of a lot of the underlying feedback that we're hearing there is with things like wage inflation, with, you know, people's attitudes towards work changing. You know, I think there's probably some generational differences out there in the current market environment. As you look at the compensation equation, where do you start? Where should a company really kind of start as they look at this?

Thanh Nguyen:

Well, I think when you take a step back, and and certainly kind of focus on the companies that we work with, in terms of this, this kind of growth, early stage, you know, recently financed or got a slug of money in the coffers or ready to grow. Look, I think compensation is sometimes they've historically has been put in the backburner to a certain extent, right. And I think the the, the planning the data, and the strategy in setting up compensation is much more important now than ever. Right? And I got social impact issues that are obviously enhanced by the pandemic. And everything that we're hearing on the in the news is just really heightened. Right. So I don't think you can, you can push this down, behind other initiatives, I think it's a top five initiative for any CEO or any founder or any executive builder to get this, right. Because getting at least right is a as a is a strong word, but at least putting energy and resources into a and developing a strategy and being able to communicate that strategy is absolutely critical in the early stages here.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, absolutely. And coming from the other side of the equation, as somebody who's I'm in an organization that's, you know, 140 plus years old, it's a lot easier to do it early than to try to like, unpack, you know, an absence of a strategy and, and focus on some of those things you're focused on. So I, you can feel it on both sides of that coin. I can tell you that much.

Thanh Nguyen:

Yeah, I mean, look, I think the you can see it in the candidates in the resumes, right, most of these resumes, these days coming in, you're seeing at best two years of tenure, before they're departing. Right. And that's really tough for an organization as you know, to onboard and make that investment into employees and have them potentially walk out with all that knowledge could call that DNA, that asset out the door in two years because they're not happy is is probably the biggest and most costly challenges that we're seeing today and in in companies. Yeah,

Kyle Roed:

absolutely. You know, and it's, I think what's been really fascinating is, you know, yes, compensation has always kind of been underlying and but I tell people now it's like, you know, just getting your, like the correct pay levels and structures, that's like table stakes. Now it's like, you know, if you're not doing that, just forget about it, I mean, you can compete on all these other aspects, but that pay just has to be correct. From the get go in your, your structure has to be correct as well. So So as you look at a at the organizations you work with, as you look at some of your past experience, what does a good compensation strategy look like? What what are the elements that that you would consider to be good? Or write in a comp strategy?

Thanh Nguyen:

Well, I think, you know, data, number one, the ability to articulate or communicate that data, and actually operationalizing it. So there's really three things that I try to work on with our customers, it's data, comms, and actual program implementation of those three. And if you if you really focus on kind of, I mean, there's a lot of layers behind that. But if you really focus on being able to do that, then I think you're well on your way into developing, you know, a sound compensation strategy, ie a philosophy and all the components that kind of make that up.

Kyle Roed:

I love that. And I think it's, you know, so often we talk about, you know, compensation, and, and all we talk about is data, right? Where it's like, you know, which which program, are you using, you know, which consultants, are you paying to do a data study? And then it's, and then they give it to you? And you're like, thanks. And that's it? And then it sits in and it like, sits in the HR department and until a board meeting? Or is your manager says, Hey, what's this labor grade? Or what is this? You know, how much am I going to pay this new hire? But so often the, you know, the actual implementation, the communication, like the, the actual connection to employees on what the strategy is, it's just, it's just almost left out, right? So so as you think about, well, let's, let's maybe walk through those, one by one as you're thinking about data? I think, in my opinion, one of the bigger challenges with data is figuring out which data to actually listen to, because there's just so much and so many sources. So, so how do you start with kind of filtering, filtering the right data?

Thanh Nguyen:

Well, I, you know, as basic, basic as it is, I think you've got to understand the inputs, or really the challenges around your talent, meaning, is it geo based? Or is it skill based? Is it widely distributed across the domestic US? Is it International, etc. But by defining those attributes, and really kind of understanding the the type of folks that you actually need in your organization, that obviously you can kind of really ringfence the data that you're looking for, and getting data that is fully audited and really sound to your business. And not only your business from an industry perspective, but your business in terms of its stage of maturity, I think that's really important. Not all of us can can hire, as they say, from the fang companies. And and when we say that, this could be even non technology companies, right? So you've just got to really be sound with your financial planning as well. And I think just you know, being disciplined across the board, just as you would, with your personal finances, right, you've got to understand your headcount plan. Everything that impacts all those finances, the benefits, and really building a data set that supports a majority of your population. And, obviously, there's always going to be the outlier cases, when you're making hires, etc. But you want to build that into your model, and your strategy as well. But it starts with that kind of understanding that data framework or IE, kind of the profile that you want to establish, and then using that to really kind of take the next step forwards into your analysis and, and you know, those things that indicate what you need to do or not need to do when you're programmed.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, a lot of times it's so easy to fall into the trap like, oh, well, I need an engineer. So I'm just Gonna go, I'm just gonna go look for engineers, you know, I'm gonna go find that look at look at the BLS and just pull, you know, see what, but it's like, when you start going down that rabbit hole, you're like, Oh, well, do you need a chemical and mechanical you need software? Application to travel component is, you know, is it? Can we hire anywhere? You know, it, it's, it is absolutely critical to know what you're looking for. I'm curious, because, you know, the companies you work with a lot, you know, obviously, you're gonna have, you're gonna have founders, you're gonna have people who were there in the beginning, I'm assuming that maybe the internal comparables, maybe aren't apples to apples all the time? How do you? How do you kind of handle that when you're coming in, and, you know, we're working through a strategy when there's, there's a lot of pay differences, it just different profiles,

Thanh Nguyen:

I think that's what you know, that's where the kind of data management comes into play. I mean, the reality is, as you grow, you've got different. And we talked about stages here of growth, you've got your compensation strategy changes dynamically, meaning the pic, certainly in, in, in the the tech side, you've you're heavily influenced on equity, generally, right in the early stages, and that that slowly shifts as you obtain more cash, create more revenue, etc. But, you know, these markers change aggressively over time, depending on your growth rate, right, and being able to really manage that growth and understanding the dynamics of your proxy data that you can compare to influences your compensation strategy. And going back to what we talked about earlier, I don't think people pay enough attention to this iterative, like assessment of their pay strategy, because what tends to happen is even within a year or two years time, even for us, right, those that came in much earlier in the company's lifecycle, their pay is much different. So there's this iterative, like, you know, assessment period that one needs to address. And it's, you know, I think there's the old legacy, we can only do this once a year. And, you know, let's plod along, and, and kind of manage. But we're talking about disruption here, we're talking about generations, that have changed their behavior around what they want, where they're, where they're working, where they're living, everything is upside down on its head, you know, certainly with the pandemic, as we talked about. So to really be disruptive, you have to be super iterative. And you really got to have the data, the real time data coming in, to manage those changes, and they're so frequent these days, the companies that don't manage the frequencies of change, they're losing people, they're not going to be successful. If they're not hiring diversified employees, they're going to, they're just not going to be as as competitive and effective. I deeply believe that's what it takes these days.

Kyle Roed:

You're bursting my bubble. So you mean like, I can't just say, Well, we do that 3% merit increase? And, you know, every year and hope that's good enough.

Thanh Nguyen:

I mean, you'll you'll see it, right. I mean, the expectations changing, left, right, and center every week, around this stuff. I mean, our candidates in the employee population, quite frankly, it's just getting a lot more educated on what they want, right? Whether it's the pay divide, or what they want their companies representing pop philosophy, more transparency around the salary bands, the equity bands, all those things, and that's being driven by on the candidate side, and if enterprises cannot address that, that need from candidates, they're just not going to be successful in hiring those those folks, those critical folks.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I think that's such an important topic. And I, I mean, I kid you not, I probably have this conversation at least one or two times a week with other HR peers. And it's the it's that transparency piece, and it's the, you know, how do you how do you manage that or, you know, so and so is frustrated, because so and so makes x and they think they should make X, you know, wage compression issues, you know, you know, there's there's all that so then at the heart of it, I truly believe that the wage transparency is a noble cause, right, I mean, it really it's about pay equity, it's about fairness, it's about consistency, it's about respect. But it can, it can ruffle some feathers, right. So, so as we as we share From the, you know, kind of the data into the the comms and program implementation pieces, how, how do you approach the transparency puzzle at an organization.

Thanh Nguyen:

What's interesting to me is, is this, the notion of transparency for us has always been around transparency about your pay strategy. It's not whether, you know, Jim or Sally next door, I know their salary and their equity and what they're taking home every day. What's more important is I know that at an organizational at a departmental level, my company has a philosophy and a strategy to maintain consistency. And that's the big word here consistency in approach, whether I'm relat, red, yellow, green, or black, they're going to manage it in a way that is appropriate, given my performance and my contribution to the business. And I think that's so critical to frame everything that we talk about in this way. And the reality, I think, over the years is we just, you know, the HR operations the people operation side has not, has embedded themselves in the data, and the valuable data and the tools that support that data. So you can't draw that information out easily. Or HR professionals are fear data or building those models out or extracting that information and running the analysis. So they actually have, you know, the the scorecards or the information they need to actually make that business decision. And that's what our our goal is been over the years to say, let's, let's take that, that fear or that challenge of Excel or the numbers and really elevate that, or put it in an area where it's easily addressable accessible, where you have the instrumentation, you need to run your business from a people enhance people perspective. And that's the disruption, that's the challenge of the years, that it's just been buried, that information has been buried and nobody can access it well, and they can't activate it. That's why you kind of get the whole HR slag all the time, right, in terms of, oh, they don't do anything on this, they're just administration, etc. But I think there's a big change that's happening with our, our functional industry, and that is empowerment of, of really easy to use instrumentation to manage people better.

Kyle Roed:

I love that. And I think it's such an important call out, you know, I mean, most of us in HR didn't go into it, because we love Excel spreadsheets. And then we get into it, and we're like, you know, we're like, digging through, you know, a comp structure. And it's like, this might as well be in hieroglyphics. I don't even know, like, what is this? What, you know, what is comp ratio? Right? You know, it's stuff like that, that, you know, my biggest piece of advice is, you know, if you're an HR person, go make a friend and accounting, you know, that, it's like it can, it can be like the dynamic duo, like, you don't have to be the expert, but like, find somebody that's really good at Excel, it can just be it can be magical, trust me.

Thanh Nguyen:

Well, look, there's this, there's just so much information in your, let's just call it your employee census. And then you attach, you know, rate of change or things that happen over time, it really unlocks your ability to support your, your business stakeholders. By 10x 20 30x, if you're able to really kind of face that or extract that information, man, it's, it's hugely powerful for your organization, and will make your life a lot easier. On top of that, right?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, absolutely. I I think I'm probably a little bit of an outlier, where, you know, one of my my favorite classes in, in college where actually, I had two favorite classes, one was ops management, and one was statistics for business, you know, because I could see like, there's actually a practical application there versus like, it was a little harder for me to do understand the calc connection, but stats, okay, I get this like, okay, there's an outlier. There's, you know, there's a standard deviation, like, okay, I can actually use this for, you know, for whatever I ended up doing. But I do think, you know, as we think about all of the information that we have access to a lot of times, we're also very, very protective of that information. Right. And for good reason, right? There's confidentiality reasons for you know, a lot of different aspects of what we touch. So how do you do As you as we think about that transparency, how do you figure out? Okay, we want to share, we want to be transparent about pay strategy. You know, how far do we go with the actual dollars and cents that we share in the strategy? Or is it more about kind of approach? Or is it different for every, every business? what's your what's your take there?

Thanh Nguyen:

Well, look, I think, you know, when you think about, like, financial planning, building out your pro formas, right, I mean, all of that, every element of that is has been booked, and you have a range from which you are, are, you know, operating from, right, and that same financial like range as it relates to pay or equity for an individual, what you're going to pay for benefits and all those. That's a, that's a total costs. And within that, that total cost, there's breakdowns of of that. To me, sharing those breakdowns to a candidate is no different than building out your budget at a macro level. Right. And I think, you know, it's not about again, it's not about the, the detail about that individual, but this is the information at an aggregate, you can share. And what that does is it just, it builds that trust between that employee or that employer that says, really, you know, we're thinking about this holistically, we're thinking about this. Philosophically, if I were to share with you a range, right, for a chemical engineer in your organization, it's not giving anything that is telling about the, you know, the very specific engineers is just saying, here's our range structure. And this is the same structure that we're using to build out, you know, budgets within that department. Right? I don't, I don't think there's confidentiality, issues in that, like, everybody knows, you're building out your merit cycle, it's 3%, or 4%. And you may have 5%, for promotions, etc, let's just expose that and say, this is programs happens twice a year, or once a year, and it's based on XYZ. But we're even fearful and even sharing that information, right, or not providing that information to the appropriate party, so they can articulate it to their employees, there's just this, this, this kind of hostage around data and this information that I just feel like it's it's kind of ridiculous, right? Because everybody's using this information to to manage the company. Programs anyways.

Kyle Roed:

I think it's a great call. And I think I, you know, in my opinion, I would go back to a word you used earlier, and that's fear. You know, it's the it's, it's the fear of, oh, if I tell somebody, you know, our mayor budgets 3% This year, and they get it too. You know, now it's, oh, geez, now I've just created some conflict. Now, I've got to explain to this person, well, you didn't do this, and you didn't do this. And this goal was missed. And this and this, and that's why, right? And that's hard. Like, that's not fun. But it might be necessary. Right, so I think there's some of that. But but then I also think it's, it's How would I describe it, it's, it's almost like, I feel like it's if you've got somebody who gets a promotion, it's like, you want them to feel like they're theirs. They're special. So if they get a standard, let's just say 5%, promotional increase, that's what everybody else gets with a promotion. You know, it's, it's, it's maybe less special, you know what I mean? Like, but a lot of, I guess, I think what I'm really getting at here is we're operating off of assumptions, assumptions of how a human will respond when we do it, versus the, the potential assumption and I would argue maybe the more realistic assumption that someone might think that they're being paid unfairly, if you don't do this.

Thanh Nguyen:

Yeah. And what's interesting is these these decisions sometimes while they may be bubbling up, like issues, employee issues or sentiments about, you know, I should have performed XYZ, I think it forces you to really address your program holistically, right. The reality is a lot of this stuff is done discretionarily and you can do it from an individual perspective, you can really kind of isolate and that isolation, quite frankly, sometimes isn't tracked and then when What happens is you've got a lot of exemption handling of everything through your employee adjustments or, or actions, and you're not addressing the problems holistically. And I think that's what we're trying to say if you, if if you can do this from a programmatic perspective and maintain that programmatic consistency, you're going to be able to really kind of effectuate change with those programs where you need to do it anyways. Right, because no program, it should be stagnant. It should, it should be iterating and changing over time, as as you grow. And I think, you know, that's the only way to, to kind of force that data to come out. Otherwise, you've just got, you know, discretionary management, up and down. And that's going to cause problems on an individual base basis all day long, right. You've seen that we've all seen that.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, if you're listening to this, and you haven't seen that you will just get just get time. Yeah, no, I mean, no, I've never seen that before. Yeah, you know, I, I am one of these, like, I'm not, I don't love policies, and I don't really love bureaucracy, you know, I feel like so and, you know, our show talks about that a lot. Like we're, we're kind of trying to, you know, shake off the old paradigm of HR as the bureaucratic, you know, admin function. But when you use the word discretion, as it relates to your compensation structure and strategy, it's pretty dangerous. Gives me,

Thanh Nguyen:

you know, and so many companies use that as an approach. That's what's scary about, right. I mean, it truly is. And, look, I think this notion of discretion means for me, it's really about, hey, we want to empower our stakeholders to do what's appropriate to run their business. Right. And I think they're in lies, like the disruption in HR programs, right? Imagine a world where all of this stuff that we need to do is obfuscated in the back, meaning the data is there, all the instrumentation is there. And there's not this, this forced process where, hey, I need a dress, employee pay personnel pay promotions merits throughout the year, what if you could do that throughout the year without going through an arduous force, vocal review, model, whatever. So you can actually address your people as you need them, as they, you know, are performing or they're not performing, etc. Right. And again, this is not being like this HR police or anything else, we want to ultimately fluidly empower our our operators or leaders in our people, managers to manage their people, but they need help, they need the backend support, they need the data to do that. And I think sometimes the way we do it today, it's counter, it's, it's a conflict of interest, right? Because none of that is is really built in an easy process model, or there's not tools that allow that, that hiring manager to do that, or that people manager to do that. And thus, you wrangle everything into a year end model and you force all this rigor and all this, you know, what it can be deemed as bureaucracy, because you don't have the infrastructure to support them throughout that kind of 365 day data management cycle, that really would be more supportive of that employee's growth, and that, that managers, you know, ability to run that team more fluidly.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it's really interesting, and I think a great call out and, you know, I think many of the, you know, many HR professionals can, can relate to that. It's the, you know, well, we, we have this schedule, and this is the schedule, you know, and that's and, you know, deviations from the schedule are, you know, not correct, but, you know, whether it's right or wrong, really kind of depends on does it achieve the goal you want it to achieve, right, which is retention of your key employees and, you know, recruitment of new employees with a, you know, competitive pay and benefit structure i So, so if it's not working, then that's, you know, that's exactly why our show exists, like, maybe we need to change, maybe we need to think about it a little differently, right?

Thanh Nguyen:

Even the largest tech companies, the billions and billions of market cap, even they're going through the standard standard arduous process of Oh, we've we've reviewed these, these individuals now we have to wait for for the ability to actually address their successes, right through promotions or not, but it's gonna take eight months. To do that, ma'am, right? Yeah,

Kyle Roed:

no, i Yeah. i Don't worry. I'm taking notes here because I'm like, Yep, we've done that. Yep, doing that right now. So apparently change that. So. So that's one thing I do want to talk about, because I think I think it'd be easy to listen to this and think like, Well, yeah, you know, that's tech, or that's, you know, that's, that's a high growth company. But, you know, we're not like that maybe we're a small business, or maybe, you know, maybe we just maybe I'm a corporate employee, and I don't have the ability to make these types of changes. But I guess that's one question that I had is, you know, as we talked about kind of these creative compensation strategies? How do we help match that to our organization? Values, you know, and really the organizational goals? And, you know, how do you approach that?

Thanh Nguyen:

Well, you know, first and foremost, I think, you know, whether you fall in the camp of, hey, we're not going to do anything, or we, you know, we're, we're not tech or the belief that, I think you're going to be forced into that generated over time, through your, through your talent needs, I think candidates are going to want what we're talking about here, transparency, they're going to want to know, you know, if they're applying for said, job, what salary band, it is coming in, and they're going to want to know, possibility, the diversity within the function or the company, and they're going to want to know, the pay equity. I think that's, you know, that's coming down the line, we're seeing it come through from a public company perspective, we're seeing it come through, certainly on the tech and tech is certainly one of those pioneering things. And over time you see this even in, in, in policy, right, California, New York State, Colorado, like you have to put your salary bands out there, and it's coming, you know, so companies need to address it, right. some way, shape or form. And I think, you know, from a data and innovation perspective, I think tools are coming to help companies do this much quicker and easier. I mean, that's why we're here. That's why I started my company here to do that. So you don't need 20 compensation consultants, even though I was one back in the day, and we charged, you know, handsomely for our services. But at the end of the day, it's not scalable for for folks, right, we need instrumentation out there. We need easy to use models, data models, easy to use analytical instrumentation that allows folks like you, Kyle, to manage your company better and more easily without having to, you know, pile a bunch of money into some basic data that should already be there. And you already have from an organization perspective, right. So I don't know if that answers the question, but I think we're going to be forced to, to address all of this. And I think there there are a lot of innovators out there trying to support this through technology.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And I think I think you're right, and I think that, and we've seen this just in, you know, some of the hiring we've done just over the last few years, but you go back and you look at like some of the surveys, you know, some of the surveys of, you know, new college graduates. And I mean, that the drive and the desire for their organizations to have, you know, equitable practices, and I'm not talking just pay, I mean, we're talking, you know, cognitive diversity and, and, you know, what we would highlight is, you know, traditional diversity, you know, metrics. And, you know, again, that's kind of like table stakes. Now, it's like, if you don't have a social responsibility pledge on your website, candidates just won't even interview with you. They won't apply. You know, I was looking at a survey the other day, I had to pull it up here, as we were talking that those born 1997 to 2010, or Gen Z 36% Say equality is the most important cause they want their employer to support. So that's like, that's not like them saying that it's important for them to support equality. They're saying like they, like 1/3 of these people want their employer to support this in one way, shape, or form right there. That was pretty astounding to me, because that's very different than, you know, the hiring environment that we've had in the past at least that I'm used to. So yeah, I think it's common.

Thanh Nguyen:

Yeah. Yeah, I mean, where the ESG investment? I just think it's, you know, again, I think about my kids and like, what they want how they're being educated today. And yeah, it's just much different than certainly how we grew up and how we were educated and what our expectations were, and what our expectations for our employers, meaning what we asked for our employees in terms of information and data. It's just much more rigorous now. Absolutely. We're a growth company. And we have these, it's, it's nice, because we do this, right. And we have this data, we built our company around it, but it's just validating, with the the employees that we've we've hired, they're asking every, all the things that we're hearing about?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. I think in the same context, it's, you know, you mentioned this, you know, job length of two years, I mean, you know, two or three years if you're lucky, right, that's a, that's a seasoned employee, in some in some industries, right. And it's, you know, the truth is that that's happening, because people have better opportunities elsewhere. And if you, if you look at the competitive landscape, a lot of times people can get a 1015 20% pay raise by switching jobs, what you're probably not going to give them a 20% pay raise, and during a merit increase cycle, it's just not, you know, economically feasible, most of the time. So they're going to need to, you're going to need to have them stay for a different reason, then, if you want to keep that employee, right, most likely. But if you have like a career path, right, if you have like a, like, you know, documented levels and compensations associated with said levels, and and a career development pipeline that goes along with that, that that person can invest in, engage in? Or, Oh, gee, maybe maybe I don't need to answer that LinkedIn, you know, the seventh LinkedIn request for an interview that I got this week. Right? I mean, because that's the environment.

Thanh Nguyen:

Yeah, I mean, look, I it's, it's interesting, because I was having a conversation with my engine product team, it's a couple of weeks ago, on this and one of our lead product, she said, it's really around this idea of, of work happiness for her, and trying to figure that out, right. And we're talking about, like, how we can the virtues and the values that we're putting in our product. And to me, that really stood out. It's not meant to be hokey. But like, that's what I worry about, you know, the team happiness team alignment, because the reality is, we don't, we're not max dollar providers, right? Meaning, you're coming to us for very different reasons, whether it's our stage, or what we do, or, you know, the people that we work with, because at the end of the day, when you're dealing with highly skilled kind of white collar professionals, there's always a higher player, meaning, you know, you can always, especially in this market, you're going to be able to get a job making more money, making more equity, all those things. So what keeps you here? Right, what keeps you happy, it's the little things that that add up to really big things. And I think that's those micro loops of, of all the things that we do as an employer, to ensure that, you know, our employees are having fun, they're rich, and they've got a great opportunity for growth. And what they're working on, is stuff that they can be proud about, you know, talk about at home at the dinner table or at, you know, at Holiday and Thanksgiving, right? I mean, those are the kind of intrinsic things that say, Well, if you're talking about that, in that way to your mom and dad, and you got a smile on your face, you're likely gonna stay. Right.

Kyle Roed:

I love it. Although I will say it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I do have some really good stories from the world of HR that were all laughing and smiling for different reasons. Because like, like, what happened? Yeah, those those are fun too. Although, you know, you know, the, in the dark humor of HR, sometimes that is or is entertaining. No names were used. Don't worry, anybody. Confidentiality was breached. But yeah, there's been some crazy days. This has been just a wonderful conversation. I think just, you know, so much great content to think through and and, you know, I would encourage anybody who's listened to this, go back to the beginning. Put it on You know, one and a quarter speed or 2x speed, take as many notes as you can, if you weren't taking note notes during this, because there's you know, as we're all facing this, I just think that the future of compensation is exactly what we just talked about. And the organizations that don't get that figured out now are going to be left in the dust. And the organizations that do figure it out now are going to be the winners, and they're going to, they're going to be better off for it. So that being said, we're going to shift over into the rebel HR flash round, I can't wait to hear your responses here. So Okay, question number one, where does HR need to rebel?

Thanh Nguyen:

Oh, man, I think it's, it's got to rebel against its current traditional processes. I think HR can be it could be a data sciences function, quite frankly, empower use the data, I think it's one of the most powerful things HR professionals have access to. But in today's generally speaking, I don't see it, showing up as much as it should be.

Kyle Roed:

I agree 100%. I mean, that's why I founded the podcast. So lets you know that we're definitely aligned on that front. But there is so much power there. And for those of you that haven't like cultivated that relationship with your CFO, or your finance person, and really gone in and done a deep dive on some of the human analytics that you have access to, I guarantee you that there will be some insights that drive some programs, strategies, and they also help you get you know that the the support that you need, you know, it's then it's not just a human appeal to do something. Now you've got data backing, why you want to do something is just so critical.

Thanh Nguyen:

Yeah, it's a treasure trove of information in there. We love it. We built the whole company based on it. So

Kyle Roed:

yeah, a lot of it. Well, we could talk about that's another whole nother show, we can just nerd out on like, so what about this metric? How does it you know, what's the incentivization of this metric? So that anyways, Alright, question number two, who should we be listening to? Who,

Thanh Nguyen:

from an HR perspective, or just like, in general, who should be listening to

Kyle Roed:

I mean, I've had people name like bands before seeing go wherever you want with it.

Thanh Nguyen:

Look, listen to your employees, you know, we're gonna stay on topic here. Your employees have so much information as it relates to wants needs and and generally speaking, they want improvement and growth in the organization, they're probably the biggest supporters and align to accompany success. And if you don't have an ability to tap into feedback coming from them. That's where I think that's where a lot of companies fall down. Love that.

Kyle Roed:

Love that. And don't just because you're HR, don't assume that you're getting all of that employee feedback. Yeah. Right. Like you got to you got to shake the source and and question your assumptions every once in a while, too. So, very well said. All right. Last question. How can our listeners connect with you?

Thanh Nguyen:

My direct email Tang at open comp.com I'd love to hear from you.

Kyle Roed:

Perfect. And we will have that information in the show notes. I think. Just just a wonderful conversation, a lot of great content. I think for me personally, you know, you've challenged some of my conventional thinking, appropriately so and so I just really appreciate the time here today. And and the information shared with our listeners.

Thanh Nguyen:

Absolutely. Thanks, Kyle. It was great time. Thanks. Appreciate you.

Kyle Roed:

Thank you. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Baby

(Cont.) RHR 111: Compensation Strategy with Thanh Nguyen