• About the Author: Howard Risher

    Howard Risher is a private consultant, focusing primarily on pay and performance issues.  His 40+ years of experience have included managing consulting practices for Mercer and Watson Wyatt as we…

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22 Apr. 2015 | Comments (0)
Equal Pay Day: Will It Soon Be Every Day?
April14 has been designated as Equal Pay Day. That’s the day that marks how far into the new year the average American woman has to work to earn what the average American man did in the previous year. Several TV channels gave recognition to the day, but did not explain it adequately.

10 Jul. 2014 | Comments (0)
Traditional Salary Systems Are A Dinosaur
What is the future of salary management? If current trends continue, employers will be forced to adopt a new program model. Here are the reasons.

01 May. 2014 | Comments (2)
Explaining Salary Differentials
The reasons for the gap have been debated in numerous reports and articles, and the pressure to close the gap will almost certainly increase. Government is now asking if there is “a legitimate explanation for the difference” in compensation for women.

25 Apr. 2014 | Comments (0)
Pay Transparency is Coming
With Obama’s new policies to help address the gender pay wage gap, the issue of transparency and pay has recently been heavily debated in Congress and the media. Pay confidentiality has been eroding for years.

20 Jan. 2014 | Comments (0)
Investing in Managers to Improve Performance
Two articles caught my attention a few weeks ago. One was on Google’s initiative to improve the effectiveness of its managers in HBR. The other was summarizing research by a Wharton professor showing that middle managers have more impact on company performance than any other factor.

10 Dec. 2013 | Comments (2)
It’s Time to Bury Forced Ranking — Once and For All
The heated debate over how to assess employee performance was highlighted recently by two back to back articles on BusinessWeek.com. New managers often learn they need to limit the “outstanding” ratings.

11 Sep. 2013 | Comments (0)
Holding Managers Accountable for Employee Performance
I think it’s time for HR to take off the hair shirt. We have no reason for penance. For decades, HR has been admonished for the problems with performance management (PM), when in reality HR has virtually no direct involvement in the day-to-day management of performance.

18 Dec. 2012 | Comments (0)
“Internal Equity”: An Impediment to Effective Workforce Management
This blog was triggered by the recently released report, False Summit: The State of Human Capital, 2012, co-authored by McKinsey and The Conference Board.

02 Oct. 2012 | Comments (0)
Fixing Performance Management
Every few years, the typical employer is pressured to replace their current performance management system. It might be more prudent to “fix” the system, as opposed to just scrapping it.

19 Jul. 2012 | Comments (0)
Is This The Final Straw for Forced Ranking of Employee Performance?
GE and its former CEO, Jack Welch, are credited with introducing the idea of forced ranking over a decade ago. I have not seen recent broad-based surveys showing how widely the practice is used, but I have to guess any ideas associated with Welch sounds great to corporate leaders.

12 Jun. 2012 | Comments (0)
Daniel Pink’s “Zen of Compensation” is Anything But
Daniel Pink wants "to get money off the table." It would be great if the world was as simple as Pink apparently believes. This blog was originally featured in Compensation Cafe.

21 May. 2012 | Comments (0)
Spring Cleaning – It’s Time to Replace Our 1960 Model Salary Systems
With the focus on pay freezes and new executive compensation requirements, salary management has almost been forgotten. There have been sweeping changes in many HR practices, but our salary systems continue to rely on textbook ideas from the 1960s.

09 Apr. 2012 | Comments (0)
Holding Managers Accountable for Performance
HR has virtually no involvement in or responsibility for the management of employee performance. We’re the guys on the sideline keeping game statistics, and bringing in the towels. The players play the game — and need to be held accountable for the outcome.

28 Mar. 2012 | Comments (0)
Looking to HR for Improved Performance
The key to high performance is creating a work environment where employees are empowered and valued – where they can thrive. That should be HR’s domain and an opportunity for HR to confirm its value.