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HR 511 Total Rewards

Develop rewards systems that support your organization’s strategic objectives.

8 weeks

How much an organization pays its employees depends on a number of factors, from profit margins to the competitive landscape, and from individual experience and education to performance levels. In HR 511 Total Rewards, you’ll look at different ways employees are compensated as you evaluate a variety of pay models.

Course Overview

By examining pay models and pay strategies, you’ll gain a better understanding of what “pay” means and how paying employees in different ways can influence them and impact organization success. You’ll gain insight into the decision making used to analyze whether a pay strategy provides a competitive advantage.

Employees judge a structure to be equitable by comparing each job’s pay with the qualifications required, the work performed, and the value of that work. You’ll see how internally aligning pay relationships among jobs, skills, and competencies can lead employees to accept pay differentials. Through job evaluation, you’ll understand how internal pay structures can be built by determining the relative value of various jobs.

Prepare for Your Future

If you are a MSHR candidate, this course addresses topics covered in SHRM’s Assurance of Learning® Assessment. If you are an MBA candidate, this course is an advanced elective in the Human Resources specialization curriculum.

In a person-based internal pay structure, pay systems support continuous learning and improvement, flexibility, participation and an attitude of partnership. Person-based structures provide promise, and you’ll understand how these structures based on differences in people’s skills or competencies are more flexible and encourage agility.

Key to recruiting and retaining employees is offering compensation packages that are competitive in the market. Evaluating external competitiveness can answer the “how much to pay” and “how to pay” questions. You’ll see how organizations survey other employers’ pay practices to determine the rates competitors pay.

Different people performing the same job may add different value to an organization. How much should one employee be paid relative to another when they both hold the same jobs in an organization? You’ll examine employee behavior factors and motivation theories to gain insight into performance-based pay.

There is a wide variety of pay-for-performance plans—incentive plans, variable-pay plans, compensation at risk, earnings at risk, success sharing, etc. These plans represent a shift in thinking about compensation. You’ll focus on the key categories of pay-for-performance plans — short-term, team-based, and long-term. You’ll consider the factors that influence performance ratings and how the use of total quality management principles can improve performance appraisal.

Sample Assignment

Working in a team of five or six students, you will choose a subject organization, design a detailed Compensation System for that entity, and create a presentation of this system for the class.

Given the rapid escalation in the cost of employee benefits, you’ll learn methods for evaluating effectiveness of benefit adoption, retention, and termination procedures. At the same time, you’ll focus on how to maximize the returns from benefit expenditures.

Managing total pay models is a balancing act between governmental regulation, legal issues, costs and added value, communication, change and budgeting. You’ll see how these factors influence pay structures as you consider the six administrative issues necessary to manage the pay system:

  1. Managing labor costs
  2. Inherent controls
  3. Forecasting and budgeting
  4. Communication and appeals
  5. Structuring the compensation function
  6. Auditing and evaluating the pay system

Because of their importance to strategic success, a number of employee groups require special consideration in the way compensation packages are designed. These include supervisors, corporate directors, contingent workers, sales forces and more. As you examine the compensation of special groups, you’ll also weigh the impact of globalization and unions on wage and salary administration.

What important factors affect an organization's decision to lead, meet, or lag behind the competition in total rewards?

Discuss this and more in HR 511.

Sample Course Topics

Throughout each week of the course, you’ll focus on a core topic or theme. Sample topics are listed below and are subject to change based on the instructor.

  • Introduction and the Pay Model
  • Job Analysis and Evaluation
  • Person-Based Structures and Defining Competitiveness
  • Designing Pay Levels, Mix and Pay Structures
  • Pay for Performance Plans and Performance Appraisals
  • Benefits
  • Legal Issues in Compensation; Budgets and Administration
  • Compensation of Special Groups; International Pay Systems

What You’ll Learn

In HR 511, you’ll focus on strategic and operational decisions in the design and coordination of a rewards system.

  • Know each component of a rewards management system.
  • Understand key legislation and regulations that influence the rewards system.
  • Appreciate the key practices encompassed within each step of the rewards process.
  • Analyze organizational situations to relevant rewards models and concepts.
  • Develop your practitioner skills by designing a rewards system for an organization.
  • Create a practitioner’s guide for some of the key rewards management tasks.
  • Improve your skills in listening, task management, group work, presenting, and writing.

Learn More

In HR 511, you’ll examine principles and plans for employee compensation. For more information about The University of Scranton’s online Master of Business Administration or Master of Science in Human Resources Management degree, request more information or call us today toll-free at (866) 373-9547.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change as course and student needs change over time.