According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions of malleable - best for this particular context of Compensation & OD synergy - is "having a capacity for adaptive change." Compensation strategies, design elements, pay practices, programs, and processes have nearly endless combinations to adapt to the business context - albeit constrained to some degree by legal and financial concerns. That may be hard to hear given the constraints and given the, "that's how we've always done it" corner into which we sometimes paint ourselves. Yet the truth is that, by and large, design elements within compensation initiatives can take many different forms.
Because of the breadth and depth of possibility with regard to reward programs, wisdom, discernment, and critical decision making with key stakeholders become all the more important. One of the ways in which OD practitioners bring great value is in their ability to help create the space and facilitate new conversations to allow for these issues and opportunities to surface in the midst of what can sometimes be challenging group dynamics. In addition, how rewards programs are designed and packaged can have a great deal of impact on culture, performance, and development - all areas of great concern and interest to those working in the OD discipline. A change in a reward program can have a profound impact on Organization Development efforts, past, present, and future.
"...how rewards programs are designed and packaged can have a great deal of impact on culture, performance, and development..."
Cut to the chase: Each year, it was crystal clear where the emphasis had been placed. The organization was able to run analytics to show the gains in margin, cost management, new product offerings, inventory reduction - wherever leadership had pointed TNBT. They used the malleability of rewards programs in concert with getting the right people in the room to facilitate healthy dialog, to expertly steer the ship and its crew to their desired destination. And because OD now knew the future direction toward which behaviors would be pointed, they could craft their efforts to complement, rather than conflict with, the business strategy.
How are you taking advantage of the malleability of rewards and the partnership with OD to help guide your organization in its desired direction?