November 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 7 
Special Features

Building a winning team

The connection between staffing, performance and compensation

Building a winning teamIn any organization such as a company or even a sports team, each position has a very specific role requiring distinct skills and experience. The various jobs and the diverse group of people who perform these roles are important to the entity's success. If you have several people available (in the "talent pool") who can fill certain positions but a limited number who can do other positions, how do you recruit and match player skills with position requirements?

How well each person (once hired) performs in his or her role can be assessed using metrics such as achieving defined goals (or, in the sports world, a variety of statistics). Other metrics such as earnings per share—or, in the sports world, wins—help shareholders assess the team's track record.

If team members need to develop new or stronger skills in key areas, they may get additional training and/or rotational assignments. And for those who make "game-winning" plays, there are awards and incentives to recognize that effort.

"Compensation is about how it all works together—business requirements or the work needed to achieve success, well-defined jobs, people who have the knowledge, skills and motivation to perform well, and measuring and rewarding their results—each year and long-term," said Yvette Whitehead, director of Employee Compensation.

"Sometimes, employees and managers only focus on one aspect of compensation, such as the percent range available for annual salary increases, without considering pay's relationship to the market, job complexity, and individual results relative to Boeing peers to help ensure equitable performance-driven compensation across the company," Whitehead said.

Skills and range

As part of Boeing's ongoing efforts to improve common processes and strengthen online tools, Staffing and Compensation has started several initiatives to directly tie salary management to performance management.

Clearly knowing what every job requires helps the company determine who should be in each job, and how to measure their results through Performance Evaluation or PE.

Over the next three years, Boeing is reviewing job descriptions with direct input from employees and managers. Because of the breadth and specialized nature of our aerospace products and services, Boeing has a large number of unique job descriptions, from firefighter to engineer to accountant to pilot. To better clarify the job descriptions for the salaried jobs, KSAOs—"knowledge, skills, abilities and other considerations" that are specific to a job description—will be expanded.

For example, some of the KSAOs for an Accountant (in Financial Accounting):

  • Apply knowledge of financial statements and generally accepted accounting principles to prepare, reconcile, and analyze financial statements.
  • Apply knowledge of applicable regulations and guidelines for external reporting.
  • Preferred education level is a bachelor's degree in finance or accounting.

The company will be conducting a job description review over three years to provide more detail about the purpose, scope and expected results of each job, and identify the difference in the job levels. In some cases, the KSAOs will be expanded to reflect value or impact of that job for the company. The review itself is not expected to cause employees to change jobs, but may indicate that an employee should get additional training and development to meet the revised KSAOs. In general, the job description review will not have an impact on most salary ranges.

"The new job description format and expanded KSAOs will help in staffing," said Larry Stokke, enterprise process leader for Salaried Job Classifications and Structures. "They will help determine who is qualified for specific jobs during hiring and promotions and help managers conduct better-structured interviews for job openings by guiding the type of questions asked."

Stokke added that for current employees who want to move into a different job, knowing the KSAOs will help identify skills they may need to develop for that new job. Then they can use the Performance Development Partnership (PDP) process and other learning resources to help gain those skills.

At the enterprise level, Boeing will have a "database of KSAOs" for jobs across the company. This database will help Boeing determine if there are any skill or knowledge gaps for certain regions or occupations or for future product development.

Improved tools coming

The Compensation team is developing improved online tools for managers to make salary decisions during the new hire, promotion and annual salary review processes. Following the same process—and using the same tools and criteria—supports equitable treatment of employees and facilitates movement between jobs. These salary decision tools are planned for release starting in 2005.

In addition, the online functionality of the PE and PDP processes will continue to improve. "These enhancements are designed to make the staffing-performance-compensation connection clear and more consistently applied companywide, which ultimately helps to make Boeing an 'employer of choice' for current and future employees," Whitehead said.

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