1. Three Tips to Improve the Usability of your Compensation Worksheet

    Blog_Photo_10 15 14By: Peter Sass, Knowledge Manager, Compensation

    Compensation planning season is fast approaching.  What are you doing to improve your planning worksheet?

    If there’s one thing smartphones and tablets do for us, they’re teaching us that remarkable capability can be packed into a simple interface.  If you compare a travel company’s app to their website you’ll often find that the app is cool, simple, and maybe even fun to use, while the website in the browser may be robust but it’s probably a bit clunky.  I don’t think we’ll see a full comp planning app on a smartphone anytime soon, but here are some ways to bring some of that better usability to your planning worksheet.

    1. Get Selective about Who sees What
      If you’re using SuccessFactors Compensation, you now have the ability to permission fields for read or edit access and do this for the various roles in the system.  In the past you might have compromised and displayed some uninteresting columns for your planners and trained them to “just ignore them.”  In the current version of the product, you no longer have to live with the clutter.  You can still include the standard columns such as proration factors and dates, units per year, etc. needed to support the calculations, but now it’s no longer necessary to display them to your planners if they don’t need to see them.  You can permission these columns to be shown to Comp Administrators, but not to your planners, resulting in a much cleaner look and feel and improved usability.  Ask your consultant to turn the feature on and start hiding the unnecessary columns.
    2. Give your Planners the Help they Need
      SuccessFactors Compensation since forever has had a feature called Instruction Text that appears in the planning screen.  Savvy implementers know not to load this up with unnecessary text.  It’s common for users to read it once and then forget it.  Instead, include hyperlinks in a few short phrases in the message text to direct the user to a useful document or site.  The links can take your planners to any kind of document or website to find quick reference guides, salary planning guidelines, or other relevant info without taking up valuable real estate on the planning screen.  Much nicer and way more useful.
    3. Group your Columns
      Take some time to look at your worksheets and thoughtfully plan (or improve) logical groupings of data.  You can group columns together with a common header and coloring scheme.  The user’s eye will then travel to the Current Salary columns, the New Salary columns, the Incentive columns, or the Additional Employee Info columns.  Grouping makes it much easier to zoom in and get to work.

    I always encourage my clients to take a step back and look at the usability of their worksheets before they blindly copy them for re-use in the new planning year.  If you take just a little time to do this, you’ll find several ways to improve your planners’ experience.  And they will thank you.

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