“Like a thunder cloud, reward can be dark and menacing but it is also good fun, endlessly fascinating and bright sunshine is never too far behind.” - Daniel Hibbert, Thunder Cloud
Through his book, Thunder Cloud, UK business consultant Daniel Hibbert works to help those in human resources and business management understand that employee reward needs to be treated as an art and not as a science.
Borrowing the idea of clocks and clouds from Karl Popper, Hibbert explains how pay structures are often treated like clocks, while the reality of employee compensation is more like a cloud. Clocks are mechanical and work in a predictable fashion. But clouds are unpredictable and part of a much more complex ecosystem. Employee reward is often treated as a science, but it should be handled as an art.
Hibbert plainly and clearly outlines how we got to the pay and reward structures we gave today. He goes into detail about what doesn't work in today's prevailing employee reward strategies. He points out the clear flaws and offers actionable advice to improve the employee reward systems of businesses large and small.
Throughout the book, Hibbert delivers a clear and informative narrative that's accessible to those like myself who aren't HR professionals. Really, anyone interested on this topic should pick up this book.Without giving too much away, here are the 3 key takeaways that stood out to me after reading Thunder Cloud.
Data can be dangerous
The primary theme of Thunder Cloud is managing employee reward in the digital age. One of the things that Hibbert talks about us how data can be useful but that it can be too easy to rely on it, as well. Market data, in particular, tends to be a major factor in how employees are compensated. Data also plays a major role in deciding bonuses and what benefits to provide for employees, based on what competitors are offering. While there isn't actually anything wrong with data, and it's a great tool, it's too easy to rely on it too much. Each business has to do what's right for them while also being fair.
Managing employee expectations
Another major theme of Thunder Cloud is managing employee expectations of what to expect going forward with pay. Hibbert suggests staying just ahead of expectations when it comes to pay raises. The damage that can be caused from an employee feeling underpaid or under compensated is far greater than paying what the employee feels is fair.
Make reward something your employees understand
So what is fair when it comes to employee reward? Essentially, it comes down to communicating what goes into how pay and other compensation is figured. This includes not only pay, but also benefits and bonus potentials. Letting employees know how exactly their compensation packages are valued is extremely important . Many organizations are secretive about how their compensation is figured, and this simply can lead to misinformation and distrust. Open communication with your employees behind closed doors is just a good thing to do.
Thunder Cloud is a solid book. It's s pretty quick read, too. I highly recommend this book to anyone who works in HR, small business owners, hiring managers, and any other position that involves deciding on the compensation of personnel. I also recommend Thunder Cloud to other HR and talent consultants, as there's great advice throughout this book.
You can buy "Thunder Cloud" as a paperback, hardcover, or eBook from Amazon.
*I received a free review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. This review is in no way influenced by any outside sources. No other compensation was received for this review.