Compensation &
Total Rewards Consultants
Serving our clients for over 25 years

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The SZA Difference

Ask employees at Pharmavite LLC, a leader in the supplement industry and manufacturer of Nature Made® vitamins and minerals, about how their performance management program has helped them understand their impact on the business and in focusing and rewarding them on achieving business goals and living the Company’s values. Or ask leaders how the reward strategy and performance management program play an integral role in achieving business results and helping the organization progress on the continuum of “good” to “great.”  

And let Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (Arizona Public Service), a high-performance electric utility, talk about their officer compensation plan that is both reasonable and goal-directed, avoiding any criticism from shareholders, board members, or customers due to competitive and reasonable executive rewards.

Solectron, a two-time Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, enhances quality and team performance as a result of incentive pay focused on both quality and production effectiveness. Ask Solectron how performance actually improved following implementation of a team-based incentive plan.

Have employees and leaders at TriWest Healthcare Alliance that holds the 10th largest DoD contract in the United States share their total reward strategy and how all of the elements integrate into a meaningful whole. They can talk about the role that variable compensation for the entire workforce plays in customer satisfaction and on focusing and strengthening the organization.

And ask telephone customer service representatives at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona if they appreciate the opportunity to have a fulfilling work experience on the phones through a career ladder, a team incentive, and recognition. 

Ask employees at Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County, the second largest non-federal hydroelectric facility in the United States, how an entire workforce can be focused on key measures of success to customer/owners that are communicated publicly. And they will say how the entire workforce can share in the success of a public utility district in terms of effective rate management and operational excellence while providing outstanding customer service, environmental stewardship, and responsiveness to the community.

Ask executives at Giant Eagle how a unionized retail workforce of over 30,000 can be rewarded for key measures of customer satisfaction, sales, and cost management through effective and meaningful incentive rewards.

Or ask members of the workforce of other clients and they will probably cite the change in pay systems, among other elements. A pay system alone doesn’t do the job—but it helps.

Results such as these, with Fortune 1,000 companies as well as small and medium-sized firms, set SZA apart as the best of the small, customer-focused firms in the pay and total rewards field.

What's the Secret?

Actually, the principles on which we base our work are distinctive, but in no way proprietary. In fact, we have published our approach in books and journal articles and explained our methods in various presentations around the world. It's part of our way of "talking straight" with people. And an educated and informed client is going to get the most from our services.

Here are some of the guiding principles:

Total rewards comprised of compelling future, individual growth, positive workplace, and total pay form the foundation of the modern workplace. Companies have the opportunity to customize total rewards to create a platform for high performance.

Total pay is one critical factor among many. When used effectively, pay has a unique power: it focuses people's energy and talents on goals that matter as part of the company's overall business plan.

Base pay gives people a clear concept of what knowledge, skills, and behaviors are important for business success and rewards people for their sustained value-added to the organization over time.

Variable pay (incentives) rewards people for the results they produce from applying their skills and competencies.

Through goals, people should be able to see how their results and the results of their smaller work groups influence performance at the broader unit, division, or company level.

Funding for variable pay (incentives) should come from improved financial performance at the group, business unit, or company level—not from a predetermined HR budget.

While any change in pay requires extensive involvement from people and line and human resource managers, a high-quality solution can be developed quickly and efficiently. The sooner a company has a new solution in place, the sooner it gains a differential advantage.

"Formula solutions" to pay based on "canned programs" or on rigid applications of these or any other abstract principles invariably fail. Rather, the solution must be tailored to fit the company’s other systems and clearly linked to business strategy.

So What Makes SZA Different?

Our core competencies come from understanding your company's strategies and core competencies and from working with your organization to tailor a solution, based on the principles listed above, that truly adds value to your business.

We develop a strong sense of ownership in each solution we help design—and this feeling of ownership sets us apart from the "sell and delegate" approach used by others. With SZA you work with the owners of the business and a team that has been working together for more than 28 consecutive years. We are here for you today and tomorrow. We believe in developing solutions that are durable and flexible and, unlike many other consulting companies, we transfer our expertise to your staff, giving them the expertise they need to evolve the solution.

The SZA consultants have worked together in SZA as business partners for more than 25 years. Our name is on the firm. We are committed to high quality, responsiveness, and the highest level of ethics in our profession. You will never hear of SZA consultant involvement in anything that is not consistent with the highest governance expectations you can place on a total rewards consulting team.

We measure our success by monitoring the client company's business results and financial performance after our work is done. SZA’s owners have both received the 2006 Keystone Award, the highest award from our professional association, WorldatWork. Only 19 others have received this Award for contributions to our profession, and we are the first consulting team to ever receive this Award.

 

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