Defining the Compensation Structures

Defining the compensation structure is the process of developing a system for compensating employees that is aligned with the organisation's strategic goals, competitive in the job market, and fair to employees. This structure includes salaries, bonuses, benefits, and other forms of compensation.


The purpose of defining a compensation structure is to attract, retain, and motivate employees by offering competitive and equitable compensation that reflects their contributions to the organisation and encourages long-term commitment.

  • Attract Top Talent: A well-defined compensation structure helps attract high-quality candidates.
  • Enhance Employee Retention: Competitive compensation packages reduce turnover rates.
  • Support Fair Employment Practices: A transparent compensation system promotes fairness and equity among employees.
  • Drive Performance: Incentive-based compensations encourage high performance and goal achievement.


Industry Context

Hiring the best talent is a competitive advantage in the tech industry, where skilled professionals are in high demand. A well-defined compensation structure can help organisations stand out and attract top talent. In addition the compensation structure should focus on intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic motivation. The difference is often described as missionaries versus mercenaries. Missionaries are intrinsically motivated by the work itself, while mercenaries are extrinsically motivated by external rewards. The compensation structure should be designed to be fair such that employees know they are being paid a competitive wage for their role. But you need to be careful not to link compensation to performance in a way that undermines intrinsic motivation, teamwork and collaboration.

ZeroBlockers Context

ZeroBlockers in inherently a long-term focused framework because a lot of the benefits of empowered teams and distributed decision-making come from the long-term effects. Therefore the compensation structure should be designed to reward long-term thinking and collaboration. This can be achieved by offering equity or stock options, product performance-based bonuses, and other incentives that align employee interests with company success.


Market Rate AnalysisComparing compensation packages with those of similar roles in the industry to ensure competitiveness.Ensures compensation is competitive and fair.
Product Performance based BonusesOffering bonuses based on product and ecosystem performance.Motivates employees to achieve and exceed product and business goals.
Equity or Stock OptionsProviding ownership in the company through stock options or equity.Aligns employee interests with company success and provides long-term incentives.


  • Short-term Thinking: Prioritising immediate rewards over long-term benefits, which can lead to unsustainable practices.
  • Individual Bonuses Over Team Rewards: Focusing on individual performance bonuses rather than team-based incentives, which can lead to silos and reduced collaboration.
  • Lack of Transparency: Failing to communicate how compensation is determined, leading to mistrust and dissatisfaction.
  • Delayed Adjustments: Not regularly reviewing and adjusting compensation structures to reflect market changes, potentially leading to non-competitive packages.

Case Studies

Was this page helpful?

Succession Planning
© ZeroBlockers, 2024. All rights reserved.