A practical tip for your Compensation files

Today I just want to share a quick, practical tip for preparing Compensation files. It’s nothing complicated but it comes straight from the experience of preparing tens (if not hundreds) of these files over the years. If you follow this simple advice you will save yourself time and stress when you are asked to include modifications to your data – and believe me, you will  be asked for these !

Let’s set the scene : you are working on a Compensation file in Excel. Maybe you are preparing for salary increases or bonuses. Or you are setting up your data file for participating in a compensation survey.

My tip here is very simple : select the largest possible eligible employee population for the exercise. Don’t be afraid to include too many people, better that than missing out on anyone. Create the rules and formulas that you need for your objective then check them out until you are satisfied with the calculations and have ensured that you get to the results you want including the formatting of the information. And then but only then, check the eligibility list of your employees and do NOT delete the non-eligible employees : cut and paste them in another tab in your worksheet. Keep the same column order, the same formulas, the same formatting etc.

You will be happy that you kept them in your file, ready with their calculations, when your top management asks you to perform exceptions and re-include certain employees who would not not normally be eligible, or to tell them how much that person would have gotten if they had been eligible. You will be able to perform those simulations in a snapshot and will impress your organisation, with very little stress and with great confidence about the quality of your answer as your data was already prepared and checked before the pressure of having to give an answer on the spot.

It really is as simple as not deleting but transferring the non-eligible employees into another tab once the formulas have been created :-). So what do you say ? Do you have other simple tips to share for preparing data files ?


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