Maureen Farmer 

&

Maddison Shears


And Lotte Struwing


We are so excited to share our summer series on the Get Hired Up! podcast with you. 


We reviewed and analyzed more than 280 executive CEO and board-level client profiles from large corporations, private equity firms, as well as family offices as they navigate promotions, board appointments, transitions, and start new businesses. We uncover the most pressing questions CEOs have today. These questions are aggregated to protect the confidentiality of our clients.



Transcript

Maureen Farmer

Hey Maddie, welcome to the last episode of The Career Mastery series.

Maddison Shears

Thank you, Maureen. I'm very happy to be here. And I've had a lot of fun with you during this series.

Maureen Farmer

A great way to end the summer!

Maddison Shears

Yes, I agree.

Maureen Farmer

So, the date of this recording is August 31, 2022. And this recording is our last episode of The Career Mastery Series where we are going to be talking about compensation.

Maddison Shears

Yeah. And in this episode, we invited a guest to join us!

Maureen Farmer

We're going to talk a little bit about what we learned from the episode.

Maddison Shears

So, what I learnt was quite a bit...because I feel fairly ignorant to the topic of compensation. I learned a lot about total rewards, and what compensation can involve in its entirety. So, for example, you know, it doesn't just include base salary, but it includes time, your time off, your benefits. And what I learned is going into these compensation negotiation conversations, you need to be able to know what you're willing to compromise on and what you're not willing to compromise on. Also some resources that our listeners can tap into when they're doing their own research. I think that a lot of people are preparing for the interview, they're doing their due diligence on the company as a whole. And of course, compensation is a big topic that sort of comes up towards the end of that process. But I think a big part of your research and doing your due diligence on a company is compensation. So, Lotte helps to sort of determine what you know, is important to look for when you're doing this kind of research.

Maureen Farmer

The two big lessons or the three for me is the correlation between performance and compensation, knowing what you want, because you can't negotiate if you don't know what you want, and then finally, doing your research. And to Maddison's point, there are some excellent resources to have which I use and other resources that I just learned about today. So, I'm really really excited for this episode.

Maddison Shears

Yes, me too. And Maureen, I wanted to thank you for spending your summer with me on this series. It's been a lot of fun.

Maureen Farmer

It's been my pleasure Maddie...to have you on as my co-host, and I look forward to doing more of these projects in the future. Thank you so much.

Maddison Shears

We hope you enjoy our last episode!

Maureen Farmer

Lotte Struwing is an experienced business leader with significant expertise in senior-level human resources, business ownership and career strategy. And she brings out contagious passion for each one. Lotte is the president of Lasting Solutions HR Consulting and Coaching and has been proudly serving clients since 2008. Lotte has a lifelong learning mindset and holds her certified Human Resources Leader designation, three designations in compensation and as a certified career and resume strategist. In 2018, Lotte won the Career Innovator Award through Career Directors International, and in her personal time, her passion is her garden in the summer, and in the winter it is snow-shoeing. All year long her passion is her family and friends who are family. Welcome to the Get Hired Up! podcast Lotte.

Lotte Struwing 

I'm glad to be here, Maureen!

Maureen Farmer

Yes, thank you for joining us. And this is our very last recording in our Career Mastery Series. And you are our only guest in this series. And we have been wanting to have you on the show for a very long time. Now's our chance to grab your expertise. We're going to talk about compensation practices. And I would love for you to start by introducing us to your practice in compensation and how you came to it.

Lotte Struwing

Sure! And thanks. Thanks for this. I'm excited. So, I have been in comp...I can't even count how many years but it was my entrance into human resources. I worked with Hallmark Cards Canada, the really unique company. I got my foundation compensation there as a compensation specialist, the best company and the best foundation to work with in compensation has served me...what I learned there has served me my entire career. And so I started as a compensation specialist supervisor, manager, director of total rewards. I left there in 2007 after 23 fabulous years, and I started my own consulting company in 2008, which was...I didn't know that it wasn't a great time to start your own business, but 15 years later, it's still growing strong. I've jumped in and out of corporates on a couple of occasions for organizations that need compensation or job evaluation expertise for different projects and It's been really interesting. I've had a great, great career, I'm enjoying it very much. And I love learning about business. So it's been great, all the different opportunities I've had...very interesting and intriguing.

Maureen Farmer

I have a background in compensation as well, in a very, not nearly as intense or thorough or comprehensive as yours. I do know one thing, though. And that's that compensation is often misunderstood. And you mentioned something just a few moments ago that I think a lot of people wouldn't necessarily be familiar with, unless you're working in the world of compensation, or you are in a human resources management role. And that's total rewards.

So a lot of times, even in my own career in corporate, a lot of times employees would be focusing primarily on their base compensation, and didn't really understand the full ecosystem of the compensation model. And so when I think about my days back in compensation, we we used models that on a macro level of, you know, the compensation strategy of the organization, you know, are we going to lead the market, meet the market, or lag the market? And I think a lot of people when they are exploring offers with new companies don't really understand the different delineations of the compensation model. And, and I think there is a lot of mysticism around compensation. It feels almost, to some people, arbitrary. And I often get the question, you know, how to negotiate compensation. And I think what a lot of candidates, even at the CEO and board level, fail to maybe understand is that compensation is dependent on the strategy and also dependent on the geographical location, the industry. So I would love to start there. And maybe you could tell us a little bit about what is compensation? And what is fair compensation. And how is it calculated?

Lotte Struwing 

Well, there's a loaded question. So yeah, and you've gave it a great background there, Maureen. And I just want to back up a little bit and just talk when you say fair compensation. So again, you touched, I touched on total rewards, and you did as well. So when I started, in compensation, there was two elements that were important to people, and that was compensation and benefits. And so there wasn't really much out six. But you know, it's thought of at that time, because I think, when people receive training, it was intrinsic. When they had time off, it was intrinsic, you know, it's just something that was there, and you accepted what was there. Right now, I would say total rewards, is more than compensation. And I'm going to use, I've always grown up on a tour of the world at work on lawn with total rewards, I'll just use one from a few years ago that I'm most familiar with. So that is common to all forms of compensation. So that's base and bonus. Benefits. So what benefits come with the organization? Work Life, which means, you know, vacation sick time, you know, different leaves that type of thing? performance? So how do we do performance? How do we recognize people that's really important, and also career development, because people still want to know that they can move up in their career. So compensation as a whole would be your total rewards package. And I think it's really important when people are talking about fair compensation, it's really important to understand what they're looking for, right? Because that gets into some of the great work you do before the compensation piece is really understanding what you want in a role and what's important to you. So fair compensation, I would, I would tend to say, you know, when you say it's very strategic, I'm going to say in many organizations, it's not strategic. And it's important to have some really good people who understand what it looks like in the marketplace to for it to be strategic. So their compensation would be understanding the marketplace you're in Are you in a smaller environment that has a harder time attracting candidates? Are you in Metro metropolitan area? I think you also have to understand that the skills in your organization to determine Are you paying to your point at market above market? How quickly do you want people to be at their their market rate of compensation? What are the skills you know that you need? So there's so many different elements to think about what in determining what is fair compensation? I would also say that a fair compensation is based on where somebody is when they come in. So for example, if you're a brand new person to a CEO or CEO role, you may be at a low Were ended up a compensation, base pay. But you may have an opportunity to get to a higher level within a year when you can demonstrate that you're fully competent in the role that you have. So I hope that answers the question. It can have an entire conversation about what is fair compensation, but it has so many different nuances and varieties to it. But it's, it's a really fun and intriguing question. And it's a good question for a nerd girl like me.

Maureen Farmer

Me, too. We've had many conversations about compensation before a lot. So we have we have? And I asked the question, because I have a lot of people ask me the question, and, and I start with that very question, what is it that you're seeking? And, you know, what, what is important to you. But what I hear time and time and time, again, is based compensation, how to calculate and how to negotiate based compensation. And I always, I always recommend that we look at the whole package, to your point about total rewards, rather than specific based compensation, because that's only one component of the compensation package.

Lotte Struwing 

Absolutely. And it's really important to you know, and again, the great work you do before comp, before you get to that is really understanding the market space that people are in and early to organizations are in. Because even at the executive level, there are some organizations where there isn't a bonus in a particular role, right. So it's really important to understand what the industry offers and what the organization is willing to offer. You know, when you're looking at what is fair pay, and, you know, is it based bonus? Is it based shares as a base something else? Or is it just base? So it's really, really important to understand the space that you're going in? And what's what's normal in those organizations?

Maureen Farmer

Here's the golden question for you.

Lotte Struwing

Oh boy!

Maureen Farmer

How do they find that information? The other question, that's the question that comes to me time and time again, and I have a handful of resources that I offer to them, I recommend that that candidates really understand the market to your point, when you know, it's a publicly traded company, or there's an annual report for private companies, it's a little turkey. For publicly traded companies, it's easier because that information is public. But I do offer certain websites to help them to benchmark their own potential job description or posting, or even offer against what is is available in the market in some of these places. Some of these websites are salary.com and paystubs, payscale.com. Do you use either one of those? Or would you recommend that?

Lotte Struwing 

I use them both.

I actually, for some of my clients, I will purchase data from one or both of those resources. So absolutely. Those are two great resources. And I do have to say that, you know, back in the day when I started in compensation, you know, we bought surveys, and you could only find surveys from the big consulting firms and from industry specific Sherm psych engineers and CPA, Ontario, different things like that Board of Trade, so you can only get reliable compensation data from those sources. With the internet. Now, there are many sources for good compensation data. And I would say that if people are looking to find out what's fair compensation, absolutely. Look at the ones you mentioned, other job boards, like job boards, indeed, Glassdoor, all the different recruitment sites they are, they're starting to offer it now as well. And there are also some recruitment firms, larger recruitment firms like Randstad, they have surveys that they release on an annual basis. So I think it's, you know, looking at all of those and understanding what's available. The other thing, and there's an art and science between, you know, sure, compensation is determining, it's not just the biggest number you pick, right? It's, it's a it's a combination of everything. And it's a combination of oh, is this a base number in an industry where bonus isn't, you know, an option type of thing. And I think the other thing is to understand that when people are looking at jobs, survey data, typically you're seeing in the marketplace, what an average person would be paid. So in surveys when I conduct salary surveys, and when I receive salary survey data, what they call the minimum wage or the job rate. That's the rate of pay considered for a fully competent person. So whether you're going in with less experienced, you may be looking at something a little bit less than that if you're going for experience and you maybe want to box out a little bit, but that's where the art and science comes into it as well. Oh, but I think there are so many really good resources now that have compensation data that wasn't available. You know, they weren't available 15-20 years ago.

Maureen Farmer

Right. Well, that's excellent information. I'm really glad that you were able to validate my use of these sites, because I wasn't sure what as, as you mentioned, being an expert, having expertise in compensation, you might have other resources, the Randstad, one as well, another company that I often use not so much for compensation, but I'll have to start looking at that is manpower, I find they have some excellent content, free data on their website that you can download on all kinds of different topics.

Lotte Struwing

Some of those big firms are publishing data now, which is great. The only thing different I would say...the Randstad survey I know is...those are placements. So, when they have information on their surveys, it's what they're placing people at in different organizations.

Maureen Farmer

Well, at least it gives a person a bit of a ballpark.

Lotte Struwing 

Absolutely!

Maureen Farmer

Yeah, you know, I was talking to a gentleman in the US not that long ago, and a number of the recruiters he was speaking with said that he was being overpaid for for the work that he was doing. And, you know, to your point earlier that companies are not always all that strategic when it comes to paying their their workforce, because maybe they don't have the knowledge or they maybe they have another strategy in mind to you know, to to keep people happy, if you will, and right now in the United States, and this is August 30 of 2020. To the day of this recording, the and I use the United States, because the data is so readily available 3.6% unemployment rate. And according to the Wall Street Journal today, a number of companies are establishing 90 Day bonuses to keep people in the job. And just all kinds of different creative compensation strategies and retention bonuses and things like that are that that are being used right now. And kind of the post COVID world. So to your point, too, there's an art and a science and, you know, depends on market conditions, of course, and things like that. But when it comes to negotiation of compensation, could we talk a little bit about that? And how, from your perspective, how people can negotiate with confidence?

Lotte Struwing

Oh, absolutely.

Yeah, that's a great one. For sure. So I think, you know, when you're looking at negotiating, it's just, you know, first of all, it's really understanding what you want, understanding the market space, that you're going into understanding, you know, the, what, what's important to you, and what's not important to you. So I think part of it is, you know, having a full understanding of what you're negotiating for. So that would be an important point is, do you know, what's expected in the role? Do you really have an understanding of what is expected in the role? Do you know what skills the company is looking for? So you when you have a total understanding what they're looking for, and you can match it to your strengths, that really helps you leverage or anything you do in from a negotiation? perspective. The other thing I think it's really important after you know, you have that full understanding what you're negotiating for, is just really understanding what's important to you, from a career perspective, does the organization support your values and your priorities? You know, if you're going in at an executive level, is that where you want to stop? Or is there something more for you? Is it the type of environment that you want to work in, because you know, when we spend so much time at work, we want to make sure that we can enjoy it in a in a way that's meaningful to ourselves.

Maureen Farmer

I call it I call that job offer, due diligence or due diligence, oh, tolerate because, yeah, in my, in my experience, I've worked with a lot of people who have experienced, this is not at all what I thought it was going to be. And it can be, can be almost devastating. Because if you've traveled if you've taken your family from one country to another, and have taken on a role that you felt was going to be good for your career and, and was going to be measured, you know, your values match that of the organization, and then discover that this is not what I signed up for, it can be a very, it can be a very difficult transition to move away from that hearing much.

Lotte Struwing 

Absolutely. So, you know, it's really important that you know, you assess what you want and what you don't want. I mean, I think we've all been in careers where it consumes a lot of our lives. And I'm not, you know, I've been that and as a single mom, it was really tough. But I made the choices I needed to make, and it really supported my career and my family is thriving. So at times, you know, that and that's the number one thing I hear right now from people is I want that whole work life flexibility and people are willing to give up dollars for that. So so it's really understanding what you want and what you don't want. And also what are you willing to give up because I think that's another really important point of negotiation because it's critical that you understand that you make you know, ask for something extra and get it the you may not always get the extra pieces that you're looking for, I've actually, you know, had one plate at one time where you know, that whole work life, young family was so critical to him. And he wanted to start off with four weeks vacation. And that was just an non starter within the organization. And so they were able to negotiate an extra week of vacation, but it was unpaid. So they're just really understanding what's important to you. And, you know, they, they, yeah, the company was okay with that, because it didn't upset the tea cart inside.

Maureen Farmer

And that's a really good point. What are you willing to give up to get what you want? Yeah, that's, that's interesting. So when it comes to, I guess, here's an example is a little bit of a twist on negotiation. And I would love your perspective on this. Yeah, I've heard this happen a lot. And sometimes it works out for people. And sometimes it doesn't. But it's a scenario where a recruiter and say, a third party recruiter will contact someone and say, you know, look, we are recruiting for this company, we would like you to consider it, they interview with a company and they get an offer, and then they use that that offer from the other company, other company to leverage inside their current role for a higher salary. I would love your perspective on that, because I personally don't feel it is a good strategy for a number of reasons. And one of the reasons is that I think it it erodes the relationship with the employer, when that happens, some employers are willing to accept that and and give the employee, you know, a raise based on that. But it can also backfire as well

Lotte Struwing 

Yes, so I am a firm believer in really good...and I'm going to take this back to comp strategy philosophy, training your managers properly and understanding compensation within their organization and some transparency and compensation. So that's, that's a mouthful, but I think it's important for just exactly the reason that you're talking about. So I think number one, having a really good solid compensation structure internally, you know, in Canada, here in Ontario, they're talking about pay transparency, and how that will be coming to job boards, very near so companies are getting ahead of the curve and starting to publish their salary ranges, which attracts candidates potentially, even better. But when you have a internal compensation philosophy that, you know, employees understand the salary range, they understand how it works, they understand their current position in the salary range, based on their performance, they understand that the company is, you know, market competitive, the company doesn't hide that. It's not that everybody in the organization knows everybody else's salary ranges. Everybody wants a salary, because that's not what it is at all. They will know their salary range, they will understand how to get to that job rate. And managers are taught to manage performance properly. So when somebody comes to them and says, look, I've got a better offer. The managers aren't blindsided because I really makes me sad when managers are blindsided by that because you're right, that's never a good position for any manager or organization to be in. So if that was to happen, because somebody's got a counter offer, and somebody is just saying, Look, I just want more money, when the employee doesn't understand how comp works internally, and the manager doesn't understand it, then you're setting yourself up for that employee having the power. And that's not what you want. You want managers to be in control at all times. So that's just my philosophy. It's how I work with my clients. It is the best positioning forever. But I do think that there, it's happening right now, because we're you mentioned, I think, 3.6% unemployment rate. I was just at a conference recently, and they were talking about professionals in general in the US, and they're saying that professionals are at a 1.6% unemployment rate. So that where the 3.6 is general, you think of 1.6. That's a very, very tight labor market. So I think, you know, many employees are going to be in this position right now, where they're having job offers thrown at them. There are some organizations that are so short staffed, they're going to throw any amount of money. So if people are money driven, they're going to take that money and run. However, if within your organization, you know, leaders have that total rewards, total reward framework, they they managers understand that as well. Then employees are going to be have a less of a desire to move for a competitive benefits just for base comp.

Maureen Farmer

I agree. I have seen this happen time and time again, and many employees are not motivated necessarily by based compensation and not to speak for everyone. I know that that is not appropriate, but I know in my work in money is seldom ever a reason people leave the organization.

Lotte Struwing 

Yeah. So, you know, the old saying that people don't leave companies, they leave their bosses? I think, as has been my experience, that's the truth, or companies Thrive value system perspective. One of the things that I am seeing now is that because our inflation is at such a high rate right now, this is the first time I've had employees with some of my clients come forward and say I need a raise, even though they know when raises are. And this brings me back to when I actually started in compensation. I'm going in the late 80s. It's when, and I had never experienced it before. So it was brand new to me. But it's kind of history repeating itself. And we were at a very high inflation time at that point in time. And I came into compensation where people were getting two raises a year, or five and 6% each. Now, I don't think we're at that stage right now, at all. But I think it is very wise for employers at this point in time to really pay attention to what CPI is right now, and how to adjust their compensation towards that. Because that's, you know, it's a discussion I heard employees have and questions being asked to me that I have not heard in years.

Maureen Farmer

Well, people are struggling right now. There's no question.

So, in terms of negotiating at the C level, what do you see as the primary differentiators between C suite and non C suite roles? In terms of negotiation?

Lotte Struwing 

I think it might be a harder bargain at the beginning, from a C suite when an offer is placed in front of people. But I think, you know, I think at any point in time, from a recruitment perspective, I think it's really important to have an understanding of what's on the table at the very beginning, because it is just a waste of everybody's time if you get to the end. And that hasn't even been part of the picture. Because they're, you know, then people just tend to walk away or lose interest. And I think it's just not a good use of anybody's time. So I think the the negotiation piece absolutely comes, you know, when an offer is presented or close to it. But I think an understanding of what the terms of an overall total rewards package are, should be at the very onset of an engagement. That's my personal philosophy, because I do recruitment as well. And it's just a personal philosophy that I have that that's something that I lay on the table at the very beginning of any, any recruitment strategy.

Maureen Farmer

So, what I feel is important from a candidate point of view, and even from a recruitment point of view, because I've done recruiting as well is understanding what is it that the person is going to be required to do and it is very difficult for, I want to go to the job description for just a moment was very, very difficult for a candidate at any level, but especially at the C suite level, to really evaluate an offer until they understand what's going to be required. Absolutely. Yeah, for sure. So I've seen scenarios where someone has been brought in to do some type of a transformation. And then suddenly, they realize that, oh, you know, I'm going to be required to go to another country and do a massive layoff or a massive integration, what it was never discussed in a job interview. We talked about this a few minutes ago about the expectations, not the opportunity, not meeting our expectations. So what I recommend clients do is to ask, not at the beginning, but once they get an offer, in writing to really spend some time then doing deep due diligence around what it is they're going to be required to do.

Lotte Struwing 

Absolutely, Maureen. I would anticipate this would also be done at the interview stage. From a candidates perspective. You know, if they haven't been asked to give that 90 day plan, I wouldn't ask them what's expected in the first six months to a year. Their perspective, I think that's, you know, again, I like that lens before an offer is put on the table. Because I think from a candidates perspective, then they know if it's something they want to take on, and if it is, is it, what they were anticipating from a QA perspective, or if it is going to be that massive layoff in a different country? Do they want to ask for more prior to something?

Maureen Farmer

100% But my experience has been that that boards will often hold back on some of that information until they're they're sure that the candidate is interested. Or, you know, there's a phased approach. Due to a business plan that the CEO is not aware of, the kid a CEO is not aware of until they until they take on a role in, I can speak in aggregate here, because I've had no clients to do so. Or I've had clients that have actually moved their entire family from one country to another, and then discover that they were suddenly responsible for, you know, a completely different business function that they had no experience in the the issue being that for the candidate or for the the new employee is that they, they're sponsored by this company, because they've moved to a new country, they're, they're not a citizen of the country, so they don't have mobility. Inside though. This has happened quite a few times, actually. And so I caution candidates to really, really dig deep after the offer has been tabled, because then they now maybe they've signed an NDA, maybe they've had a few conversations with the, you know, the board chair, candid conversation with the direct reports. And they know, and in fact, I've had my clients do this practice, where they not that they asked for proof, but they have these, they have many conversations before they sign that offer, so that they are fully fully aware of what the expectations are. And I've had what I call this a due diligence test where they they ask a number of questions. And I've had one one client rule more than one client, the one I'm thinking of at the moment, after a four month negotiation through a third party recruiter and then eventually met with the CEO of the company decided not to take the opportunity, because of the behavior of someone on the board, right? And we can't we're not mind reader's, we're not fortune tellers. But if there are some predictive practices that we can put into place to help not just the candidate, but also the employer understand who because the employer will be doing their due diligence on you credit checks, you know, background checks, you know, all of those types of things to ensure that they know who they're hiring.

So, it's such a fascinating topic. It's a fascinating topic. And so we could talk forever. I know at least I could, and I would love to ask a couple of little questions before we finish the call. And do you have any, you know, in your experience at Hallmark, and the different companies that you've worked with have any common myths about compensation over the years that you've heard from people?

Lotte Struwing 

I'll refer to the one and we touched on it briefly is that compensation is we would talk about King and I would say in the last five to seven years, the most important factor for employees coming in anybody is that work life flexibility. So I've seen more and more people take, have compensation take a secondary level of importance to time with family. So I think, you know, that's one of the myths right now, that I think would be dispelled fairly quickly. Everybody wants to be paid fairly. But in the busy world that we have time off is is most important right now, I think, you know, another, you know, other nests is that compensation isn't negotiable. And even if somebody posts their range, if they have an excellent candidate that comes to them, then, you know, oftentimes companies will be flexible in what they offer. And I think also, you know, it's not so much a mess, but it's really important to look at that total rewards offering, like, what does that really look like? I think those would be some of the ones that I would think of from a, you know, a myth perspective. Myth busta!

Maureen Farmer

Yes, I agree. And I've had the experience where we've had a candidate come in as a recruiter, for example, when I've been helping companies ages ago, I don't do that anymore, where they are just a knockout candidate. They're crackerjack Yeah. And we can't give them the offer that we had tabled or we can't, you know, we can't do that. But we we actually created a new position for them in a different role. So that happens a lot too. I always encourage candidates, if they are speaking to an organization, and it's not what they thought it was going to be. Maybe it's it's, they're overqualified. Have the conversation anyway, because you just never know where that conversation will lead in terms of a long term relationship or in terms of a new opportunity presented, and that's happened a few times with with my clients as well. They've had opportunities created for them.

Lotte Struwing 

Absolutely. Maureen, you couldn't be more bang on with that one. And I think that's really a very important thing to think about. Because many, many times with the the shortage of great talent out there and many people, you know, starting to retire in droves. That I think many companies will you know, if they discover great talent, they will absolutely find a place for them.

Maureen Farmer

100% Yeah.

And one of the most fascinating topics within the compensation model is business development and sales commission. Years ago, when I worked for a large insurance company, I used to actually do those calculations for commission. And what I find interesting is that when there is availability of product, when there is an endless supply of the product, there's no cap on compensation and, and Lotte, I know you have perspective on this. And actually, I learned this from you, I didn't actually notice when I was doing these calculations. The point is this is that when it comes to commission and bonus compensation, it drives certain types of behavior. And I think it's really important to understand that when there is a supply, shortage of a particular product, or if there's a cap on compensation, that sales can be stunted, because obviously, if there's a cap on supply, you know, sales is going to be stunted. If there's a cap on compensation with an endless supply of product, what's going to happen is that the sales sales staff will will stop selling after their commission caps. And I think it's really, really important to understand that I think a lot of organizations do not understand that fact.

Lotte Struwing 

I've seen organizations selling software, and, you know, they, they have an unlimited cap, and their salespeople make a lot of money. Because they're really great at what they do. And they do well for the organization. And then the organization is bought by a different or different organization. And that organization has, you know, comp philosophy where they have a cap on their bonus. And then people stopped working after six months, because they've reached their cap rate. So you know, so it's really, you really have to understand your market space supply and demand and the length of your sales cycle, you know, how easy it is or how difficult it is to sell. You have to understand all of those things, too. You don't have your your bonus designed appropriately.

Maureen Farmer

Well, that's fascinating. So Lotte, I have another question for you. What has surprised you most in your career so far?

Lotte Struwing 

You know, what has surprised me most in my career, the compensation structure that I learned when I began in compensation in 1987, still serves me well. So I think, you know, I've always been up to date, trying to stay up to date and you know, when how he's trying to stay up to date in our, our respective careers. There's always, always, always different things to learn. But what has surprised me the most is the things that I learned at my first organization and homework has continues to serve me very well, in any organization that I work with.

Maureen Farmer

It's a lovely brand. And what I'm hearing is that it is as good on the inside as it is on the outside from, from a branding point of view.

Lotte Struwing 

Yeah, and you know, even when we're talking about like, right now, the whole Buzz is around compensation, transparency duck stuff we did back then it's not, it's not new tunes. So it's really interesting that when you have that has surprised me the most is that everything I learned back then, and it's in fashion now. So I think when you have when you Whatever industry you're in, I mean, there's always nuances, there's always changes. But the fact that, you know, that's that infrastructure of how to develop, and I think it gets down to how you how to treat employees, you know, treat them with respect and dignity, and you treat them like human beings and answer the questions, answer their questions that they have that you have in your own mind, and present it to them, then that's, that's, that's really how simple it is.

Maureen Farmer

We talk about that all the time here at Westgate medicine and I talk about employer employee engagement and how to keep your people happy. And it's, it's not a big secret. It's a pretty basic, those are pretty basic needs to be recognized, to be informed, to be respected.

Lotte Struwing 

And yeah, and I like to take their questions away so they can be productive and just be happy. So if, if we can answer their questions before they're asked, I think that is speaks volumes for an organization and how they respect their team members.

Maureen Farmer

Well, last question to you are, what are your favorite restaurants?

Lotte Struwing 

That's a great question. So I'm in Innisfil, Ontario, so I'm about 45 minutes from Orillia and the one that I absolutely love because it reminds me of when I was a young girl...There's a really fun market...it's called the Mirror Poster Market. It's not fancy, but you walk in, it has the creaking wooden floors. And you feel like you're walking into a building from 1960.

They have homemade sandwiches, soup, cakes, cakes like you've never seen...custom cakes. They have a bakery section, they have a fudge section, they have a gift section. It's just an experience going into that marketplace. So I love it.

Maureen Farmer

That's wonderful. I'll we'll make sure that we have that in in the in the show notes laid out. So lots it. It's been an absolute pleasure hosting you today. Maybe we'll do it again some time. And if the listener here today wanted to get in touch with you, how would they do that?

Lotte Struwing 

So, they can go to my website at HR career transition.com.

I'm on LinkedIn as well. So reach out on LinkedIn!

Maureen Farmer

It has been an absolute pleasure Lotte and I hope we get to do it again sometime.

Lotte Struwing 

I'm looking forward to it. Thank you so much, Maureen!