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Posted: January 19th, 2022

Decompressing pay

Ladika, S. (2005). Decompressing pay. HRMagazine, 50(12), 79-82. Retrieved from ProQuest in the Trident Online Library.

Next, complete the following steps to see if you are a red-circled employee or green-circled employee, and more importantly, determine your market value both as a civilian and (if applicable) as a service member. If you are not currently working, then complete this assignment based upon a prior job. Please know that the information within this assignment will remain completely confidential within the course and will only be assessed based on the assignment requirements.

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We understand that this assignment can be a little tricky if you are in the military. However, the learning objectives in this assignment will assist you in a number of ways. Furthermore, the following site has some useful information for those in the military where you can put in your MOS and receive civilian work equivalents: O*Net Military Crosswalk Search:

Step 1

Research what the pay range is in the market for a position that is comparable to yours. This information can be located using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( or the Occupational Network Online (

Step 2

Find the midpoint or average of the market pay range for your position.

Step 3

Divide your current pay by the pay range midpoint. If your compa-ratio is above 100 percent, your pay is above market value and, if it is below, then it is below market value.


$76,000.00 (current pay)

Employee Joe Smith = —————————————- x 100 = 76% (Compa-ratio)

$100,000.00 (midpoint)

Strategically using the compa-ratio values during performance appraisals can be helpful to determine the maximum and minimum amounts for salary increases. Usually, an 80%-100% compa-ratio is the norm; however, each organization will have their own standards. In the example above, a raise would be necessary.

As a practical example, if an employee “exceeds expectations” in all areas of a performance review and has a current compa-ratio of 76%, then the HR manager can recommend a higher raise to meet the specific organization’s minimum standard of all jobs having a 80% – 90% compa-ratio to stay competitive in the market.

Once you have finished computing your compa-ratio, write a 1- to 2-page paper addressing the following questions:

  1. Discuss your calculations, your compa-ratio, and the impact of your compa-ratio compared against the market. How satisfied are you with your pay and why?
  2. Next, as an HR Manager, what are the implications of all employees being underpaid in a company? How would you deal with this dilemma? How does employee and organizational performance relate to compensation?
  3. After conducting some research and reading the background readings, how would you determine a fair pay adjustment budget?

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