Comp 101: The Basics of Pay for Performance


An overview of approaches that tie rewards to performance, this course provides an understanding of the different strategies deployed by leading companies and how these programs are designed. Participants will come away with an understanding of the elements that lead to pay for performance program success and how and when to utilize specific programs to achieve desired outcomes.

We will share the basics of effective performance management programs – goal-setting, coaching, and assessing performance as well as how performance assessment is linked to pay delivery – in terms of base cash, short term incentives, long term incentives, and other forms of financial and non-financial rewards.

In this session you will:

  • Learn about the key motivation/psychological theories behind pay for performance
  • Learn the benefits, risks and trade-offs in different pay for performance methodologies
  • Understand popular program designs and best practices in aligning compensation and performance management systems with business goals
  • Understand the elements that lead to pay for performance success
  • Ask questions and receive answers from industry experts

Learning Options

Virtual Classroom

Live online instructor-led delivery of course materials including real-time interaction with a subject-matter expert and peers — no travel required!


Member: $175 USD

$225 USD


Tom McMullen

Senior Client Partner
Korn Ferry

Tom McMullen is a Senior Client Partner based in Korn Ferry’s Chicago office. As the leader in the North America Total Rewards expertise group, Mr. McMullen is accountable for a wide variety of solution design, thought leadership, innovation, and capability development initiatives. His consulting work focuses on developing organization effectiveness and total reward programs including reward strategy, incentive and performance management systems, work measurement, organization structure design, and organization effectiveness programs.

Mr. McMullen has worked with organizations in a broad range of engagements over the past two decades in a number of industries, including restaurants, retail, consumer products, education, healthcare, life sciences, financial services, government, not for profit, and manufacturing.

Mr. McMullen has been quoted widely in the media around the world and he is a leading national speaker on reward and human resource issues. He recently authored articles that include “Differentiating Pay without Performance Ratings” (Workspan), “Three Secrets to Finding and Keeping the Best Millennial Employees” (Chief Executive), “Rewarding Great Ideas: Can Incentives Encourage Organizational Innovation?(WorldatWork Journal), “Global Trends in Pay for Performance (Journal of Compensation and Benefits) and The Talent Management Handbook (McGraw-Hill).

Mr. McMullen holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and a Master of business administration from the University of Louisville. Previously, Mr. McMullen held senior compensation roles with KFC Corp. and Humana, Inc. He currently serves on the Chicago Compensation Association Board and has been a previous member for the WorldatWork Compensation Advisory Board and the Advisory Board for the Compensation and Benefits Review.

Amanda Wethington

Senior Principal Consultant
Korn Ferry

Amanda Wethington is a Sr. Principal Consultant focusing on Reward Solutions with the Washington, DC office of Korn Ferry.  She also consults within the Enterprise Sales Effectiveness Practice. She is experienced in compensation program design and alignment to work, sales and variable pay program design and delivering insights between organization strategy and compensation philosophy. Amanda has managed projects with both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in a wide variety of industries. She has over fifteen years of experience working in both corporate compensation and rewards consulting. 

Amanda helps organizations design solutions that will help them attract, retain, and motivate employees and to enable their business, organization and people to perform.  She understands the alignment of job roles and works with organizations to help design effective solutions and programs. She values job evaluation as the foundation for work and people alignment and integrates market insights and organization strategy to inform the design and implementation of compensation and variable pay programs.

Amanda earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and her Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Human Resource Management from Western Michigan University. In addition, Amanda earned her Certified Sales Compensation Professional (CSCP) through WorldatWork.

More Information

How to Register


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Course Credits & Certifications

  • Recertification
    .25 Credits

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