Tomorrow's Compensation and Rewards Shaped by Today's Choices

George T. Milkovich, Cornell University

Invited Address to the 47th Annual Industrial Relations Congress Laval University Quebec.


[Excerpt] Today's trends shape tomorrow. This is as true for the weather as it is for the way people are paid. Employee compensation in the future is being shaped by the choices we make today. So, by examining these choices, we can sketch a picture of tomorrow's compensation. This isn't to say that the past predicts the future. This is no more true in our field than it is in weather forecasting. But by analyzing the forces affecting today's trends, we are better able to understand tomorrow. And, I believe it is important to understand how employee compensation will be determined and what the consequences of different approaches will be. For the way employees are compensated affects their financial well being, their skills and knowledge and their self worth. Compensation directly impacts the economic effectiveness of employers and the talents of a nation's human resources. Finally, the way employees are compensated exhibits society's sense of social justice.