An intangible pays off

This little tidbit from Vickie Elmer’s “Working” column in yesterday’s Washington Post — The Best Pay Less:

The members of Fortune magazine’s Most Admired Companies pay less for talent than less-admired companies in their industry, especially for workers outside the executive suite, according to management consultant Hay Group.
The companies pay about 5 percent less overall for talent because they have less need to hire expensive outsiders, according to Hay, which has worked with Fortune to identify and rank the most admired firms. The list includes Apple, General Electric, Google, Starbucks and Goldman Sachs.
“These companies achieve more with less because they tend to be better at giving people more rounded experiences and development, and do not have to rely so much on [salaries] . . . to persuade their people to perform,” said Hay’s Tom McMullen.
They give bonuses to staff members at all levels, including team bonuses for those “who deliver on strategy.” They pay higher salaries and bonuses to senior executives who inspire the troops.
“No doubt the cachet of working with one of the world’s top companies is a motivating factor, too,” McMullen said.

So, bottom line is that the intangible of a good reputation is good for the bottom line.

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