Yes, it may sound simple, but it seems that many organizations don't really walk through this step. Before an organization can move on to dealing with compensation issues, it has to know what it is providing to an employee. This step requires a look at each employee to determine what is provided. A complete list should be made. List everything that benefits an employee and don't worry about the tax effects at this point. Determining how to treat an item of compensation for tax purposes takes place later in the process. Additionally, don't forget to include on the list the items that are noncash benefits. Don't limit the list to only cash items. Remember one of our first lessons: everything that benefits an employee is a form of compensation.
The following is not an all inclusive list, but just to help start the process think about some of the following items:
- Insurance - all kinds
- Medical programs
- Tuition - either paid for the employee or a discount at the school
- Love gifts
- Gift cards
Make the list and check it twice. This information is invaluable to the compensation decision makers, yet seldom do the decision makers have all this information.