Workers: Risks And Rewards

Would you risk earning less in exchange for the chance to earn more? U.S. companies are putting that question to a growing number of workers these days in hopes of engineering a revolution in the way everyone, from janitor to junior executive, gets paid. The question lies at the heart of far-reaching new programs called pay-for-performance plans, which typically start with reduced base wages and salaries but reward employees with handsome bonuses for hitting production targets or meeting other goals. "This is the hottest area in compensation today," says Steven Gross, a vice president of Hay Management Consultants. "Just about every...

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