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Total Rewards and Performance Management Systems


A prominent employee benefits consulting firm was concerned about its overall compensation and performance management systems. The partnership’s long-term compensation and retention of key non-partner personnel were becoming critical to its long-term survival. Employee feedback also indicated a general dissatisfaction with the connection between individual performance and base pay as well as incentive payments at all levels.


A consulting team from D.G. McDermott Associates interviewed a cross-section of partners and managers. Employee focus groups were held to solicit feedback from support staff and operations personnel. Simultaneously, DGM consultants analyzed the performance appraisal processes and pay history and conducted a benchmarking study of pay levels within the firm’s industry.


Our recommendations included involving key managers in the process as it worked through the various phases of the assignment. Consequently, periodic meetings were held in which we presented our findings and worked with principals in the firm to formulate and implement the following recommendations:

  • A complete restructuring of the rewards program
  • A revised performance management system
  • Incentive pay that more closely tracked individual performance and financial performance of the firm
  • Specific provisions for training and development


D.G. McDermott Associates’ recommendations were adopted by the partnership, supported by the consulting managers and readily accepted by the employees because all were involved in the process.

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