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Compensation & Total Rewards

Use Rewards to Align & Optimize Talent for Your Growing Business

Aligning Strategy with Culture, People, Pay and Performance
to Accelerate Organizational Results and Team & Leadership Growth

Linking People and Pay to a High-Performance Culture

We work with small and mid-sized employers to evaluate, design and implement compensation and total rewards to attract, retain, engage the talent you need.

Most organizations make informal pay decisions, from setting base pay levels to deciding on raises to handing out annual bonuses without an objective framework.

Modern Rewards policies require alignment with your strategy, goals, and unique business drivers to connect pay practices with desired individual and business performance.

Our expertise in Rewards guides you to develop your unique compensation strategy that leverages the 5 elements of total compensation, and builds on 10 non-financial rewards to retain and engage your high performers -- while paying for the contribution and results you need to fuel growth.

2024 WNY Compensation
& Benefits Survey

Since 1999, we have been a trusted source for benchmark compensation and benefits data for the WNY region.

Survey Includes:
  • 125 job titles in 12 industry/ functional areas
  • 20 executive titles (Director, Vice Presidents, C-suite)
  • Data on 10 benefits-- employer contribution and plan details
  • Custom "done-for-you" market base pay analysis matching your pay to every one of your job titles in the survey report
  • *Optional* addition benchmark data from Economic Research Institute - for your industry, size and geographic region

Scaling Up Compensation & Reward Modules


Compensation & Reward Assessment

  • External Market Compensation Analysis- Base Pay, Incentives
  • Internal Equity Evaluation
  • Total Rewards Market Assessment
  • Employee Survey of Total Rewards Programs
  • Talent Optimization Best Practices Comparison

Compensation Plan Design

  • Job Analysis, Job Evaluation, Job Architecture
  • Job architecture- job /career paths linked to opportunities and pay
  • Job Scorecards for Management and Executive Roles 
  • Salary Structures- Grades and Ranges
  • Change in Pay Programs - Linked to Desired Performance Factors and Core Values
  • Short Term Incentive Plans- Aligned with Culture & Individual, Team and Business Results
  • Sales Compensation -Designed for your Specific Strategy and Market
  • Executive Compensation Programs -- Including Long-Term Incentives 
  • Intentional Culture Design and Reinforcement 
  • Coaching for Accountability -Process and Manager Training

Implementation & Communication

  • Compensation Philosophy, Strategy and Practices
  • Employee Total Reward Value Proposition & Employer Branding 
  • Total Compensation Administration Guidelines 
  • Training for Your Management Team to Use and Update Reward Programs 
  • Rewards Communication - Change Messaging, Ongoing Programs for Transparency & Engagemetn
  • Ownership Thinking Practices -For Team Involvement and Innovation, Manager Development

Intentional Culture of Accountability Design

  • Identify Desired Culture & Assess current Core Values adoption
  • Strategic Phase: Mission, Vision, Purpose, Values, Objectives
  • People Phase: Talent Optimization of Culture in People Practices
  • Execution Phase: Dashboards, Develop and Train Managers Ownership Thinking 
  • Coaching Phase: Develop Managers to Use Ongoing Performance & Development
  • Rewards: Cultural Alignment of Feedback, Recognition, Compensation & Incentives

Clients come to us when they:

  • Experience market pay pressures and challenges in attracting and retaining top performers

  • Have evidence that employees don’t understand or feel their pay is consistent, fair or competitive or don't feel appreciated or rewarded

  • Want an outside third-party perspective to evaluate their pay levels and performance practices, recommend a more comprehensive approach that cultivates a culture of high-performance

  • Feel their current compensation and reward practices could more effectively support their desired culture and align more with business strategy and results

  • Would like to be more consistent, systematic and transparent about their pay and peformance coaching practices- want to communicate what employees can do to make more money and progress, but they are not sure where to start

  • Intend to link rewards to individual performance or align with goals and business results

  • See their year-end bonus program becoming an entitlement rather than creating “ownership” thinking or motivating higher performance.

[Results] After working with us, clients walk away with:

    • A complete evergreen compensation strategy and consistent performance practices that grow with the organization

    • Comfortable they can communicate to their employees the “how and why” of base pay, and explain how employees can increase their pay with higher performance, skills, or other contribution

    • A clear picture of who are their competitors for talent, and a list of tactics they can use to stay competitive for their key jobs

    • A framework to monitor internal equity and market benchmarks to adjust for changes in the job market

    • Leaders and managers have improved knowledge and understanding of how pay decisions support their culture and goals

    • The ability to communicate to employees how compensation is designed and linked to desired behaviors and performance levels (especially with incentive programs)

    • Improvements in employees’ perceptions of pay and transition to “pay for performance” and a culture of accountability and ownership thinking

Background:  Diana Southall

Diana Southall is a fifth generation entrepreneur, coming from a long line of maverick business owners,  stretching back to her great-great grandfather's lumber yard on the Erie Canal and her grandfather's pioneering medical practice. Her mother and five aunts and uncles all founded and run successful businesses, in 6 different industries. 

With a summer job at her family business starting at the age of 8, she became a manager and a partner in her family business while she was in college. After earning her MBA and Master's in Psychology at the University of Buffalo, she partnered with her former professor to assist medium sized organizations on their growth plans. 

Armed with her education and practical expertise in business management, Diana started to apply her expertise to small and mid-sized businesses that want to grow. She quickly became a recognized business strategist and People consultant in the greater Buffalo and Western New York Region and the Great Lakes.

Degrees, Awards, & Accolades

  • Bachelors Degree in Psychology & Economics, Tufts University (1991)
  • Masters in Business Administration, University of Buffalo (1999)
  • Masters in Psychology, University of Buffalo (1999)
  • Top 25 Women-Owned Business in Western New York (1991 - 2001)
  • Partner of the Year, Buffalo-Niagara Human Resource Association (2011)
  • Certified SPHR -Senior Professional Human Resources, SHRM 
  • Adjunct Professor, University at Buffalo School of Management (2002-2015)
  • Presenter, Panelist/ Reactor, Mentor, University at Buffalo Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (2006- present)
  • Master Business Courses (TopGrading, Outhinker Strategy, Exponential Organizations)
  • Scaling Up Certified Coach (2019)

Complimentary 15-Minute Discovery Call

Let's find out if we can help you scale your business.
Book a 15-minute video  call where we will discuss where you are right now, outline your goals, and discover the steps to achieve your goals.