Executive Compensation

Lena J. Weiner, June 1, 2017

HealthLeaders Media Council members discuss their organizations’ executive compensation structure.

This article first appeared in the June 2017 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Debra Palmer
Debra Palmer

Debra Palmer
Chief Human Resources Officer and Corporate Compliance Officer
Fairfield Medical Center
Lancaster, Ohio

I think we’re in the majority of organizations, in that we have a strong structure for our compensation. We do an annual review of it, so unless the market changes significantly, I don’t see a large change in actual structure of the program.

For our C-suite, our base salary is set at the 50th percentile of the regional market and then modified based on years of experience for each candidate. All usual employee benefits apply, plus we give a leadership fringe of $100 monthly, which they can use to offset benefits costs, deposit into their 401(k) or 403(b) plan, or enter into their 457(b) plan.

We provide C-suiters with a 20% bonus structure, with organizational goals comprising 85% of the bonus, and 15% of the amount around individual goals. We all have the same organizational goals, and most of us have one to two personal goals. We also give them additional PTO of 40 hours yearly, long-term care is paid for and provided by the organization, and we give them 2.5 times their annual salary in life insurance.

I’d say that you need baseline compensation as a part of your incentive plan. Also, if the candidate is moving to accept this job, you need to support their moving expenses. If the new executive is not moving and their current residence is driving distance, you might substitute a sign-on bonus for relocation fees. But I think the most important thing to attract new talent is competitive base compensation. 

Lena J. Weiner

Lena J. Weiner is an associate editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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