Compensation and Benefits

Write a research paper in which you address the compensation and benefits of a selected organization, based on information you have gathered and analyzed about the organization.

Structuring and communicating a total compensation package that meets regulatory requirements and the needs of the workforce requires a delicate balancing act between what is required and what will contribute to an effective relationship between employer, employee, and the community in which the company operates. Communicating benefits programs to employees can be as important as the benefits themselves. Knowing how to leverage all available compensation options is a necessary skill for any HR professional.


By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Apply human resource strategies to business needs.
    • Analyze the costs of employee benefits to a company.
    • Explain how benefits are communicated to employees.
    • Analyze issues related to compensation and benefits packages organizations face.
  • Competency 3: Examine core functions of Human Resource Management.
    • Describe types of employee compensation.
    • Explain the differences between benefits that are legally mandated and those that are voluntary.
  • Competency 4: Appreciate the strategic value of HRM within a competitive global business environment.
    • Explain the role of benchmarking activities in developing a competitive compensation structure.
    • Describe environmental factors that can influence the compensation and benefits offered by an organization.

Compensation is a combination of several elements, and a total compensation package typically includes base pay and benefits that are deemed appropriate to the environment in which a company or organization operates. Understanding the right balance begins with understanding a company’s competitive position in the market and its ability to pay. Structuring the right package is most often the responsibility of HR. The communication of that compensation plan will be of equal importance.


Base pay is not total compensation, and competitive pay represents more than what the competition is paying. An employee is someone who has entered into an agreement with an employer. That agreement represents a fine line of negotiating the minimum breaking point in the employment arrangement. Unless that line is set firmly, all the other ingredients of a compensation package may tumble. So, how do you set up the parameters of an effective and competitive compensation system?

Finding a base wage is a good beginning, but in a competitive business climate, pay is not sufficient. Benefits and incentives can sometimes be the winning edge in attracting and retaining the best staff for your venture. Calculating the total compensation package is not always obvious. Occasionally, the best benefit may be invisible and may cost nothing.

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.


  • How important are benefits packages to employees? Do you think that most employees place a greater emphasis on salary or on benefits?
  • In what ways does the benefits package offered by a company affect its talent pool and retention efforts?
  • Do the advantages of offering a robust benefits package off-set the associated costs?

Suggested Resources

The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

Library Resources

The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

  • Muller, M. (2009). Manager’s guide to HR: Hiring, firing, performance evaluations, documentation, benefits, and everything else you need to know. Saranac Lake, NY: AMACOM.
  • McGladrey. (2013). Compensation, retirement and benefits trends survey 2012–2013. Medical Benefits, 30(1), 3–4.


Course Library Guide

A Capella University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the BUS-FP3040 – Fundamentals of Human Resource Management Library Guide to help direct your research.

Internet Resources

Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). EEOC litigation statistics. Retrieved from…
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011). Overview of BLS wage data by area and occupation. Retrieved from
Bookstore Resources

The resources listed below are relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and are not required. Unless noted otherwise, these materials are available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore. When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific –FP (FlexPath) course designation.

  • Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2018). Fundamentals of human resource management (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.


  • Choose an organization to use for this assessment. It can be where you are currently employed or a company with which you are familiar. It must be an organization that is researchable, as you will need to gather and analyze information in order to complete the assessment. You may use the same organization for the other assessments in this course.
  • If you choose the organization where you are currently employed, please keep in mind that the analyses you make must be based on facts that can be documented rather than your personal opinion as an employee.
  • Research the compensation and benefits of your selected organization. These topics are fluid and ever-changing, and a very good resource of information for these topics is the Capella library. Please search for sources published within the last 1–2 years for your assessment as you describe the compensation and benefits programs your chosen organization offers.


Based on your research into the compensation and benefits of the organization you selected, write a research paper in which you complete the following:

  • Describe the formal pay structure within the organization.
  • Describe any benchmarking activities the organization undertakes, including information on whether the organization offers a competitive compensation structure or incentives.
  • Describe any profit sharing or stock ownership programs that are available.
  • Explain which benefits offered by the organization are legally mandated and which are voluntary.
  • Analyze the cost of the benefits to the organization.
  • Explain how benefits are communicated to employees.
  • Analyze the environmental factors that have influenced the compensation and benefits of the organization.
  • Describe any problems associated with the compensation policies of the organization.
  • Analyze any current issues related to compensation and benefits faced by the organization.

Please note: You must address all the required elements of this assessment. If details for any of the bulleted points are unavailable, research the topic and present recommendations you believe would be best for the organization, along with your supporting rationale.

Additional Requirements

  • Your submitted assessment should include a title page, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference page.
  • Be sure you support your analyses with references to at least two resources.
  • You should format this assessment as a research paper following APA 6th edition guidelines for both style and citing sources, making sure that you also use correct grammar and mechanics.
  • There is no required minimum or maximum page length; however, you should strive to be as detailed as possible in addressing each bullet point, while also being as clear and concise as possible.

Must be according to distinguished guidelines in attached doc.

thank you

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