The Compensation Cafe has recently published some great posts on how compensation professionals can make the best of tiny merit budgets.
It's all good stuff and I have nothing to add except this poem:
This year’s budget is pretty lame
But we still all have to play the game.
Be sure to complete your performance review
Although there may be nothing in it for you.
Calculating your bonus don’t need a math whiz
Just close your eyes… and there it is!!!
Merit increases will be tiny
But before you get all whiny
Your manager has been trained to offer succor:
‘I know you worked hard, but we ain’t got the lucre.’
Oh, and stock? Not so much.
That’s just for top performers, which you’re not as such.
You were pretty close but no cigar
So work harder next year to be a star.
We still want to show appreciation so everyone wins
Therefore we are also handing out these lovely tie pins.
Now that’s what we call talent management.
Sincerely, your HR department.