Most companies know what they want to achieve with their compensation programs. They want to build, motivate and retain a strong, innovative and productive workforce. The question is, what mix of pay will help the company to achieve that goal?

This question is not a new one. Companies have always struggled to hit the sweet spot when it comes to employee pay. They want to dedicate enough money to motivate desired results without paying too much or, worse, motivating the wrong results.

However, as companies move away from the economic turmoil of the last few years and further into a recovering economy, they need to refocus on their compensation choices and mix. Moreover, CFOs need to consider how employees view the company's overall value proposition—that is, everything of value the company provides to employees, including nonfinancial rewards.