A Holistic View of Compensation and Employee Reward Strategies: Q&A with Shelly Cattoor

Earlier this fall, HBM welcomed Shelly Cattoor as a Senior Manager, Total Rewards. Shelly will work with Amy Fields, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer and the human resources team on aligning HBM’s compensation and employee benefits programs across the organization.

CC:  Please share your career highlights and why you chose to pursue a career in human resources management.

SC: My career path is somewhat atypical of a traditional human resources professional.  I was a CPA, having launched my career in the accounting field.  Although accounting is an admirable profession, I soon realized that it wasn’t the right one for me.  I was seeking a profession that would allow me to be more creative and provide opportunities to collaborate on cross-functional projects.

I went back to school to earn my MBA and to figure out my next career move.  I was interested in human resources and ended up enrolling in several elective HR courses.  Compensation was one of them that I found very interesting.  I was curious about how companies determine salaries and overall compensation, and this class opened my eyes to opportunities within the human resources field.

After I earned my MBA and certificate in HR Management, I accepted my first human resources job at Anheuser-Busch where I gained exposure to managing broad-based compensation programs. This role felt natural to me and gave me the opportunity to be creative, collaborate on interdepartmental projects and interact with people on a frequent basis.

CC: What is your current role at HBM and what attracted you to the firm?

SC: I am the Senior Manager of Total Rewards and am responsible for setting the strategy to gradually align the compensation and employee benefits plans for HBM and its portfolio companies. Our goal is to create a total rewards philosophy that supports our portfolio companies’ strategies while attracting, motivating and retaining employees.

Salaries and insurance are just part of the total rewards puzzle.  Employee benefits also include wellness programs, personal and professional development, and work/life balance support.  Essentially, we take a holistic view of employee engagement and well-being and support that view with our total rewards package. Our goal is to develop and implement the total rewards philosophy at HBM and roll out the supporting compensation and benefit strategies to our portfolio companies over time.

When I learned of this opportunity at HBM, I was immediately intrigued as it would allow me to roll up my sleeves and touch many different facets of HR.  When working at larger companies, you don’t have as much opportunity to work “outside your box,” so to speak.  Now that I have been with HBM for a few months, I can tell that my initial instinct was right.  I have a variety of interactions on a daily basis and clear visibility as to how compensation and benefits support the overall HBM business strategy.  It feels great to know your contributions are valued at HBM, and that your efforts have a direct impact on implementing the company’s strategic initiatives.

CC: What is your long-term strategic vision for aligning the compensation and benefits policies across HBM and its portfolio companies?

SC: HBM’s culture is one of continuous learning and improvement.  We work closely with our company CEOs to identify talent and devise a plan to set employees up for career success.  Each CEO is aware of the talent across the enterprise and can source talent from another portfolio company to fill a role within their organization.  We never want benefits or any of our HR policies to become obstacles to company or employee success.

Unlike traditional private equity firms, HBM’s model is unique in that our portfolio companies make the majority of their business decisions autonomously.   HBM aims to provide additional resources for our portfolio companies where needed.  Currently, we are looking at ways to develop broad compensation and benefits guidelines so that when we acquire a company, they have direction as to how we approach total rewards across the entire enterprise.  Over time, we will align HBM’s compensation and benefits philosophy and strategy across the portfolio companies.

CC: How will you define your success?

SC: I believe the clearest indicators of success are employee engagement and retention.  There are so many factors that affect an employee’s happiness. Therefore,  I will focus my efforts on improving our comprehensive total rewards program that provides competitive compensation and benefits, individual development and wellness.

CC: What has been your experience with HBM thus far?

SC: I absolutely LOVE my job.  HBM’s culture truly makes the company unique.  Employees at all levels have the same access to senior executives, providing learning opportunities and gaining an understanding of how a specific project supports the firm’s strategy.

What is also refreshing is how much HBM truly values its employees.  My position, for example, was newly created.  Usually, compensation and benefits are handled by an HR generalist in a smaller or mid-size organization.  However, HBM saw the value of this function and created a role that would provide support and align total rewards across the entire organization.

CC: Please share a fun fact about yourself that most people would not guess.

SC: I am an avid runner and enjoy running 5ks with my twelve-year-old son.  We just started a new tradition that I hope will continue – we plan to do a 5k together every month!  In a few years, I look forward to becoming a coach for Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization, where I hope to share a love of running with my six-year-old daughter.

Shelly joined HBM in September 2017.