Congratulations on being part of America’s greatest business revitalization effort of the early 21st century! Whether you’ve been in Detroit for much of its 200-year history or you’ve recently arrived to join the renewal, you are part of a new and dynamic era of business development and vibrant growth for Detroit.

This is our home too. Detroit is where we’ve hung our hat for 25 years. At the heart of our services has been a tenacious, robust and unflinching city.  As one of the businesses, services, associations or community health centers that make up the foundation of this resurgent city, you have the potential for a terrific future. We can strengthen your hand and help secure that future.

One of Detroit’s best-kept secrets, Merces Consulting Group has been working nationwide with manufacturing corporations, financial institutions, service companies, associations, FQHCs and more to help them achieve long-term solutions for better organizational performance and employee engagement. We want to help you re-align your planning, staffing and compensation for a realistic approach in a changing Detroit marketplace. We know the workforce and the business environment, and we know how to help you attract, retain and motivate the right staff in the right jobs for the right pay – for the long haul.

Merces has worked with manufacturing clients since its founding in 1992 and has maintained a strong relationship with the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) for 20 years. And we’ve served a broad range of organizations spanning a variety of industries in the service sector too, along with trade associations and professional societies.  One of our specialties across the nation has been service to the Federally Qualified Health Centers. We succeed with such a diverse client base because we understand the principles of business organization that drive success.  We start with your mission, your market, and your financial and human resources, and then we put you on a path to realistic, renewable goal fulfillment.


Many privately-held businesses suffer from guilt by association – the impression that labor unions, activists and the media give the public about executive compensation is the feeling that since Fortune 500 executives earn millions, so do the executives at businesses on “main street”.

Similarly, boards of directors are appropriately concerned about their CEO compensation programs. State and federal agencies have indicated their intention to come down hard on perceived “excess” executive compensation, and Not-for-profit status is sometimes threatened when compensation does not appear to line up with the prevailing opinion of the day. Sometimes it seems as if the media has nothing better to do than to “expose” executive compensation practices. You can be sure that any association whose advocacy efforts catch the eye of the media will also find media interest in its compensation practices.

The truth is that a well-designed executive compensation program will not attract negative attention, because it is based on fundamental and well-accepted business practices. The media will be hard-pressed to find fault with a compensation methodology developed transparently with third-party involvement. Merces works with top management and boards to:

  • Establish a formal compensation philosophy
  • Develop and implement procedures for determining executive pay
  • Collect and analyze competitive data
  • Set up formal salary ranges and incentive compensation plans
  • Develop approaches for managing performance and adjusting pay.

Merces understands the challenges of working with owners, managers, and board members who do not have expertise in the area of executive compensation. All of our assignments include training and presentations to the stakeholders to ensure they understand the implications of their actions and can feel confident in their decisions.

It is likely that your organization is already paying enough, in total, to support a workforce at its current level of performance. It is just as likely, unfortunately, that it is not distributed fairly and equitably. Without a structured approach to compensation management, health centers see problems such as:

  • Needing to pay more to new hires than experienced staff in the same job
  • Becoming training centers for other local organizations through failure to keep pay competitive
  • Having long service but lower performing staff paid well above the market

None of these problems are inevitable. With extensive knowledge and 25 years working with organizations both in Detroit and nationwide, in urban and rural settings, large and small, Merces has more expertise in developing, implementing and administering structured employee compensation programs than any other consulting firm.

Our approach to pay management involves considering three key elements of pay fairness and equity:

  • Internal Equity – A job evaluation methodology determines the relative value of jobs to organization, ensuring pay opportunities match job contributions, even when no market data is available. A pay program that does not properly incorporate job evaluation is not only less effective, it opens the organization up to potential unnecessary liability.
  • External Competitiveness – Defining ranges that clearly outline the pay opportunities for each job helps organizations understand the nature of the market, as well as how their “non-benchmark” jobs fit in. Merces ensures that health centers properly define their “market” and collects the data that is most appropriate not just for their market but for their business model.
  • Paying for Performance – A fair and equitable pay program does no good if it isn’t administered fairly and equitably. Creating performance management plans that ensure appropriate compensation for employees’ contributions to the organization is key to effective pay management. Merces can show your organization how to use job descriptions to create customized performance management programs for each job.

Merces’ clients report high levels of satisfaction with the pay programs we develop – beyond solving immediate problems, they help management better budget and understand their cost structure, and promote a higher level of understanding among employees of how their pay is determined.

Managing an organization in any industry requires not just an understanding of organizational structure, but of the organization’s history and purpose, its customers and vendors, and the communities in which it operates. As companies grow or change over time, and pass from generation to generation, they need to closely look at how they are staffed to achieve their objectives. The increasing challenge of not just growth, but competition and new technologies, brings about the need for more operational and administrative sophistication, which often calls for changes in organizational structure. Merces helps organizations critically review their existing structures and develop a path toward the future, working with both executive management and Boards of Directors. Merces has worked with organizations in a variety of situations, including:

  • Participating in strategic planning to make sure human resource implications of proposed strategies are understood.
  • Aligning senior management structures to respond to staffing changes and new operational challenges
  • Preparing organizations with succession planning in anticipation of senior management change
  • Developing new organizational models to manage growth
  • Working with Boards of Directors to create new role definitions for the CEO and establishing programs for performance management
  • Creating accurate and effective job descriptions tied directly to performance management programs

Merces understands that each organization is different, but that organizations in an industry can learn a lot, not just from each other, but from those in other industries. Effective solutions begin by clearly defining the objectives and expectations, and working toward the best possible results.

Many human resources programs, as well as other organization initiatives, fail not because they are poorly designed, but because they are poorly communicated. Communication is not simply a matter of volume of information, but how it is delivered. Any new program, or any change, requires development of a strategy to ensure that information is effectively disseminated to the right population, at the right time. The communication also involves gathering information from employees, whether it is for deciding which approach to take, or gauging the reaction from actions already taken.

Merces works with its clients to:

  • Design strategies for communicating new programs and practices, preparing supporting materials and delivering information to employees
  • Collect employee opinions and feedback through surveys and focus groups

Communications services can be provided as part of another consulting project, or as a stand-alone assignment.

Metro Detroit Compensation Forum

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The Compensation Times
The Compensation Times

2016 Compensation in Michigan Survey



Our Blog: The Compensation Times

The Compensation Times
The Compensation Times