Short-Term Incentive Plan Design

Pay Starts with Z™

Inspiring Performance Through Annual Incentives

Creative and custom-tailored to your organization’s goals and industry, our short-term incentive plan design expertise will help you motivate employees and drive performance. From discovery through project completion, we’ll ensure that your short-term incentive plan complements your company strategy, goals, and culture.

Incentive compensation is one of the most effective tools for growing a business. In fact, research concludes that companies without incentive plans generally rank in the bottom quartile of performance relative to peers. An incentive program that is well designed and communicated attracts new talent, enhances productivity, and motivates your team to greater performance achievements. 

Developing plans that drive success can be challenging – which is why clients seek Zayla Partners’ expertise. We help companies develop short-term plans that inspire employees to perform at optimal levels, and reward them for exceeding goals that are critical to a company’s strategic success. Find out more about what makes Zayla different.

Short-Term Incentive Analysis & Design


Our approach takes into account how a client funds the program, as well as whether they can commit to it on an ongoing basis.

We leverage our expertise in the boardroom and classroom to ensure each client’s incentive plan is designed to drive strategic success by motivating executives and key employees to meet important goals. 

We combine leading-edge market practices and client-centric perspectives to guide decision-making on key incentive plan design elements. 

Zayla Partners is uniquely positioned to help you create incentives that mitigate risk and drive performance through all business cycles. 

Our Process for STI Analysis & Design


Our short-term incentive plan design process is client-centric.

We start by interviewing management and board members to develop a deep understanding of your organization’s compensation philosophy, as well as company culture and short- and long-term goals.

From these active listening sessions, we pinpoint key topics, areas of strength and weakness, and potential concerns. We conduct analytics, benchmarking how the external competitive market compensates and incentivizes key employees. Through this research-driven approach, we ensure a plan delivers appropriate pay for performance.

Our plans ensure that the relationship between pay and performance goals is meaningful and achievable, which will ensure a return on investment for both the company and its executives. Proper alignment encourages active ownership of performance metrics and prevents plan designs from turning “incentives” into “disincentives.”

Short Term Incentive Planning Services







Short-Term Incentive FAQ

Companies often need an outside perspective to determine leading-edge marketplace practices. Their boards may request an independent perspective to provide third-party objective advice when setting performance metrics and payout targets. Finally, some companies lack the staff with the necessary incentive plan design experience to develop competitive programs.

ncentives are a great way to encourage understanding of your company’s values and objectives. When designed thoughtfully, with measurable, achievable objectives, incentive plans inspire excellence in performance and help your company grow.

Common short-term incentives include Management by Objectives (MBO), Key Performance Indicator Plans (KPI), Profit Sharing Plans, Management Incentive Plans (MIP), Bonus Plans, Short-Term Incentive Plans (SIIP), Performance-sharing Plans, Executive Incentive Plans (EIP), and Capital Appreciation Plans.

Because short-term incentive plans are annual and variable, we recommend reviewing both your short- and long-term incentive effectiveness on an annual basis. This will ensure the incentive plans are always tied directly to the ever-changing goals of your company and the marketplace.

While incentives can be developed for any role within an organization, most plans focus on executives and managers who drive value for the company.

Yes. We develop short-term and long-term incentive programs that maximize company performance and align performance and payouts. Our incentive planning services include analysis and guidance on both quantum and design.

The most important factors are company strategy, goals and objectives, culture, total rewards strategy, historical performance, supply and demand of labor, employee perceptions, shareholder views, and industry best practices.

We rely on data in a variety of forms, including company proxy statements, annual reports/10Ks, Form 4 filings, published survey sources tailored to your industry, company investor presentations, white papers, academic research, our experience developing and teaching the certification curriculum on variable pay, and our experience successfully advising over 400 companies on incentive plan design.