Modifying a Compensation Plan


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Modify a Compensation plan with the Design Worksheet
  • Configure a custom formula
  • Create a custom validation
  • Organize worksheets by grouping columns
  • Configure the display of historical information in a worksheet
  • Configure field-based permissions to limit field visibility
  • Create custom messages that display on the worksheet
  • Create standard and custom fields for a Compensation worksheet

Design Worksheet

The Design Worksheet is used to add, edit, and delete columns in your compensation plan template.

Pre-configured fields specific to Salary and Stock planning are available. If there is a requirement for a column that does not exist in the list of standard columns, custom columns can be created.

A list of standard columns is available in the SAP SuccessFactors Compensation Implementation Guide.

Design Worksheet Leading Practices

The following are some recommendations when using the Design Worksheet.

Leading Practices

  • When creating custom fields, use the prefix CUSTOM in the column ID, so that you can easily distinguish custom fields from standard fields.

  • Avoid starting field IDs with a number.

  • Use the pre-configured colors (in grouping) instead of feeding own HTML color code or hex color codes.

  • Leave the column widths blank.

Two websites that can be used to get hex codes are as follows:

Column and Field Attribute Configuration

The Design Worksheet is reached by navigating to Plan SetupDesign WorksheetDesign Worksheet.

The Design Worksheet

The Design Worksheet page contains everything needed to add or modify columns to worksheets.

On the right side of the sheet are the details of the selected column.

Configuration options include:

  • Change names

  • Make read-only

  • Set column width

  • Set labels

The Design Worksheet: Columns

On the left side of the sheet is the list of columns. When the column is added, it will display in the worksheet in the same order.

Positioning can be changed using the drag and drop method.

Adding a Column

Adding a column is a simple process.

Indicate the desired type of column to configure using the dropdown.

  • Form Fields: Fields configured within the worksheet. When adding a form field, you can select whether it will be added to the Salary or Stock tab.
  • Rollup Report Fields: These fields are not common, but are used to define four special fields (compliance, PM Completed, within guideline, and eligible) for rollup reports. Once these four fields are enabled in XML (set to true), the label can be edited.
  • Navigation Fields: Used to relabel planning tabs (Salary, Stock, and so on)
  • Budget Fields: Where budget field rows, such as More to Allocate, can be re-labeled
  • Custom Views: Custom Views provide planners direct access to view portlets from People Profile (PP3) from the Compensation worksheet
  • Eligibility Fields: Used when eligibility is managed through the user data file.

Adjusting Column Configuration

Once the column is added, you return to the main screen with it selected. From here, adjustments to the column’s configuration are made:

  • Drag to new placement
  • Change the name
  • Set to read only
  • Set column alignment
  • Set a specific width
  • Select Percent and Amount options
  • Adjust the label name to support multiple languages

Field Attributes

Once you have added a column or field, you must configure its attributes. Depending on the type of field, many different configuration options are available. For standard columns, however, most of the settings are predefined and you can only change a few of these settings.

For descriptions of each attribute, search on the SAP Help portal.

Supported Operations for Custom Formulas

A custom formula can be created in the worksheet, for example, adding two columns together.

When creating a formula:

  • Read-only must be set to Yes so planners can’t make changes.

  • The Import Key option must be empty (import keys cannot be used with formulas).

These calculations are supported.

Complex calculations are supported as well.

Custom Column - Formulas: Rounding Numbers

Custom Validation

SAP SuccessFactors Compensation system allows for several standard validations, such as soft/hard stops related to merit, extra, lumpsum, and promotion guidelines, force-comment functionality for raises/adjustments, and budget related hard and soft stops. You can also create a standard validation to editable numeric and string custom fields. Set Value Range validation allows administrators to define a range of acceptable inputs; when users enter values outside the range, the system displays an error. Set enumerated range validation allows administrators to define specific values, which are displayed as a dropdown list for users to choose from. However, some customers would like to create additional validation specific to their business processes. Customer-driven logic allows the customer to define their own true/false formulas that would trigger messages of hard and soft stops to improve their quality of planning. These may include:

  • Adding a custom dropdown list of reasons for an adjustment
  • Adjustments limited to certain amounts
  • Combinations of adjustments that are not allowed (for example, merit adjustment or lumpsum, but not both)

Creating Validations

Admins with access to the column designer can specify the type of validation that occurs when the administrator's defined conditions are met. Types of custom validations include the following:

  • Warning, which displays an informational message
  • Error, which displays a message and does not allow the worksheet to be saved until the condition has been corrected

By using a custom formula, administrators can add a custom logic that will trigger a warning or error message when violations are made. For example, admins might want to make sure an employee's promotional salary increase is not allowed until their pay grade has been changed (a hard validation), or might want an informational message displayed when an employee’s salary adjustment is entered that is higher than a pre-defined maximum (warning).

In the figure, Custom Validation, you can see how the Validation column was created. The formula, if(lumpSum=0,"Ok",if(customField1="No Reason","Error","Ok")), defines the field output when the conditions are met. The custom validation formula, if(lumpSum=0,"TRUE",if(customField1="No Reason","FALSE","TRUE")) defines how the error message is triggered. In this example, the end-user will get an error message when a lump sum award is given to an employee without choosing a lump sum reason (customField1).

Reminders when using custom validations:

  • Validations can only be applied to Custom/Reportable/Read-only fields.
  • A maximum of 20 validations per template is allowed.
  • Only FALSE or False values in a validation formula will trigger the validation.
  • Any custom fields with supported operations and equations can use custom validations.
  • Custom validations are supported in stand-alone compensation plans only.
  • Be mindful of dead-ends. Don’t create a hard validation that the end-user can’t resolve which would prevent saving.
  • Avoid using custom validation as part of cross-tab formulas.
  • You can hide columns containing custom validations to free up screen real estate.

Grouping of Columns for Organizational Purposes

Grouping the columns makes the worksheet more cohesive and easier to look at and analyze.

  • Column Name: Label visible in the worksheet.

  • Grouping ID: Unique identifier visible in the XML. Use letters but no special characters.

  • Initial State: Column behavior when opening the form for the first time. Can be set to expanded or collapsed.

  • Displayed column when collapsed: One column can be set to be visible even when group is collapsed.

  • Group Color: Background color for the columns.

Custom Views

The ability to view employee details such as compensation history, rating history, or bonus history, facilitates better decision making for planners.

Choosing Custom Views to Configure Display of Information

Custom Views provide planners direct access to view portlets from People Profile (PP3) in the Compensation worksheet.

Choosing Compensation Profile to Configure Display of Information

Compensation Profile is another option of configuring the display of historical information. However, the Compensation Profile can only use existing compensation templates as historical source. When off-cycle changes are made through Manager Self Service (MSS) the changes are not recorded in compensation plans, which make the historical periods in Compensation Profile incomplete.

Administrators can configure which portlets are viewable in the form using Design Worksheet. Viewing permissions will respect the role-based permission set for the planner.

Supported Portlets

For Non-Employee Central: Portlets that are supported for Performance Management are also supported by Compensation.

For Employee Central: The following list of EC_Portlets are also supported by Compensation:


Field-based Permissions

Role-based permissions can only control access to the tabs and subtabs of SAP SuccessFactors Compensation tools and access to Executive Review and statements. RBPs cannot control visibility of fields on the form, only field-based permissions can.

Using field-based permissions, Compensation admins can add restrictions to both standard and custom fields to limit the field visibility and the ability to edit for specific groups.

You can use standard SAP SuccessFactors roles (Managers, HR Managers, and so on) or create a new permission group.


  • Hide worksheet fields not meaningful to planner.

  • Add custom fields available only to HR, such as an override column. This would allow HR to make data correction for planner entries, without changing the planners initial value.

  • Allow certain fields to be available by country.

Steps for Creating Field-Based Permissions

The steps for creating field-based permissions are as follows:

  1. Enable field-based permissions by navigating to Plan SetupSettings.

  2. You can choose standard SAP SuccessFactors roles from the dropdown or create a new permission group.

  3. Field-based permissions are dynamic, just like role-based permission groups.

  4. You can manage field-based permission groups in Actions for all plansGroup AssignmentsManage Dynamic Groups.

  5. Associate which roles to use within the plan settings.

  6. Place field restrictions on any standard or custom fields.

Field-Based Permissions: Expected Behaviors and Considerations

  • Hiding a worksheet field also hides the fields on the Compensation Profile.

  • Hiding a worksheet field also hides the budget for the field. If budget is shared with another program, budget information will be hidden for both programs.

  • Hiding a worksheet field also hides any Youcalc widgets that are associated with that field. If the widget is displaying information on other programs, the entire widget will be hidden.

  • Keep in mind that field-based permissions (FBPs) won’t override field attributes (read-only or editable, visible or hidden, and so on). So a read-only field cannot be made editable using FBP and a hidden field cannot be made visible using FBP. If, for instance, you want to make a field editable for some people and read-only for others, you have to define it as editable in the first place and then use FBP permission to revoke edit permissions for a given target population.

Plan Instructions

Within the Design Worksheet function is the ability to create custom messages.

  • Messages are displayed at the top of the sheets to provide instructions for users.

  • Messages can be set up for different languages.

Setting Custom Messages and Instructions

To set the instructions:

  1. Navigate to Plan SetupDesign WorksheetPlan Instruction.

  2. Change any of the messages as desired.

  3. To set messages for different languages, use the Change Language dropdown menu options.

  4. Click Save when finished.

Planners use the worksheet once a year for two weeks. Considering that there are new features each year and an overload of information on the worksheet, it can become a challenging task. A guided simulation of the worksheet and its elements can be created using SAP Enable Now. To know more about this tool, visit the SAP Help Portal for the SAP Enable Now Implementation Guide.

Create Standard and Custom Fields for a Compensation Worksheet

Business Example

You need to create some standard and custom fields in a compensation worksheet.


  1. Create a new field and field group.

    1. Navigate to Compensation Home and your newly created template.

    2. Navigate to Plan SetupDesign WorksheetDesign Worksheet .

    3. Select Add grouping.

    4. Enter Discretionary Bonus as the column name.

    5. Drag Discretionary group after Adjustment group.

    6. Select Add ColumnStandard

    7. Select Lump Sum 2.

    8. Change Column name to Discretionary

    9. Drag the column in the Discretionary Group

    10. Save.

  2. Add a custom field in the Current Pay Information group by clicking Add ColumnCustom.

    1. Enter the following details:

      Column NameBonus Aggregate
      Column TypeMoney
      Other OptionsReportable, Calculate Total
      Column IdcustomField1
  3. After creating the field, associate the Bonus Aggregate field to <comp-ect-ouput-component componentType="payComponentNonRecurring" in the XML, which allows the new compensation data (customField1) to be published back to Employee Central.

    1. Navigate to Compensation HomePlan SetupAdvanced Settings.

    2. Click Download Form Template and save the XML template.

    3. Scroll down to the bottom, locate the comp-ect-output for payComponentNonRecurring, change the comp-field-id of lumpSum to customField1, and then save the XML file.

    4. Log in to Provisioning (

    5. Navigate to Form Template Administration and click the 20xx EC Integrated Salary Plan template that you created.

    6. Use the Update by upload to update the compensation plan.

  4. Create Force Comment in Compensation Home.

    1. Navigate to Plan SetupDesign WorksheetDefine Standard Validation Rules.

    2. Click Add Force Comment Rule.

    3. Select lumpSum2 as Field. Mode is set to Raise.

      This will force a comment when an amount is entered to the lumpSum2 (Discretionary) column in the worksheet.

    4. Save.

  5. Create a test worksheet.

    1. On Step 1, enter Test1 as the worksheet name or any preferred naming convention.

    2. On Step 2, enter start, end, and due dates.

    3. On Step 3, enterCarla Grant.

    4. Select Create for Head of Planning only.

    5. Click Launch Plan.

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