• Five things every great leader gets right


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Despite all the press given to the rotten leaders in the world, workplaces all across the United States are filled with great leaders. These leaders share some commonalities that make them great. For example …

  • 7 mistakes payroll managers make calculating overtime


    Overtime; the bane of nearly every payroll manager’s existence. Yet, it is a necessary part of operating a profitable businesses when employees need to be paid for time on the clock that extends beyond regular work hours. The correct tracking, calculation and payment of overtime is something that must happen to avoid breaking a number of employment laws. Accurately paying overtime also fosters good will with employees who have sacrificed their personal time in order to help the company meet important project deadlines.

  • 9 low cost incentive ideas for part time employees


    Throughout the recession, with all the layoffs and government furloughs, America's employees are working harder than ever before. Many part time employees have also felt the brunt of this extra pressure. Why? Part time employees are often responsible for taking on more tasks for their employers to make up for gaps in departments, left behind by former or missing colleagues. This has left part timers feeling used and abused at times, leading to lower than average productivity, massive burnout, and generally low employee morale.
  • Snackable: Innovation According to Lego


    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    In the fast pace of today’s market, most businesses recognize the importance of creativity, and innovation. The ability to adapt, and harness creativity are key components in the longevity of your organization. These ideas can apply to a number of areas, from your compensation strategy, to your company perks, to your new product innovations.

  • Four reasons why your work from home policy isn’t working for you


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    If you were being completely honest with yourself, you’d admit that you hate your company’s work from home policy.

    Half the time you can’t access people or information when you need to, and you have a terrible feeling that employees spend more time doing their household chores than working on company projects. You can think of several employees who’ve requested, and been granted, exceptions to the policy, and some of the arrangements don’t make sense for your business. In fact, you’ve created work arounds to accommodate the policy (the monthly Marketing meeting should ideally be held on the Friday immediately after the monthly sales reports are generated, but instead it’s held on Tuesday, because on Friday Matt and Sally aren’t here, and on Monday Jack isn’t here, and you’d ask your IT department about the feasibility of setting up meetings remotely, but every time you think to contact Rosalie in IT she’s not here… ) and this work from home thing is becoming a big, fat problem.

  • Top 10 mistakes when giving a performance review


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There are two schools of thought when it comes to performance reviews. People tend to either view them as an opportunity for feedback and growth or spend all year dreading the awkward discussion chocked full of criticism. How you, and even your employees, view performance reviews is really up to you. Rather than seeing these reviews as an annoyance or as confrontational, think of them as a checkpoint to measure how far an employee has come and where their path is heading.

  • Workplace privacy in the age of social transparency


    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    If you’ve ever hired someone, chances are you’ve been tempted to run a quick Google search, or comb social media for additional information. This can be a good way to evaluate talent, and provide insight into a potential hire’s professional demeanor. While helpful, this new era of decreased privacy can be daunting for employees and employers alike – we want to present a professional image, and we want to hire people who present such an image. By the same token, we want to avoid that creepy feeling that comes from excessive snooping, worried that our search for misconduct could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In an age where almost every aspect of our lives is willingly documented by social media (if not, the potential is there), how do we exercise our right to free speech and self-expression while still maintaining a sense of professionalism?

  • Salary or commission? Making the case for sales compensation planning

    Salary or Commissions

    A big challenge for many growing businesses is how to fairly compensate salespeople when cash flow is often not stable yet. The norm is to hire sales professionals strictly on a commission only basis, hoping that they will outperform your expectations and bring in new business. Others try offering a low salary with tiered commissions to reel in sales. 
    On the one hand, a commission-based system is supported by the incentive of new sales and upsells to current customers. On the other hand, sales people may not be overly motivated by this approach, resulting in less than stellar performance. How can a company leverage the best of a salary and commission compensation plan to improve sales performance?

  • How to respond to an ADA accommodation request without landing in court


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    So, first things first. I’m not an attorney (although I will be quoting one).

    However, during my many years in the HR business, I’ve read lots of cases about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In almost all the cases I’ve come across, the employer made one completely avoidable mistake that landed him in court.

    But before I tell you what that mistake was, here’s a brief summary of the law.

  • Merit Raises – Do Employees Really Appreciate Them?


    , PayScale 

    When it comes to raising employee morale while simultaneously boosting productivity at work, one employee at a time, a strategic way to compensate high performance employees is through merit raises. These often unscheduled pay raises or bonuses are generally part of an overall effort to reward and recognize employees for their hard work. Merit raises can be managed either through a discretionary fund that each department head doles out, or by arranging for merit increases to correspond with employee performance records.

    Either way, the question remains – do employees actually appreciate merit raises or are there alternative ways to say “thanks” for a job well done?

  • Why Managing Your Company Culture Matters


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    How much time do you spend managing your company culture? If the answer is “not a whole lot,” you could be making a big mistake.

    Your organization’s culture, or personality, affects so much—how decisions are made (e.g., unilaterally or collaboratively, slowly or quickly), how conflict is handled, how respectfully (or not) employees treat each other, and mostly—whether your employees wake up wanting to come to work or dreading the thought.

  • Understanding pay schedules


    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP
    Manager of Insight Expert Services at PayScale

    As the economy continues to slowly recover, and organizations are getting more specific about their compensation philosophies, compensation plans are both streamlining and becoming more complex. Increasingly organizations are using pay schedules as a way of maintaining internal equity, while differentiating pay by a number of factors. What is a pay schedule and when might you want to use it?

  • Five reasons your performance review system sucks


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    If there’s any corporate tradition more maligned than the annual performance review, I’m hard pressed to find it.

    Managers hate doing reviews so much, many just don’t. A recent survey by Ceridian reported that in 2012, only 59% of respondents had had a formal sit down with their manager to discuss performance.

    Oh my.

    Well, I believe it’s high time for the annual review to get its proper due, rather than being disparaged as a pointless hurdle that nonetheless must be jumped before employees can receive pay increases. With that attitude, it’s no wonder your performance review system sucks.

  • How to Curb PTO Abuse and Reduce Absenteeism with Compensation Planning


    Tess C. Taylor, PHR

    Is your company’s paid time off policy becoming a joke around the water cooler? Maybe you are noticing above average call-outs from employees for frivolous reasons? Perhaps no other human capital issue has the negative impact that frequently absent and sick employees create for a business.

  • 23 answers about compensation analytics and the ROI of turnover


    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    PayScale recently hosted a wildly popular webinar entitled Compensation Analytics: The ROI of Turnover, presented by me, Mykkah Herner. If you missed the webinar, you are welcome to view the slides from the presentation. Since this is a topic of interest to so many of our Compensation Today readers, we're posting my answers to many of the questions received after this webinar here.

  • Snackable: What pays in Vegas...


    Tim Low, PayScale

    PayScale is off to Las Vegas next week Monday and Tuesday for the HR Tech event which is a scintillating cauldron's brew of both HR and IT, and we love it. This got us thinking about typical Vegas-y jobs, and how much people with those jobs earn.

  • Manage your conflict and manage your costs


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    A quick internet search will yield many definitions of “conflict,” and most of them sound something like this one from Merriam-Webster:

    Con-flict  noun.  Strong disagreement between people, groups, etc., that results in often angry argument.

    Hmmm … I’m guessing this is why conflict gets such a bad rap and is avoided by so many business leaders instead of being dealt with head on as a fact of life.

  • Five Common Misconceptions about Employee Turnover

    Turnover misconceptions

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    All too often, we jump to conclusions when problems arise. One area in which this is certainly true is employee turnover. Whether we’re the ones experiencing it or we’re just part of the conversation about the growing trend, we tend to think we have it figured out. Most people realize that remedying the situation is much different than knowing what’s wrong, but regardless, we see the problem and also think we see the causes. However, employee turnover isn’t always what it seems on the surface

    At the heart of the issue of employee turnover are the needs, perceptions, desires and decisions of actual people – your company’s employees. This makes the issue somewhat complicated and not as simple to pin down as some might think. There are several misconceptions that are perpetuated about employee turnover and we’ll take a look at five of them here.

  • Budgeting Employee Compensation Like You Would Your Personal Budget


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Most people tend to view their personal and corporate budgets in very different ways, even though the basic principles of both are the same. To create a budget, no matter what type of budget it is, you have certain amount of money you need to work within and specific expenses that need to be included. So if the principles of both are so basic and similar, it would only stand to reason that the same budgeting wisdom you use at home could also be adapted to the budget you create at work also.

  • How to handle salary negotiations without having money in the bank


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Like most people, I hate having to say “no.” At this point in my life it’s something I’m well acquainted with (having a daughter will help you get over that) but it’s still not fun to feel like the bubble buster. When someone comes to me looking for a yes and the answer I give isn’t what they want to hear, it sucks. Even still, sometimes “yes” just isn’t an option, such as when the question is “Can I have a raise?” and the reality is there’s no money in the bank, or the budget, to provide one.


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