• 3 Performance review options for startups


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Managing a startup company is a tough job whether you are just breaking ground or growing quickly. There’s so much on-the-job training and such a learning curve, not to mention that you never know what each day will bring. Wearing many hats, you have to quickly become an expert and grow professionally in order to keep up. Many startups have the advantage of having leaders who have years of professional experience so not every problem that comes up is foreign but at the same time, you also have the freedom to leave everything you know behind and establish new solutions and traditions. That’s a major reason why the topic of performance reviews in startups elicits such a varied response.

  • PayScale Index Q4 2013: the oil and gas industry is hot!


    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    The PayScale Index for Q4 2013 shows an 18 percent rise in Oil and Gas sector wages since 2006; small company wage growth has stalled; annual wage growth of 0.7 percent is predicted for Q1 2014.

    Our first forecast was very close

    Last quarter, we predicted U.S. national wages would grow 0.1 percent between Q3 and Q4 2013. The actual quarterly growth calculated for this Q4 2013 release is 0.2 percent.  We were so close! For Q1 2014, we forecast quarterly wage growth to be a slight uptick of 0.2 percent, resulting in annual wage growth of 0.7 percent.

  • The performance review: why consistency matters


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Conducting performance reviews is a tricky part of any manager’s job. They tend to hold quite a bit of weight when it comes to judging an employee’s contribution to the organization but are also very subjective, sometimes leaving employees with unfair assessments or unclear expectations. To make things worse, managers tend to let their own biases affect performance reviews so employees may not trust the performance review at all. While these issues are all unfortunate aspects of performance reviews, they happen every day in both large and small businesses.

  • How to handle a problem employee


    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    Most of us have likely felt the effects of a problem employee. We may see the impact from a management position, or feel the impact as a member of a team where someone is not pulling their weight. While these types of occurrences are unfortunate, they do happen. As a leader, you hope to assist employees in development rather than have them drag the rest of your team down. Of course there are steps you can take to handle a problem employee, but sometimes, this process can seem overwhelming.

  • Payroll oops! FLSA mistakes managers make when calculating overtime


    As if calculating overtime pay wasn’t challenging enough at times, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can throw even a seasoned payroll manager into a tailspin at 300 miles per hour. Why do FLSA mistakes cause so many issues for payroll overtime processing? In this article, we will look at some ways you can avoid the common issues with managing overtime payments in regards to FLSA guidelines.

  • 3 tips to handle compensation in the startup environment


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Startup businesses are some of the most exciting ventures to be involved in but they bring with them unique challenges and many, many lessons to learn along the way. Some of the toughest things to handle are staffing your company, managing personnel and handling compensation. Given the fact that a single person or even the business owner typically handles compensation, there can be some hurdles to jump over as you navigate your way through managing compensation in a startup.

  • Avoid these common performance review mistakes



    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Is there anyone … anyone at all… who either likes writing performance reviews or receiving performance reviews?

    Yeah, I didn’t think so.

    Still, there’s no reason to compound the pain by introducing common errors into the review that render it much less effective than it would have been otherwise—that’s pain with no gain. (My apologies for the cliché.)

  • Make up your mind, already! How indecision is hurting your team


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    No one who has ever worked with management (including HR pros) or been in management would say that it’s easy. On the contrary.

    And if you’re a good manager, it’s really not easy.

    Your team depends on you, looking to you for guidance, answers, and direction.

    That’s why your indecision is negatively affecting your team’s productivity and possibly causing them to lose confidence in you, too.

  • Is the federal minimum wage fair compensation?


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    The question of whether or not the federal minimum wage is fair is one that has been tossed around quite a bit in the last several years. The resurgence of this question has largely been due to political scenes heating up and major layoffs leading more people to obtain minimum wage jobs but it’s a topic that has been debated since the first minimum wage was put into place in 1938, guaranteeing workers 25 cents per hour. Though the federal minimum wage has increased significantly over the years to the $7.25 per hour rate it is now, the hard questions about minimum wage still remain. Chief among them is whether or not the $7.25 per hour employers are required to pay their employees is actually fair.

  • Do’s and don’ts for managing the insubordinate employee


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Insubordinate employees are a poison in the workplace.

    That was bold, and I’m sorry, but it’s true.

    Employees with putrid attitudes who won’t and don’t follow instructions are a real drag on workplace productivity, because even if they’re kind of, sort of doing their jobs, the effort required to manage them relative to their output is a sorry bargain.

  • Snackable: Even monkeys Can recognize unequal pay


    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    Have you recently expressed concerns around employee retention? As the New Year approaches, many employees may be considering a resolution that includes a quest for better pay, especially if they’re starting to become aware of possible inequalities when it comes to pay.

  • Is your paternalistic culture killing your business?


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    A company’s culture, or personality, is a very big deal. Just as an individual’s personality can be a help or a hindrance to meeting certain personal goals, a company’s “personality” can be a help or a hindrance to meeting certain organizational goals.

  • What if your co-workers knew how much you make?


    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    We’ve talked a bit about social transparency – the dawn of a new social media age in which previous ideas of privacy seem to be rapidly changing. While many of us seem more than happy to share just about every aspect of our lives online, one component still remains taboo for many – salary.

  • Q and A from PayScale webinar series: Compensation Budgeting


    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    PayScale recently hosted a three-part webinar series all about Compensation Budgeting, presented by yours truly. Part one was all about managing pay inequities. Part two taught attendees all about raises, and part three showed how to pull it all together using PayScale Insight. If you missed any of the webinars, you are welcome to view the recordings. 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 the webinars here. Enjoy!

  • Making the performance review relevant to employees


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Performance reviews are typically a source of dread and stress for employees. They tend to be very critical, one sided and vague, leaving very little of value for employees to take away from the evaluation. However, they are a necessary part of growth and development, both for your company and the employee as an individual. Performance reviews establish expectations, review job performance and provide direction, all of which contribute to the success of your company. However, there is another side to performance reviews that often gets overlooked: what the performance review does for the employee.

  • Millennials and Gen X: more alike than different


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Everyone loves to rag on Millennials (born between 1977 and 1990), and we’ve all heard the complaints. Millennials are lazy. Millennials are spoiled and entitled. Millennials have no ambition. And so on.

  • Holiday parties vs. employee bonuses - what do employees most look forward to?


    Get out your party hats – it’s the annual holiday season! This time of year signals a time when employees eagerly look forward to what the company has in store for them. Like little kids in a candy shop, they wonder if they will they get another turkey from the boss again this year, or does he have something else up his sleeve – like a bonus check?

  • Paving the way to a healthy workplace with corporate wellness incentives


    As Obamacare officially launched across America this year, new requirements forced employers to look for ways to boost their compensation and benefit programs without raising healthcare premium costs. The new law permits employers to use as much as 30 percent of each worker’s health care premium on wellness incentive programs (up from 20 percent last year). The challenge to find cost-effective ways to maintain the well-being and productivity of workers is on.

    Why Wellness Incentives Matter

  • 7 tips for hiring and retention of top performing employees


    It’s a fact. Each year businesses face too late what happens when employee morale drops and the best begin to leave for greener pastures. This most often occurs when the leadership team forgets that there is a fine line between recruiting and retaining high performance candidates. It’s a sad state of affairs that is completely preventable, with the right efforts and planning.

  • Are your employees underemployed?


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Despite the recession being officially over, the media are still reporting about the great number of underemployed Americans—Americans who either don’t have enough paid work or whose jobs require significantly less qualification than they possess. CNBC recently reported that 17.2% of the workforce is underemployed.

    Generally we think of the underemployed as those in fairly menial positions doing repetitive, low-skilled work for low pay, and that’s one face of underemployment, for sure.

    However, even a highly skilled, well-paid employee can be underemployed if his abilities and knowledge aren’t consistently put to good use.


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