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  • The Minimum Wage Victory Parade Continues

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    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Just when you thought Seattle approving $15 was the highlight of the minimum wage battle this year, it was announced that employees who work under independent contracts are also getting a pay day. On June 12, 2014 President Obama initiated the first of many executive actions to come that will boost minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour. This is exciting news for contractors, who will now be properly reclassified as employees in the eyes of the government, but it is only small part of a much larger effort to increase minimum wages for all workers within the United States.

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  • Why Millennials make Great Interns and Future Employees

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    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Millennials often get a bad rap when it comes to our work ethic in comparison with the rest of the work force; we have been called selfish, entitled, lazy, and worst of all unmotivated. The fact of the matter is most of us haven’t had to work half as hard as the generation that came before us to get to our jumping off points as college graduates. However, many of us are up to our elbows in debt from student loans and our job prospects upon graduation look grim. Perhaps you have hired underperforming workers from the millennial generation before, but don’t let a few bad apples ruin the bunch. I am here to set the record straight and tell you why hiring a Millennial will be a great choice for you as an employer.

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  • Yup. It's time to hire an HR professional

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    It’s a common scenario. As a small company begins to grow, more and more people are hired to handle the increasing workload. (Great!).  Before too long, all these new people start inquiring about benefits, so somebody decides it’s time to start getting serious about benefits (because talent expects benefits, and this company needs talent badly to help it grow intelligently), and then another somebody realizes—hey!—somebody else has to manage this stuff and by the way, more people means more conflict and who’s going to handle that?

    Eventually it becomes apparent that more structure or rules or strategy or something is needed because people keep doing stuff and asking questions and nobody has any answers. And then come the feds and all their rules and requirements, and oh boy it’s getting complicated around here.

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  • Interpreting the stats: tips for analyzing employee turnover

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    I have to admit, I am not a big sports fan. I mean sure, I enjoy the excitement and social aspect of cheering for your team, following favorite players and celebrating a victory, but the minute I hear the SportsCenter hosts spouting off numbers and comparing those numbers to other numbers, which they reference with previous numbers and anticipated numbers, I’m out. I typically love a challenge but this is one area where I am fine with not understanding what they’re talking about and not attempting to understand what all that means. However, the truth is, those who understand the stats are better connected to the game. They understand what’s typical, what’s out of the ordinary, whether or not a player’s game was good or bad and what they can usually expect from a team.

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  • 6 easy steps to being the HR pro everybody trusts

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Many, many employees don’t trust HR. That’s a fact.

    Whenever I read an article about workplace bullying, toxic bosses, unethical workplace practices, or some other related topic, and the writer recommends the worker appeal to HR for help, the comments will be full of people telling the writer he’s nuts and that going to HR is a complete waste of time.

    Well, I’m going to make a confession. I tend to agree with the commenters, because I don’t trust HR myself, and I’m an HR professional.

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  • Canada’s CEOs couldn’t get much richer, or could they?

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    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Cats out of the bag – CEO’s make some of the largest salaries of all the employees in Canada’s workforce, and lately it seems that they are raking in an absurd amount of cash. In 2012, the top one hundred CEO’s earned an average of a little more than $7.9 million; each. To put this in perspective, that kind of money has the potential to eliminate the debt of any one of the provinces: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island. 

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  • Company picnic primer: read this before you plan the next one

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    It’s that time of year when employers across the land begin planning the annual outdoor get together.

    Here are some things you can do to make your event a huge success.

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  • Should minimum wage be bumped up to $15 in Toronto?

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    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Minimum wage workers everywhere are beginning to take a stand for higher wages. Inflation is continuing to skyrocket and the salaries of lower level workers don’t seem to be keeping up with this trend.  It is becoming apparent that the annual income of lower level workers is hardly livable not only in the United States, but also in Canada. The salaries of minimum wage employees in Canada are not substantial enough for citizens already struggling to cover the ballooning costs of everything. The longer the gap between inflation and wages goes on, the more citizens are pushing for a pay day. Canadian Labor activists have even gone as far as delivering MPP’s with a block of ice containing $10.25, Ontario’s minimum wage since 2010. The people have made it clear; it is time for sustainable wages to become a reality.

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  • The PayScale Index: minimal wage growth of 0.3 percent forecast for Q3

    Index Q3 2014

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    The Q2 2014 PayScale Index shows inconsistent wage growth across the board, as some industries such as IT and oil and gas experienced solid year-over-year gains, while wage growth in other industries actually declined. The PayScale Index also forecasts national quarterly wage growth in Q3 of 0.3 percent, resulting in sluggish annual wage growth of 1.9 percent. In addition, the PayScale Index shows real wage growth is down almost 8 percent since 2006, a measure that is calculated by analyzing nominal wage growth and the average change in price of a fixed basket of goods and services.

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  • Comp budgeting 3: How to request money for your comp budget

    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    If you read parts 1 and 2 of these three part series on comp budgeting, you now know how to handle compensation and inequities. Now that you know exactly how you are going to implement your comp plan there’s one last hurdle to surmount -- you still need to convince your superiors of why this compensation budget is necessary. Asking for more money is not always an easy topic to bring up when approaching your superiors. In order to get your newly formed budget approved, you will need to get all your ducks in a row.

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  • How to develop great employees in six easy steps

    Develop great employees imagethe majority of workers feel more motivated when their boss shows appreciation for their work

    Employee development is important, but unfortunately it is also often overlooked in the grand scheme of things. Day to day work life is hectic, but failure to actively develop employees can end up costing you top talent in the long run. Whether your company is one that hires a significant amount of young graduates, or you want to improve the team you have already built; turning good employees into great employees, is a lot less hassle then recruiting outsiders into your company. If you play your cards right, you could end up with highly skilled employees who are genuinely dedicated to helping your company thrive. Here are six strategies that you can use to start developing exceptional employees. 

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  • How to give employees meaningful recognition (beyond financial rewards)

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    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Employees are money-motivated individuals, and why wouldn’t they be? They need a substantial income in order to survive. In return for the hard work and dedication they put into your company, you are more than happy to reward them accordingly. That being said, while financial bonuses are always considered a plus, they don’t always reflect your company’s appreciation for that particular employee. It turns out that there is a serious disconnect between how employees want to be appreciated in the workplace and what employees actually want. Money an important incentive to give to your superstars, and is probably greatly appreciated, but it isn’t everything. In order to keep your top employees motivated, they need to feel that the work they do for your company is greatly valued. Here are a few other ways to acknowledge the work that these employees do for your company without throwing more money at them.

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  • Make your words matter: 7 tips for effective verbal communication

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Management guru Peter Drucker is credited with saying, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.” 

    There’s certainly some truth to that. Sometimes what a person doesn’t say is as important, if not more important, than what he does say.

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  • Do employee reward programs really affect employee motivation & workplace morale?

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    One of the most significant concerns employers experience is how to keep employees motivated and engaged at work. It may seem like a problem that would simply require the right combination of pay and rewards to produce the right results, but employees aren’t as easily motivated as one would think, though that isn’t necessarily a surprise to use in the Human Resources field. We have long known that recognition and relationships go much further than empty rewards, but how do rewards programs fit into the grand scheme of workplace engagement?

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  • How to be an irresistible leader

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    There’s been a whole lot written about the charisma that successful leaders possess, because it seems we humans are drawn to a certain je ne sais quoi in those we choose to follow.

    But far too often it seems, we quickly become disappointed with these leaders. Truth be told, psychic energy alone does not a good leader make. Psychic energy is attractive and a little exciting, but it’s not substantive. To be that truly irresistible leader who can claim both style and substance, a little more is required than charisma. This reputation must be earned through consistent, quality performance and (most important) solid, healthy relationships. No bullies or tyrants allowed.

    What else?

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  • Comp budgeting 2: How to calculate raises

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    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    In the first article of this three part series on budgeting, we talked about resolving pay inequities. After you've resolved pay inequities, it's time to thing about pay increases. Increasing compensation for your employees is a great way to keep your team motivated and is essential to retaining the talented individuals that you have recruited. However, before calculating salary increases, you should strategize how you will do this in relation to your company’s budget. Generally speaking, paying per performance is the most cost effective way to go about rewarding your employees, but there are a few other methods that are also worth mentioning.

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  • Is workplace training a waste of time?

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Why oh why does training have such a bad reputation?

    It’s true that some trainers aren’t very good, and it’s also true that leadership has been known to drag everyone to “respect in the workplace” training when even a blind man could see that only Benny in Sales really needed the lessons, and yes, it could be argued that training takes people away from their “real” jobs and all the work waiting to get done.

    But still.

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  • Seven ways to keep employees motivated

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    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Employee motivation is tough, if your team members are still working for you at this point then clearly they value their position with your company, but does that mean they are doing the best job they can to help your business succeed? According to employee surveys the majority of workers feel more motivated when their boss shows appreciation for their work in comparison to their boss being highly demanding or critical. Still, company goals need to be met and you’re not going to reach those goals with unhappy employees. The general consensus among business leaders and managers is that it is hard to keep their business environment productive as well as employees motivated. Different things motivate different people, and each employee has their own agenda, here are seven ways you can keep your employees motivated:

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  • Fixing high turnover rates in your company

    Turnover

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    As you probably know and most likely have witnessed first hand, there’s the kind of turnover that has you secretly celebrating on the way back to your office and the type that you just hate to see happen. When you find yourself in the position of the latter all too often, it may be time to evaluate what no one likes to think about but what everyone feels the affects of: high turnover in your company. It’s costly, time consuming, decreases productivity, can affect morale and overall, is bad news for your organization. When you reach the point where it’s no longer a question of if someone you really need will move on to greener pastures but instead a matter of when and who is next, it’s time to make changes.

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  • Can you be friends with your employees?

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    No.

    Or, at least I don’t think so.

    Which is not to say that you can’t be friendly. Friendly is entirely possible and even desirable. But friends? Nah. Here’s my rationale.

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