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  • Four keys for preparing for an annual performance review

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There are a lot of things in life that you can successfully do last minute. For instance, holiday shopping can be put off until December 23 and you’ll probably still get the Lego kit that was at the top of your kids’ wish list; laundry can be saved until midnight on Sunday and it will still be just as clean as if it was done Saturday morning; sales reports can be pulled the very hour they’re due and it makes no difference. However, annual performance reviews are not one of those things.

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  • Tips for writing a salary increase letter

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    There comes a time in every manager’s life when he or she identifies an employee who demonstrates outstanding performance that warrants a salary increase. This can come during a formal performance review or as a result of an employee promotion -- perhaps when the company goes through some shifting that necessitates additional employee responsibilities or a new job title. Since written letters are still the preferred way to document and manage a salary increase, a manager needs to understand how to write a salary increase letter that explains things according to employment legalities.

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  • Don’t be a friend to your workplace bully

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    In the workplace, it’s good to be friendly to everyone. Life is better that way.

    But if you’re in management, the one person who deserves more than “friendly” is your resident bully.

    Does that surprise you? I thought it might.

    See, your bully needs love, not friendship. And by “love” I mean tough love. The kind with immovable boundaries. The kind with real consequences. The kind that demands a change or at the very least protects the innocent.

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  • Effective bonus compensation plans for temporary seasonal staffers

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    Each year, thousands of companies make the decision to hire temporary workers to augment their human capital resources during peak production cycles and busy seasons. According to the most recent figures from the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 2 million people are employed as contingency workers in a wide variety of temporary and seasonal assignments. Additionally, organizations in the manufacturing, retail, and hospitality markets rely heavily on the use of temporary and seasonal staffers.

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  • 9 low cost incentive ideas for part time employees

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    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.
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  • Top 10 mistakes when giving a performance review

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    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.

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  • Merit Raises – Do Employees Really Appreciate Them?

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    , 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?

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  • Why Can’t I Find Any Good People?

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    It’s amazing.

    The Department of Labor reports a current unemployment rate of 7.3% (and some say the percent is really closer to double digits, once you factor in people who’ve simply stopped looking for work), but still employers can be heard all day long talking about how they can’t fill jobs.

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  • Using gamification for employee feedback

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Gamification is quickly changing company dynamics in today’s workforce. Gamification is the integration of game mechanics or game dynamics into a website, service, community, campaign, or work.  Employee feedback is one area where gamification can have a big impact. Research shows that happier employees are 12% more productive compared to unhappy employees who are 10% less productive. 

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  • Five good reasons why every organization needs a troublemaker

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    When is the last time you crafted a job posting that included the phrase “Must be a troublemaker” under “Requirements?” Probably never, right?

    Well, why not? 

    Your organization needs a few troublemakers. Here are five good reasons why.

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  • The skills gap starts in high school

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There’s no denying that the skills gap is a growing concern for employers, but there may be some dispute as to when it begins. Common misconceptions could be that the skills gap occurs during the college years, as students aren’t equipped with the necessary experience to enter the workforce qualified to do a job. Some may also think it begins as workers gain more years of experience but fail to maintain their knowledge of current technologies, processes or industry knowledge. However, the skills gap actually begins in high school, far before a worker even declares a major or takes on their first full time job.

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  • 4 tips for negotiating compensation in the workplace

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There are some things in life that people avoid like the plague. Talking about money at work is one of them. Working in human resources, it’s part of our jobs everyday but it can still be awkward and uncomfortable. Money is a sensitive topic for many people and it can bring up emotions that aren’t typically expressed elsewhere at work. Additionally, you’ve likely been asked questions that are difficult to answer or that you just don’t know how to handle. However, even with the difficult nuances of compensation negotiation, it doesn’t have to turn into a situation you tell stories about for years to come. Take a look at these five tips for discussing compensation in the workplace:

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  • Using online education to close the skills gap

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Nearly every company in every industry has been challenged by a skills gap in their workplace. Whether it’s a significant gap, such as the inability to fill demanding positions, or more minor, such as the need for an employee to become more skilled in creating spreadsheets, the skills gap can be felt nearly anywhere there are employees. Companies use a wide variety of resources to close the skills gap, from external recruiting, to internal training and mentorship programs, but there’s another resource that isn’t often used but is highly valuable: online education.

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  • 5 Myths of the Skills Gap

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    The skills gap is reported as being a top concern for employers, but there may be more there than meets the eye. While nearly half of all employers report having a difficult time hiring employees to fill positions, many don’t discuss the hidden reasons behind the difficulty of hiring. The skills gap is real and it certainly exists, but there tend to be a lot of myths surrounding it. Here, we break some of those myths down and talk about what the skills gap really is and isn’t.

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  • How to Become a ‘Best Place to Work’

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    If you're looking to become a ‘Best Place to Work,’ you've got some tough competition. Most companies will find it difficult to compete with Google's seven-acre sports complex, complete with horseshoe pits and roller hockey rink or The Boston Consulting Group's optional six-month delayed start for new consultants who would like to have $10,000 and time to do some non-profit work. Even still, your business can achieve the prestigious status by making a splash with some changes that are proportional to your business. We can't all be Google, but we can all be great.  

    Involve Management and Executives 

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  • Creating Pay Transparency in the Workplace

    Compensation transparencyJessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    When you hear the phrase “transparency in the workplace” what comes to mind? Does the infamous Open Door Policy come to mind? Or do you cringe at the idea of being more transparent? Transparency is one of those buzz words that are thrown around quite a bit in corporate America, but how many actually practice it? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median number of years that wage and salary workers stay with an employer is 4.6. This number is up from a January 2010 statistics at 4.4 years. Being transparent in can make employees feel more satisfied and want to stay with you longer. 

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  • Skills gap: a growing concern for employers

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Last year, companies spent 12 percent more on training employees than in recent years. This can certainly be taken as a good sign, showing that companies are investing in their workforce and that the improving economy is allowing them the funds to do so, but it also speaks to the growing concern of the skills gap in America.

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  • How to reduce turnover by building relationships

    Reduce Turnover

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Employee retention is on the forefront of most HR managers’ minds. Though turnover remains relatively consistent throughout the years, the uptick in the economy has brought with it an increase in employee turnover as there are more options for employment. In fact, a recent study of more than 4,000 companies found that 59 percent of employers list retention as their top concern in 2013.

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  • Measuring Compensation Against the Market

    employee retentionJessica Miller-Merrill, blogging4jobs

    Compensation is the single-largest expense for the majority of companies. It helps your company recruit and retain talented personnel and therefore can be seen as an investment in your company’s success. As with any investment, a plan for how much you’re going to invest, along with when and where you’re going to invest, is essential. As a financial planner once told me, If you’re thinking about your investments individually and not as part of a bigger plan, you may as well be throwing darts at a wall of balloons and hoping you hit one that holds the jackpot.

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  • How Does Your Compensation Model Fit into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

    Maslow heirarchy of needs

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    It can be easy to get caught up in the benefits rat race. You know, keeping up with the Joneses, or in this case, the Joneses, Inc. You probably spend a fair amount of time thinking about what’s in your benefits package, how it measures up against your competitor’s, how to market it to potential employees and more.

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