• Tips for writing a salary increase letter


    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.

  • The best ways to compensate an unpaid intern


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    More and more these days, paid internships are becoming the standard for companies that offer internships. This allows companies to compete with others in the industry or region for both the best interns and new grads. However, for companies who offer unpaid internships, it’s a whole different ball game. Even when businesses have rich and varied experience to offer potential interns, they are at an automatic disadvantage when they can’t or don’t offer paid internships.

  • Don’t be a friend to your workplace bully


    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.

  • Effective bonus compensation plans for temporary seasonal staffers


    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.

  • 30 hot jobs in 2013

    Which are the hot jobs of 2013?

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Wondering where the purple squirrels are hanging out these days? Maybe they are working in one of these 30 "hot" jobs. These are the thirty hottest jobs right now as determined by a combined factor of the wage growth they have experienced in the labor market over the last 3 years and the employment projections provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  • You need a wage administration program, seriously


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Among the list of things that hardly any business leader wants to create is a wage administration program.

    Developing a wage administration program (best defined as policies and procedures used to make compensation decisions) is time consuming, complicated, and expensive, right? Plus, the market will always tell you what to pay someone—you don’t need no stinkin’ wage administration program tying up your hands when you’re ready to make a job offer!

  • 4 ways to budget without having money in the bank


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    It’s that time of year when sweat beads form on your brow as you sit down to prepare your budget for the next 12 months. For most people, it’s not exactly an exciting time but is accepted as a necessary evil to successfully run a business. There is, however, a select group of people that dread this time of year like they dread their next dentist appointment: those who must create a budget without actually having money in the bank.

  • 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.




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