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


    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

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


    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.

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

    Communicate image

    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.

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

    Well done image

    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?

  • How to be an irresistible leader

    How to take the lead image

    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?

  • Comp budgeting 2: How to calculate raises

    How to Calculate Raises Image

    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.

  • Is workplace training a waste of time?


    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.

  • Seven ways to keep employees motivated


    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:

  • Fixing high turnover rates in your company


    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.

  • Can you be friends with your employees?


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR


    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.

  • Comp budgeting: How to identify compensation inequities


    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    In this first part of our three part email series on Compensation Budgeting, we take a look at compensation inequities. Compensation inequities can occur at an organizational, departmental, positional, or even individual level. To run a successful business and maintain employee satisfaction you have to know how to identify and resolve these inequities. To follow are some things you should be aware of at each level

  • Appeals court redefines "the workplace"

    Appeals court redefines the workplace

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to offer reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities who can perform the essential functions of the job. An employer is acting within the law when it provides an accommodation that meets the definition of reasonable, even if the accommodation is not exactly what the employee requested. And, until recently, employers also had one given—showing up for work was pretty much guaranteed to be considered an essential job function.

    Which is not to say that a temporary leave of absence could never be considered a reasonable accommodation. It could and can. However, an employer generally would be within its rights to turn down a request for an open-ended telecommuting arrangement. 

    Again, until recently.

  • What kind of purple squirrel are you?

    header_FindYourInnerPurpleSquirrel We're headed to the 2014 SHRM conference in Orlando and offering visitors to our booth a chance to take a quick quiz to find out what kind of purple squirrel they really are. If you're not going to SHRM, no worries, you can do the quiz right here!
  • Five reasons to be afraid of employee turnover


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Sometimes, turnover is a downright scary word. We hear it and automatically get visions of unhappy employees exiting in droves, leaving us high and dry and always on the search for new employees. Some of us even see our jobs start to flash before our eyes as disapproving executives ask us to answer the question of why the company is experiencing turnover. While most HR professionals know that turnover isn’t the worst thing an organization can experience, there aren’t many who would argue its selling points either. However, it’s a natural part of any workforce and in some cases is actually a positive thing. Take a look below to see why turnover doesn’t have to send you running for cover.

  • How does the changing minimum wage affect your compensation strategy?


    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    There has been a lot of talk about increasing the minimum wage, at the federal, state, and city levels. In Seattle, headquarters of PayScale, we just passed an ordinance increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour within 3-7 years depending on employer size. Of course there has been debate on both sides of the law. Can small business owners afford to absorb the increase? What will happen to the people we used to pay at $15/hour? But also, how can Seattle call itself a forward-thinking city if the minimum wage is not a livable wage? I probably should have been born a Libra because I fundamentally understand both sides.

  • Why you really, really need HR


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    An HR professional for nearly 17 years, I've been as critical of the function as anyone. And the reason is—this job is teeming with potential that far too often goes untapped.

    And while I have fantasies that a push could come from the bottom up, as has been noted, until CEOs/COOs/CFOs (or, in other words, those who tend to manage the HR function) get on board with the importance of it, not a whole lot will change.

  • Focusing on employees over customers


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    If you ask the average person what their opinion of customer service is in this day and age, they’ll tell you that good service is a thing of the past. It’s an interesting phenomenon that in a time when companies offer instant access to assistance, one-click ordering and nearly as many product and service options as a person could ever think of, we see service as declining. One could blame all of this instant access for the rush of overly demanding customers, but the view is a bit different from where we sit in our HR offices. There’s no denying that we as consumers expect more than ever for everything from intangible services to groceries but there’s more to this story and it lies in what companies are doing behind the scenes.


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