• Pay for performance fail? Microsoft finally dumps forced stack rank

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    Tim Low, PayScale

    Much has been written, and much more will be, about Microsoft’s decision this week to eliminate their previous performance review process. Up until now, Microsoft relied on a forced stack rank where managers were required to grade employees on a bell curve, and thus also requiring ranking some employees at the low end of the curve.

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  • 6 tips for doing a performance improvement plan right

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    There’s a common perception that once an employee is placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP), it’s the beginning of the end for that individual. And that’s largely true.

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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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  • 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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  • Five reasons your performance review system sucks

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    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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  • How to Curb PTO Abuse and Reduce Absenteeism with Compensation Planning

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    Tess C. Taylor, PHR

    Is your company’s paid time off policy becoming a joke around the water cooler? Maybe you are noticing above average call-outs from employees for frivolous reasons? Perhaps no other human capital issue has the negative impact that frequently absent and sick employees create for a business.

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  • How to Identify an Unhappy Employee Before They Quit

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Having an unhappy employee can be hard on your business. From the moment they first become disengaged, to time off for interviews, to them actually quitting altogether, you’ll feel its effects. Even in the best of circumstances, unhappy employees are bad for business. But before you start making a mental list, remember that unhappy employees aren’t bad employees, they’re probably just not satisfied with some aspect of the job.

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  • 3 barriers to successful pay-for-performance implementation

    Pay for performanceLaleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Today most organizations are either moving toward a pay-for-performance compensation strategy, or at least discussing it. Correlating pay with performance has proven to improve employee retention in many companies, but even so, some detractors of performance-related pay models will tell you that more have been attempted and failed than succeeded. 

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  • Three tips for turning an entry-level employee into a long-term team member

    Reducing intern turnover
    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    For many companies, it’s the time of year when recent grads and summer interns turn into full-time employees. Bright and shiny, with the new business card holder they got for graduation, they’re now a part of your team. While you’ve probably seen plenty of new entry-level employees come and go over the years, you could play a part in retaining these new team members.

    An entry-level employee may be new to your company, buy they still provide value on a day-to-day basis. In fact, replacing even an entry-level employee can cost anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of their salary and retaining them can help to decrease your company’s turnover over time. So how can you increase the commitment level of this group of employees? Take a look at these three tips:

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  • Say Goodbye to These 4 Causes of Turnover

    Employee TurnoverJessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    I remember those days when it seemed it would have been easier to hang the moon and write my CEO’s name in the sky with stars than to fill every position I needed with the right people. Turnover has always been a struggle for HR professionals, but it’s an increasingly overwhelming aspect of managing staffing needs. An employee who departs can leave a big dent in your business. From the increased workload of others to the hours and money spent on filling the position, its effects can be felt far beyond their now-empty office.

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  • How to decrease employee turnover through gamification

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Chances are, you’ve heard about gamification in the last couple years. Although it is a relatively new phenomenon for most businesses, it has become wildly popular as a way for companies to train employees. However, the reaches of gamification go far beyond just training employees and actually helps to reduce the issue of employee turnover.

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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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  • High Five Fridays—An Innovative Morale Booster

    by Laleh Hassibi, PayScale


    Companies are often looking for new, interesting and effective ways to retain employees. Getting employees’ pay right, and rewarding them for performance go a long way towards employee satisfaction, but there are also many additional incentives companies can offer to keep their people smiling.

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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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  • Support Your Managers in Making Better Compensation Decisions

    Sean Conrad, Halogen Software

    What’s wrong with this scenario?

    “Hey, everyone, here’s a pay increase just for showing up at work. Oh, and another thing — everyone gets the same amount.”

    Admittedly, it’s not all that fair but it sure is easy. Unfortunately that easy route can also lead to bad feelings, diminished morale and lower productivity in the workplace. i.e., why should I go the extra mile if she does the minimum and received the same pay raise as me?  The downstream effects can be even worse, including loss of your top performers as they seek greener (and fairer) pastures elsewhere.

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  • The DOs and DONT's of Cutting Compensation Costs

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Our economy has come a long way in the last couple of years. Things are definitely looking up, but some companies are still feeling the pain. If you're experiencing the pressure to cut costs, you're not alone. The recent sequestering on the federal budget is the perfect example of making difficult decisions to make ends meet. When those tough decisions need to be made, chances are, you're the one your company turns to.

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  • Pricing to the Employee vs. Pricing to the Job

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    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP, PayScale

    As an employee, I’m often concerned with my own value and therefore worth to the organization. As a manager, I was often trying to determine the value of each job to the organization. Now as a comp professional, I focus on a little bit of both: the value of the job itself, but also the value of the employee to the organization.

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  • Offering Guidance to Federal Contractors, Post Rescission

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    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP, Compensation Consultant PayScale

    Stephanie R Thomas ends her blog post, “Gone With The Wind (Your Guidance, That Is),” with a challenge: “How will you prepare?” She aptly points out that the rescission of the “Compensation Standards” and “Voluntary Guidelines” by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) leaves federal contractors with less guidance about how to comply with non-discrimination requirements outlined in Title VII. I’d like to take a moment to offer some suggestions.

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  • Think Outside the Benefits Box to Wow Your Workforce

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Medical, dental and vision insurance, retirement contributions, paid vacation and sick leave—it all adds up to a decent benefits package, but it’s what every other employer offers. So when a company wants to stand out, what do they do? Well, some offer scooters for employees to ride through the halls on, some make flag football an item on meeting agendas and some even offer Botox injections at work. While these benefits may seem over the top, they work.  

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  • The Performance Review. Formal or Informal?

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    A performance evaluation is an opportunity for a manager and an employee to meet and discuss the employee's job performance, organizational priorities, and performance goals. For employees this process can be something they dread or look forward to. Despite being a star employee there might be things that they can still improve on but receiving that type of feedback can feel like being put in front of a firing squad. As new generations continue to enter the workforce the way they receive feedback varies. Formal processes can seem daunting, where an informal review might put them at ease.

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