• Top workplace wellness trends for 2014

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    Crystal Spraggins

    2o13 was an interesting year for workplace wellness.

    Amid a ton of bad press, CVS Caremark initiated a new policy mandating that employees take tests for blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass and body weight or pay a monthly fine of $50.00. The policy also stated, "Going forward, you'll be expected not just to know your numbers—but also to take action to manage them.

    Bloggers, lawyers, and media personalities chastised CVS for using the stick when the carrot would have done just as well, but CVS disagreed, arguing that they’d been offering the carrot for a while with few takers.

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  • What to do when your employee posts nasty things about you on Facebook

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    Crystal Spraggins

    It’s a pretty common scenario nowadays. An employee with a complaint about your company gets on social media and tells the whole world how much she thinks you suck. Ouch.

    You’re not at all pleased with this display of dirty laundry and disloyalty, and your feelings are a little hurt, too. What an ingrate! Perhaps this employee should work elsewhere—you’d be only too happy to show her the door.

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  • Is a transparent wage policy right for you?

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    Crystal Spraggins

    A very common line in policy manuals is one urging employees not to share wage information with coworkers. Although such a policy could run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which guarantees employees the right to congregate with other employees for their common good, many employers apparently believe the policy’s inclusion in their manual is worth the risk. After all, if everyone knew what everyone else was making, all kinds of problems would follow. People would be jealous, and management would be inundated with complaints and requests for pay increases. There could even be lawsuits.

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  • Are you prepared to lose top talent?

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    This week, we released the much anticipated 2014 Compensation Best Practices Report. Based on data from more than 4,700 survey respondents representing human resources practitioners, as well as business line and executive managers, the report reveals attitudes about compensation, hiring, and retention as the economy recovers from the recession. The latest annual report shows an increasing concern across businesses of all sizes about their ability to retain top performing employees, reflecting an increasingly competitive talent market. Results show that – regardless of size and industry – talent retention has become a top priority for business leaders.

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  • Succession planning: What’s in it for you?

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    Crystal Spraggins,

    It’s not unusual for leaders to be so busy overseeing the day-to-day that long-term planning gets short shrift. Then too, long-term planning requires a type of discipline and forward thinking that not every organization can harness—even when it wants to. But there are many good reasons to engage in succession planning, even if your organization is small or medium sized. (In fact, especially if your organization is small or medium sized.) And while succession planning requires commitment, forethought, and a willingness to allocate resources away from current-day activities, the sacrifice is well worth it.

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  • Building your case for investing in HR Technologies

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Working in the Human Resources industry, you’re likely well versed in the daily struggles, frustrations and time suckers of the job. If you stay on top of industry news you’re probably also familiar with the all the drool-worthy technologies that streamline and automate processes. You understand the value of investing in these tools and technologies to make your department more efficient, better at their jobs and able to focus on things like strategic planning, networking and learning about your workforce. These technologies are both jealousy inducing and a logical next step for many HR departments that are ready to increase their abilities.

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  • 3 steps to handling a request for a raise

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Pay raises are an inevitable aspect of managing employees but that doesn’t make handling them any less complicated. Whether it’s determining which employees to give raises to or considering how much of a raise is ideal, the process typically makes the top of the list of dreaded tasks for HR professionals and managers. To make matters even more difficult, employees don’t always wait until their performance review to request a raise. Even though it may not be the best time for you, when employees request a raise you are faced with decisions that you may not have considered before that moment.

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  • 6 lessons I’ve learned about the workplace from watching Chopped

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    I’m a big fan of the television show Chopped, which airs on the Food Network.

    On the show, four chefs battle for a $10,000 prize. To win, they’ll need to survive three rounds of competition, during which they’ll prepare an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. There are serious time constraints (20 minutes for the appetizer and 30 minutes each for the entrée and dessert), and the chefs must use and “transform” all the ingredients in the basket received at the start of the round. When the dessert round ends, the judges review all the dishes of the final two remaining chefs and choose a winner.

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  • Earned time off incentives - are they effective?

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    One of the many ways that employers incentivize the workplace is by offering earned time off for hours worked. This can be an effective way to motivate and reward employees at the same time as creating access to greater work life balance. For most, it’s a win-win situation. Employers have access to a reliable workforce, while employees have the chance to earn much needed time off. It seems like a good compromise to the growing issue of faltering attendance and performance in many organizations.

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  • Top 5 compensation lessons from 2013

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    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    Last year was a year of ups, downs, and shutdowns. The Affordable Care Act is still looming over us, the impact unclear. Some but not all companies are pulling free of the recession. Employees have continued moving around more and more since the official end of the recession. Yet amidst the turmoil, there are some key lessons. Essentially, in an uncertain time, compensation plans and strategies need to be flexible. In this article I’ll talk about the top 5 ways we can infuse flexibility into our programs.

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  • Make up your mind, already! How indecision is hurting your team

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    No one who has ever worked with management (including HR pros) or been in management would say that it’s easy. On the contrary.

    And if you’re a good manager, it’s really not easy.

    Your team depends on you, looking to you for guidance, answers, and direction.

    That’s why your indecision is negatively affecting your team’s productivity and possibly causing them to lose confidence in you, too.

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  • Do’s and don’ts for managing the insubordinate employee

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Insubordinate employees are a poison in the workplace.

    That was bold, and I’m sorry, but it’s true.

    Employees with putrid attitudes who won’t and don’t follow instructions are a real drag on workplace productivity, because even if they’re kind of, sort of doing their jobs, the effort required to manage them relative to their output is a sorry bargain.

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  • Q and A from PayScale webinar series: Compensation Budgeting

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    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    PayScale recently hosted a three-part webinar series all about Compensation Budgeting, presented by yours truly. Part one was all about managing pay inequities. Part two taught attendees all about raises, and part three showed how to pull it all together using PayScale Insight. If you missed any of the webinars, you are welcome to view the recordings. Since this is a topic of interest to so many of our Compensation Today readers, we're posting my answers to many of the questions received after the webinars here. Enjoy!

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  • Holiday parties vs. employee bonuses - what do employees most look forward to?

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    Get out your party hats – it’s the annual holiday season! This time of year signals a time when employees eagerly look forward to what the company has in store for them. Like little kids in a candy shop, they wonder if they will they get another turkey from the boss again this year, or does he have something else up his sleeve – like a bonus check?

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  • Paving the way to a healthy workplace with corporate wellness incentives

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    As Obamacare officially launched across America this year, new requirements forced employers to look for ways to boost their compensation and benefit programs without raising healthcare premium costs. The new law permits employers to use as much as 30 percent of each worker’s health care premium on wellness incentive programs (up from 20 percent last year). The challenge to find cost-effective ways to maintain the well-being and productivity of workers is on.

    Why Wellness Incentives Matter

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  • Are your employees underemployed?

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Despite the recession being officially over, the media are still reporting about the great number of underemployed Americans—Americans who either don’t have enough paid work or whose jobs require significantly less qualification than they possess. CNBC recently reported that 17.2% of the workforce is underemployed.

    Generally we think of the underemployed as those in fairly menial positions doing repetitive, low-skilled work for low pay, and that’s one face of underemployment, for sure.

    However, even a highly skilled, well-paid employee can be underemployed if his abilities and knowledge aren’t consistently put to good use.

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  • Hiring employees on a $0 budget

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    One of the hardest things to overcome when you’re attempting to hire employees is doing so with no budget. For many small and non-profit organizations, it’s a reality that there’s no money to dedicate to recruiting. Whether it’s because there just isn’t enough to go around or because you’re only responsible for hiring for a few positions and money is allocated to larger scale hiring, many of us are faced with doing the impossible: hiring employees on a $0 budget.

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  • Planning your 2014 raises - tips for improving your pay for performance strategy

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    For Human Resource departments, the end of the year signals the time for performance reviews and salary planning for the New Year. This can be a challenging time, when the HR team and payroll managers must coordinate their efforts to produce a compensation strategy that helps make the company profitable in the coming quarter.

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  • How to properly forecast your HR budget

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Forecasting is a skill that is highly marketable because of the value it brings to an organization. There is no area where this rings more true than in budgeting, where it is both tricky and vital to forecast accurately. It requires a solid understanding of the past, a grasp on the current position of the organization and an ability to utilize those factors to peer into what the future will hold.

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  • Celebrate the smart way: Office party dos and don’ts

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Well waddaya know? ‘Tis the season again. Pretty soon boxes of cookies, candies, and cheese assortments will be coming through the door—gifts from your vendors and also a reminder to everyone that party time is near!

    You’ve got a workplace celebration planned, of course, because it’s a tradition. When it comes to party particulars, however, here are a few other traditions you might want to get rid of this year.

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