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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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  • The dangers of paying employees more than they’re worth

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Believe it or not, it’s entirely possible to pay employees too much money.

    Even in this economy, it happens. It happens when employee performance consistently fails to meet expectation yet raises continue; when employees stay in entry- to mid-level positions too long; when employees reach their level of incompetence (i.e., The Peter Principle) yet aren’t developed or moved along; and when employees are paid too much to begin with, as a result of a weak or nonexistent wage administration policy.

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  • Adding value to your compensation with supplemental benefit plans

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    Management of employee benefit programs has taken on new meaning since the inception of the Affordable Healthcare Act. This is particularly true when it comes to engaging and retaining the workforce through fair compensation, which includes the perceived value of company health benefits. Organizational benefit administrators who are already struggling to provide adequate wellness coverage for employees may feel as if they are losing the battle one employee at a time.

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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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  • You need a wage administration program, seriously

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    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!

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  • 4 ways to budget without having money in the bank

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    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.

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  • Five things every great leader gets right

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    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 …

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  • 7 mistakes payroll managers make calculating overtime

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    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.

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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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  • Workplace privacy in the age of social transparency

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    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?

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  • 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?

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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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  • 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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  • 23 answers about compensation analytics and the ROI of turnover

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    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    PayScale recently hosted a wildly popular webinar entitled Compensation Analytics: The ROI of Turnover, presented by me, Mykkah Herner. If you missed the webinar, you are welcome to view the slides from the presentation. 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 this webinar here.

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  • Five Common Misconceptions about Employee Turnover

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    All too often, we jump to conclusions when problems arise. One area in which this is certainly true is employee turnover. Whether we’re the ones experiencing it or we’re just part of the conversation about the growing trend, we tend to think we have it figured out. Most people realize that remedying the situation is much different than knowing what’s wrong, but regardless, we see the problem and also think we see the causes. However, employee turnover isn’t always what it seems on the surface

    At the heart of the issue of employee turnover are the needs, perceptions, desires and decisions of actual people – your company’s employees. This makes the issue somewhat complicated and not as simple to pin down as some might think. There are several misconceptions that are perpetuated about employee turnover and we’ll take a look at five of them here.

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  • Budgeting Employee Compensation Like You Would Your Personal Budget

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Most people tend to view their personal and corporate budgets in very different ways, even though the basic principles of both are the same. To create a budget, no matter what type of budget it is, you have certain amount of money you need to work within and specific expenses that need to be included. So if the principles of both are so basic and similar, it would only stand to reason that the same budgeting wisdom you use at home could also be adapted to the budget you create at work also.

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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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