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  • Myths About Employee Pay Practices

    Not True! 4 Common Myths About Paying Employees

    By Staff Writer

    In HR, as in all professions, there are rules of the road and basic bits of wisdom that most practitioners follow. For human resources professionals, a lot of this wisdom has to do with how people are paid and what motivates them.
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  • Developing a Competitive Compensation Strategy

    Strategic Compensation and Your Position in the Market

    Smart HR leaders regularly ask themselves a key question when planning a human resources compensation strategy, “Have we positioned ourselves well relative to the market?” In order to answer this question, you must first know how competitive you want and need your compensation plan to be. Then, you can build pay ranges in alignment with your competitive compensation strategy.
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  • Employee Dress Code Policy for Summer

    Tank Top Trouble: Tips for Employee Dress During Summer

    As the weather warms up, you may find that more and more people are crossing the line of what’s appropriate to wear in the work place. From low-cut blouses to too-short of shorts, this situation can create a need to talk about a summer dress code and how your organization wants to manage employees who need to either cover up or go home and change.
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  • Integrating General Business Strategy with Compensation

    Decided, Defined, Done: Why You Need a Business and Compensation Strategy Right Now

    I have written lately about the importance of integrating general business strategy with compensation. The fact is that your business strategy is likely more clearly defined right now than your compensation strategy. You might not even have a compensation strategy at all. Do you know where you want to be in the market as an employer, compared to your competition? Are you hiring in a range that you can afford long-term?
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  • Preparing a Compensation Plan

    Catching Up with the Economy: How to Prepare for a Compensation Plan Re-Design

    Up, down, emerging and disappearing – these are the movements that most markets are dealing with these days. Is your company keeping up with all of the changes, and addressing the resulting wake of new employee compensation challenges? With the fast pace at which markets and industries are transforming, likely not. How can you get your talent strategy in line with your current business priorities?
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  • Compensation Metrics Defined

    A Crash Course in Key Compensation Metrics

    While some of us may not be big fans of math and statistics, a crucial part of managing your organization’s compensation plan is understanding compensation metrics. This post will compare and contrast two of the key metrics that are frequently used in compensation today.
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  • Compensation Plan for Business Success

    Pop Quiz: Is Your Compensation Philosophy in Line with Your Business Strategy?

    In a recent PayScale webinar I led titled, “Aligning Your Compensation Philosophy with Business Priorities,” I began by asking the attendees some questions to assess their commitment to aligning their employee compensation plan with business objectives. The following is the list of questions, as well as advice on how to apply the insights they bring to your current compensation planning efforts.
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  • Bona Fide Occupational Qualification Standards

    BFOQ Defined: Can You Exclude Women from Certain Jobs?

    Can you claim a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) to exclude women from jobs that require heavy lifting or impose safety risks? In most cases, the answer is “probably not,” unless you want to face a law suit for discrimination against hiring women.
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  • SHRM San Diego Conference – Al Gore’s Keynote

    Lessons from SHRM: Al Gore’s Sustainable Business Framework

    I was excited to learn that Al Gore was going to be one of the keynotes for the national SHRM conference in San Diego. No matter what your political beliefs are, I do think it’s interesting to hear from those that work for a cause and display a lot of passion.
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  • Develop an Employee Health Survey

    The First Step to Building a Cost-Effective Corporate Wellness Program

    An effective employee health survey is the important first step to developing a cost-effective corporate wellness program in any size company. If HR and/or senior management implement employee wellness program components without staff input, disappointing attendance and poor return on investment (ROI) may have a negative effect on any future health promotion efforts.
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  • Lessons from SHRM San Diego 2010

    Lessons from SHRM San Diego: Do You Know Your Employee Strengths and Weaknesses?

    The annual SHRM national conference was held in San Diego, CA this year from June 27 through 30. The national SHRM conference is a great way to network with other HR professionals from all over the world, and also learn from industry leaders and experts. SHRM announced its new theme which is “HR knows next.” In a future post, I’ll share some of the ideas about how HR can live up to this brand. Today, I’d like to focus on the conference by starting at the end.
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  • Conversations that Change Employee Behavior

    Conversations that Change Employee Behavior

    Whether it’s explaining new medical benefits or why a team isn’t getting raises, HR professionals and business owners have difficult conversations of all kinds with employees. But, probably one of the most difficult is dealing with a behavior issue. Want to tell an employee that their team is frustrated by their attitude? Probably not. Confronting difficult employees is rarely a favorite task of an HR professional.
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  • Designation of FMLA Leave

    Make Medical Certifications Part of Your FMLA Process (Part 2 of 2)

    Medical certifications can help you determine whether FMLA leave is really needed and ensure that employee rights under FMLA leave are understood and their obligations met under the law.
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  • Honoring HR Leader Sharon Koss

    Honoring the Memory of HR Leader Sharon Koss

    By Staff Writer

    Last week, the staff at PayScale learned of the passing of a friend and long-time contributor to its education efforts, Sharon Koss, SPHR, CCP. Sharon had helped build up PayScale’s offering of webcasts on topics around strategic compensation, and had just begun contributing to a regular, bi-monthly column here on Compensation Today titled “Strategic Compensation with Sharon Koss.”
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  • FMLA Guidelines for Employers

    Make Medical Certifications Part of Your FMLA Process (Part 1 of 2)

    If you do not require employees to provide medical certification for FMLA leaves involving serious health conditions, you are missing out on an essential tool to ensure leaves are used properly.

    Are you like the majority of human resource professionals who have trouble determining when an employee has a serious health condition under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that almost 60 percent of the survey respondents indicated they had trouble determining whether an employee’s illness met the FMLA’s definition of a “serious health condition.” In addition, 39 percent felt they had granted FMLA requests that may not have been legitimate.
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  • Employee Use of Medical Marijuana

    The Dope on Medical Marijuana for Employers

    Employee use of medical marijuana is one of the hot employer topics of the decade. As more states legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, more employers will have to decide how they will deal with employee drug use on and off the clock. As of 2007, it was estimated that 300,000 people in the United States were medical marijuana users (estimates based on data from Americans for Safe Access). And the numbers are growing.
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  • Sales Incentive Compensation Plan

    Does Your Sales Compensation Plan Need a Makeover?

    Few topics in compensation cause more debate and confusion than how to create a compensation plan for sales reps. One thing is clear: a sales compensation plan should be re-evaluated regularly, particularly in times of economic uncertainty.
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  • Employee Performance Feedback

    Steps to Giving Effective Employee Performance Feedback

    In a previous post, "Confronting Difficult Employees," we discussed how to work with the managers at your company to ensure that critical employee performance feedback is given to your employees in a consistent and fair manner. Now we’ll review, step-by-step, how to prepare effective employee feedback and then when and where to give it.
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  • Activities to Reduce Employee Stress

    Take a Deep Breath and Start Improving Employee Productivity

    What can companies do that is free, shows quick results, and can have a long term beneficial impact on employee’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being? Simple - teach them breathing techniques and activities to reduce stress.
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  • FLSA Requires Break Times for Nursing Mothers

    Breaks Now Required for Nursing Mothers

    If you are like most employers, you probably have not had time to consider the many new obligations imposed in the 2,000-plus pages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Most of the provisions that substantially change how health care will be provided in this country do not take effect for several years, beginning in 2014.
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