• The Top HR Changes Due to Healthcare Reform

    Fall Open Enrollment Season: Health Care Reform Starts to Take Effect

    October traditionally marks the beginning of health insurance open enrollment season, during which employees can review and change their health plan benefits. Employers that don’t require an “active” enrollment and/or that have not made substantive plan changes for some time may find that their employees pay scant attention, automatically selecting the plans they had the previous year without looking to see what’s new.

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  • Employee Code of Conduct

    Employee Code of Conduct – Definition and Design

    I would define an employee code of conduct as a general guideline for workplace performance that enforces key work ethics and severely discourages unethical, immoral, or illegal behavior. A code of conduct can be either an introduction to the employee handbook or, in some cases, a completely separate document that is reviewed and signed at the time of hiring.

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  • Writing an Employee Termination Letter

    Writing an Employee Termination Letter: How Much to Include? Q&A

    Find out the pros and cons of putting your termination reasons in a written employee termination letter.

    Q: We want to provide employees who are terminated with a brief employee termination letter explaining our reasoning and informing them about administrative issues like COBRA and returning office keys. How much detail should be included about the reason for termination?

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  • Company-Wide Incentive Programs: Q&A

    Designing Bonus Plans That Cut Business Costs

    What are some smart approaches to designing company-wide incentive programs? Bonus incentives are powerful tools and can both create success or wreak havoc. Careful planning is key. HR expert Stacey Carroll, director of customer service and marketing at PayScale, recently addressed the following questions during a webinar titled Aligning Your Compensation Strategy with Business Priorities:
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  • HR’s Perspective on the Jet Blue Flight Attendant

    A Look at Employee Behavior: The Case of the Jet Blue Flight Attendant

    By now we’ve all heard about the tirade of Jet Blue flight attendant Steve Slater, although the ground swell of support and assignment of cult hero status seems to have shifted some since the story first broke. As an HR professional, it was disconcerting to see the acceptance and praise of his actions. While most people can relate to a time when they’ve been fed up at work, it’s irresponsible and potentially dangerous to reward and encourage the expression of that anger in destructive ways at the workplace.
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  • How Do I Design a Compensation Plan?

    How Do I Design a Compensation Plan That’s Customized to My Organization?

    In a previous post "Customize Your Compensation Plan for Your Organization," we shared the first three of six tips from HR expert Stacey Carroll, MBA, SPHR, on how to design a custom compensation plan so that your organization stays lean and competitive. Here are the final three tips, as explained by Ms. Carroll, which deal with merit increases, budgeting and compensation plan design.

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  • Customize Your Compensation Plan for Your Organization

    Help Your Company Stay Afloat: Customize Your Compensation Plan

    In an era of small budgets and stiff competition how can you, the HR professional, help make sure that your company is thriving, ten and twenty years from now? You need to get very specific and very strategic about your compensation decisions. You can’t just take a cookie cutter approach to your compensation strategy. If you want to beat your competition in business, you need to be different than your competition in your compensation plan. And the best way to do that is to customize your compensation plan to fit your organization.

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  • FLSA Administrative Exemption

    Complying with the FLSA Administrative Exemption Q&A

    Are you in compliance with the FLSA administrative exemption regulations? Find out if your administrative assistants meet these very specific criteria.

    Q: We have an employee whose title is administrative assistant to the CEO. She is essential to the CEO and often works more than 40 hours a week. She is paid overtime as a nonexempt employee, but we are wondering if her job duties meet the criteria for the administrative exemption. What are the criteria?
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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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