• Future income: The defined contribution and retirement plan link

    Defined contribution Image

    Nearly 30 years ago, the Internal Revenue Service approved the use of defined benefit programs to help future Baby Boomers (and following generations) better plan for their retirements. This came at a time when longevity at one company in order to earn a pension plan was quickly becoming a thing of the past.

  • 5 good reasons not to undercut that new hire

    Don't undercut new hire Image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR  

    It sounds nuts to suggest that any manager would willingly undercut her brand new hire. Talent acquisition is expensive and time consuming, and besides, what manager doesn’t relish the idea of getting a good person on board and leaving him alone to do all those things that have piled up during the void?

  • Employees with sticky fingers

    Sticky Fingers Image

    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    If your business is one that is relies on selling tangible inventory, then chances are you have already had to deal with a worker who you have caught stealing. However, even if your company is one that sells software, you at risk of having mysterious “robberies” take place within the office. If you are lucky enough that this has not happened yet, statistically speaking there is a good chance that a theft incident will occur at some point down the road. 

  • Accountability without control: It just doesn't work

    Accountability without control Image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Of all the ways a manager can drive her staff crazy, one of the worst is to demand a lot while providing few means to achieve results. It’s sort of like Pharaoh telling the Jews to make bricks without straw, but not quite that bad.

    Even so, accountability without control sucks.

    Peter Drucker, often referred to as the father of modern management is quoted as saying at least one thing that alludes to this principle beautifully:

    “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”


  • Top company cultures of 2014: How to make the list

    Top company cultures Image

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    According to Great Places to Work, 80% of companies see the biggest benefits when investing into company culture. Imitation is the fondest form of flattery and understanding how each of these companies made culture number one will allow your company to take some of their best practices and implement them in your workplace. Take a page out of the book of these four companies and you’ll be on your way to a better and stronger company culture.

  • The emotionally unsafe workplace: How bullies, tyrants, and narcissists are hurting your business

    Emotionally Unsafe Workplace Image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, commonly referred to as OSHA, obligates employers to maintain a safe and healthful work environment.

    OSHA’s website states:

    “OSHA's mission is to assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Employers must comply with all applicable OSHA standards. Employers must also comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which requires employers to keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards.”

  • The post-recession struggle to retire continues in America

    Retirement in America Image

    Most individuals go into a career hoping they will earn enough in their lifetime to retire comfortably someday. It's part of the American Dream. Smart people start saving early on; others take on second careers to save up extra cash. Still, for a growing number of people, the struggle to live on a fixed income is increasing.

  • Would you pay more for industry certification?

    SPHR image

    In a market that’s still in the process of bouncing back from the ‘Not-So-Great’ Recession, some working adults are turning to industry certification programs to boost their marketability with employers. Many turn to e-learning programs, delivered through colleges and universities to earn certificates that prove they have the in-demand skills employers want. Still others are engaged in free and low cost certificate programs from industry associations and popular platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Lynda.com and more – many of which are taught by actual professors at accredited schools.

  • Why peer networking is vital to good leadership

    Peer networking image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    I’m fond of saying that no one has perfect vision, because it’s true.

    When it comes to work, however, far too many leaders seem to believe their view of the world (and their business) is without flaw and completely self-sufficient. No Other Opinions Necessary.

    This is foolish thinking.

    Two or more intelligent heads focused on the same issue determined to meet a similar goal is much better than one.

  • #1 goal this year: get pay raises right!

    Get raises right image

    There’s a vicious cycle that happens in organizations across the globe. Each year, employees eagerly anticipate getting their performance reviews completed so that they can start benefitting from a much-deserved pay raise. But when the results come in, they are left wondering why they are being handed such a pathetic salary increase? It's enough to make a good employee walk out the door. Sadly, many do just that.

  • Why delegation is good for the soul and the checkbook

    Delegation is good Image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Every effective leader must learn to delegate. That’s a fact.

    Unfortunately, some managers have the opinion that effective delegation is the same as giving orders to underlings. Not so. Effective delegation happens when the right task is  appointed to the right employee for the right reason. This is NOT to be confused with:

  • Attract more employees and keep on trucking

    Transportation image

    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    There are many industries where employment rates are subject to the major ups and downs of the U.S. economy. However, if there is one slice of the market that is recession proof, it is the transportation industry. Companies want to sell their products and to do so, they have to get them on the shelves, and that requires manpower. Career prospects for this industry have never looked better, and as of now the transportation industry is experiencing a massive growth spurt. The bottom line is that while leaders in other industries have to make tough calls when it comes to cutting salaries and letting people go, companies transporting tangible goods are willing to shell out the money to get their transportation positions filled. There is just one problem; a severe shortage of candidates applying for these jobs.

  • The downside of diversity

    Diversity image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    I have a feeling people are kind of tired of hearing about diversity.

    On the one hand, I think I get it. The Great Recession has claimed a lot of victims, and many of us are struggling to maintain our status as members of the Middle Class. We don’t want to hear about someone else’s problems—we’ve got our own.

    On the other hand, the bell has rung, the ship has sailed, the cat’s out of the bag—whatever. We’re all in this thing together, and we’ve gotta learn how to get along.

  • The Situational Leader, part two: from Autocrat to Servant

    Situational Leader part two image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    In Part I of two articles about situational leadership, we explored the basics of the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory as well as some common circumstances under which a manager might find herself shifting from her preferred leadership style to another style more in tune with her employee’s maturity level. Our specific example involved a democratic (participating) leader morphing into autocrat mode.

  • Five ways to catch an employee in a lie

    Lia Liar image

    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Liar, Liar Pants on Fire! Remember this chant? I sure do. Lately it has come to my attention that not all people in this world are honest and genuine human beings. Well ok, that’s actually pretty obvious, but what happens when these unsavory characters end up under your employment? Feelings of awkwardness, confusion, and maybe even embarrassment can come as a result of working with one of these people. Your intuition tells you that something’s up, but as a professional it can be hard to deal with these workers in a way that is effective and drama free. Manipulative employees happen, it’s an unfortunate truth. As a leader, it is most important for you to be able to identify these dishonest workers so you can quickly remove them from the office before they can do serious damage to your company.

  • The Situational Leader part one: From Democrat to Autocrat and back again

    Situational Leader part one image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    A few weeks ago I wrote an article about different leadership styles, with the common response being that situational leadership is the way to go—that the astute manager understands the importance of leading according to circumstance and the employee in question.

  • Compensation gets a makeover due to new voluntary benefit options

    Compensation Gets a Makeover image

    Let's face it. Candidates are looking for the best possible compensation they can grab out there in the job market. If an employer wants the best people on their team, they are tasked with researching and offering above-average salaries, benefits, and a work culture that will leave them drooling.

  • Sweet retirement incentives for Baby Boomers

    Baby Boomers image

    Did you know that nearly one-third of the entire US workforce is made up of Baby Boomers, those folks who are in their 50s to late 60s? While some employers are entirely focused on engaging a younger “hipper” workforce, too few are actively trying to engage their more seasoned employees. Why is engaging Baby Boomers critical to any organization? Baby Boomers have the skills, knowledge, and above average work ethics that can be harnessed for ultimate business success.

  • Is your base pay falling short?

    Base pay falling short image

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    When candidates apply for a job they generally dread seeing the three-letter acronym for pay on job requisitions, TBD. Employers, on the other hand, love being able to put this acronym because it creates a flexible environment where they can offer base pay based on experience alone if they’re not able to find the specific candidate they’re looking for. It’s clear that employers and employees think differently when it comes to offering any type of base pay.

  • What if everyone’s pay was public knowledge?

    Pay Transparency image

    Imagine if one day you walked into your workplace and found your name, along with all the other names of your co-workers, written on bright Post-it notes and your salary rates clearly written there too? Now, include all the salaries and perks that your supervisors, the CEO, and even the janitor displayed for all to see. How would this experience change the way you view your company?


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