• The costly truth of employee unplanned absences and PTO abuse

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    At some point in any organization, the excesses of employee tardiness, absenteeism and paid time off can become dangerously costly. From a human capital management standpoint, effort should be made to have a standard PTO policy in place to avoid unplanned absences. When this policy is communicated to employees and enforced by the management team, it can effectively save the company HR budget for other worthwhile programs. Yet, very often it can seem like an uphill battle when a handful of employees begin to abuse the system or seasonal illnesses start to reduce the team one-by-one.

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  • Are exit interviews a complete waste of time?

    header_ExitInterview

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    As an HR professional, I’m torn on the benefits of exit interviews.

    Why?

    Because data are useful if you plan on doing something with them, but in my experience lots of organizations do absolutely nothing with the information received during exit interviews. The completed forms go in a file somewhere, only seeing the light of day when the latest questionnaire from Employee XYZ is shoved in with the rest.

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  • 5 tips for justifying budget increases

    header_BudgetIncrease

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Money is a touchy subject, even in business. And asking for more of it, well that can feel like you may as well be walking a tight rope across Niagara Falls. Sometimes, though, it’s a necessary part of developing your department and can even be a sign of success that you need more in order to continue to grow. But before you request more money for your department, it’s a smart move to sit down and analyze whether or not your department actually needs more money.

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  • Why waiting for that problem employee to quit is a bad idea

    header_KeepingBadEmployeesBadIdea

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    I’d taken on a part-time job as an office assistant at my son’s daycare, intending to use the extra money as a down-payment for a home. I was thrilled to have this second job, not just for the money but also because the owner and I (let’s call her Sandy) got along really well. She was a straight shooter with a good heart (my kind of person), and we often ended the day with a chat about the goings on at the center. This was before I entered the human resources profession and way before I became a manager.

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  • 5 Factors that Determine a "Fair" Raise in 2014

    header_FairPay

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    As 2014 quickly approaches, your employees likely have dreams of holiday breaks, the occasional (but elusive) inclement weather day and news of a pay raise. Depending on your organization, you may offer annual raises in January or employees may receive them at their annual performance reviews. Either way, a new year is a sign of new things to come and raises will likely be at the forefront of your employees’ minds.

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  • Communicating total compensation to employees in a meaningful way

    header_TotalCompensation

    Each year, one way that organizations communicate to employees how much they value them is through total compensation statements. Most often distributed after the chaos of the annual open enrollment process, total compensation statements provide a tangible, written document for the benefit of employees. From health, life and supplemental benefits to performance bonuses and all the other unique perks of working for a company, the total compensation statement supplies employees with a full overview of the benefits that a company provides – in the hopes that this will be meaningful to them as they head into the next year of employment.

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  • Help your Millenials save for retirement

    header_MillenialRetirement

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Saving for retirement is something every working person who has no intention of remaining employed forever should do.

    Members of Gen X and of course, the Boomers, understand this very well. Gen X, in particular, is at the right age to be witnessing first-hand whether their parents have retired well, poorly, or are unable to retire at all, despite having seen the traditional age of retirement come and go.

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  • Four keys for preparing for an annual performance review

    header_4stepsPrepPerfReviews

    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

    header_HowMuchPayIsTooMuch

    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

    header_TipsSalaryIncreaseLetter

    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

    header_WorkplaceBullying

    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

    header_WageAdministration

    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

    header_BudgetWithNoMoney

    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

    header_GoodLeader

    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

    header_PayrollMistakes

    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?

    header_MeritRaises

    , 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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