• 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Is unlimited PTO too good to be true?


    Tessara Smith,  PayScale

    It’s no secret that vacations are vital to the sanity of every full-time employee, but what happens when all of their allotted break time is being sucked up by sick days and family emergencies? Instead of planning their getaways to Disneyland or the Caribbean, employees are instead forfeiting dreams of relaxation in the name of taking their kid to the doctor’s office. There is no denying that it is important for workers not to skimp on time spent in the office, but most agree that it is unfair to have to surrender what would be mental health days in order to complete mundane tasks. Studies show that workers are more productive when they take vacations, and many companies are beginning to come to the realization that a strict PTO policy may not be the way to go in terms of supporting a healthy work environment. 

  • Re-examining the meaning of “team player”

    Team player imageCrystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Quick—what qualities come to mind when you hear the term “team player?”

    How about someone who is:

    • Cooperative,
    • Conscientious,
    • Helpful,
    • Flexible,
    • Hardworking, and
    • Honest?
  • Morning bias

    Morning Bias image

    Tessara Smith,  PayScale

    Let’s face it, managers love when employees make it in to work early. They get to walk in the door and see that many of their team members have already gotten a “jump start” on the heavy work load for the day. Apparently having the ability to roll out of bed at an earlier hour equals greater praise from managers. These early risers are the individuals who are regarded as disciplined and dedicated overachievers, but do employees who work late nights get the same recognition? Not in the slightest. 

  • The retirement savings crisis

    Retirerment savings crisis image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 24th annual Retirement Confidence Survey, more Americans (18 percent versus 13 percent in 2013) are feeling “very confident” they’ll have enough money in retirement.

    But the EBRI also reports that “worker savings remain low, and only a minority appear to be taking basic steps. This increased confidence is observed almost exclusively among those with higher household income … [and is] strongly correlated with household participation in a retirement plan.”

  • Yup. It's time to hire an HR professional


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    It’s a common scenario. As a small company begins to grow, more and more people are hired to handle the increasing workload. (Great!).  Before too long, all these new people start inquiring about benefits, so somebody decides it’s time to start getting serious about benefits (because talent expects benefits, and this company needs talent badly to help it grow intelligently), and then another somebody realizes—hey!—somebody else has to manage this stuff and by the way, more people means more conflict and who’s going to handle that?

    Eventually it becomes apparent that more structure or rules or strategy or something is needed because people keep doing stuff and asking questions and nobody has any answers. And then come the feds and all their rules and requirements, and oh boy it’s getting complicated around here.

  • 6 easy steps to being the HR pro everybody trusts


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Many, many employees don’t trust HR. That’s a fact.

    Whenever I read an article about workplace bullying, toxic bosses, unethical workplace practices, or some other related topic, and the writer recommends the worker appeal to HR for help, the comments will be full of people telling the writer he’s nuts and that going to HR is a complete waste of time.

    Well, I’m going to make a confession. I tend to agree with the commenters, because I don’t trust HR myself, and I’m an HR professional.

  • Company picnic primer: read this before you plan the next one


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    It’s that time of year when employers across the land begin planning the annual outdoor get together.

    Here are some things you can do to make your event a huge success.

  • Make your words matter: 7 tips for effective verbal communication

    Communicate image

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Management guru Peter Drucker is credited with saying, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.” 

    There’s certainly some truth to that. Sometimes what a person doesn’t say is as important, if not more important, than what he does say.

  • Can you be friends with your employees?


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR


    Or, at least I don’t think so.

    Which is not to say that you can’t be friendly. Friendly is entirely possible and even desirable. But friends? Nah. Here’s my rationale.

  • Comp budgeting: How to identify compensation inequities


    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    In this first part of our three part email series on Compensation Budgeting, we take a look at compensation inequities. Compensation inequities can occur at an organizational, departmental, positional, or even individual level. To run a successful business and maintain employee satisfaction you have to know how to identify and resolve these inequities. To follow are some things you should be aware of at each level

  • Why you really, really need HR


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    An HR professional for nearly 17 years, I've been as critical of the function as anyone. And the reason is—this job is teeming with potential that far too often goes untapped.

    And while I have fantasies that a push could come from the bottom up, as has been noted, until CEOs/COOs/CFOs (or, in other words, those who tend to manage the HR function) get on board with the importance of it, not a whole lot will change.

  • 5 things you should know before engaging a recruiter


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    No matter how much of an employers' market it may be, at some point, most employers will opt to use the services of a recruiter.

    A good recruiter can save time (and therefore money) and help you source applicants you wouldn’t have found on your own. An excellent recruiter can even bring clarity where confusion existed by say, helping you think through the job that needs doing and who’s best to do it. 

  • Why did my employee quit without notice?


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    You thought you had a good relationship with this employee. As far as you’re concerned, you were a decent boss. You treated the employee fairly, were supportive of his work, addressed him respectfully, and said “please” and “thank you.” You may even have gone out of your way to provide this employee meaningful development opportunities or a bigger salary.

  • Have a new hire? How to guarantee the least amount of loyalty in no time flat


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    With all that’s been written about the importance of employee engagement, you’d think our workplaces would be brimming over with programs, policies, and procedures to entice employees to stay put forever and a day while doing their best work ever.

  • 3 ways to use workforce analytics to forecast your next hire


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs 

    Forecasting your organization’s hiring needs is one of the most difficult things to do. To really have a good idea of your hiring forecast, you’d have to have an incredible sense of your workforce’s attitudes, expectations, workloads and even personal lives. In fact, it would require almost daily follow up to keep a constant read on the situation. This is just one of the reasons that it’s difficult to anticipate which business areas will have positions to fill and when. However, there is a way to proactively gauge hiring needs without all but asking employees when they plan to quit. The answer lies within your workforce analytics.

  • Big ego, small ego: Google’s Laszlo Bock talks humility in the workplace


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Just about anyone who writes about the workplace can agree that American companies are facing a serious leadership void.

    In a recent survey, nearly 70 percent of employees reported not liking their jobs.


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