• Trouble Brewing: When the Compensation Strategy isn't Working Anymore

    header_WhenCompStrategyIsntWorkingTess C. Taylor, PHR, SHRM-CP, PayScale Senior Blogger

    Just because your organization has an established compensation plan doesn’t mean it’s working well anymore. It’s very possible that trouble may be brewing. The signs may be subtle at first, but the problems will only build until the entire thing breaks down. Now, I don’t want to scare you, but I do want to educate you on some of the symptoms of a compensation strategy that’s about to fail.
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  • PayScale Tools for Today's Comp Pro! Compensation Glossary: Part 1 of 4

    Header_Comp101_Main Jenni Marquez, CCP, PayScale Compensation Professional


    Even the most seasoned HR professional might take a big gulp if approached by their CEO to take charge of anything comp. That’s because, despite being part of the HR department, compensation is like the cool kid at a party. You know, the one you’re afraid to talk to. A bit mysterious, intriguing, and frankly, just seems way out of your league. Comp has its own language. Sure, you’ve heard some terms before, but you have no idea what they mean so you try to avoid the conversation altogether. Not to worry! PayScale has you covered in our new, 4-part Comp Glossary. You’ll be ‘comp’letely fluent in no time.
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  • When is tough love too tough? One Gen-Xer’s view on motivating Millennials

    Header_Tough_Love_Main Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP, PayScale

    Let’s face it, Millennials already make up more than half the workforce. That may differ from organization to organization, but most of the companies I work with are actively faced with the challenge of motivating and engaging employees across the generations, when the generations have such different characteristics. And – newsflash, there just aren’t enough of us Gen X-ers around to step into the leadership roles that will begin opening up as the last of the Traditionalists and Boomers move on!
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  • Combining Cultures: When Two Compensation Philosophies Merge

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    Tess C. Taylor, PHR, SHRM-CP, PayScale Senior Blogger


    Lately, we’ve seen a lot of discussion about the impact on business and employees alike when faced with a merger and acquisition. HR and Comp Managers are often tasked with finding a way to meet in the middle when comp strategies don’t exactly mesh. So, what does it take to bring compensation planning and methodology together when there are two very different cultures surrounding this?
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  • 3 Common Types of Pay Compression

    Header_Main_CompressionMykkah Herner, MA, CCP, PayScale

    You’re going about your HR day and someone tells you you have compression. Maybe you suck in your tummy a little more and say “thanks?” Or maybe you know they’re talking about pay compression. In either case, do you know how to examine your pay practices? Do you know the many forms that pay compression can take? And perhaps more importantly, do you know what to do about it?
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  • How to Handle Mergers and Acquisitions with Sensitivity

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    By Sonnet Lauberth, PayScale Compensation Professional

    Mergers and acquisitions generally occur because they make good business sense. Rationale may include increasing performance, cutting costs, achieving deeper market penetration, and more. Rarely do the reasons include helping your employees sleep better at night. Indeed, mergers can strike fear in employees as they worry about role duplication, changes to the company culture, layoffs, and more. While a certain amount of unrest may be inevitable, here is how to get your employees through a merger as sensitively as possible.

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  • Why Millennials Need Tough Love Like Mother’s Milk

    Blog_Header10.2_MainJade Makana, Director of Content Marketing, B2B


    How to Motivate the Generation That Already Has Every Participation Trophy

    So you’ve hired some millennials. You’ve managed to lure them off their air b’n’b couch, away from their artisan oatmeal food truck visions, and into an uber to come work for you. Good for you. But now, you actually have to work with the little hoodie-wearers. Suddenly, you find that every day is like that wedding you went to where the lumberjack’s son marries the Park Avenue daughter: awwwwwkward. How do you talk to each other? What do you have in common? How do you motivate a generation who already has every participation trophy? As a millennial myself, I can tell you the answer is, tough love.

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  • Compensation Round-Up: Love, Lies, and a Game of Horse

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    Joleen Oerman, B2B Content Marketing Specialist, PayScale

    Welcome to the Compensation Roundup, where we bring to you the hottest news in comp! Sample what’s happening in compensation right now, get in the know and grab some conversation starters. This week's topic: Loves, Lies and a Game of Horse.
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  • HR Video: COLA Raises

    header_AskCompProVideoSeriesGot comp? Check out the latest video in PayScale’s new series, Ask a Comp Pro! 

    This new educational video series answers all your most burning compensation questions, for newbies and seasoned veterans alike. Today’s topic: COLA Raises. Watch now!

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  • How to Manage Compensation Questions During Mergers or Aquisitions

    header_ManageCompQuestionsJessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There’s nothing scarier than showing up to work one day to find your world turned upside down by an acquisition or merger. All too often, though, that’s exactly what happens. Executives make plans behind the scenes, contracts are drawn up and employees go on with their daily business completely unaware. Then all of the sudden, when the details are finalized and it’s set in stone, the workforce is given the word. It could be two months, two weeks or even two days before the actual change occurs, but it never feels like enough time to prepare for the questions you’ll soon be asked by your employees.

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  • You've Got Me Feeling Emotions...About Comp!

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    Ashley Adair, PHR SHRM-CP, Benchmarking Team Lead at PayScale


    Whether we want to admit it or not, compensation is emotional.

    On an intrinsic level it reinforces beliefs and behaviors of employees – ‘I worked hard and did a good job so naturally I deserve a raise’. On a smaller scale, it can be the difference between organic vs. non-organic veggies or a vacation vs. a staycation. So how do you get down to business and communicate a decision that has such a personal impact?
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  • How to Communicate a Change in Annual Raises or Compensation Rates

    header_CommunicateChangeRightWayJessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Any kind of change in the workplace can be a challenge for employees. Big or small, change is typically not a welcomed thing. Add in a monetary factor and people tend to get even more stressed out. It’s understandable. You’re talking about making changes to their livelihood, which can be stressful, confusing, annoying or downright scary. However, change is an inevitable part of life and work. So when you do find yourself in a situation where change is around the corner, it’s vital to communicate in a way that doesn’t alienate your workforce. Communicating compensation rates or annual raise changes requires strategy, tact and forethought.

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  • How to Clean House on Your Comp Plan

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    Rita Patterson, Onboarding Team Lead, PayScale

    Creating a comp plan is like cleaning your house. It’s easy to look across a living room and kitchen full of dirty dishes, scattered toys & magazines, and think “I don’t have the time and energy for all of this right now!” But cleaning your house and planning your compensation don’t have to be so daunting. Here are four steps to take toward a bright & shiny comp plan.
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  • 10 Years Later: Does Everyone Still Hate HR?

    header_HateHRAnniversaryJessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    We recently eclipsed the 10-year anniversary of Fast Company magazine declaring to the world that HR sucks. In their article, published in 2005 titled, “Why Everyone Hates HR,” Fast Company outlined several harsh—yet potentially true—points about why the HR industry just doesn’t work. We’ve been talking for the last 10 years about how all these things are changing, from the fact that HR professionals are starting to think strategically, to how we truly do have a seat at the table now. But has anything really changed in the last 10 years? Are we still the same department that everyone hates, or have we moved into a new realm of being understood and people seeing our value?

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  • The Pros and Cons of Focal vs. Anniversary Merit Raises

    header_FocalSalaryIncreasesTess C. Taylor, PHR, SHRM-CP, PayScale Senior Blogger

    Shifting merit increases from employee anniversary dates to a focal point system may be an option for companies that want to connect performance with pay. While it can raise concerns for employees initially, there are multiple advantages of changing salary increases to correspond with actual performance metrics. But before you go messing with people’s pay, learn what this change impacts.
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  • PayScale Partners With White House & Dept of Ed on College Scorecard Rollout

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    On Saturday, President Obama announced the Department of Education’s updated College Scorecard designed to help future college students make data-driven decisions about which college to attend. PayScale had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the new data and test an easier delivery method (an API) for organizations interested in using the federal data to build tools for consumers. PayScale has been producing reports on higher education for many years to help students and parents understand the financial return on investment of a college degree but pulling in additional data from the College Scorecard will make the reports even more robust. “Americans will now have access to reliable data on every institution of higher education,” stated Obama in his Presidential address.
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  • Starting Small: Communicating Compensation Doesn't Have to be All or Nothing

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    Rita Patterson, Onboarding Team Lead, PayScale

    Convinced that communicating comp means exposing every employee salary to the masses? Think you can’t communicate comp until you have a fully detailed, flawlessly executed Compensation Constitution in place? Rest assured, there is a middle ground between a comp plan that is shrouded in secrecy and one that is published on the internet.

    Communicating comp is a huge culture shift for many companies, so soften the shock by wading into the transparency pool gradually—it doesn’t have to be a full cannonball! Here is how to take the first steps toward communicating comp, using some common scenarios where conversing about compensation is key.
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  • Minimum Wage Increases: The Key Factor You're not Looking At

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    Joleen Oerman, PayScale

    Like a dress code in a public school, minimum wage mandates are invading cities, to mixed reactions. Concern is understandable: As a small business owner, one moment you’re able to outfit your work force into jeans of many brands—from Jordache to Joe’s. Then your city mandates that your employees can only wear only jeans sold at Nordstrom, when you’ve been outfitting much of them in jeans from Wal-Mart. As compensation is likely one of the largest line items in your budget, significantly upping the price of your lowest paid employees is a daunting task that many do not feel they can afford. Much like businesses, cities differ greatly in their ability to handle a significant increase in minimum wage.

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  • HR Video: Comp Strategies for High Growth Companies

    header_AskCompProVideoSeriesGot comp? Check out the latest video in PayScale’s new series, Ask a Comp Pro! 

    This new educational video series answers all your most burning compensation questions, for newbies and seasoned veterans alike. Today’s topic: tips to developing a compensation strategy in high growth companies.
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  • Annual Compensation Cycles Need to Take an Uber

    header_JoinCycleRaceTim Low, PayScale

    I was reading this story about GE dumping its famous (and infamous) Jack Welch baby, the stack ranking and annual performance review. That is a worthwhile topic for another day, but I was struck by a comment in the article by GE’s head of human resources, Susan Peters:

    “The world isn’t really on an annual cycle anymore for anything.”

    So. True.

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