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  • 5 tips for justifying budget increases

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    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

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    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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  • Paving the way to a healthy workplace with corporate wellness incentives

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    As Obamacare officially launched across America this year, new requirements forced employers to look for ways to boost their compensation and benefit programs without raising healthcare premium costs. The new law permits employers to use as much as 30 percent of each worker’s health care premium on wellness incentive programs (up from 20 percent last year). The challenge to find cost-effective ways to maintain the well-being and productivity of workers is on.

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  • Pay for performance fail? Microsoft finally dumps forced stack rank

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    Tim Low, PayScale

    Much has been written, and much more will be, about Microsoft’s decision this week to eliminate their previous performance review process. Up until now, Microsoft relied on a forced stack rank where managers were required to grade employees on a bell curve, and thus also requiring ranking some employees at the low end of the curve.

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  • November 2013 software release – new Total Compensation Statement

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    PayScale’s November software release not only improves user experience and accuracy in entering labor market data, but also offers new ways to improve employee communication about Total Rewards. To follow, are a few of the highlights.

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

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    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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  • 6 tips for doing a performance improvement plan right

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    There’s a common perception that once an employee is placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP), it’s the beginning of the end for that individual. And that’s largely true.

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  • Communicating total compensation to employees in a meaningful way

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    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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  • Does the salary question belong in a first interview?

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    Nearly all candidates look forward to the day when they will have a chance to speak face-to-face with a hiring manager at their dream company. Likewise, human resource professionals enjoy meeting new candidates who may be the perfect fit for their company goals. Yet, the one thing that’s common with both sides of the hiring desk is nervousness over what interview questions are appropriate to ask in a first interview.

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  • Help your Millenials save for retirement

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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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  • The best ways to compensate an unpaid intern

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    More and more these days, paid internships are becoming the standard for companies that offer internships. This allows companies to compete with others in the industry or region for both the best interns and new grads. However, for companies who offer unpaid internships, it’s a whole different ball game. Even when businesses have rich and varied experience to offer potential interns, they are at an automatic disadvantage when they can’t or don’t offer paid internships.

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  • Don’t be a friend to your workplace bully

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    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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  • Effective bonus compensation plans for temporary seasonal staffers

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    Each year, thousands of companies make the decision to hire temporary workers to augment their human capital resources during peak production cycles and busy seasons. According to the most recent figures from the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 2 million people are employed as contingency workers in a wide variety of temporary and seasonal assignments. Additionally, organizations in the manufacturing, retail, and hospitality markets rely heavily on the use of temporary and seasonal staffers.

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  • 30 hot jobs in 2013

    Which are the hot jobs of 2013?

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Wondering where the purple squirrels are hanging out these days? Maybe they are working in one of these 30 "hot" jobs. These are the thirty hottest jobs right now as determined by a combined factor of the wage growth they have experienced in the labor market over the last 3 years and the employment projections provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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  • You need a wage administration program, seriously

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    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

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    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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