• 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?

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    , 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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  • Five reasons your performance review system sucks

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    If there’s any corporate tradition more maligned than the annual performance review, I’m hard pressed to find it.

    Managers hate doing reviews so much, many just don’t. A recent survey by Ceridian reported that in 2012, only 59% of respondents had had a formal sit down with their manager to discuss performance.

    Oh my.

    Well, I believe it’s high time for the annual review to get its proper due, rather than being disparaged as a pointless hurdle that nonetheless must be jumped before employees can receive pay increases. With that attitude, it’s no wonder your performance review system sucks.

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  • How to Curb PTO Abuse and Reduce Absenteeism with Compensation Planning

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    Tess C. Taylor, PHR

    Is your company’s paid time off policy becoming a joke around the water cooler? Maybe you are noticing above average call-outs from employees for frivolous reasons? Perhaps no other human capital issue has the negative impact that frequently absent and sick employees create for a business.

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  • 23 answers about compensation analytics and the ROI of turnover

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    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    PayScale recently hosted a wildly popular webinar entitled Compensation Analytics: The ROI of Turnover, presented by me, Mykkah Herner. If you missed the webinar, you are welcome to view the slides from the presentation. Since this is a topic of interest to so many of our Compensation Today readers, we're posting my answers to many of the questions received after this webinar here.

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  • Five Common Misconceptions about Employee Turnover

    Turnover misconceptions

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    All too often, we jump to conclusions when problems arise. One area in which this is certainly true is employee turnover. Whether we’re the ones experiencing it or we’re just part of the conversation about the growing trend, we tend to think we have it figured out. Most people realize that remedying the situation is much different than knowing what’s wrong, but regardless, we see the problem and also think we see the causes. However, employee turnover isn’t always what it seems on the surface

    At the heart of the issue of employee turnover are the needs, perceptions, desires and decisions of actual people – your company’s employees. This makes the issue somewhat complicated and not as simple to pin down as some might think. There are several misconceptions that are perpetuated about employee turnover and we’ll take a look at five of them here.

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  • Budgeting Employee Compensation Like You Would Your Personal Budget

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Most people tend to view their personal and corporate budgets in very different ways, even though the basic principles of both are the same. To create a budget, no matter what type of budget it is, you have certain amount of money you need to work within and specific expenses that need to be included. So if the principles of both are so basic and similar, it would only stand to reason that the same budgeting wisdom you use at home could also be adapted to the budget you create at work also.

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  • The skills gap starts in high school

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There’s no denying that the skills gap is a growing concern for employers, but there may be some dispute as to when it begins. Common misconceptions could be that the skills gap occurs during the college years, as students aren’t equipped with the necessary experience to enter the workforce qualified to do a job. Some may also think it begins as workers gain more years of experience but fail to maintain their knowledge of current technologies, processes or industry knowledge. However, the skills gap actually begins in high school, far before a worker even declares a major or takes on their first full time job.

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  • 4 tips for negotiating compensation in the workplace

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There are some things in life that people avoid like the plague. Talking about money at work is one of them. Working in human resources, it’s part of our jobs everyday but it can still be awkward and uncomfortable. Money is a sensitive topic for many people and it can bring up emotions that aren’t typically expressed elsewhere at work. Additionally, you’ve likely been asked questions that are difficult to answer or that you just don’t know how to handle. However, even with the difficult nuances of compensation negotiation, it doesn’t have to turn into a situation you tell stories about for years to come. Take a look at these five tips for discussing compensation in the workplace:

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  • Using online education to close the skills gap

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Nearly every company in every industry has been challenged by a skills gap in their workplace. Whether it’s a significant gap, such as the inability to fill demanding positions, or more minor, such as the need for an employee to become more skilled in creating spreadsheets, the skills gap can be felt nearly anywhere there are employees. Companies use a wide variety of resources to close the skills gap, from external recruiting, to internal training and mentorship programs, but there’s another resource that isn’t often used but is highly valuable: online education.

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  • To tweet, or not to tweet: 3 things to know when developing a social media policy

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    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    Social media is the ultimate 21st century water cooler, allowing just about anyone to say, well, just about anything to various audiences. Unfortunately, this freedom can sometimes paint a less-than-professional picture of your company, especially when employees use social media as a means to air grievances surrounding their jobs.

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  • 3 barriers to successful pay-for-performance implementation

    Pay for performanceLaleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Today most organizations are either moving toward a pay-for-performance compensation strategy, or at least discussing it. Correlating pay with performance has proven to improve employee retention in many companies, but even so, some detractors of performance-related pay models will tell you that more have been attempted and failed than succeeded. 

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  • What makes employees happy?

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Most business leaders spent a lot of time worrying about whether or not their employees are going to stick around, dreading the expense of turnover. One big decision factor in an employee's mind is simply whether or not they are happy in their job. 

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  • 3 lessons on retention from the NFL, NBA, and MLB

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    We tend to throw around the word “team” a lot in the workplace. “She’s a valuable part of the team,” “Be a team player,” and “This is going to take a team effort.” are all phrases that we toss around like second nature. But for as much as managers view their employees as teams, they may not be doing a superb job coaching. We, as HR professionals, may not be the best team managers in the league, either.

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  • EMA Senior Care is getting smarter about comp with PayScale

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    EMA Senior Care a long-term care organization with approximately 850 employees. EMA is located exclusively in Maryland, with six locations across the state. PayScale interviewed Jim Donovan, Director of Total Rewards, to discover how PayScale Insight is helping them drive their business objectives.

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  • The Death of DOMA: What Does It Mean For HR?

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    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    2013 is shaping up to be a big year for healthcare benefits in the US, and Human Resources professionals are starting to ask: What do these changes mean for my company’s benefits program?

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  • Financial Pacific Leasing saves time and money with PayScale Insight

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Financial Pacific Leasing is an equipment leasing company located just outside of Seattle in Federal Way, Washington. The company employs approximately 120 people. PayScale talked with Heather Bolek, Vice President of Human Resources, to learn more about how PayScale Insight helps their business.

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  • Creating Pay Transparency in the Workplace

    Compensation transparencyJessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    When you hear the phrase “transparency in the workplace” what comes to mind? Does the infamous Open Door Policy come to mind? Or do you cringe at the idea of being more transparent? Transparency is one of those buzz words that are thrown around quite a bit in corporate America, but how many actually practice it? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median number of years that wage and salary workers stay with an employer is 4.6. This number is up from a January 2010 statistics at 4.4 years. Being transparent in can make employees feel more satisfied and want to stay with you longer. 

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  • How to reduce turnover by building relationships

    Reduce Turnover

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Employee retention is on the forefront of most HR managers’ minds. Though turnover remains relatively consistent throughout the years, the uptick in the economy has brought with it an increase in employee turnover as there are more options for employment. In fact, a recent study of more than 4,000 companies found that 59 percent of employers list retention as their top concern in 2013.

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