• Data, not drama: How to take the emotion out of employee pay conversations

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Unless you’re about to drop a load of cash on someone, money talks can be tense.

    What’s more, according to PayScale’s 2015 Compensation Best Practices Report  (CBPR), nearly a third of companies don’t regularly perform market and compensation analysis, and most (57.1 percent) don’t train managers to have tough conversations with employees about compensation. The end result? Too many managers have neither the data nor the skills to handle difficult conversations about money.

  • 21 fresh employee engagement ideas

    When a workplace is filled with happy and engaged employees, the culture takes on a life of its own. It’s nearly impossible to not get caught up in the enthusiasm of these organizations. People are smiling, meetings promote real innovation, and everyone is focused on producing the best work while having fun.

    A culture this good doesn’t happen by accident. How do we get there?

  • Gender pay discrimination: The $14.3 million cost of a shattered shame ceiling

    Jade Makana, Director of Content Marketing, B2B

    Charlize Theron got another $10 million. Lily Ledbetter got $3.3 million. And even Ellen Pao, who lost her gender discrimination case, still cost Kleiner Perkins a cool $1 million. (It remains to be seen if she’ll have to pay it back.)

    When it comes to men treating women badly, the last few years has erupted in a tidal wave of women breaking their silence and speaking out. From Bill Cosby to Big Eyes, the biopic of Margaret Keane, an artist who was awarded $4 million after proving her husband took authorship credit for her paintings, women are officially shattering the shame ceiling, and the cost is both unprecedented and stupendous.

  • The low down on employee turnover

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    According to PayScale’s 2015 Compensation Best Practices Reportthe top five reasons for turnover in 2014 were:
    1. Employees seeking higher compensation (20.8 percent)
    2. Personal reasons (20.6 percent)
    3. Employees seeking advancement elsewhere (17 percent)
    4. Termination due to poor performance (16 percent)
    5. Employees seeking different company culture/expectations (9 percent)

  • Understanding and communicating the value of total rewards

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    The first step toward understanding and communicating the value of total rewards is defining the term “total rewards.” Think of total rewards as all the tools available to the employer to attract, motivate, and retain employees. Total rewards include everything the employee perceives to be of value from the employment relation-ship. Smart employers use this “whole package” concept to attract and obtain new talent.

    In the current job market, workers have come to expect more from their potential employers than competitive wages. When considering a position, most employees will ponder the total rewards affiliated with the offer. Total rewards can comprise wages, time off, a flexible schedule, group benefits, work environment, work culture, and many other things. The considerations will differ by employee, because different employees want and value different things.
  • It’s not a skills gap, it’s a skills challenge

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    The height of the Great Recession brought talk of the skills gap front and center. As millions of job seekers took to the Internet to complain about boorish recruiters, clueless hiring managers, and broken hiring processes (including endless rounds of interviews), employers claimed they couldn’t find enough qualified workers to fill their job openings.

    Workers shot back that there were plenty of qualified candidates—employers were simply taking advantage of the slow economy to be overly demanding, ridiculously exclusive (no long-term unemployed or older workers need apply), and cheap. The term “purple squirrel” became a conversation staple.

  • Show them the money: Economy surges, but employee wages slow

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    By most reports, the U.S. Economy is in better shape than it’s been in a long while. Although employers only added 126,000 jobs in March (far below the 295,000 added in February), we’ve seen an average of 269,000 jobs per month over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • Want a better workplace? Detoxify!

    There’s nothing more insidious than a workplace that tolerates toxic attitudes and behaviors. If even one employee is allowed to speak ill about the company, clients, or coworkers, negativity can soon become the norm in the corporate culture. Over time, toxic people can bring down entire work teams and departments, derailing the company one nasty comment at a time.
  • How bad is a bad reputation?

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    When researchers at Corporate Responsibility Magazine asked 1,014 people in North America about the impact of a company’s reputation on their willingness to accept a job offer, they learned that reputation costs.

  • PayScale Index shows wilting wages for STEM jobs


    Jade Makana, Director of Content Marketing B2B

    Is the bloom off the STEM rose? According to the new PayScale Index, wages for previously hot performing STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) jobs grew just 1.0% annually, experiencing the lowest wage growth in any category. In fact, wages for STEM jobs have been relatively stagnant for months.

    So is it time to stop offering your engineer candidates’ top dollar? Not necessarily. This slow-down is more of a reflection of STEM’s hot streak growth in 2014, versus a testament to the decline of the industry. “After incredible growth, the industry is kind of taking a breather this quarter,” said Tim Low, PayScale Vice President of Marketing. In fact, even with this decline, these jobs are still near the top for wage growth since 2006 (approximately 10 percent), due to remarkable growth for several years.

  • McDonald’s employees not exactly “loving” planned benefit and wage increases

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Last week, McDonald’s announced it will increase benefits and raise wages for 1,500 employees in its company-owned stores.

    Nearly 90,0000 workers will receive paid time off, educational assistance, and an additional $1 an hour over the federal minimum. These changes are slated to take effect July 1, 2015.

  • Will Apple’s wage increase for drivers close the gap between the haves and the have-nots?

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Amidst all the talk about how nobody needs unions anymore comes what many would say is a major union victory.

    Earlier this month, Apple announced it will be initiating major improvements to the wage and benefits programs of its 150 commuter drivers (i.e., the drivers who shuttle Apple employees back and forth to work). The drivers had already agreed to be represented by the Teamsters Union.

    It seems that even Apple, an industry giant by any standards, is beginning to realize that if they're not paying their workers, someone else will.

  • Developing employee skills with generous training incentives

    It’s long been understood that companies need great talent to attain higher levels of innovation and success.

    The only problem is, shortages in certain skill sets are making it difficult for organizations to hire the best. When this is the case, smart companies turn to training and development to bring their current and future employees up to speed.

  • Effective management of multi-generational work teams

    The words “workplace diversity” often conjure up images of peoples of all cultures, religious affiliations, ethnicities, and countries of origin working together in relative harmony.

    Yet, diversity in our modern workplace encompasses another, very important difference—the typical work environment includes a wider age gap among employees than ever before.

  • Why total compensation matters (and 3 ways to give your program a boost)

    There’s a growing focus on compensation transparency as human resource teams struggle to find and keep great talent. By highlighting all the perks an organization offers, companies hope to attract the best people to take the company to the next level. But does compensation transparency really draw better quality workers? 

    I’d argue that before focusing on transparency, employers should be sure they have the best compensation program possible, because compensation matters now more than ever.

  • Bottoms up! How to reward and retain achievers at all levels

    It’s easy to focus on the top performing employees in the organization. After all, this is where the magic happens. But what if you spent some extra time evaluating the bottom level of employee performance to see what’s going on there? Perhaps there are some ways to boost performance by incentivizing lower-performing employees, thereby creating a new crop of achievers.
  • Three big reasons why sales compensation plans don't meet employee expectations

    Companies with a sales force also tend to have a sales compensation plan. Typically, the plan consists of either a base salary plus commissions earned for generating additional sales or a straight commission-based program. Even though many companies offer these plans, they tend to fall short of expectations—leading to lower than average sales and earnings.

    Why do sales compensation plans often fail to produce the best results? Well, because companies make mistakes when creating and implementing them in the first place!

  • Job enrichment done right

    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    The time has come to consider doing some spring cleaning in the office, and I’m not talking about mopping and dusting.

    Employees get bored doing the same job for months, years, and sometimes decades on end. Obvious solutions to this boredom are promotions and pay raises, but in some instances, these are not an ideal course of action. A vastly underused option in this scenario is job enrichment programs. Job enrichment programs aim to reduce repetition and allow workers to expand their roles.

  • Everybody’s got questions about Zappos and surge pay

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Earlier this year, news broke that Zappos had begun experimenting with surge pay for its call center employees.

    Adopting the idea from taxi service Uber, Zappos hopes the new compensation structure will incentivize employees to work when customer demand is highest, such as in the early hours of the weekdays on the east coast or during the early hours in Las Vegas, where Zappos is headquartered. Under the new system, more demanding shifts equal higher pay.

  • Is your work from home policy ruining your company morale?

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Not everyone agrees on how work from home (WFH) policies affect productivity, and we could discuss the topic for hours. However, WFH policies affect more than productivity. They also have the potential to greatly impact your employees’ morale.

    WFH can have a direct correlation to an employee's engagement or lack of engagement, because people are different and react to working from home differently. Some people have personalities that are suited to WFH, but others don’t.




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