• Why ask why? The importance of asking questions

    Ask more quetionsCrystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Did you know that the great inventor Thomas Edison was yanked out of school by his mom after a teacher complained that Edison asked too many questions? Silly teacher! How can someone ask too many questions?

    Curiosity makes the world go ‘round. Problems can’t be resolved without asking questions, and even if something fantastic is discovered by accident (like penicillin) the process would have never started without someone asking a question.

  • Dealing with the emotional employee


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    What would you do if you criticized an employee’s performance, and she cried? What about if she got angry and raised her voice or became sarcastic and hostile?

    How would you handle a complaint about a manager who screams or throws things?

    (Yes, it happens. I once knew a manager who’d get disgusted about work—and granted, he had a crappy job and a crappy employer—and then throw large stacks of book galleys on the floor with a loud thud to show it.)

  • Young love is wonderful. Young management? Not so much.


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    A few weeks ago, I interviewed for a writing assignment with a young and growing company, and for a while there things looked promising.

    But by the end of the conversation, I knew I wasn’t going to be pursuing this work.

  • When your employees don't respect you


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Oh, for a return to the good old days, when employees knew their place and didn’t expect to be heard. Not like today, when a worker with an opinion may have the nerve to share it. Why, he might even have the audacity to tell you that your management skills could stand some improvement! Outrageous. 

  • Can the nuclear family survive on minimum wage – even it if goes up?


    There is a lot of talk about the Federal Minimum Wage and how raising it to $10.10 per hour across the nation could help many more working Americans make ends meet. The question is, if the minimum wage is raised over the next 2 years, will this make a difference to the average nuclear family (Mom, Dad, and 2 kids)?

  • Botox or die: ageism in the workplace


    Apparently, it’s the survival of the youngest in Silicon Valley. According to a recent New Republic article, by writer Noam Scheiber, that details the desperate measures that professionals in their early 40s are doing to stay employable, these efforts that include getting regular Botox injections and hitting the gym for hours a day to stay youthful are on the rise. No longer are seasoned employees looked at as valuable to the success of the technology firms they work for. Instead, a growing disdain for anyone born before the 1980s has reared its ugly head.

  • How to stop nitpicking and lead your team to better performance


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    NIT-PICK (v.) to be excessively concerned with or critical of inconsequential details (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nitpick)

    The problem with the nitpicking manager is that he often lacks self-insight. In other words, the nitpicking manager doesn’t view his behavior as unhelpful. And that makes perfect sense, because if this manager viewed his behavior as unhelpful, one can only imagine that he wouldn’t be acting this way, right?

  • Does crowdsourcing in the workplace destroy the bully mentality?


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs 

    Most of us have probably seen bullying in the workplace up close and personal. Whether it has been directed toward you or you have just witnessed it, many of us can tell tales of people backstabbing, lying, clawing, pushing and bullying their way to the top. It’s not only painful to watch but also it’s frustrating to see them be placed in a position of power after finding out their true character. Once you’ve seen this happen a few times, it can be easy lose faith in other professionals, mainly because you expected more from them, at least in the workplace.

  • 5 truths about pay your employees don’t want you to know


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR 

    Quick—what’s the one topic many job seekers are advised to avoid during the interview process?

    You guessed it. Money. When job seekers are focused on money during the interview stage, it shows a lack of real interest and commitment to the work—or so the thinking goes.

  • Is it time to ban bossy?


    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    Are women called Bossy more often than men? If so, what impact does that have on the overall picture of gender equality in leadership positions? The gender wage gap and women’s roles in leadership are popular, and sadly sometimes polarizing topics of conversation. Recently there has been a lot of buzz regarding Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign, which is “a public service campaign to encourage leadership and achievement in girls.”

  • Crowdsourcing and employee engagement: what employees wish you knew


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    It’s no secret by now that crowdsourcing in the workplace is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to increase employee engagement. HR consultants and bloggers talk a lot about ways that HR practitioners can incorporate crowdsourcing into their workplaces, but what isn’t talked about much is what employees do and don’t want in terms of crowdsourcing, how they receive and internally process crowdsourcing opportunities and what about the crowdsourcing makes them more engaged. I recently had the chance to talk with several employees in various positions and leadership levels about their take on the issue and am happy to share some insight from their point of view for a change.

  • 7 steps to managing pay for your remote workforce


    Managing all the unique responsibilities of a remote workforce is challenging enough. Staying on top of compensation is an entirely different matter. With some 30-45 percent of the adult global workforce working from home at least part of the time, employers must be able to find ways to handle the demands of compensation administration in a modern world. (Source: Forbes) Companies are increasingly turning to outsourced labor pools too, using above average compensation strategies and attractive benefit programs to reel in the best talent.

  • The PayScale Index Q1 2014: A Slow, Tepid Recovery

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    The PayScale Index for the first quarter of 2014 shows that rising wages are not the whole story. The PayScale Real Wage Index reports real wages are down almost 8 percent since 2006 after analyzing statistics from the Consumer Price Index together with PayScale’s rich compensation data. In addition, The PayScale Index predicts a slight uptick of 0.3 percent in quarterly wage growth for Q2 2014, resulting in annual wage growth of only 0.8 percent over Q2 2013. PayScale’s forecast for Q1 2014 accurately matched the exact wage growth experienced by the economy.

  • Seven signs your compensation strategy needs a do-over


    Perhaps no area of human resources is as uncomfortable to talk about as the annual compensation update with the executive team. It seems as if every HR manager is tasked with proving that an improved compensation offering is good for business.

  • The ROI of HR Technology


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Investing in HR technology is something that is typically done with great consideration. After all, it’s expensive, creates downtime and requires system training. Additionally, investments can be a hard sell for those outside of your department as others may not see why the technology is necessary or beneficial. While frustrating, it’s understandable when others don’t understand why HR technology is a vital part of how you do your jobs. If you’re considering new technology or pitching the idea, it can be difficult to put a number to the difference it will make, or validate your purchase by showing its return on investment. There’s no exchange of funds in your department, no sales numbers and no revenue or losses (in the traditional sense), so how do you calculate the ROI it will provide?

  • EEOC releases FY 2013 enforcement and litigation data


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released FY 2013 data showing that the agency obtained the highest monetary recovery in its history through its administrative process, increasing by $6.7 million to $372.1 million. Of these awards, $39 million benefited victims of unlawful discrimination.

  • March 2014 Product Release


    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    At PayScale, we're always working hard to make our products work better, look better and be a better experience for our subscribers. Our March monthly software release improves the visual experience of our market and analytic reports and also provides an update to our MarketMatch™ data model that adds more data for our customers to access.

  • 6 must-haves to choose the right salary survey


    If you are visiting the PayScale website, then there’s a good chance you are doing so to learn as much as you can about the power of salary surveys in your organization. A salary survey is a carefully managed set of data based on the trends in salaries and benefits across all job types and industries. It is a valuable resource that many human resource professionals use to adjust and plan for the salaries they will offer within their current organization. Salary surveys are also used to create a compensation strategy for recruitment purposes, so that the organization can attract the best talent.

  • Leadership 101: Why teaching is so much better than telling


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    It’s been my experience that most adults do not like being told what to do. But when it comes to work, what does this mean exactly?

    Most everyone has a boss, and generally, most everyone is required to take direction from said boss. Refusing to take direction from a boss is a big no-no. It’s called insubordination, and most places will fire you for it.

    So, how do good managers respect their employees’ natural inclination to not want to be told what to do while at the same time fulfilling their managerial duties? Simple. They cause others to willingly follow by providing sound leadership. And some of the best leaders I’ve ever known were natural teachers.

  • How Transparent are You About Your Total Compensation?


    In the last few years, employers have begun to see the value of reporting total compensation to their workforce. For many, this is a strong retention tool that helps employees understand how much the company is vested in their success. Total compensation statements can give employees a clearer picture of how much the company has spent on health and wellness benefits, retirement savings, educational costs, and all the other perks of employment in addition to regular salaries. This effort is an important part of corporate communications that gives employees a greater insight into their contribution to the success of the company.


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