Author: crystals

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR, is an HR consultant and freelance writer who lives in Philadelphia. Crystal has a particular interest in issues that affect American workers and toils under the philosophy that “HR is not for wimps.” She also partners with HRCVision, a full-service HR consultant practice specializing in leadership and diversity training. Contact her via her personal blog,HR BlogVOCATE or at crs036@aim.com.

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Why Is It So Hard to Address Gender Pay Equity?

April 4th is Equal Pay Day, and PayScale will be hosting a Facebook live stream discussion about the challenges facing women in the workforce, including pay equity. But wait a minute. It’s 2017. Why is pay inequity still a thing? The Equal Pay Act of...
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Link pay to performance. Like…seriously this time!

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRWhen PayScale asked more than 5,500 business leaders the main reason their companies adjusted pay in 2015, 52 percent answered "employee performance."
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Paying employees right: What’s the big deal?

By Crystal Spraggins, SPHR and Katie Bardaro, Director of Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScaleThe President’s proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are still under review, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the whole th
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Paying employees right: What’s the big deal?

By Crystal Spraggins, SPHR and Katie Bardaro, Director of Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScaleThe President’s proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are still under review, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the whole th
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Proposed California bill would prohibit employers’ nosy questions about pay

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRIt’s not uncommon for employers to require job candidates to supply wage information as part of the application and hiring process. PayScale's eBook Communicating Compensation shares tips for making these types of conversations ea
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Employee (Un)engagement: Unhappy employees are costing you billions

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR70 percent of American workers are unhappy at work and it's costing businesses billions of dollars per year. Find out what a recent survey says about the cost of unhappy employees.
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Yes, people really do quit jobs for more money

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR PayScale’s 2015 Compensation Best Practices Report (CBPR) noted two primary reasons people quit their jobs last year: personal reasons (family, marriage, health, school, etc.) and “seeking higher pay elsewhere.” A new baby
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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
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The low down on employee turnover

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR According to PayScale’s 2015 Compensation Best Practices Report, the top five reasons for turnover in 2014 were: Employees seeking higher compensation (20.8 percent)Personal reasons (20.6 percent)Employees seeking advanceme
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The low down on employee turnover

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR According to PayScale’s 2015 Compensation Best Practices Report, the top five reasons for turnover in 2014 were: Employees seeking higher compensation (20.8 percent)Personal reasons (20.6 percent)Employees seeking advancemen
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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 (includi
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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
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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.
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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 o
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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
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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 wo
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Here’s why CEOs shouldn’t read performance reviews

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR I have no idea what it’s like to start and then grow a company to the point of needing your first, and then your tenth, and then your hundredth employee. However, I do know this—somewhere along the way, the successful entrepren
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Asking about candidate salary expectations during the interview: A good idea or a bad one?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR PayScale’s salary negotiation guide is targeted to job seekers, but I think many of the articles offer excellent insight for employers, too.
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Money as a powerful demotivator (don’t let this happen to your employees)!

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR A friend recently confided her salary to me, and I was shocked at how little she makes. I know my friend is worth a lot more, and I’m pretty sure her organization could pay more.
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It’s time for a check-up! How HR folks can get ready for 2015

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR January is the perfect time to think about how this year will be better than the last.
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Managing the non-cooperative employee

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR If you’ve been managing for more than a minute, you’ve probably encountered the non-cooperative employee.
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Is “cultural fit” a myth?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Recently, some have taken the position that cultural fit is a myth. They’ve said: “Fit is a lie we tell ourselves because we don’t know how to weigh the one-two-punch of competency and character” and “Hiring fo
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Unequal pay: legal and practical issues

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR In 2009, President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, his first bill. The bill, which extends the time period in which claimants can file pay discrimination claims, was only the beginning of the administration
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6 things you shouldn’t say when an employee asks for a raise

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR The new year is upon us, and nearly everyone is thinking about how to be happier and more fulfilled in 2015. And guess what? Some of these folks are reflecting on their pay and gearing up for a earnest chat with you.
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This HR software could make your job easier (and more fun)!

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Last week I got my first iPhone. It’s like three models old and first belonged to my college-aged son, but it’s mine now. My first iPod was also a hand-me-down from my son, who then conned me into buying him the latest and gre
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5 reasons your employees are looking for another job

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR According to PayScale’s 2014 Compensation Best Practices report, most employees quit their jobs for “personal reasons” and to earn more money elsewhere. The rising cost of utilities, groceries, housing, and education all but
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Study reveals the top performing CEOs

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Last month Harvard Business Review published a new study seeking to answer the question: “Which global CEOs … delivered solid results over the long run?” Rather than rely on reputation or rumor, HBR decided to focus on the
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How to recover from a big mistake

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR If you work long enough, you’ll eventually make a whopper of a mistake. Stuff happens, people are human, no one’s judgment is perfect, and we’re all tasked to make more decisions with more data in shorter amounts of time.
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Why your holiday party sucks

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Thanksgiving is over, and that means we’re all free to focus on those other upcoming holidays—whatever they might be for you.
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Salary data indicate wages may finally be on the rise

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR SHRM may be forecasting another 3% wage increase for 2015, but a study by Moody's Analytics claims that many employees are way ahead of the curve, averaging increases of 4.53% in the third quarter of 2014, which is more inline wit
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5 good reasons not to undercut that new hire

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR  It sounds nuts to suggest that any manager would willingly undercut her brand new hire. Talent acquisition is expensive and time consuming, and besides, what manager doesn’t relish the idea of getting a good person on board
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Accountability without control: It just doesn’t work

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Of all the ways a manager can drive her staff crazy, one of the worst is to demand a lot while providing few means to achieve results. It’s sort of like Pharaoh telling the Jews to make bricks without straw, but not quite that b
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The emotionally unsafe workplace: How bullies, tyrants, and narcissists are hurting your business

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRThe Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, commonly referred to as OSHA, obligates employers to maintain a safe and healthful work environment. OSHA’s website states: “OSHA's mission is to assure safe and healthful workplac
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Why peer networking is vital to good leadership

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRI’m fond of saying that no one has perfect vision, because it’s true. When it comes to work, however, far too many leaders seem to believe their view of the world (and their business) is without flaw and completely self-suffici
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Why delegation is good for the soul and the checkbook

Crystal Spraggins, SPHREvery effective leader must learn to delegate. That’s a fact. Unfortunately, some managers have the opinion that effective delegation is the same as giving orders to underlings. Not so. Effective delegation happens when the right
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The downside of diversity

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRI have a feeling people are kind of tired of hearing about diversity. On the one hand, I think I get it. The Great Recession has claimed a lot of victims, and many of us are struggling to maintain our status as members of the Middle
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The Situational Leader, part two: from Autocrat to Servant

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRIn Part I of two articles about situational leadership, we explored the basics of the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory as well as some common circumstances under which a manager might find herself shifting from her pre
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The Situational Leader part one: From Democrat to Autocrat and back again

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR A few weeks ago I wrote an article about different leadership styles, with the common response being that situational leadership is the way to go—that the astute manager understands the importance of leading according to circumst
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Educational trainee or volunteer? When an intern is not exactly an intern

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR If there’s a business owner who’s not looking to save some cash, I haven’t met her yet. And, considering that labor tends to be the biggest expense for most employers, finding ways to save money on labor seems like a good id
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Personnel files: dos and dont’s

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR If you have employees, then I’m guessing you have employee, or personnel, files. I’m also guessing that, unless you’ve been paying very careful attention to what goes in those files and how they’re organized, they’re a b
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Your new manager is a dud. Now what?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR If it’s been said once, it’s been said a thousand times—too often employees are promoted into management because they possess quality technical skills—not because they’ve demonstrated leadership ability. The end result?
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My employee quit without notice. What went wrong?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR The two-week notice period is as American as apple pie and the flag, but sometimes employees up and quit without so much as a by your leave. Considering that quitting without sufficient notice is widely viewed as unprofessional,
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The top 4 problems with pay for performance

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Pay for performance or performance-related pay, as it’s also called, is a relatively simple concept. Under a performance-related pay philosophy, employees are offered financial incentive for meeting certain predetermined and qu
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6 things employees REALLY think about their pay

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR “Cash is King.” “Money walks, the rest talks.” “Money makes the world go ‘round” We’ve all heard these sayings hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Money is important, period. Even those not motivated by money ne
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Work shouldn’t make you crazy: How job stress affects mental health

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR A recent headline from PsyBlog, “How Long-Term Stress Causes Serious Mental Disorders,” really caught my attention. Just about everyone I know is stressed these days, especially at work. And while stress doesn’t feel good
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Why hiring for diversity still matters

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Traditionally, talk about diversity in the workplace has focused on inclusion of people of color and women, particularly within the management ranks. And despite how far we’ve come, there’s still a need for those conversations
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Autocrat, Democrat, or Servant: What’s your leadership style?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Every leader has a leadership style. And leadership styles have consequences. According to PayScale’s 2014 Compensation Best Practices report, most employees leave their jobs for “personal reasons” or for higher pay. Pa
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Where is everybody? How to increase meeting participation

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR If you’re in the habit of calling “mandatory” meetings that are more poorly attended than you’d like, keep reading. We’ve got a few tips for turning that around.
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Re-examining the meaning of “team player”

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Quick—what qualities come to mind when you hear the term “team player?” How about someone who is: Cooperative, Conscientious, Helpful,Flexible,Hardworking, andHonest?
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The pros and cons of using social media for candidate screening

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR With all the information that’s “out there” on your potential new hire, it’s tempting to do a little snooping. After all, a new hire is a risk. Taking steps to mitigate that risk just makes good sense, right?  
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How to recognize top talent

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Every employer wants top talent, right? Top talent gets stuff done and without a lot of fanfare. Top talent is creative, flexible, and reliant. Top talent consistently delights. Who wouldn’t want that? Now here’s another ques
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The retirement savings crisis

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRAccording to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 24th annual Retirement Confidence Survey, more Americans (18 percent versus 13 percent in 2013) are feeling “very confident” they’ll have enough money in retirement. But
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Why you need a code of ethics policy

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR In “We Should Speak Up About Ethical Violations More Often,” Joseph Grenny makes a somewhat surprising claim. Whistleblower laws aren’t the way to more ethical companies, he says. Instead, leadership needs to develop a cultu
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Making your internship program work

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR There’s a reason internships are so popular—structured properly, an internship provides awesome benefits to the intern and the employer. Interns get real-world work experience, a chance to learn marketable skills, and exposure
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Employee sues company over rush-hour traffic

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR A New Jersey employee is suing her former employer for allegedly violating New Jersey’s anti-discrimination law and the Family and Medical Leave Act. The employee, Andrea DeGerolamo, claims that her employer discriminated agains
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Yup. It’s time to hire an HR professional

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRIt’s a common scenario. As a small company begins to grow, more and more people are hired to handle the increasing workload. (Great!).  Before too long, all these new people start inquiring about benefits, so somebody de
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6 easy steps to being the HR pro everybody trusts

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Many, many employees don’t trust HR. That’s a fact. Whenever I read an article about workplace bullying, toxic bosses, unethical workplace practices, or some other related topic, and the writer recommends the worker appeal to HR fo
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Company picnic primer: read this before you plan the next one

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR It’s that time of year when employers across the land begin planning the annual outdoor get together. Here are some things you can do to make your event a huge success.
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Make your words matter: 7 tips for effective verbal communication

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Management guru Peter Drucker is credited with saying, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.” There’s certainly some truth to that. Sometimes what a person doesn’t say is as impor
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How to be an irresistible leader

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR There’s been a whole lot written about the charisma that successful leaders possess, because it seems we humans are drawn to a certain je ne sais quoi in those we choose to follow. But far too often it seems, we quickly become di
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Is workplace training a waste of time?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRWhy oh why does training have such a bad reputation? It’s true that some trainers aren’t very good, and it’s also true that leadership has been known to drag everyone to “respect in the workplace” training when even a bl
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Can you be friends with your employees?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR No. Or, at least I don’t think so. Which is not to say that you can’t be friendly. Friendly is entirely possible and even desirable. But friends? Nah. Here’s my rationale.
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Appeals court redefines “the workplace”

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRThe Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to offer reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities who can perform the essential functions of the job. An employer is acting within the law when it prov
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Why you really, really need HR

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR An HR professional for nearly 17 years, I've been as critical of the function as anyone. And the reason is—this job is teeming with potential that far too often goes untapped. And while I have fantasies that a push could come
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Keep it moving: Is shorter CEO tenure better?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRThe 5-year plan For decades, the 5-year business plan was touted as a necessary and extremely valuable tool in the well-run organization’s tool belt. A 5-year plan keeps a company on track, by guiding leadership’s decision making abo
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Why so many HR pros suck at supporting the employer AND the employee

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR The HR profession is not new, or even relatively new, but HR professionals continue to debate their roles. In one camp are those who believe HR’s purpose is to protect worker rights and interests. These so called social worker types
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Yes you can still be sued for age discrimination

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR In “The Ugly Truth About Age Discrimination,” author Liz Ryan writes: “[Age discrimination] is the only kind of employment discrimination I know of that people talk about openly, either because they’re unaware of the laws preve
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5 things you should know before engaging a recruiter

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR No matter how much of an employers' market it may be, at some point, most employers will opt to use the services of a recruiter. A good recruiter can save time (and therefore money) and help you source applicants you wouldn’t have f
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Is the American work ethic really dead?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRI read an article the other day that boldly proclaimed: "The work ethic in our great country is going straight down the tubes and if that doesn't change, we're in BIG trouble!" The author, a motivational speaker who travels around the co
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Why did my employee quit without notice?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRYou thought you had a good relationship with this employee. As far as you’re concerned, you were a decent boss. You treated the employee fairly, were supportive of his work, addressed him respectfully, and said “please” and “than
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One of your best employees just got a job offer. Should you counter?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRYou’d seen the signs (such as increased absenteeism, reduced enthusiasm, decreased participation at meetings, decreased output, and so on), and you had a pretty good idea that something was amiss. But still, when one of your best emplo
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5 reasons why you need an Employee Assistance Program

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRThe first employee assistance programs (EAPs) were established in response to the growing problem of alcoholism among white-collar workers. Eventually, however, the programs evolved into what they’re known for today—providing c
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Have a new hire? How to guarantee the least amount of loyalty in no time flat

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRWith all that’s been written about the importance of employee engagement, you’d think our workplaces would be brimming over with programs, policies, and procedures to entice employees to stay put forever and a day while doing their b
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Big ego, small ego: Google’s Laszlo Bock talks humility in the workplace

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRJust about anyone who writes about the workplace can agree that American companies are facing a serious leadership void. In a recent survey, nearly 70 percent of employees reported not liking their jobs.
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Why ask why? The importance of asking questions

Crystal 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
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Dealing with the emotional employee

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRWhat 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 thi
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Young love is wonderful. Young management? Not so much.

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRA 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.
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When your employees don’t respect you

Crystal Spraggins, SPHROh, 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 t
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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 nitp
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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.
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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. R
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5 reasons your HR department is driving everyone crazy (and what you can do about it)

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Bad HR has become a bad, sad cliche. The situation has gotten so dire, hardly anyone actually expects great things of HR anymore, because that would be like expecting a used car salesman to be honest, or a professional basketball p
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When your employee outgrows you

Crystal SpragginsOnce in a while, you’ll find that the reward for a fabulous hire is an employee who’d be better off managed by someone else—someone with more skill, more knowledge, deeper pockets, or perhaps, access to more challenging or more prestigio
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Top workplace wellness trends for 2014

Crystal Spraggins2o13 was an interesting year for workplace wellness.Amid a ton of bad press, CVS Caremark initiated a new policy mandating that employees take tests for blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass and body weight or pay a mont
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Overcoming mobbing: An interview with Maureen Duffy, PhD

Crystal SpragginsAccording to a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), 35% of American workers have experienced bullying directly. An additional 15% have witnessed it. Maureen Duffy, PhD, has seen first-hand the damaging effects of workplace bullyi
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What to do when your employee posts nasty things about you on Facebook

Crystal SpragginsIt’s a pretty common scenario nowadays. An employee with a complaint about your company gets on social media and tells the whole world how much she thinks you suck. Ouch.You’re not at all pleased with this display of dirty laundry and disl
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Survey reveals what keeps CFOs up at night

Crystal SpragginsWhether you’re a CFO, report to a CFO, or manage a CFO, you might be interested to know what concerns CFOs.
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Is a transparent wage policy right for you?

Crystal Spraggins A very common line in policy manuals is one urging employees not to share wage information with coworkers. Although such a policy could run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which guarantees employees the right to congr
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Succession planning: What’s in it for you?

Crystal Spraggins, It’s not unusual for leaders to be so busy overseeing the day-to-day that long-term planning gets short shrift. Then too, long-term planning requires a type of discipline and forward thinking that not every organization can harness—
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Finding the story behind the numbers: An interview with Tracey Smith from Numerical Insights

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRWhile some might argue that good decision making is as much art as science, there’s no question that good data, analyzed properly and applied strategically, can help organizations make better decisions more often than not. After all, p
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Nobody has a good name in a bad mouth: The dangers of office gossip

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRIn the 1918 novel The Magnificent Ambersons, written by Booth Tarkington and later adapted for the big screen by the great Orson Welles, Uncle Amberson counsels his irate nephew George that “Nobody has a good name in a bad mouth. Nobod
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6 lessons I’ve learned about the workplace from watching Chopped

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRI’m a big fan of the television show Chopped, which airs on the Food Network. On the show, four chefs battle for a $10,000 prize. To win, they’ll need to survive three rounds of competition, during which they’ll prepare an appetiz
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Should you give that employee a raise?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR By now, everyone knows that real wages for the majority of American workers have stagnated. Put another way, wages have not kept up with inflation. Between cutbacks and layoffs and the reduction of the annual raise to somewhere betw
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Exempt vs. nonexempt: What’s the big deal?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR In a 2013 study, NERA Economic Consulting reported that U.S. employers paid $467 million in settlements as a result of wage and hour violations. NERA classified the violations in the following categories:
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Avoid these common performance review mistakes

 Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Is there anyone … anyone at all… who either likes writing performance reviews or receiving performance reviews? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Still, there’s no reason to compound the pain by introducing common errors into
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Make up your mind, already! How indecision is hurting your team

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR No one who has ever worked with management (including HR pros) or been in management would say that it’s easy. On the contrary. And if you’re a good manager, it’s really not easy. Your team depends on you, looking to you for
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Do’s and Don’ts for Managing the Insubordinate Employee

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Insubordinate employees are a poison in the workplace.That was bold, and I’m sorry, but it’s true. Employees with putrid attitudes who won’t and don’t follow instructions are a real drag on workplace productivity, because even
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Is your paternalistic culture killing your business?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR A company’s culture, or personality, is a very big deal. Just as an individual’s personality can be a help or a hindrance to meeting certain personal goals, a company’s “personality” can be a help or a hindrance to meeti
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Millennials and Gen X: more alike than different

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Everyone loves to rag on Millennials (born between 1977 and 1990), and we’ve all heard the complaints. Millennials are lazy. Millennials are spoiled and entitled. Millennials have no ambition. And so on.
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Are your employees underemployed?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Despite the recession being officially over, the media are still reporting about the great number of underemployed Americans—Americans who either don’t have enough paid work or whose jobs require significantly less qualificati
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Celebrate the smart way: Office party dos and don’ts

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR Well waddaya know? ‘Tis the season again. Pretty soon boxes of cookies, candies, and cheese assortments will be coming through the door—gifts from your vendors and also a reminder to everyone that party time is near! You’ve
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Are exit interviews a complete waste of time?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR As an HR professional, I’m torn on the benefits of exit interviews. Why? Because data are useful if you plan on doing something with them, but in my experience lots of organizations do absolutely nothing with the information rec
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Why waiting for that problem employee to quit is a bad idea

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
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6 tips for doing a performance improvement plan right

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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Help your Millennials save for retirement

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRSaving 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 b
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The dangers of paying employees more than they’re worth

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRBelieve 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
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Don’t be a friend to your workplace bully

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRIn 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.
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You need a wage administration program, seriously

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 c
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Four reasons why your work from home policy isn’t working for you

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR If you were being completely honest with yourself, you’d admit that you hate your company’s work from home policy. Half the time you can’t access people or information when you need to, and you have a terrible feeling that employ
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How to respond to an ADA accommodation request without landing in court

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR So, first things first. I’m not an attorney (although I will be quoting one). However, during my many years in the HR business, I’ve read lots of cases about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In almost all the cases I’v
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Why Managing Your Company Culture Matters

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR How much time do you spend managing your company culture? If the answer is “not a whole lot,” you could be making a big mistake.Your organization’s culture, or personality, affects so much—how decisions are made (e.g., unilatera
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Five reasons your performance review system sucks

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% o
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Manage your conflict and manage your costs

Crystal Spraggins, SPHRA quick internet search will yield many definitions of “conflict,” and most of them sound something like this one from Merriam-Webster:Con-flict  noun.  Strong disagreement between people, groups, etc., that results in
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Why Can’t I Find Any Good People?

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR It’s amazing. The Department of Labor reports a current unemployment rate of 7.3% (and some say the percent is really closer to double digits, once you factor in people who’ve simply stopped looking for work), but still emplo
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Help prepare your employees for retirement

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR When the Transamerica Center for Retirement StudiesR surveyed a nationally representative sample of unemployed and underemployed individuals, they found that 36% had used retirement monies to pay for basic living expenses. (Read the ful
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Five good reasons why every organization needs a troublemaker

Crystal Spraggins, SPHR When is the last time you crafted a job posting that included the phrase “Must be a troublemaker” under “Requirements?” Probably never, right?Well, why not? Your organization needs a few troublemakers. Here are five go