Author: staceyc

Stacey Carroll is a Human Resources Professional with 20 years of HR experience including 13+ years in Human Resources Management. Additional credentials include a Master's in Business Administration and certifications in HR and Compensation.

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The Right Way to Give Pay Raises

Stacey Carroll, PayScale.com Last week, PayScale presented a well-attended webinar entitled, “The Right Way to Give Pay Raises.” This time of year, we hear from many of our customers that they have a raise budget for next year, but need help understanding
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The Top Three Reasons to Create Pay Grades

What Pay Grades Can Do For Your Organization By Stacey Carroll, PayScale.com We talk about pay grades all the time here at PayScale, but not everyone understands why they are so important. So, without further ado, here are our top three reasons to adopt pay gr
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Setting Merit Budgets This Year

Is Three Percent the Right Merit Budget for Your Organization? By Stacey Carroll, PayScale.com I get the phone call a lot. It goes something like this, “Stacey, my CFO wants to know what the average increase other companies are giving this year so we can d
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Small Company CEOs Work Hard and Earn Less

Less Pay for Small Company CEOs Thanks to bank bailouts, Occupy Wall Street and other news, there is a lot of attention on CEO pay right now, especially as it compares to the average wages of employees. Whether you agree or disagree with a CEO making high wag
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Why HR Must Know Market Data

Why HR People Should Know Market Data A lot of people assume that human resources professionals are all about the “fluffy stuff,” like employee morale, following up with benefits issues, making sure an employee gets leave for family emergency and other ver
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Online Reputation Management

Good vs. Bad: Online Reputation Management How robust is your company’s online reputation? Do your current or former employees publish positive or negative information about you? As an HR professional, in charge of bringing new employees on board, you must a
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Healthcare Reform: HR’s Golden Opportunity

Don’t Be Shy: Take the Lead on Healthcare Reform Healthcare reform is a hot topic right now. I am not an expert on it, and you may not be either. But, if you are an HR professional, you need to get educated and prepare to take the lead on your company’s at
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Zappos CEO’s Success Secrets

Company Culture: Lessons from Zappos CEO Tony Hseih How do you approach the culture at your company? If you haven’t thought about that question recently, it likely needs attention. A well-defined culture can bring you great business results. Just ask Zappos
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Simple Incentive Plan Design

Use “Line of Sight” to Keep Incentive Plans Simple More and more organizations are bringing incentives down to lower levels within the organization. They want employees to have a piece of their compensation that is variable. But, they often complicate the
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Employee Retention and Engagement

Be Bold and Reward Only What You Want It’s challenging to design an incentive program that actually rewards top performers, and only top performers. But, it is more expensive, in the long run, to leave them under-rewarded. If you don’t believe that is true
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How to Talk to Leaders and Employees About Compensation

How to Talk to Leaders and Employees About Compensation Here on Compensation Today, I often encourage HR pros and business leaders to take more time with their compensation planning. And, with our PayScale clients, we carefully break down the process and go ov
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SHRM 2011 – Aligning Comp with Business Goals

SHRM 2011: “Stupid Things” We Do in Compensation I learned a very important lesson during my first speaking engagement at the SHRM national conference: Be careful what you say. During my conference break-out session titled “Aligning Your Compensation St
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Top Performers: Key to Business Success

Top Performers Boost Your Bottom Line As many of you are well aware, your top performers can be the difference between a company that is successful and a company that is not. But, you may not be able to convince your leadership that you need compensation polic
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Google’s HR Practices Explained

What Would Google Do? I was able to attend the World@Work conference in San Diego recently. This event is always a wonderful opportunity to get away from the daily grind and spend some time on my professional development. I enjoyed great sessions, met some nic
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How to Identify Low Performance – Management Tips

Underwhelming: Sure Signs of Low Performance How do you know if an employee isn’t reaching their goals, pulling their weight or just plain getting the job done? Identifying low performance can be tricky. And, training managers to do it is often challenging
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How to Pay Remote Workers

How to Pay Employees Who Work Remotely In my current capacity as Director of Professional Services at PayScale, I get the privilege of working with many different companies in many different industries to build their compensation plans. One of the most interes
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Talent Management Process

How to Create a Talent Management Process How easy is it, for each job position at your company, to articulate what is high or low performance? Making this process easy has a big impact on how well your managers evaluate employees and how fair and effective th
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Salary by Location

Why Geographic Differentials Don’t Work For years compensation professionals have used geographic differentials to make decisions about what to pay jobs in locations where they may not have salary data. The theory stands that if you don’t have data for on
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Talent Management Challenges

Roadblocks to Recognizing Low Performance Talent management is crucial for business success. You want to incent your top performers and support, or possibly let go of, low performers. But, first you have to know which is which, and certain talent management ch
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Good Bosses vs. Bad Bosses

Want to Be a Better Boss? Good Advice for Success I recently had the chance to participate in a virtual mentoring program through my alma mater. I was responsible for serving as a mentor coordinator and reviewing the exchanges between students taking an introd
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HR Work Resolutions for 2011

HR Resolutions for the New Year It’s time to make resolutions for the New Year. I’m sure a lot of us will make personal resolutions about losing weight, spending more in nature or being more organized. But, it’s also a great time of year...
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Gift Giving at Work

5 Tips for Happy Holiday Gift Giving at Work It’s the season of giving and many times people wonder what’s appropriate and inappropriate when it comes to gift giving in the office. The same rules apply in the office as exist for gift giving in general. But
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The Role of HR in a Company, According to CEOs

What the CEO Wants from HR I had the opportunity to speak to a group of 15 CEO’s last month. The topic was “Developing a High-Performance Culture” and our tag line was “It’s not all about money.” If you’ve worked in HR for any...
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Competitive Compensation Strategy

Q & A: Focus on Competitive Compensation Strategy How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your business plan? Likely you did so within the last year. How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your compensation plan? Has it been a year, two...
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HR Holiday and Christmas Office Party Ideas

5 HR Tips for Holiday Office Party Behavior By Staff Writer The holiday season has arrived, and with it comes get-togethers and festivities of all kinds – including holiday office parties. If you’ve worked in HR for very long, you’ve likely seen some les
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Communicating Compensation to Employees & Leadership

Communicating Compensation Plans: How to Present Your Findings and Recommendations I am a stickler on communication. I think that too often our compensation programs fail not because of the merits of the program but rather the ways in which we communicate or l
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Top 10 Qualities of a Good Manager

What Employees Appreciate from Their Manager By Staff Writer Keeping with our theme of gratitude this holiday month, we interviewed PayScale’s director of customer service and education Stacey Carroll about the characteristics of a good manager, and what emp
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Top 10 HR Thank Yous

10 Things For Which HR Professionals Are Thankful By Staff Writer November is the month when appreciation and thankfulness make the news. So, we decided to join in and ask our director of customer service and education, Stacey Carroll, what makes HR profession
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Examining the Adverse Impacts of Layoffs

Think Before You Fire: Designing an Adverse Impact Analysis In our tough economy, laying off employees has become a knee-jerk reaction when budgets get tight. But, what are the true effects of employee layoffs and how might choosing them wreak havoc later on?
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Writing Creative Job Postings

Put Your Job Postings to Work for You I am always telling people to think outside of the box when working through human resources issues. For some reason, we have gotten ourselves stuck in the box in several area, including job postings, which is...
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Company-Wide Incentive Programs: Q&A

Designing Bonus Plans That Cut Business Costs What are some smart approaches to designing company-wide incentive programs? Bonus incentives are powerful tools and can both create success or wreak havoc. Careful planning is key. HR expert Stacey Carroll, direc
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How Do I Design a Compensation Plan?

How Do I Design a Compensation Plan That’s Customized to My Organization? In a previous post "Customize Your Compensation Plan for Your Organization," we shared the first three of six tips from HR expert Stacey Carroll, MBA, SPHR, on how to design
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Customize Your Compensation Plan for Your Organization

Help Your Company Stay Afloat: Customize Your Compensation Plan In an era of small budgets and stiff competition how can you, the HR professional, help make sure that your company is thriving, ten and twenty years from now? You need to get very specific...
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Myths About Employee Pay Practices

Not True! 4 Common Myths About Paying EmployeesBy Staff WriterIn HR, as in all professions, there are rules of the road and basic bits of wisdom that most practitioners follow. For human resources professionals, a lot of this wisdom has to do with how people a
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Developing a Competitive Compensation Strategy

Smart HR leaders regularly ask themselves a key question when planning a human resources compensation strategy, “Have we positioned ourselves well relative to the market?” In order to answer this question, you must first know how competitive you want and n
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Employee Dress Code Policy for Summer

Tank Top Trouble: Tips for Employee Dress During Summer As the weather warms up, you may find that more and more people are crossing the line of what’s appropriate to wear in the work place. From low-cut blouses to too-short of shorts, this situation...
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Integrating General Business Strategy with Compensation

Decided, Defined, Done: Why You Need a Business and Compensation Strategy Right Now I have written lately about the importance of integrating general business strategy with compensation. The fact is that your business strategy is likely more clearly defin
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Preparing a Compensation Plan

Catching Up with the Economy: How to Prepare for a Compensation Plan Re-Design Up, down, emerging and disappearing – these are the movements that most markets are dealing with these days. Is your company keeping up with all of the changes, and addressing the
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Compensation Plan for Business Success

Pop Quiz: Is Your Compensation Philosophy in Line with Your Business Strategy? In a recent PayScale webinar I led titled, “Aligning Your Compensation Philosophy with Business Priorities,” I began by asking the attendees some questions to assess their commi
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SHRM San Diego Conference – Al Gore’s Keynote

Lessons from SHRM: Al Gore’s Sustainable Business Framework I was excited to learn that Al Gore was going to be one of the keynotes for the national SHRM conference in San Diego. No matter what your political beliefs are, I do think it’s interesting...
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Conversations that Change Employee Behavior

Conversations that Change Employee Behavior Whether it’s explaining new medical benefits or why a team isn’t getting raises, HR professionals and business owners have difficult conversations of all kinds with employees. But, probably one of the most diffic
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Honoring HR Leader Sharon Koss

Honoring the Memory of HR Leader Sharon KossBy Staff Writer Last week, the staff at PayScale learned of the passing of a friend and long-time contributor to its education efforts, Sharon Koss, SPHR, CCP. Sharon had helped build up PayScale’s offering of web
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Employee Performance Feedback

Steps to Giving Effective Employee Performance Feedback In a previous post, "Confronting Difficult Employees," we discussed how to work with the managers at your company to ensure that critical employee performance feedback is given to your employees
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Confronting Difficult Employees

How to Have Tough Conversations with Employees Your employee was twenty minutes late to their shift on Monday and now it’s Thursday and it’s 15 minutes after they were supposed to arrive. They’re not around. You like this employee and have enjoyed t
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Overpaying Employees

Paying Employees Too Much? How To Deal with an Expensive Employee I’m actually surprised at how often people ask the question: “What do we do when we find out we are paying people too much?” To answer that question you first need to ask...
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Performance Matrix Questions

Q & A Session – Shifting to Pay for PerformanceThe following is a transcript of questions and answers from PayScale’s webinar, "How to Play a Key Role in Compensation Budgeting." The topics covered include how to offer meaningful employee rew
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Setting Compensation Budgets

How to Play a Key Role in Setting Compensation Budgets By Staff Writer During PayScale’s recent webinar, titled, “How to Play a Key Role in Compensation Budgeting,” PayScale director of customer service and education, Stacey Carroll, MBA, SPHR and HR exp
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Employee Compensation Plan Design

Think Ahead: Smart Employee Compensation Plan Design When it comes to helping HR professionals utilize our tool to build, maintain, or update their compensation program, I hear myself saying over and over again, “remember it’s a tool, but you have to know
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HR Questions for Compensation Experts

Q & A with Compensation Experts: Pay Ranges, Pay-for-Performance and Merit Increases What’s going on these days with compensation and what questions do HR managers have about it all? The following is a collection of questions asked during PayScale webi
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Compensation Questions – Analytics

Compensation Questions – Applying the Results of Compensation Analytics The following is a transcript of the question and answer session that followed PayScale’s webinar, How to Perform Compensation Analytics. The topics covered in these compensation qu
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Compensation Analytics with Market Ratios

Compensation Analytics: Alignment of Incumbents within Pay GradesOnce you completed some initial compensation analyses, like looking at how your salary ranges compare to the market compensation data and, if applicable, ensuring that your company follows thro
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Create a History of Pay for Performance

Compensation Analysis: Create a History of Pay for PerformanceIn our previous discussions on compensation analytics, we discussed why taking the time to review the effects of your compensation plan is valuable to a company and, also, how to perform an analysi
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How to Conduct a Compensation Analysis and Move Salary Ranges

How to Conduct a Compensation Analysis and Move Salary Ranges In a previous post we reviewed why performing compensation analytics can provide value to an organization. In this next post on compensation analytics, we’ll look at how it is used to review sala
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The Value of Compensation Analytics

The Value of Compensation Analytics for Top HR ProfessionalsIs your compensation program really doing what you want it to? You have to make time to look at the data your compensation practices are producing to find out.There are many to-dos when an HR profes
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Compensation Budgeting: Determining Merit Pay Increases

Perform Efficient Compensation Planning for Merit Pay IncreasesWe are in the post-season for HR. It’s open enrollment time, flu season and, for a lot of organizations it’s also the time of the year for performance management and merit pay increases. 
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How to Create an Effective Employee Compensation Policy

Writing an Employee Compensation PolicyFor legal protection and good business sense, every company should have an up-to-date employee compensation policy. What is the status on yours?An organization should not wait for dire circumstances, such as a pay inequ
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What are Compensation Philosophies? And How to Write One

A compensation philosophy provides overall direction for how you intend to use your compensation budget. It answers how you will prioritize your compensation spend, based on a set of principles and values that are important to your business. In other words, yo
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Creating a Compensation Policy and Philosophy

Q&A Session – The Essentials of Developing a Total Compensation Policy The following is a transcript of the question and answer session that followed PayScale’s webinar, Developing Your Compensation Philosophy & Policy. The topics covered in thes
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Establishing Competitive Pay Rates

Here at PayScale, the HR professionals that we work with often ask us, “What method should we use for targeting pay rates for a position?” While the compensation planning tool that we offer our customers gives them plenty of numbers and calculations, it do
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How to Design an Executive Compensation Policy

How to Design an Executive Compensation Policy By Staff Writer If your company is looking to bounce back from a drop in profits or handle a growth spurt, you may be in the market for fresh talent at your executive level. What’s the best way to approach sa
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Hiring a Compensation Consultant

When Should You Hire a Compensation Consultant? Keeping great employees around can make or break a company’s success. Would you like some personalized help with your compensation planning to attract and retain top talent?
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Non-Monetary Compensation

Non-Monetary Compensation and the Essentials of Developing a Total Compensation PolicyThey say cash is king, but in today’s economy employees know that there is more to the story than cash alone. Today’s job seekers and your employees have become more sav
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Pay and Compensation Data Case Studies

Real-Life Stories: PayScale Fills Compensation Data Gaps By Staff Writer Are you bumping up against stopping points in your salary benchmarking projects? You’re not alone. Everyday PayScale hears from companies that are looking to fill gaps in their pay and
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HR Leadership Questions

Q&A Session – HR Leadership in Difficult Times: Implementing RIFs, Reorganizations and Freezes Questions and Answers from Our HR Leadership Webinar The following is a transcript of the question and answer session that followed PayScale’s webinar, HR L
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The Salary Review Process: How It Relates to Performance Reviews

The Salary Review Process: How It Relates to Performance Reviews Whenever you do performance reviews employees want to know, “What does my performance evaluation mean for me financially?” Many companies try to break the link between salary and performance
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Reasons for Company Layoffs: Save Costs without Salary Freezes

Why Salary Freezes and Pay Cuts Don’t WorkIn these tough economic times, many organizations are looking for ways to reduce spending. Inevitably, payroll jumps to the top of the list of costly culprits because it is often one of the largest costs an organiza
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Recruiting and Hiring in an Economic Downturn

5 Tips on How to Be Successful in Staffing in an Economic Downturn The current economic situation provides a great opportunity for employers to redefine their recruiting methods. With the vast pool of job applicants, it is easier for companies to make excell
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Rules for Laying Off Employees

New Rules for Laying Off Employees in a Recession: Consider the Long-Term Costs With all of the news about rising unemployment and massive layoffs across the country, it would seem that reducing your workforce is essential to surviving in a down economy. Whi
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HR Cost Cutting with a Red Circle Policy

Red Circle Policy: A Penny-Wise Choice for Your Company After you create your employee compensation policy, you may discover employees within your organization who, rather than being underpaid compared to the market, are actually overpaid. Salary faux pas lik
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Laying the Foundation for Your Compensation Strategy

Q&A Session - A Guide to Laying the Foundation for Your Compensation StrategyQuestions and Answers from Our Compensation Strategy WebinarThe following is a transcript of the question and answer session that followed PayScale’s webinar, A Guide to Laying
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Determining Salary Range Widths by Profession

Determining Salary Range by Profession In a previous blog post we talked about the first few steps of establishing a formal compensation plan. Today’s post will be a continuation of that process. We’ll talk about how you can build your company’s salary
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Q&A Session – What is the Manager’s Role in Organizing Human Capital?

Webinar Q & A – Human Capital Management in a Tough Economy: Ways to Cut Employment Costs Compensation Questions, Answers and Ideas from our Webinar on Human Capital Management The following is a transcript of the discussion that followed PayScale’s
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Creating a Workforce Development Plan

In a recent Compensation Today blog post, “Workforce Planning: Putting Forecasting in Focus with Workforce Forecasting Techniques,” I suggested some basic steps to forecasting your workforce supply and demand, and developing a workforce strategy that helps
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Typical Salary Ranges for Today’s Market

How to Set Typical Salary Ranges for Your Organization In our business here at PayScale, we work with a lot companies who have reached the point where it’s time to establish a formal compensation program. They come to us with lots of questions about how thi
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Q&A Session – Salary Range and Internal Pay Equity Questions

Mission Impossible: Managing and Mitigating Internal Pay Issues Compensation Questions and Answers from Our Webinar on Managing Salary Ranges and Internal Pay Equity The following is a transcript of the question and answer session that followed PayScale’s w
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Merrill Lynch Executive Compensation Bonuses

Executive Compensation Bonuses Gone Over the Top: Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America, Under Serious Scrutiny In September of 2008, Merrill Lynch admitted that it couldn’t pay its bills anymore. But, just before it ended its final quarter of business, Q4 of 2
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Q&A Session – Employee Retention Ideas and Suggestions

PayScale’s Most Frequent HR Questions - Employee Retention Ideas for Retaining Top Performers Questions and Answers from Our Employee Retention Webinar The following is a transcript of the question and answer session that followed PayScale’s webinar, E
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Effect of Executive Compensation Cap

How Will Obama’s Executive Compensation Cap Affect Companies in Trouble? It’s official. The unethical use of bailout money that so many of us feared would come when the government wrote big checks to save our economy has arrived. In fact, according to a
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Q&A Session – HR Planning: RIFs and Employee Job Sharing

PayScale’s Most Frequent HR Questions - HR Planning: RIFs and Employee Job Sharing More Questions and Answers from Our HR Planning Webinar The following is a continuation of the transcript of the question and answer session that followed PayScale’s web
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Q&A Session – HR Planning: Workforce Development Programs

PayScale’s Most Frequent HR Questions - HR Planning: HR's Role in Workforce Development Programs for 2009 and Beyond Questions and Answers from Our HR Planning Webinar The following is a transcript of the question and answer session that followed Pay
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Employee Retention Tips

Employee Retention Tips for an Economic Recession By Stacey Carroll Of all the threats and challenges your company can face in this economic downturn, losing top performers can be one of the most damaging. As your workforce becomes more lean, top employee re
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Strategic HR Planning

HR Planning: Why It Is Essential for Your Organization’s Success By Stacey Carroll You know your company has goals for next quarter, next year and the years to come. From higher profits to more product reach, have you aligned your HR planning with your org
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Employee Turnover Causes

Employee Turnover Causes and the Role of Compensation: Two Opposing Viewpoints By Barry MacLean and Stacey Carroll In today’s unstable marketplace, retaining your most seasoned and talented employees helps ensure your organization’s strength. It’s more
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Compensation Policy: Respond Now to the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

You Must Review Your Employee Compensation Policy: The Effects of Obama’s Signature on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act By Stacey Carroll The equal pay bill President Obama recently signed into law directly affects the American workplace, especially your e