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Archive for April, 2013

The Boomer Generation in the Workplace

It is not uncommon for baby boomers to now work side by side with co-workers from generation X and generation Y. Each of the generations in the work place today grew up in different times with widely varying political and social issues, technologies and other factors, which have affected their attitudes on everyday life. As an employer, it’s important that you understand each of the generations you employee in order to provide them with the work environment and rewards that make them most happy.

The basic employment packages for businesses are based on the needs of baby boomers, a very loyal generation of workers, typically staying with the same company for years and years. Employees of this generation highly value their benefits, such as health insurance, life insurance and vacation time. To determine if their company is providing salaries and benefits that are on target with the industry average salary, many employers turn to market compensation and benefit survey data. These baby boomer employees that have stayed with a company for most of their careers have invaluable knowledge and experience that is essential to business operations, so it’s important that employers keep them happy and reward them for their loyalty.

While it is important to keep baby boomers satisfied by analyzing market compensation data, benefit survey data and salary reports, it is also essential for employers to look at the needs of the upcoming generations. Many baby boomers are in management positions, but will start to retire around the same time leaving a large number of open positions. It is essential that skilled employees of the X and Y generations be there to take their place.

The new generations of workers enjoy benefits like the baby boomers, but these employees prefer additional incentives and small tokens of appreciation for their efforts. This generation is not as loyal to the companies they work for, and have no problem moving to a job at another company every two or three years. For this reason, it is even more important to build loyalty with employees of these generations by providing them with the benefits and incentives they desire. It is very beneficial for companies to be using benefit survey data, market compensation data and salary reports to determine the types of compensation, including incentives, that are standard for the industry. Having this data will help companies to stay competitive with other employers by creating appealing benefits packages that will attract and retain top talent.

Today’s world moves fast, and as an employer you should constantly be monitoring and adjusting your business operations to meet the ever changing wants and needs of your employees. At WageWatch, we offer accurate, up-to-date benefit survey data, market compensation data and salary reports that will allow you to stay current with the times. This information is highly beneficial in creating the best salary and benefits packages that meet or rival the industry standards. For more information on our services, including market compensation data, benefit survey data and salary reports, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online.

Posted in Recruiting & Retention on April 24th, 2013 · Comments Off on The Boomer Generation in the Workplace

There is More to Keeping up with Minimum Wage Increases

During the past decade it has been challenging for employers to keep up with all of the minimum wage changes between federal, state and local municipalities.  The federal minimum wage was first signed into law in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt, at the height of the Great Depression. It was last increased on July 24, 2009, when it rose from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour, the last step of a three-step increase that began January 1, 2007.  Before 2007, the federal minimum wage had been at $5.15 per hour for ten years.  During the 1990s and 2000s, numerous states raised their minimum wages scores of times in response to federal inaction.  Many states and even some local municipalities have stayed ahead of the federal and have higher minimum wage rates.  Employers are required to pay the federal rat for jobs covered under the FLSA.  In some instances a state or local minimum rate in excess of the federal rate may apply.  WageWatch has researched current minimum wage rates and have posted them at this link wagewatch.com federal state & local minimum wage rates 2013.

It is important for employers to remain in compliance with the current minimum wage rate and ensure that no employees are paid below the minimum wage.  It is equally important, with each increase to the minimum wage, for employers to perform an internal equity analysis to determine if additional employee increases are needed to maintain internal pay equity and to remain competitive with market compensation.  Minimum wage increases most often apply to entry level positions and to employees with less seniority.  When you increase the pay of these associates, it brings their pay closer to more senior associates as well as to their supervisor’s pay levels, creating pay compression and pay inequity.  Performing equity analysis involves reviewing all the pay levels in each job function to determine what increases may be needed in order to maintain internal pay equity as well as competitive pay levels for all your associates.  It is recommended that immediate supervisor pay is also included in the analysis.  Your analysis should include compensation survey data and your listing of associates in each job function should include indicative data such as date of hire and performance rating to help you make internally fair and market competitive decisions regarding pay increases.

The Equal Pay Act is receiving a tremendous amount of attention from the EEOC and the commission has designated pay equity as a top priority in its strategic enforcement plan for fiscal years 2013-2016.  To maintain internal equity and avoid pay compression, it is important to stay current with the market by consulting with professionals.  At WageWatch, our professionals can provide your business with compensation surveys and salary reports to help you establish a budget for your salary increases, bonuses and incentives. Our innovative company is a leader in the collection of data for surveys and salary reports, which allows us to provide services to a wide range of industries in both the private and public sector. To learn more about our compensation surveys, salary reports and other services, please call 480-237-6130 or contact us online.

Posted in Benefits & Compensation on April 17th, 2013 · Comments Off on There is More to Keeping up with Minimum Wage Increases

Evaluating Survey Methodologies

Surveys, such as compensation and executive compensation surveys, are strategically designed to gather data, which is then assessed and distributed to the appropriate audiences. Surveys are an excellent tool for companies as the data compiled by various survey methodologies can be used to help make more sound business decisions.

The following is a list of the four evaluation models that are commonly used to provide structure to a survey:

  • Scientific-Experimental. This type of evaluation is historically one of the most popular methods used to collect and assess data. The methods for this evaluation are drawn from science, which is seen as accurate and objective. Compensation surveys and executive compensation surveys are often designed using this model, and are able to provide companies with salary reports that help them make important decisions in regards to their business operations.
  • Management-Oriented Systems. This type of evaluation usually works best in governmental or business organizations that complete a wide variety of activities. The two most common models include the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) and the Critical Path Method (CPM).  These models allow for a broad scale study that can encompass multiple departments throughout an organization. Many salary reports have been developed using compensation surveys and executive compensation surveys designed in the management-oriented systems model.
  • Qualitative. With these models, surveys are designed using a more subjective approach that focuses purely on observation. After collecting these observations, it is then taken and evaluated using human interpretation and opinion. While this model may be beneficial for some subjects, it is not one typically used for compensation surveys or executive compensation surveys, which require more quantitative, objective data for review.
  • Participant Oriented. Like the qualitative model, participant-oriented models are also designed using a more subjective approach. With this model, evaluation participants are the main focus of the study. This type of study is typically performed by companies that make products for the broad based consumer market, so surveys, such as compensation surveys or executive compensation surveys, are not developed in the participant oriented model.

Evaluators that work for a specific industry typically know what type of evaluation will work best to receive the data that is needed. Some draw from all four of the models while others stick to one or two. When it comes to salary and compensation surveys, more scientific, quantitative methods, such as the scientific-experimental model and management-oriented systems model, are required.

At WageWatch, our expert evaluators use the proper methods to develop effective salary and compensation surveys for a large variety of industries across the country for use by associations, human resource departments, employers and more. The data that we provide helps companies to plan their budgets and create employee payment, recognition and benefits plans that are competitive with others in the industry. For more information on compensation surveys and salary reports, please call WageWatch today at 888-330-9243 or contact us online.

Posted in Survey Reports on April 9th, 2013 · Comments Off on Evaluating Survey Methodologies

The Debate Goes On: Market Pricing versus Job Evaluation

I began my career in Compensation in the early 1990s using a combination of market pricing and job evaluation to establish pay structures.  Market pricing is the ‘external’ method, collecting salary data, usually through a salary survey, for similar jobs from other organizations to establish the ‘market rate’ or ‘price’ for the job.  Job evaluation is the ‘internal’ method, focusing on internal job worth, each job is rated or scored on several different factors and the total score equates to the job’s salary grade in the pay structure.  Over the years, the use of the point factor system fell by the wayside.  Having used both methods together, at first I was uncomfortable with relying only on market pricing and salary surveys.  But over time I saw that I was arriving at the same end result, and ultimately, where I wanted to be which was remaining competitive with the market.  Still I wondered if I wasn’t missing something in my analysis.  I found through my informal research that most of my compensation colleagues were also relying solely on the external market and the use of compensation surveys and the prevalent thinking was that a job is worth only what the market says it is worth. 

Job evaluation approaches were prominent when people stayed with the same employer, often their entire career, progressing through the internal hierarchy.  Most hiring was done at the entry level, and recruiting talent from the outside, was not as dominant as it is for today’s organizations.  Therefore, pay relationships between jobs inside the organization were more important than the external job market.  Today the ability to attract and retain necessary talent is critical and in order to do so compensation must remain competitive with the external market.

Still the debate goes on whether it is better to use job evaluation or market pricing and salary surveys to determine employee compensation.   Having an intimate and in-depth understanding of the jobs in your organization is critical to correctly matching your jobs to the external marketplace.  There is no scientific single rate of pay for a job or role, and rates may vary even for the same occupation and in the same location.   Experienced compensation professionals will be able to interpret the data for an organization and its jobs.   Though today compensation in the private sector is largely reliant on external market pricing, in my experience both techniques provide essential data to determine fair and equitable compensation practices.  Combining market data with your internal job valuations to drive decision making is ultimately the best practice.

WageWatch Compensation Professionals can provide your business with compensation surveys and salary reports, and can assist you with your market pricing, evaluation of your jobs and organizational needs to establish a salary program that is both externally competitive and internally fair and equitable. Our innovative company is a leader in the collection of data for surveys and salary reports, which allows us to provide services to a wide range of industries in both the private and public sector. To learn more about WageWatch compensation surveys, salary reports and other services, please call 480-237-6130 or contact us online  www.wagewatch.com.