President Obama released his fiscal year 2016 budget proposal that includes nearly $113.7 million in annual appropriations to the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”). This proposed budget is an increase of approximately 7 percent. Per the Administration, this additional funding will be used to combat “systemic pay discrimination” and to develop an improved enforcement case management database system. Included in the OFCCP’s outline of their enforcement priorities and initiatives for 2016 were:
- Continuing to focus on “systemic pay discrimination to help narrow the persistent pay gap based on sex and race,”
- Hiring ten new “specialized staff with expertise in conducting the complex data analysis necessary for evaluating pay practices”;
- Implementing new regulations regarding pay disclosures, sex discrimination, and collection of compensation data
Systemic discrimination involves a pattern or practice, policy, or class case where the alleged discrimination has a broad impact on an industry, profession, company or geographic area. Examples of systemic practices include: discriminatory barriers in recruitment and hiring; discriminatorily restricted access to management trainee programs and to high level jobs; exclusion of qualified women from traditionally male dominated fields of work; disability discrimination such as unlawful pre-employment inquiries; age discrimination in reductions in force and retirement benefits; and compliance with customer preferences that result in discriminatory placement or assignments.
The OFCCP has broad audit and enforcement authority and conducts approximately 4,000 audits per year. If your company does business with the federal government you are most likely a federal contractor. If your company does business with another company who holds direct contracts with the federal government, you are a subcontractor. See- DOL OFCCP Federal Contractor Compliance Advisor . The OFCCP requires federal government contractors and subcontractors to ensure equal employment opportunity on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex through affirmative action and nondiscrimination. Compensation discrimination is one form of employment discrimination prohibited by the Executive Order.
Efforts to address compensation disparities between male and female workers are front and center. New laws, such as the Ledbetter Act and the implementation of new tools for agency investigations are dramatically expanding enforcement efforts on compensation equality. There is also an effort by the federal agencies, including OFCCP, EEOC and DOJ to coordinate amongst themselves in investigations.
You need to know if you are a federal contractor or subcontractor and what filing and reporting requirements you have to comply with these regulations. Additionally you need to have policies, guidelines and fair pay practices in place to ensure equal, fair and competitive pay and annual self-audits are highly recommended as an additional safety net.
WageWatch offers 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. The PeerMark™ Wage Survey is the only Web-based custom survey tool that allows individual survey participants to select their competitive set for comparison purposes. Our experienced compensation consultants can assist with your organization’s compensation needs. We can help you ensure internal equity and compliance with regulations as well as help you structure your compensation programs to support your company’s business strategy and objectives. For more information on our services, including consulting, salary survey data, benefit survey data and market compensation reports, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online.
WageWatch has released its 2015 Lodging Employment Forecast. Below are some highlights from the report.
WageWatch is forecasting employment growth seasonally adjusted on average of 15,000 jobs in 2015. Our forecast is based in part on the financial forecasts for the lodging sector by PKF Hospitality Research and Smith Travel Research. Both research firms are forecasting strong RevPAR growth in 2015 of 7.6% and 6.4%, respectively; as well as occupancy reaching new highs for the industry, approaching 66%. New supply is forecast to increase by 1.2% and 1.3%, respectively, modest but positive growth.
The number of unfilled jobs in the accommodations and food service sectors has continued to increase. Over the course of the economic recovery, the percentage of jobs posted but left unfilled in a given month has edged steadily upward. This trend is the result of increased demand for employees as hotels and food establishments look to fill out their staff and open new locations; as well as increased confidence by workers to look for new employment and leave their current employer.
Real GDP growth was 2.4% for 2014 as compared to 2.2% for 2013 as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce. GDP growth for the last two quarters of 2014 was 5.0% and 2.6%, respectively. A consensus of recent forecasts of real GDP growth in 2015 is for 3.1% to 3.3%. Real GDP growth has averaged only 2.2% a year since the recover began in the third quarter of 2009.
The most significant change to economic assumptions for this year will likely be the improving performance of the small business sector, which represents approximately half of the U.S. economy. It is a key sector that has underperformed every year since the end of the recession in 2009 and kept the economy from reaching its full potential. This year, could see a breakout for small businesses.
The coming year should set more new records for employment as new hotels and small business employers enter markets around the country, increasing the competition for experienced and qualified workers in the lodging sector. Finding qualified people to hire will be a great challenge across the country in 2015. This will especially be true for the lodging sector. Employment levels in the lodging sector are back to prerecession levels. The big news for 2014 was that employment in the lodging industry has fully recovered from the 2008-09 recession, reaching record employment levels in July, August and September of 2014. The number of job openings is at a 14-year high as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Click Here for the full report WageWatch 2015 Lodging Wage and Employment Forecast
WageWatch, Inc. is the leading compensation survey provider for the lodging and gaming industries with over 8,000 properties in its database. WageWatch also consults routinely with management companies on their pay structures and pay rates. The PeerMark™ Wage Survey is the only Web-based custom survey tool that allows individual survey participants to select their competitive set for comparison purposes. For more information on our services, including consulting, salary survey data, benefit survey data and market compensation reports, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online.
The New Year should prove to be a continuation of 2014 with wage increases for hourly and salary employees and executives in the lodging industry. For 2015, Wagewatch, Inc. forecasts that wage increases for the lodging industry will average 3.4%. Non-exempt employees will see pay increases of 3.2% and exempt employees will see increases of 4.2% in 2015.
The 2015 Budgeted Wage Survey for hotel and gaming employees was conducted from Janaury13-27, 2015 by WageWatch, Inc. Lodging companies representing over 8,000 hotels and 588,000 employees participated. The survey results disclosed planned pay increases ranging from a low of 2.0% to 4.0% with a median of 3.0%, and an average of 2.9%. There was no statistical difference for planned pay raises for non-exempt and exempt employees.
Randy Pullen, CEO of Wagewatch, stated that he believes the survey results will prove to be conservative for 2015. This is the first time since 2007 that we have forecast that actual pay increases for the hotel industry will exceed the planned increases as reported by the hotel operators in our survey.
The budgeted average wage increases for 2014 as reported in last year’s survey of 2.8% for both non-exempt and exempt employees were exceeded by actual increases as reported this past December in the 2014 WageWatch PeerMark compensation survey of over 5,000 hotels.
Non-exempt employees on average received a 2.9% increase in pay and exempt employees received a 4.2% increase. In looking back at prior Budgeted Wage Surveys, this is the first year since 2008 that actual pay increases exceeded planned pay increases. We expect this trend to continue into 2015.
WageWatch, Inc. is the leading compensation survey provider for the lodging and gaming industries with over 8,000 properties in its database. WageWatch also consults routinely with management companies on their pay structures and pay rates. The PeerMark™ Wage Survey is the only Web-based custom survey tool that allows individual survey participants to select their competitive set for comparison purposes. For more information on our services, including consulting, salary survey data, benefit survey data and market compensation reports, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online .
Organizations are exploring some new and innovative performance management systems in an effort to truly inspire and motivate their teams with some encouraging results. Traditional performance management systems typically set goals related to the business plan, utilize performance appraisals that are too lengthy, redundant, hastily completed to meet deadlines and often don’t allow employees any real input. Many HR leaders believe that performance reviews yield inaccurate results due to biased approaches and misleading inputs. Performance Appraisals are essentially a forced ranking system that can actually be very demotivating.
The traditional systems are beginning to shift to a more effective coaching system that focuses on employee achievement of measurable goals and objectives rather than formalized annual appraisal systems that primarily communicate one-way. There are many examples of progressive companies that have replaced their traditional performance management systems with a culture of coaching, feedback, development, and high performance. Critical to success is that everyone in a leadership role is trained on how to coach and provide constant performance feedback, which in turn, engages employees and creates a desire to continuously improve.
The goal of managing performance is being replaced with a goal of obtaining the best possible sustainable performance under the current circumstances. Key elements under this new paradigm include:
- Simplify the Process: Train managers on how to coach, give feedback and regularly check in with employees. Focus on developing employees rather than evaluating and giving them a ‘rating’. Ask questions that help target what the employee needs, such as, “What skills would you most like to improve on?” or “What can I do to help you?” Review employee progress more frequently making the process less intimidating and more timely.
- Streamline, shorten or completely replace Performance Review forms: Replace the forms with on-going coaching and feedback. Feedback must be timely to be meaningful.
- More agile, relevant, frequent and transparent goal management: Include employees in the discussion of key performance objectives, ensuring they understand the reasons for the goals and can see how they are linked to organizational goals. Utilize more short term goals that are easier for employees to derive meaning from what they do every day. Create achievable goals and regularly monitor employee progress.
- Address career goals and future training needs: Include a system that supports follow-up and delivery of the training and career opportunities. Create a culture where managers can delegate without feeling threatened, knowing they also have opportunity and training for the next career advancement.
- Eliminate direct correlation between performance rating and compensation: Make pay adjustments based on a combination of elements such as performance, customer and business impact, skill scarcity and the competitive nature of employees’ positions.
Employees want to perform at their best. They want to understand the goals and to be motivated. They want to contribute, be supported, to learn and to have fun. Management and leaders need to create the conditions needed for great performance to take place and for business to flourish. The ideal process for managing performance is one that successfully motivates and supports staff to contribute to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the organization. A culture that encourages on-going communication and coaching between managers and their employees has many benefits and advantages over traditional Performance Management.
Change can be challenging and demanding. At WageWatch our compensation consultants can assist with your organization’s compensation needs and help you ensure that your compensation programs are supporting your company’s business strategy and objectives. WageWatch also offers accurate, up-to-date benefit survey data, market compensation data and salary surveys 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 consulting, salary survey data, benefit survey data and market compensation reports, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online.