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Archive for October, 2017

INCENTIVE PLAN ESSENTIALS

Well-designed and well-implemented incentive plans can be an important tool for overall company success, but they also have the potential to be ineffective and even damaging if not carefully thought out.  Poorly designed incentives can have too much discretion, too much complexity or just too many measures that can undermine their power and advantage, and they can become just another way to distribute pay.

Before you even consider incentives, make sure you know the company’s strategy and the critical measurements of success.  You will need to know the specifics regarding what you want to achieve, what kinds of improvements, behaviors and outcomes do you want; why aren’t these improvements happening now and what’s preventing them from taking place; what obstacles to the outcomes will employees face, how will employees respond to and try to overcome these obstacles, and is this what you want; Do employees have the skills, experience, systems and support they need to overcome these obstacles and if not, what is lacking?

The potential incentive must be big enough to get the employees’ attention.  Incentives can create a focus on results, but you have to first get the employee’s attention.  Because the opportunity for financial rewards motivates some more than others, your incentive plan will have a greater chance of success if you carefully define what the size of the opportunity must be in order to get the majority of your employees’ focus.

The performance or results required to earn the incentive must be within the employees’ control or significant influence and should be perceived as achievable with some extra effort or stretch.  It should be easy to see and understand the relationship between one’s effort, the results of that effort and the reward.   The incented performance needs to be perceived as a desirable, stretch goal to get and keep the employee’s attention. The payout must be worth the effort required to “stretch.”  The actual payout after the final measurement is made needs to justify the attempt that was made to achieve the full objective.

Develop robust tools for performance reporting so that the employee participants always know where they stand in relation to their goals and payouts.  The payout should be forecast as the performance period proceeds in order to keep the employees’ focus on the desired outcome.   Too much subjectivity in the measurements will turn a Plan into a surprise bonus.   The sources of the measurements should be available to every participant on a regular basis and calculations for determining payouts must be simple and easy to understand.

Incentive plans will also be more valued and accepted by employees when they are a compliment to an already competitive base salary plan.  Incentive plans are not meant to remedy non-competitive pay issues.  Finally, critical factors for a plans success lie in keeping it simple and ensuring good plan communications.

Incentive plans, or any other reward vehicles, cannot drive the performance-improvement bus alone. Unless you identify and remove the barriers to performance, and create the setting in which performance improvement is possible and even likely, throwing incentive money at the problem will likely have little positive impact and could produce some very real negative consequences.

WageWatch offers accurate, up-to-date HR metrics, 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.

WHY ORGANIZATIONS ARE FINDING VALUE IN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EI)

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is about being able to control your own emotions and the emotions of others.  Having emotional intelligence means being emotionally aware, able to identify, harness and apply those emotions to tasks like thinking and problem solving. Emotionally intelligent people will also have the ability to manage their own emotions and the emotions of others.  For example, having the ability to cheer someone up or calm someone down.

Emotional Intelligence impacts one’s attitude and outlook on life.  It can lesson mood swings, depression and ease anxiety.  People with high EI are better at conflict resolution and can be better negotiators as they are better able to understand the desires and needs of other people.  Relating to others in a positive way, understanding their motivations and building strong, sold bonds with co-workers ultimately allows those with higher emotional intelligence to be stronger leaders.

In today’s workplace, it is important to have open communication, team work, and a mutual respect among employees and their supervisors.  Employees do not check their emotions at the door when they come to work.  Interactions with people in the workplace will involve emotions.  Managers who possess emotional intelligence can better understand and motivate the employees that they supervise.  Employees with higher emotional intelligence can overcome minor indifferences and focus on what needs to be achieved for the greater good of the team.

Human Resources can help create a more emotionally intelligent workforce by hiring employees who exhibit a high EI, by evaluating employees using EI criteria, integrate EI into performance management systems and offer training to improve emotional competence.  During the interview process, employers can look for certain traits such as:  People Skills, Self-Awareness, Empathy, Self-Management, and Motivation.

Emotionally aware staff can assimilate into the workplace with greater ease than those who are simply competent at their job.  Emotional Intelligence can strengthen organizational culture, increase resiliency and flexibility, ultimately leading to a greater competitive advantage in the market.  An emotionally intelligent organization where employees share strong connections and are able to work more effectively with each other should result in greater productivity.

Managers and business owners can’t let themselves lose sight of the fact that their employees are people, with real lives and emotions that impact how they think, feel, and act. Managers with emotional intelligence understand that their staff members are people first and workers second.  Incorporating emotional intelligence into your personal and organizational management philosophy may be the best way to retain key employees and help with overall organizational success.

WageWatch offers accurate, up-to-date HR metrics, 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.

JOB ANALYSIS AND JOB EVALUATION PROCESSES

The Job Evaluation Process consists of a broad spectrum of activities which begins with Job Analysis Process.  Though two separate processes, Job Analysis data will be needed and used during the Job Evaluation process.  Job Analysis is a comprehensive process while Job Evaluation is a comparative process.  Job Analysis is done to develop a job description, while Job Evaluation is a systematic way of determining the value/worth of a job in relation to other jobs in an organization.  Complete scrutiny of jobs and their roles in the organization is done in both processes.

An organization undertakes the task of job analysis and evaluation for one or many purposes such as designing new organizational roles and jobs, aligning roles and pay to organizational changes, managing succession in an organization, reviewing existing pay structure, auditing legal compliance of pay policies or implementing benchmark pay structures.

During the Job Analysis process, an in-depth examination is performed to gather information about every minute detail of a job.  Information collected during the job analysis process will be used to write the job description.  You will need to collect data regarding the tasks performed by the job, the education and experience required, the working conditions, responsibilities and authorities, and the skills and abilities needed to perform the job.  Job data can be collected using an open-ended questionnaire, checklist, or by interviewing incumbents and/or supervisors.

Job Evaluation is the process of determining the importance of a particular job in relation to the other jobs of the organization.  Job Evaluation takes place early in the process of creating a salary structure for an organization.  Job factors such as skill, effort, and decision making authority are assigned a weight, or points, according to how much of that particular factor is present in the job.  This determines the relative worth of jobs and their respective position or grade in the salary structure.  Jobs with more worth are compensated more than jobs with lesser worth.  Ranking the jobs in order of worth after a thorough job evaluation creates a structure for the assignment of salary ranges.

Job Analysis and Job Evaluation are important to an organization to ensure a sound organizational structure, internal pay equity and external market competitiveness.  The data and analysis resulting from these two processes will be critical for other human resource processes such as recruitment and selection, training and development, performance appraisal, as well as various compensation processes.

WageWatch offers accurate, up-to-date HR metrics, 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.

HUMAN RESOURCES ROLE IN MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Mergers and acquisitions are extremely challenging and even chaotic events.  Therefore, it is critical that everyone involved has a clear understanding of their role in the process.  Mergers and acquisitions have become the norm in the business world and are often necessary for survival.  Almost every major company in the US today has or will experience a major acquisition.  There is a subtle yet distinct difference between a merger and an acquisition.  A merger is when two separate companies merge into one new entity.  An acquisition is when one company buys the assets of another company.  A merger or acquisition can be desired due to many different strategic reasons including positioning in the market, acquiring another company’s areas of strength or expertise, acquiring capital, diversification and short-term growth.  There are several phases or steps in the acquisition process and human resources will typically be involved in at least 2 to 3 of these phases, including the due diligence and investigation process and the post-merger integration process.

The human resource role in the due diligence and investigation process is to perform a thorough review of all human resource contracts, benefit plans, plan documents, systems, personnel, employment records, all forms of compensation, policies and procedures, especially related to human resource regulations that relate to all human resource disciplines including compensation, benefits, recruiting, employee relations, training and development, and payroll and HRIS.  Human Resources will help to determine the organizational structure and staffing models for the new organization.  Some other important items that fall under the Human Resources umbrella are wage and hour or other compliance claims, employment litigations, collective bargaining agreements, any FMLA, OSHA, Workers Compensation, EEOC and OFCCP compliance issues.

Transition issues need to be discovered and addressed, for example, pay levels between the two organizations may be very different and a cost analysis may be needed to determine the cost of bringing pay levels more in line between the two merging entities.  Other transition issues that often need to be addressed are transitioning pay increase and performance review cycles, differences between benefit levels in health care and retirement plans.  Most items will need to be addressed immediately, and some items can be completed during the first or second year following the merger or acquisition.  For example, if the acquisition occurs in the first quarter and your merit increases are done in January, you may be able to wait until the following January for this transition.  Conversely, it will be highly desirable to transition the acquired entity employees immediately to your health and welfare plans rather than take on the administrative burden and ownership risk of additional plans.

Human Resources is also responsible for layoffs, stay bonuses, culture differences, and synergies and will play a key role in the orientation and welcoming of the new employees.  These are just a few key items on the Human Resources Acquisition Checklist.  And each item has its own list of key points and issues that must be addressed.  While most of the transition work will happen prior to the closing date, the job of transitioning employees into your policies, pay models, practices, procedures, and culture does not end at transition date and typically continues for 2 to 3 years following the transition date and requires continued review at the management level.

Change can be challenging and demanding.  With over 5,000 properties in our lodging compensation database, 150 casinos, and 125 hospitals and clinics, we regularly see properties being acquired, divested, and rebranded. Consolidations are occurring at a rapid pace in the healthcare industry as well with hospitals buying physician groups and primary care practices. There are numerous human resources concerns to address every time a property changes hands. WageWatch consultants can guide you through the process of integrating two or more compensation models, rebalancing grades and ranges, examining internal equities between plan documents, developing a market-based approach to resolving inconsistencies, and helping you along the way with all your transition needs.  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.