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Archive for January, 2018

MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES BY JOB DESIGN

With changing demographics and a more competitive job market, human resources is more challenged than ever before to hire, engage, maintain, and keep employees happy and motivated.  Workers want more choice and flexibility in how they approach tasks, for example, more opportunities to work collaboratively.  They look for more opportunities to change duties, for exploration, to learn, and to advance in their career in a less linear way.  It is not only desirable but essential for businesses to have motivated employees.  Today many human resource professionals are looking at how to design jobs, work environments, and cultures that motivate employees.

Job specialization is the earliest approach to job design.  Job specialization is efficient but leads to boredom and monotony.  Early alternatives to job specialization include job rotation, job enlargement, and job enrichment.

Job rotation involves moving employees from job-to-job at regular intervals.  When employees periodically move to different jobs, the monotonous aspects of job specialization can be relieved.

Job enlargement consists of making a job larger in scope by combining additional task activities into each job through expansion.

Job enrichment is concerned with designing jobs that include a greater variety of work content, require a higher level of knowledge and skill, give the worker more autonomy and responsibility, and provide an opportunity for personal growth.

Research shows that there are five job components that increase the motivating potential of a job:  skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback.

  • Skills
    • People will be more motivated if they are using a variety of skills in their positions, rather than one thing repeatedly.
  • Tasks
    • Employees are motivated to complete tasks if they identify with them and have seen them through from start to finish.
    • When employees feel that their work is significant to their organization, they are motivated to do well.
  • Autonomy
    • Employees like to be able to make decisions and have flexibility in their roles. Most employees will have lowered motivation if they feel they have no freedom or are being micromanaged.
  • Feedback
    • Employees need feedback (both positive and negative) in order to stay motivated.

Quality of life in a total job and work environment is also an important part of a positive and motivating experience for employees.  The elements included in ‘quality of life’ include open communication equitable reward system, employees’ job security, and satisfaction, participative management, development of employee skill, etc.  Since a significant amount of one’s life is spent at work, jobs need to provide satisfaction for sustained interest.  Jobs provide employees not only a living but also help in achieving other goals such as economic, social, political, and cultural.

The concept of empowerment extends the idea of autonomy.  The idea behind empowerment is that employees have the ability to make decisions and perform their jobs effectively.  Instead of dictating roles, companies create an environment where employees thrive, feel motivated, and have the discretion to make decisions about the content and context of their jobs.  Empowerment is a contemporary way of motivating employees through job design.

A growing body of research on the relational structures of jobs suggests that interpersonal relationships play a key role in making the work experience important and meaningful to employees.  Interpersonal relationships can often enhance employees’ motivations, opportunities, and resources at work.

Though employees need to have some intrinsic motivation (internal motivation) to complete the tasks assigned to them in their roles, they also need to be motivated by their employers.  By designing jobs that encompass all of the core characteristics, you can help increase employee motivation, in turn improving performance.

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, incentive, 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.

HAS THE #METOO MOVEMENT IMPACTED YOUR HARASSMENT POLICIES?

Up to 86% of women report that they have been sexually harassed at work, based on a 2016 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) report.  The #MeToo Movement is creating an environment that provides a feeling of a support group, that you are not alone if you come forward.  The impact of this movement carries over to the workplace with the pitfalls of harassment being great; including millions of dollars in settlements, low employee morale, high-job turnover, increased sick leave, and low productivity.  According to the 2016 EEOC report, it indicates that employers paid $699 million to workers alleging harassment going back to 2010—which does not include indirect costs such as lower productivity or high turnover.  Federal law caps the damages at $300,000, however, under many state laws there are no limitations and juries have awarded substantial verdicts in egregious cases.

There is now a definition in Wikipedia of the Weinstein effect– defined as a global trend in which people come forward to accuse famous or powerful men of sexual misconduct.  The Institute for Corporate Productivity conducted a survey among professionals to gauge how Human Resources are helping their organization handle the impact of this movement.  Information from the survey concludes that one-in-five organizations are taking steps to prepare to handle an increase in new (and renewed) sexual harassment claims, a quarter of respondents report that they have a plan in place or are devising one.  Over 70% of respondents state that their sexual harassment training is mandatory with half indicating that the training is effective.  Only half of the respondents report that they trust HR to handle sensitive issues effectively.

Organizations need to determine how to move forward with their previous policy and what changes need to be made.  Questions to consider include:  What constitutes crossing the line?  Are there degrees and distinctions?  Employers need to use clear, concrete language to communicate standards of behavior to employees in the workplace that are unacceptable.  Some steps to take to review policies include:

  • Develop clear, concrete language to communicate standards of behavior in the workplace among colleagues, vendors, and clients
  • Update training and policies on training; no more ‘click-through training and complete as fast as possible’
  • Provide an extra level of training to managers as they are likely to receive the complaints
  • Determine how incidences should be reported (ombudsman, hotline, or third-party)
  • Improve reporting procedures so transparency makes the “whisper network” visible
  • Be accountable—not just the perpetrator but by the bystander as well. Men and women who see harassment in action should let the victim know they are supported
  • Encourage the CEO to develop and distribute an email to employees affirming the company’s zero tolerance against harassment and ensure that the CEO backs it up

An example of the recent impact of the movement was reflected in changes some organizations made to their annual office holiday party in December–it was scrutinized much more closely. A survey by an outplacement consulting firm found that only 49% of companies planned to serve alcohol, down from 62% in 2016.  Other companies’ limited alcohol drinks by providing two drink tickets.

Overall, due to the current environment and openness toward communicating harassment, it is expected to be on the rise in 2018.  It will be important for your organization to review current policies and procedures, training, and communication of the company’s zero-tolerance policy.  Companies need to take accountability for not only acknowledging it but also being part of the solution.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 24th, 2018 · Comments Off on HAS THE #METOO MOVEMENT IMPACTED YOUR HARASSMENT POLICIES?

BEST PRACTICES FOR BONUS COMMUNICATION AND DELIVERY

The primary purpose of an annual incentive or bonus plan is to drive and reward behaviors that have an impact on the operating success of the company.  When designing your incentive plan you need to have a clear measurement system for what success is in your company and then make sure the measurements are meaningful to the employees who are doing the work.  For any incentive plan to be effective it needs to be meaningful and have clarity relating both to the plan provisions and to the results needed to earn and maximize an award and the award should be attainable.  Employees need to see a link between how their job performance affects results, and the award amount needs to be sufficient enough to motivate.

Generally, two to four performance metrics are included in a bonus plan design.  The metrics are primarily financial, though quantifiable business objectives can also be used. Corporate or business unit financial metrics are used to fund the incentive pool, and individual performance measures may also be used to determine final individual payouts.  Results that are measured can be quantitative and qualitative, such as customer service quality, the number of customers served, the effectiveness of programs, etc. Often a balanced scorecard approach is used.

Employers should give careful attention not only to the design but also to the implementation and communication of incentive programs.  The most common pitfall when creating a bonus program is inadequate communication.  Bonus plan communications should be both clear and timely.  Make sure the plan is communicated prior to the beginning of the bonus period and this initial bonus communication should address the structure of the plan, decision-making criteria, fairness, measurability, and target.  Equally important are follow-up communications regarding the progress toward attainment of the goals that should happen at frequent and regular intervals throughout the bonus plan period.  You want your employees to have an on-going understanding of where they are and what they need to do to meet and/or exceed their bonus target.

When bonuses are paid or awarded, clear communications again are very important.  Managers should have individual meetings with each bonus plan recipient and clearly communicate the outcome of the incentive period.  Whatever the amount, be sure to let the recipient know that he/she is valued.  Be sure to discuss specific accomplishments and strengths that went into the bonus award.  If the employee was expecting more, be sure to emphasize the broader context of the company’s approach to bonuses.   Let each person know how the bonus was calculated.  No matter what the award is, the conversation regarding the award amount is an opportunity not only for clarity and understanding, but to thank the individual for their hard work and to hopefully improve morale and motivate for future performance.

Employees want to know they are being fairly compensated for their work and their job performance.  Bonus plans that are meaningful to your employees and aligned with the bottom line of your company can help build morale and drive behaviors that are critical to the success of the company.

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, incentive, 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.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 10th, 2018 · Comments Off on BEST PRACTICES FOR BONUS COMMUNICATION AND DELIVERY

MINIMUM WAGE UPDATE – JANUARY 2018

The current federal minimum wage, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is $7.25 per hour which has been in effect since July 2009.  States have the ability to set a rate that is higher than the federal minimum rate and employers are obligated to pay the higher rate.  Currently, there are 29 states that have laws at the state or local level mandating higher pay than the federal rate.

On September 15, 2017, the Department of Labor published a notice in the Federal Register that Executive Order 13658, effective January 1, 2018, increase the minimum rate generally payable to workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts to $10.35 per hour.

Also, voters across many states approved ballot measures to raise their state minimum rates over time, with increases occurring through 2020.  In 2018 there are 23 states, cities, or counties that scheduled an increase in their minimum wages.  There are 19 states which have an increase that takes effect on January 1, 2018, including:  1) Alaska, 2) Arizona, 3) California, 4) Colorado, 5) Florida, 6) Hawaii, 7) Maine, 8) Michigan, 9) Minnesota, 10) Missouri, 11) Montana, 12) New Jersey, 13) New Mexico, 14) New York (city/county only), 15) Ohio, 16) Rhode Island, 17) South Dakota, 18) Vermont, 19) Washington.

States with increases occurring on other dates in 2018 (typically on 7/1/2018) include:  1) Illinois (city/county only), 2) Maryland, 3) Nevada, 4) Oregon, 5) Washington DC.

For more details, click on the following link to view the WageWatch Minimum Wage Chart with details of federal, state and local minimum wage increases:  WageWatch – U.S. Minimum Wage Increases.

At WageWatch our compensation consultants are focused on your organization’s compensation needs and ready to help you ensure that your compensation programs are supporting your company’s business strategy and objectives. WageWatch also offers accurate, up-to-date benefit surveys, salary surveys and pay practices data 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.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 3rd, 2018 · Comments Off on MINIMUM WAGE UPDATE – JANUARY 2018