WageWatch Ibrief Blog

Login

Posts Tagged “Wage surveys”

HUMAN RESOURCES ROLE IN INNOVATION

How can human resources contribute to innovation?  How can we turn new ideas into reality, break old paradigms and step outside of the box with new solutions to old problems?  Innovation may begin with creativity but it is more than an idea — it takes place when great ideas come to fruition and make their mark in the world.  In the past, most businesses focused on continuous improvement of their products and services to maintain a competitive edge.  But in today’s economy, that’s not always enough.

As Human Resource professionals, we are fortunate to be responsible for many areas of an organization that frequently impact and contribute to innovation; including recruitment, performance management, recognition, rewards, training, and employee engagement.  Human Resources can also play a key role in creating an organizational structure and overall culture that fosters and supports innovation.

Recruiting can focus on hiring for innovation by identifying people who can “think outside the box” or have skills and capabilities that lend toward innovation.  Performance management can serve as a valuable tool in the creation of a sustainable culture of innovation.  Performance measures can give consideration as to whether or not employees are given the time and resources to experiment, generate and explore ideas, and make presentations to management.  Rewards can be used to reinforce the importance of innovation and recognition can be used to encourage and inspire employees to innovate and share ideas.   HR’s role in organizational design provides huge potential for enabling innovation.  For example, organizational design can be used to facilitate easier exchange of employees’ ideas across boundaries and functions.

An example of a human resource-driven innovation that used an out-of-the-box idea to improve the recruiting process is La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, TX, a Destination Hotel, they have incorporated an idea made popular by Disney, the Fast PASS. In Disney’s version, guests can avoid the line and use a Fast PASS to get a ticket to ride an attraction at a specified time with limited to no waiting. This helps improve the guest experience, improves wait times, improves communication and enhances the ability to meet the expectation of guests. At Destination Hotels, they have incorporated this concept into their recruitment practices. Special “FAST PASS” cards are given to managers who can spot people in their daily interactions (at grocery stores, restaurants, bars, the mall, etc…) providing exceptional customer service and invite them to consider an employment opening/opportunity with Destination. They can call a specific number and get a “prioritized/guaranteed” in person interview as opposed to filling out an application during certain hours and hoping to a chance to be considered. Like Disney, the approach at Destination Hotels improves the experience for the candidate and the HR function/hiring managers. It speeds up the ability to source the most qualified talent and create a match to open position needs at the resort. Destination competes on innovation.

While HR can have a significant impact on many of the key drivers of innovation, it is a collaborative process and requires many areas to come together in order to succeed.    Executive leaders hold the key to the level and success of innovation in their organization. They control the strategic direction, influence the culture, and directly and indirectly control all organizational practices.   Managers must know how to lead innovative teams, and individuals must know how to apply innovative thinking.  Every department or function must be part of the process.  For example, Information Technology has become an enabler of innovative ideas, but it is also often the starting point for innovative products or services and Finance has a unique opportunity through the budget development to add innovation either as a line in the overall budget or as a percentage of every departmental budget.

Organizations need to develop practices that make it easier to innovate.   For example, at the core of an organization’s  culture should be an acceptance of the need to experiment and understand that this comes with the risk of failure and that failure needs to be seen as a learning experience and an important step in the process.  Culture is definitely key to sustainable innovation.  The mindset and culture of the HR team have an exponential impact and influence on the entire organization.  HR leaders can help enable their organizations to differentiate themselves by understanding the critical importance of innovation today and how their role can contribute by attracting and keeping the most innovative people, constantly improving their skills and creating and enabling a culture of innovation.

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.

Minimum Wage Momentum

According to a national review by The Associated Press, at least 30 states are sponsoring or are expected to introduce wage hike measures. As of Jan. 1, 2014, twenty-one states and Washington D.C. have minimum wage rates above the $7.25 federal minimum wage rate. Nineteen states, Guam, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands have minimum wage rates the same as the federal minimum wage. Four states and American Samoa have minimum wage rates below the federal minimum wage (therefore the federal minimum applies).  Five states have not established a state minimum wage.

 Minimum wage continues to be a hot issue in the states for the 2014 legislative session. Thirteen states and five local municipalities increased their minimum wage effective January 1, 2014.  Ten states have tied their minimum wages to the index, guaranteeing that they rise with the cost of living each year. Other states, such as New Jersey and Connecticut, passed legislation in 2013 that will nominally raise their minimum wages. 

 Delaware has already passed a law in the 2014 session increasing their minimum wage to $7.75 an hour, effective June 1, 2014, and to $8.25 effective June 1, 2015. D.C. has passed a bill this session to increase the District’s minimum wage; the bill is under review in Congress.

 In Iowa, a bill would hike the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. A Rhode Island bill would raise it from $8 to $9.  And a year after New York approved a multiyear minimum wage hike, another bill was introduced for 2014 that would accelerate the increase.

 Washington state and the District of Columbia will increase their minimum wages rate to $11.50 by 2016 and there is legislation pending in Washington state for another increase to $12.00.   Two states have legislation pending to increase the minimum wage up to or over $10.00 and another two states have legislation pending to increase the minimum wage up to or over $11.00.

 As of Feb. 24, 2014; the following states have bills that are pending regarding state minimum wage increases (includes active carry-over bills from 2013): CA, DC, GA, HI, IL, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, RI, TN, UT, VA, WA, WV

 Follow this link http://www.wagewatch.com/resources/Minimum%20Wage%20Chart.xlsx to the WageWatch Federal and State Minimum Wage Chart with details of state and local minimum wage and pending increases.

WageWatch, Inc. is the leading compensation survey provider for the lodging and gaming industries with over 7,000 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.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26th, 2014 · Comments Off on Minimum Wage Momentum

How to Avoid Antitrust Claims When Conducting Wage Surveys: Part 2

As stated in our previous post, we will now cover the proper steps to take in order to minimize risk when deciding to share wage and benefit information with a competitor. The safest course of action for human resource directors to follow is to not discuss wage and benefit information with competitors except in controlled and limited situations. The following is a summary of the steps that WageWatch recommends to minimize your risk if you intend to share data:

  • Employers should act unilaterally about setting wages and benefits.  There      should not be an agreement or understanding, written or oral, with respect      to fixing, maintaining or stabilizing wages and benefits.
  • The wage and benefit information should not be exchanged directly between employers.  This means no phone calls or round tables where      information is exchanged.
  • A third party should be utilized in order to make sure that no employer has      direct access to each other’s data. Participation in a WageWatch      compensation survey can be part of a defense against accusations of      antitrust violations. The WageWatch Hospitality Industry Competitive      Market Survey complies with all DOJ safe harbor guidelines.
  • The information that is disseminated by the third party should be      aggregated.  The ranges or averages of the wages and benefits cannot be disseminated if it can be related to a particular organization or a specific job.  This eliminates the once prevalent practice of tabulating the data for each employer in a spreadsheet format even if the name of the particular employer associated with that data was excluded.
  • Each aggregated wage or benefit statistic disseminated should be a composite of at least five different employers.
  • The disseminated statistics must be “historical”.  This means the older      the better.  The aggregated information disseminated to participants should not reflect current or prospective wages and benefits.  Current is defined as wages or benefits that having been in effect for less than three months.

While the above is an overview of steps to be taken when considering exchanging wage and benefit information between hotels, consultation with your legal counsel is recommended before participating in any exchange of wage and benefit information with competitors.

WageWatch provides expert services across multiple industries and geographic markets with cost-effective online compensation and salary surveys. We are an innovative organization that is always on the lookout for new ways to collect compensation and salary data for surveys and wage reports, allowing us to expand continuously into new industries and markets.

Please call us today at 480-237-6130 or contact us online to learn more about our services.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 22nd, 2013 · Comments Off on How to Avoid Antitrust Claims When Conducting Wage Surveys: Part 2

How to Avoid Antitrust Claims When Conducting Wage Surveys: Part 1

Hotel human resource professionals frequently participate in professional associations, industry groups and other organizations formed to facilitate information sharing and networking.  Few are aware that such activity, if it involves the sharing of cost-related information such as employee wages and benefits, could give rise to violations of antitrust law or be used as evidence of such violations.

There have been a number of antitrust cases brought by plaintiffs in different industries regarding the exchange of wage and benefit information between competitive employers. Probably the two most noted cases are United States v. Utah Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (1994) and Todd v. Exxon Corp. (2001). While these cases dealt with specific industries, most attorneys practicing in the area of labor relations and antitrust look to these cases for guidance regardless of the industry.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have issued a statement setting forth an antitrust “safety zone” for health care providers who participate in written surveys.   They will not be considered to be in violation of antitrust laws if the following conditions are satisfied:

– The survey is managed by a third party;

– The information provided by survey participants is based on data more than three months old; and

– There are at least five providers reporting data upon which a disseminated statistic is based, no individual provider’s data represents more than 25% on a weighted basis of that statistic and any information disseminated is sufficiently aggregated so that it does not allow recipients to identify the compensation paid by any particular provider.

This statement gives guidance specifically to the health care industry.  To date, there is not such a case that has been brought in the hotel industry. Although, with the recent surge of labor organization activity going on across the country, our industry should continue to be cautious with regard to how wage and benefit information is shared with competitors.

In our next post, we will discuss precautions to minimize risk if you intend to share wage and benefit information with a competitor.

As a company, it is important to utilize benefits survey data, compensation surveys and salary reports. Having this information at hand allows you to plan a budget, including competitive employee salaries and benefits, which will help you to hire and retain a happy, talented team.  WageWatch surveys over 5,000 hotels, resorts and casino properties in the United States and the Caribbean.  WageWatch’s proprietary survey process enables human resources professionals to access the most up-to-date and accurate wage and benefits data and prepare custom reports based on their needs and requirements. Additionally the WageWatch Compensation Consulting Team is available to assist you with all of your compensation needs such as pay structure design and implementation, market competitive analysis, internal equity audits to address employer concerns and add creditability to pay practices and much more. For more information, please contact WageWatch at 480-237-6130 or contact us online.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 18th, 2013 · Comments Off on How to Avoid Antitrust Claims When Conducting Wage Surveys: Part 1