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December 28, 2007

HR Fact Friday: Holiday Bonuses a Thing of The Past

Filed under: Salaries & Pay3:04 pm

Remember Clark Griswold sweating out receiving his Christmas bonus check to cover the downpayment on a new swimming pool in National Lampoon’s all time Holiday classic, Christmas Vacation? Nearly every time I watch that movie with other people, the question invariably gets asked, “Have you ever received a Christmas Bonus?” A conversation then follows where individuals offer up their best, or worst Christmas bonus stories. I have noticed a trend over the years that fewer and fewer people can say they currently receive any kind of specific holiday bonus. Most concede they and their spouses are invited to attend a company “holiday event” such as a lunch or dinner party and/or are presented with a nominal gift card or voucher for a Holiday turkey, ham or cheese roll. Holiday social events and nominal gifts are looked forward to, appreciated and acknowledged, but really not considered by the worker to be a “bonus” even though providing them is completely optional and costs the company thousands of dollars to provide.



December 26, 2007

15 Tips for a New Supervisor (part 1 of 2)

Filed under: General HR Buzz3:33 pm

As a service to the HR community, HRN Management Group researches and publishes monthly HR industry white papers. These informative documents can be received, at no cost, around the middle of each month simply by subscribing on the HRN website (

Typically we do not post white papers to our blog but this month’s has relevance to a much wider audience than the professional HR community. The white paper is for both new, and perhaps not so new, supervisors and managers and offers 15 tips to help them better understand and be more effective in their supervisory role. Today’s posting includes tips 1 through 5. Tomorrow for my regular HR Fact Friday posting, I will include tips 6 through 15.



December 21, 2007

HR Fact Friday: 15 Tips for a New Supervisor (part 2 of 2)

Filed under: General HR Buzz3:31 pm

In a continuation of yesterday’s posting . . . here are tips 6 – 15 from the HRN white paper entitled “Congratulations! You’re a Supervisor. Now What?”. Tips 1-5 were posted 12/20. To view and download the complete white paper go to: Click on the “Current Whitepaper” link. You can also quickly sign up to receive free monthly HR industry white papers.



December 18, 2007

Pay for Long Term Care Insurance with Pre-Tax Money?

Filed under: Insurance3:39 pm

A Senate bill (S. 2337) has been introduced that would permit employees to pay for long term care insurance with pre-tax dollars via cafeteria plans and flexible spending accounts.  Current law prohibits such payments.  The action is an attempt to address the care issues faced by growing numbers of Americans as the baby boomers age and we all live longer.  The likelihood of the bill’s success remains unclear.


Lawmakers Urge Ending 401(k) Waiting Periods

Filed under: General HR Buzz6:47 am

The power of the Blogosphere. Looks like others are paying attention to the retirement savings issue and looking for ways to encourage employees to enroll in retirement savings plans. Automatic enrollment is a good start . . . but what good is automatic enrollment if the employer has a 6-month or 12-month waiting period for plan participation eligibility?

#1. if an employee changes employers 5 times in their career, and each employer has a 12 month waiting period, that’s 5 years out of 30 (16%!) that they will be inelligible for contributing to a retirement savings plan.

#2. En employee, especially early in their working career, is less likely to enroll after a 12 month period because they have become accustomed to budgeting their finances based on their paycheck prior to any 401(k) contributions being withheld. They will have a perception that they can’t afford to bring home 3% less in their paycheck (even if the company is matching their contribution). In reality they are turning down a 3% pay increase because of the company match. And the 3% employee contribution is pre-tax so it’s effect on the bottom line take home pay is hardly noticable.

With all that said . . . I was happy to read the article below that was posted this week on titled “Lawmakers Urge Ending 401(k) Waiting Periods”  (