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January 26, 2015

Save Time, Save Money – Improve Meetings

Filed under: General HR Buzz6:30 am

office meeting

by Gene Mandarino, Manager, HR Consulting

Times are tight – and so is time. But if everyone could improve meetings, we’d all be able to save time, money and aggravation.

We all live our lives attending meetings: staff meetings, management meetings, board meetings, project meetings, etc. Then we go home, gobble our dinner and run to a PTA meeting, school meeting, scout meeting or church meeting.

When was the last time someone told you they were actually looking forward to attending one of these meetings? Probably never, right? Well it’s no wonder, most people running these meetings haven’t been trained on how to conduct a good meeting. And if they have been trained, they often forget. This leads to meetings that are inefficient, too long and boring – wasting time and money.

Here are some helpful reminders when preparing for and running your next meeting:

  • Identify meeting objectives (what you want to accomplish) before the meeting.
  • Plan your agenda. A good agenda outlines the steps you will take to accomplish the objectives.
  • Communicate meeting objectives and agenda to participants in advance of the meeting.
  • Ask participants to prepare in advance by reading reports, minutes, etc. before the meeting.
  • Start the meeting on time, stay on time and stop on time.
  • Encourage open communication. Ask what people think and really listen to what they say.
  • Respect participants’ time and ideas. 
  • Summarize action steps at the close of the meeting.
  • Ask participants how the meeting could be improved for next time.
  • Act on the actions after the meeting.

I know these may be painfully obvious to some of you, but so is eating right and exercising. We know we are supposed to do it, but we often forget. So, the next time you plan a meeting, think about these tips.

 

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January 19, 2015

Pay Equity Roadblocks

Filed under: General HR Buzz2:18 pm

pay and compensation equity

 

by Megan Mohr, CCP | Compensation Consultant

Does your organization have an unusually high turnover rate? Or maybe it’s getting one too many employee complaints when it comes to salaries and raises? You might be facing pay equity roadblocks.

As many compensation experts know, the risk of pay inequity has never been this high. Pay equity not only promotes good pay practices, it can help your organization address the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) concern with systematic risk. The agency is on the lookout for instances of supposed broad discrimination by race, ethnicity and gender.

The OFCCP now mandates that companies submit an annual “Equal Pay Report” to show compensation data by race, ethnicity and gender. This quest for additional company reporting is not just happening locally but on a global level as well. Recent research from Mercer and the World Economic Forum uncovered that women are underutilized in the workplace. Labor force participation for women aged 25 to 54 in the United States was 74.5% in 2012, a full 14.2% lower than men in the same age group. Employer risk liability with equitable pay was also increased when President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 into law.

Does Your Company Have Pay Inequity?

If your organization is unsure if it’s facing pay inequity, look for these indicators:

  • Negative feedback from employees on salaries and promotions
  • Discrepancies among demographics like race or gender
  • Your company lacks a formal system for evaluating and setting salaries or forecasting promotional ranges

Moving Forward

The key to moving forward on pay equity is to remember that your approach to it is as important as the actual compensation plan it implements. Pay inequity can affect both your staff’s behavior and performance and your organization’s ability to attract and keep quality employees. These are two potential roadblocks in its road to success. Be sure your pay is equal, internally and externally, and those roadblocks will soon disappear.

 

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January 12, 2015

The New FLSA Rule is Coming. Are you Ready?

Filed under: FLSA,General HR Buzz,Salaries & Pay3:22 am

125186377

By Joyce Marsh, SPHR, Senior HR Consultant

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) proposed rule should hit somewhere in the first quarter of 2015. This release is somewhat later than the original forecast of November 2014 for the final rule.

The final rule shouldn’t differ too much from the proposed one, so now is the time to start looking at classifications. While no one knows for sure what the changes will be to the white-collar exemptions, here are some educated guesses from some employment law experts:

  • An increase in the minimum salary threshold
    There’s speculation that the current threshold of $455 per week/$23,660 per year could more than double to $970 per week/$50,440 per year.
  • Exempt duty standards will change
    Following California’s current requirements, standards could change to employees needing to engage in exempt duties at least 50 percent of the time.
  • Executive exemption standards will change
    In an effort by the DOL to change or eliminate the primary duty standard, executive exemption could be lessened.

As we said, these are just highly educated guesses. So whatever happens with the FLSA proposed rule, the main lesson here is to be prepared.

 

 

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January 5, 2015

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for HR Professionals

Filed under: General HR Buzz,HR Consulting2:26 pm

2015

by Emily Sternberg, HR Consultant

As we look at the calendar and realize that another year has started, we may have made a New Year’s resolution or two, maybe to lose those extra few pounds or to try to get more organized.    Professionally, it’s time to turn over a new leaf as well. Companies are starting to execute new strategic plans and employees are excited to see what the New Year will bring.  With this, let’s review the top 5 New Year’s resolutions for HR professionals:

  1. Create True Succession Plans
    Over the next 5-10 years, businesses nationwide will experience record retirements as the baby boomers begin to retire at greater numbers. Now is the time to prepare your younger staff members to take on these leadership positions. Provide management as well as tactical training and support to these staff members who will be the future leaders of your company. Ask yourself what skills will be required and if your current staff currently possess those skills.
  2. Be Transparent
    This is a buzzword in the HR field, so use 2015 to create more than a buzz around transparency by creating a culture that embraces honest and open communication to staff members. In a world where information is never more than a click away, it will be imperative for business leaders in 2015 to share information in a format that impacts and engages staff members.
  3. Create a Positive Working Environment
    For millennials and the incoming Generation Z, fostering positive relationships at work will be a method for retaining top talent. Studies show less turnover among employees who have a “best friend” at work.
  4. Provide an App for That
    In our technology-driven world, employees strive for convenience in conducting their day-to-day business. We have mobile banking, online tech support, etc.    Employees are looking for convenience in conducting daily transactions such as requests for time off, benefit reviews, changing personal information and receiving pay stubs. Try to make these available via a mobile device.
  5. Be a Storyteller
    In an age of video technology and interactive presentations applications, it’s imperative for HR professionals to consider trading in lengthy PowerPoint presentations and delivering training in a more engaging way to participants. Become a storyteller and create relatable stories that convey a concept to training participants.

If your organization needs help bringing these resolutions to life, HR Performance Solutions can help. Our HR consultants can guide you through a successful New Year. Click here to contact us for more information.

 

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