Employers Tend to Pay Shift Employees More

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Employers Tend to Pay Shift Employees More

The results of the 2011 ERC Pay Differential Survey show that Northeast Ohio employers tend to pay shift employees more than non-shift employees, specifically those that work second and third shifts.

Sixty-six percent of employers offer shift differentials for second shifts on weekdays and 55% provide shift differentials for third shifts on weekdays.

Organizations typically provide a flat premium amount per hour as a pay differential, and on average, provide a larger pay differential to employees working weekday third shifts than employees on weekday second shifts.

Employers reported providing the largest pay differential to production, maintenance, and service leads or group leaders on both weekday second and third shifts.

Employees in non-standard shifts experience more challenges such as disrupted sleep cycles, difficulties maintaining family routines, and less social exposure than weekday first shift employees.

As a result, pay differentials are a useful tool that employers can use to incent employees to work second and third shifts or recruit employees for these roles.

View ERC's Pay Differential Survey Survey Results

This survey reports on common pay differentials from Northeast Ohio employers for hourly employees, including shift differentials, lead premiums, overtime, and on-call pay practices.

View the Results

4 Signs of a Struggling Manager

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Employers frequently find themselves unaware of struggling managers before they end up causing deep-seated issues in departments like turnover, distrust, disengagement, and under-performance. Here are 4 observable and measurable ways that you can determine whether your managers are struggling on the job before it’s too late.

1. Morale shift.

Take a look at the morale of the department and you can tell who is an effective manager and who isn’t. For example, are employees engaged or just going through the motions? Do employees seem happy? Has there been a marked shift in attitude? Do employees feel valued and appreciated? Is there a strong team atmosphere or is collaboration lacking? That’s not to say that other organizational factors may not influence morale, but a manager can strongly influence morale even in spite of these factors if they are doing their job right.

2. Level of interaction.

How often do managers interact with their employees to communicate, provide feedback, thank or praise them, and learn about them as individuals? Do you ever see managers working side by side with their employees? If one-on-one interaction does not occur at least weekly (or better yet – daily), this may be a symptom of a problem. Be wary of the manager that hides out in their office for hours at a time or spends 90% of their time in meetings as they are probably not spending enough time interacting with their employees.

3. By the numbers.

Numbers usually illuminate a struggling manager better than anything else. For example, how many individuals have gotten recognized by their manager in the past year? What do promotion and internal mobility rates look like within the department? Are employees reaching their goals? How many employees received improved performance ratings from last year? What was the average pay raise or bonus in the manager’s department or work group? How much time are employees spending on development? These are just a few of many numbers and HR metrics that can tell you which managers may be less effective than others.

4. Work systems.

The most prevalent way that you can identify who may need help with management is by taking a look at their systems or symptoms of system issues. For example, if employees are confused about expectations, directions, or work assignments; working plenty of extra hours or overtime to get their job done; or report not having the resources to get their jobs done, there’s probably a problem with the manager’s systems of managing work.  Similarly, if employees don’t seem challenged, act bored, or feel micromanaged, there’s likely an issue with the manager’s approach to delegation.

So before management problems get the best of your organization, be sure you’re observing and measuring these things to determine whether some of your managers could do their jobs more effectively.

Additional Resources

Supervisory Series

This series provides participants with practical skills, tools, and strategies to advance their supervisory skills, enhance their effectiveness as supervisors, lead employees with confidence, and execute results. Specifically, participants will learn how to lead and manage change, build and work with teams, and manage generational differences and diversity. They will also explore the skills of problem solving and decision making as well as managing day-to-day work through delegating, planning, and managing time.

15 Steps to Controlling FMLA Claims

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CareWorks USA has outlined 15 action steps employers can take that will help them control intermittent claims and control costs associated with intermittent absences.

  1. Clearly spell out your FMLA policy in the employee handbook.
  2. Clearly spell out your policy on intermittent leave for bonding after birth or placement (yes, the employer has a choice whether to allow this.)
  3. Run your FMLA concurrent with other applicable benefits.
  4. Check Eligibility every new 12 month period.
  5. Require Certification & Ensure the Certification is complete and legible.
  6. Conduct a thorough review of the medical information ~ a medical professional such as a nurse can be critical in understanding the medical jargon written on the certification.
  7. Include medical clarification in your review as necessary.
  8. Require a Frequency & Duration on Certification.
  9. DOL has given Employers the right to require employees to submit certification every 6 months - Certify claims for 6 months.
  10. Make employees accountable - Require them to report every FMLA occurrence.
  11. Ask your employee questions about his or her leave – every occurrence if necessary.
  12. Temporarily transfer the employee to an alternate duty position while on leave.
  13. Seek Fitness for duty - Employers can now conduct fitness for duty on intermittent cases (in association with an absence.)
  14. Utilize 2nd & 3rd opinions when appropriate.
  15. Partner with a vendor like CareWorks USA to help with administration, tracking and medical clarification.

Visit http://www.careworksabsence.com/leave-administration/ for more information on Family and Medical Leave Act.

Fast facts about Section 408(b)(2)

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Section 408(b)(2), a 2012 regulation for retirement plan fiduciaries enacted by the Department of Labor, was effective Jan. 1, 2012. Here are some fast facts about 408(b)(2):

  • It affects all retirement plan fiduciaries, including plan sponsors and investment committee members.
  • It requires plan sponsors to understand all fees and expenses associated with their retirement plan.
  • It requires plan sponsors to have a contract or agreement, in writing, with their service providers disclosing all fees associated with your retirement plan, and it must be reasonable.
  • It requires plan sponsors to make sure services being performed are necessary to establish and operate a qualified plan.
  • It requires plan sponsors to make sure no more than reasonable compensation is paid for services performed, and their fees are competitive within the marketplace.
  • It requires service providers to provide full fee transparency not only to plan sponsors, but also to each plan participant.

Information provided by Oswald Financial.

 

7 Ways to Use HR Metrics

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Using HR metrics and data can be a useful strategy to uncover areas of opportunity and improvement, establish yourself or department as a strategic partner, and demonstrate your case when recommending new courses of action or programs. Here are 7 ways to effectively use HR metrics in your organization.

1. Have the right data…at the right time.

It’s important to track information and be able to present data and metrics. You never know when this data will be needed by you or your management team, so track well and often. Any analyst will speak from experience that being prepared with the numbers people are looking for is the key to success. You may not need to calculate or showcase them regularly, but have the information readily available so that you can tabulate the metrics when they need to be presented. Have the right data and the right time, and you’ll be hero in your business.

2. Select the most meaningful metrics.

There are plenty of metrics to consider, but not all of them are created equal. For example, consider turnover, which many HR professionals rely on to tell the whole story of their workplace’s effectiveness. Turnover can be measured in a number of ways – new hire turnover, voluntary turnover, and involuntary turnover, among others; but for some organizations, turnover isn’t a meaningful metric.  Sometimes it’s too non-specific. Additionally, it may not affect the bottom line or business objectives. A good rule of thumb when selecting metrics is to: Track what is valued. Track what is actionable. Track what best tells the story of what’s happening in the workplace.

3. Remember to measure the intangibles.

You may think that many aspects of HR can’t be measured because of all of the intangible aspects of the workplace, such as quality of relationships between employees and their supervisors, engagement or commitment, culture, or even trust in leaders. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many “softer” aspects of the business that can be measured accurately through a variety of means, including observation, surveys, and assessments. Sometimes these “intangibles” can also manifest themselves in objective data.

4. Speak the language of management.

Know what your management values. When presenting metrics data to back your decisions, speak the language of your managers and executives. If their focus is budget impact, industry comparisons, cash flow, sales, and/or revenue, be sure to convey how your data impacts all of these. With managers, specifically, make the information meaningful to their specific segment of the workforce.

5. Keep it simple, but insightful.

It’s rarely about how many numbers you have and how complex they are, but rather the impact of these and the insights you have gleaned from them. Make the information simple to understand and preferably visual, but useful and practical. Complement your numbers with concrete examples and try to always include a comparison – an external or internal benchmark – to help stakeholders understand what the numbers mean.

6. Connect the dots.

Connect the dots by explaining how your numbers and information relate. Explore relationships between data points and current workplace processes and programs (i.e. how a performance management process is linked to improved performance ratings, how training programs are linked to higher product quality, etc.) as managers and executives alike may not see the relationships between these. You must translate these relationships into actionable items, explaining how the data point can be impacted or improved.

7. Don’t assume you need an HRIS.

There’s no question that an HRIS can be a very useful tool for efficiently collecting metrics, but it’s not the only way and plenty of organizations use simple Excel spreadsheets to collect information. Don’t let not having an HRIS or other fancy dashboards and tools stop you from measuring important aspects of your business and workforce that will boost the effectiveness of your HR department.

There are countless HR metrics and data points, but more importantly than collecting these metrics is being able to use them effectively to help advance your career, department, and organization.

Additional Resources

If you’re looking for HR metrics as well as information and examples of HR best practices, check out our NorthCoast 99 Winner Reports, a comprehensive benchmark report that helps you compare your workplace against the top ones in the region and also provides employers with great ideas and information for how to improve their workplaces.

When To Get Your Flu Shot

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) encourages people to get vaccinated throughout the flu season, which can begin as early as October and last as late as May.  For a typical flu season, vaccination should begin in mid-October, assuring strong immunity throughout the season.

Vaccination before December is best since this timing ensures that protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is typically at its highest. Over the course of the flu season, many different influenza viruses can circulate at different times and in different places. As long as flu viruses are still spreading in the community, vaccination can provide protective benefit.

In addition, there are other people who may benefit from seasonal flu vaccination as late as April or May, even if influenza viruses are no longer circulating in the United States. This includes:

  1. Persons likely to be traveling to the Southern Hemisphere where influenza may be circulating and
  2. Children younger than 9 being vaccinated for the first time who still have not received their second recommended dose of vaccine. Studies have shown that two doses are needed in children younger than 9 the first year they are vaccinated in order to maximize the protective benefit from vaccination.

For more information, please contact Gary Walker
Phone: 216-767-8985
Email: gary.walker@uhhospitals.org
Website: UHhospitals.org/EmployerSolutions, University Hospitals is a preferred partner of ERC.

Professional Services Employers Tend to Pay Higher Increases

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According to the 2011 NorthCoast 99 Winners Report, pay increases vary considerably by industry, as does the amount in which those increases are differentiated by performance.

The report shows that winners in professional services industries reported higher increases for 2010 than those in manufacturing, distribution, transportation, health care, and non-profit industries.

Specifically, winners in marketing, technology, and architectural services industries reported providing average increases of 7.8% to top performers – the highest increase reported of all of the industries. Winners in finance, legal, and management services industries also reported above average increases for top performers of 7.3%. These industries also reported higher pay increases across all of their employees as well as for average performers.

Winners in professional services industries also reported more differentiation of pay increases across performance levels. Winners in marketing, technology, and architectural services industries reported an average difference of 4% between top and average performers’ pay increases and 6% between top and bottom performers’ pay increases.

Similarly, winners in finance, legal, and management services industries reported an average difference of 3% between top and average performers’ pay increases and 6% between top and bottom performers’ pay increases. Winners in non-profit and health and human services industries reported the lowest differences in pay increases across performance levels, suggesting that they are less likely to significantly differentiate compensation increases by performance.

View ERC's Wage & Salary Adjustment Survey Results

The survey reports data from Northeast Ohio organizations regarding their actual and projected wage and salary adjustments.

View the Results

5 Pay Trends You Need to Know

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If your organization is in the process of determining compensation for the rest of 2011 and budgeting for 2012, here are 5 important pay trends that you should know related to salary increases and bonuses.

1. Employers are planning salary increases.

The percentage of employers planning salary freezes continues to decrease from 2009, and the number of organizations projecting salary increases continues to rise. In fact, research shows that 82% of employers are providing increases in 2011 and 89% are projecting increases for 2012. This compares to only 55% in 2009 and 59% in 2010 and is approaching 2008 levels when 90% of employers gave increases. These findings are consistent with other national studies which suggest that salary freezes are on the decline.

2. Average salary increases continue to be modest.

Although more employers are planning increases than in the past, they will be modest, hovering around 2.8%-2.9%, which are the average projected increases for 2011 and 2012 cited by numerous surveys. Nonetheless, increases are approaching 3% and some organizations are even exceeding 3%, although very few organizations are budgeting more than 4%. Most compensation experts, however, believe that 3% will be the new 4%. These projections and insights are common across not only our local findings, but also those of WorldatWork, Aon Hewitt, and Towers Watson.

3. Few organizations are recovering pay.

Another trend that has been consistent across numerous compensation budget studies is that few employers are reporting high recovery increases to boost employees’ pay to market levels in spite of their pay freezes over the past few years. Because of this trend, employers may be faced with challenges in retaining employees and especially top talent. This year, studies have shown an uptick in employees dissatisfied with their organization’s compensation practices, especially among those organizations that have not provided increases over the past few years.

4. Merit increases remain the most common.

Merit increases continue to be the most common type of increase provided by organizations, according to most compensation studies, and are differentiated by performance level (by approximately 1.5-2%). Top performers can typically expect increases of 4-5% on average; however, this varies widely by industry. Cost-of-living and across-the-board adjustments are less common, but still used by some employers.

5. There is a positive outlook for bonuses.

Not only are employers continuing to offer bonuses, but they also are more able to fund them. A study conducted by Towers Watson shows that many organizations are experiencing stronger performance in terms of profits and as a result, they expect that annual bonuses will be fully funded in 2011. Bonus trends for 2011 seem to be more positive for many organizations compared to the preceding years. Additionally, other pay for performance trends remain strong including differentiation of merit increases. 

Overall, many studies indicate that the outlook for pay is moving in a positive direction with fewer salary freezes, slightly higher pay increases, and more funding for bonuses. Nonetheless, market adjustments continue to be an area where many employers are lagging and should keep in mind the possible detrimental effects of not recovering pay from salary freezes.

View ERC's Wage & Salary Adjustment Survey Results

The survey reports data from Northeast Ohio organizations regarding their actual and projected wage and salary adjustments.

View the Results

Employers Project Pay Increases of 2.8% for 2012

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The results of the ERC Wage & Salary Adjustment Survey show that Northeast Ohio employers had projected pay increases of 2.8% for 2012. The survey also reports that employers provided actual pay increases of 2.8% in 2011.

Despite no change in the projected average pay increase from 2011, the results of the survey found that more local employers were projecting wage and salary increases than in the years following 2007. Specifically, 89% of the 129 employers surveyed reported projecting pay increases to at least one employee group, up from 55% in 2009 and 82% in 2011.

More employers also projected increases of 3.0% or higher in 2012 when compared to 2011. In the survey, 57% of organizations reported projecting increases of 3.0% or higher in 2012 for clerical, technical, supervisory, management, and professional employees compared to 50% of organizations in 2011. Non-manufacturing employers, in particular, were more likely to project increases of 3.0% or higher for 2012.

View ERC's Wage & Salary Adjustment Survey Results

The survey reports data from Northeast Ohio organizations regarding their actual and projected wage and salary adjustments.

View the Results

Steps for plan sponsors in anticipation of 408(b)(2)

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Aiming to curb confusion, misunderstandings and lack of disclosure related to the fees associated with retirement plans, the Department of Labor has enacted a new regulation, Section 408(b)(2), effective Jan. 1, 2012.

To maintain compliance with this new regulation, there are several steps for sponsors to take:

  • Document your review and decision-making process.
  • Assess service providers’ competence by reviewing their references and credentials.
  • Compare providers’ services and compensation with offerings made to plans comparable to yours in terms of size and other characteristics.
  • Analyze vendors’ conflicts of interest.
  • Document the basis for the selection of the service providers.
  • Monitor the service providers.

Information provided by Oswald Financial.