Where Do Pay Adjustments Come From?

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As reported in Crain’s Cleveland Business in September of 2012, Northeast Ohio employers both gave and are projecting giving an average of a 3% increase across all job categories in 2012 and 2013, respectively. But how are these increases determined and what do they mean in terms of an overall investment by the organizations offering raises?

While the ERC Salary & Wage Adjustment Survey itself does not report on these specifics, it does specify that that this 3% increase accounts for any pay adjustment given during a 12 month period and could include any adjustments from general across-the-board or cost-of-living adjustments to merit based raises. Some additional insights can be drawn from another ERC survey published in early summer of 2012, i.e., the 2012 Pay Adjustment & Incentives Practices Survey. According to this survey, merit based increases are by far the most common method of determining increases here in Northeast Ohio, approximately 80% of respondents. Of those organizations providing merit based increases, a wide majority do so on an annual basis regardless of organizational size or industry type. Interestingly, cost-of-living raises were the least popular type of adjustment, coming in at just under 7%.

Based on ERC’s historical data trends for the Pay Adjustment & Incentive Practices survey, this strong preference for merit based pay adjustments is far from surprising. However, a steady decrease in cost-of-living pay adjustments over the past several years accompanied by a corresponding increase in the frequency of merit-based raises offers a clear illustration of the continued move towards pay-for-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

The 5 Most Common Pitfalls of Performance Reviews

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Performance reviews are important tools that managers can use to boost employee performance and productivity to higher levels, but often fall prey to some common mistakes. As your organization prepares to review employee performance in the coming months, we recommend avoiding these 5 pitfalls.

 
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2012/2013 Salary & Benefits Budgeting Guide

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We’ve compiled a brief compensation and benefits budgeting guide to help your organization make important pay and health care decisions for fall 2012. The guide summarizes the latest and most important trends as of September, 2012 related to administering compensation and health care benefits, which affect your organization as it plans for 2013. 
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Raises Hit 3%, Projections Remain Strong

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In an economy fraught with ongoing uncertainty, Northeast Ohio employers hit a once seemingly insignificant milestone in terms of salary and wage adjustments for 2012 and 2013, 3% raises. The overall average actual and projected raises reported in ERC’s annual Wage and Salary Adjustment Survey both hit 3%, the first time both figures have reached the 3% mark together since 2008. Further optimism for 2012 can be found in projections for 2013, which indicate that of those organizations projecting raises for 2013, more than half are predicting at least 3% raises.

In terms of actual percent raises offered by individual industries, a 2012 article from Crain’s Cleveland Business cites ERC’s survey results, noting, “when it came to actual raises, service companies loosened the purse strings a little more than manufacturers.” However, there are positive signs for the manufacturing industry as well.
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HR Analysts Experience Job Growth Statewide

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In an era where an uncertain economy demands that business expenses undergo intensive financial scrutiny and metrics such as “return on investment” or ROI calculations are a driving force behind business decisions large and small, benchmarking trends in human resources is part of the expected norm.

From compensation and benefits analysis to a wide variety of workplace practices benchmarks, HR plays a major role in analyzing how your organization’s pay and benefits practices stack up next to the competition. Demand for this type of data driven decision making bodes well for the HR specialists whose major job duties involve analysis and reporting of these critical HR metrics.
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4 Hiring Practices Successful Employers Use

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4 Hiring Practices Successful Employers Use

Ever wonder how employers select a perfect match for a job? In our research, their secret lies in using certain hiring methods to select the right employees, specifically these four practices.

1. Behavioral Interviewing

Behavioral interviewing is one of the most accurate hiring techniques and ideal for evaluating skills and competencies necessary for effective job performance. Behavioral interviewing, as opposed to traditional interviewing, evaluates candidates' past performance by having job candidates describe specific stories, examples, experiences, and results that indicate their ability to perform certain job tasks and responsibilities.

Examples of behavioral interview questions include:"Provide an example of...", "Tell me about an experience when...", or "Describe how you did...". Typically, a candidate is asked to provide a description of the situation, task, action, and result in response.
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A Brand Evolution

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At ERC, we've recently gone through a rebranding process and we're excited to share with you the new look of ERC.

ERC has an updated logo for the first time in over a decade. We've dropped the old octagons for a clean, contemporary and bold logo that features our brand and our tagline, "Where Great Workplaces Start". We feel that these bold updates represent our contemporary culture and mission of supporting organizational success through the attraction and retention of great employees.


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3 Tips for Recognizing Employees

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Consistently, employees say that recognition and appreciation in the workplace matters - that when they feel valued, appreciated, recognized, and rewarded for their contributions, hard work, and results, they are more likely to stay and less likely to leave their organization.

Yet when we conduct employee engagement surveys, we find that rewards and recognition programs are usually some of the weakest initiatives in the workplace. In fact, most employers that we work with struggle with rewards and recognition. They have difficulties defining what to recognize or reward, who to recognize or reward, how to do it fairly, what rewards to offer, how to track results, and how to motivate their leaders and supervisors to recognize their people.

Based on what we know about rewards and recognition programs that work, are effective, and increase employee engagement, here are 3 steps to improve rewards and recognition programs at your organization.
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Training is Key for Hourly Maintenance Workers

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According to the 2012 ERC Wage Survey, with the exception of entry level workers, wages for Machine Maintenance Mechanics in Northeast Ohio fall largely in line with the national dollar figures reported by the 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook. The national median wage for this job category averaged $21.23 per hour.
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Employers Attempt to Identify Retention Challenges

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When asked “What is the biggest challenge your company faces today?” the most common response by participants in the 2012 ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey was, “hiring & retaining employees.” To address the first half of this challenge, employers report using recruiting and hiring practices at rates that are fairly consistent with past years. Most organizations check an applicant’s references (90%) and more than half (57%) use some type of psychological testing as part of their selection process. Unsurprisingly, there was a noticeable uptick in the use of technology as a recruiting tool overall, with more employers routinely using tools such as internet job boards (85%) and social networking (52%) to match the right candidate with their organization’s needs.

Determining how these same employers are then “retaining employees” requires a slightly more complex explanation. From compensation and benefits, to employee engagement and communication, to work-life balance and rewards/recognition, each element of an employee’s overall experience at work plays some role in their decision to stay-on with their current employer. One specific factor that contributes to employee retention that is addressed in the 2012 Smart Business Survey is “Training & Development.” 
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