PHR/SPHR Course Update [Announcement]

If you aren’t studying for the HR certification exam then feel free to ignore this or share it with someone that is studying. Thanks! :-)

Earlier this summer I set a really big goal for myself and the team that’s working on the development of the new PHR/SPHR course. I wanted to have the new course fully up and running by August 1st to coincide with the new HRCI changes. However, this is still in development and it’s looking like we will miss the deadline for rolling out the new course.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to take an intermediary step and adapt the materials we’ve been using and updating for the last 10 years to help test takers to bridge the gap. These changes should be done this week and I’ll post again letting everyone know. The changes HRCI has made are fairly minor and mostly revolve around changing the titles of the sections and moving around some of the content, but as I’ve told students for years it isn’t like HR is suddenly new and different (we just make up different names for some pieces of it on a regular basis to keep things fresh).

That said, we are still pushing the development of the new materials. I am really excited to see where this goes and would love to have a handful of beta testers to try it out for free as we finalize development in August in exchange for feedback. If you’re interested in this please reach out to me!

business card job title

Using Job Titles Instead of Pay to Compensate Employees

Writing a lot about compensation today! I also have a piece up about 3 ways compensation policies can cause employee turnover as well in case you want to check it out. . 

This past week I was talking with a friend and he explained that his job title had recently been changed from “XYZ specialist” to “XYZ manager.” He laughed and said that, of course, it didn’t come with a pay raise. I know those kinds of “promotions” are common, but I also explained to him that even if a raise didn’t come right away, having a title like that could lead to higher pay down the road.

For starters, even if there is no pay change, the recognition of your hard work with a title change can give you a sense of satisfaction with your work. Dan Pink’s book Drive talks about the three areas we need to hit in order to create an engaged workforce: autonomy, purpose, and mastery. This recognition hits squarely on the mastery piece, especially if the title change is conveyed appropriately. We want to feel like masters of our own domain, and that transition in job title can be one way of realizing that. Continue reading

Why You Should Always Discriminate in the Workplace

Discrimination isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I overheard a conversation the other day between two employees at a local restaurant. One of them said:

“I am so sick of our boss. He is always discriminating against me for coming in a few minutes late or not getting my work done as fast as Joe.”

The second employee turned to the first and responded:

“It serves you right. Show up on time. Do better work. It’s not really that hard.”

Because I’m incredibly mature and kindhearted I held my laugh in until I was out of earshot, but it seems like I hear this kind of thing more and more. People feel like all kinds of discrimination are bad/wrong/evil.

Not true.

See, we won’t discriminate against you for your age, gender, etc. Those things are protected (as they well should be). But work performance? I can discriminate against you all day long.

“Discrimination” isn’t a blanket defense for poor work habits. Just an FYI. In the words of the young man who is wise beyond his years: show up on time and do better work. It’s not really that hard.

Share this with a friend or leader that would appreciate it today!

Your Invite to #DisruptHR HSV: Let’s Do This

If you live within driving distance of of Huntsville, Alabama, I’d love to personally invite you to the first ever DisruptHR HSV on August 16th at 5:30pm. If you’re not familiar, DisruptHR is a global movement made up of local grassroots-level events giving HR and business leaders an opportunity to network and discuss how we can change HR for the better.

disrupthr hsv

We just closed the speaker applications and are sorting through submissions (announcing soon!) If you want to sponsor (limited opportunities up for grabs), contact me here. If you want to attend, tickets are very inexpensive. We purposely priced them at such a low rate to make sure we can make attendance attainable for anyone that is interested in HR, training, talent, and/or recruiting.

Kristina Minyard and I are the co-organizers (co-disruptors?) for this event, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to bring this event to Huntsville and help our local HR audience learn and grow through innovative content. There will be food. There will be drinks. There will be content. What more could you ask for?

We have a ton of amazing speakers lined up, including one of Huntsville’s finest and a nationally recognized HR blogging and social media expert, Jazmine Wilkes. Additionally, our fine city will be represented by Erin Koshut, one of the key influencers and leaders at the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce. Look for more speaker info coming out soon on the event page.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me. Tickets just opened last week and are already nearly 30% sold out. We fully expect to sell out in advance!

employee engagement performance

Here’s How An Engaged Company Outperforms Others by Nearly 150 Percent

Employees are more disengaged than ever, and the statistics on employee engagement only serve to further the narrative. Gallup reports that more than half of employees (51 percent) say they’re actively looking for a different job or watching for opportunities. Nearly 26 percent of the U.S. workforce is going to change jobs this year, and these are typically the most highly skilled and motivated employees.

Organizations need to fully understand just how critical engagement is to success. Gallup shows that organizations with a highly engaged workforce outperform peers by 147 percent in earnings per share. And the cost of rehiring and retraining replacement workers has been well-documented.

So why, in this enlightened age, would any organization not prioritize employee engagement?

The Compliance-Engagement Balancing Act

Continue reading

We’re Only Human 38: How to Take Advantage of the Human Qualities of Work

What does it mean to be human?

With all the discussion of robots, AI, and machines at work, is there a clear delineation between what humans can do that software can’t? In today’s discussion with the inimitable Dani Johnson of Red Thread Research, Ben and Dani discuss some practical ways employers can look at weaving more human components into the work they’re doing.

Dani’s research shows that things like collaboration, storytelling, and creating a vision for the future all tie in with this innate human quality of work, but how do we take advantage of those tools to create better workplaces and performance? This meshes well with Ben’s approach in his new book, “Artificial Intelligence for HR,” and the conversation takes a fun turn as they both explore examples and ideas for how to make this practically appealing for employers. 

To learn more about Dani and Red Thread be sure to visit redthreadresearch.com

 

press compensation transparency framework

How Pay Transparency Affects Equality, Engagement, and More

Next week I’m heading up to Massachusetts to talk about pay transparency to a group of HR and business leaders. Of all the topics I could have spoken about, why pay transparency?

First of all, it’s becoming more and more of an issue because of legislation that prevents employers from asking about salary history. Research shows that women are less likely to ask for higher salaries and these laws are about trying to reduce negotiations so that women and men have more equal pay for equal work.

Secondly, in a workplace where trust is at a premium, all the research points to considerable links between trust, transparency, and employee/business performance. We can’t have engaged employees without trust and transparency, and employers can’t succeed without engaged, energetic employees. It’s all connected!

The Options for Transparency

Employers have a range of options when it comes to transparency. They can be transparent about:

  1. Business decisions–why certain decisions are made and how they affect the workforce
  2. Job opportunities–are you sharing open jobs with internal staff or hoping they don’t find out about them and try to make internal moves?
  3. Compensation decisions–do workers know how decisions are made around compensation or is it a “black box” where decisions are made without any clarity or insight?

Deloitte’s research says that high-performing companies are 4.5x more likely to have a well-defined communications strategy, sharing information on pay determinants, budgets, and distribution.

The Spectrum of Transparency

The first thing that appears in your head when I say transparency around compensation might be a company like Buffer. Buffer posts its salaries on the website for the public to see. Yes, really. The company also shares radically about its business plans and other information openly. While this has worked out for the firm, it’s not something I’d recommend for everyone.

There are clear pros and cons for a fully open and transparent approach. The benefits include clear expectations, consistent compensation schedules, and difficulty to discriminate. However, the issues can include a lack of connection to performance, lack of organizational agility, and a significant difficulty to motivate/retain top performers.

Without some measure of transparency, bad things happen. For example, Lawler’s research shows that workers routinely OVERestimate the pay of their peers and subordinates and UNDERestimate the pay of their superiors. That means they are less happy with what you’re paying them!

Additionally, Helliwell and Huang’s research points out that a 10% increase in organizational trust is equal to a 36% increase in pay for workers. They want, need, and crave trust (and transparency), and it’s as important as a pay bump to get it!

Making it Stick

I have developed a five-part process called the PRESS framework that guides employers through the decisions that improve transparency.

press compensation transparency framework

What are your thoughts on compensation transparency? Is your organization doing a good job of this, or would you like to be doing better? 

*If you’re interested in having me speak at your conference or company on this topic please feel free to reach out to me!