Infographic Thursday: Paid Maternity Leave

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Check out today’s infographic from Women && Tech highlighting differences in maternity leave around the globe. The U.S is one of only a handful of countries not to offer mandatory paid leave (mothers are limited to unpaid leave via the FMLA and whatever employers choose to offer)… and the more I think about the reasons behind why this is, the more I am inclined to believe a change is necessary. Without going too far down any political rabbit holes… I think it’s nevertheless kosher to say that being at the bottom of this list isn’t okay, right?

…Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, and as always if you like this infographic then follow Women && Tech on Twitter here (and the creator of the infographic – Designer and Illustrator Ivonne Karamoy – on Twitter here).

WomenAndTech_MaternityLeaveInfographic

Happy Thursday,

Rory

The Importance of Carefully Managing Total Rewards Communication

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Okay… so Harvard Business Review has a great article about compensation up here. In it, Dave Smith (Chief Product Officer at Payscale) points out that most people believe they are underpaid… and that even employees paid above market believe they’re underpaid more than a third of the time. Check out the below chart (from the article):

W150921_SMITH_WHATWE^So what we see here is that only people that are paid below market have an accurate handle on their compensation. But why is this important, you ask? From the piece:

…perceptions about pay play a significant role in an employee’s desire to leave your company. This may sound obvious, but our survey showed that “intent to leave” decreased in relation to how favorable an employee felt about their pay. For example, 60% of employees who perceived they were underpaid said they intended to leave, compared to only 39% of those who perceived they were overpaid. The bottom line is this: if you don’t communicate to your employees that they are being paid fairly compared to their talent market, they may leave.

and:

We also found that this type of communication becomes even more vital in any position that pays more than $85,000 per year — so the intent to leave tends to be more pronounced for professionals who are paid over this amount.

and finally:

…if an employer pays lower than the market average for a position, but communicates clearly about the reasons for the smaller paycheck, 82% of employees we surveyed still felt satisfied with their work.

^Okay, so we know three things:

  1. If your employees don’t believe that they are paid fairly they will leave (and this is especially true of HCEs/your top performers).
  2. Absent any communication to the contrary, most of your employees will believe they are underpaid even if they aren’t.
  3. If you are transparent about the rationale behind your pay policies, most employees are okay with their comp even if they are under market.

Given the above, what’s the argument for shying away from pay transparency again? I have heard several, but think that ultimately communication around the value of a total comp package to employees has to be table stakes. Actually, I would take it a step further on focus on delivering total rewards statements. Companies should be communicating to their employees the total value of their comp packages – total cash, yes… but also retirement income, active healthcare, active welfare, and PTO. And I’m not saying that this means publishing all colleague salaries, supplementary executive benefits etc. But I do think having an honest conversation about how rich a package is relative to the market – and the rationale behind being under market if that’s the case – is likely to improve engagement outcomes as opposed to demoralizing talent as the conventional wisdom (favoring black box comp management) suggests.

…The flip side of this is that companies need to be mindful of how policies that disparately impact populations will be received when socialized, though. Do you have a separate PTO/leave/bonus/employer match policy for your key contributors/HCEs/highest performing BU? There may be good reasons for it… but – even assuming no legal/compliance issues – rolling out any enhancements to total rewards that only benefit a fraction of one’s population in a less than thoughtful way can do more to harm engagement than making no changes to a policy at all. If it doesn’t benefit everyone, it’s important to think through talking points prior to rollout.

Monday evening thought stream…

Best,

Rory

The Week in HR (10.2.2015)

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I can hardly believe it’s Friday again! Without further delay, here are some of the week’s best articles:

  1. Nicole Torres has a great article up on HBR wherein she looks at research examining the causal factors behind generosity (and its prevalence). The study showed that doing something that benefits yourself over others (which people are five times as likely to do when dealing with a total stranger) activates the reward center of the brain, while doing something more selfless activates the empathy section of the brain. What I found especially interesting, however, was that in some cases both areas of the brain lit up at once. This suggested that there was some sort of loop/calculation going on in the brain wherein subjects were weighing the value of taking the selfish action against the value of taking the more generous one. The researchers ultimately determined that generosity being a product of nature versus nurture was a complex topic, but hypothesized that one can make themselves more prone to be giving by stopping to consider others feelings before acting (lighting up the empathy center of the brain). Not necessarily rocket science, I know, but a powerful look into the science behind selflessness. Check out the full article here, and remember to treat people well this weekend (and, well, always).

 

  1. Lisa Evans has an interesting piece up on Fast Company that examines the parallels between good parenting and good management. I don’t have children, but nevertheless found the article entertaining and intuitive. The points about knowing when to negotiate, set boundaries, offer incentives, and focus on positive feedback are all straight out of management 101 and – apparently – parenting 101 as well. Check out Lisa’s piece here, and if you like it then consider reading the book that inspired the article (By Ian Durston, interviewed in the article) here.

 

  1. Pharmaceuticals HR Pro Ben Olds has a solid post up on Fistful of Talent about strategy. He lays out the case for what being a strategic thinker is and isn’t, then gives some really grounded examples outlining how you can become better at it. If you’ve ever struggled with what it means to “think strategically” then this is the article for you. I loved it because it caused me to step back and think about some areas in my own life (personally and professionally) that I’m a little too tactical. Check the piece out here and let me know if you derived the same value in the comments section below.

Happy Friday,

Rory

Infographic Thursday: Compensation and Salary Trends

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Check out this great infographic from Adecco highlighting some of the biggest salary trends from 2015. Looking at popular jobs in STEM, marketing, and industrial fields, I found it extremely informative. Whether you’re struggling with hiring top talent or just curious, check out today’s infographic below. And as always, if you like it then follow its author on Twitter here.

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Happy Thursday,

Rory

CEO Pay Ratio: An Overview of the Final Rules (Video)

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Sue Holloway, CCP, CECP, Executive Compensation Practice Leader, WorldatWork, discusses who the ratio applies to, how it is figured and what companies should be thinking about now in preparation for the effective date of the first full fiscal year after Jan. 1, 2017.

Best,

Rory

Do You Know How You’re Perceived as a Manager?

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PERCEPTION

…So this evening I came across a really interesting article on HBR about how younger people managers (under age 30) are perceived. It outlined common blind spots and challenges that said managers face. I am a people manager and under age 30, so naturally this was interesting to me. You can read the full article here, but some highlights are below:

~ Because of their shorter tenure, they lack in-depth knowledge that others in the organization possess.

  • True. My curve on solving problems is often lengthened as I take sub-optimal approaches to addressing them. Not on purpose, mind you. I’m just troubleshooting new things a lot for the first time.

~ Younger managers are more prone to make promises they can’t keep, not because they intentionally mislead others, but because others control outcomes.

  • ^It bugs me that I have done this, because I never did it as an individual contributor (my mantra has generally been under promise and over deliver). But in a few instances I have found myself falling short of deliverables I thought I could hit because I overestimated the impact I could have on contingent items that it turned out were outside my span of control.

~ Because they have faced fewer life challenges in their careers, younger leaders struggle to balance the need for results with appropriate concern for the needs of others. They are not fazed by the need to work 80-hour weeks and cannot understand why others complain. This is not because they are incapable of caring, but they tend to look past these issues instead of pausing to reflect and respond to the anxieties of others.

  • ^I actually don’t do this, but thought it was interesting because it’s 7:14 PM as I write this from work. The number of hours I work is more or less irrelevant to me (I just want to succeed), but I do have the self-awareness that most people want to put in 45-50 hours a week and go home.

Welcoming change. The younger leaders embraced change ~ possibly because their lack of experience causes them to be more optimistic about their proposals for change.

  • ^Yes on both embracing change and being an optimist (perhaps because I am a long standing sufferer of unrealistic expectations as opposed to an experience gap, though?).

Receptive to feedback. They are extremely open to feedback. They ask for feedback about their performance more often and seek ways to digest and implement the feedback.

  • ^This is my all-time favorite thing. I may or may not get everything right the first time… but if so I want to know about it so that I can get better.

Let me know what your thoughts were on the article in the comments section below. What else was interesting in this piece to you?

Best,

Rory

Quote of the Week: “If you aren’t in the moment…

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…you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret. – Jim Carrey

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For this week’s quote we can thank Canadian-American actor, comedian, impressionist, screenwriter, and film producer Jim Carrey. It is timely for me as I continually become more comfortable with who I am, and am starting to cherish each moment for what it is – now – as opposed to where it can potentially take me.

To the above point, I have always spent a little bit too much time in an aspirational space – focused on what I can accomplish in 3/5/10/__ years once I develop ABC skills or get XYZ experiences; I generally think about life in 3-5 year increments, ruminating on where I want to be within ___ time and what I need to do to get there: If I go through a 6 month timeframe and haven’t accomplished anything significant I often get anxious about my life choices, and I tend to keep one eye to the future with the other simultaneously turned to the past – always searching for the next step while conversely examining the past to avoid mistakes in the future.

^I’ve never tried to change this aspect of myself because I’ve always viewed my restlessness (and at times borderline neuroticism) about the future as – at core – a strength more than a weaknesses. I think it’s good to stay hungry for more: It keeps me focused and driven.

…And yet I have come to realize that I am at my most fulfilled – and dare I say even absolute best – when I find peace in the moment, focusing on performing exceptionally on the task at hand, and celebrating the success and development of others; I find something approaching real satisfaction when I live life in the present, without regard for how my actions in the moment will impact the future.

^I can’t live in this space most of the time (it’s fundamentally not who I am) – but I am getting better at being in this space some of the time. And as we get started this week, I would encourage you to do the same.

Happy Monday,

Rory

The Week in HR (9.25.2015)

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Happy Friday, all. As we wrap up the week, here are a few great articles that you might want to give a read:

  1. The HR Policy Association recently expressed concern with the Department of Labor’s new proposed overtime rules, encouraging them to rethink their approach. You can read the HRPA’s full list of grievances here – some of which I agree with (such as being cautious about changing duties tests without a lot of deliberative discussion around specifics) – but I wanted to focus specifically on one grievance that I think is a bit controversial. Namely, the HRPA seems opposed to indexing the salary level tests. But considering that the lack of an established process for reviewing the exemption salary level on a regular basis is a significant causal factor behind the DOL’s perceived need to more than double the current level… opposing the decision to tie the baseline wage to an index seems questionable IMO. I think a better argument would be that tying the index to the 40th percentile is too high (there are plenty of jobs paying under $50k at the center that I think are justifiably exempt today), but if history has shown us anything it’s that wages don’t track with productivity or inflation over time if not tied to some sort of index. And while there’s a good argument to be made that directly tying wages directly to an index goes a step too far, there’s little doubt that the current process doesn’t work. Ergo, I agree in principle with tying salary tests levels to an index (even if I question where the floor starts). That said, I reserve the right to be wrong here. Read the HRPA piece and accompanying links (above), then let me know what you think in the comments section below.

 

  1. In this great thought piece, Kris Dunn says that – given the sharing culture prevalent in society at large today (especially amongst millennials) – it’s high time that employers take sites like Glassdoor seriously and start managing their presence more effectively on it (and platforms like it) online. I love this piece because it highlights a reality that – as people share more of their experiences with others online – having a strategy to manage employer brand across social channels is becoming imperative to being an employer of choice (and for remaining competitive for top talent). Conversely, I also think it’s a mistake to believe everything you read on any anonymous ratings platform, and that it’s right to be cautious about investing resources into managing one’s presence in every place someone might read about your firm. Check out Dunn’s post in the link above, then let me know what the right balance is in the comments section below.

 

  1. Linda A. Hill and Kent Lineback lists three things that every manager should be doing in a new HBR article here. The things are (1) building trust, (2) managing through your team, and (3) building a network. I think that I have always intuitively understood the importance of #1 and #3 and tried to do it (my efficacy being debatable >_>), but the idea of managing through one’s team – leading and inspiring results through instilling a sense of shared purpose – is nuanced in a way that warrants deeper exploration on my end. Sounds easier said than done… but I will report back. As always, let me know what you think about the article in the comments section below.

Best,

Rory

Infographic Thursday: Brand Ambassadors vs. Disengaged Employees

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Check out today’s great infographic from the team at Madison. The social recognition firm outlines the business case for engagement by highlighting the difference a brand ambassador can have on the bottom line. As always, if you like today’s infographic you can follows its author on Twitter here.

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Happy Thursday,

Rory