In Washington D.C., a new Live Near Your Work incentive program is launching to for metro area employees. Similar to telecommuting or flexible hours, this incentive program is meant to assist workers who face really long commutes to the office every day.
The Office of Planning, a D.C.-based agency that develops plans for city development and neighborhood revitalization, is launching a pilot program that will match employer contributions of up to $6,000 to convince employees to move closer to their work or public transit.
With gas prices going up, the Live Near Your Work program (which is also available in Maryland and Delaware right now) has the ultimate goal of cutting commuting costs and time as well as reengaging employees in the workplace, reducing stress and burnout.
“This program may not be in the best interest of the business,” Kathy Sharo, Runzheimer International (an employee mobility service firm) says. “With today’s mobile and video technology, a physical office and the associated cost is no longer a necessity.”
“In addition, companies can place employees closer to customer locations, instead of closer to the employee’s local business office, to improve service while keeping them fully connected to corporate.”
Read the Human Resource Executive article
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According to the Human Resource Executive, there is a major generational gap when it comes to recognition and rewards for hard work. A new study reveals that Generation Y employees are much less likely to believe that working harder or taking on new responsibilities will be rewarded by an employer.
In a survey of more than 4,000 employees across 13 different countries, the results teach us a few important things about different generations of workers today.
- Those who believe that hard work will always be recognized and rewarded – 38% of workers aged 56 to 60 and only 19% of workers aged 18 to 25
- Gen Y workers (18 to 25) believe that they will be rewarded for the results of their hard work
“They see recognition as reciprocity,” says Jennifer Rosenzweig research director of The Forum, which is affiliated with Northwestern University. “In their minds, this means, ‘If I work extra hard my employer will reward me by keeping me employed and not laying me off.’ The older workers also believe that their employers have an expectation of loyalty and part of that exchange is recognition of the employee by the employer.”
However, on that same token, the younger workforce, expects more immediate rewards and is more inclined to move when they don’t get what they want.
Read the Human Resource Executive Magazine article
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As more companies have been looking for cost-effective ways to manage operations, more employees have had to stretch their jobs to take on more responsibilities.
The evolution of the “superjob” has seen both the good and bad. For instance, while in some cases, it can be a smart move for an individual’s career development in the organization. Other instances have shown that excessive multi-tasking can lead to reduced productivity, because of the mental energy of switching between different tasks. Plus, when tasks are reassigned to employees regardless of their skills, they often do not get the training they need to succeed.
To help reduce worker burnout, employers and human resources are starting to find ways to make responsibility sharing work.
- Recognition programs that reward workers for taking on the extra responsibilities
- Offer courses for managers to better improve time management and delegation
- Provide stress relief seminars, wellness benefits, and mentoring to help employees
- Encourage employees to communicate when they are given unmanageable workloads
- Put a cap on daily hours, so that lack of sleep does not impact the worker’s ability to work
Read the Wall Street Journal article
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As the economy is in a state of recovery, there are a number of HR issues that will require some reexamination in the near future. Just a year or two ago, employers were stretching their dollar until they could unfreeze hiring and start thinking about expansion once again.
Now, recruiting new talent is a trend that is on the rise, and companies are tapping into human resource power to do business better. According to an expert consultant at Cowden Associates, “employers can’t just go back to business as usual when it comes to their total compensation strategy.”
One Foot Forward
Getting back to a renewed business model will likely be a slow process, but as organizations start planning for the future, it is important to consider the compensation issues to aid their strategy:
- What areas are driving profitability, and how can you improve staffing in those areas?
- How do you plan to readdress cost-of living pay increases down the road?
- What is your current merit system, and how can you incentivize hard work?
- With regard to your retention strategy, what old programs can you bring back?
- What new wellness and benefits initiatives will you plan to invest in the next year?
Read the Employee Benefits News article
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One of the greatest challenges for human resources is promoting equal treatment of employees, especially when so many fear that managers show favoritism when it comes to promotions and raises.
From Entrepreneur Magazine, there are a few ways that you can try to effectively communicate the organization’s policy for equal and fair treatment of all employees.
It is essential that an employee understand the process for pay raises, rewards, or advancement in the organization. Also, employees should have a fair process for being heard when they disagree with their own progress and/or the advancement of their colleagues.
- Reaffirm that everyone will receive an equal opportunity to be recognized for good work
- Communicate how/when promotions are handled fairly
- Add transparency to the pay structure and how employees are rewarded
- Provide a fair appeals or complaint process
Read the Entrepreneur Magazine article
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For U.S. CEOs, senior managers, and other employees on the executive tier, it turns out that it’s the perks, and not the high salaries, that make the difference.
“We all kind of scratch our heads when executives are making millions, and (corporate) directors feel obligated to give them $10,000 for financial planning,” says Andrew Goldstein of corporate compensation adviser Towers Watson. “They’re still a sticking point for a lot of executives. They feel it’s part of their compensation package. And it’s a stature thing.”
In some cases, corporate companies are trying to curb executive perks. For example, American Express is limiting the use of the corporate jet for travel. A 2010 survey of 251 companies by compensation consultant Towers Watson found more than 33% had eliminated perks. But most cutbacks were tied to perk-related tax payments or to severance packages.
However, some corporations believe that these perks are an important investment with return. At Campbell Soup and U.S. Steel, they look at CEO perks like private parking spaces and estate planning/tax services as an efficient way to help execs focus their time and energy on their jobs.
And without a competitive perks program, HR may find a difficult time in recruiting executive talent in the years to come.
Read the USA Today article
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