In This Issue:
Pay Strategy In An Uncertain Business Climate: Part II
Last month in FreshView, Jerry talked about how views are mixed among Oregon executives regarding the future of our economy. He stated that “while some believe a rebound is imminent, others fear further decline or even a bust.” Given these uncertainties, he provided summary data regarding what organizations are projecting for revenue, hiring and salaries for 2012.
This month Jerry addresses compensation strategies that he believes will be most effective in our uncertain business climate. He recommends “flexible” pay strategies and practices that align pay with business results.
Flexible Pay Strategy
From a Human Resources perspective, how much should organizations pay employees to support their recruiting and retention objectives when the future business climate is uncertain? Obviously, the compensation package has to be “enough” (whatever that means). But, it must also be affordable to the organization in both good times and challenging times. To this end, I would avoid a pay package consisting of wages, salaries and benefits that are too much above competitive market norms (e.g., top quartile). Why? Because the organization would be stuck with the higher compensation costs when they can’t afford them … which could lead to employee pay reductions and layoffs in tough times.
For organizations that want to share their success with employees by paying more, a healthy alternative to higher salaries and benefits is a variable pay plan (incentive or bonus pay). With a variable pay plan, employers have greater flexibility in how much and how competitively they pay because payouts should be based on performance … especially organization performance. When business is good, variable pay plans can still result in upper market quartile pay practices. On the other hand, when company results are not so good, employee cash compensation may be at or even below competitive market norms.
In summary, I believe organizations are best served by a pay strategy that allows them to “flex” the level of compensation paid to employees based on business results. While it is important to be confident that your wages, salaries and employee benefits are reasonably competitive (not too high and not too low), by supplementing the compensation package with a variable/incentive component you will be able to pay employees more competitively when the organization can afford it. Some key pay strategy considerations to remember include:
About the Writer
Jerry Bumgarner is the Director of Research & Compensation Services at Cascade Employers Association in Salem. A caring and practical minded compensation professional, Jerry makes linking pay and performance easy to understand and apply. Cascade members who call on him recognize his knowledge and experience, and appreciate his sincere interest in supporting their business success through strategic pay and performance management practices. The creator of SalaryTrends®, Cascade’s innovative “Evergreen” online survey system, Jerry also directs local, regional and national surveys and serves as a national employer association research leader.
Unemployed in Oregon Protected From Discrimination
By Jenna Reed, JD, MBA
On March 27th, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed new legislation that prohibits employers from discriminating against unemployed individuals who are seeking employment. Effective immediately, the new law prohibits employers from publishing in print or on the internet job advertisements with qualifications that applicants must be currently employed, that state applications from individuals who are not currently employed will not be considered, or that state only applications from individuals who are currently employed will be considered.
Employers are not prohibited from posting jobs internally with the requirement that only applications of current employees will be accepted. Job advertisements may also still require current licenses and certifications and other minimum qualifications. Simply stated, job advertisements may not exclude applicants for the sole reason of being unemployed.
Employers found in violation of the law will be assessed a $1,000 penalty by the Bureau of Labor and Industries.
Cascade recommends employers carefully review all job ads and make sure that language excluding unemployed candidates is removed.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Cascade.
By Tina Hamel, Survey Manager
SalaryTrends® surveys from Cascade Employers Association cover the pay practices of diverse organizations from various markets (Oregon, SW Washington, Northwest Regional, and National), and include multiple relevant data summaries. These valuable tools enable users to evaluate their competitiveness within specific talent markets.
Now Open for participation:
Contact us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FreshView on Wage and Hour Compliance
By Patrice Altenhofen, JD, MBA, President
Question: What are the top three supervisory issues in wage and hour compliance, and what points should be kept in mind when dealing when them?
For more supervisor guidance, check out our webinar, Red Flags for Supervisors: When to Go to HR.
Be Better At Your Job and Happier At Work
By Marney Roddick, Director, Training & Events
Cascade’s training team took a fresh look at our popular HR Leadership certificate series and we have completely repackaged the course of study for you. Attend and you are guaranteed to leave with insightful strategies and practical tools to make you better at your job and happier at your work.
Our new program is designed to:
This business course is expanded, so even if your title doesn’t include “HR,” you will learn to lead people more competently and confidently.
You will learn to:
The program still includes a total of 5 full days of training. Three days of required coursework are divided into two days at the outset of the program, and one day as a conclusion to the program. In between, attend four half-day electives of your choice.
Earn up to 40 hours of HRCI recertification credit! Learn more and register today.
Ask about discounts for returning participants and multiple registrations.
Cascade believes that happy employees make for happy customers.
We presently conduct surveys to gauge employee satisfaction and engagement. We are interested in expanding our service offerings to include Customer Satisfaction Surveys as well, and would appreciate your input.
Please click here to answer a quick, one-question survey to indicate your level of interest in Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
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