With summer almost upon us, many companies will be hiring college and high-school students to work as interns. Often, employers pay interns only a small stipend or don’t pay them at all. It may make good business sense not to pay interns because they usually aren’t bringing the same experience, skill, and expertise to the job that regular employees provide. For interns, the opportunity to gain practical experience, build a relationship, and pad their résumé is often more valuable than any compensation they might earn. Unfortunately, the issue isn’t that simple.
Nearly everyone has opinions—and complaints—about performance management. The annual performance review in which employee and supervisor fill out a form and sit down for a talk is rapidly going out of style. Although that system addresses an employee’s strengths and weaknesses and may even include a discussion of goals for the future, it’s increasingly seen as an unhelpful, time-wasting exercise that benefits no one.
Major employers including Microsoft, Deloitte, and Adobe have famously ditched old-style reviews in favor of more informal and frequent talks between employees and their managers. Technology, too, has changed the performance management landscape as employers use new tools to track performance and provide feedback.
Job descriptions are important for several reasons, including providing evidence of the exempt nature of positions classified as exempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This article discusses ways of emphasizing the “exemptness” of positions classified as exempt under the FLSA’s executive and the administrative exemptions.
That elusive “seat at the table” the human resources profession has been craving for years is now a reality in some circles but still a challenge in others, according to HR professionals responding to a recent survey. So what can HR do to make more progress as a strategic partner working side by side with top-level management? That question will be among the issues explored in the THRIVE 2017 conference set for May 11-12 in Las Vegas.
The “2016 Strategic HR/HR Metrics Survey” from Business and Legal Resources gathered responses from 843 participants representing an array of industries, business types, organizational sizes, and locations. Among other things, the survey asked HR professionals about their strategic influence within their organizations and about their priorities for 2017. The survey results show that 42.8 percent of those surveyed say that they have “an influential seat within the inner circle.” Another 27 percent say they have a “major role outside the inner circle.”
One of the most difficult aspects of running a business can be managing the personnel, especially when it comes to terminating employees. Some people say that the three most important things in life are your health, your family, and your job. When the time comes for a business to take away the last one, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of handling the situation in a way that protects the company from any adverse reaction by the terminated employee. If a termination isn’t handled properly, it can cascade into a serious—and costly—legal battle. The following tips are merely examples of some best management practices that, when not utilized, can lead to expensive litigation.
Employers have many objectives when planning what benefits to offer employees. Certainly, they want their benefits packages to help attract top talent and boost engagement and loyalty among employees. Employers also hope their benefits packages help workers successfully blend work and home life, and they like to offer benefits that will enable employees to participate in programs aimed at increasing wellness—physical, emotional, and financial. And certainly a benefits package needs to be affordable enough for the employer to offer.
But a new study from insurance giant MetLife shows retention is the top priority for most employers. Eighty-three percent of employers participating in MetLife’s 15th annual “U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study,” named retaining employees as an important benefits objective. That compares to 80 percent who named increasing employee productivity and 79 percent who named controlling health and welfare benefit costs. Over half of the employers (51 percent) said that retaining employees through benefits will become even more important in the next three to five years.
Each year, employers looking to hire H-1B workers for hard-to-fill positions have to focus on preparing H-1B petitions for the April 1 H-1B lottery deadline. All you can do is hope for success in the lottery, which in recent years has led to H-1B approval in fewer than half the cases filed. Many of our clients—including colleges, universities, nonprofits affiliated with colleges and universities, and nonprofit and government research organizations—are exempt from the H-1B cap, so they can obtain H-1B approvals any time of year. If you are subject to the cap, H-1B cap season is a good time to consider strategic alternatives to H-1Bs that are more reliable and in some cases more cost-effective.
Human resource professionals know turnover creates problems. It’s expensive and time-consuming to recruit, hire, and train new employees. And it’s often damaging to the organization when institutional knowledge walks out the door. Sometimes the reasons are clear why employees leave, sometimes not so much, but new research from job rating and recruiting marketplace Glassdoor may shed some light.
The Glassdoor study, which examined more than 5,000 real-world job transitions from resumes on the Glassdoor website, identified factors that predict whether an employee will leave or stay with an organization when moving to a new position. The study’s executive summary identifies company culture, pay, and job title stagnation as major factors affecting turnover.
In September 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced its 2013-16 Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). The SEP provided employers a clear road map of the EEOC’s enforcement priorities for the coming years. True to its word, the agency focused its enforcement efforts on the six substantive areas identified in the SEP. Charges raising one of the priority issues received heightened attention from EEOC investigators. The Washington Field Office routinely initiated the investigation of SEP issues without permitting the parties to engage in mediation, and decisions by EEOC regional offices to pursue litigation were based on the guidance contained in the SEP.
Determining when an employee’s medical condition requires time off from work can get tricky. No one wants to require a worker too sick to be productive to come to work, but employers also have to be on guard against employees trying to use sick days to squeeze in a little extra vacation time.
Many employers try to get around the problem by requiring a doctor’s excuse for absences of a certain length. But such policies—no matter how straightforward they may sound—also can get complicated.