Are You at Risk for an Equal Pay Act Claim?

You may have seen the Equal Pay Act in the news quite a bit lately, with lawsuits filed recently against major companies including Google and Barclays. The claims alleged that both companies discriminated against female employees by paying them less than their male counterparts. Although both lawsuits were dismissed, they were potentially damaging to the companies’ reputation and morale, and of course the consequences could have been severe had the lawsuits gone the other way.

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It’s Official: Flexibility is More Important than Salary or PTO

All those discussions about flexible work for your employees are about to pay off. New research now shows that, overall, the workforce views workplace flexibility as more important than salary and paid time off.

In a study conducted by SquareFoot and Justworks, 70% of employees surveyed ranked flexible work hours as “very important” and 57% said the option to work remotely was “very important.” In comparison, unlimited paid time off was only ranked as “important” by 44% of those surveyed and, on top of that, 42% said they’d take a lower-paying job if it offered better workplace flexibility options.

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Walking the Compensation Plan Tightrope

With the holidays on our heels and a new year just around the corner, many organizations are taking the time to revisit their compensation strategy. It’s no secret that it’s more important than ever to position your company as desirable in today’s market – which is currently experiencing the worst talent gap in 10 years – without throwing your entire benefits budget off the deep end, of course. But just how do you address that in the current landscape? Here are a few tips as you take a pulse on your company’s current strategy:

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Going Beyond “Yes” or “No” with your Employee Engagement Survey

An engaged employee is not only a productive employee, they’re a happy employee – and because we’re currently experiencing the largest talent gap since 2007, employee retention is more important than ever. So, how do you know who’s happy and who’s not, and, most importantly, what you can do to improve your current environment? A smart, simple way is through an employee engagement survey.

While the simple act of conducting a survey shows your employees that you care and are invested in them, you have to ask the right questions in order to get to the meat of any potential issues. Here are a few suggestions to get the necessary conversations started:

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Case Study: Deloitte Reframes its Performance Management System

It’s no secret that the age-old practice of yearly performance reviews is on its way out. From astounding statistics correlating the traditional yearly review to less-than-positive results for major companies, it’s safe to say that yearly performance reviews are largely becoming defunct. But how should it be replaced? Surely, we still need a system to both measure the performance of our teams and create a roadmap of growth and engagement for them, right? So, what other models are out there?

Deloitte, a global company with 200,000+ employees worldwide, set out to reinvent the way they approach performance reviews after tallying the number of hours the organization spent on performance management: an astounding 2 million hours a year. They also discovered that the current rating system produced data that relied more on the evaluator than it did on the person being evaluated.

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Workplace Flexibility: A Win-Win for Both Employers and Employees

Several times each year, the Smart HR team gathers to discuss our experiences and HR trends that have an impact on our clients. We discuss what HR initiatives are working well and what obstacles our clients are facing. We also discuss how we can improve our consulting platform to add as much value as possible.

At our latest all-hands meeting, one topic reigned supreme: workplace flexibility. While many job-seekers view this as a major incentive to join a company, Millennials practically demand it. Flexibility that used to be seen as a “nice to have” is now standard – while it used to be a way for companies to set themselves apart, now it’s a must to keep up with the ever-changing job market. We realize that for some businesses, this simply isn’t an option – but workplace flexibility can be a difference maker for many organizations.

What exactly constitutes “flexible”? You might shy away from this concept altogether if the first thing that comes to mind is a completely remote workforce. But there are other ways to create a flexible workplace without going all-in with telework. Here are a few ideas:

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Consultant Spotlight: Debbie Sutton

Every so often, we feature one of our consultants and highlight their story to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into life at Smart HR. Without further ado, please meet this month’s spotlight consultant, Debbie Sutton.

Name: Debbie Sutton 

Years with Smart HR: 3 years 

Professional Background in One Sentence: I’m a Human Resources professional with extensive experience working with management and staff in bridging gaps and ensuring the HR Department runs efficiently.

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Lead From the Front: How Personality Types Define Leaders

Book after book has been written on identifying different types of personalities. Chances are you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI), or something of the sort. But there’s a new theory out, as outlined in The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness by Lolly Daskal, that’s worth looking into as a leader.

Daskal suggests that there are seven leadership archetypes that lead to success but within each one is an opposing counterpart that leads to a gap. She argues that leaders must not only know their strengths but also their potential for gaps in order to succeed.

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What the Abandonment of the FLSA Overtime Rule Means for Small Businesses

In recent HR news, President Trump’s U.S. Labor Department (DOL) has dropped its defense of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rule. So, what exactly does that mean overall and, in particular, for small businesses? Here’s what we know so far.

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Creating a Culture of Constant Feedback

Feedback – both receiving and giving it – is an essential part of the role of leader, regardless of seniority or sector. If an employee (or worse, a leader) is unable to accept feedback, they will be unable to grow and develop. And if a manager is unable to give feedback, they can’t expect their employees to improve either. That’s why creating a culture of constant and constructive feedback is vital to a successful business.

While the importance of feedback is clear, 65% of employees say they would like more feedback than they’re currently receiving. So, what can you do as a leader to ensure your employees are getting what they need? Here are a few tips:

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