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PTO and Vacation: What’s the Difference?

Creating a PTO policy may not be as straightforward as employers would like it to be. After all, it’s not just a simple name change. What an employer calls their employees’ time off and how it is treated is important because it will affect the legal obligations attached to it. Each state has its own […]

Pros and Cons of Monetary Incentives

Most employers are looking for ways to maximize employee productivity and efficiency. But how can employees be motivated to work toward this goal? Some say it can’t be done, that motivation is intrinsic and therefore, nearly impossible to influence through external means. Others say that there are plenty of ways to improve employee motivation and […]

How to Respond to a Harasser? 10 Things to Say

“How should I respond to a harasser?” is a question I’m often asked when I give talks about sexual harassment that occurs in public spaces,” says Holly Kearl. In today’s Advisor, she shares specifics of what to say to harassers. Kearl, a program manager for the AAUW, is a national street harassment expert based in […]


Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Quid Pro Quo Versus Hostile Work Environment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a topic often met with either a snicker or an eye roll—it brings to mind a culture where inappropriate jokes and gender-based comments are the norm. But the reality of sexual harassment is serious, and it happens every day in our workplaces. Often, it’s not as obvious as inappropriate […]


8 Ways to Improve Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity can benefit the employer in many ways. Having a diverse group of employees helps to ensure that there will be a wide spectrum of ideas, backgrounds, and skill sets that can help the organization to have more innovative ideas and less likelihood of tunnel vision that comes from not having enough differing perspectives.

Key Factors in Determining Salary Increases

Once you’ve got a salary increase matrix (see below), determining increases should be simple—but it’s not. Several approaches are commonly used for determining salary increases. Performance/merit systems are the most common. Across-the-board or general increases are often tied to increases in the cost-of-living index. For unionized employees, the collective bargaining agreement will include a negotiated […]

Performance Appraisals: The 10 Most Common Rating Errors

Most HR professionals look forward to conducting annual performance reviews about as much as a trip to the dentist, but as the economy improves, performance appraisals are going to be the key for talent retention, a positive work environment, and the overall growth and productivity of your organization. That said, there are also pitfalls to […]


What is the Purpose of a Job Description?

Some organizations have very structured job descriptions, with detailed processes and automated systems to keep up with job descriptions. However, other organizations have more limited resources or may not have a formal human resources department, or may not have an embedded process for creating and maintaining effective job descriptions. If this describes your organization, check […]

Performance Appraisal Cartoon

12 Performance Appraisal Best Practices

Performance appraisals are perhaps the best way to not only let your employee know how she’s doing, but also to get feedback about how your organization is doing, whether your employees are committed to your goals, and what you can do to improve morale. A performance appraisal that is mutually beneficial to both an employee […]