The HR Specialist: Compensation and Benefits

Employees love company cars, especially if they frequently drive to client sites and are allowed to drive the cars home. Whether your organization supplies the sought-after sedans to staffers who drive around for business—such as sales reps and IT repair techs—or as a perk for valued employees, the road will be smoother if you set down clear policies in writing …

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More than 60% of employees are counting on a defined-benefit pension plan to fund retirement, even though they acknowledge that the system is moving away from that traditional savings system. Among workers whose employers have reduced their retirement benefits, nearly 40% say they haven’t done anything to pick up the slack. Your organization can help employees build their nest eggs. Here are six ways …

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A new survey by the U.S. Labor Department Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers a great chance for HR pros to help employees understand the true value of their benefits. The key finding of the BLS’s National Compensation Survey  will come as no surprise: About half of the nation’s employees get health and retirement benefits through their employers. But other survey findings may provide a valuable opportunity to enlighten employees …

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Executives at Alexandria, Va.-based The Motley Fool expect the web-based financial advising firm’s 180 employees to get their work done. Once they do, they can take as much time off as they want—with pay …

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Despite the economic gloom dominating the headlines, three new national salary surveys predict that U.S. employers will generally hold salary increases steady in 2009. The surveys show employers plan to award average pay increases at or near 3.8% next year, nearly identical to raises given in 2008 and 2007. But smart employers aren’t handing out 3.8% across the board …

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Employees of

Copanion

in Andover, Mass., rarely go out for lunch. Instead, they enjoy catered meals every day—right at work. Employees eat and talk together in the company’s two lunchrooms … 

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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) last month debuted the FirstStep Recordkeeping, Reporting and Notices Advisor, an online tool that helps employers determine which federal laws, record-keeping requirements and poster rules apply to them …

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Employees of Richter7, a Salt Lake City-based advertising and public relations agency, received an unusual directive from top management earlier this summer: No long pants allowed! Shorts, skirts, skorts and capris were in fashion for four weeks as part of a companywide push to beat the heat. Richter7′s owners even bought each employee a new pair of shorts.

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As health care costs continue their upward spiral, employers are looking for ways to hold down expenses. Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) remain popular, but employee participation in consumer-directed health care plans (CDHPs), health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) are on the rise …

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Nearly a third of HR pros in a recent survey reported knowing at least one employee who quit in the past year because the high price of gas made the commute too expensive. Some organizations are addressing the driving dilemma—and revving up their retention programs—by pushing telework and shorter workweeks. But other employers take an even more direct approach: paying for employees’ gas …

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