The HR Specialist: Compensation and Benefits

Ann Dowell’s two Yorkshire terriers are not just her pets; they are co-workers—sort of. Dowell, the executive HR director at Chipotle’s Denver headquarters, may bring her dogs to work as long as “they are well-behaved,” she says. The company has allowed dogs in the office since 1996 …

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Good news from the annual CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey: The absenteeism rate for U.S. businesses was 2.3% in 2007, down slightly from 2.5% last year. The bad news: Two-thirds of your employees who call in sick at the last minute aren’t really sick. Instead, they’re skipping work to deal with personal or family issues …

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Wellness programs and consumer-directed health plans will become twice as common over the next five years. Here’s how the numbers shake out on employer strategies for reining in health care costs …

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When a Meridian Health employee lacked the money to bury a parent, she turned to the organization’s “When In Need” (WIN) employee emergency fund. Meridian Health, a group of nonprofit health care organizations in central New Jersey, created the WIN fund in 2001 …

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Employees will pay $150 more for medical expenses next year, predicts a new Towers Perrin survey. And that means your employees probably are more worried about the increasing costs of their health insurance than they are about being able to pay their rent, losing their jobs or becoming victims of violent crime, notes a separate survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation …

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Your organization is trying to hold the line on benefits costs, but you still want to offer competitive perks. One good way: Provide extra days off—a low-cost benefit that employees highly value. Organizations of all sizes can use the tactic …

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Having a man or woman of the cloth around the office is a growing trend for companies keen on work/life benefits. Thousands of clergymen and clergywomen work full time or part time in corporate America as chaplains, ministering to employees’ spiritual needs and providing counseling services. If you think your organization might benefit from having a chaplain in the workplace, consider how you will structure his or her employment and the qualifications that will best serve your employees …

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A culture of health is coming into its own across corporate America. Driven by increasing health care costs and an obesity epidemic that fuels chronic illnesses, corporations are examining their core cost drivers and have arrived at a workable strategy: create a culture that promotes better health across the total employee population …

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If your organization offers its own stock as an investment option for employees’ 401(k) plans, let them know when they’re eligible to sell it. Last year’s Pension Protection Act says employees who buy company stock with their own contributions can sell it at any time …

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It can be frustrating when employees don’t rush to take part in optional benefits like financial-planning seminars or even your EAP. Yet when an employee does need help, the availability of your benefits can go a long way toward relieving stress and retaining that employee. Here are seven ways to communicate benefit information more effectively…

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