Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Management: Introverts and Extroverts

I'm always interested in the best way to manage people--taking into consideration their personality traits and how to make the most of everyone in your team, not just those who perform well in a group. sent me this great info graphic about how best to manage and mentor introverts and extroverts.  

Introverts and Extroverts

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hourly to Salary: The Good and The Bad

Featuring a guest contributor, Amy Klimek of ZipRecruiter.  The Pros and Cons of being salaried

Hourly to Salary: The Good And The Bad
Many hourly employees aspire to earn a salary. A salary, after all, represents guaranteed income in a sense, and this can give you peace of mind in knowing that you will have a steady source of income as long as you have the job. You may have been offered a salary position, and you may be wondering if you should give up an hourly job. Perhaps you are searching for a new job, and you are wondering if you should look for an hourly or salary position. There are pros and cons associated with both types of pay structures, and you may need to look at each position carefully. In addition, you should consider your personal financial situation before you make a final decision about which pay structure is best for you.

What to Expect From an Hourly Position 
With an hourly job, you are required to log your hours at work using the employer's preferred method. This may be a standard punch card system, a paper log sheet or even a computerized system. At the end of each pay period, your total hours worked will be calculated. You will receive compensation at the specified hourly rate for the exact amount of time that you worked. This means that the amount of your paychecks will most likely fluctuate from pay period to pay period. You will receive no guaranteed income, and if you are late to work or if your shift is cut short, your take-home income will reflect this.

Steady Income From a Salary
With a salary, your employer will specify how much money you will earn over the course of a year. This amount is divided equally by the number of pay periods for the employer's pay schedule. If you arrive a few minutes late one day, if the office is closed due to bad weather or if some other event prevents you from working your full shift one day, you generally will not be penalized. Both full-time hourly and salary positions may qualify for sick time and vacation time, but you may find that many employers are more lenient or flexible with time off for doctor's appointments or if you are running a little bit late one day for salary employees. This is not the case with all employers, but it is rather common.

A Word About Overtime An important difference to note between hourly and salary positions relates to overtime. A standard work week is considered to be 40 hours. The hourly rate that non-salaried professionals receives applies to the first 40 hours worked during a week. Any time that you work beyond this 40 hours during a week may qualify for overtime pay. There are some exceptions to this, but generally, you will be well-compensated if you are required to work extra hours during a week. Some hourly employees count on the availability of overtime to pad their paychecks, and they actively seek out overtime hours. With a salaried position, you generally will not be compensated for overtime pay. Essentially, hourly employees are paid an annual salary in exchange for a specific job being done. If it takes you longer to do your job, you will not receive extra income. In some cases, salaried employees may regularly work as many as ten or 12 hours or day, and some may even work six or seven days per week.

Making a Decision That is Right For You 
Each job position is unique, and each employee is also unique. For a position where overtime is common or even expected, a higher than average salary may be adequate compensation. However, if an average salary is offered and the employee likely will be required to work more than 40 hours per week, this may not be financially beneficial to an employee. An job applicant may need to ask questions during the interview and hiring process to determine how many hours he or she will reasonably be expected to work before making a decision. In addition, the job applicant's personal financial situation should also be taken into account. Those who have some flexibility with regards to the amount of their take-home pay each pay period may more comfortably accept an hourly position.

In some cases, job applicants will not be able to choose between an hourly or salary position. The pay structure will generally be determined by the employer rather than the employee. However, if you are in the enviable position of being able to select between two job offers or if you want to make sure that you will be compensated well for the work that you are being asked to do, you should understand the differences between hourly and salary positions. While the face value of a job offer may seem attractive, it is always important to determine if it is generous based on the work required of you and if it is ideal for your financial situation. 

Amy Klimek is an experienced HR recruiter and VP of Human Resources for ZipRecruiter, a company that simplifies the hiring process for small to medium size businesses. Prior to that Amy has held similar roles at, eBay and US Interactive.

For Amy, corporate culture isn't about dogs and free lunches, it's about empowering employees and creating an enriching environment for people to excel.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Two new employment laws in effect in California

With the new year brings new employment laws.  Recently I attended the Cook Brown LLP law firm's legislative update where they discussed two new updates effective in 2015.  Cook Brown LLP Partner Barbara Cotter gave me a quick summary of these below:

Governor Brown signed two pieces of legislation last year that will have a major impact on nearly all California employers.  One deals with the common use of temporary agency or staffing agency employees.  The other deals with paid sick leave.  The first law, now found at Labor Code Section 2810.3,  provides that an employer who obtains workers from a staffing or temporary agency will be held responsible for all wages and worker’s compensation coverage due those workers, even if they are formally hired, supervised and paid by the agency.   This dramatically changes the risk of hiring temporary workers.  Previously, an employer could only be held responsible for agency employees where the employer actually controlled the work performed by the employees and provided hands-on instruction on how the work was to be accomplished.  This new law totally supersedes those prior rules.  Now, an employer can be held strictly responsible even if the employer has never met the staffing agency employees, never dealt with them directly and does  not dictate how they perform the work.  Two key exceptions apply however:  In order to be subject to this law, the employer must have at least 25 workers (including those supplied by the agency); and must utilize more than five agency workers.  This law is effective January 1, 2015.

The second law, known as the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,” requires that on July 1, 2015, an employee who works for thirty or more days for an employer is entitled to paid sick days to be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every thirty hours worked.  An employee is entitled to use sick pay after on or after the ninetieth day of employment.  The sick pay can be capped at three days per year.  Limited exceptions apply to employees subject to collective bargaining agreements and in certain industries, such as in-home care.  The employer must provide a report on the sick pay accrued and used, along with the employee’s paystub.  Employers are required to post a notice of this new law.  The Department of Industrial Relations has published a sample notice on its website at

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act of 2014: Paid Sick Leave

Last week I attended Cook Brown, LLP's employment law seminar about employment law changes coming up in 2015.  One big change for employers is the new law requiring paid sick leave for all employees.  To learn more about this legislature, and what it may mean to your business, visit the legal brief here.

Starting at the beginning of next year, make sure you have this poster displayed where employees can easily read it.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

How to Enjoy Yourself Professionally at the Annual Office Party

It’s time for the annual office holiday party.  No matter how festive the occasion however, it’s important to remember that a holiday party is an extension of the work environment. While it’s okay to relax and have fun, a professional demeanor is still important because your behavior reflects on you as an employee or as a leader. 

Jacqueline Whitmore, an internationally-recognized etiquette expert, author of Poised for Success: Mastering The Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, offers these 10 tips to avoid a night of barefaced blunders:

-          Don’t make a beeline for the food and drink. It's best to eat a little something before the event so you don't come to the party hungry. Scope out the crowd first and the goodies second.  Stay away from messy or difficult-to-eat foods (anything in a red sauce or on a bone) or large hors d'oeuvres that can't be eaten in one bite.

-          Hold your glass in your left hand. Always keep your right hand free for handshaking. No one likes to shake a cold, wet hand. Avoid juggling your food and drink and don't talk with your mouth full of food. Ladies, leave your large handbag at home. It only gets in the way. Carry a wristlet instead.

-          No swinging from the chandeliers.  An open bar isn’t an open invitation to drink yourself into oblivion.  Indulging in too much alcohol could have unfavorable repercussions if you’re not careful.  To maintain your professionalism, limit your alcohol intake to one or two drinks.

-          Choose your guest carefully. The person you bring to the party can reflect either positively or negatively on you. Follow the dress code and make sure your date does too. This is not the time to wear your most revealing outfit or your favorite blue jeans and a t-shirt. Keep it festive, yet professional. 

-          Don't talk shop. Though work topics are bound to come up, this is not the time to plan your company's next advertising campaign, talk about the recent layoffs, or gossip about a co-worker's divorce. Keep the conversation light and positive. Be sure to include spouses, partners and guests in the conversation.

-          Be all there. A holiday party is a great time to get to know others on a personal level. Be engaged and don't spend a majority of the evening texting, talking on your cell phone, or posting photos on Facebook. Put people first and put your phone on silent.

-          Make an appearance.  When you make an effort to attend the office holiday party, even for just a half hour, you show interest in and support for your colleagues, organization and supervisor.  If you are unable to attend, let the host or someone in charge know that you have another obligation and will not be attending.  Simply not showing up shows a lack of respect.

-          Practice remembering names. The sweetest sound to someone's ear is his or her own name. When you meet someone new, repeat his name immediately after hearing it. Use the name a couple of times in conversation. If you can't remember someone's name, say something like, "It's been one of those days. I know you’re Paul’s wife, but please tell me your name again." Or, extend your hand and say your name. This will prompt the other person to say her name too.

-          Don't sit with your friends. Reach out and introduce yourself to people you don't know rather than sticking with only those you do know. An office party is a chance to shine and mingle with those you don't see very often. Have some conversation starters available. Most people love to talk about travel, food and hobbies. 

-          Give thanks to those who helped.  Saying thank you is not only cordial behavior, but will make you stand out from those who don’t express their gratitude.  Send a thank-you note to key persons who helped organize the event and to those who made the event possible. 

For more information and tips of business etiquette, visit Jacqueline Whitmore's websites at: and