Archive | March 2015

Good Compensation Means More than Just Cash

Once again we turn our attention to Impending Crisis by Roger Herman. Today we are discussing another point in his book, the importance of good compensation and benefits.

It’s no secret that employees’ decisions to remain with a company or take a new position elsewhere are based heavily on the kind of compensation that they can receive. However, compensation and benefits mean more than just the salary level they can enjoy. They’re also very much concerned with benefits like insurance coverage, profit sharing, direct deposit, childcare and more.

Now, not every company can necessarily afford to provide the same benefits, or the best insurance and retirement packages available. But what is important to employees is that you clearly invest yourself in their wellbeing and their morale as an employee. Having a strong set of benefits, even if it’s not necessarily the best possible benefits available, shows employees that you care about them and want to keep them on your team.

Additionally, you have to consider the kind of fringe benefits that you can offer as well, including flexibility, personality, paid time off, sick leave and more. Have you considered pet insurance? How about giving your employees one or two days off a year to volunteer at their favorite charity? Do you have enough of these kinds of extra benefits to convince people to want to stick around?

Review the benefits and compensation that you offer at your company, and be honest with yourself: would they be enough to make you want to stay with your company? If not, it’s time to consider making some changes.

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Are Smartphones the Big New Addiction?

Just about everyone has a smart phone these days, and those devices are always in constant reach. So as these devices become more and more powerful, are Americans slowly growing addicted to them?

According to a recent report from The Washington Post, it’s tough to diagnose an addiction to these devices when you consider how often these devices are used and how one device has taken the place of so many others. Think about it — smartphones are now phones, web browsers, shopping portals, calculators, game systems, cameras and so much more.

While the use of cell phones doesn’t cause chemical addiction in the same way that drugs, alcohol or cigarettes do, some experts compare cell phone use to gambling or video games in that they can still cause behavioral addictions. So while you don’t necessarily get a high or a buzz from constant use of a smart phone like you do from certain drugs, there is still the chance of losing control over the amount of time you spend on your phone. After all, a primary characteristic of addiction is fractured relationships, as well as poor work performance.

In the end, it’s important to remember that addiction isn’t just something that you do a lot. For a person to be truly addicted to a smartphone, there has to be a loss of control involved.

Do you see that addiction manifesting itself in anyone you know, or even yourself?

Good questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you take your phone with you and look at it at a restaurant?
  • Is it sitting on your night stand at night?
  • Do you take it on vacation?  Do you check work or personal emails while on vacation?
  • Do you pay more attention to your phone than your loved ones…spouse, children, etc?
  • Do you spend more time looking at your phone than when you’re watching your favorite tv show?
  • Do you look at it while driving?
  • Do you look at it while walking around the office or just walking down the street?

If you’ve answered the majority of the questions with a ‘yes’…maybe it’s time to take control of the device and turn it off…or put it away for a while.