What’s Your Manager’s Salary?

Should you know your manager’s salary? Should companies share this salary information internally? I get it – they’re common questions. In today’s push for transparency, this is a complex issue. Generally, higher-level employees (not in publicly traded companies) are less inclined to support sharing this information within the organization. On the flip side, lower-level employees often desire more transparency.

Why is this?

The desire to know colleagues’ salaries boils down to trust. Interestingly, the higher you climb within an organization, the less you tend to trust those below you. That sucks, doesn’t it?  The lower you are, the more you trust those above you are making the right decisions. You could argue this. Sure many people at low levels don’t ‘trust’ management.  Yet, they still show up to work each day, and grind it out for $15/hr. Those at the top are making 6,7,8 figure incomes, and jump around from position to position.  Who is more trusting?

Whole Foods is known for its policy of disclosing all employees’ salaries internally. From Business Insider:

Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey introduced the policy in 1986, just six years after he co-founded the company. In the book, he explains that his initial goal was to help employees understand why some people were paid more than others. If workers understood what types of performance and achievement earned certain people more money, he figured, perhaps they would be more motivated and successful, too. 

“I’m challenged on salaries all the time,” Mackey explained. “‘How come you are paying this regional president this much, and I’m only making this much?’ I have to say, ‘because that person is more valuable. If you accomplish what this person has accomplished, I’ll pay you that, too.’”

Beyond making compensation data available to all employees, Whole Foods also has its managers post their store’s sales data each day and regional sales data each week. Once a month, Whole Foods sends each store a detailed report on profitability and sales at each of the chain’s locations. In fact, in the late 1990s the widespread availability of so much detailed financial data led the SEC to classify all of the company’s 6,500 employees as “insiders,” according to a 1996 story by Fast Company.

“Timmy, that only works at a big, great companies like Whole Foods!” Yeah, you’re probably right. It takes a strong, positive culture to handle this type of information being out in the open. It takes extremely good leadership to handle the challenges coming in from average and weak performers believing they should get what someone else is getting. It takes a great talent acquisition team to hire the right people with the maturity to work in an organization that has this much trust in their employees to handle such delicate information. It takes co-workers trusting one another, that each one is adding value to the corporation, and respecting the value each brings.

#CoronaDiaries – The Travesty of Hero Pay!

I’m back in the office and I’m feisty as ever about all this “Hero” pay going on across the world! I love Heros, I mean who doesn’t love Heros, but…

Can I be real a second?
For just a millisecond?
Let down my guard and tell the people how I feel a second?

Also, beyond excited that Disney+ is releasing the Original cast of Hamilton on July 3rd! In the comments give me your over/under number of the amount of times I’ll watch Hamilton on Disney+? (I’ll tell you what my wife’s number on me was after a bit!)

DisruptHR Detroit 3.0 Speaker Applications Now Being Accepted!

For those who don’t know, I’m involved with DisruptHR Detroit with an amazing team of HR pros and leaders, and we are putting on our 3rd event on Thursday, September 19th at 6 pm.

Great DisruptHR events start with Great content and we are now Accepting Speaker Applications for DisruptHR Detroit 3.0!

Due Date is August 2nd!

Tickets for this event will go on sale on August 5th and we’ll announce the full slate of speakers and the agenda on August 9th.

The location of DisruptHR 3.0 will be downtown Detroit at The Madison. Click through to the DisruptHR Detroit site for more information.

Who makes a Great DisruptHR Speaker

Anyone with a passion for HR, Recruiting, People and pushing the envelope around what, why and how we do what we do every day in the world of work!

We especially love practitioners of all experience levels. You don’t know have to be a twenty-year vet to be great at DisruptHR! You can be an HR pro in your first year on the job. It’s all about passion and ideas!

So, what makes a great DisruptHR Talk?

  1. It’s 5 minutes – so you better be tight around what your topic and idea is!
  2. 20 slides that move every 15 seconds – you don’t control this, we do. So you better practice!
  3. No selling products or services – Yes to selling ideas and passions!
  4. Make us feel something – laugh, cry, anger – have a take and be proud of that take!
  5. We see and feel your passion.

We’ve built DisruptHR Detroit to be a supportive hub of HR and Recruiting. We want people to come and challenge us, but know you’ll be rewarded with an audience that will support you and cheer you on. These talks aren’t easy, and we get that! The audience gets that!

How can you speak at DisruptHR Detroit 3.0?

APPLY to Speak it’s easy! It’s a great development opportunity for those looking to get on stage and have some professional experience speaking. You actually get a professionally produced video of your talk that you can use as evidence of your ability. It’s also a great networking opportunity with the Detroit metro HR and Talent community!

Should Employees Have to Payback Payroll Errors?

So, an in the trenches Recruiting and HR Pro, Kristina Minyard (@HRrecruit on the Twitters) brought up a really great question last week, that had a pretty big response. Kind of a black and white response, meaning you either were in one camp or the other. (BTW – go connect with Kristina – she’s a passionate HR pro who puts a ton of time into being a great HR pro)

Here’s her question:

This really isn’t a staffing agency question, which Kristna knows, but this was the specific example, it’s a payroll and employee relations issue that happens at all organizations, big, small, public, private, etc. anytime there’s a payroll mistake.

What are the two sides? 

Side 1 – It’s a company mistake, so the company should eat it.

Side 2 – It’s a mistake. It’s not the employee’s money. It should be paid back.

Which side do you fall on?

I’m guessing most of you would need more information. A situation like this needs details, right? Well, you don’t have any. You have the tweet, so what would your professional HR decision be?

What side did I take?

I’m fully and completely in the camp of – a mistake was made, the money should be paid back. Since this is my blog, I’ll lay out my argument!

1. By law, you can’t actually take the money out of an employees paycheck. The employee would have to sign an agreement, agreeing to have this money taken out of future checks in whatever payback schedule was agreed upon.

2. I look at this in a couple of ways. First, if the IRS overpaid you by $10,000 on your tax return, you would be legally obligated to pay back that money to the government, or you would be put in jail. BUT WAIT! It wasn’t my mistake! Yeah, so, you don’t get to keep the money it’s not yours! Second, if you underpaid an employee, do you think the employee would go, “it’s okay, I know it was a mistake, I’ll eat it’. No! Of course not, that’s ridiculous. So, why then should a company have to eat it? Because of a mistake?

3. It seems like the amount plays into this. Come on, Tim, we are only talking about $200 bucks! Just forget it about and move on. I have my SHRM-SCP and I’m 100% sure there was some stuff on the exam that talked about setting precedent. Precedent is a simple concept, although not always easy for employers to follow. It all boils down to this: what you do for one, you do for all. So, if payout this amount (to this white, male employee), but then we decide not to pay it out to another employee (a black, female) what do you think might happen? I’ll tell you in court.

4. So, if you agree with #3, you either have to pay it back every single time or never. Or, you need a payroll mistake policy that says, “if we make a payroll mistake less than $X dollars per week we will eat it, but any mistake over $X per week we will request repayment through a signed agreement”.

5. What if the employee refuses to pay back the mistake if the decision is made to request they pay it back? My answer? You fire them (this got me called “evil” – not by Kristina). Legally, if an employee is made aware they were mistakenly given money that isn’t there’s. Then they refuse to return it. You can fire them for cause, and because they were fired for cause you can without unemployment insurance benefits. Evil or not, that’s just the reality of the situation.

6. In a one-off situation, it seems ridiculous that you would ask for repayment and possibly go all the way to terminate this person for refusing to pay back the mistake. In an organization with hundreds and thousands of employees, where bigger mistakes, affecting more people, could be made, this seems very normal.

So, I’ll tell you I have had this exact situation happen many, many times in my career at organizations large to small, across many states, and never once have I had an employee refuse to pay back money that wasn’t really their money, to begin with. While it sucks, they understood. And part of that communication is letting them know, “this sucks, we’ve discovered a big mistake, and now we, together, have to figure out how to do what’s right”.

Kristina and I were on different sides of this. That doesn’t make her wrong and me right, or I’m right and she’s wrong. This is real HR. In HR, it’s our job to evaluate the risk of every situation an organization will face and advise on that risk. In Kristina’s analysis of this situation, she feels the risk is low and the employee shouldn’t have to pay back the mistake. In my experience, I feel it should be. Both, actually, could be the right answer, or the wrong answer. Welcome to the show, kids!

Okay, let me have it in the comments! What would you do in this situation?

Announcing the HQ for HR Game Show – Sign Up to Play Today!

Most of you know I founded another site called Fistful of Talent  we are getting ready to do something cool based off of the HQ series many of you play and have some fun in the process…

Fistful of Talent has teamed up with Paycor to bring you HQ for HR every Tuesday at 1 PM, starting May 1st. We’ll air five episodes with fifteen different HR leaders! Watching this could be the best 15 minutes of your day!

Here’s how it works – hit the link here or below to register for HQ for HR, and you’ll automatically receive email notifications each week about when HQ for HR is going live each Tuesday.  Click the link and join us and answer 12 HR body of knowledge questions digitally while you watch your peers answer them live on air.  You can do it from your desk or your phone, we just want you there!
After every episode, we’ll post a top 10 leaderboard at Fistful of Talent and here at the Capitalist showing who among the participants is an HR LEGEND.  We’ll use that leaderboard to invite you on the show live the following week – we’ll keep working down the list until we have 3 takers!  The top 5 cumulative scores across the 5 episodes will receive a major award to be announced during Episode 1.
PS – no Google allowed – or even Bing, people. We trust you because you look trustable, and let’s face it, most of you are in HR.
Check it as FOT’s Tim Sackett and your friend KD get down to the nitty-gritty with some of the sharpest minds in the HR/Talent industry!

Recruiters Make a Difference! @Paycor

So, it’s pretty rare that we ever see anything good said about Recruiters, let alone a national ad campaign by a major HR technology company, but low and behold that’s exactly what was recently launched by Paycor – check it out:

(hat tip to Ben Gotkin, ATAP Executive Director, for finding this video.)

So, before the haters come out and rip on a payroll provider having good talent acquisition software, you should probably know that Paycor actually bought Newton Software. Newton is an ATS that is a best of breed top 10 ATS (in my opinion), which is now integrated across the Paycor suite of products.

So, they can back up a commercial that talks about a talent solution in a big way!

What I love about the ad is the choice of Carrie as the recruiter for this company. I would say “Carrie” matches what most people probably think of when they think of your prototypical HR lady at a company. Middle-aged, white woman. I think if you were to ask Recruiters to draw up a model demographic of an actual recruiter, they would not have cast “Carrie” in this roll.

This is why I actually love this commercial because we’re all idiots. “Carrie” actually is the average recruiter in the world. It’s not some twenty-something out of silicon valley carrying a MacBook Pro and Venti half calf mocha with a twist, wearing skinny jeans and an ironic t-shirt. “Carrie” is recruiting in the real world. “Carrie” is the 90%.

The TA Tech industry, for the most part, forgets about “Carrie”. The HR and TA Tech community combined forget about “Carrie”. They focus on “Jackson’s” and “Olivia’s”, and forget about the “Karen’s” and “Judy’s” and “Steve’s” of the world. The reality is HR and Talent aren’t done by twenty-somethings, it’s mostly done by forty-somethings and fifty-somethings.

So, bravo to Paycor’s marketing team to understanding their real user. In a world that always goes for younger and sexier, I love the realness of this ad, and that a recruiter is getting recognized!


Should people be paid based on their value to their organization?

Every day we see examples of people, usually women, and minorities, that aren’t paid fairly, as compared to their counterparts doing the same work. Here is a recent example dealing with the U.S. Women’s Soccer team:

Five key members of the U.S. women’s soccer team have filed a federal complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging wage discrimination. In the complaint, the players cite USSF figures from last year showing that they were paid nearly four times less than men’s players despite generating much more revenue…

The pay disparities exist even though the U.S. women have been successful not only on the field, but also at the ticket booth and in terms of television ratings. The team’s 5-2 win over Japan in last year’s World Cup final was the second-most-watched soccer match in U.S. television history, with 25.4 million viewers. That’s also the largest television audience for a game involving a U.S. national team; the biggest audience for a U.S. men’s game was 18.2 million for a USA-Portugal World Cup match in 2014….

Soccer payRevenues for 4-year cycle: $60.2 million for US men, $51.2 million for US women…Former U.S. men’s star Landon Donovan, meanwhile, says pay should be commensurate with revenue.”

So, what should it be? Should the women get paid the same, or more, than the men?

The women have had a much better performance. The men have brought in more money to U.S. Soccer.

Should they be paid exactly the same?

This is why compensation, on both an organizational and individual level, is so tough!  Many people want to  believe in pay for performance, but it’s not that easy.

If we truly compensated people based on what revenue, and profit, they drove to the organization, pay disparity would be worse than it already is.

What would I do in this circumstance?

Clearly, you need to bring the women’s compensation up closer to the men. I would not make it equal because the finances of it don’t work out. The men, at this point, make more revenue. So, I would develop a compensation model based on revenue. Since they are technically a nonprofit, you can’t base it on profit.

Because the revenues are close, the women would get a huge pay increase, but still be slightly below the men, right now. If revenues change, the comp models adjusts with the revenue change. I would also incorporate performance incentives based on reaching certain levels. This might actually push the women’s total comp above that of the men’s comp.

This puts a ton of risk on the players side. They think they want this, but what happens when revenue sucks some year, and now everyone takes a huge pay cut?  Then either side would lose their minds and still want to get paid. I want to have my cake and eat it too. Welcome to the world of compensation!

Welcome to the world of compensation!

So, what would you do for the U.S. Women’s soccer team?

T3 – UltiPro – @UltimateHCM

This week on T3 I take a look at one of the big boys in human capital management (HCM) software Ultimate Software. If you’re like me you probably have some confusion of what or who Ultimate Software really is. Are they Ultimate Software, UltiPro, UltimateHCM, I truly had no idea if these were all the same or different!

Ultimately (pun intended!), I found out that the main product of Ultimate Software is called UltiPro and its an enterprise level human capital management system, or in HR terms, it’s your system of record, plus some.  To give you some more perspective UltiPro runs in the same space as HR technology companies, Oracle, SAP, Workday, Ceridian and ADP.

At its core UltiPro provides you with HR, Payroll and Benefits software. All clients that use UltiPro have this core, plus they give you the ability to buy into the full enterprise for talent management, applicant tracking, compensation, time and labor, Business Intelligence/predictive analytics, payment and tax, etc.

5 things that I really liked about UltiPro:

1. Definite advantage for Canadian customers as UltiPro payroll runs both Canadian employees and U.S. employees on the same system. This is rare in the payroll world, and about 75% of Canadian companies have U.S. employees.  All of your employees in UltiPro, US and Canadian, will be housed in the same database.

2. UltiPro doesn’t seem like a cobbled together mess of technology. It was designed as one holistic system and reacts that way when you are using it. UltiPros manager and employee Self-service is one of the better ones I’ve seen in the industry.

3. The business intelligence and analytics within UltiPro is awesome. It’s built so that individuals can pull exactly what they want, in the way they want, not just pre-built reports where you get what they want you to have. I was especially impressed with their retention dashboard with retention prediction and succession management.

4. UltiPro makes HR and organizational compliance extremely easy. You can tell this was built with input from real HR pros. Need your EEOC annual report? Pull it instantly by clicking one button! UltiPro delivers over 150 different business processes, designed to be best practice right out of the box, but with your ability to change and adapt to your specific processes.

5. This might seem small but it’s a big differentiator in the HCM space, in that UltiPro does the tax side of payroll beyond most payroll systems. Each UltiPro client is indemnified, and they ensure you have the right tax forms, rates, and they’ll actually file for you as well! This is huge for SMB clients!

So, why should you use them over the other big guys in the HCM space?  Ultimate Software sells from a philosophy of ‘we’re the small, big guys’, they’re the nice guys of HCM.  If you’ve dealt with some of the big HCM players recently, you’ll understand this!

So, what size do you need to be to really be an organization that would use UltiPro? They’re primarily an enterprise level software, but do play in the SMB space more than most. So, roughly 300-1500 on the SMB side, they’re enterprise clients average around 5,000, but rise to well over 10,000.

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the tech space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – send me a note.

T3 – @Paysavvy

This week on T3 I take a look at the ‘modern day alternative to ADP’, Paysavvy. Paysavvy is a Canadian company that is a fully integrated payroll, HR, and time management for mid-sized companies.  I usually wouldn’t right about a payroll company on T3 but Paysavvy is a little different.

Only five years old, they really came at payroll from a different direction than those who were already entrenched in the industry. Currently, they only provide services for Canadian payrolls and since I’ve got a gigantic audience in Canada for reasons I don’t understand, I thought what the hell! They will support companies outside of Canada who have operations and a need to run payrolls in Canada.

I also love the fact they just come right out and call out  the industry giant ADP.  Who does that?! Someone who is very confident that what they are offering is good, really good.

5 Things I really like about Paysavvy: 

1. One of the few companies vetted by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), so you know they are reputable and can be trusted with the one thing HR departments get more bad publicity with than anything else, payroll administration.

2. Build for the SMB organization. Integrated with Quickbooks, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, Netsuite, etc. But, also build for modern day organizations whose employees want to do automated charitable giving (through sites like Chimp) and retirement & investing (through Wealthbar). Enterprise level functionality and tools, but not enterprise pricing.

3. Customer service support is personal and provided in ways fast moving SMB clients need. Direct access to personal support with the same person each time, dedicated customer support reps. Live chat feature for the times you don’t have time to jump on the phone. All customer support folks housed onsite at the corporate office, close to those developing and selling the product.

4. Built specifically for Canadian payrolls. Includes all Canadian holidays automated, year-end closing documents you can email directly to employees, ability to go seven years back on all payroll data within the system.

5. The system is super easy to customize and they actually have the step-by-step instructions on the dashboard you can pull up when you want to make a change, instead of having to wait for someone else to do it.  Fully integrated online or clock entry system with manager approval processes.

I know. I know. It’s a Canadian Payroll system. Yep, but it’s a pretty damn good Canadian Payroll System.

Eventually, Paysavvy is looking to quickly build out full HCM capabilities in the attempt to be a fully integrated end-to-end HR suite, all on the same platform, but still built for their core SMB audience. I’ll update you when this comes on line.  In the meantime, if you’re in need of a Canadian based payroll system, check them out!

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – send me a note.