2017 was a wild ride for Human Resources. The fast pace of political and economic change meant a lot of uncertainty and while many of the administration’s core policies are set in stone by now, we’ve already seen its willingness to continue to make sweeping changes (currently, to tax policies). In the face of such a whirlwind all we can do is keep slow and steady, creating and enforcing the best policies we can, rather than trying to react to quickly – and even more importantly, keep a close eye on trends. With that in mind, here’s the latest on bonuses, minimum wages, and basic work perks.
What’s better for your particular situation as an employer, bonuses or raises? And what’s better for your employees? The question is more complex than it might seem to people who’ve never worked in management or HR. Jena McGregor looks at several companies who’ve adjusted their compensation strategies in the face of new tax cuts that will hurt many of their workers. So why bonuses and not raises? McGregor says that not only are bonuses easier to manage, it’s been a long term trend to prefer bonuses over raises.
Flexibility is consistently one of the perks most valued by employees, but not all jobs are created equal when it comes to flex time. Some are just naturally more flexible, since they require weird hours (like medicine) or can be done from home (many creative jobs). But some fields are rapidly transforming to be more flexible, in response to changes in technology and demands from workers. Here are the fastest-growing flexible jobs as of this year.
While some companies are looking for ways to increase worker bonuses, others will be disappointing their employees with tiny or nonexistent bonuses. It’s not that big banks, financial services and investment firms don’t want to give their hard working traders their accustomed bonuses – it’s that trading revenue is down down down. The reason for that is caution on the part of clients. They’re unusually reticent to invest in the face of high market volatility, so traders and investment specialists, who are a paid for performance not getting the job done, are out of luck.
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Not that anyone in this field makes bad money, but this may reveal a weakness in compensation packages. If caution means smaller pay checks, there’s incentive to push clients into risky investments.
The minimum wage went up this month in Ontario, Canada, and in response some fast food chains, including the giant Tim Hortons, immediately moved to cut hours, pay, and health benefits. Is it legal? Yes. Is it ethical? No. And is it bad for their employer brand? Absolutely, definitely yes. The Toronto Star looks at the debacle, which saw corporate owners cracking down on strapped franchises and online and in person protests.