by Kim Keene
Generational diversity refers to the differences in experiences, values, communication styles, and work preferences among various age groups. By understanding these differences, we can foster a culture of collaboration and appreciation within our organization.
Key Generations in the Workplace
- Traditionalists (born before 1946): Values loyalty, hard work, and a structured work environment.
- Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964): Emphasizes teamwork, dedication, and face-to-face communication.
- Generation X (born 1965-1980): Values work-life balance, adaptability, and autonomy.
- Millennials (born 1981-1996): Embraces technology, collaboration, and a flexible work environment.
- Generation Z (born 1997-2012): Tech-savvy, seeks diversity, and values instant communication.
Understanding the strengths of each generation in the workplace is important for creating a harmonious and productive work environment that leverages the diverse talents and perspectives of team members. While it’s essential to remember that these are generalizations and individuals may vary, here are some typical strengths associated with each generation:
Traditionalists (born before 1946):
- Strong Work Ethic: Traditionalists often possess a strong dedication to hard work, discipline, and a sense of duty towards their roles.
- Loyalty and Commitment: They are known for their loyalty to their employers and long-term commitment to their careers.
- Experience and Wisdom: Years of experience provide a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that can be invaluable to guide decision-making and problem-solving.
Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964):
- Teamwork and Collaboration: Baby boomers tend to value teamwork, collaboration, and building strong relationships within the workplace.
- Leadership Skills: Many baby boomers have acquired significant leadership and managerial skills over the years, making them effective mentors and team leaders.
- Strong Communication Skills: They often possess excellent verbal and written communication skills, honed through years of experience.
Generation X (born 1965-1980):
- Adaptability and Resilience: Generation X is known for its adaptability to change and resilience in navigating various challenges.
- Balanced Work-Life Approach: They often prioritize achieving a work-life balance and value flexible work arrangements.
- Independent Thinkers: Generation X individuals are often self-reliant and can work well with limited supervision.
Millennials (born 1981-1996):
- Tech-Savvy and Innovative: Millennials are typically adept at using technology and tend to be innovative, bringing fresh ideas and approaches to the workplace.
- Collaborative Nature: They value collaboration and enjoy working in team-oriented environments.
- Strong Desire for Growth and Development: Millennials often seek opportunities for learning, growth, and career advancement.
Generation Z (born 1997-2012):
- Tech-Fluency: Generation Z is the first truly digital-native generation, with exceptional skills in utilizing technology for productivity and innovation.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit: They often possess an entrepreneurial mindset, embracing innovation and seeking opportunities to contribute ideas and initiatives.
- Diversity and Inclusion Advocates: Generation Z tends to value diversity, equity, and inclusion, promoting an inclusive work environment.
Recognizing and valuing these strengths allows organizations to effectively harness the unique qualities of each generation, fostering a collaborative and successful workplace. Tailoring strategies and initiatives that align with these strengths can lead to improved engagement, productivity, and overall organizational success.
Thanks to SHRM.org and Gallup for resources.
by Christine Muller
Employers are feeling the pressure to address the pay gap between men and women, and between white and minority employees, as states and cities are passing pay equity laws to make sure all workers are compensated fairly.
Salary ranges help employers control their pay expenses and ensure pay equity among employees. It is critical that employers have rational explanations for why they pay their employees a certain rate, and defined salary ranges help accomplish that. Here are some basic steps for creating compensation grades and salary ranges:
- Determine the Organization’s Compensation Policy. An employer can choose to lead, lag, or match the market when compensating employees.
- Conduct a Job Analysis– A job analysis is a process for gathering, documenting, and analyzing information about a job to determine the activities and responsibilities it includes, its relative importance to other jobs, the qualifications necessary for performing the job and the conditions under which the work is performed. This can be done by observing employees, conducting surveys, or interviewing employees doing the job, or using a combination of these methods. The end result of a job analysis is a clearly defined job description.
- Group into Job Families – Once an employer has developed current and accurate job descriptions, it should determine whether to group the jobs into separate job families or have one pay grade system for all positions throughout the organization.
- Rank Positions Using a Job Evaluation Method – job evaluation is the process of rank-ordering jobs—not the people in them—based on job content to demonstrate the relative worth and level of responsibility of all jobs to one another. There are different types of methods to use.
- Conduct Market Research – Conducting market research ensures that wages paid to employees are comparable to similar positions in the marketplace.
- Create Job Grades – Job grades are groupings of positions with similar worth.
- Create a Salary Range Based on Research – Employers should note the range of pay in the salary surveys and other information that may be relevant when establishing an average salary. For each pay grade, an organization will need to establish minimum, midpoint, and maximum pay ranges.
- Determine How to Deal with Salaries Not Within Range – look at what organization is paying its employees in comparison to the data it has collected and the proposed salary grades and ranges for positions.
SHRM: Pay Equity
by Christina Carmona
- Don’t Go It Alone: Successful small business owners know the importance of forming partnerships, and those that fail often try to do too much on their own. Partnering with HR/payroll/recruiting/technology vendors can help recruit, retain, manage, and grow a small or medium businesses’ workforce, while employees can concentrate on the business and focus on their own customers, products and services.
- Don’t Delay Hiring Good Talent: Small business owners often interview the wrong way. They may interview one candidate on Tuesday, the next on Wednesday and a third on Friday. Then they may wait until the following week to review resumes and even longer to make a hiring decision. Smaller businesses need to be “speedboats” and outmaneuver sometimes slower, bigger companies when it comes to hiring. Since the economy and job market is recovering, more jobs are available, and the best candidates may be weighing other job offers. Instead of dragging out the hiring process, small businesses should interview all candidates for a position on the same day and ask them the same list of questions so they can easily compare and evaluate the applicants. The employer can then decide who gets the job later the same day.
- Evaluate Employees: Many small companies hire and fire talent based on “gut feelings” and then can live to regret the decision. Employees discharged on a whim can sue for being fired without just cause or file a claim of discrimination if they are in a protected class. Employment-related lawsuits can be costly, and small business owners can do themselves a favor by crafting a list of job expectations for employees and putting a job performance evaluation plan in place. Regularly schedule evaluations (for example, at 30 and 90 days for new hires) and provide supervisors’ questions they should ask during reviews so they can more easily measure performance. Documentation is important, too. “Small employers tend to think that if they do not document an employee relations situation, liability will be reduced as there will be nothing for the employee to use against them. Actually it is quite the opposite. Documentation of employee relations situations allows the employer to prove that proper action was taken, the involved employees were informed of the need to correct the behaviors, and warning of the potential for additional disciplinary action up to termination was provided.
- Get an Employee Handbook: Between 6 and 42 percent of employers around the world do not have a written attendance policy. A lack of a written policy and an employee handbook can be costly. An example is a business who refused to pay unused vacation time to an employee who resigned, although the company had done so for others. The employee filed a claim with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and won the complaint because the employer—a small retailer—did not have an employee handbook to prove they had a policy not to compensate for unused vacation. Employee handbooks should include workplace policies that are easy to understand, fair and consistent.
- Onboard Employees Immediately: Small businesses waste time and lose business opportunities by not prepping employees before the first day of work. Get new employees business cards, a telephone line and benefits forms before their first day of work so they can hit the ground running. Automate collecting paperwork to ensure that new hires complete and hand in all needed documents, especially employees who work remotely. It is also important to let new employees know what tasks they need to complete before their first day.
- Give Feedback and Rewards: Many small business owners get so worried about bringing in money and paying the bills that they neglect to give on-the-spot feedback to workers, which could motivate the employees and help the business grow. Even just verbal feedback on what they are doing can be great for employees. Small business owners should also set performance goals and award employees who meet those goals. These rewards could be a staff barbecue or tickets to sporting or entertainment events.
- Ditch the Paper: Many small companies rely on homegrown, paper-based systems to track time and attendance, manage schedules, and process key HR- related functions such as hiring and onboarding. Small companies should use technology-based solutions for these tasks so they can focus on growing their core business.
- Keep Abreast of Laws and Regulations: Federal, state and local government regulations, laws and reporting requirements change constantly. Using cloud-based human capital management technology can help small businesses keep up with the changing legal landscape.
- Get a Good Attorney: Small businesses may rely on a general business counsel or even an attorney friend to manage employment law matters; however, this may not be the best approach. Many aspects of employment law are very complex so a seasoned employment lawyer may be needed.
- Mind the Compensation: Some small business employers classify employees as independent contractors to avoid having to cover them under Workers’ Compensation Insurance and pay payroll taxes. If employees are misclassified, small businesses could end up having to pay back payroll taxes and benefit costs on top of fines and penalties, she added. Other employers may fail to properly pay employees for travel time and other compensable time, believing they will only be penalized for one employee if a claim is filed. However, violations of wage and hour laws can lead to costly fines and penalties that can apply to all employees who may not have been compensated correctly under the law.
by Rhonda Anderson
The IRS released final regulations amending the rules for filing returns and other documents electronically (e-file). The e-file threshold has officially been lowered from 250 to 10 forms in Tax Year 2023 to be filed in 2024. This regulation includes the total for all aggregated returns including forms W-2 and 1099.
How should your business prepare?
Determine who will be recipients of a Form-1099 and collect a Form W-9. For best practice, request a W-9 from any vendor you expect to pay more than $600 before you pay them. Don’t worry about credit card, debit card, gift card or third-party payments such as PayPal or Venmo.
Who is required to receive Form 1099-NEC?
Businesses who pay $600 or more in non-employee compensation to contractors, freelancers, or other non-employees are required to file Form 1099-NEC to the IRS and the payees. The filing deadline is January 31, 2024, for the tax year 2023. Form 1099-NEC is typically issued to individuals, sole proprietors, partnerships, and LLCs treated at either a sole proprietor or partnership.
Who is not required to file Form 1099-NEC?
You are not required to file if you are not engaged in a trade or business.
The payment was made to another business that is incorporated, but was not for medical or legal services, or the sum of all payments is less than $600 in one tax year.
You paid for physical products or goods, not services.
Penalties for missing the filing deadline of January 31, 2024 can be incurred.
Please let us know if we can help prepare and e-file your 2023 form 1099-NEC’s.
Sources: IRS, Fit Small Business