HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7


HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7
Discuss the general goals of an organization’s compensation system, including how a compensation…

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HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7

HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 1-7 All Students Posts – 576 Pages 

Week 1 All Students Posts 82 Pages 

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Compensation System – 40 Pages 

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Discuss the general goals of an organization’s compensation system, including how a compensation strategy works to support the organization’s business strategy. Which, in your opinion, provides the biggest bang for the buck vis-a-vis employee engagement, productivity and morale? As you look at your organization, how could you address a shortfall in the compensation strategy? What would you change? What happens if the organization can’t afford to be “equal” in the market when it comes to pay?  What other alternatives are there?

A company’s compensation system will be how current employees and possible future employees judge the company and whether or not they will want to stay with the company. Given that most companies want to attract and retain good employees, the compensation system should match or exceed industry standards. The system can be tailored meet the strategic goals of the company at any given time.

The most current trend that I have seen in municipal government is compensatory time. Employees are now finding it more desirable to get extra time off instead of overtime pay. Being raised as a baby boomer, I only ever knew about working more hours for more money but the gen xr’s and millennials are definitely looking for a more balanced life approach…

Unions and Compensation – 42 Pages

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Explain how you would partner with a union in creating a compensation strategy (you do not have to have worked in a union or been a union member to respond to this question). Describe how the FLSA, union, and employer work together in support of employee wages. I’ve learned that “relationship building” is the key to forging win-win outcomes not only on collective bargaining agreements, but also day to day union/employee issues.  As a follow-up question, what actions can employers take to forge such relationships?  Look at UPS, which is 100% unionized…100%.  The company thrives and employees are happy so obviously management has tapped the secret recipe toward effective union/management relations.  Thoughts?  Opposing points of view? In your own opinion, can you please cite 3 PROS and 3 CONS to union membership?

As the book states FLSA focuses on minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor provision. The purpose of the minimum wage provision is to ensure a minimally acceptable standard of living for workers. FLSA requires employers to pay workers at a rate equal to time and one-half for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours within a period of 7 consecutive days. FLSA child labor provisions protect children from being overworked, working in potentially hazardous settings and having their education jeopardized due to excessive work hours.

A union is like a team or club that you can join. Its main purpose is to look after and promote the interests of its members. For a union, this means looking after the rights of workers and their interests at work, within their industries and beyond in the community. Unions are one of the few ways that workers can have a voice on the job and influence what happens in their society. When people come together with a common goal in mind, they are far more powerful than when they try to reach goals as individuals. When workers act together they have a better chance of getting what they need at work and beyond…

HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 2 All Students Posts 75 Pages 

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Merit Pay – 38 Pages

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Define the concept of merit pay and the advantages and limitations of a merit pay system. Are your incentive compensation plans designed with a “pay for performance” objective?  Do they create a meritocracy?  What is a performance-based organization?  How does it relate to compensation?  Is this the same as achieving a meritocracy? Do you believe that pay is a motivator?  If so, why?  How can merit pay motivate employees and increase their performance?  Thoughts and/or experiences?

Performance based organizations pay employees competitive wages, for levels of performance. This may mean that exceptional job performance will receive above market pay. On the other hand, pay may be reduced for poor performance. Moreover, this kind of compensation often provides a fixed base salary with additional pay, or rewards for performance. Organizations with this kind of compensation strategy do well do let employees know performance goals for the organization…

Incentive Plans – 37 Pages 

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Discuss how incentive pay plans, both individual and group, motivate employees to achieve high levels of performance. Offer one individual and group incentive pay strategy that would work best in your organization. I would like you to discuss (a) whether your organization’s pay plans actually motivate workers; and (b) whether you agree or disagree that pay is a human motivator. Feel free to disagree as there has been much written about this subject.  If you have time, Google “comparable pay” and see what you find.  There has been considerable research from Ed Lawler and other theorists that portend that pay is indeed a motivator especially for CEOs. How does merit pay create a more productive workforce? What are your thoughts about the current movement to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour?  Do you think this will adequately motivate and increase productivity for employees who occupy positions that earn less than $10.00/hour today?

The current movement to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 is quite a controversial movement and has both supporters and people who think that it’s a mistake. Right now, I am not 100% on either side because I do see the upside as well as the downside to doing something like this. On one hand, raising the minimum wage is supposed to help those at the low end of the pay scale to receive pay that is closer to a livable wage. For the supporters of this movement, they see this as a positive step in the right direction when it comes to fair and livable wages. For those who don’t support the movement, I’ve heard and read thousands of comments regarding the education level of “fast food workers” and how they don’t deserve to be paid more for the work that is required of them. I’ve seen pay comparisons of fast food workers and other professions that are currently in that pay range and the requirements of those jobs. The job requirements don’t match up and I think that’s why so many people are upset with the increase.

However, I think this movement will bring about increases in other areas – if the minimum wage increases, other areas should increase as well to match the increasing cost of living. Now, when it comes to “adequately motivating” employees – again, it depends on what their individual motivations are. Are they motivated by money alone or do they want more out of their job and work? If they are motivated by money alone, then the increase should motivate them to improve their performance. There is one instance that I have heard of where an individual was receiving an income that qualified them to receive rent assistance. When the wage increase occurred, they had requested to work less hours because even though the increase increased their pay, they had no longer qualified for the rent assistance. To offset that, they requested less hours, thus re-qualifying them for rent assistance. Even though this is one example, I’d assume that the point to the increase to to have less cases like this one. So even though this individual received a pay increase, it really didn’t change anything for them…

HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 3 All Students Posts 82 Pages 

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Market Competitive System – 42 Pages 

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Discuss the basic building blocks of a market competitive pay system, including the relationship between internal and external equity. In your readings and lecture this week you will learn about market competitive pay, which should be the driver of any compensation system.  You will be exposed to the notion of internal and external equity.  I encourage you to Google “competitive worth” as it gets to the root of compensation being a satisfier or disatisfier.  When an employee is working side by side with another who is earning more, what happens?  How would that make you feel?  So what’s the fix?  Thoughts?  What is meant by the 50% vs. 75th market percentile?  Why would one be used vs. the other?

Working in an environment where I have to negotiate for management for union contracts, both internal and external comparisons are the most widely accepted comparisons if you have to go to arbitration over wages. Internal comparable will consist of comparisons against what other bargaining unit members got for a raise or benefits in the same year. External comparable will look at other bargaining units to see how they compare to each other. You have to be very careful to use empirical data to show that the comparable you are using are actually comparable to your workers. In my case they use things like population of the city, number of employees, average wage per household, average value of homes, etc. When you compare all of this data, you will come up with a list of comparable. You then need to compare your contract to the others

I actually worked on this for several hours today. A bargaining unit is asking for more days off. They presented data to show that they are the lowest amount of days off in their comparable. I found it interesting that they chose to use the actual number years of each employee to figure out their average time off. They chose this method because they have a bunch of new employees who receive less vacation than longer employed employees. I chose to look at a 5 year, a 10 year, and a 15 year employee. When I ran my numbers, our union was barely just under the 50th percentile in all three categories…

Job Evaluation – 40 ages

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Provide a brief overview of the job evaluation process, including the importance of compensable factors. Detail the compensable factors of a position you are familiar with and their impact on that position’s salary. I’m looking forward to reading your posts regarding job evaluation processes, which are the primary drivers begin many HR tools for hiring and professional development.  To start, cite the compensable factors of any position you know, your own or otherwise, and discuss the impact on that position’s salary or hourly wage. What is the role of the HR generalist in the job evaluation process?  Is his/her role any different from that of the hiring manager? Who in the HR Department has ultimate responsibility for creating, revising and maintaining accurate, current job descriptions?

Honestly people will still be shopping at Walmart even if there is bad customer service and the number one reason why is because it is cheap to buy things there.  I believe pay is a big factor but I also believe benefits and treatment can be a main cause for the employee’s negative conduct.  I have worked at places where employees get paid really little but are always smiling because they are treated with respect by management.  One of the reasons Walmart pays it employees minimal is due to the low prices they need to satisfy the customers so they cut corners by buying products from other countries, cutting on wages and benefits.  The need of compensable factors are needed it seems Walmart analysis of skills, education, duties, and supervising.

Side not I just came from Mexico and I went to a Walmart there the employees here in the United States have it good over there they really pay their workers cheap and make them work more than 8 hours and they have people to bag groceries and they have the Walmart uniform on they do not get paid they depend on tips from the customers.  I was amazed I saw all senior citizens bagging groceries for free I went to each one and gave them each $20 American dollars I felt so bad.  They were there working due to necessity because in Mexico if you are over 50 it is really hard for you to get a job…

HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 4 All Students Posts 83 Pages

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Legally Required Benefits – 44 Pages 

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Provide a general overview of legally required benefits, including their purpose in society. This week’s discussion thread is a rather interesting as you’re being prompted to research and share the health and wellness benefits that are “legally required” by law.  The fact that these laws are required should correlate to a useful purpose for their existence.  Please share both and let’s have a healthy dialogue.  What is the purpose of the Social Security Act and how does it affect the compensation of today’s employee? Do employers match the percentage SSI assessed against employees?   Since the SSA no longer mails statements, how can citizens access their annual social security statements?

My goal in life after obtaining a degree here at Devry is to become an attorney. I have realized in my search of the law and to find order that just because it is a law does not mean it means anything or should even be a law to begin with. Some laws are not actually put into place to help the general population. I love the laws and I love sticking it to people who break the laws but not all laws are good laws. What the Department of Labor says about Legally Required Benefits is that you see these benefits are seen as taxes. Even though they are not taxes. The legally required benefits that employees and employers are responsible for contributions to these legally required “benefits”.  These benefits are manifest as Social Security and Medicare.

Social Security is the largest component of legally required benefits. This program helps provide financial support to workers and their families when workers retire, die, or become disabled. Medicare provides healthcare assistance to older workers and to people with long-term disabilities. Employers and Employees both are required by law to make even contributions. Other legally required benefits are unemployment insurance and workers compensation. Employers contribute to to the Federal State Unemployment Insurance program, which provides financial assistance to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. In most states, employers also must contribute to State workers compensation programs, which provide financial support to people who are unable to work as a result of workplace injury or illness…

Role of Benefits – 39 Pages 

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Discuss the role of benefits in compensation. Review the primary reasons an organization provides benefits to its employees; predict future trends in relation to employee benefits. The term “Total Rewards” is commonly used in business today to represent the sum of cash compensation (salaries and wages), health benefits and retirement plans.  Discuss the role of these benefits in regard to an employee’s total compensation package.  Review the primary reasons an organization provides these benefits to its employees but most important, think about the changing times we live in with rising costs of benefits…and how so many companies are changing philosophies on what their obligations should be.  What is the difference between defined contribution vs. defined benefit programs?  Which have become more cost-effective for employers? What is the range of match percentages across good and poor plans?  What are the primary reasons for this unfortunate trend?

The six elements of total rewards that collectively define an organization’s strategy to attract, motivate, retain and engage employees are:

  • Compensation:Pay provided by an employer to its employees for services rendered (i.e., time, effort, skill). This includes both fixed and variable pay tied to performance levels.
  • Benefits:Programs an employer uses to supplement the cash compensation employees receive. These health, income protection, savings and retirement programs provide security for employees and their families.
  • Work-Life Effectiveness:A specific set of organizational practices, policies and programs, plus a philosophy that actively supports efforts to help employees achieve success at both work and home.
  • Recognition:Either formal or informal programs that acknowledge or give special attention to employee actions, efforts, behavior or performance and support business strategy by reinforcing behaviors (e.g., extraordinary accomplishments) that contribute to organizational success.
  • Performance Management:The alignment of organizational, team and individual efforts toward the achievement of business goals and organizational success. Performance management includes establishing expectations, skill demonstration, assessment, feedback and continuous improvement.

Talent Development: Provides the opportunity and tools for employees to advance their skills and competencies in both their short- and long-term careers…

HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 5 All Students Posts 86 Pages 

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Employee Benefits – 47 Pages 

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Employers offer a large variety of benefits. In recent years, we have seen some of those benefit offerings reduced. What benefit trends are you seeing with employers? What impact do you feel these changes will have long term? In order to adequately participate in this week’s discussion thread on employee benefits, I want you to research the impact of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act of 2010.  The A.C.A. has dramatically changed an employer’s obligation with regard to offering “affordable” health care coverage for its employees due to the obligatory “employer mandate.”  In addition, it has dramatically increased the overall cost of health care premiums for every American causing many carriers to drop out of the program and others like United Healthcare to consider same.
I suggest you Google any of the following and report your findings to this discussion thread:
1. Obamacare
2. Patient Protection Act
3. Affordable Care Act

In 2018, the Cadillac Tax will be imposed on those businesses on some companies as a result of ACA.  What is this tax and why will it be assessed?

The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and then signed into law by the President on March 23, 2010. On June 28, 2012 the Supreme Court rendered a final decision to uphold the health care law.

This Act puts individuals, families and small business owners in control of their health care. It reduces premium costs for millions of working families and small businesses by providing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax relief – the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history.  It also reduces what families will have to pay for health care by capping out-of-pocket expenses and requiring preventive care to be fully covered without any out-of-pocket expense. For Americans with insurance coverage who like what they have, they can keep it. Nothing in this act or anywhere in the bill forces anyone to change the insurance they have, period.

Americans without insurance coverage will be able to choose the insurance coverage that works best for them in a new open, competitive insurance market – the same insurance market that every member of Congress will be required to use for their insurance. The insurance exchange will pool buying power and give Americans new affordable choices of private insurance plans that have to compete for their business based on cost and quality. Small business owners will not only be able to choose insurance coverage through this exchange, but will receive a new tax credit to help offset the cost of covering their employees.

It keeps insurance companies honest by setting clear rules that rein in the worst insurance industry abuses.  And it bans insurance companies from denying insurance coverage because of a person’s pre-existing medical conditions while giving consumers new power to appeal insurance company decisions that deny doctor ordered treatments covered by insurance.

The Secretary has the authority to implement many of these new provisions to help families and small business owners have the information they need to make the choices that work best for them…

Retirement Programs – 39 Pages 

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In the United States, we have seen a trend towards defined compensation programs from defined benefit programs. Many employers have moved in this direction to help them be more competitive. What are some reasons that these benefit programs are offered? How are they designed? What are some trends that you see with the design of the programs? What is the difference between defined contribution vs. defined benefit programs?  Which have become more cost-effective for employers? As you know from your readings and research, fewer employees today are receiving company-paid retirement benefits than 10 years ago. What are the primary reasons for this unfortunate circumstance?

Employers are going more toward the defined compensation plans more so then defined benefit plans because it leaves it more up to the employee to plan for their retirement then the company. By choosing to opt into a defined compensation plan the company saves money and the long term payments that are associated with a defined benefit plan.

A defined benefit plan is the specific payment that will be made to the employee at retirement. The basic benefit in this category is usually based on the number of years the employee works for the employer and their salary. These payments are provided to the retired employee regularly at the normal age of retirement. This type of plan is also known as a pension.

Defined Contribution plan is a plan to how much will go into a saving for retirement. The amount is either a percentage of the employee’s salary or a specific dollar amount. Those funds are then invested in mutual funds. The amount the employee has at retirement depends on how much the employer contributes to the plan and how much the employee saves in the plan, also how long the money is invested and how well the employee investment performs inside the plan.

The defined contribution plan reminds me of Enron many employees were vested in plans with Enron and when they folded many people lost everything.  I say this is also the dangers of defined contribution plan…

HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 6 All Students Posts 79 Pages 

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Executive Pay – 42 Pages

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Contrast executive pay with nonexecutive pay, including a discussion on executive core and deferred compensation packages. This discussion thread attempts to delineate between executive and non-executive compensation.  As a former senior executive and leader of my company’s executive compensation function, I can share that the Board of Directors Compensation Committee governs compensation for senior leaders.  The committee met twice annually (February and October) to review and set total compensation.  Senior executive pay generally consists of a base salary, short-term cash bonus and long-term stock bonus which can take the form of stock options, performance shares or restricted stock.  These shares usually have  a vesting period of 3, 4 or 5 years.  Vesting can be graduated (% over each year) or cliff (all at the end of the vesting period).  Depending upon one’s level, short and long term incentives should exceed base salary by 2 or more times. Share what you have learned in the readings this week that supports my assessment. What is the function of a company’s compensation committee?  Are all companies (privately-held, not-for-profit and publically-traded) required to have one?  Who generally chairs the Board of Directors compensation committee?  How is the committee structured?

According to the lesson, an executive position get higher pays because of experience, and certainly experience in skills, they can be an impact in the company by helping increasing earnings, they have a special knowledge that make them been more competitive. Executives get high earnings, but at the same time they have higher responsibilities because CEO’s  influences decisions, responsible for economic constraints, financial and legal issues, problems, deal with factors that affect performance and results, so practically the higher pays the bigger responsibility. I was reading an article that states that the CEO’s from Walmart that are enjoying their billionaire earnings because this year the company did so good, but sadly the employees are not enjoying that earnings, they deal with the minimum wages to survive and no benefits, so that is the difference of executive and non-executive position…

Contingent Workers – 37 Pages 

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Contingent workers are assuming a greater role in today’s organization. With that as a background, discuss compensation and benefit issues associated with the following workers: part time, temporary, independent, and flexible/telecommuting. One generally sees a high volume of contingent workers in the retail/wholesale/distribution industry as they gear up for holiday seasons and such.  In my company, the Auto Parts retail stores business, our season begins in April with the warmer weather and generally slows down in November and December when families stop driving on vacations.  Our sales pick up during that period so we staff our stores with what we call “Variable Service Part-Timers” which is nothing more than a contingent worker.  Please share your experiences with contingent workers and how they are compensated.  How does the fee process work for contingent workers (a) when they are hired; and (b) when they are converted to a permanent position?  Fewer employees today have full-time jobs than ever before. The last statistic showed a 10% decrease in full-time jobs in the last 5 years. What can be done to reverse this trend and still compete internationally?

Some of the benefits that come along with these types of workers are: flexibility, cost savings and increased productivity. In addition, companies hiring contingent workers for special projects are able to choose from a broad pool of skilled, experienced specialists to maximize project efficiency.

Despite these advantages, without effective hiring and onboarding, contingent staffing can create certain disadvantages. The challenges that come along with contingent workers may include finding employees that can not only perform the job, but also are engaged and interested in your organization’s corporate culture and goals…

HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 7 All Students Posts 89 Pages

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Compensating Expatriates – 40 Pages 

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Companies have a variety of factors to consider when looking at compensating expatriates. What goes into this discussion? What are some common methods of payment, and how are they used?  What is the “average timeframe” associated with expatriate assignments? What are some items that companies look at when determining expatriate pay? What types of business circumstances would require the deployment of expatriate employees?  How is housing in the host country handled?  Who pays for expatriate housing…the employer or employee?

The average time frame of a short expatriate assignment is typically 6 months to less than 1 year. If it is an extended assignment that typically is 2-5 years long. With that being said there are different phases in an expatriated assignment and I thought this was very interesting that families need to endure through these cycles. The cycles of adaptation include Preparation, Honeymoon, Culture Shock, and Adaptation. In some other life cycles Repatriation is also included…

HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Benefits in Other Countries – 49 Pages 

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Compare the benefits provided within the United States to those offered in other countries. What is different in terms of benefit offerings and benefits funding?  What strategies do other countries utilize in their benefit offerings that you would want to consider?  What tools do you have at your disposal to incentivize employees to seriously evaluate and consider such assignments?

  • The U.S. is the ONLY country in the Americas without a national paid parental leave benefit. The average is over 12 weeks of paid leave anywhere other than Europe and over 20 weeks in Europe.
  • Zero industrialized nations are without a mandatory option for new parents to take parental leave. That is, except for the United States.

American Average Work Hours:

  • At least 134 countries have laws setting the maximum length of the work week; the U.S. does not.
  • In the U.S., 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week.
  • According to the ILO, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.”
  • Using data by the U.S. BLS, the average productivity per American worker has increased 400% since 1950. One way to look at that is that it should only take one-quarter the work hours, or 11 hours per week, to afford the same standard of living as a worker in 1950 (or our standard of living should be 4 times higher). Is that the case? Obviously not. Someone is profiting, it’s just not the average American worker.

American Paid Vacation Time & Sick Time:

  • There is not a federal law requiring paid sick days in the United States.
  • The U.S. remains the only industrialized country in the world that has no legally mandated annual leave.

In every country included except Canada and Japan (and the U.S., which averages 13 days/per year), workers get at least 20 paid vacation days.  In France and Finland, they get 30 – an entire month off, paid, every year…

HRM430 Course Discussions Week 1-7