Showing posts from May, 2006

First Installment: The Touchy Issue of Pay

Questions about how much we're paid are some of the most complicated matters we deal with both as supervisors and in HR. As issues go, these are consistently emotionally loaded and never fully go away; pay is ever-present as long as you're in the workforce. In our January employee survey, and in our April focus groups, this issue came forward as it has in every survey I've ever done or read about across three separate industries. What I found striking about our results was how much the pay issue differed from division to division, and how different the understanding of how you look at pay in the corporate environment differed by age and experience. Let's look at what makes pay issues soooo touchy. Job vs. Personal Worth The pay issue is deeply personal when people define themselves by what they do ("I am Vice President of Human Resources") instead of by their relationships ("I am Vonnie's husband and Rachel's dad") and who they are (Kentuck

Immigration Protests and Unemployment in Perspective

Well May 1st has come and gone and all the hype and hysteria inspired me to do some research. If you listened to Phil Valentine (those of you around Nashville) you might think that your job is going to be done by an illegal immigrant at half pay some time next week. If you watch NBC news you'd think this was a spontaneous civil rights campaign. Neither is correct. The Center for Immigration Studies, and independent, non-partisan think tank that studies immigration issues published findings in 2005 that estimated the number of immigrants in America to be 35.2 million. An estimated 7.9 million of these arrived between 2000 and 2005 and about 3.7 million of them were illegal/undocumented. So, talk radio jocks might say, this is the smoking-gun-proof that we must build our own Berlin Wall in Texas to keep the Latinos out before we all lose our jobs, right? Well, not exactly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor tracks unemployment by month, quarter, year, ag