Monthly Archives: June 2016

Getting the Raises They Ask For

Women are often told not to be afraid of negotiating to get the salaries they deserve. Although women are in fact asking their bosses for raises, they’re not necessarily receiving the pay bumps.

According to recent research conducted by the University of Warwickin the United Kingdom and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, women ask for pay increases as frequently as men do, but men are 25 percent more likely to actually get the raise.

“Having seen these findings, I think we have to accept that there is some element of pure discrimination against women,” Andrew Oswald, co-author of the study and professor of economics and behavioral science at the University of Warwick, said in a statement.

The research was based on data from the 2013-14 Australian Workplace Relations Survey, which included information on whether Australian employees have asked for a pay raise. When professionals at the same level were compared, the men were 25 percent more likely to be successful, obtaining a pay increase 20 percent of the time. Only 16 percent of women were successful when they asked for raises, the study said.

According to data from PayScale, a compensation analyzation company, there’s not a huge difference between the genders when it comes to asking for or receiving a raise, but when you drill down by education, industry, etc., “that’s where it gets interesting,” said Lydia Frank, senior director of editorial and marketing at PayScale.

“Women holding an MBA degree seem to be struggling most with potential gender bias when it comes to salary negotiation,” Frank said. “Of those who asked for a raise, only 48 percent of female MBA grads received the requested raise compared to 63 percent of male MBA grads. And 21 percent of female college grads received no raise at all after requesting one, compared to 10 percent of male grads.”

Frank noted that for workers who said they hadn’t asked for a raise, women were more likely than men to say they were uncomfortable negotiating (31 percent versus 23 percent). Men were more likely than women to say they received a raise before they had to ask for one (40 percent versus 36 percent).

Despite the overall findings, the authors discovered a positive sign in the data: Young Australian female employees get pay hikes just as often as young Australian men do.

“This study potentially has an upside: Young women [in Australia] today are negotiating their pay and conditions more successfully than older females,” Amanda Goodall, co-author of the new study and an associate professor at Cass Business School in London, said. “Perhaps that will continue as they become more senior.”

Tips choose the great gifts for your boss

Buying a gift for a boss can be precarious. You don’t want to spend too much and appear to be pining to be the favorite. You don’t want to spend too little and come off as cheap either.

“The best way is to get everyone in the office to buy a gift,” Patricia Rossi, a business etiquette coach, told Business News Daily. “It’s not always possible, but if you can, go in on a gift together.”

Rossi noted to remember not to purchase anything too personal, like perfume or lingerie. “It should go without saying, but I have seen multiple instances of this,” she said.

Thoughtfulness should always be in the forefront of your mind when purchasing gifts, she added.

“Always be kind. It will come back to you,” Rossi said.

We rounded up 30 of the best gifts for you to give to your boss this year:

Purchasing your boss’s gift as a team means giving your supervisor a more expensive item. Pool together to show you all care.

Do you know your boss well enough to know that he or she likes to binge-watch or catch up with favorite shows via Hulu or HBO Go but is devoid of the technology? Go in with your teammates to purchase an Amazon Fire Stick. The Fire Stick, which is about the size of a USB drive, connects to your TV’s HDMI port. The Fire Stick gives users the freedom to cut the cord if they so choose, or binge all of their favorites.

Handle of Stressing Your Employees Out

The battle for the White House isn’t just taking its toll on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – it’s also negatively affecting American workers, new research finds.

U.S. employees say political discussions around the office are stressing them out and making them more argumentative and less productive, according to a study from the American Psychological Association.

Overall, 17 percent of those surveyed said the political rhetoric they are subjected to by colleagues has made them feel tense or stressed, with 15 percent saying it has made them more negative at work. In addition, 13 percent said talk this election season has made them less productive and 10 percent said their work quality has suffered because of it.

“The workplace brings people together from different backgrounds who might not ordinarily interact with each other,” David Ballard, director of American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence,said in a statement. “When you add politics to the mix – a deeply personal and emotional topic for many –there is potential for tension, conflict and problems for both employees and the organization.”

 The research found that men and younger workers are being negatively impacted the most by political discussions in the office. Compared with women, more than twice as many men said they had more trouble getting work done, that their work quality has suffered and that they had been less productive at work.

Similarly, employees between ages 18 and 35 were more likely than their older peers to say that political talk has negatively affected their work performance, quality of work and productivity.

Younger workers are also more likely to look at their co-workers in a more negative light because of political conversations. The study found that 26 percent said they have a more negative view of co-workers as a result of political discussions at work, while 28 percent said they avoid some co-workers because of their political views.

On the flip side, political talk has brought some co-workers closer together. Nearly one-quarter of all those surveyed said they feel more connected to their colleagues and 23 percent said they have a more positive view of their co-workers as a result of hearing their political viewpoints.

Overall, many workers say talk of the presidential campaign has been more constant this year than they previously remember. Nearly half of those surveyed said employees have been more likely this year to discuss politics at work then during past election seasons. Although 60 percent of employees said people at work are generally respectful toward others with differing political opinions, more than one-quarter said they have seen or overheard co-workers arguing about politics. In addition, 11 percent have gotten into an argument themselves.

Ballard said regardless of political identification, the heated discussions and divisive rhetoric this election season have the potential to take a toll on people’s well-being and even affect their job performance.

“While employers may not be able to limit political discussions in the workplace, they can take steps to ensure those conversations take place in a civil, respectful environment,” Ballard said. “A psychologically healthy workplace is particularly critical during challenging and polarizing times, and these survey results highlight the fact that despite conventional wisdom, people are often more alike than they are different.”

Always Equate to Increased Engagement

Employees are growing increasingly satisfied with their jobs, new research finds — but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more engaged in their work.

A study from Gallup examined 13 different job aspects and how satisfied employees were with each of them. Despite a dip in satisfaction with health benefits, co-worker relationship and vacation time, employees are happier than they were a year ago in most of the categories, including flexibility of hours, job security, recognition at work, chances for promotion, salary and on-the job stress.

“From last year to this year, workers have become more satisfied with most aspects of their jobs,” the study’s authors wrote. “This trend coincides with a recent uptick in ‘good jobs’ — the percentage of Americans who work full time for an employer.”

However, the increase in employee happiness doesn’t always translate into more productive workers. The researchers said that while satisfaction is on the rise, two-thirds of employees are still classified as either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged.” This is much higher than the percentage of workers who are unhappy with certain aspects of their jobs.

“From an employer’s perspective, this research shows that increasing workers’ satisfaction with their workplace alone is not the formula to improve productivity, retention and output,” the study’s authors wrote. “Employers should also strive to have engaged employees — those who are not just content with their job, but who are highly involved in and enthusiastic about it.”

To increase engagement, companies need to do more than just pay employees higher salaries and offer more vacation time, the researchers said.

“Gallup finds that boosting engagement involves focused efforts on complex elements that drive day-to-day performance, including role clarity, opportunities to develop, and feedback and progress discussions,” the study’s authors wrote. “This type of focus on engagement, however, can have a powerful effect on the factors that matter most to an organization’s performance-management and human-capital strategies.”

Focusing on improving employee satisfaction and engagement pays off for most businesses. Gallup research has found that businesses with above-average numbers of highly engaged employees average 21 percent higher profitability than businesses that have fewer engaged employees.

The Gallup study was based on surveys of 521 adults employed full or part time, aged 18 and older, and living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.