Pay Raises for 2014- What companies will be paying…

moneyAs we prepare for 2014, many of us are wondering what salary increases have been allocated by most companies.  According to SHRM, (Society for Human Resource Management) the increase for salaries in 2014 will rise slightly to three percent.  In 2013 the actual salary increase budgets were 2.9 percent which is well below pre-recession levels of 3.5-4.5 percent range. This is the third year that salary increases have held to three percent indicating a trend with most companies.  Only four percent of companies state they will not be giving a raise.  This is up significantly from the 2008 recession where 75% of employers implemented a “pay freeze”

Employees say they want performance to influence pay.  So what is a company to do if you have a limited budget for pay increases but want to get the best bang for your buck?  Here are a few compensation strategies to consider to help companies get the greatest impact of motivating and rewarding employees:

  • Don’t give the same amount of pay increases to everyone.  Pay for performance sends the message to employees that reinforces that good performance will get rewarded and is important to organization.
  • Allocate a higher percentage (perhaps double) to your top performers even if this means adding additional money to your budget.  If you do not have money in your budget for pay raises across the board, allocate some money for these top performers.
  • For marginal performers, consider not allocating any pay raise. Use this time to communicate performance expectations and job requirements.
  • Communicate your compensation strategy to all employees.  Merit pay can have a positive influence on employee job performance, especially if employees know how they are being measured.  If there is enough of a pay differential between the top and mid to low-level employee, then the pay increase can influence future job performance and provide an incentive to perform at the top-level.

How much are you planning to increase pay for 2014?  What are some of your compensation strategies that have been effective?

Scholley Bubenik is a Human Resource Consultant for Premier HR Solutions providing services to Austin area businesses.  For additional information, visit or contact Scholley at


To Text or Not To Text…When is it appropriate to text in the workplace?

Businessman TextingTexting has invaded our workplace and is most likely here to stay.  It’s a form of communication that allows us to stay connected to family, friends and the world and something that we have grown accustom to doing.  But how is it impacting your company?  I once witnessed a manager texting during a meeting and in front of the CEO.  I asked myself, “Does she really not know this is inappropriate?” So before you go texting, you may want to consider some of these suggestions.

Meetings and Presentations: First consider this, how do you feel about someone who continuously talks to a coworker during a meeting?  Most of you would find this unprofessional conduct.  So think of texting in that same way and you can understand how texting is not appropriate and may seem rude.  At meetings, we are expected to focus on the person conducting the meeting and give our full attention.  Therefore you don’t want to appear uninterested or disrespectful.  Even reading under the table is viewed as unprofessional.  If you are expecting an important text, excuse yourself from the meeting and take it in a private place.

At your workstation:  Many companies allow cell phones in the workplace.  However, most managers would agree that texting and cell phone use is perceived as a distraction and decreases productivity.  Limit texting at your workstation and keep your phone on silent to avoid disrupting others.  As with personal phone calls, texting is more suitable during breaks and lunch.  Ask your friends and family to avoid texting you during your peak work hours.

Business lunches:  Keep your cell phone in your pocket or purse.  Laying it on the table and constantly checking your email or text messages make you appear self-absorbed and can send the wrong message to your client or coworker.

Other text etiquette tips:  Email and phone calls are better forms of communication for business purposes than texting, however when you do text, keep these suggestions in mind.  Avoid texting bad news.  In the event you cannot speak to the person face to face, a phone call is probably a better form of communication when delivering bad news.   Be respectful and watch your tone.  If you are upset with someone call them instead of texting.  Return text messages as you would a phone call.  Lastly, avoid texting anytime when you are with a client or customer.

Whether you are the business owner, CEO or a manager, remember that the standard begins with you.  Therefore it is important to set a good example for your employees.  Communicate your expectations and if the problem persists, you may want to consider contacting your HR consultant to formulate a company policy as well.

How is texting affecting your company? What is your strategy for addressing texting issues in the workplace?

Scholley Bubenik is the owner of Austin based HR Consulting Company, Premier HR Solutions.  For additional information regarding Premier HR Solutions visit: or contact Scholley at