I posted this last year at this time, but I thought it still very relevant. 

Price Waterhouse Coopers, LLP also known as PwC just released a new paper discussing five megatrends they have identified. These five megatrends are discussed in their paper in terms of how they will affect global defense and security. I am going to discuss two of these megatrends in terms of how they will affect the workplace in the U.S.

The Megatrends

Two megatrends that will affect the workplace of the future.

Two megatrends that will affect the workplace of the future.

The five megatrends identified by PwC include:

  1. A shift in global economic power
  2. Demographic shifts
  3. Accelerating urbanization
  4. The rise of technology
  5. Climate change and resource scarcity

PwC discusses these in terms of the potential disruption they will have on the defense and security of countries around the world. For example, in the demographic megatrend on of the destabilizing forces will be the increase in the numbers of young men in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa who have limited economic opportunities and limited educational opportunities, thus making them susceptible to radicalization. That could lead to increased terrorism and even government overthrow.

Two Megatrends in particular

The two megatrends in this list that I want to discuss on this list are the demographic shifts and rising technology. While all of these megatrends have the possibility to affect the workplace in the US or even the world, these two have more immediate impact that I think HR needs to be aware of.

Demographic shift

According to the study, the number of Americans over the age of 65 will double to 72.1 million by 2030. Because of changes in lifestyle and medical advancements, many of the members of this group will not be interested in retiring. I have written about this many times, in Future Friday: The vision of retirement is already changing, for example. PwC foresees this will put pressure on companies and government to create jobs to keep this aging population employed. I believe that companies will have to work hard to overcome age discrimination issues in the workplace as the swell of older workers continues.

The workplace will also be affected by increased medical technology that will keep older workers capable of working longer. Body part replacement and advance healing techniques which will allow workers to overcome disabilities attributed to age. Thus the HR challenges will include proper accommodation in addition to the creation of jobs and controlling discrimination.

Training will also be an issue with aging workers. Keeping those populations up to date on technology will also be important. PwC says that CEO’s are concerned about skill gaps that could affect growth prospects. If your employee population is an older one, that will become a challenge. According to PwC some countries with very aging populations will have to supplement their workforce with immigrant workers. The US will also have to be aware of this.

The rise of technology

PwC points out several areas about technology that are relevant to the workplace. First, increased technology will increase flexibility. We have already seen that with the increase in telecommuting. But there is also the concept of virtual business supplanting physical locations on a more permanent basis. The challenges for HR are increased with a distributed workforce rather than having employees in one physical location. At the same time it also reduces the need for HR staff since technology, i.e., self-service and shared files, take the workload from staff.

Additionally, PwC says:

The ability to gather and analyze data in real time may become a requirement for doing business, rather than a competitive advantage.

The ability to collect, analyze and predict from data collected on employees will be an absolute necessity. Future positions in HR will include HR data specialists. The challenge for HR will be to attract and retain people with data analysis skills to the HR department.

The rise of technology is going to have a tremendous impact on the workplace and the HR department. I really cannot even begin to cover it in this blog. Many of my past Future Friday posts have discussed that so if you are interested browse through them.

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Enhancing Job Satisfaction Without Giving a Raise

by Michael Haberman on December 6, 2017 · 0 comments


Money isn’t everything in job satisfaction.

Today’s post is brought to you by my friends as SocialMonsters.org. These are good tips for companies that cannot afford monetary increases.

The level of unhappiness at work has been steadily increasing over the last few decades with nearly half of Americans expressing their dissatisfaction over their workplace. According to a report by the Conference Board, 52.3 percent of Americans report being unhappy at work.

This may not be a big surprise, but what employees are actually motivated by will spark the interest of business owners. Although it’s true employees are motivated by compensation, money isn’t the only thing that makes them happy and satisfied. In fact, there’s good news if you need to find ways to keep employees satisfied without digging into your budget to dole out a raise. A survey from Glassdoor found that 4 in 5 employees want benefits or perks more than a raise.

You can enhance your employee’s job satisfaction without giving a raise with these four techniques.

Give Them Better Tools

According to a survey by Technalysis, technologies and habits rooted in the 20th century are keeping the 21st-century vision of the modern workplace from being a reality. “Old school” methods of emails, phone calls and texts make up 75 percent of communication. But outdated tech and old-school practices can also drive customers away. However, outdated technology can hurt employee engagement and turn off customers who perceive your outdated tech as a sign that your company is also out of touch.

Give both customers and employees what they need to improve engagement and ROI to save yourself the hassle. For starters, use an automated directory telephone that routes, tracks and manages calls to streamline the customer service process. Look to successful companies like Sprint that handle a large volume of customer calls like a pro.

Offer Telecommute Options

As more workers roll out of bed and to their laptop for work, telecommuting has become a mainstream perk for businesses in multiple industries. These non-monetary perks can be easy to implement and can even make your employees more productive. According to a survey from TINYPulse, 91 percent of people who work from home feel that they’re more productive than when they’re in an office. Their findings also showed remote workers felt more valued and are happier than their in-office counterparts.

Hire Better Leaders

It’s probably a no-brainer that a bad boss can make or break an employee’s morale and satisfaction. Take more time to hire and train better leaders, and create a culture of respect among team members and managers. Start by creating more opportunities for employees to meet face-to-face with their bosses to discuss their ideas. Ask your company’s leaders to publicly recognize employees’ star efforts and set rewards like the choice of projects after meeting quarterly goals.

Create a Career Pathway

Employees need a reason to stick with your company and see themselves taking an active role. Start by providing development support and with a clear pathway to success to help give them clarity about their role at your company. Employees are prone to feeling dissatisfied if they don’t see growth and a way to advance in their careers. But make sure the training and development opportunities can lead somewhere. If employees can’t climb the ladder, then training is a waste.

Figuring out exactly how to enhance job satisfaction isn’t just good for your employees and retention rate, it can also dramatically impact the productivity of your workplace.


Five acts that violate the overtime provisions of the FLSA

by Michael Haberman on December 5, 2017 · 2 comments

There are 40 million reasons to make sure your wage and hour practices are in good shape.

I am still doing webinars on violations of the FLSA because employers still make these mistakes.  I was supposed to have presented one such webinar today. Sadly not enough people signed up for it. Although I originally wrote this three years ago these mistakes are still being made and costing employers hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

CNN Money published a list of the top 10 industries that violate the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. These industries include full-service restaurants, fast food restaurants, janitorial services, daycare, hotels and motels, convenience stores, nursing homes, security services, grocery stores and doctor’s offices. Many of these are franchises, smaller companies, single owner locations or locations that have little oversight by an HR department. Here are some of the violations these industries have been charged with and thus made to pay.

Violation 1- Paid only straight time for all hours work.

The FLSA states that all non-exempt employees that work more than 40 hours in a week must receive overtime based upon their “regular rate of pay”, which is not always equal to their state wage rate for straight time. (See here for a great explanation.) Some of these industries had people working 65 hours a week or more and not getting paid a cent in overtime.

Violation 2- Working in two different offices during a week but hours not combined.

If an employee works for one employer but happens to spend time in two different offices the company may be tempted to pay the employee out of different accounts. Since in most cases the employee is not going to have worked more than 40 hours in either location neither will then pay overtime. Sorry Mr. Employer, it doesn’t work that way. That employee is working for one employer and is working overtime. Pay up. There are situations where the employees are working different jobs at different rates and that is ok, but you still have to calculate overtime based on the blended rate and pay at 1.5 x the hours worked over 40.

Violation 3- Automatically deducting for a meal period, even when not taken

The beauty of having a time system is that it relieves supervisors of the responsibility of keeping track of time worked. The bad thing about that system is that it is not artificial intelligence (not yet anyway) and it does not know if the employee actually took the lunch. The FLSA states that you can only deduct for a meal period of 30 minutes or more when the employee is FULLY RELIEVED of their duties. If they are not, and the time system deducts for that time you are violating the FLSA by not paying for time worked. And if they are actually working then that kicks them into an overtime situation typically.

Violation 4- Working off the clock

This one happens even in big companies. Supervisors or owners are pinching pennies and don’t want to pay overtime, yet the work is not done at the end of regular time. So either by relying on the good graces of employees or by intimidation tell the employee to clock out and then to return to finish the work. Sorry, can’t do this.

Violation 5- Paying by the room

This was a violation by hotels and motels where they paid their housekeeping staff by the room cleaned. This was essentially a piece-rate type of system and is not really a violation of overtime, though it could be, it was more of a violation of minimum wage rules. It is fine to pay employees on a piece-rate or flat-rate type of system as long as the end result is that they are earning minimum wage for the number of hours they are working. Tipped-rate employees are the same way. If the restaurant was slow and the servers did not make enough in tips to bring their hourly wage up to the current minimum wage the employer has to make up the difference.


I have just really covered the bare bones here and have only concentrated on Federal law. Many states have different overtime and minimum wage provisions, so you need to pay attention to the locale in which you do business. Back payment of wages for many of these companies resulted in amounts of $131,000; $273,000; $544,900; $138,000; with a couple getting away for just $64,000 and $41,000. Do you want to write one of these checks to the Department of Labor?

A special word to franchisors, you need to make sure your franchisees understand these rules. When employees complain and it makes the news it is the company name that gets dragged through the mud and not the franchisee’s name.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Exit interviews are not used nearly enough in the termination process.

We are starting the week with a guest post from writer Ashley Wilson. An exit interview is a valuable tool that very often is not used, especially in smaller companies. Ms. Wilson gives us some excellent tips for their proper use.

All employees will eventually leave your company. Some will move onto a position with another company and others may decide to start their own business. Any time an employee leaves your company, you have the incredible opportunity to obtain unbiased feedback about your work environment and company through an exit interview.

However, many companies fail to conduct effective exit interviews. They allow employees to resign and walk out the door without learning anything about their circumstances and experiences. An exit interview is an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about your business so that improvements can be made. If you are ready to start implementing exit interviews, explore these helpful tips first.

Exit Interview Best Practices

While there is no wrong way to conduct an exit interview, there are some practices that could yield improved results. For example, when possible, set up an in-person exit interview. This may be more productive and yield more honest answers. An alternative is to use a written survey. This is most suitable when your employee works remotely. A written survey gives employees the opportunity to think through their answers, and they may enjoy the ability to prepare answers. However, on your end, be aware that written answers are not always as candid and honest as verbal answers provided in a live interview.

Think through your exit interview questions carefully, and prepare questions based on the information that could help you to more fully improve your business. Explain the purpose of an exit interview to your employees. While you may take some answers at face value and act immediately to improve processes, you could also track the answers so that you can spot trends. Trends that are causing employees to leave should be properly addressed so that you can improve the work environment.

Insights Into Recruiting

Some information that you obtain during an exit interview could help with your recruiting practices. For example, you can learn what aspects of the work environment individuals enjoyed, and you can hype these aspects up when recruiting new team members.

Through an exit interview, you can also learn about whether the position lived up to expectations that they had on day one. If not, understand where the position or work environment fell short so that improvements can be made going forward. While this cannot help you to retain current talent, it could help you to retain future talent that you are actively recruiting.

A Chance to Learn About Managers’ Leadership Styles

You may think that the managers in charge of your departments are performing excellently, but the insight provided in exit interviews can be eye-opening. For example, some employees may tell you that they do not like being micro-managed or that managers play favorites. In fact, poor management is the number one reason why employees quit.

Remember that resigning employees have nothing to lose by speaking the truth. However, some may be spiteful because of circumstances they experienced, and may not always tell the truth. When you learn more about your managers from exit interviews, make plans to observe managers in action in different ways. If you can corroborate what you have learned in an exit interview, you should take action to remedy the situation.

Feedback on Training Opportunities and Resources

Some employees leave a position because they felt like they did not have the proper resources to do their job right. Others leave because they were not advancing in their career or learning new skills. Remember that employees want to see skills development, educational opportunities, raises and promotions from time to time.

Employees also need the right tools so that they can be more efficient. Regularly, you should observe your team members in action. Pay attention to repetitive tasks that may be taking up too much of their time. Look for technological tools and resources that can help your employees feel supported. This can extend to business software, office supplies, and more.

Use the Data

You may gather an exceptional amount of data during an exit interview. It is important that you act on some of the responses to get the best possible results. However, you also need to gather and review the data periodically over time. Understanding trends is important, so you must be able to analyze the data effectively.

Remember that your ability to make changes based on exit interview feedback can show other employees that you care about their experiences and are open to making positive changes that benefit them.


If you are not currently conducting exit interviews, you can see that this should be remedied soon. If you are conducting exit interviews, focus on the questions that you are asking as well as your response to the information that you are receiving. Ideally, you will use the data to make immediate as well as long-term changes.

Author bio: Ashley Wilson is a freelance writer interested in business, marketing, and tech topics. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. Connect with Ashley via Twitter.


Future Friday: Tips for preparing for the future of work

by Michael Haberman December 1, 2017

Tweet I came across an interview in The Business Times out of Singapore that I thought was interesting. The three interviewees were key business executives in Asia. The interviewer, Jacquelyn Cheok, was interested in their perspective on the question “How can companies better prepare their employees, and how employees can equip themselves, for the future […]

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Paying a salary does not alleviate the need to pay overtime: Another case of “bad” HR

by Michael Haberman November 30, 2017

Tweet A company learned the hard way that paying an employee a salary does not remove the obligation to pay for overtime if the employee is entitled to it. A restaurant in Akron, Ohio found this out the hard way and it ended up costing them $118,354 in back wages and damages, paid out to […]

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Infographic on annoying workers

by Michael Haberman November 29, 2017

Tweet We have all had coworkers we found to be annoying. I found this infographic interesting.  Tweet

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Guest post: 10 successful ways to deal with conflicts when there is no HR

by Michael Haberman November 28, 2017

Tweet Today’s guest post is written by Asma Niaz, who brings us a more global view than I typically present. Educated in Pakistan and working out of the United Arab Emirates she does not have my U.S. centric point of view, yet what she presents is “universal” in dealing with people. She offers suggestions for […]

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Self-care is important to HR

by Michael Haberman November 27, 2017

Tweet I know many HR professionals who get down on themselves. Quite often the HR professional is their own worse critic. Too often we buy into the too often listened to nay-sayers about the HR profession, both in the general press and within our own companies. The Done list In a recent Management Tip of […]

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My Thanksgiving week

by Michael Haberman November 20, 2017

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