The Mom Index: calculating Mom's value on the open market
For the 13th consecutive year, salary.com is tracking data on the market value of a Mom. More than 6,000 moms were surveyed to quantify hours by job description to compute the yearly average. Moms are multi-talented multi-taskers who perform a variety of roles: CEO, janitor, psychologist, laundry worker, van driver, cook, housekeeper,computer operator, facilities manager, and day care teacher.
Stay-at-home moms work an average of 94 hours per week for a total estimated "mom salary" of $113,586 a year. Working moms -- in addition to their 40-hour work week -- spend an additional 58 hours on household and childcare jobs, and would earn a total of $67,435 if they collected a paycheck.
You can see more detail on the jobs that Moms perform and how that salary was calculated, or use the salary wizard to build a paycheck for a Mom that you know. Also, see some graphs and charts tracking Moms' value over the years, infographic style. We're including one one Working Moms.
When Holiday stress gets to be too much, an EAO can be a lifesaver. Learn how ESI Employee Assistance Program can help address your employees' wellbeing issues - from a wellness benefits and help for everyday work-life matters to comprehensive assistance for a wide array of potentially disruptive issues and problems. To learn more about how ESI EAP can help, give us a call: 800-535-4841.
Posted by Julie Ferguson on December 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM|Permalink
November 11, 2012
How to honor our veterans: Hire them!
Looking for some dependable, disciplined, team players who are experienced at performing under pressure? You can't do better than hiring a veteran. And if you hire a qualified veteran who begins work before January 1, 2013, you may be eligible for a tax credit. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a provision in the VOW to Hire Heroes Act 2011 that allows employers to claim the WOTC for qualified veterans. Credits can range as high as $9,600 per qualified veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for qualified tax-exempt organizations. There are a number of factors that determine the credit amount, including the length of the veteran's unemployment before hire, the number of hours the veteran works, and the veteran's first-year wages. Learn more about potential tax credits for hiring veterans from the IRS.
Here are a few resources:
CareerOneStop - Hiring resources for businesses and human resources managers.
Workplace Warriors: The Corporate Response to Deployment and Reintegration (PDF)
Highlighting Best Practices in Human Resources and Disability Management
Employers can help America's heroes succeed in the workplace by offering employee assistance and mentoring programs, advised the Workplace Warrior Think Tank - the first-of-its-kind group launched by the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC), the leading developer of employee health and productivity strategies, and three of the nation's leading disability insurers - The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., MetLife and Unum.
For Employers: Helping Employees Reintegrate into Civilian Employment
A veteran’s return to work following a deployment or mobilization is an employment transition, and he or she often brings new skills of leadership, teamwork and a broadened perspective that can be invaluable to your organization. Additionally, like any other employee making a transition, a veteran’s transition may face some unusual circumstances. This resource helps employers understand how to help ease the reintegration of veterans in a number of ways.
Returning service members face the challenge of reintegration in the family, the workplace, the community. Some will face the special challenges of coping with physical or psychological wounds, such as PTSD. ESI EAP offers members a variety of services addressing the challenges of military deployment. We also have resources for employers. To learn more about how ESI EAP can help, give us a call: 800-535-4841.
Posted by Julie Ferguson on November 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM|Permalink
February 12, 2012
Cupid's arrow or sexual harassment?
Have you heard the one about the nurse, the social worker, and the exotic dancer who walked into a bar ... ?
But wait, there's one little twist... in this case, the bar was the plaintiff bar in a courtroom and the punchline was no joke for their employers. To commemorate Valentine's Day this year, employment Attorney Robin Shea offers a bouquet of sexual harassment cases. She describes the circumstances surrounding all three recent cases and offers morals and lessons for each.
. Supervisors of ESI EAP member organizations have telephone access to our Senior Professionals in Human Resources (SPHRs) who can discuss "best practice" scenarios or assist in researching the best strategies for addressing a myriad of employee dynamics. It's like having a coach on the team when managers or supervisors face difficult issues. Click to learn more about HR benefits.
Posted by Julie Ferguson on February 12, 2012 at 5:54 PM|Permalink
December 21, 2011
Holiday cuteness: singing hedgehogs
Holidays can be hard on hedgehogs - who knew? This is a cute interactive feature that we couldn't resist sharing!
Posted by Julie Ferguson on December 21, 2011 at 8:07 AM|Permalink
December 18, 2011
Holiday survival kit
There are all kinds of reasons that people can have trouble coping with the holidays. In a short video clip from Good Morning America, psychologist Dr. Ryan Fuller talks about several, ranging from family dynamics and financial stress to changes in schedule and poor diet/drinking factors. See tips for beating the holiday blues, which offers a few good rules of thumb:
Don't Take On Too Much
Keep Some Semblance of a Routine
Give Yourself Some Space
Don't Drink Too Much
Honor Loved Ones
For some, the holidays can serve as a trigger exacerbating some other issue. To help you and your employees survive the next few weeks, we've compiled a list of tips for handling various stressors and problems.
Posted by Julie Ferguson on October 31, 2011 at 10:49 AM|Permalink
February 13, 2011
Taking the pulse about workplace romance on Valentine's Day
On Valentine's Day, life might be just a box of chocolates - but be careful not to chip your tooth. Daniel Schwartz of Connecticut Employment Blog warns us about legal perils on Valentine's Day - a day that he says "brings out the the inner sexual harasser in far too many instances." He recounts a series of workplace valentine's gestures or actions that led not to romance but to the courtroom.
It is precisely such potential peril that leads us to view the whole business of "work spouses" with such a jaundiced eye. Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall St Journal Work & Family blog posts about co-workers acknowledging their work spouses on Cupid's Day. It's not that we don't think that strong bonds in the workplace aren't something to be valued and acknowledged. But we question framing them with trappings that have been traditionally associated with romance.
Despite the perils, workplace romance seems to be thriving. A recent CareerBuilder survey seems to indicate that the taboo against dating coworkers may be breaking down. "Approximately 40 percent of workers say they have dated someone they worked with over their career; 18 percent report dating co-workers at least twice in their career. Additionally, 30 percent report they went on to marry a person they dated in the office."
Posted by Julie Ferguson on February 13, 2011 at 12:55 PM|Permalink
December 3, 2010
Holiday parties: risk-management tips for liquor-related liability
BNA has published its Year-End Holiday Practices Survey, which offers a useful benchmark - they've been conducting these surveys for more than 20 years. This year's results encompass the responses of human resources executives representing 300 U.S. employers. The big news this year? Parties are on the upswing...76% of respondents said they will be holding a year-end holiday celebration of some type this year, up 9 percentage points from last year's 10-year low of 67%. And of the party givers, 52% say they will open the parties to spouses or other guests. But the partying will include slightly less emphasis on liquor. While 58% of the holiday parties will include the serving of alcoholic beverages, this is a 3% drop since 2009 and a 7% drop since 2008. In addition, most employers indicate that they are taking one or more measures to limit excessive drinking and ensure the safety of party attendees. Here are some of the strategies that employers employ:
74% - will have bartenders monitor alcohol consumption
54% - will limit times when alcohol is served
49% - will offer a taxi service
24% - will provide discounted hotel rates to encourage overnight stays
4% - will appoint designated drivers
Protecting against liability from alcohol-related driving accidents is important, but there are other liquor-related issues that can pose risk for employers. Attorney Daniel Schwartz of Connecticut Employment Law Blog reminds us that alcohol-induced stupidity can also lead to serious sexual harassment claims - he cites a number of cases and offers links to a series of excellent posts that he has made on the topic of office parties:
Posted by Julie Ferguson on December 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM|Permalink
January 5, 2010
Study: disability spikes in January-February
Now that the parties are over and the bills are coming due, your employees may be returning to work with a heavy load of stress, a case of post-holiday letdown, or a more serious case of depression linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Post-holiday malaise is as predictable as the swallows returning to Capistrano and while it will not affect all your employees, it will effect enough to make a serious dent in productivity. A recent study of employee disability claims by The Hartford offers further testimony to this matter. The study, which analyzed more than one million short-term disability claims filed from 2004 to 2008, revealed a seasonal pattern:
"Excluding pregnancy-related claims, the review found that short-term disability claims dropped to their lowest level in November and December. But the dip was followed by a surge in disability claims in January and February linked to depression, respiratory illnesses and injuries. The average time a worker took off work for a disability was about 60 days, not counting pregnancy-related claims."
"Glenn Shapiro, vice president for claims at the company’s group benefits division, said the pattern was not entirely surprising given that dreary and cold winter days had long been linked to depression, a higher risk of colds and flu and slipping and falling accidents."
Forward-looking managers should anticipate the increased risks for disability over the post-holiday season and plan accordingly. Here are some resources and tips that might help:
In Relax, You Can Beat That Stress, Kirsten Gerencher of the Wall Street Journal offers 5 tips for relaxation. Note that our own vice president of counseling services Kathleen Jahnke is cited in tip #5.
Posted by Julie Ferguson on January 5, 2010 at 2:46 PM|Permalink
December 15, 2009
Holiday work parties, 2009 style
Most companies plan to hold an end-of-year/holiday party for employees this year, but one in five employers will not hold a party due to economic cutbacks, according to a holiday poll of 300+ employers by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The smaller the employer, the more likely the party: Small (72%) and medium-sized (67 %) organizations were more likely than large-sized organizations (48%) to stage parties.
BNA’s Year-End Holiday Practices Survey also found that the economy is having an impact on seasonal festivities. Two out of three employers (67%) will hold some sort of year-end holiday celebration in 2009, down from the 81% that sponsored such events in 2008. More employers will limit party access to employers this year too - 47% of surveyed employers will open up their holiday parties to spouses or other guests, compared to 55% in 2008. And in what may be even more dispiriting news to cash-strapped employees, the survey revealed that holiday gifts and bonuses have fallen to a record low - down to 33%, a drop from the recent high of 49% in 2006
We posted about workplace holiday festivities in a recession last December, and except for the change in employer practices noted above, some of the excellent tips from experts for organizations hosting holiday parties still stand and are worth perusing. Here are some additional resources for employers and employees:
Posted by Julie Ferguson on December 15, 2009 at 11:08 AM|Permalink
October 26, 2009
Costumes at work - the seasonal quandary
Here's a question that spooks employers every year about this time: should you allow costumes at work? For many employers, the answer is an outright "no way." A decision to disallow costumes may be based on business reasons such as upholding a professional image or for safety reasons - costumes don't work well in every environment. Or for many other employers, it's simply not worth taking on the additional liability risk.
Labor Arts - The site states that it is a virtual museum, which gathers and displays images of the cultural artifacts of working people and their organizations. Its mission is "to present powerful images that help us understand the past and present lives of working people."
Women Working, 1800-1930 - focuses on women's role in the United States economy and provides access to digitized historical, manuscript, and image resources selected from Harvard University's library and museum collections.
Posted by Julie Ferguson on September 6, 2009 at 9:29 AM|Permalink
January 20, 2009
Employers braced for an inauguration slowdown
Inauguration day is a normally big day for the nation. This year, the historic nature of having the first black president makes it even more significant. Many employers are expecting a slowdown today - HR departments report that many employees are taking the day off entirely to watch events or take part in local events. At the workplace, some employers are making accommodations to allow people to take part. If your work situation allows, you may be able to view all or part of the day's events online - Lifehacker has compiled a Guide to Catching the Inauguration from Anywhere
But for those of us who won't be able to watch things live, here are a few good sources of information to be able to enjoy the day's events after the fact:
And you thought your job was tough! You might want to bake Santa some extra special cookies this year.
Posted by Julie Ferguson on December 22, 2008 at 10:32 AM|Permalink
December 14, 2008
Workplace holiday festivities in a recession
Are you going ahead with a holiday party this year? According to a recent survey of 100 companies by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., 23 percent of their respondents indicated that they aren't having a holiday party this year, compared with 10 percent last year. Given the grim economy, many companies are choosing to scale back or to focus on charitable events. For another perspective on what other employers are doing this year, see BNA’s annual Year-end Holiday Practices Survey, courtesy of Mark Toth at Manpower Employment Blawg.
But if you are among those organizations that will still be scheduling holiday festivities, here are good tips from some experts:
The lighter side: HR Web Cafe's pre-holiday extravaganza
In 2005, the BBC ran a most entertaining feature called The Worst Jobs in Christmas history - you can view the 48 minute video clip or visit the accompanying website to read about bad seasonal jobs from yesteryear, spanning the Anglo-Saxon to the Victorian era. Believe it, your job will look great in comparison.
And in the how NOT to do things department, may we suggest: Dave Barry's Annual Holiday Gift Guide and the Bad Gift Emporium where you can review a gallery of bad gifts that others have been given, and you can also add any of your own to the gallery if you are the recipient of some bad gifts this year.
Posted by Julie Ferguson on December 19, 2007 at 5:22 AM|Permalink
November 14, 2007
Holidays and grief: helping the bereaved
For people facing a recent loss, the holidays can be anything but happy. Thanksgiving will kick off a 6 week season of holiday celebrations for many; for others, it will be a sad reminder of loved ones lost. For those who have suffered a recent loss, the wounds are particularly raw and painful, but the effects of loss and grief can recur for many years. Memories of past celebrations with the departed can rekindle the feelings of loss.
Supervisors and HR managers should be sensitive to the fact that this may be a difficult time of year for any workers who have experienced a significant loss within the last year and should watch for signs of depression. Nancy Schimelpfening of about.com offers a brief refresher on the various stages of grief, along with "do" and "don't" lists offering guidance in ways to be supportive to people coping with grief. The Hospice Foundation of America issues an annual holiday newsletter of tips for coping with grief (PDF), which can be ordered online. Single issues are available at no charge, and small lots can be ordered at a reasonable price - these might be handy to have available for employees. And managers should also be sure to keep the EAP telephone number handy - in fact, for those employers that have an EAP, it's a good time of year to issue a reminder that services are available.
We've found a few good articles on coping with holiday grief that might be useful in helping you to communicate with and support any employees who are coping with grief:
Posted by Julie Ferguson on November 14, 2007 at 8:36 AM|Permalink
October 29, 2007
Halloween in the workplace
According to a recent Halloween at the Workplace survey released by Vault.com Inc., 37% of employees say they celebrate the holiday with their co-workers and 27% dress up in costume.
Susan Heatherfield of Human Resources at about.com says that Halloween is the second most popular holiday after Christmas and that celebrating it at the workplace "appeals to the child in each of us and helps create a motivational, team work-oriented work culture." She offers suggestions for celebrating Halloween at work, ranging from a themed breakfast or lunch to a pumpkin carving contest or philanthropic activities.
Of course, on-the-job masquerades are more appropriate for some workplaces than others. Mike Copeland of the Waco Tribune-Heraldpolled some local companies about Halloween practices, and unsurprisingly, there were varied responses. For some organizations, such as manufacturers or equipment handlers, costumes could jeopardize safety. Other organizations such as hospitals don't want to let professionalism slip for even a day, fearing that masks or costumes might alarm patients. And a local bank has two sensible rules: no masks and no toy weapons.
Far be it from us to be the wet blanket in the crowd, but employers do need to exercise some caution when it comes to any parties and celebrations. We favor the "no alcohol" at work rule, and suggest that you issue some guidelines about costumes. Here are a few recommendations for your work festivities:
Consider charging a toll of a dollar or two for the privilege of wearing a costume and donate all proceeds to a favorite local charity.
Issue some basic rules about costumes. Put safety first and foremost, and let employees know that revealing, offensive, off-color, or racist costumes will not be allowed. (Employees: use good sense. No matter how clever the idea, resist any urge to wear a "career limiting costume.")
Discourage tricks or pranks that could scare others or pose a safety hazard.
If costumes don't "work" for your organization, consider some alternative celebrations, such as holding an off-hours parade or party that family members could attend or staging contests for best pumpkin carving, best kid's costume, best pet costume, etc.
Consider a free "ghoulish" buffet breakfast or lunch, or put special seasonal treats in the break room.