| Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
"Yesterday’s Advisor clarified the role of essential functions. Today’s issue will help you understand how to define and use them, plus some good news—your job descriptions are updated and ready to go with BLR’s SmartJobs program."
In fact, we turned to SmartJobs for the five questions that can help you decide whether a function is an essential function:
1. Does the position exist specifically to perform this function? For example, when a person is hired to proofread legal documents, the ability to proofread is an essential function. Or, for example, a manufacturing company advertises for a “floating” supervisor to substitute when regular supervisors on all three shifts are absent. The only reason this position exists is to have someone who can work on any of the three shifts. Therefore, the ability to work at any time of the day is an essential function.
| Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
"No, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require employers to prepare or maintain job descriptions. However, without them, it’s going to be very difficult to differentiate essential functions when you face discrimination charges from an applicant with a disability."
If you do have job descriptions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has said that it will review or consider them, as well as other relevant information, when determining essential functions. Therefore, it is important to keep job descriptions current. Claiming later that some function not listed on the description is a task essential to the job is more difficult to prove than if the task is already listed on the description.
| Thursday, February 14th, 2013
"Yesterday’s Advisor covered the first 4 deadly sins of managers; today, Envy, Greed, and Sloth, plus some very good news: your job descriptions are already written and updated."
[Go here for sins 1 to 4 and a bonus sin]
Sin 5. Envy
Envy makes managers do things that aren’t appropriate for the company. For example:
- Empire building. Trying to add more positions that aren’t important for the company to achieve its goals.
- Copycatting. The other department head has a French-speaking assistant; I want a French-speaking assistant. Or, the other department head just reorganized, I’d better reorganize, too.
| Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
"Yesterday’s Advisor covered consultant Deborah Lifshey’s top ten Dodd-Frank requirements; today, the “Say on” obligations, plus a solution to the most basic challenge in comp—job descriptions."
Lifshey, who is Managing Director at the New York Office of Pearl Meyer & Partners offered her “say on” tips at a recent webinar sponsored by BLR and HR Hero.
Say on Pay requires non-binding advisory vote on compensation of Named Executive Officers. says Lifshey. The requirement is effective for any shareholder meeting occurring after January 21, 2011.
| Thursday, November 8th, 2012
"Yesterday’s Advisor featured consultant Joseph DiMisa’s real-world metrics for incentive pay; today, his take on reps that make more than their managers. Also, sign-on bonuses, plus an introduction to the popular SmartJobs job description system."
Can reps make more than their managers? Yes, it’s fairly common, says DiMisa, and, in most companies, there’s no limit as long as reps are selling the right products to the right customers. A recent survey by Sibson Consulting found the following:
- 19% said reps can make more than the CEO
- 48% said the reps can make more than the head of sales
- 82% of companies said sales reps can make more than their managers!
| Thursday, October 25th, 2012
"Be wary of SPIFs, says consultant Joseph Dimisa, CSCP. They’re like whale watching.—“There’s a whale on the left” and everyone runs to left; “There’s a whale on the right” and everyone runs to the right). Reps start chasing the SPIFs and forget about their base objectives."
SPIFs are also a little like heroin, Dimisa says: The more you get the more you want, and it’s difficult to kick the habit. It’s hard to take the SPIFFs away.
DiMisa is Senior Vice President, Sales Effectiveness Practice Leader for Sibson Consulting, and author of best-selling business book “The Fisherman’s Guide to Selling.”
| Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
"Yesterday’s Advisor covered several legal issues related to job descriptions; today’s issue features key do’s and don’ts and introduces an extraordinary resource of prewritten job descriptions."
Here are the BLR editors’ do’s and don’ts for worthwhile job descriptions that will really support HR operations.
1. DO give specifics
For example, rather than stating that a maintenance worker "keeps up equipment," it is better to spell out the position’s requirements, which might include performing routine maintenance on assembly machines, including adjusting settings; cleaning and lubricating shafts, gears, and bearings; and dismantling and replacing defective parts, etc.
| Monday, October 1st, 2012
"Can job descriptions prevent lawsuits? Actually, yes, in many ways. Lack of clarity is the basis for many lawsuits—clarity about pay or about the reasons for employment decisions—and many of those suits can be avoided when you start with clearly written, up-to-date job descriptions."
Specifically, how do job descriptions protect against lawsuits and money damages? Here are several ways job descriptions help.
1. Promote Proper Classification
Recent multi-million-dollar lawsuits should be a wake-up call that good old wage-and-hour issues are worth a little attention, and job descriptions are a key factor. When job descriptions have proper detail, they help you reach a correct conclusion about exemptions. (Remember, the title is NOT the determining factor—job duties and responsibilities are.)