People planningHuman Resources: “Right” Sizing – an article in Industry Week uses the experience of Corning Company as a springboard for a discussion on strategic workforce planning, offering 12 tips for how to implement the practice. The article defines this as:

“Strategic workforce planning is not a new name for some old practice, emphasizes Mary B. Young, a senior researcher at the Conference Board. Strategic workforce planning, for example, assumes the business environment is constantly changing. It includes, she notes, asking such questions as, “What if the price of oil drops?” or “What if the Democrats win the election?” What’s more, “you can look at the differences between different operating businesses, or different locations or even under different managers,” she says.

In contrast, workforce planning of the past has often focused simply on headcount and produced a static projection of the number of people likely to be needed sometime in the future, Young says. “Too often, the net result was a humongous report, blinding spreadsheets and a dizzying amount of data that provided very little value to the business.”

Up, up, and away – Joanne Wojcik of Business Insurance reports on a recent survey conducted by the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers on employer health-care costs for 2007. Among the findings:

“According to the survey, while 41% of large employers (501 or more employees) saw rate increases ranging between 6% and 10% for 2007, only 16% of small employers (50 or fewer employees) saw rate hikes that low at renewal.

At the other end of the spectrum, 50% of small employers saw rate hikes between 11% and 15% for 2007, while only 19% of large employers saw similar increases at renewal.”

Accommodating employers – Jonathan O. Hafen discusses How Employers Can Address Mental Illness Claims Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in an excellent article in law.com. Here’s an excerpt:

“Recent cases suggest that employers should do more to confirm that an alleged mental illness qualifies as a “disability” under the ADA before proceeding to discuss potential accommodations. The process of confirming a qualifying disability will also often narrow the range of required accommodations, thereby benefiting the employer. When an employee requests an accommodation based on a mental illness, the employer should make the following determinations prior to addressing potential accommodations: 1) has the alleged mental illness been properly diagnosed?; 2) is the mental illness a long-term pervasive problem which substantially limits a major life activity?; and 3) can the employee, with or without reasonable accommodation, continue to perform the essential job functions in light of the mental illness?”

Comparing workers comp costs – Workers comp is regulated by 50 separate laws. and each state has different benefits and costs. In Workers Comp Insider, Tom Lynch discusses various tools for a state-by-state workers comp cost comparison. Alaska just took the title away from California for the state with the highest cost and North Dakota has the lowest cost. See where your state falls on the list. (PDF)
Fabulous perks – at Ask MetaFilter, a member asks what types of jobs have awesome perks/benefits? and other members respond. Educational benefits are frequently cited.
Friday funAddressing Employee Complaints, a YouTube video clip brought to you from the wonderful folks at despair.com.

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