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Power: Yours for the Taking

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Power can be transformative and yet destructive depending on how it is handled. Take Adolf Hitler for example, he used power to control and abuse the lives of innocent human beings – not the type of power you want to see. Then there’s Abraham Lincoln who used his power to bring integrity, respect and honor back to the lives of many who were living as slaves – an honorable achievement.

Power that is used for good is respectable, especially in the workplace. What type of power do you have and did you even know you possessed this trait?

Preconceived notions

Perceptions of power at work indicate tensions around its distribution. Results from a Center for Creative Leadership research study show a notable correlation between how powerful a leader believes he or she is and that leader’s level in the organization. This trend seems to be consistent with most people’s idea of power – the control high-level leaders exert from their positions in the organizational hierarchy. What people are missing is that power extends far beyond the spacious corner office with a nice view, in fact; leaders at all levels have access to power. What’s important is understanding the many types of power and how to handle them.

Leveraging power at all levels

Do you feel you have power, especially at work? The truth is you do. Power isn’t just for owners and managers; employees have power too. Just think about where power comes from and you will find yours.

Here are seven types of power shaping the workforce today:

  1. Power of whom you know – How strong is your network? Are you connected? Some people are great networkers and maybe that’s you. This power grows exponentially – the more people you know, the more people will want to know you.
    “It’s all about who you know.” This is a popular saying in business, and it’s true. There is some sort of automatic power you gain from knowing people. In business, a connection could be the difference between a paycheck and unemployment.
  2. Power of what you know – The one “token” person in the room who has an answer for everything. Is that you? These people are very powerful because they hold all the answers to problems people need fixed.
  3. Power of love – Do people do things for you simply because they like you? Your power comes from your charismatic personality – an innate trait you didn’t have to do anything to obtain –that draws people to you.  Your power is infectious.
  4. Power of admiration – Unlike charisma, admiration is earned. By being responsible, organized, reliable, consistent and a team-player, you build trust with others. If people trust you they will listen to you and care what you have to say… now that’s power.
  5. Power of fear – If you’re in a position to punish, then you have power, but not the good kind of power. This power has been known to come back to haunt people, so sleep with one eye open.
    Robin Sharma, a trusted leadership advisor said it best, “Fear ruins more bright lives than you might imagine.” We all have the potential to “lead without title” and achieve great things. If you had the chance to elevate everyone around you, wouldn’t you want to capitalize on that?
  1. Possession-based power – You’ve got it and they want it. Technically, that’s power, but what happens when you no longer have what they want? This type of power may be hard to manage.
    In such a competitive market, everyone is striving to have some sort of possession-based power. Every organization wants to be the go-to in their industry. Innovation is key. In order to be the industry front-runner, you have to be one step ahead of the rest.
  2. Power by position – You’re the boss, the obvious source of power. Remember, a bad boss can quickly lose respect, influence and control so be a good leader worthy of the power you hold.
    Amit Kleinberger, CEO of Menchie’s, a popular frozen yogurt franchise, goes undercover on CBS’s popular hit show Undercover Boss. He exemplifies a true leader, taking moments to investigate how to improve his business and empower his employees. He doesn’t take his power for granted but sees it as an opportunity to impact others and in-turn his business.

So, maybe you’re not the CEO at the company, but you have power nonetheless and with that power you can help excel organizational performance (if you use it for good that is) – that is invaluable.


Author Bio: Lauren is an enthusiastic writer who is passionate about numerous topics surrounding the HCM industry including talent management and acquisition, technology, document management and leadership, just to name a few. Lauren has been with Paycom for over a year and has taken on roles as a blogger, social strategist and community relations coordinator. In her spare time she enjoys DIY“ing,” exploring the city and keeping up with her two dogs, Deacon and Cookie.


Four Ways to Make Your Employees Want to Come to Work

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How to Make Your Employees Want to Come to Work

Disengaged employees don’t feel motivated to work. A 2015 survey by Gallup revealed that 50.8 percent of American workers were not engaged in their jobs. Consequently, disengaged employees may arrive to work late, miss deadlines, submit poor-quality work, alienate themselves from co-workers or seek employment elsewhere.

While the employee could be solely responsible for his or her lack of motivation, in some cases, disengaged employees have a need that’s not being met by their employer. By recognizing and fulfilling this need, you can inspire them to arrive and perform up to standard. Here are four ways to accomplish this.

1. Offer challenging work that makes use of employees’ talents

According to a 2015 global survey by Right Management, 25 percent of employees reported that their top motivation for job change is to experience a different work culture with more challenging assignments. Stimulating projects make the work process more interesting,and push employees to keep learning and unlock hidden potential.

2. Provide transparent opportunities for advancement

High performers want to know that their career is progressing and that they will be given a fair chance at promotions. In a 2015 survey by Mercer, 26 percent of employees said their company does not make it easy to understand advancement opportunities within the company. 78 percent would stay longer with their current employer if their career path with the organization was clearly understood. To retain A-list workers, it’s important to develop and communicate advancement policies clearly.

3. Recognize and reward your employees

Near the top of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is esteem, which precedes only self-actualization.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

In the workplace, esteem deals with employees’ beliefs that they’re doing great work and that they should be recognized and rewarded for their efforts. Employees who are not compensated fairly or recognized for their hard work tend to move to greener pastures. According to a 2015 PayScale report, 65 percent of workers are quitting for more money. Studies also show that companies with strategic recognition programs have a lower turnover rate than those without a recognition program.

4. Get to know your staff

Getting to know your employees on a professional and personal level indicates that you value them not only as workers but also as individuals. The payoff is an employee-manager rapport that lends deeper insight into your employees’ motivations. You might learn:

  • Whether they like working for the company
  • Their personal likes and dislikes
  • How they feel about their manager and coworkers
  • Whether they enjoy their work
  • What projects they’re most suited for
  • Whether they’re satisfied with the equipment or technology they’re using
  • What resources they need to improve their performance
  • Their preferred working style, such as independently or in a team
  • Whether their personal life is interfering with their work
  • What exactly is demotivating them at work
  • What you can do to help


Disengaged employees are prone to being “no-shows,” which means someone else has to pick up the slack. A flight risk, they’re not above jumping ship without warning, which stunts organizational growth. While employees should be self-motivated, employers should also do their part by providing meaningful work, competitive pay, recognition, chances for advancement and a healthy work environment that fosters positive relationships.


Author Bio: A writer, speaker and young business leader, Jason has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom. A featured writer on human capital management technology, leadership and the Affordable Care Act, Jason launched Paycom’s blog and social media channels, helping empower organizations around the nation. Jason is attuned to the needs of businesses and recently helped develop a tool to aid organizations in their pursuit to comply with the ACA; one of the largest changes in healthcare the country has seen. While working in athletics for ESPN and FoxSports, Jason learned the importance of hard work and branding. In his free time he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and exploring new areas to strengthen his business acumen.

2017 Social Security Wage Base Increases to $127,200.

2017 Social Security Wage Base Increases

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The Social Security Wage Base increases to $127,200

With the largest hike in U.S. history set to take effect on January 1, 2017, the new Social Security wage base will increase from $118,500 to $127,200. This $8,700 increase marks the first wage base increase in two years and the highest percentage increase since 1983. Employees with wages equal to or larger than $127,200 will notice an additional $539.40 allocated toward Social Security on their 2017 tax returns.

The maximum Social Security tax any employee will pay is $7,886.40. Employers still are responsible for the remaining $7,886.40.

FICA Tax Rate Remains Unchanged

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA tax) for 2017, which is the combined total of the Social Security tax rate of 6.2 percent and the Medicare tax rate of 1.45 percent, will remain at 7.65 percent. The FICA tax is applied to all wages earned. An additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax will continue to be applied to all wages paid in excess of $200,000. As in 2016, paying the additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax will remain the responsibility of the employer on behalf of the wage earner.

Make sure your payroll provider has accounted for the 2017 withholdings increase and consider the best way to share this federal tax update with your employees.

What this Means for the Self-Employed

The 2017 social security wage base for self-employed individuals will also be $127,200 and the maximum social security tax for a self-employed individual will be $15,772.80. The combined social security tax rate of 12.4 percent and Medicare tax rate of 2.9 percent brings the self-employment tax rate total to 15.3 percent, but it is important to remember there is no Medicare tax limit on self-employment income.


by Amy Double

Author Bio: Amy, a tenured professional in sales and marketing with over 10 years of experience, is dedicated to creating content focused on helping organizations achieve their business goals. As an experienced writer, Amy is committed to researching and blogging about topics that affect businesses across multiple industries, including manufacturing, hospitality and more. Outside of work, Amy enjoys reading, entertaining and spending time with family.


How to Train your Workforce Using 1 Item in Your Pocket

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Everyone needs training, whether it’s basic, new-hire, how-to-get-started training or professional development. Training employees provides your company with a competitive edge in business for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that you end up with knowledgeable, capable employees who are as invested in the company as you are with them.

And guess what? You’re already training your employees, whether or not you realize it. From employee orientation on day one to continuing education, you’re training your business on the essentials. The thing is, you could be training in a simpler way.

Streamlining your company’s training and learning program doesn’t have to be time-consuming or intimidating. Take Paycom Learning, for instance. If you have a camera-equipped phone or a PowerPoint slideshow, you have the materials you need to create a training! In a couple of easy steps, you can save your company time and money by creating easy, everyday trainings.

Record Your Training

Nearly two-thirds of Americans have smartphones. Simply take that phone out of your pocket and record a video (or an audio message) of the training. For example, one of the first things a new hire needs to learn is how to utilize the features of his or her desk phone. You also may want to train your restaurant hosts on how to properly welcome guests. A two-minute video with a rundown of various details is an easy way to knock out basic getting-started tasks.

Upload Training to Paycom Learning

When you are finished recording, just upload the file to Paycom Learning and assign it to employees. They’ll be able to access the training via Employee Self-Service, from wherever there is an internet connection. Employees love easily accessible information; 75 percent of millennial workers are eager to utilize online learning. Podcasts are an easy way for employees to access training at their convenience, such as on their daily commute to work.

Measure Results

If you want to ensure your employees are retaining the information, considering adding a quiz. You also can monitor who has completed assigned training and easily review results.

Four Ways to Utilize Training

If you’re wondering how training applies to your company, here are four ways companies can utilize training:

  1. Practical, on-the-job training: Who is the expert in certain areas of your business? Record him or her demonstrating how to work the company alarm system, emergency procedures, email set-up and other trainings that otherwise would happen in person.
  2. Compliance training: What training is needed to comply with industry regulations? For example, how to properly wash your hands for food service or the procedures for reporting an on-site accident. Ensure that all employees are correctly and consistently trained.
  3. New-hire training: How many new hires do you have annually and how much time does it take to train them on the same standard tasks? Cut down on the time it takes to get them up-to-speed by simply recording one training and uploading it to Paycom Learning.
  4. Communicating important messages: How do you track who has seen an important companywide memo? Instead of mass-emailing employees, record important messages such as quarterly financial updates or the company’s vision statement, and post them to Paycom Learning. You then can generate reports on who has or hasn’t viewed the message.

When it comes to training, you’re already doing it, but don’t overcomplicate it. Training is easy when you use Paycom Learning.

Holly Faurot

by Holly Faurot

Author Bio: Faurot, vice president of client relations, has served in a number of roles during her tenure at Paycom, including regional vice president, sales training manager and sales consultant. A born leader and a 2012 honoree in Oklahoma’s 30 Under 30 awards, she has helped a number of individuals and clients achieve success through her energetic spirit. The product of a dairy farm in Kenefic, Okla., Faurot was taught at a young age the importance of working hard, being honest and having a desire to help others.

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