Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports Costs for Employee Compensation

October 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)



A manager and director of sales operations for multinational firms, Diane Kaern has deep experience analyzing the key metrics of global firms. Diane Kaern has used enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for analysis, based on data from various sources.

Non-proprietary data that might be used in determining compensation packages–for U.S. employees only–can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which recently issued an economic news release on employer costs for employee compensation in the United States.

The BLS reports that as of March 2016, the average employer cost for employee compensation was $33.94 per hour. The BLS says that that wages and salaries accounted for 68.5 percent of these costs, with an average hourly pay rate of $23.25 per hour for wages and salaries. Benefits, with an average cost of $10.70 per hour, accounted for the remaining 31.5 percent.

The BLS obtained wage, salary, and employee benefit information for this report through a national compensation survey of compensation costs for non-farm private-sector workers and for workers in state and local government.

Non-proprietary data that might be used to calculate compensation for employees outside the United States can be obtained from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international forum headquartered in Paris. The OECD has a mission to promote policies to improve economic and social well-being worldwide. It provides an online listing of average annual salaries, as of 2015, for more than 30 countries, including the United States. This listing, which cites average annual wages in national currency units, displays an average annual U.S. wage of $58,714.

Business Risk Assessment

September 1, 2016 § Leave a comment

business risks

business risks


Diane Kaern is an expert in business operations, sales, and finance with experience at global companies such as Siemens AG and Hewlett-Packard. While working as a manager at Siemens AG, Diane Kaern initiated and conducted a workshop to assess and identify business risks and opportunities.

The practice of evaluating and identifying potential risks that could negatively impact business operations or finances is known as business risk assessment. It is a preventive technique that helps organizations be prepared for disruptions and usually includes a scoring component to rank risks so that the most severe risks can be prioritized.

Threats addressed through business risk assessment can be generally categorized as internal or external. Internal risks are usually more specific and can be addressed quickly as they originate from within a business. Some examples of internal risks include poor employee performance or failure of machines in a manufacturing business. External risks are more difficult to control and originate outside of a firm. These include risks such as a new competitor entering the market or an economic downturn.

Overcoming Three Common Communication Problems in the Workplace

August 1, 2016 § Leave a comment

Communications pic

Image: smallbusiness.chron.com

Diane Kaern is the former worldwide sales compensation analytics and reporting manager with Hewlett-Packard, representing a sales volume of approximately $127 billion. During her time with HP, Diane Kaern has demonstrated analytical knowledge and excellent communication skills.

Because miscommunication can have serious implications for a company’s bottom line, it is no surprise that clear communication is one of the most valued skills in the workplace. Here are three common communication issues in the workplace, as well as strategies for overcoming them:

Cultural differences: it is human nature to want to spend time with members of one’s own culture, but this can create conflicting small group dynamics in the workplace. Managers can overcome this problem by mixing up employees and making sure all perspectives are being heard.

Listening problems: almost every workplace has one or more employees who interrupt co-workers and fail to listen to what anyone else has to say. By stressing the importance of good listening skills before discussions, managers can create a workplace culture that values expression and dialogue.

Ego: when employees refuse to take ownership of their role in problem situations, no progress can be made toward solving the issue. While employees often need to have their egos “checked” by a manager, sometimes the best course of action is simply to let people disagree and move on.

What Is the Difference Between Sales and Marketing?

June 11, 2016 § Leave a comment


Sales and Marketing pic

Sales and Marketing
Image: marketing.about.com

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Diane Kaern is a former Hewlett-Packard employee with a background in finance and sales. Prior to assuming her role with Hewlett-Packard, Diane Kaern served as Finance Manager for Siemens Medical Systems, where she forecasted, reported, and controlled expenses for the firm’s worldwide sales and marketing team.

In a business setting, sales and marketing are often grouped together into one department, but the operations of the two teams have different objectives and methods for achieving established goals. Sales is primarily a two-way communication between representative and customer, whereas marketing tends to be a one-way line of communication from representative to customer. While the fundamentals of sales stay the same no matter what is happening in a given industry, marketing requires quick adaptation to the new technologies and social psychologies that shape markets.

While marketing takes a broad, conceptual approach when attempting to reach a wide audience, the sales aspect of a business is more focused and appeals to individual customers by honing in on specific circumstances and needs. In keeping with this concept, the broad calls of marketing may motivate potential customers to seek out more information, but the tactics used in sales will be the reason that a potential customer chooses to do business with a company.

Dos and Don’ts of Managing a Sales Pipeline

February 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

Sales Management pic

Sales Management
Image: inc.com

According to the Sales Management Association, more than half of executives recognize deficient sales pipeline management within their companies. Every company should utilize a sales pipeline to guide prospective customers through the many stages of product purchase. As such, it is important to remember a number of dos and don’ts that will help you successfully manage this crucial process at your firm.

Do define your sales pipeline
You need to clearly establish the sales pipeline that will help you manage the services specific to your company. Bring together your team and map out each buyer phase, ranging from pre-sale to post-sale. Making sure that each employee is on the same page will help ensure a successful pipeline for all potential clients.

Don’t neglect sales forecasting
Sales forecasting is a crucial part of managing your company’s sales pipeline, as it allows you to gain a unique perspective of the entire sales process. In addition, you will be able to assess potential challenges before you encounter them, which will help you better control your pipeline. Better organization will help you efficiently and successfully acquire your sales prospects.

Do follow your leads
Most consumers do not receive efficient or proper follow-up from companies vying for their business. It is important not only to follow your leads, but to complete this step early on in your pipeline. In fact, a 2011 Harvard Business Review study found that companies are six times more likely to acquire a lead if they respond to the client within an hour of initial contact.

Cutting Marketing Costs without Compromising Success

October 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

Diane Kaern has built a successful career in the field of financial management and sales compensation for such multinational companies as Hewlett-Packard and Siemens AG. Commanding a strong understanding of cost reduction, Diane Kaern has held a number of finance-related responsibilities, including managing worldwide marketing expenses.

Marketing is an important part of increasing sales and building a reputable brand, but the costs of marketing easily can become overwhelming. Fortunately, there are several ways of cutting the costs of marketing without sacrificing effectiveness.

Change the focus. A large portion of a company’s marketing budget goes toward finding new customers, but sometimes following this focus is not profitable. By changing marketing strategies to promote customer retention, companies cut costs and while still increasing profit thanks to repeated business.

Go digital. Printed materials such as catalogs and brochures still have a place in much of the world’s business marketing, but they are much more expensive than digital marketing efforts. Sending digital brochures and information can make marketing efforts more affordable, helps companies reach more consumers at once for a lower price, and can be just as effective as print advertising depending on the demographic a company is targeting.

Visit community events. Although social media is often the easiest way of connecting with the community, sending representatives to different events or gatherings creates a deeper level of community involvement. Purchasing a space at an event may cost some money, but it fosters interactions that are much more personal than social media.

Commonly Overlooked Ways of Reducing Business Costs

October 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

An accomplished sales operations professional with proven leadership and organization skills, Diane Kaern has worked at such large, multinational corporations as Hewlett- Packard. Throughout her career, Diane Kaern has become familiar in a wide range of business functions, including cost management and reduction.

Reducing costs is an important part of keeping businesses profitable and operational, however, there are several cost-cutting ideas that many companies may overlook. While cutting staff seems like a simple option, it may not be the best solution. Instead, companies can try cutting their equipment costs. This may require a bit of creativity, but reducing outlay can improve cash flow. Additionally, certain services can be pooled to obtain lower prices. By joining with a few other businesses who use the same service, it may be possible to secure a discounted bulk price on the service.

Telecommuting is another way companies can decrease costs, especially if they find that certain tasks are not being done on time due to employees taking more time off. By setting up telecommuting opportunities, employees can still take time away from the office to be with sick family members or go to a doctor’s appointment while also juggling their schedule to complete an important project. If telecommuting is not possible, companies can encourage staff to take a mix of unpaid and paid leave to help save in the long run. However, if holiday times are not structured properly, a business may experience too many interruptions and lose money instead.