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Leadership Lab | New management ideas at work

Will Salary History Questions Become History?

Make Your Firm an Open BookBanned in Boston. Last August, Massachusetts became the first state in the country to pass legislation that bars employers from asking prospective job candidates about their salary histories before receiving a formal job offer. The measure, which unanimously passed the Massachusetts legislature, will take effect on July 1, 2018. Under the new law, employers will still be permitted to consider work experience, education, job training, or measurements of production, sales, or revenue when determining variations in pay for employees and applicants. Pay advocates have touted the law as a way to close wage gaps based on race and gender by preventing the perpetuation of unequal pay at prior jobs.

Following the leader. The Massachusetts law might spur similar measures across the country. A new law that took effect in California on January 1 prohibits employers from using an employee’s salary history to justify a disparity between the salaries of similarly situated employees. This May, Philadelphia is scheduled to become the first American city to bar private-sector employers from asking potential hires for their salary histories, although the state legislature may block its enactment. A similar measure passed by the New York City Council in April is awaiting the mayor’s signature, which is considered a virtual certainty.

Impact potential. A December 2016 survey of subscribers to Morrissey Goodale’s A/E Recruiting Flash revealed that 84% of respondents routinely ask job candidates for their salary histories, so any widespread restrictions on salary history questions would require the vast majority of A/E firms to adjust their job interview processes. If your firm is operating in a city or state impacted by one of these new laws, review application forms and hiring documents to remove any questions explicitly seeking information about applicants’ salary histories and train every employee who could be interviewing prospective job candidates to make sure they know not to ask questions about salary histories.

The Road Warrior You | Travel tips for firm leaders

Survey Reveals Business Travelers’ Preferences

Doing a 360 on Future LeadersRide hailed. Where are business travelers spending their dollars? According to a survey by expense reporting software provider Certify, Uber was the most-expensed brand in the first quarter of 2017, accounting for 7% of all business expenses. Starbucks and Delta tied for second at 4% each. The analysis of more than 10 million receipts and expenses logged by Certify also found that Uber now accounts for more than half of ground transportation expenses (53%), up from 43% just one year ago. Certify noted, however, that Uber’s share of ground transportation spending by business travelers grew by just 1% from the last quarter of 2016, perhaps due to recent controversies and negative media coverage.

Cars crashing. Uber’s gain came at the expense of car rental companies, which saw their share of ground transportation spending by business travelers fall from 40% to 31% in the past year. (Taxis saw their share fall from 14% to 10%.) By a large margin, National Car Rental was the most-expensed car rental company, with more than a quarter (26.1%) of all category expenses. Enterprise Rent-A-Car was second at 17.5% followed by Hertz (13.5%) and Avis Car Rental (11.9%). Based on their ratings and reviews, business travelers were most satisfied with the performance of Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental.

Flying high. The Certify survey found that Delta, with 20.4% market share, was the most-expensed airline in the first quarter of 2017, followed closely by American at 19.6%, Southwest at 15.5%, and United at 14.1%. Although they accounted for mere fractions of expenses, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines ranked the highest in business traveler satisfaction.

Checking in. Hampton Inn topped the list of most-expensed hotel chains with 9.4% of all lodging expenses, followed by Marriott at 8.5%, Courtyard by Marriott at 7.8%, Holiday Inn Express at 4.8%, and Hilton Garden Inn at 4.6%. Business travelers ranked Westin Hotels as the top-rated hotel chain followed by Embassy Suites, Hilton, Homewood Suites, and Hyatt.

Tick, Tick, Tick | A snapshot of time management techniques

The Pros and Cons of Inbox Zero

Making Vacations MandatorySpring cleaning. If some days it feels as if you spend more time managing your e-mail than managing your business, you’re not alone. To avoid drowning in a sea of e-mails, some executives have embraced “Inbox Zero,” a concept developed by productivity expert Merlin Mann. Inbox Zero does not mean responding to all e-mails as soon as they arrive, but it does entail checking messages at standard intervals during the day and immediately deleting, archiving, delegating, or responding to e-mails that can be addressed in two minutes or less. Messages requiring more time for a response can be moved to a separate folder and addressed at a later point in the day. Among the touted benefits of Inbox Zero are quicker response times, less stress about a pile of to-dos in your inbox, and reduced chances of missing an important e-mail buried among an avalanche of messages.

Read and react. Intuit CEO Brad Smith told the web site Lifehacker he clears his e-mail inbox every day by practicing “the principle of read, act, file, or delete.” He makes sure that he performs one of those four actions for every e-mail he receives so that he follows his mantra to “never touch something more than once.” To achieve a clean inbox, Smith schedules 45-minute, rather than hour-long, meetings so that he can use the 15 minutes in between to read and act on any incoming e-mails.

Reality check. Best-selling author and time management expert Laura Vanderkam says achieving Inbox Zero is an unrealistic goal. “There is no correlation between having an empty inbox and being successful,” she told Business Insider. In her book “I Know How She Does It,” Vanderkam warns against “investing too much energy in any organizing system aimed at processing everything in your inbox.” Treating your inbox as a to-do list means that other people’s demands are now controlling your work day and taking time and energy that could better be spent elsewhere. In spite of the debate over Inbox Zero, most experts agree there’s one sure-fire way to receive fewer e-mails—send fewer of them in the first place.