Thursday, April 23, 2009


FAQ: How to convert values to text in Excel using the TEXT function.

Here's a tip for Excel to allow you to load organizational or survey job codes that are a mix of number codes and letter codes. For example, some surveys have job numbers similar to the following:
  • 1000
  • 1000R
or the format may look like this
  • 10.10
  • 10.11
  • 10.12
What can happen in Excel is that the trailing zero is removed and the list ends up looking like this:
  • 10.1
  • 10.11
  • 10.12
In the above examples the job codes with an R at the end are considered text data by Excel. The job codes without the R are considered numeric data by Excel. Similarly, the job codes with the decimal point are all considered values by Excel, when in reality you want them to load into NextComp as text.

NextComp will read only the numeric OR text depending on how the data is sorted in the import template. You’ll need to convert all of the job codes to text data in Excel. The image below gives a quick visual summary of the process. Click the image for a larger version.

Here's a step-by-step description for Excel 2003 and prior versions. The same techniques work in Excel 2007, although the menu names may be slightly different.

Step 1: Select all of column B by clicking in column B’s header

Step 2: Select the Insert menu in Excel, then select Columns

Step 3: Select the Format menu item in Excel and then select the Cells menu item

Step 6: Select cell B2

Step 7: Enter the formula shown below into cell B2. Here's a description of the TEXT function on the Microsoft Office website.

Step 8: Copy cell B2 down all the way to the last row of job code data

Step 9: Select data in column B from cell B2 through to the last row of data in the column

Step 10: Select the Edit menu item in Excel and then select the Copy menu item

Step 11: Select cell A2

Step 12: Select the Edit menu item in Excel and then select the Paste Special... menu item

Step 13: Choose “Values” as the Paste type

Step 14: Click the OK button

Step 15: Select all of column B by clicking on the column header for B

Step 16: Select the Edit menu in Excel and then select the Delete menu item

Step 17: Select the File menu item in Excel

Step 18: Select the Save item in the File menu

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Happy Earth Day

My youngest daughter woke up with a smile on her face and said "Happy Earth Day Daddy!" That's a good way to start my day. On the way to school we talked about taking steps to reduce our waste and ways to restore our environment. As I dropped the kids off, they said they were going to pick up trash at a local park as part of Earth Day.

I'm feeling hopeful this morning when my seven year old daughter and ten year old son are concerned and aware of the importance of our natural environment.

As a bonus, we even saw the herd of elk grazing in the field on the way to school.

It was a good morning. Happy Earth Day!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Tweet In Review

Here's a list of tweets from the past week related to human resources, compensation, surveys, and a few fun items as well.

Level 4 gym meet for my daughter, busy day of sports
about 3 hours ago from TwitterFon

1st baseball game of the season
about 6 hours ago from TwitterFon

This css/javascript modal dialog is awesome in it's simplicity and flexibility.
2:12 PM Apr 16th from TweetDeck

Best compensation related blog post title I've read this week "The Sight of the Gallows Really Clears the Senses"
12:40 PM Apr 16th from TweetDeck

Interesting article on Compensation Force about how "New Graduate Salary Offers Dip" in 2009
12:26 PM Apr 16th from TweetDeck

For coffee lovers, you should try this Vietnamese coffee by Trung Nguyen. It's so good!
9:45 AM Apr 16th from TweetDeck

Just returned to the office from a Northwest Compensation and Rewards Forum luncheon. It was really great seeing everyone!
2:12 PM Apr 15th from TweetDeck
(Learn more about this group.)

"Do your work. Do it well... But that shouldn’t be the only thing you do. Take a little time to build relationships, too."
9:35 AM Apr 15th from TweetDeck
(This was quoted from

New Culpepper e-bulletin includes some updates on 2009 merit budget figures.
9:24 AM Apr 15th from TweetDeck

Interesting series of articles comparing a well run symphony to a well run company.
9:13 AM Apr 15th from TweetDeck

"Incentive Plans for the Small Business Owner"
9:12 AM Apr 15th from TweetDeck

I just found a new compensation related blog. My friend Doug Sayed is one of the writers:
9:12 AM Apr 14th from TweetDeck
(The blog is called Compensation Cafe and I'm really enjoying this blog.)

There are just 47 days until the 2009 WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference and Exhibition in Seattle!
9:10 AM Apr 14th from TweetDeck

"Dhani Tackles The Globe" is a lot of fun to watch on The Travel Channel.
9:37 PM Apr 13th from TweetDeck

"Interesting Times Ahead" by Anne Ruddy
1:46 PM Apr 13th from TweetDeck

53 days 17 hours and 45 minutes to go to the WorldatWork 2009 Conference and Expo in Seattle, Washington, USA.
11:19 AM Apr 8th from TweetDeck

I'm very excited about the next blog post. I'll be posting several demos of Version 3 in action. So stay tuned!

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Northwest Compensation and Rewards Forum

I had the pleasure of attending the April 2009 meeting of the Northwest Compensation and Rewards Forum at the Bellevue Hyatt this afternoon. The group is focused on all things "total rewards" including pay, benefits, and work-life related issues. Each quarter they hold a lunch meeting with a well known presenter or panel to discuss the latest topics in the field.

Today's topic was "Refocusing Rewards When the Economy is a Blur" by Juan Pablo González with Axiom Consulting Partners. It was an engaging presentation reminding all of us not to lose track of the importance of high performers and differentiating total rewards even in challenging economic times. The next meeting is in July and I'm looking forward to attending.

Debbie Terry with BECU (Boeing Employees' Credit Union) spoke prior to the presentation on the Lance Armstrong "Live Strong Challenge" being held in Seattle this June. I think I'll get me and my kids involved in participating. It's to raise money for fighting cancer.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


WorldatWork Virtual Exhibit Hall Open

Audrey Johnson from WorldatWork says "With just 53 days 17 hours and 45 minutes to go…. We are pleased to announce that the 2009 Total Rewards Conference Virtual Expo Hall is now live on the conference web site. The virtual hall will remain up from now until two months after the conference."

Wow, only 53 days until the conference. I like that WorldatWork sends out these little reminders. It helps to keep me focused on getting ready for the show.

Here's the NEXTCOMP virtual exhibit hall booth.

I hope to see you in 53 days!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, April 03, 2009


Tweet In Review

Here's a round up of the latest information that I've been reading and posting about on Twitter.

But first I want to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of John Linton yesterday. He was a mentor for my Dad in Chicago when he began working at The Hay Group. My Dad was feeling down today because John had been inviting him to visit for a Cubs game. My Dad kept pushing it out to a future date. I think he's feeling the loss. He mentioned that John was like the big brother he wished he'd had growing up. I met John when I was about 8 years old, so of course I don't remember, but I see the impact that this man had on my Dad and I know he must have been a special person. To his wife and son and other family, I send me best wishes and please know that John will be missed and that he had a big impact on my Dad's life and hence on mine.

I'm on Twitter if you want to follow me.

This is a month's worth of posting since I was incognito getting ready for the User Group meeting in March.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


New Blog Header

I'm going to be working on freshening up the NextComp blog over the next few weeks, starting with a new blog header. The header image will change regularly to reflect the season. Enjoy!

Labels: , , , , ,


User Group Thank You And WorldatWork Booth in Seattle

I've been told that Spring is officially here, but I think Nature is playing an April Fool's joke on me, because I woke up and it was snowing (again) at my house. I have seen some hints of Spring around the neighborhood, the cherry trees have some blossoms, but Winter is keeping a toehold at least for now.

User Group Meeting Wrap Up

Thank you to those subscribers that attended the 2009 Northwest Area User's Group meeting held on Monday, March 30th at the Port of Seattle's offices on the waterfront. A huge thank you to Tammy Woodard, Ann McClellan and Hugh Hastings for hosting the meeting, helping setup, and take down and for the help with getting all the food and beverages moved from my car, to the room and back. Also, thank you to Tracey for bringing lunch and to Bob for stopping by at lunch to say "Hi" to the group. It was an excellent meeting and we discussed and generated some really good ideas for Version 3. Everyone, including me, is eagerly anticipating the full release of version three starting in April.

Version 3 Upgrades

A quick note to existing subscribers: we are upgrading each subscriber on a one-by-one basis on a time line to meet your needs. We will contact you when we are ready to proceed with the upgrade OR you can contact us and let us know you are ready. We will not be automatically moving everyone over, primarily because we know some of you are in the middle or just starting your annual analysis. We don't want to interrupt the annual process. We want to be sensitive to your time line and needs.

2009 WorldatWork Exhibit Booth

It's only the first of April, but my mind is already moving to the end of May and the WorldatWork conference and exposition being held in Seattle this year. Yay, it's in Seattle this year! This makes the logistics of setting up a booth and attending the conference much easier for me since I live in the area. The last time the conference was in Seattle was in 2000. I remember that we had an incredibly warm and beautiful week of weather during the conference. I hope that holds true for this year as well.

Here's a link to a "free pass" to the exhibit hall. If you are not attending the full conference, but you want to wander the aisles of the exhibit hall, just print these passes, fill them out, and you can wander to your heart's content.

So if you're in the area, or if you coming from out of town, I hope you have a chance to stop by booth 1330 and say "Hi".

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,