Providing Employees with Regular Feedback

July 25th, 2017

A lot of companies treat feedback as a yearly ritual. An annual employee review or salary review is formal, nerve wracking, and can become very tense when negatives are covered. Making feedback a regular part of the work environment can defuse the stress that often comes with criticisms and open new opportunities for you to grow as a business. Here’s why you should provide employees regular feedback.

Timing Matters.

Harvey Deutschendorf of Fast Company thinks “the time to give feedback is as soon as possible after a situation or event has occurred.” This is important with negative feedback but also important with positive feedback. You shouldn’t wait to motivate employees or help them improve. Fast feedback is also more effective than the annual sit-down. People learn best when events are fresh in their mind and can apply lessons better.

Feedback Sessions Help You Understand Your Business.

Employees may want to defend themselves or present differing views on situations than your own. This is a positive. Being a good listener helps team cohesion and gives you a chance to learn and grow as a company.

Feedback Is a Form of Training.

Thinking of feedback as a form of criticism is limiting. You should look at feedback sessions as training sessions. Treat them as an opportunity to exchange ideas, train new concepts, and motivate staff. Using feedback sessions to improve performance and leaving each session on a positive with set goals for improvement can create real impacts in your ability to deliver, sell and produce as a business. Cynthia M. Phoel of the Harvard Business Review says you should “approach the feedback session with the goal of getting a complete and accurate picture of the situation.” This will help you be more responsive and fair to your employees.

If you need to hire more employees who will help contribute to your workplace’s internal ability to learn and grow from feedback, contact Olympic Staffing. We are trained to look for potential recruits who have positive outlooks and know the value of constructive workplace dialogue.

Small Companies – Should I Accept their Offer?

July 18th, 2017

When you’re involved in a job search one of the most difficult choices you may have to make is whether to accept an offer from a small company. Big companies have name recognition, entrenched sources of income and heavy management structures that can lead to promotions down the line. Evaluating the pros and cons of a small company is a little more difficult.

Small Companies May Result in Bigger Roles

Big companies can afford to specialize employees, but small companies often take an “all hands on deck” approach to work. This means employees can gain more new experiences in a smaller company. The lack of specialization can be a problem for some employees though. Being pigeonholed as a jack of all trades, master of none in career tracks that value highly specialized skill sets is a real disadvantage that may need to be balanced with learning or certification opportunities to keep employees current.

Smaller Teams.

Smaller companies mean smaller teams are handling projects. This can be a great benefit because you develop a real comfort level with the people around you. As Kate Thora of UpHours notes, “You will see the direct results of your efforts on the company, which gives greater job satisfaction.” Of course, smaller teams can magnify friction between employees when it does occur, and smaller management means the company needs to grow to open up promote from within opportunities.

Innovation.

Small Companies are better at innovating than large ones. Ideas travel through them faster and as Brian Hill mentions, small companies, “can make quick decisions rather than having to maneuver through layers of bureaucracy to proceed with an idea.” On the other hand, big ideas can have big price tags, something larger business can more easily take on without finding expensive investors who will want equity in return.

Whether you choose the small company or the big, contact Olympic Staffing. We specialize in connecting candidates with companies every day.

How to Foster Creativity in Your Job

July 11th, 2017

Some people think creativity requires special skills, training, or talent to come out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most people are problem solvers with individual thinking. Coming up with creative solutions in the workplace is simply building a process that allows creativity to flourish. Here’s how to foster creativity in your job:

If You Need New Ideas, Ask for Them.

The best way to get people to do something is to ask them. Simple as that. If you want new ideas, put up a whiteboard and tell people to write their ideas on it. Or highlight specific problems and ask people to suggest new solutions within a set time. Meet Advisers founder Adam Fridman notes “in a brainstorming session it often pays to put certain limits in place to help foster innovation, as constraints can actually help people to think more laterally.”

Reward Creativity.

It isn’t enough to ask employees for ideas; they have to see some benefit from the effort. Rewards can be tangible, like a bonus or gift, or recognition of their efforts. The best reward for creativity is often implementing an employee’s ideas and recognizing them for their contribution. This kind of positive affirmation can only encourage others to feel their suggestions will be equally valued.

Diversify Your Office.

Teams of like-minded people will often have a narrow approach to problem-solving because their thought processes are too similar. New perspectives will often foster new ideas by giving you more ways to look at the issue. According to Allison Quirk of State Street Corporation“there’s also a term for this — the Medici Effect, which posits that a diverse team has a better chance of generating groundbreaking ideas thanks to the varying ways it approaches a problem.”

If you need to hire more employees who will help contribute to your companies creative environment, contact Olympic Staffing. We are trained to look for problem solvers who have track records of producing and implementing creative solutions.

How to Market Yourself as an Employee

July 3rd, 2017

When you are looking for new opportunities, you need to make sure employers know the right things about you. Marketing yourself can be the difference between getting the right job and just another paycheck. Using a little strategy can get the right info in front of the right companies with your name attached. Here’s how you can market yourself as an employee.

Build Your Network.

Most of us have a personal network on social media. Don’t neglect your professional presence. Make sure you have a full profile on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Having a professional looking profile isn’t enough by itself. You have to be active, reach out to people, and engage in conversation. Diane Gottsman recommends you “start by sharing recent company articles and other compelling content.” This is a great way to jumpstart your presence and connect yourself with the issues that generate interest.

Remember networking has to be targeted and relevant to you. You also need to make sure you are relevant to the people you are reaching. Highlight the strengths you have that are in high demand and can discuss issues intelligently with potential employers or colleagues.

Control Your Online Presence.

If a company is interested, they may check your LinkedIn account for professional background and associations. Make sure you are posting info about your education, skills, and past projects online. Offer to write a guest post for a blog covering your field. Tune into groups and forums where your colleagues discuss issues. Come up with an e-mail signature that sells your skills and use it for e-mail or when you answer forum or blog questions. You need to be search-savvy. Online search is all about keywords, make sure your name is returning with info relevant to the kinds of keywords prospective employers are seeking. Specific education and job skills, companies in the field, even specific projects you have worked on if they are well known.

Bring in Help.

Don’t be afraid to ask others to market you. Call people you have worked with before and ask them if they have leads. Ask them to name drop you. When you get leads, follow up. Research the person and company online first and call. Tell them your friend thought they might be able to give you some advice and listen to their ideas. Ask them if they know anyone else you should be talking to, so you have more opportunities to network.

If you are interested in marketing yourself as an employee, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you get your name in front of the right people in companies that are hiring now. We will help you market your skills to employers and enable them to see you as the next opportunity for their firm