Staying Motivated When Co-Workers Vacation

August 29th, 2017

If most of your colleagues are out of the office for vacation, it can be hard to stay motivated. Even though it’s easy to dream about your next time off, you actually can use this time to be productive. Here’s how to stay motivated when your coworkers are vacationing.

Use The Time to Get Ahead.

Even though it can be a bummer when your co-workers are out of town, you can use the time to get ahead, so you’re prepared when it’s your turn to vacation.  It’s also a great time to get organized; to catch up on that continual to-do list that waits on the back burner.

Plan Your Vacation.

Planning Your future vacation –  after work hours, of course, is a great motivator. Use the promise of a future break to get down and get busy. Knowing that you have been productive – delivering 100% on the job every day, not only increases your personal satisfaction, but it also enhances your enjoyment when you do take off.

Showcase Your Leadership Abilities.

You could always use your coworkers being on vacation as a way to showcase your leadership abilities. Step up and fill in the gap. Make an effort to be more available and take more initiative during this time – it won’t go unnoticed. Management may consider your leadership skills – even when your colleagues are back from their vacation.

Vacation not an option due to heavy workload? Maybe it’s time to consider a new position. Olympic Staffing is here to help you in your career. Contact us today.  We can help you connect with a job that fits your lifestyle and values, as well as your skills and experience.


 

5 Overlooked Candidate Skills

August 22nd, 2017

When recruiters are trying to fill a position one of the first things they do is create a short check list of the job requirements. Things like education, experience, and demonstrated ability using specific software or tools.

Using a checklist like this is a great way to narrow down a stack of resumes, but it’s a bad way to fill a job. The best candidates need more than just the basics to be an ideal fit. Learn how to identify the traits that are the difference between an acceptable candidate and a great hire.

Wide Skill Sets

When you focus on certain specific required job skills, it can be easy to overlook everything else a candidate brings to the table. A candidate with a wide base of knowledge has a proven track record of openness to new experiences, and they have knowledge from more sources to apply to problem-solving.

Remember, after you scan the resume for prerequisites, take a minute to see what else is there and how it can apply to your company.

High Energy

High energy people get more done than low energy people. They are also more capable of functioning under the pressure of big deadlines. Jake Villareal says, “you have to hire people who can push ahead with a project when you need it the most — usually a time when it’s least convenient. During interviews, see if candidates have the tenacity necessary to perform in these situations.

Flexibility

The longer someone stays with your company, the more changes they will experience. Candidates that handle these change well are going to be a better long term fit.

Always devote time in an interview to talking about training for new skills and taking on new duties. Identify candidates who are eager to learn and adapt.

Transferable Skills

Reading a resume for skills with direct application to the task at hand is second nature for most recruiters. Sometimes the skills that don’t seem relevant at first glance are real difference makers.

Steve Leichmann talks about the way a restaurant job can prepare you to excel in other roles later in life. Any candidate you are looking at with roots in the restaurant industry understands that the core of a business is its clientele, so keeping the customer happy and coming back (i.e. acquiring regulars) benefits everyone. Your clients are happy, your business does well, and the employee earns his/her keep.”

Personality

Checking to see if a candidate has the right degree, the right amount of experience or familiarity with workplace processes is easy. Finding out if they are a personality fit is hard.

Make sure you understand the culture in the department the new hire will be working in. Finding a great personality fit is just as important as finding someone with experience using specific software.

If you are looking to hire a new employee who brings more to the table than just the basics, contact Olympic Staffing. We have the experience of sourcing candidates and pre-interviewing them to find the ones who have the basic job skills and the extra experiences that make them a real asset to your company.

Reducing Employee Burnout

August 15th, 2017

Burnout saps efficiency, damages your workplace culture, and leads to expensive and time-consuming employee turnover. According to studies quoted by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) “between 26-41% of employees feel their job is stressful or extremely stressful or that they are often or very often burned out by work.

Learning to recognize the signs of burnout and managing the problem can lower employee turnover and increase workplace productivity. Here are some major signs your workplace is adding to employee stress and strategies for making improvements:

Work-Life Balance is Off.

Everyone needs to maintain a balance between work and life to stay on an even keel. When your employees don’t have enough time away from work this balance can suffer.

Habits like working too many hours a day or too many days a week without taking time off can wear your employees down over time. Sometimes time off isn’t time off, employees who take work home or are expected to be available for phone calls and e-mails at all hours can get stressed as well.

Monitor the hours per week and days per week your employees are working. Make sure they are getting time off even if you have to encourage them. Limit after-hours communication, and if you have to have people on call after normal work hours make sure you are sharing the load and giving everyone free nights where they aren’t expected to pick up a phone.

Employees Need the Right Tool for The Job.

How often do you replace your workplace tools and equipment? Are your employees being asked to use clunky old electronics that run slow, are inefficient, or worse have started developing habitual screen freeze?

According to Amy Blackburn, “not only does the equipment’s performance reflect poorly on the employee’s production, but the failure of management to recognize the need to upgrade can also create an air of helplessness. Frustration with equipment can be one of the first symptoms of burnout, and solving this problem can alleviate work-related stressors tremendously.”

Making sure your employees’ equipment is up to date and effectively working solves two problems. It eliminates the stress from dealing with faulty equipment, and showing you are paying attention lets your staff know you are invested in them.

Don’t Ask Too Much – Or Too Little

When employees feel overwhelmed by a never ending mountain of work they start to suffer from burnout. Make sure you communicate about workload often. If your employees are complaining about never ending tasks, or saying they are afraid to take a day off because they know the pile of jobs waiting for them will be impossible to deal with they need help.

Likewise, an employee can be bored at work by performing tasks that are too easy for their skill level. An engineer who is catching customer service calls is going to be interested in new opportunities elsewhere.

An employee who is devoting all their time to low-level tasks can start feeling underappreciated and out of the loop. Making sure everyone is involved, and the workload is shared evenly can lower stress. Assign your employees tasks that will push their existing skill-set. Rotate tedious work so everyone can try something new.

If you’ve your current workplace is too stressful, and you need to make a change, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find employees with the current skills, abilities, and education level to take on the mountain of work you have built up.

How to Make Your Business People-Centric

August 8th, 2017

Building a culture within your company that focuses on people as much as it focuses on the bottom line can be a potent tool for improving results. Happier people are more impactful, here are some strategies to make sure you are enhancing your human element:

Give People the Things They Need to Feel Happy

Daniel H. Pink says people are looking for three things from work:  “1. Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives. 2. Mastery — the urge to get better and better at something that matters. 3. Purpose — the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”

Empower your employees to control their productivity by focusing on results, not micromanaging the process. Offer continuous education and training, so your employees have skills that allow them to produce for you and advance themselves. And don’t forget to reinforce company culture constantly, so employees feel like they are part of an ongoing story, not just a daily grind.

Hold Employees Accountable-and Respond with Rewards  

Pete McGarahan of First American Title talks about making accountability part of a people-centric workplace culture: “They fostered a work environment that motivated everyone to do their best, and made it clear that they all worked as a team through consistent feedback and communication. Their successful, people-centric work environment became self-fulfilling with numbers to reinforce good behavior.”

By holding people accountable for their performance and encouraging their successful performance, you tie their job satisfaction to their ability to deliver for your customers.

Celebrate Success

According to Mary Devine, “people are driven emotionally and seek validation and appreciation more than anything else. Rewards and recognition are not just about giving big bonuses and arranging weekly Friday afternoon drinks, which only drives temporary satisfaction. It’s about celebrating your employees as individuals and rewarding them in ways that make them feel valued.”

Finding ways to constantly build value in people as individuals, builds value in your company and customers by making them feel like every interaction is as important as they are.

If you are looking to move your career to a company that maintains a people-centric culture, contact Olympic Staffing. We have the contacts and experience to place you in a company that shares the same values you have.

How to Attract Millennial Employees

August 1st, 2017

There is an entire cottage industry built around detailing the frustrations some managers have had trying to integrate millennial employees into the workforce. Here’s a wakeup call: By 2020 Millennials are expected to be fully half the workforce. Attracting millennials isn’t an option when filling job openings, it’s a necessity. Here are some basic strategies for sourcing new talent within this demographic group:

Flexibility and compensation Matter

According to Nancy Altobello, the best way to attract and keep the best and brightest is to pay them well. Millennials want choices about how to deliver a job well done. With the understanding that deadlines and client needs must always be met, they want options about where and when they work–and they want their managers clearly on board. People are looking for approval around flexibility.”

Offer Them a Path Forward

Millennials have a reputation for jumping ship. Usually, they do this to advance their career. This is why one of the most potent tools for recruiting and retaining millennials is to offer them a career map that shows them a clear path forward, including development like training and mentorship and clear opportunities for advancement.

Communication is King

Millennials grew up in the social media culture where everything is out there all the time. They require a lot of information, transparency, and opportunities for conversational give and take to feel comfortable. Give this to them.

Don’t just request an interview, send them an information packet with plenty of links to follow up on and include points of communication to ask questions or make comments. Then schedule a follow-up face to face meeting to discuss the job opening.

Use Other Millennials to Recruit Them

Tracking the ways Millennials communicate, learn, and interact is like tracking pop culture – the further away from high school and college the harder it is to keep up.

You need to use employees who are swimming in the same social media waters as them to find out if you are on the right site, using the right hashtags, meeting the right people.

If you are looking for ways to recruit millennial employees, contact Olympic Staffing. We excel in meeting candidates within that group and helping companies put together the kinds of offers that motivate them for the long term.