Should You Drug Test Employees? 

June 20th, 2017

If you are covered under Federal Department of Transportation regulations, drug testing is mandatory, but for many businesses drug testing is optional. Deciding whether or not to drug test employees can seem like a difficult decision. Consider the following.

Laws

The laws regulating drug testing for these businesses vary from state to state and compliance can be complicated. Knowing why you should maintain a drug testing program and how to manage your program legally are key to improving your workplace.

Benefits

The benefits of drug testing are real. Employees who use drugs can be unproductive, expensive health risks, and dangerous to themselves and others. Drug testing programs can also benefit the employees who use drugs. By forcing them to confront their problem and providing real consequences for mistakes you can help them face their problems and get their lives on track.

Semantics

Employees who are abusing drugs will miss more work days and are more likely to have medical conditions. They are more prone to having accidents that can cause injuries to themselves, other employees, or even members of the public. Employees who abuse drugs can be overly lethargic or manic at work, have difficulty communicating, or become confused when attempting even simple tasks. This can make them unproductive and interfere with the employees around them.

Expenses

Employees who use drugs incur four times the healthcare expenses of sober employees and are more likely to incur a workers’ comp claim. Most states won’t honor workers’ comp claims when drug use is considered a cause, but without a testing program, you can’t take advantage of that.

Risks

The only real risk is staying inside the legal guidelines in your state. This is why it makes sense to outsource your program to a company with specific expertise in both carrying out testing and compliance with regulations.

Once you have the right partner to keep your drug testing program safe and legal, you can get started on building a cleaner, safer more productive workplace.

If you’re looking for reliable employees, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help find you an employee who is a good fit for your company culture, goals, and overall advancement.

Managing Your Time Amidst Stress

May 16th, 2017

When you’re stressed out, it can be easy to let your scheduling and organization fall by the wayside as you desperately try to juggle different tasks and responsibilities. Unfortunately, this only reduces productivity and increases your stress. Following these time-management tips, however, will help you move through the stress.

Take a Break

Though it may seem counterintuitive, you need to take a break for your mental health and well-being before you can get a handle on your stress. Whether this is a ten-minute break, a day off, or a week-long break, you need to step away from the stressors temporarily so that you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them when you return.

Schedule Out Your Week, Month, and Year

Don’t let stress affect your organization. When you’re feeling overstressed, that’s when you need to make a concerted effort to schedule out your week, month, and year. The reason why you should schedule out all three is that it will let you think about your stressors and projects in term of short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. This will help you keep things in perspective, which, in turn, will reduce your stress.

Delegate Whenever Possible

One of the best ways to manage your time when you’re stressed out is to delegate part of whatever is stressing you out. If you oversee an intern or an employee, they may be the best person to help you out with this as they are directly accountable to you. If you don’t have someone who can help you, see if you can try to ask one of your colleagues to share the workload with the promise that you’ll do the same when things are stressful for them.

If you’ve identified that your current job is too stressful and you would like a new one, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a job that is within your comfort zone and will take advantage of your current skills, abilities, and education level.

Find a Career Mentor

May 2nd, 2017

Whether you’re just starting off in your career or are further down the road, everyone can benefit from a career mentor. A career mentor is someone who can give you guidance, advice, and teach you valuable skills that are directly related to your career of choice. If you’re looking for a career mentor, here’s how you can find one:

Attend Networking Events

Attending networking events in your given field is one of the best ways to find a career mentor. First of all, you’ll be associating with people who are on the same career path as you but who are in different steps of the journey. Try to make an effort to speak to those who have more experience so you can determine whether or not that person would make a good mentor.

Ask a Former Boss

If you have a boss for whom you particularly enjoyed working, consider asking him or her to be your career mentor. The chances are that your boss remembers being in your shoes several years back and would be happy to pass on tips and tricks to help you in your career endeavors. Plus, you already know that the two of you work well together.

Get Recommendations from Family and Friends

If you want a career mentor but don’t know where else to turn, you can always get recommendations from family and friends. There is a good possibility that at least one person you know will have a friend or family member in your chosen profession who would be open to mentoring you. All you would have to do is ask for an introductory call or e-mail to solidify the working relationship.

If you have a career mentor and s/he has hinted that you should find a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We excel in meeting candidates who are currently transitioning from one role to another or even one field to another. We would love to help you figure out your niche and assist you in obtaining the best position possible in your field.

 Make Your Company Meetings More Productive

April 18th, 2017

Company meetings are meant to be productive, but often become frustrating and possibly damaging to your employee culture. As management personnel, it’s your job to make sure company meetings are as productive as possible. Consider the following tips.

 Set an Agenda.

 The first and easiest way to have your company meetings be more productive, is to set an agenda – and send it to those attending.  This also allows your employees to know what to expect. It will also help you stay on topic and fulfill the purpose of the meeting.

 Have Them at the Same Time Every Week.

 If you have regular meetings, holding them at the same time/place every week/month, etc., will increase productiveness.  There are several reasons for this. First, your employees will know to expect this, and therefore, be prepared with questions and feedback in preparation for this meeting. Second, your employees won’t be caught “off-guard,” so they will be more receptive to items discussed in the meeting.

Allow Your Employees to Submit Feedback.

 The last and best way to have your company meetings to be more productive is by allowing employees to submit feedback. A meeting isn’t effective if you’re just talking at your employees the whole time; you should be talking with them.  Allow your employees to submit feedback before the meeting, so you can address their concerns, and seek more feedback during the meeting.

If you’re looking to hire employees who can contribute to or lead meaningful company meetings, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find employees who are invested enough in your company that they care about the process and outcome of the company meetings.

How to Ask for a Reference

April 4th, 2017

If you’re looking for a job, you should have one to three references ready in case your future employer asks for them. If you don’t currently have any references, don’t fret – they’re easy to obtain if you know the right steps. Here’s how to ask for a reference:

Determine Your Past Professional Relationships.

When you ask people for a reference, you need to make sure the people you’re asking are professional references as opposed to personal references. It doesn’t look good if you only list personal references, as your new employer might assume that you have burned bridges with all your past employers. When you’re looking for who to pick, think a manager or superior who was directly impressed by your work.

Put Together as Much Information as Possible.

When you ask a professional connection to be your reference, you need to provide them with as much information as possible, so they’re not caught off guard when your potential employer calls them on the phone. It could be a good gesture to compile information in an e-mail or on paper in regards to what the job is, which of your accomplishments should be highlighted, and what else you want them to address.

Just Ask!

Don’t get hung up on asking other people for a reference because you “don’t want to inconvenience them.” Yes, respect and appreciate their time, but remember that everyone has had to or will have to ask someone else for a reference at some point.  Just do it so you can advance your career as soon as possible.

If you’re happy with your references and are looking for a job, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to help you find a job that is a good fit for your current career goals while still taking your past experiences, education, and other factors into account.

Online Reviews – the Negative (Part II)

March 28th, 2017

Last week we discussed the power of positive online reviews and how to generate them. But, there is always the other side of the coin – negative reviews. It happens to every business sometime. In today’s blog we’ll share helpful tips for deflating even the nastiest comment.

One of the best ways to combat negative reviews is to have a good defense…without getting all defensive.

  1. Don’t take it personally. Stay calm, professional, and polite. Reviewers will respect you for that, even if they still disagree.
  2. Designate a person high up in the company to manage reviews. Reviewers want to know that an executive cares about them.
  3. Respond quickly to every Inc.com says, “Businesses that respond to reviews have an 86% higher rating compared to those that ignore them.”
  4. Listen to the reviewer, and examine the problem. If the problem doesn’t exist, provide evidence, and ask the reviewer to remove their review. If the problem is real, thank the reviewer for their feedback and let them know what steps you’re taking to correct the issue.
  5. If this could become a long conversation, ask to move it off the public site. Request that the reviewer email or call you, so you can solve the problem together and in private.

When you show how much you care for reviewers and give personal responses, unhappy reviewers may amend their review after talking with you. Potential talent, as well as your current employees and your customers, are watching to see how you treat people and how you solve problems. Look at negative reviews as an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and caring toward other people.

Building a team of caring staff who appreciate the value of great customer service is a positive step toward combatting negative reviews. That’s where Olympic Staffing steps in. Contact us today. We’ll connect you with staff who bring out the best in your company.

Online Reviews – the Positive (Part I)

March 21st, 2017

Online reviews are important to your business. In fact, studies say they can sway more than 85% of people. And when it comes to jobs, nearly 50% of seekers check out Glassdoor or other options like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Amazon.

Since negative reviews tend to carry more weight with readers than positive reviews do, collecting positive ones is crucial. So let’s dig into the actions you can take.

To collect positive reviews: Have a good offense

  1. The number one rule: Be a good company. Provide quality products/services.
  2. Treat your employees like your most valuable asset – they are.
  3. Treat your customers with respect – they deserve it. Show them you care.
  4. Get active online. Make sure you have profiles on the most common review sites.
  5. Customize your profile, upload professional photos, and update your contact information.
  6. Use Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. to create positive interactions with employees and customers.
  7. Request good reviews. Let the rest of the company know about the online profiles, so current employees can tell why they love working there.
  8. Stick a reminder on your website, your Facebook page, and your brochures so that customers can leave reviews.
  9. Ask people in person to write a review.

Positive reviews tend to generate positive reviews. The more you collect, the more people sit up and take notice.

Being a great company and providing top notch products/services begins with having top-notch staff. Olympic Staffing will connect your company with the right people – employees who help your company consistently collect positive reviews. Contact us today.

Return to our blog next week for Online Reviews – Part II – Dealing with the Negative

Increase Your Productivity Through These Work Hacks

March 14th, 2017

It can be hard to be productive, but if you power through your workday using a series of work hacks, you can end up accomplishing more than if you didn’t do them. The more productive you are, the bigger chance you have of performing during the work day. Here’s how you increase your productivity through work hacks:

Check Your E-Mails Twice a Day. 

E-mails are the ultimate distraction. If you want to make your day more productive, try disabling notifications and sending out an auto-responder to your clients. This auto-responder should let clients know that you only check your e-mail at two certain times during the day (usually morning and afternoon) and you will respond to their e-mail then. You’ll find that you’re able to fill up your day with much more productive tasks as opposed to just reactively responding to e-mails.

The Five Minute Rule.

This is a great productivity hack because it will force you to accomplish things. The rule is this: if a task takes five minutes or less to complete, just do it now. You’ll be amazed at what tasks take less than two minutes, and you’ll find yourself with much more free time as you stop procrastinating and start completing tasks right away.

Make Bad Habits Difficult.

We all have bad habits at work, but the ones that are particularly bad are the ones that decrease our productivity. So, if you have a bad habit that does that, you need to make it difficult for yourself to engage in that bad habit. For example, if you have a bad habit of scouring TMZ during work, turn off your Wi-Fi so you can get work done. Or, if you have a bad habit of texting your friends during the work day, keep your phone in your car so you can focus on the job you were paid to complete.

If you’re in need of a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We will help place you in a job that is a good fit for your skillset, education, and career goals. We can also help place you in a job that lets you utilize your new work hacks to the best of your ability.

 

 

How to Foster an Entrepreneurial Culture

March 7th, 2017

You may have employees who work for you, but there’s no reason, as an employer, why you can’t foster an entrepreneurial culture. If you can hire entrepreneurial-minded individuals, you will be reaping the benefits of ingenuity, self-starting, and hard work. Here’s how you can foster an entrepreneurial culture:

Give Your Employees Freedom in Their Positions.

If you want to foster this type of culture, you’re going to need to give your employees freedom in their positions. Whether this means allowing them to start new divisions, head up new initiatives, or even make suggestions, you need to be open to it. It also helps if you let your employees know that they have this freedom from day one, so they know exactly what to expect.

Allow for an Open Environment of Communication.

Another great way to foster this type of culture is to allow for an open environment of communication. Part of what entrepreneurs love is refining their businesses to make sure that they’re running smoothly. You can have your employees emulate this feeling by making suggestions and making actionable plans in which you can see their individual strengths and work prowess.

Don’t Micro-Manage Your Employees.

Most entrepreneurs love not having a boss, so if you want to foster an entrepreneurial environment for your employees, you’re going to have to refrain from micro-managing them as much as possible. This can initially be a struggle for bosses who love having the last word and the ultimate say; however, you’ll likely find that there’s a sort of freedom in relinquishing control and letting your employees take over at some point.

If you would like to hire entrepreneurially-minded individuals, contact Olympic Staffing. We have a database of quality individuals who would like to apply their entrepreneurial mindset and work ethic to working with a reputable employer who can put those skills to good use.

 

Books You Should Read to Be a Better Employee

February 28th, 2017

One of the best ways to learn is by reading, but when you’re no longer in school, it can be hard to do that on a regular basis. If you want to be a better employee, there are a few books you should read to learn principles of time management, goal setting, and being responsible. Here are five books you should read to be a better employee.

Lean In.

Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg, is a great book about leaning into your strengths, fears, and passions to achieve extraordinary results. This book is inspiring if you have just transitioned to a new career path or have made any changes in your career at all; it serves as a jumping-off point for your new bravery.

The Four Hour Work Week.

The Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss, is a great book that gives insight into automation, hacking productivity, and figuring out how to stop working for the sake of being busy. This book informs employees that it’s okay (and preferred) to be productive as opposed to being busy; the results speak for themselves when you start doing this.

Zero to One.

Zero to One, by Peter Thiel, is a great book that flaunts the act of starting a business. While you may not be an entrepreneur, you can certainly apply the key takeaways to starting a new division, initiative, or conversation at work.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven Covey, is a quick read that details the habits of individuals who are effective. While this can be applied to your personal life, it’s also a great framework from which to view your career. This book is highly recommended for anyone who feels like they’re “stuck” at work and is having a hard time advancing.

If you’ve read all these books and are in need of a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help match you up with a company that values the fact that you’re constantly in search of self-improvement as it pertains to your career.