Mistakes on the Job

December 12th, 2017

Yes, it happens. We all make mistakes on the job – sometimes small and sometimes mammoth, costly, they-will-never-forgive-me mistakes. It’s not about making the mistake; it’s about how we handle it. And what is the proper response?

Stay calm and evaluate the situation.

  • Is the mistake easily corrected?
  • Will it involve others or can you handle it alone?
  • Are there long-term consequences?
  • Does it require an immediate stop-the-presses response to prevent more damage?

So – if it’s easily fixed and will leave little or no debris in the wake; fix it and go on.

Next level – it can be fixed, may leave some debris, and probably will require help. Determine who needs to know and who needs to be involved in the correction. Be upfront and honest. It sounds something like this:

“I made a mistake. I ____________________. Possible repercussions include _______________. After evaluating the situation, I believe it will take this to fix the problem, but I will need help from so and so. Do you agree or am I missing something? Will you be willing to help me? I realize your time is valuable and I apologize for the trouble I’m causing.”

The essentials include an admission of guilt, presentation of your solution, request for help, and an apology for the trouble you’ve caused and the loss of their time. If your supervisor should know, choose an opportune moment, quietly inform them what happened and what you did to correct it.  If the mistake requires help from several sources, and cost the company some money; make an offer of restitution.

The biggie – the top dogs need to know now. Processes have to be shut down. Extensive action has to be taken immediately. You get the picture. Pull the fire alarm, but remember, a calm response is much more effective than panic. Get busy and don’t stop until the problem is contained. Be prepared for a showdown and take it like a professional. Never say “mistakes were made.” Lay it on the line, “I totally screwed up, and I don’t have words to express my regrets, but I will do all I can to make this right.”

In every instance, the keys are simple: Admit it. Take responsibility. Be sincerely sorry. Have a plan and follow through. Accept the consequences.

If you’re looking for a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.

Be a Pro-Community Company

December 5th, 2017

Every company is part of their community and can play a crucial role in promoting the greater good of that community. Investing in your community is an excellent way to give back to those who have helped support your business.  The holidays are a great time for giving, of course, but be a consistent giver: Community needs exist year-round. 

Ways to Give:

  • Share Financially: Set aside a specific percent of profits to go to charities. People respond positively when they know that patronizing their business of choice also means they are helping others.
  • Share your Time: Even when the economy is down, and finances are tight, company owners, management, and staff can be actively involved in their community by giving of their time.
  • Share your Expertise: Business owners and management can often offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to local organizations and individuals who cannot afford to pay for it.
  • Involve Employees: Encourage your employees, clients, and suppliers to participate through matched giving or personal involvement. Many of your employees may already be active in local charities. Find out where they are or would like to be, donating time and expertise. Organize company involvement in those charities.
  • Partner with Community Leaders and local organizations: When specific events are occurring in your community, partner with community leaders and local organizations to promote and conduct the event.
  • Support Local Economy: Although there are many ways a company can support their community, perhaps one of the best ways is by doing local business.

Olympic Staffing, a pro-community company, is committed to our clients and our community. If you’re looking for a new employee, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find an employee in sales or any department, who is perfect for your company culture and who will be a good fit for your fellow employees.

5 Ways You Can Brand Your Company Online

October 24th, 2017

Branding your company is extremely important because it tells people who you are and what your goals are. Not only can you brand your company by word-of-mouth, but you can also brand yourself digitally. Here are some “How to” tips to get you started.

Facebook.

Facebook is one of the most preeminent ways to brand yourself. Most businesses use it, both as a way of letting people know who they are and what’s happening. Facebook is also a great platform on which to create events, let people review your business, and to network with other businesses.

Instagram.

Instagram is a great way to present a “behind-the-scenes” brand your company. Take some time to post photos that show what your employees do while they’re not at work and to showcase the different hobbies and interests they have. This is a great way to “humanize” your business.

Twitter.

Twitter is a great way to brand your company as being extremely communicative and quick to respond. A lot of customers will take to Twitter to give complaints or bring up other issues. If you respond quickly with a solution, your company will be known as a caring and responsive.

Website.

Your website is a great place to brand your company as being professional. It’s surprising how many professional businesses don’t have websites, but that’s usually the first place a potential prospect or client will look to make sure that you’re well-qualified to be conducting business in your field.

YouTube.

YouTube is a great place to showcase that you’re savvy with technology and are current with the times. Many companies use YouTube as a place to begin branding their companies as being helpful. You could try releasing a series of tutorial videos, or even doing some Q&A videos.

If you’re looking for a new employee – perhaps one who is social media-savvy, contact Olympic Staffing. We make an art of matching top quality employees with our clients. We find employees who not only are skilled but also fit your culture.

How to Talk Yourself Up – but Still Be Humble

October 3rd, 2017

If you’re at the point in your career where you want a promotion or would like to have more of an impact, you may need to talk yourself up a little bit so that you can earn recognition for the work you’re doing. However, you still need to stay humble, which can be a little bit of a delicate balance. Here’s how to talk yourself up but still be humble.

Start with a Tangible Work Example.

If you want to give yourself a little bit of credit or attention without feeling like you’re bragging, try bringing up a tangible work example in which you had an instrumental part. Bring up the work issue that was presented, how it was solved, and what role you played in it. This will help plant the seed of you being a resourceful and productive employee.

Give Colleague References.

If you’re looking for more ways to bring attention to yourself in a humble manner, you could always give colleagues specific references in which you’ve done so. This is similar to giving a tangible work example, but in this instance, you are prompting colleagues to respond to actual instances in which you may have affected their particular result or outcome at work. When you do this, it is likely that your colleagues will step up to bat for you when surrounded by your superiors, which will end up giving you more credibility while remaining humble.

End with Constructive Feedback or Suggestions.

One of the best ways to showcase your knowledge or skill with your job is to give out constructive feedback. When people see that you know what you’re talking about, they will be more likely to consider you an expert in your field and will readily listen to you.

If you’re looking for a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.


 

Preparing Now for the Holiday Rush

September 5th, 2017

Yes, it’s already September and less than 90 days until Black Friday and then the holidays. If you want to avoid production delays and extra holiday stress, it’s a good idea to prepare now for staff shortages.

Make a Plan – Create a Calendar

  • How many days – if any – do you close for Thanksgiving and Christmas?
  • Do you experience an increase in orders over the holidays?
  • Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both fall on Sunday this year. How does that affect your company-wide time off days?
  • Will you set a limit on how many employees can take vacation days between Thanksgiving and the end of the year?

Making your decisions now helps you make the best decisions for your company.

What about Inventory

Do you have sufficient supplies for additional orders? It is never a good idea to wait until the last minute. Be proactive and stock up now – before the holiday shipping delays cause problems.

Consider Temp Staffing

Bringing in extra staff now and training them will make a significant difference, saving you time, money, and stress. When extra orders, holiday vacations, etc. hit, you won’t have to worry about excessive overtime costs or loss of production – your temp support will be firmly in place.

Planning now for the last six weeks of the year will help your company avoid hitting the panic button. Call Olympic Staffing. Our temporary staffing provides you with extra staff when you need it – without increasing your permanent headcount.

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 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.

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.

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

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.