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.

5 Ways to Get Ahead at Work

December 29th, 2015

If you’re career-oriented, you likely have a specific set of goals and objectives you want to achieve. It can be hard to stay afloat of those goals and objectives on a daily basis as you keep up-to-date with your current tasks and projects. However, it’s important to consistently be working on your self-growth and development in the company so you can succeed. Here are 5 ways to get ahead at work:

Get Organized.

One of the biggest reasons why people can’t get ahead at work is because they’re not organized. Make sure that you work out a system that works for you to stay on top of your work. This could be as simple as taking five minutes out of your day in the morning or taking an hour at the end of the week to get organized for the following week.

Network Whenever Possible.

It’s hard to get ahead without help from other people. The best way to be helped by other people in your field is to network whenever possible. This will ensure that you not only meet people in your field but that you can establish your work objectives and see who can help you with a particular goal. Remember, of course, that networking is also about you helping others.

Help Out Team Members.

You also need to be helping out other team members. Your team members will remember you if you ever need a favor, and your supervisors will likely take note of the fact that you’re a team player and dedicated to having the whole company succeed as opposed to just yourself.

Put Together an Action Plan.

You need to have an action plan if you want to get ahead at work. This entails making a list of your goals and breaking it down into smaller, achievable objectives that can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time. By doing this, you will be able to ensure that you’re working on your goals over time.

Stay Late.

Don’t be in such a rush to leave exactly at 5 every day. Make sure that you’re performing your duties and completing your tasks to your optimal perfection. This will help you stay on top of your tasks and signal to management that you’re dedicated to working hard for a good job, even if it means occasionally burning the midnight oil.

By doing any or all of these things, there’s no doubt that you will be able to successfully get ahead at work. If you are currently in a job that isn’t stimulating to you or allows you to get ahead, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to help you find a job that lets you put your proactive ways to good use.

Should I Freelance?

December 15th, 2015

Many people prefer freelancing to having a traditional 9-to-5 job as it offers increased flexibility and the ability to diversify work tasks. However, freelancing does have quite a few negative implications as it also represents a lack of stability and the potential for a reduced income. There’s a lot to take into account when you’re deciding whether or not to freelance.

Assess Your Finances.

If you have a high monthly financial commitment such as a mortgage, student loans, or car payments, you might want to rethink freelancing. While freelancing can be great for people who are starting out their careers without a lot of financial responsibilities, because of the unpredictability of freelance income, you may or may not be able to justify it based on your unique needs.

Consider the Lifestyle Changes.

On the other hand, as a freelancer, you will enjoy an incredible amount of freedom. Not only will you be able to choose where and when you complete your work; you will also be able to choose the types of projects on which you work. For people who are used to having a boss hover over them and point them in the right direction, freelancing will represent a significant change. You are in charge of your own output as a freelancer, which can be both empowering and incredibly overwhelming.

Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis.

You will need to take all of the costs and benefits associated with being a freelancer into account. In general, the costs associated with being a freelancer are going to boil down to having unpredictable income; the benefits associated with being a freelancer are going to boil down to having increased freedom and flexibility within the scope of work.

See the Demand.

Even if you’ve decided that freelancing is for you, you will still need to see the demand before you commit to it full-time. This could be as simple as asking your current employer whether or not there are any freelance opportunities available or doing a quick scour of a freelancing job portal.

If you have decided that you would like to freelance but don’t know where to start, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find short-term or long-range freelance assignments that are perfectly suited for your life depending on your needs. We will also be able to make recommendations on how to balance several freelance assignments at once.