Online Courses Fuel Career Success

March 6th, 2018

Online courses have proven to be an excellent way to boost your resume and increase your opportunities. Many of them are free if you are taking the class online for personal satisfaction, but if you want your work graded and an official certificate that documents you completed the course, then expect to pay a fee.  Many colleges and universities offer online courses from small junior colleges to the giants, including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Columbia, Standard, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to name a few.

There are multiple advantages of taking an online course. You can:

  • Choose the course of study you want without having to move – an especially important perk if you are working or have family responsibilities.
  • Take the course at your pace and timing. If it works best to listen to a lecture on Tuesday one week, but on Wednesday another week, that’s your option. If you have extra study time one week, but a work obligation the nest – adjust your study times.
  • Forgo paying for a parking pass. No wardrobe needed. No sorority/fraternity dues either.
  • Earn your degree at greatly reduced rates.

Of course, with the professors across the state – or country – rather than the classroom, you might run into difficulties when you have questions or need a little assistance, right? Not so. Many online programs offer online support groups and most courses include a portal for asking questions. Some include peer-based coaching.

Bottom line: Online courses/certifications build your confidence, skills and career tools, enhance your portfolio, give you a foot in new doors and increase your professional value. Any way you look at it, it’s a win/win.

Looking for a new job to match your new skills? Connect with Olympic Staffing: Together, we’ll create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, and work experience.  We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities.  Helping you achieve your career goals is Olympic’s priority. Contact us today.

 

Are You Mentally Engaged?

February 27th, 2018

In our fast-paced society, where everybody wants it all – right now, staying mentally engaged or mindful on the job is often a challenge.  On the plus side, staying mentally engaged is vital to productivity, as well as career growth, and job fulfillment. So, how do you strengthen your ability to be focused on your task, mindful, engaged? With the right fuel. You can buy a new car right off the line, but if you don’t fill the tank, you won’t make it off the lot. It’s the same way with your ability to be a driving force on the job. If you don’t fill your tank – in both body and spirit – you won’t get far on the job.

Fueling the Body

It begins with understanding the difference between time and energy. Every day has 24 hours for everybody – the quantity of time never changes. Energy, on the other hand, is both renewable and expandable. We must have enough energy to stay mentally engaged.

  1. Get sufficient rest. This means 7-8 hours at night, of course, but don’t forget to take breaks during the day.
  2. Get regular exercise. A consistent daily routine – even just a brisk 15-minute walk, can increase your In fact, many people say they get more done in less time if they maintain an exercise program.
  3. Make healthy eating choices. Proteins help energy, while refined carbs drain it.
  4. Stay hydrated. Drinking sufficient glasses of water helps people keep a clearer mind, and stay less susceptible to illness.
  5. Take time for vacation – put the mundane tasks of work and home aside. It might be “waiting for you” when you return, but you will have more energy fo tackling it.

Fueling the Mind & Spirit

Everyone needs to feel that they have purpose, as well as a sense of belong. When our mind and emotions are sufficiently taken care of; our ability to connect to the tasks at hand increases.

  1. Be creative. Take time to discover your “gift” and use it. If you can craft a masterpiece, by all means, do so, but it can be much simpler. Perhaps you are an organizer who likes everything in its Creating a home/office that is organized and runs smoothly is as creative as painting a beautiful landscape.
  2. Take time to disengage – and yes, that includes your electronics. Pausing, taking a deep breath and just being for a while refreshes the mind and spirit.
  3. Fill your mind with good things. Develop a grateful attitude. Take time to express appreciation to others. Avoid gossip and negative self-talk. Read an enlightening book. Listen to your kind of music.
  4. Separate yourself from work when you’re home and from home when you’re at work. It’s easier to give both the mindfulness needed if you aren’t distracted by the other.

Giving yourself the right fuel – for your body, as well as your mind and spirit will have a significant impact on your ability to be mentally engaged on the task of the moment. Staying mentally engaged will help you be more productive, which will give your career a boost and build your sense of purpose.

Olympic Staffing is always on the lookout for jobseekers who stay mentally engaged. We match their skills and experience with top companies in our region – in fact, we’ve been doing it for more than 30 years. We know and understand the requirements of the positions we fill, ensuring that every job we suggest for you is a precise fit for your skills and career goals. Contact us today.

 

 

 

 

 

Managers and Employee Engagement – Part II

February 6th, 2018

Last week we posted part I of our discussion on “Managers and Employee Engagement. We talked about saying no to favoritism, trusting your employees, and being consistent. These are all critical aspects for managers to utilize if they want to create healthy employee engagement, but they aren’t the whole picture. . . So, let’s continue.

Keep an Open-Door Policy

Engagement involves interaction from two directions. Keeping yourself available to your employees is a crucial pillar to vibrant employee engagement.

  • Be warm, friendly, and respectful – to everyone.
  • Unless your workforce is too large, get to know your employees by name. If it is too large, at least know your department heads, team leaders, etc. by name.
  • Smile – a lot. Don’t just walk pass employees – stop when you can for a brief word.
  • Encourage feedback – listen to it – apply it when appropriate.
  • Express appreciation – verbally, in written form, and in tangible
  • Encourage company fun – such as once-month-doughnut breaks, pizza lunches, company picnics, friendly competitions between departments – the list is endless.

Offer Training and Opportunity

Don’t inadvertently send your employees away by failing to give them a reason to stay. Most people want to grow in their career, to increase their skills and responsibilities.

  • Offer in-house training opportunities. When possible personalize it to their current abilities, work personalities, and career
  • Give them access to online training, webinars, etc.
  • Provide incentive – and financial support toward earning certifications that will enhance their skills.
  • Promote from within first, whenever possible.

Building strong employee engagement among your staff is hard work and takes intentional action, but the ROI is high. Engaged employees tend to stay employees. And that’s a big plus. The cost of turnover is high – reducing it makes a notable difference in the bottom line.

Olympic Staffing understands the importance of strong employee engagement. We know it begins with great hires. As your strategic partner, we do more than fill positions. We work to identify your needs and then find the individual best suited to fit those needs. Our professionals work closely with you to ensure your complete satisfaction. Contact us today.

 

 

 

 

Managers & Employee Engagement – Part I

January 30th, 2018

Employee Engagement – how do you make it more than one of today’s buzzwords? Best answer: management! This is where walking the talk comes into play.

We’ve put together 5 win/win management must-dos for cultivating A+ employee engagement among your workforce. We’ll discuss three of them today. Be sure to return next week for the rest in part II.

Say NO to Favoritism

Sure, we all enjoy certain personalities more than others. When we find an employee who’s thought train and work methodology matches is in sync with ours, it’s easy to build a work relationship and . . . admit it, to look the other direction when they mess up. We also tend to give them more work opportunities. On the other hand, the worker who, at least in your opinion, is from another planet is not so easy to praise and encourage. While this may be understandable, it’s an absolute crusher to employee engagement. So,

  • Treat every employee equally. Extend respect, kindness to everyone.
  • Recognize that people are different and embrace their diversity.
  • Uphold company rules and regulations. Never excuse in one worker any behavior that isn’t forgiven across the board.

Trust your Employees

Yes, you are a manager – which also means you are a delegator. Delegate and step back – micromanaging is not the way to prove your trust your employees. Rather,

  • Assign responsibilities and expectations.
  • Provide the proper tools and instructions.
  • Ensure that authority level matches responsibility level.
  • Stand back and let them do their work.

Be Consistent

Don’t be continually changing the priority list, rules of the game, and level of expectations. It’s confusing and frustrating to your employees.

  • Don’t let a particular behavior slide, and then suddenly “make an example” of someone who commits it.
  • Don’t be lackadaisical about reports, and then suddenly critique them with a magnifying glass.
  • Don’t move item C on the priority list up to top position without first communicating why you need to make the change and expressing a vote of confidence in your employees.
  • Don’t allow Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde leadership. (It’s a great way to turn your workforce into a horror story.)

If your company is struggling with employee engagement, Gather your management team together and start brainstorming. Dig for answers among this group. Changes are in order? Are some departments more engaged than others? What are they doing differently? How can you implement their styles across your organization? Finding answers together is the first step to a fully-engaged workforce.

Start applying the above three principles and return to our blog next week for insight on open-door policies, as well as offering training and opportunities.

Meanwhile, remember Olympic Staffing understands the value of employee engagement; the connection between it and higher productivity, which of course, improves your bottom line. That’s why we work hard to match our clients with the best employees for the position. Contact us today for great matches – the kind that make employee engagement that much easier to obtain.

Be A Team Player!

April 25th, 2017

Every employer wants team players onboard. You know – those individuals who place team goals and accountability higher than their personal agenda. Whether you work alone or in a group; frontline or behind the scenes; cultivating a personal team-player attitude is essential to your career growth and success. Here are ten of the top skills/attitudes/traits that define a true team player.

  1. Communicator: Consistently sharing essential information with each player – and doing it clearly and concisely. When everyone knows what they need to know, everything runs smoother
  2. Active Listener: The second half of communication. Teamwork depends on players who listen, taking the time to understand and consider various points of view – without debating every point.
  3. Avoids Negativity: Stops gossip before it gets a foothold and focuses on the positive angle. If there is an issue – they deal with it face-to-face with tact and honesty.
  4. Trust Builder: Consistently reliable, assessable, and adaptable – a player the team can depend on when things go right and when they go wrong.
  5. Appreciates Diversity: Recognizing that different ideas, methods, cultures, etc. blend to make a better, more complete big picture.
  6. Willing Worker: Accepts assignments and follows through until the end – even when they “drew the short straw.”
  7. Passionate Participator: A self-motivated player with a “can-do” attitude who makes it happen.
  8. Flexible: A player who calmly adapts to changes – even the unexpected.
  9. Deadline Respecter: The guy/gal who finished their responsibilities on time – or early, recognizing that each person’s work affects the rest of the team.
  10. Gives/Receives Praise: Takes the time to recognize and appreciate the accomplishments of others as well as receiving accolades with grace.

Feeling overwhelmed? Relax – you probably already shine on a few of these points. Pick out your weak areas and work on one or two at a time, adding more as you grow. Before long you will gain the reputation of a great team player – just the candidate that our clients are seeking.  Contact Olympic Staffing today – we’ll match your team playing skills with a job where you can thrive.

 

 

 

 

Verbal Communication Skills that Inspire Success

May 3rd, 2016

Verbal communication is everything in the workplace. It dictates how you understand people, relate to people, and ultimately connect with people. If you’re able to master verbal communication, you will find that workplace success inevitably follows. Here are the five most important verbal communication skills you need to succeed:

Acknowledgement.

It’s always important to acknowledge when someone is speaking to you or has something important to say. You can do this by referencing the fact that you want to make time to hear what they have to say or by simply asking them what they think about a particular topic. When people feel acknowledged, they will be that much more likely to open up to you.

Affirmation.

People like to feel affirmed in what they’re saying, regardless of how you feel about that particular subject or topic. Responding with respect affirms that you value what they have to say.

Understanding.

Understanding what another person says to you shows that you are able to see something from their perspective and get a sense for what they’re saying, regardless of how you personally feel about it. This also means saving questions and responses until after they’re done talking. Then give them an opportunity to clarify.

Listening.

When someone talks, are you really listening? It’s easy to have someone talk to you for a few minutes only to have you walk away later and have no recollection of what they said. If you struggle with listening, try to focus the conversation on what they have to say as opposed to what you have to say. This will ensure that you’re being a better listener than talker.

Engaging.

People don’t like to feel like they’re talking to a brick wall. If you really want to have excellent verbal communication skills, you need to engage with them. One of the easiest ways in which you can do this is to ask them questions or prompt them to elaborate on a point you find particularly interesting.

If you feel as though you’ve successfully mastered these five verbal communication skills and are in need of a job, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to place you with a company who values and prioritizes those verbal communication skills and recognizes that you have them and are able to use them in your day-to-day operations.

How to Build a Diverse Workforce

April 26th, 2016

Diversity in the workplace is incredibly important. Not only does it encourage your employees to learn from one another, but it also helps improve your workflow and increases your productivity. Hiring and keeping diversity at the forefront of that process can be a little tricky, so here are our tips to make sure you can build a diverse workforce in every aspect:

Hire on College Campuses.

College campuses are some of the most diverse places in the United States. If you want to hire a diverse workforce, make yourself known on college campuses as a potential employer. This can be done through informing your staffing agency of your preference, attending a job fair, putting up a flyer on the bulletin board, or posting to the college’s online billboard. Make sure to specify that diversity is important and that you expect candidates from all different types of backgrounds to apply.

Make an Effort to Hire Different Age Groups.

Many employers consider diversity to be factors like gender, socioeconomic status, or race. However, one form of diversity that is often overlooked is age. When you’re hiring, make sure to specify that the job is open to anyone of a certain age. This will ensure that you receive a mixture of people anywhere from their 20s all the way up to their 60s if that’s something that would benefit your company.

Hire in Different Ways.

The more ways in which you perform an outreach, the more chances you have at increasing the diversity of the candidate pool. This can be done in a number of different ways such as hiring through a staffing agency, posting on a job forum, or even doing some on-site interviews at an office open house. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your hiring approaches so you can maximize this effort.

You will find, by implementing these strategies, that you are well on your way to building a diverse task force. Don’t hesitate to contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to look at your workforce, assess what kind of diversity you still need, and help you hire those individuals who help add to that overall diversity.