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.

 

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.

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.

Hire The Best Seasonal Workforce Ever

November 28th, 2017

Hiring a seasonal workforce can be stressful because the holidays are enough of a stressful time already. Luckily, there are several ways in which you can circumvent these stresses to be able to hire the best seasonal workforce possible for your company.

Start Early.

The most crucial factor in hiring a phenomenal seasonal workforce is that you need to start early. If you haven’t already, get your help now because people do need time to prepare their plans for the holidays. Plus, a lot of companies need to hire seasonal support at the same time, so if you don’t start early, you very likely could run out of options for engaging reputable employees.

Be Clear About the Expectations.

Sometimes, seasonal workers come in expecting full-time hours and benefits. You do need to be perfectly upfront about the hours, time commitment, length of the seasonal employment, and anything else that could be relevant for anyone who might be applying to work for your company. When you’re clear and upfront, you won’t run the risk that people will leave because they’re confused or upset.

Have a Comprehensive Training.

It can be confusing when you’re introducing in new employees to your company, especially when you’re in a time crunch. Even though it could be tempting to rush training for the sake of onboarding everyone on time, you need to take the time to train everyone correctly and to make sure that they don’t have any more questions.

If you’re in need of a new employee to work for your company, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to help you find an employee who is a good fit for your business and will perform the job optimally while still being an excellent fit for your company culture.