How to Make Your Business People-Centric

August 8th, 2017

Building a culture within your company that focuses on people as much as it focuses on the bottom line can be a potent tool for improving results. Happier people are more impactful, here are some strategies to make sure you are enhancing your human element:

Give People the Things They Need to Feel Happy

Daniel H. Pink says people are looking for three things from work:  “1. Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives. 2. Mastery — the urge to get better and better at something that matters. 3. Purpose — the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”

Empower your employees to control their productivity by focusing on results, not micromanaging the process. Offer continuous education and training, so your employees have skills that allow them to produce for you and advance themselves. And don’t forget to reinforce company culture constantly, so employees feel like they are part of an ongoing story, not just a daily grind.

Hold Employees Accountable-and Respond with Rewards  

Pete McGarahan of First American Title talks about making accountability part of a people-centric workplace culture: “They fostered a work environment that motivated everyone to do their best, and made it clear that they all worked as a team through consistent feedback and communication. Their successful, people-centric work environment became self-fulfilling with numbers to reinforce good behavior.”

By holding people accountable for their performance and encouraging their successful performance, you tie their job satisfaction to their ability to deliver for your customers.

Celebrate Success

According to Mary Devine, “people are driven emotionally and seek validation and appreciation more than anything else. Rewards and recognition are not just about giving big bonuses and arranging weekly Friday afternoon drinks, which only drives temporary satisfaction. It’s about celebrating your employees as individuals and rewarding them in ways that make them feel valued.”

Finding ways to constantly build value in people as individuals, builds value in your company and customers by making them feel like every interaction is as important as they are.

If you are looking to move your career to a company that maintains a people-centric culture, contact Olympic Staffing. We have the contacts and experience to place you in a company that shares the same values you have.

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.

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.

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.

Should You Go Back to School?

April 19th, 2016

Since going back to school can be a time-intensive, costly decision that not only affects you but the other significant people in your life, there are several factors to consider.

How Will You Finance It?

Higher education is expensive. Before you make the commitment to going back to school, make sure that you have a way you can finance it, either through grants, scholarships, or private/government loans. Either way, you need to make sure that your higher education won’t break the bank and that you have a plan to pay off your loans if that is the route you need to take.

Will it Give Your Career a Boost?

You need to assess whether or not going back to school will give your career a boost. Depending on the program you’re planning to enter, your new degree or certificate could actually help you get a promotion or advance further in your career. When you take the potential new salary or benefits that could result from continued education, it may play a significant role in your overall decision.

What Are the Potential Networking Opportunities?

Going back to school can provide a wealth of potential networking opportunities, both on-campus and off-campus. You will be able to network with people in your program who can help you both at school and possibly in your career. The bonds forged as classmates are often some of your strongest ones. Consider the ways that you can both give to and gain from these relationships.

What Are Your Time Constraints?

Depending on your current schedule, you may or may not have time to go back to school. School is a big time commitment that could represent anywhere from five to forty hours a week of work, depending on how rigorous your course load is and what program you’re completing. Make sure you lay out a sample schedule to see whether or not you can blend in school time.

Once you’ve taken these factors into account, you should be able to make a well-informed decision about additional schooling.  If you’ve decided that you want to go back to school in an effort to start a new career, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to help you find a job that’s a good fit for your new career path or will fit in well with your busy schedule as a new student.

Freelancers vs. Employees – Which One is Right for Your Business?

April 12th, 2016

When you’re in need of additional help with your business, it’s common to wonder whether you should hire freelancers or employees. Depending on your exact needs, that answer can vary drastically, so here are our tips to help you make the right choice.

The length of Work.

Typically, an employee is someone who is with a company for a prolonged amount of time, and a freelancer is with a company for a short amount of time. This aspect can vary, though, depending on the other factors. There have been circumstances where freelancers have held long-term relationships with companies but only have worked remotely or on a part-time basis.

Remote or Office.

Most of the time, freelancers have the option to work remotely whereas employees usually don’t. Because a lot of freelancers work part-time, there doesn’t need to be designated desk space for them to complete their job duties. This will also depend on whether the job needs to be completed with other people or can be done alone.

Full-Time or Part-Time.

If you need part-time help, you could either be in need of an employee or a freelancer. However, full-time help is almost always an employee as opposed to a freelancer, unless the duration is extremely short (a few weeks).

Job Duties.

There are some jobs that won’t be freelance because you simply will need someone at the office every day to get things done. However, there will be some jobs that won’t require that person to interact with anyone and maybe just do a few things on the computer. In this case, the former would be an employee and the latter would be a freelancer.

No matter which type of help you end up needing to hire, you can contact Olympic Staffing. We specialize in helping companies find the best freelancers or employees, in the office or out, for short-term or long-term availability.