Personal Productivity

April 3rd, 2018

How’s your productivity? Notice, please, that we did not ask how busy you are? Being busy, busy, busy is often a sign of unproductivity – yes, it is! Reality: taking care of self, including getting adequate sleep, regular exercise, healthy meals, and taking time for unconnected quietness helps us get more done in less time, with less stress. Here are some great tips to get you started.

Let’s begin with sleep

Since this is often the first place that people try to carve out an extra hour for their day. In fact, for many, sleep deprivation has become their way of life.  Unfortunately, payback is coming, so do yourself a favor and take back control of your bedtime.

  • Studies show that our bodies operate best on consistency. As adults, we need 7-8 hours a sleep per night and . . . We need it close to the same schedule. So choose the time that fits you (10-6, 11-7, whatever) and stick to it.
  • Turn off all screens 30 minutes before sleep time. (60 is better, but we’re dealing with real life here). Our brains need time to get away from the screen and let our body’s melatonin kick in to increase the restfulness of our sleep.
  • Use the 30 minutes to organize for the morning – from choosing an outfit to packing your briefcase, your kid’s lunch, etc. to mentally organizing and jotting down the next day’s agenda.
  • Finally, make your room as dark as possible and if you can, position your bed so that natural light awakens you in the morning. The darkness and the light will give your body a break and then a boost.

Establish a morning routine

  • Our brains need time to reach full function – by having a consistent routine of personal and household “chores” we can slide quickly through the list and save brain function for the more critical decisions in the day ahead.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast – choose protein over empty carbs. It will provide fuel for several hours.

Schedule Tips

  • Learn to set realistic deadlines (Studies reveal that only 15-20% of people at predicting how long a task will take). Give yourself enough time to do the job, but not too much – a little (notice we said little) pressure can be a great motivator.
  • Schedule your difficult or mind-consuming tasks during your peak times. For some people it’s mid-morning, but for others, it’s early – or late afternoon.
  • Group like tasks together.
  • Set a specified window of time for email and other social media, and then stick to it. Connection is an essential part of business and personal life but left unchecked it can also be a time waster.
  • Skip multi-tasking – switching from task to task sabotages schedules in short order.
  • Go for excellence, not perfection – it’s a great motivator and an obtainable goal.

Plan a vacation

Time off from work and chores restores the whole person – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It rejuvenates creativity and gives our energy a boost. People who choose to take time off consistently, tend to be more productive when on the job.   

Now that you’re rip-roaring to go, stop in and see us at Olympic Staffing. We can help you put all that energy and productivity into a new and better position. We do it by building relationships.   We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. 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.

Managing Your Time Amidst Stress

May 16th, 2017

When you’re stressed out, it can be easy to let your scheduling and organization fall by the wayside as you desperately try to juggle different tasks and responsibilities. Unfortunately, this only reduces productivity and increases your stress. Following these time-management tips, however, will help you move through the stress.

Take a Break

Though it may seem counterintuitive, you need to take a break for your mental health and well-being before you can get a handle on your stress. Whether this is a ten-minute break, a day off, or a week-long break, you need to step away from the stressors temporarily so that you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them when you return.

Schedule Out Your Week, Month, and Year

Don’t let stress affect your organization. When you’re feeling overstressed, that’s when you need to make a concerted effort to schedule out your week, month, and year. The reason why you should schedule out all three is that it will let you think about your stressors and projects in term of short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. This will help you keep things in perspective, which, in turn, will reduce your stress.

Delegate Whenever Possible

One of the best ways to manage your time when you’re stressed out is to delegate part of whatever is stressing you out. If you oversee an intern or an employee, they may be the best person to help you out with this as they are directly accountable to you. If you don’t have someone who can help you, see if you can try to ask one of your colleagues to share the workload with the promise that you’ll do the same when things are stressful for them.

If you’ve identified that your current job is too stressful and you would like a new one, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a job that is within your comfort zone and will take advantage of your current skills, abilities, and education level.

Increase Your Productivity Through These Work Hacks

March 14th, 2017

It can be hard to be productive, but if you power through your workday using a series of work hacks, you can end up accomplishing more than if you didn’t do them. The more productive you are, the bigger chance you have of performing during the work day. Here’s how you increase your productivity through work hacks:

Check Your E-Mails Twice a Day. 

E-mails are the ultimate distraction. If you want to make your day more productive, try disabling notifications and sending out an auto-responder to your clients. This auto-responder should let clients know that you only check your e-mail at two certain times during the day (usually morning and afternoon) and you will respond to their e-mail then. You’ll find that you’re able to fill up your day with much more productive tasks as opposed to just reactively responding to e-mails.

The Five Minute Rule.

This is a great productivity hack because it will force you to accomplish things. The rule is this: if a task takes five minutes or less to complete, just do it now. You’ll be amazed at what tasks take less than two minutes, and you’ll find yourself with much more free time as you stop procrastinating and start completing tasks right away.

Make Bad Habits Difficult.

We all have bad habits at work, but the ones that are particularly bad are the ones that decrease our productivity. So, if you have a bad habit that does that, you need to make it difficult for yourself to engage in that bad habit. For example, if you have a bad habit of scouring TMZ during work, turn off your Wi-Fi so you can get work done. Or, if you have a bad habit of texting your friends during the work day, keep your phone in your car so you can focus on the job you were paid to complete.

If you’re in need of a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We will help place you in a job that is a good fit for your skillset, education, and career goals. We can also help place you in a job that lets you utilize your new work hacks to the best of your ability.

 

 

Making Friends at Work

January 19th, 2016

It’s no secret that work can be a drag sometimes. No matter how much you love your career, there are going to be days when you simply don’t want to get out of bed or are too busy to have time to enjoy the hobbies you love. However, making friends at work can make both of these inconveniences a lot easier to handle. Here are some other reasons why you should make friends at work:

Can Be Great for Networking.

First and foremost, making friends at work is a great way to network. When your friend moves into a higher position or vertically into a position that’s more aligned with your interests, they will be more likely to help you out than if you weren’t a friend.

Can Help Build Productivity

Having friends in the workplace can help you stay productive. It’s no secret that work can sometimes be monotonous or boring; having friends can help combat that. While you must ensure that you don’t get distracted by your work friends, having them often helps you stay motivated and productive when you start to slide into the doldrums.

Can Provide Insight into Other Positions.

If you have a friend in a different position at your company, you likely hear about his or her day and the different projects on which s/he is working. This can be a good way to get insight into other positions without having to ask for a promotion or a vertical transfer within your company. This can allow you to figure out what you like or don’t like about the different positions.

Can Boost Company Morale.

If you are friends with your co-workers, you are more likely to like where you work. This can help boost company morale overall, which is ultimately good for everyone’s productivity and spirits. Increased company morale can also lead to more promotions and raises.

Making friends at work can enhance your work day and make for an overall more pleasurable work environment. If you are in need of a job in which you are allowed and encouraged to develop positive work environments, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to place you with a company that prioritizes camaraderie and networking.

10 Incentive Ideas for Short-term Employees

February 3rd, 2012

Short-term employees are those who come in to do a job and then move on. They know they are temporary and that often means they do not have the commitment of those who wish to remain with the company long-term do. For those who have to manage a group of people like this, it pays to know a few things you can do to boost productivity and to get the best possible results. If you offer your long-term employees incentives, also remember to do the same for short-term employees. Of course, there will be differences, but they can still be beneficial.

Short-Term Employee Incentives They Will Appreciate

Short-term employees can become long-term ones in some cases. They also can pass on information to prospective other employees in the years to come about the business. It pays to treat them well. The following ten incentives can ensure you treat them well.

  1. Small tokens of appreciation work well with temps. Use gift cards or other items as a way to say thank you. Create a fun contest to give them away to the team.
  2. Be sure to recognize good work. Sometimes, just staying thank you really does make an impact. All employees appreciate this type of attention.
  3. Give short-term employees an ability to offer an opinion about the company through a suggestion box. They can often give you the objective information you need to make your employee environment better.
  4. A bonus does not hurt. If temps help you to meet your sales goal, give them a small percentage for doing so. This can help many to be motivated to work that much harder. Bonuses do not need to be large to be impactful to these employees.
  5. Do invest in time-off incentives. For example, you may only need the extra team members during the holidays but that is when people enjoy being off to spend time with family. Giving a short-term, even hourly employee off with pay could be the best thank you possible.
  6. Buy lunch for everyone every few weeks. This, too, is simple and direct but it is also a great way to show you care. Invest in a fun and lighthearted outing every now and then.
  7. Enroll in discount programs and pass on those program incentives to your employees. Most areas offer these types of programs. The business pays nothing but the employees get significant discounts from area merchants.
  8. Offer a bonus or other benefit to those who complete the most work to a satisfactory level. It is important to show that top performers will be rewarded here. This ensures there is no favoritism in place.
  9. Offer movie tickets or rewards to temporary employees who do well on mystery shops or other secret shopper programs. If an employee does a fantastic job with a customer and it’s easy to recognize this, offer a gift certificate or other reward for the job well done.
  10. Create teams all with equal footing. Reward the winning team for accomplishing goals. Not only does this motivate the entire team, but also it increases productivity throughout the company and builds teamwork skills.

These factors are important tools when building a good rapport with your temporary staff. Incentives are not just retirement plans and paid vacations. They can be simple and straightforward methods of saying thank you. For more tips on treating your short-term employees well, and getting more productivity, be sure to contact the professionals at Olympic Staffing.