Unemployment Dropping | Positive Outlook

October 25th, 2012

Economic uncertainty, fueled by many factors such as the current election season, extreme heat and weather, health care reform and global fluctuations, has caused estimates of expected growth to decrease. Several polls taken recently reflect a “gloomy outlook” (per the Washington Times) in business for the third quarter, yet other organizations are showing numbers that oppose this bleak projection.

According to the third quarter estimates from the Survey of Professional Forecasters, the interpretations for growth in the third quarter–and over the next four–have been revised to reflect a smaller margin of increase. Additionally, unemployment is projected to drop to 7.0 percent by 2015, up from last quarter’s prediction.

However, these numbers are in contrast to the recent ManpowerGroup survey which indicates that CFOs’ expectations for growth are creeping higher and higher each quarter, with the third quarter net employment outlook at +11. In fact, the ManPowerGroup survey stated, “For the first time since 2008, the survey shows two consecutive quarters of positive outlooks in all industries across all four regions surveyed.” Jonas Prising, president of ManpowerGroup, had this to say about the tentative growth CFOs are projecting:

Despite tumultuous global economies, election uncertainty, record heat waves, health care reform and other challenges, employers indicate that steady but cautious hiring progress will continue through the end of the year…Employers have shown remarkable consistency in their careful approach to staff growth. The data shows that companies are very cautious about adding staff, but still have the intention to increase their workforces into the fourth quarter.

Additionally, numbers from the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index corroborate the more optimistic findings of the ManpowerGroup:

Despite the relatively static hiring outlook, CFOs expressed optimism regarding their businesses. Nearly 6 out of 10 (59 percent) executives said they are somewhat confident about their growth prospects for the fourth quarter; 36 percent are very confident.

If you are looking to assemble an ideal group of people to grow your business, or if you are interested in learning about ways we can help you expand your current staff, contact us today! 

Managing Your Younger Generation

October 23rd, 2012

Just after Generation X started making mortgage payments, the “millennials” burst en masse onto the job scene with enthusiasm, an affinity for technology and social media, and a new set of priorities and perspectives. Leading this group of individuals (comprised of more than 80 million, according to this infographic) can be challenging for many reasons. The values and priorities of this group of people are vastly different than those of their older co-workers. Because of this, managing them must be approached differently, for the sake of company cohesion and productivity.

Encourage and embrace diversity. According to the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, this generation is the most diverse of any, ever. If your managerial style is more on the exclusive side, this might make millennial employees feel negatively about the work environment you create. Moderate your vocabulary; be sure to include gender neutral language when appropriate, and make sure that references to race, creed or sexuality be used in appropriate, germane ways that are in accord with current political correctness. Use this information to select your staff: remember that a diverse work environment will be vital in making your company appealing to millennial applicants.

Provide timely and abundant feedback. The attention spans of millennials tend to be on the shorter side, which can be attributed to their tendency to communicate electronically (read: instantly). This is a generation that normalized the delivery of even commonplace information on a constant basis; these are people who announce on social networking sites that they are grocery shopping, for example. Provide feedback (both positive and negative) on a constant and immediate basis. This will benefit you by creating a more productive atmosphere.

Give frequent recognition and rewards. This group of people is used to more frequent feedback, as mentioned above, which means that it is also used to more frequent praise and reward, particularly those that are public. An easy way to incorporate this tactic into your managerial style is to begin to give praise or rewards to individuals at regular meetings. The verbal pat on the head provided by an “Attaboy!” at a staff meeting is viable motivation for a younger person, and can greatly increase productivity and ingenuity. According to UNC, a majority of millennials cite “the opportunity for personal development” as the most influential factor in their current jobs, so offer rewards that provide opportunities for personal growth.

If you want to hire people who “get” the millennial generation in order to grow your business and bring aboard a fresh set of perspectives and talents, contact us today! We can help you assemble the perfect team for your company that will help you reach and exceed your goals!

Leadership Characteristics | Optimism

October 17th, 2012

Optimists are inherently better leaders for an incredibly simple reason: they are happier individuals, and happier individuals are freer to be more effective in whatever arenas they choose. There are many reasons why optimism is a highly desirable quality in leaders and potential employees, and they are compelling enough to give even the greatest pessimist pause.

Optimists get people talking. It is accepted that, in order to be the best in one’s industry, one must know the product or service he is providing better than anyone else. And the most effective and precise way to receive feedback is directly from customers. People are much more open conversationally with individuals who are showing positive interest in what is being said, which leads to more specific, honest evaluations. If this information is utilized properly, it can improve a company’s product or service and increase revenue and reputation.

Optimists are approachable. Positive-minded managers more likely to have employees come to them with new ideas. Why? Think about it: if a manager’s style is open and encouraging, employees are much more likely to feel that they will be heard and met with enthusiasm. Cultivating this environment in your company will likely lead to more creative problem solving, a collectively invested staff, and increased efficiency and productivity.

Optimists make it work. Whatever the situation’s parameters, optimists understand how to survey the scene and provide the best possible outcome given the circumstances. In business, when life gives optimists lemons, they make lemonade–and sell it for a tidy profit. This creative problem-solving skill is a boon to business owners, and is inspiring to lower-level workers. Using what is available to produce a positive outcome is a skill that can be extended to any type of establishment in any industry.

Positive people on your payroll can help grow your business and make a positive impact on your industry and community. The inherent tendency toward a “glass-half-full” outlook in your managerial staff could mean serious profit increases. Olympic Staffing has the experts and experience to bring you ideal employees with a positive outlook. Let us help you build your most important asset today!

Effective Communication: Your Best Profit Strategy?

October 8th, 2012

In order to be successful in any venture, one must align themselves with the tenets of effective communication. Communication is effective when the information you would like to convey is transmitted in a manner that is clear, and is able to be received positively. Utilizing a few easy and highly effective communication strategies can boost your company’s profits by improving morale, motivation, customer or client service, and even reputation.

  1. Say what you mean (and mean what you say). American poet Ezra Pound included this in his tenets of Imagism, stating that one should use, “absolutely no word that did not contribute to the presentation.” Be sure to use precise vocabulary, steer clear of commonly misused words (such as “literally”) and aim for accurate brevity over muddled verbosity.
  2. Be concise and thorough. Often, one only has a single chance to present information to colleagues, networking connects or clients. It is best to nail down a brief but thorough delivery of information that you might routinely deliver to different groups of people, such as trainees or prospective clients. Additionally, ensuring that you have covered the points most important to you will prevent unnecessary back-and-forth for clarification purposes. This saves time and creates synergy.
  3. Talk with your hands. This is not to say you should begin gesturing wildly if that is inorganic to you–it is simply a reminder that a majority of the communication we participate in daily is non-verbal. In the electronic age, however, we are communicating in many ways that have little to do with body language, tone of voice or eye contact. After all, there’s no way to be sure what tone of voice an email is written in unless you ask the sender. Be aware of your body language, tone of voice and inflection and eye contact in face-to-face interactions, and pick up the slack created by electronic interaction by taking extra care to use the tips listed above.
  4. Respond promptly. One of the best ways to make a client or co-worker feel heard is to respond as soon as it is plausible for you. This will create a more receptive audience for whatever information you need to convey. Prompt response time from a company is valued highly by customers, and is a boon to any company’s reputation.

Communication is vital for virtually all relationships, and in the electronic age, things can get a bit hazy. Implementing the communication strategies above can help you grow your business by increasing productivity and boosting company reputation. Communicate with us to begin your journey to a more profitable business!