06Jan

Attract Employers with New Skills

A popular New Year’s resolution is to find increased success in your career. Whether that means looking for a new job, aiming for a promotion, or pivoting into a completely different industry, there are many ways to attract your dream employer.
One of the best strategies to develop into a “top candidate” is by continuing to learn new skills. To get started, begin by trying one of these four steps toward personal growth while gaining the knowledge that will help you stand out from the competition.

Take a Class

There are many in-person and virtual class options to help you learn new skills. While it’s always beneficial to brush up on the requirements of your current position, exploring a new capability can broaden your horizons. Even if you aren’t seeking new employment, the ongoing dedication to lifelong learning will demonstrate to your current employer that you want to make yourself more of an asset. A quick search online can return many potential opportunities, or check with your manager to see if there are any company-sponsored classes where you can take advantage of learning that’s already in place.

Attend a Seminar

There are many in-person and virtual class options to help you learn new skills. While it’s always beneficial to brush up on the requirements of your current position, exploring a new capability can broaden your horizons. Even if you aren’t seeking new employment, the ongoing dedication to lifelong learning will demonstrate to your current employer that you want to make yourself more of an asset. A quick search online can return many potential opportunities, or check with your manager to see if there are any company-sponsored classes where you can take advantage of learning that’s already in place.

Get a Certification

If you are looking to jump into a new industry, certifications can help propel your career. Pursuing a relevant certification will show your existing, or potential employer that you have specific skills, even if you don’t necessarily have years of experience in that area. There are hundreds of certification options, depending on what you would like to learn, that can be completed in a day or could take many months. Make sure to do your research on the company offering the certification to make sure that it is legitimate and well respected in your field.

Find a Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteering allows you to learn new skills while also giving back to your community. Talk about a win-win! Numerous organizations are happy to trade education for your time and willingness to support their mission. Becoming a board member for a non-profit or helping to plan a local fundraising event are great ways to grow the “skills” section of your resume while seeking a new opportunity.
After learning a new skill, Lone Star Staffing Solutions can help you find an employer that values your growing talents.

We specialize in understanding the unique needs of employees and employers by facilitating connections that are beneficial for everyone.

Contact our team today and achieve your resolutions early by finding your perfect employment fit!
29Dec

How To Turn Challenges Into Learning Opportunities

Personally and professionally, difficult situations can be challenging to spin into a positive perspective. Business mistakes can feel like a roadblock, shifting your focus from success to pessimism and worry. But all isn’t lost!
These are a few key practices you can use to help you learn from these negative situations and start with a fresh outlook in the new year.

Look for the Silver Lining

This may be hard to find amid a” business crisis,” but many problems also result in an upside. Take the time to look for the positives of any negative circumstance. Outline specific choices that led to the issue to become more aware of what not to do again in the future. This knowledge will help you be a better business owner and serve as a valuable learning opportunity.

Make Changes For Better Outcomes

Now that you know what might have caused the mistake to happen, vow to make changes to avoid a future recurrence. This may mean updating a business process, learning a new skill, or outsourcing work to a strategic partner like Lone Star Staffing Solutions. Whatever the outcome, set yourself up for success by taking action.

Mindset Matters

It’s easy to fall into negative thinking about emotionally draining challenges. However, developing a positive mindset is critical to moving on from past mistakes. It may be tough, but do your best to avoid having a defeatist attitude that focuses on the problem and leaves little room for potential solutions. Some steps to change your mindset are:

  • Try starting a business gratitude journal
    Find a motivational accountability partner to help keep you on the positive path

Get Goal Oriented

Now that you know how to succeed, don’t be afraid to set new goals and try again. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone is brave enough to own up to them and move on. You may fail again, but it’s important to remember that’s a normal part of learning something new. Prioritize by updating your goals to continue positive growth as an employee or leader in your business.
Lone Star Staffing Solutions is here to help you overcome challenges by providing solutions for your employment needs. We are committed to helping employees and businesses avoid mistakes by assisting them to make the right connections. We invite you to reach out to our experienced team today and start securing the best candidates to help you accomplish your 2022 goals!
15Dec

Tips For Recruiting During the Holidays

The holiday season is a great opportunity to slow down and celebrate with friends and family. During this time, many employees look forward to being out of the office and may be less responsive to emails and calls. However, for job seekers, the end of the year is perfect for ramping up their job search.
Time off and reflective thinking about job satisfaction can often lead to an increased desire to find something new. Employers should be prepared to handle this trend to allow team members to take time off, without missing out on potential candidates.
Read on to learn about a few key strategies that can help both employers and candidates be successful while navigating one of the busiest times of the year.

Prepare Your Recruiting Team

Make the month easier by letting your recruiting team (human resources department, or in-house-person responsible for staffing) know that they should expect more inquiries during the holidays. This will allow them to prepare by double-checking that application processes are up and working correctly, all desired positions are posted, and staff is taking time off accordingly, in a way that best supports the whole department.

Utilize Automated Responses

Staffing team members should update their out-of-office responses to include follow-up information for job seekers who may be trying to contact them while they are out of the office. Some companies have invested in automated bots or texting services to fill in the gaps while their recruiting staff is enjoying the holidays. You don’t want to lose the candidate you’ve been trying to attract simply because you aren’t able to be responsive.

Be Respectful of the Holiday Hustle

Recruiters deserve time off too, so encourage team members to be honest with candidates about when they can expect to receive more in-depth communication. This will eliminate frustration from job-seekers who may be frantically waiting for the next steps that won’t realistically happen until after the holiday season when everyone is back in the office.

Need to Fill a Position But Lacking the Time and Resources?

Work doesn’t go away during the holidays and you still need to ensure you have the capacity to meet the needs of your business. If you’re not already working with a full-service staffing solutions provider, now’s the time to reach out. An experienced firm will be equipped, and available, to manage the necessary communication to secure qualified prospects. Remember, they’ll also have their network of passive candidates who will generally not respond to an open job post. Don’t risk missing out on the perfect fit during these busy holidays.
Ready to work with professionals who care? LET’S TALK!

LEARN MORE ABOUT LS3

09Dec

Safety First During the Holidays

We celebrate this time of year in many different ways, and for a lot of people, it’s a super busy time, and we get lost in the joy of it all. Amid the hustle and bustle, and however you celebrate, it’s important to remember to put safety first.
And, since we’re slowly getting back to normal activities, it’s even more critical to take extra steps to be careful.

Cooking Turkey in an Air Fryer

This method can make a delicious turkey, but there are stories of accidents that really could have been prevented. CLICK HERE to open a PDF from the U.S. Fire Administration that talks about best practices to avoid danger. If you’re not 100% sure you can follow these guidelines, maybe it would be good to find a service that can do it for you or opt for another method of cooking your turkey.

Toys and Safety

Toys should bring smiles to young faces, not injuries. Many accidents happen simply because the gift giver was unaware that a particular toy could be the wrong choice. The package generally has a suggested age range, but when choosing, think more about the individual child (their intellect and physical ability) as every child is unique.

If you’re giving a gift to someone else’s child, consult the parent or guardian. To follow are some guidelines from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • For children under the age of 3, avoid any toy with small parts.
  • For children under the age of ten, avoid toys that require you to plug them in for power.
  • Be wary of toys with smaller button batteries or magnets as there is a risk of the child swallowing something that small.
  • If you buy a scooter or other riding toy, make sure to include a helmet that fits properly.

Driving to Grandmas House

Many will continue to stay home, but people are traveling to visit friends and family more and more. Or they may take a destination trip with their own immediate families. Safety is critical, and some of it requires preplanning.

  • Make sure your car is in good repair, and your tires have the proper amount of air in them. Check to ensure you have your emergency road kit in the trunk or somewhere easy to access.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before heading out for an early drive.
  • Give your cell phone to someone in the back seat so that you’re not tempted to use it while driving. If your phone is connected to your car, it will still work for hands-free calling.
  • Buckle up – even if you’re in the back seat.
  • You can usually count on traffic at this time of year, so leave room for error by leaving early.
  • And NEVER drink and drive. If you must imbibe and then travel, designate someone to drive or call a rideshare service.

Holiday Decorating

Get in the mood but again, put safety first. To follow are some tips that we may not even think about when we have the holidays on our mind.

  • For those beautiful live trees, make sure you water them properly, so they don’t dry out and become a fire hazard.
  • If you have an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-resistant.
  • Never put your tree near a fireplace or other heat source.
  • Keep those glass ornaments higher up on the tree so that small children and four-legged babies don’t knock them off.
  • Holiday plants are beautiful, but many are poisonous. Keep them out of reach from children and pets.
  • When hanging lights on your home, be careful to have someone there to help when using the ladder.
  • Follow the instructions on your lights to make sure you don’t overload the socket with too many lights.
  • Make sure to turn off all lights when heading to bed or leaving the house.

Hover over this box for some resources you may find helpful and share with others who may need a gentle push to put safety first.

Useful Resources

National Safety Council
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
This lets you check out recalls
The holidays are a special time of year, and keeping safety at the top of your “list” will ensure everything is “Merry and Bright.”
02Dec

Learn the Art of Saying NO

No, absolutely not. Or, I said NO.

When the word “No” is said in that fashion, it can be off-putting. Unless, of course, you’ve already responded “no” when initially asked, and the receiving party wouldn’t listen. Perhaps it’s because they weren’t taking you seriously, or it could be they didn’t respect your wish to decline whatever they were proposing.
How many times have you said no in the past week or even last month? We’re guessing it’s limited to less than the number of fingers on one hand. Why is that?

The word “no” isn’t complicated but put aside the personal circumstances (i.e., requests from family and friends), let’s focus on how it comes into play for business. Whether you’re an employee or employer, there are many instances when someone has asked for your help outside your normal responsibilities.

Some examples are:

Helping a co-worker because they fell behind

Coordinating an important company party

Helping a co-worker because they fell behind

Coordinating an important company party

Does the above sound familiar? You would agree to most requests in the past because perhaps it gave you more visibility or helped propel you in your role. If you own a business, you’ll agree that early on, responding “yes” to these types of requests allowed you to rub elbows with others you may not have met otherwise.
Now that you’ve grown a bit and had some, or a lot, of success, you have even more people asking you to donate your time. If this is the case, it usually means you’ve developed a reputation for honoring your commitments, and that gives potential customers and clients an additional layer of trust as they’ve had the opportunity to get to know you in a non-business environment. Or it could mean that others recognize you as someone who always agrees to requests for help. The latter isn’t flattering, and people may begin to define you as a “pushover.” Be careful if that’s the case.
You’re also at the point where your responsibilities have increased, and your biggest challenge is managing your schedule. Some of the expanded duties could mean your business benefitted from these outside volunteer efforts. But do you ever feel that the volunteer activities are so time-consuming that you are suffering in other areas when it comes to available time?

Manage your calendar.
Don’t Let it Manage You.

If you’re on the never-ending treadmill of trying to keep up, it’s time to take control and get back on track. It’s easy to say “yes” to a task that may take under an hour; however, if you agree to do that for multiple requests, it turns into a battle against time when you add it all up.

And many times, the “volunteer” projects may be something you’re passionate about, so you throw yourself into it but then begin to fall behind on the strategic activities that keep the lights on and others employed.

Remember this, when you say “No,” nobody will die.

Like all good people, we want to help when we can. Not to mention, avoid letting anyone down. For many, the reluctance to say no is uncomfortable and can make you feel unnecessarily guilty. Or you may worry that you could be missing an opportunity. And even worse, are you burning a bridge with someone you could potentially work with in the future?

The person asking for your help will respect you more if you say something like “I have a full plate and cannot commit right now” than if you say yes, and then become so overwhelmed that you fail at the task.

We’re not saying to turn off the “yesses completely,” but… think of that aspect of your life as part of your business. Decide how much time you can realistically donate and stick to the plan. BEFORE you say yes, talk openly with the person asking for help about how much time they feel it would require.

And be honest, if it’s more than what you put into your plan, decline. They will understand. Or, they may have another option for you to help that fits within your time budget.

Don't Be Vague

When in the moment, and you feel awkward about saying no, don’t leave it open-ended by saying something like, “I don’t have the time right now, but let me see if I can make it work.” Guaranteed, you will walk away feeling weighed down because you instantly know you are now pretty much committed to yet something else. Choose one area you’d like to volunteer in and give it your all, but of course, in the time you’ve set for yourself.
And, NEVER apologize for saying no.
When you bite off more than you can chew when it comes to your time – whether it’s business, your career, or volunteer efforts, remember at that moment when you should be saying no, how stressed you were when you said yes when you shouldn’t have. Think about your priorities and stick to them.

Now say it with a smile: NO

18Nov

Have You Been Ghosted?

Have you ever been “Ghosted?” No, we don’t mean at Halloween when a child dressed as a ghost appears at your door. We mean, as described in Wikipedia:
“Ghosting, also known as simmering or icing, is a colloquial term which describes the practice of ending all communication and contact with another person without any apparent warning or justification and subsequently ignoring any attempts to reach out or communication made by said person.”

“Can you believe it, Janet ghosted me?”

Early on, we recognized “ghosting” as the term used by those in a dating scenario where one person stops communicating with the other without any reason. When the ghosted person attempts to reach the “ghost,” there is complete silence.

It can be frustrating as there is no explanation and, hence, no way to know what went “wrong” in the relationship. It can lead to a myriad of not-so-good emotions, and when it comes to matters of the heart, it’s a known fact that some can react/act negatively.

Today ghosting also applies to multiple situations, and as you guessed, it is frustrating and emotion-filled.
We’re familiar with how it applies in personal relationships, primarily when dating. But it often happens in business too. Say you met a potential client (let’s call him Jack) at a networking event where the conversation flowed, and you felt a strong connection? You each made a promise to meet for coffee to talk further and even exchanged contact information.

A day or so later, as promised, you send Jack an email reminding him of your conversation along with proposed dates/times to meet. Two days later, no response. Four days later, no response. You think, “Wow, Jack must be really busy as I know he was super interested in potentially offering my products to his clients.” You forward the email you sent earlier with a message that reads something like, “Hello, Jack, I want to make sure you saw the email I sent last week with options for us to meet. I enjoyed talking with you at the event and would love to continue our conversation.”

Crickets. No response. And because you have a marketing tool that allows you to see who opens your emails, you know that Jack read both of your emails, or at least opened them.

Did you do something wrong? You reread the two emails to make sure you didn’t misspell something or word a sentence poorly. When you left the event, you were both jovial, and all seemed well, with expectations to meet in the future.

In business, this behavior is also called “ghosting” and can cause many different emotions: frustration, annoyance, and reduction in confidence.

Before you make any drastic moves, such as stalking or an influx of phone calls, consider that there could be other reasons. Perhaps Jack is out of town or up to his eyeballs in work. Give it a bit more time before initiating additional follow-up, and try not to take it personally. If some time has passed, this is an excellent time to make a phone call as it could be that email is not their communication mode of choice.

You could also reach out to invite him to connect on LinkedIn – make sure to include a BRIEF personal note with your connection request. No sales, just a quick reminder of how/when you met.

Speaking of LinkedIn, if that person is active on the platform, there are other ways to connect more organically.
Did Jack recently write an article or comment on a post in a group where you both belong? Write something back to say something like, “Your article inspired me to…” or, “I couldn’t agree more with your comment.”
Of course, if you disagree, don’t lie to get attention. You can say something like, “Your article has allowed me to see a different perspective.”
If they still aren’t responsive, you can keep them in your database but stop bombarding them with messages. Not everyone is a good communicator. If Jack is not interested, he could, and should, have simply responded something to the effect of, “I appreciate your email, but at this time, I realize I’m not able to use your products right now.” Or, “I would love to get together in the future, but right now, my schedule is extremely tight. Could you reach out to me in…”
Or, better yet, when you were face-to-face, he most likely knew he did not want/need your services. He could have saved everyone a lot of time and frustration by saying something like, “I think your product sounds great, but it’s not something I feel I would benefit from right now.” If said correctly, there shouldn’t be any hurt feelings.

How we communicate is sometimes a tricky thing. If someone is not responsive, and you’ve done your best to reach out to follow up, then perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be. Don’t take it personally and move on.

PIECE OF ADVICE:
When you initially meet someone and make a promise to connect, ask them what their preferred method of communication is (i.e., phone/email, LinkedIn, etc.). Make sure to write it down (on their business card or phone) and stick to that mode of contact for that individual.
Are you an employer being ghosted by a candidate you feel would be an excellent fit for your company. Or a candidate who cannot get the attention of an organization you would like to join? Reach out to us, and we’ll bring your best qualities to the forefront – the right way!
11Nov

Diversity in the Workplace. Because You Want To.

The word “diversity” is often overused, but still, it’s one of the most important factors when building a solid workforce. The term can be unclear to some who may not fully understand what it means and how it benefits their organization.
Diversity is not limited to skin color; in fact, it’s about so much more. When you think about diversity, consider all differences like religion, age, race, sexual orientation, gender, education, ethnicity, and other attributes that make us different.

Expand Your Talent Pool Options

When you open your mind to a diverse range of candidates, you will find that your talent pool becomes much more extensive. When you don’t embrace diversity and stick to your typical “go-to” candidate type, you could miss out on someone who can help take your company to the next level.

For example, you typically seek young candidates who you feel have the energy and drive to succeed, and you rule out someone who may have the long-time experience needed to help you think big picture.

Remember the movie “The Intern,” with Robert De Niro? Perfect example as you see how the layers of acquired knowledge significantly help the company where he interns.

Freedom to be Themselves

Establishing an atmosphere where your team can see and experience multiple backgrounds and varying levels of thinking compels them to be themselves without fear of negative judgments. Of course, guidelines are in place along with expectations to maintain structure but imagine the possibilities. And picture the positive atmosphere, which almost always leads to a higher level of positive productivity.

Inspires Innovation

When you have a diverse group of individuals who come from different backgrounds but share a common goal, think about combining all their perspectives. This combination of thinking takes your company to the next level simply because you have diverse levels of experience and thought.

Celebration of Culture

The goal is to form an A+ team that gets excited when they help take the company to the next level. This is the perfect opportunity for you to celebrate differences – some ideas and thoughts are:
  • Food is always a common thread - hold an employee luncheon where everyone brings a dish that reflects their culture. You'll be amazed at how the story behind the food, and its history, bring people closer together. Yum!
  • The flexibility of thought allows your team to bring their individual insight to the table. Think of a puzzle that is missing its adjacent piece. When each of us has a different element to present, you'll find it comes together as one perfect completed combination.

Find the Right Matchmaker

Locating top talent is difficult, especially when many are currently employed and not “advertising” their availability. For the most success, it’s crucial to partner with a staffing solutions provider who has the network that is “stealth” to most companies. The right company will open those doors and give you access to those unwilling to risk their current position with the typical job boards.
Diversity, in all aspects, as discussed above, is critical to finding good hires and elevating your company to attract quality candidates who thrive in a diverse and inclusive environment.
03Nov

Is Taking a Vacation a Sin?

If you rarely take time off from work, will you move up the corporate ladder quicker as an employee? Possibly. But is that your perception of how your boss thinks? Or is it the pressure you put on yourself?
On the other side of the coin, are you an employer who subtly favors employees who never utilize the time provided as a benefit from your company? Or, do you realize the advantages of a break from the office to recharge?

For the Employee

Dedicated employees want to succeed, and if you’re with a strong company, there is internal competition. You shouldn’t always consider that negative because healthy competition is healthy, especially if leadership inspires camaraderie where support among the team is a natural celebration.

Are you the team member who never takes their allotted vacation and even works on holidays when others spend time alone outside of the office or with their family? Does your counterpart take their vacation and come back recharged and doesn’t miss a beat? Does your internal self think that there must be a trick?

Are they:
  • Taking work with them
  • Keeping in touch with the office daily
  • Faking it and then silently freaking out when they return
It’s difficult to fake a lighthearted, recharged mood, so the answer to the above scenarios is most likely NO.
You, too, can be that person. Do you wonder how you can accomplish this if you’re so busy? You can do it with practice and upfront planning.
  • Before submitting your “time-off” request, check with your immediate supervisor to see if they have any conflicts with that proposed time, especially if you’re in a leadership role. If you’ve been with the company a while, you’ll know the ebbs and flows of incoming work, so think about that before approaching them. Of course, if there’s a conflict and your request is related to a family emergency or life event, the decision has to be yours – no guilt involved.
  • Work closely in advance with other team members who will be “carrying the weight” in your absence. Bring them up-to-speed on outstanding items, so the service you provide is seamless.
  • Alert your customers or clients in advance that you’ll be out for a specific period. Give them a heads up to who will be their temporary point person.
The goal is that you feel free to go “do your thing” without worry. And, the benefit to the company is that you’ll come back revived.
And if planned correctly, you won’t have a stack of work on your desk when you return.

For the Employer

How can you help facilitate a non-fear of taking vacation atmosphere? FOSTER IT! When you encourage your employees to take advantage of their time off, you benefit in several ways:
  • Happy Employees – #1 Reason
  • More productive workforce as they know they can be highly effective with the ability to plan a recharge without fear of recourse.
  • A happy team that works together knows if they “cover the fort” for a colleague, they will do the same when they need to take a break.
PLEASE DON’T

It’s difficult not to openly push the team to continue moving forward when working in a fast-paced environment. When you walk around with the subtle praise of anyone who bypasses allotted vacation time, you get the reverse reaction and may never know it. If employees fear they will lose their job because they’re “human,” they may be physically present but not fully there mentally. Don’t risk a lack of productivity because you cannot let your team take a break. Remember, it’s easy to look busy with no positive outcome.

How Can You Help?
It’s easy! If you follow some of the suggestions below, you’ll be set up for success and will look like the leader you should be to your team.
  • Encourage vacation and instill the values of advance notice. BUT, understand sometimes circumstances need to be spontaneous as life happens. It’s your job to have systems in place to accommodate last-minute requests.
  • Set up cross-training exercises so that every individual is comfortable leaving for a week, or two, knowing that all is under control. And VERY IMPORTANT if it can be managed, make it so the employee can come back to a clean (or semi-clean) desk. Getting out of the office for a period of time knowing how much work is waiting for them can be incredibly counterproductive.
  • Celebrate people who recharge and if you have the capability or connections, use your resources to offer discounts or advice on destinations that will fit their budget, even if it’s a local “staycation.”
Both employees and employers need to recharge without stress. The experience can be rewarding with proper planning and increase loyalty to the company and its respective teams.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING NEXT???
21Oct

Don’t Make Decisions Based on Assumptions

Have you ever made an assumption about someone you’ve just met only to find out that you were totally off base? And, to make it worse, you made a decision based on that assumption that proved detrimental to that person?
Most of us like to think we’re a pretty good judge of character but think back to someone who you categorized as, for example, “unfriendly.” They may be someone you’re considering for a potential team lead position in your organization, and you need to ensure the company culture continues to be relaxed yet productive.

Despite their strong resume and experience, you automatically rule them out of the opportunity as when you first met, the person was a bit standoffish and didn’t laugh out loud when you showed signs of humor. Once you felt that “negative” vibe, you turned off any chance to be receptive to hiring that person.

Now think back, was that person that unfriendly, or was your brain quick to react because of preconceived assumptions? There are many reasons your “Spidey sense” went off. And, highly possible, it has nothing to do with the actual individual.
Some examples of why you reached that conclusion:
  • Did they remind you of someone you have confirmed, through experience, as cold or unfriendly (i.e., same mannerisms, same look, or tone of voice)?
  • Were you a bit too casual in your conversation, perhaps, since they didn't know your style and were nervous about letting their guard down? Especially when they're trying very hard to come across as professional?
  • Is it possible that you have already decided who you want in that position? Maybe the one you prefer reminded you of a friend, family member, or just someone you had an excellent initial connection. That's all good, but did you dive deeper into that person's experience and skills to ensure they're not only an approachable people person but someone who can perform at a high level in the team lead role?
  • Could that person be having a bad day? Did they recently experience a personal loss? Was a flat tire the way they started the day? Or was someone unnecessarily rude when they stopped to get their morning coffee?
The examples above are generalizations but happen every day and impact your first impressions of a person. If you are not opening yourself up to others and constantly assuming you know how others think and feel, you will find that you not only stop listening, you’ll make others feel less than they should. And you’ll never get to know someone who would be an asset professionally or even a potential future friend.

When you meet someone, spend more time listening than talking.

If someone seems a little reserved, especially during a career interview, take a step back to reduce the stress level, and ask questions that help them open up and then inject something about yourself, so they don’t feel as if it’s a “trick” question.
To follow are some examples of questions to initiate a relaxed conversation.

“What do you like to do on the weekend? I spent Saturday at the dog park, and Fido loved it.”

“How long have you lived in the area? I’ve been here about ten years and don’t miss the cold weather up north.”

Of course, you can come up with what works naturally for you, as long as you don’t get too personal. The goal is to take the time, mainly if the potential employee’s resume checks off all those boxes, to get to know the “real” person and not someone you’re making up in your imagination.
If those red flags are popping up in your brain, don’t ignore them. Just make sure to take the time to confirm whether they’re correct. This way, you don’t miss out on someone great.
14Oct

Take Great Meeting Notes

Taking efficient meeting notes may sound like a no-brainer, but how often have you referred back to previous notes that now don’t make sense.
It’s not always an easy task. Many don’t think about the consequences of missing a critical element that could be essential information to share with others or act upon yourself. No matter how daunting this task is, for most, it’s a necessary part of life.

Whether it’s a company meeting, addressing your staff, or meeting with a client who depends on you to take accurate action notes to execute in the future, you should take note-taking seriously.

To follow is some advice about taking reliable meeting notes without frustration.

Get Organized and Plan Ahead

Many meetings are a continuation of the meeting before that (i.e., monthly board meeting or weekly staff meeting). When that’s the case, you most likely don’t realize you will have the elements to set yourself up for success BEFORE the meeting begins.

Before the Meeting

When you have an organized meeting facilitator, they will email the agenda and minutes in advance. If this is the case, then you have the opportunity to set up your notes in an organized fashion. When possible, request a document you can edit. You can then load it onto your laptop and enter your notes directly into the agenda. No laptop? Create a document in advance that includes the agenda items and leave space for handwritten notes. Either way, you’re taking notes in order of discussion and won’t need to enter the topic as it’s already there.

During the Meeting

Unless you’re “on-call” for a client or someone from leadership, turn off your phone. A buzzing phone is one of the biggest distractions and could lend to taking poor notes and make you appear unprofessional to your colleagues. When you’re in the meeting, truly be there, no matter how boring or uneventful.

It’s unnecessary to write down everything verbatim, but separating relevant and “fluff” is essential. For instance, you don’t need to include hearsay – stick to the facts. If you are not sure of something being discussed, ask for further clarification. Of course, if it’s been explained repeatedly during other meetings, and you’re still unsure, it’s best to take it offline and ask someone you trust so you don’t give the impression of not paying attention.

For critical points that need more focus, underline those notes so you remember it’s important later. Try sticking to precise individual bulleted lines so it’s easier to decipher later. And, one of the biggest things to remember is to write legibly (if handwritten). The worst scenario is going back to your notes and not understand a word you wrote.

After Meeting Follow-up

Once you finish with your meeting, now is the time to ensure your notes are cohesive. If you can, plan your schedule to have at least an hour following the meeting to debrief. With this best practice, you’ll find that your notes will be more accurate as the content will be fresh on your mind. Now is also the time to ask a colleague to fill in the gaps if you feel you missed something, especially if it involves an action item that is your responsibility. Asking for clarification is normal and demonstrates you want to get it right. And, you won’t be stressing about being prepared for a subsequent meeting.

If you take handwritten notes, take the time to transcribe them into a document. If you wait until shortly before the next meeting, you’re bound to miss something as the content won’t be top-of-mind. However, if you take accurate notes, this will be less of an issue.

Note-taking doesn’t need to be something you dread, and if you follow some of the suggestions above, you’ll be more accurate, prepared, and an active attendee in important meetings.
06Oct

What is More Important, Education or Experience?

This subject is a constant debate, and there is no right or wrong answer. If you’re an employer seeking qualified candidates, you need to choose what matters most to your company. If you’re a candidate, it will be based primarily on the industry and, of course, the requirements of the company you’re interested in joining.

Weighing More Toward Education

If you intend to become a doctor or attorney, employers will lean toward a quality education as those are textbook skills that you will use repeatedly. And, it would be rare that you could get away with just pure experience. It also demonstrates that you can learn about new trends and advances in your field through studying and then use that information to function in your profession with that practical knowledge.

But, if your degree is from ten years ago, you’ll need to keep your skills up to date to demonstrate that you’re still relevant. Consider further education via certificate programs or seminars that keep you current and display that you’re motivated to stay on top of your game. This ongoing plan is most relevant in a technical field where advances are crucial for the job you need to perform.

Experience is in Your Back Pocket

Suppose you’re in an industry that doesn’t necessarily require a high level of textbook skills, and your experience allows you to hit the ground running with minimal training. Examples are the construction industry, financial consulting, government positions, or even hospitality. In that case, your industry knowledge and hands-on experience may be more enticing to an employer. If you’ve had the opportunity to “learn on the job” for a few years, that can help get your foot in the door, although an employer may require you to continue your education and, many times, for the right person, at the company’s expense.

Candidates and employers can argue both situations, and the scenarios may look something like this:

  • Hands-on experience may be attractive to employers, but a higher level of education may ensure you can advance in the future.
  • Securing a deeper level of education may be what an employer wants to see on paper, but without the experience, it may raise a red flag to someone who wants to know you’ve had real-world practice in your field and can start immediately.

For employers, if you’re not open to experience as part of what a candidate can offer, you may miss out on the individual who has what it takes to help take the position, and your company, to the next level.

If you’re a candidate, talk to a qualified recruiter who understands the market and will help guide you during your search. You might have the experience and education, but you may need to make tweaks to be current.

Both options have their pluses and minuses, and many employers will agree that a combination of education in your field and practical experience may be the winning blend.

21Sep

World Gratitude Day

Fifty-six years ago in Hawaii, an international gathering looked at one another and expressed an idea that would continue as an annual tradition to this day. The idea was to have one day per year to formally express gratitude and appreciation for the many wonderful things to be found in the world.
Following their meeting in Hawaii, September 21st was officially marked as Gratitude Day, and the international groups proceeded to evangelize this day within their respective countries across the world.

David Steindl-Rast wrote, “In daily life, we must see that it is not HAPPINESS that makes us GRATEFUL, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”

Everyone around you at work (virtually or in-person) is going through their own struggles and journeys through life that can make it hard to slow down long enough to be grateful. However, a grateful attitude can be contagious enough to bring a wave of happiness across a team or even a company!
In a recent Forbes article, the Human Case for gratitude in the workplace was discussed.

Karl Sun states, “Gratitude is a basic human requirement — and since we spend most of our waking hours at the office, giving and receiving thanks at work becomes pretty important.”

At the most basic level, people need meaningful interpersonal connection, community and, validation. A culture of gratitude and appreciation helps to check all of those boxes.”
As organizations continue to juggle blended home/work environments as a new normal and employees are more challenged with building/maintaining workplace relationships, let this be a challenge to start with the “Gratitude Ripple Effect.”
Have a great WORLD GRATITUDE DAY!
14Sep

Are Your Employees Motivated?

Do your employees go through ups and downs when it comes to productivity? Motivating your workforce can be a challenge, especially if you’re unsure what is causing the reduced energy.
Everyone wants their employees to get excited about coming to work each day. A motivated employee is a productive employee. It also helps when they enjoy spending time with their co-workers, making for a much better team.

Getting your employees motivated is more straightforward than it seems.

To follow are some things you can do to ignite the excitement they may have had at the beginning.
Positive Communication

Do you find yourself “barking” orders when it comes to office tasks or when you want to know the status of a specific project? This form of communication causes stress in the office, and the tension increases as soon as they hear your voice. Likely, this isn’t your intention, but if this is how you’ve always communicated, it’s a great time to change your ways. Taking just that one step will almost instantly change the dynamic in your office, at least once the team realizes they no longer need to jump each time you approach.

Replace the “barking” with a kinder, more personal approach and allow them to speak openly without fear of the familiar outbursts.
You want to be a leader that others want to follow, and when you set a good example, that attitude trickles down and helps establish a positive culture.

Click play for some “barking” orders. 

Friendly Competition Leads to Increased Camaraderie
We see charts of conquered sales and monthly employee rewards, but did you know that creating a bit of competition between employees can help produce a better work product? It comes back to you as the leader to set the tone so that it does remain friendly, and the vibe is a shared support system for everyone. When someone “wins” a particular competition, make sure to thank everyone for participating and NEVER reprimand in public, and if there is an issue, set up a meeting, in private, to discuss.

Continue to motivate and find out what they need to be out in front the next time.

Share Your Company Goals
Motivated employees like knowing the plan and what their role is to help get you there. When you have a path that also includes a road to future promotions, they’re more apt to work hard to reach the goals that will make the company successful. And even better, they will work hard without being asked because you have included them in your vision.
In addition to enlightening your team, include incentives that have meaning to them. You may be surprised, but it’s rarely about money. You can provide other considerations that help them become better at what they do while increasing their commitment to you and the company.
  • Additional training to increase their skillset.
  • An extra day(s) off without deducting from existing vacation time
  • Dinner for two
  • Grocery store gift card

To make it fun, write these perks on separate cards and let the employee draw their incentive when they’ve reached an agreed-upon goal. Make it a team event that motivates others to have the same opportunity.

Continue to Check In
You’ve implemented some of the above tactics, and you see a definite increase in energy. The work is flowing as it should, plus there’s a lightness in the office that wasn’t there before.
Continue to dialogue with your employees to ensure the new way of communicating is still working. Be open to ideas to keep a healthy environment in the office, and you’ll have a greater sense of dedication and positive attitudes. Now isn’t that a much better way to work and protect your workforce investment?
10Sep

Would You Draft Yourself in Fantasy Football?

NFL Football is back in action, and no matter your team, there is always an extra element of excitement for FANTASY FOOTBALL! Your chance to compete with your friends and family to build the ultimate team of elite professional athletes to get you through the season ON TOP!
When you think about it, it’s not much different from any leader competing against other companies to draft (hire) the top professionals for their team.

Some leaders might argue that the current talent shortage is even more challenging and feels like they’re playing in a 100 team fantasy league!!!

So the question arises. Would you draft yourself? Do you think others would select you? Remember, the winning strategy isn’t drafting players just because they play on your favorite team in real life, or athletes that seem like the nicest/ easiest to get along with. The draft is based solely on anticipated performance, output, and results!

So again, we raise the question. Would you honestly draft yourself as the best chance to win for the team? Can you articulate to yourself the reasons why or why not? For the why not(s), are there areas of performance that you can work on or better showcase?

Figure out what kind of player you are and what type of player you want to be.

  • Do you bring consistency?
  • A very high ceiling?
  • Are you a boom or bust type of player?
  • Do you consider yourself under-rated and ready to show your worth? What would your fantasy profile say about you?
  • Do you think it’s enough for team owners to fight over you when it comes time for drafting a winning team?

Certainly, something to think about but a great mindset to have when setting goals to help advance in your career.

Please take a look at other helpful blogs on the Lone Star Staffing Solutions’ website for additional helpful information on how to prepare for, sell yourself, and navigate the ins and outs of “draft days” and throughout the entire “season.”

VISIT OUR BLOG

02Sep

How Social Media Affects Your Career Growth

Are you currently seeking a new job or advance into a leadership position within the organization you work for now?
If either of the above scenarios is you or could be you in the future, it’s time to make sure your social media profiles match the persona you are presenting to future and current employers.

You’re thinking, “What I do on my personal time shouldn’t make a difference as long as I’m doing a great job at work, or my experience and skills meet all of the requirements .”

Yes, your time is yours, but it’s open to the public when you post on social media. Even if your profiles are private, someone in your network could share.

Did you know that many employers utilize social media to prescreen candidates in the process of hiring? And that your current employer is most likely checking even though you’re already a part of their team? They want to know their employees are not doing anything to jeopardize their online reputation or behaving in a manner that does not align with the company culture.

Misuse of social media could have severe repercussions and harm your chances for new opportunities or future advancement within the company you currently serve.

For example, if you go out with friends and decide that belly shots or getting captured on video in a nasty brawl are funny, then think twice.
Remember, even if you aren’t the one posting, it’s still out there.
They could misinterpret something someone posted about you or a controversial view you’re sharing.
When organizations scan your social media, it isn’t necessarily to find something negative about you but to get a snapshot of your personality. Culture has become even more of a factor when hiring, as employers realize the importance of a cohesive atmosphere where diverse people can come together to work toward a common goal. And, it helps if they respect and like each other as it makes for a more productive environment.
Not sure what is appropriate and what could pass for “normal” sharing? To follow are some suggestions on what NOT to post.
  • Revealing photos or sexual videos
  • Criminal behavior
  • Negative remarks about a former or current employer
  • Sharing confidential information about an employer (past or present)
  • Discriminatory remarks related to gender, religion, race, etc.
  • Photos or comments about drugs and drinking
Other telltale signs that it wouldn’t be a good fit:
  • If currently employed, you call in sick, and then they see images of you at Disney World.
  • Poor grammar on social media can indicate what they expect as far as your communication skills.
  • Too many posts. Why does that matter? If you have a history of constantly posting, then it suggests you would be spending a portion of your workday keeping up with social media versus managing your responsibilities.
Take some of the following steps to a more positive social media presence:
DON’T ERASE YOUR PROFILES
  • If they cannot find you, they’ll feel you’re hiding something as it’s rare that someone doesn’t exist on social media.
CLEAN UP YOUR EXISTING POSTS
  • If there’s something inappropriate, delete that post. If it’s on someone else’s channel and it’s a real negative, politely ask the person who posted it if they can either “untag” you or remove it altogether.
  • Include content that aligns with the persona you are representing in your career.
  • Add your skills and history, so they match with your resume. This advice is primarily for LinkedIn as that’s a dedicated professional channel.

It’s OK to be “social,” but be mindful of what you’re putting out there. Many co-workers connect on social media, so have fun, but before posting, ask yourself what employers would think about what you’re about to share.

And remember, you shouldn’t ease up on ensuring your online presence is positive once you are successfully employed.
25Aug

Please, Make Yourself at Home

Many are welcoming employees back into the office or have at least started making plans to do so. Companies realize that there is no way to make everyone happy. But still, they also recognize the plans, processes, and procedures that they put in place could be critical to their employee satisfaction.
Outside of the health protocols, policies, and Covid-driven planning, how can an employer help with the transition back to the office?

Employers need to take a step back and look at the little things that express to their employees, “Welcome back! Please, make yourself at home!”

Most employees have not only become accustomed to working from home, but they have also been completely spoiled by it! Coming back into the office for many can sound like a COMPLETE DRAG because they don’t feel nearly as comfortable in the office as they do at home.
So short of making every day “Pajama bottoms and house slippers Day,” here are a couple of tips to help your office achieve the comfort of home.

SPACE PEOPLE OUT

Covid is driving a lot of attention to how employees are spaced throughout the office but let’s be honest, nobody wants to feel like they are packed in like sardines anyway. Many homes over the last year-plus, had multiple professionals working from home. Do you think they were voluntarily sitting as close together as they could just because they liked the company? NO! They were spread out on opposite sides of the house, as far away from each other as possible.

Let your employees spread out and, if available, not be forced to be confined to one desk. Set your employees up with room to walk around to take calls without bothering others, work by a window, or even on a porch if they choose. Make the effort to give your employees the space, privacy, and freedom they have grown to love working from home.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF NATURAL LIGHTING

One of the most underappreciated benefits of working from home has been access to natural lighting. If you think about it, natural lighting has been a focal point to residential architecture and design because, people don’t want a cramped, dark, and claustrophobic home. Commercial architecture and design have recently made the use of natural lighting and open features just as much of a priority, following years of the focus being, “how many workers can we cram in here?”

In fact, a survey by MY HR Advisory firm Future Workplace called “The Employee Experience” revealed that employees rank access to natural light and views of the outdoors as the number one attribute of the workplace environment needs.

Promote better employee satisfaction and mental health by simply providing them with access to work areas near natural lighting sources and outdoor views.

LISTEN TO YOUR EMPLOYEES

As mentioned earlier, there is no way to please every person by accommodating their “home-sick” work-life. However, employers can gain valuable information by simply listening to their employees to define the differences between their “at-home” and “at-work” environments. An employee survey is a great way to uncover the things that matter and could help make the work-space more comfortable, and in-turn more productive.

Take advantage of bringing your employees back to work on the right foot. These efforts can go a long way to help your employees flourish in an environment that feels more like “HOME SWEET HOME.”

19Aug

Looking for a Permanent Position?
Consider a Temp Job.

It can be very frustrating if you are in the market for a permanent role and find yourself competing with countless others seeking employment. And if you’re smart, you don’t want to take just any job as we all know you will continue to look for the position you really desire while newly employed.
That isn’t fair to your new employer as they’ve hired you based on your skills and the interest you displayed in the job. And remember, it’s a “small world,” and employers talk to each other. Don’t build a reputation as a “job hopper.”
The challenge is that you still need income, and while you want to do the right thing, the bills still need to be paid.

What if you could earn income without sacrificing credibility and perhaps even gain in other ways that will benefit your future career growth?

Think about exploring a temp job.

Some automatically go the temp route because they want the flexibility while earning income.

In comparison, others will turn their nose up at the short-term prospect because they don’t own the role.

When your ultimate goal is to have a permanent position, it may be hard to consider opening your options to a temporary job. But when the right permanent job is challenging to locate, the other alternative could be a short-term solution.

There are many benefits to entering the world of temporary jobs!

You may be unemployed or a recent college graduate and, like most successful candidates, are eager to continue to learn. Are there skills you would like to hone, or if just out of college, learn? Or do you want to get your feet wet in an industry of interest but haven’t had the opportunity to explore the possibilities?

Opportunity for Learning

You may be unemployed or a recent college graduate and, like most successful candidates, are eager to continue to learn. Are there skills you would like to hone, or if just out of college, learn? Or do you want to get your feet wet in an industry of interest but haven’t had the opportunity to explore the possibilities?

As a temp worker, you can gain the experience that will take your resume to the next level and open your options to opportunities not available to you before. Of course, when you’re “on the job,” make sure you’re paying attention and are absorbing what is needed to ensure you don’t just sound good on paper but have the experience and knowledge.

These learning experiences allow you to continue making progress toward a more substantial future career goal.

Reduced Financial Stress

Have you noticed, if you’re unemployed, that you behave in a manner that can come across as desperate? It’s natural and difficult to hide. You may be juggling creditors or eating away at your savings to pay bills, and there’s no doubt it is stressful. When you accept a temporary position, you now have income, and sometimes, even health benefits, and while it may not be your dream job, your demeanor changes for the better.

What does this do for your ongoing job search? A lot! Employers can sense when you’re a little too overeager, and it can harm your chances because it’s critical for them to know you’re interested in the position for the long term. When you overly “yes” them or embellish your skills to “get the job,” a good employer will know something is not right.

A Temp Job Could Be Your Golden Ticket

There are many scenarios in the temp world. Some are genuinely temporary positions because an employee may be on vacation, out for an illness or maternity, or there’s a need for additional staffing for a short-term project.

Other temp positions may be to replace an employee who is no longer with the company. Using a temporary worker, the employer can assess the skillset before committing. And, it allows the company to ensure you would be a good fit within their culture.

There may be a role that begins as a temporary role with no intention of a permanent opportunity, but that changes many times. The examples of positions created for the right person are endless. That’s why you need to shine at all times, as you never know when the door will open for you.

  • Do your best work and ask questions when needed.
  • Show that you’re reliable by arriving early and demonstrating that you’re a team player.
  • Dress professionally or if more casual, always neat and clean
  • Don’t gossip or get involved in office cliches as you never know who your potential boss could be.

Hopefully, we’ve provided some insight that may open your eyes to accepting a temporary opportunity. It’s essential to work with an experienced staffing solutions firm that knows your long-term career goals. They will get to know you, and while they’re actively looking for your next permanent position, a qualified staffing firm is best equipped to match you with a temporary job that aligns with your ultimate career goal.
In summary, a temp job may be exactly what is needed to continue to move forward on your career path.
12Aug

Is Every Company Becoming a Technology Company?

The simple answer to the opening question is… “If the business wants to keep up, they are!”
Leading companies across various industries (healthcare, retail, finance, etc.) have eased into an operating model that has transformed their technology mindset from “business support” to “BUSINESS DRIVER!” Becoming a technology company doesn’t mean that each of these companies is changing their product or service to sell infrastructure, code, or software. In this era, a technology company utilizes technology as a critical proponent to enhancing its operations, experiences, and capabilities.

If every great company becomes a technology company, how can you use this to stand out further in your career?

Here are two simple but powerful points of advice:

EMBRACE the technology and RUN WITH IT

The amount of technology introduced into every person’s daily profession (devices, software, tools, machines, etc.) can be amazing and overwhelming at the same time. In fact, there are times where it probably seems like the technology makes jobs harder because it can be overwhelming enough just learning the new software and tools.

This fact has led to a heightened focus for employers to focus on what potential employees know how to do something AND the tools they use to do it! New technology and tools are being introduced into various professions every day! Some don’t stick around and while others can revolutionize a profession.

If you want to stand out, then embrace and master the technology you are exposed to because it could quickly be what separates you later on.

Become a SOLUTIONS THINKER and not just a TASK EXECUTIONER

One of the most sought-after technology benefits is automation. Technology specialists worldwide are constantly looking at tasks and processes that can be automated for efficiency within any industry.

Some professionals might see this as a threat to their career, but solution thinkers should see this as the key to unlocking more time for impactful business creativity.

This goes back to embracing the technology, especially the technology allowing professionals to do their jobs better and faster. This best practice allows creative and forward thinkers to stand out.
In many leading companies, some leaders have emerged (the solutions thinkers) who are constantly looking for ways to have the most significant impact on the business AND are proactively looking at what advancements in technology and processes can help!

Think about it… What if you introduce your company to a technology that changed how they did business for the better?

In many leading companies, some leaders have emerged (the solutions thinkers) who are constantly looking for ways to have the most significant impact on the business AND are proactively looking at what advancements in technology and processes can help!
Technology is changing the world before our very eyes, and every great company WILL continue to transition into a “Technology Company.” A McKinsey study revealed that “60% of jobs will be transformed through the automation of component tasks by 2030.”
Chances are that your dream company is already taking the steps needed to become a “Technology Company” and embracing the advancements it brings. It’s time to stand out as the employee that can help them get there.
05Aug

Remove Jargon from the Workplace

We should all embrace diversity in the workplace. Still, not everyone realizes some of the best practices we should consider to make it a comfortable workplace, especially when communicating verbally and in writing.

While other cultures may be well-versed in your language, they may not have an understanding of some of the jargon/slang we casually use.

It may be OK to use it in your leisure time, but it shouldn’t be acceptable at work unless you are 100% clear your co-workers “get” what you’re saying.

This way of thinking should also include outside vendors and your customers, or clients, as your whole environment should be all-inclusive.

For instance, some employers may use acronyms as a way of looking “in the know,” but if others have no idea what they mean, much could get lost in translation, which leads to a lack of engagement and a feeling of isolation for those who feel left out. Even if a vendor or colleague understands the business, it doesn’t mean they’re also familiar with all slang.

To follow are some examples of slang, which may surprise you, and should be avoided:
  • The elephant in the room
  • Big boy pants
  • Think outside the box
  • Out of pocket
  • Bite the bullet
  • The beauty of simplicity
Other forms of “slang” language have become a habit and can be confusing, such as “dude” or “ghosted.” There are many others, and if you use that vocabulary around other cultures, it may not be slang to them but simply confusing. The same goes with “y’all” or “dude.”
Think of the following scenario. You’re in a meeting, and the leader of the meeting says something like:

I don’t have the bandwidth to deal with this right now. We need boots on the ground to drill down to what the client needs. I need everyone to be crushing it ASAP.”

The phrase should be something like this:

I don’t have the capacity to deal with this right now. We need everyone to help make this happen and find out what the client needs. I want everyone to perform at their best as soon as possible.

Once you decide to improve communication by speaking more professionally, there are some steps you can take to help ensure all employees are on board with this more inclusive direction.

Get all of your employees together in a room and provide actual examples of how specific phrases or words can be confusing. You can accomplish this through role-play and engaging them by asking for their examples. Use this exercise to create awareness, not be a reprimand. Many of us speak using jargon out of habit, and once we’re aware of how it can alienate others, it’s easy to adjust the way we communicate.

Remind them to speak slowly, or at the same rate as the person they are talking to, making for a better conversation.
It’s important to realize that habits can take time to break and ask everyone to hold each other accountable by gently “correcting” a fellow employee when they revert to talking slang. Keep everything positive and light.

If someone uses slang or jargon excessively, document it and bring it up for discussion in their next review. When everyone gets used to speaking the proper language, you will see the difference for employees who will appreciate this effort.

Acronyms to Phase Out
The use of acronyms has moved from just texts to how some speak verbally. We should use our voices to communicate clearly, and the use of the following abbreviated words can be confusing to those who don’t understand what they mean.
LOL (laughing out loud)
BRB (be right back)
OMG (oh my god)

And, it’s almost a form of laziness to shorten a word that you should speak in full. Texting is one thing, but verbal communication shouldn’t be abbreviated.

It will take some time for everyone to get accustomed to dropping the jargon, but unless everyone understands and feels comfortable with it – cut it out. And, the best advice is to make sure examples are set from the top down so that everyone is part of the solution for effective communication.
20Jul

Employee Comfort = Increased Productivity

When employees think of work, they don’t necessarily associate that thought with comfort. That’s a shame as there are several ways to ensure physical comfort in the workplace or whenever we call our “office.” Whether it’s the furniture they sit on, their location within the office, or how the computer is situated.

If your staff is comfortable, it could make all the difference in attitude and productivity.

Comfort comes in many forms, and there are a few strategies to help you demonstrate that the well-being of your employees is a priority. Some will require a bit of effort and possibly a monetary investment, but many approaches are no/low-cost.
Desk & Chair

The desk is essential, but the office chair can be one of the biggest game-changers for comfort. A poorly made chair can be uncomfortable, and as the day continues, the employee could experience back neck and shoulder pain, in addition to other stressors, which can easily lead to decreased concentration and fatigue. Many supply stores will work with you to choose an ergonomically built office chair at reduced costs, especially if you purchase more than one.

Show Your Support for Keeping Work & Personal Time Separate

This may not always be possible as in these virtual times, and with hybrid work environments, the way we work is different. However, whenever possible, allow, and encourage your employees to take a break and take time to have a personal life. When they feel you support their time away from the “office” as their own, they will come back with clearer heads and a deeper appreciation for the company.

Break Up the Day
The following suggestions are something that will make you look great to your team, and at the same time, increase productivity as it will allow them to take super quick mini-breaks every hour. And, it could also turn into a team exercise where everyone comes up with ideas on how to accomplish these activities. To follow are some suggestions you could introduce. They can be performed on an individual basis or as a fun few seconds/minutes simultaneously.
Get Out Of Your Chair
Sitting in their chair for hours on end is detrimental and reduces focus. Perform an unrelated work activity every hour for just a few minutes.
  • Stretch or do jumping jacks in place
  • Walk to a window and look out, focusing on the shape of a cloud. Is it a dog? Or is it a fairy princess? Use your imagination.
  • Walk around the office. Do you wear a monitoring device such as a Fitbit? Get your steps in but take care not to disrupt the rest of the office unless you're doing this as a group exercise.
  • If given longer breaks throughout the day, 5-10 minutes of walking outside can do wonders. Responsible staff won't abuse these opportunities, but to ensure work is still performed, include the break guidelines in the employee manual. Most employers loosen the reins if they see an increase in production or creative thinking.
Meditation
This exercise is something that can be accomplished at their desk and done throughout the day. There are many apps or if someone in the office has experience meditating, ask them to show others how to do it. Or bring in a third-party vendor to show them exercises they can do on their own. It takes practice, but if they can clear their head for a few minutes each hour, it helps restore focus.
Meditation
If you work closely with a reputable Staffing Solutions firm to secure quality talent, make sure to let them know if these are some of your everyday best practices. In a competitive market, this positive culture could be the deciding factor between your company and another.
Take some of the above steps and watch your employees thrive while increasing their motivation to take your company to the next level.