Keep Your Employees Engaged All Summer

May 25th, 2012

For many businesses, the summer months can be a slow time. Clients are on vacation (as are the CEO and others on the executive team), and employees have plenty of non-work activities  to contend with – from making sure kids get to summer camp to household chores that can’t put be off any longer. It’s a time when your workforce can become easily distracted and productivity can suffer. So how do you keep employees engaged and focused?

Set goals

When team members are given a specific goal (with a specific timeframe), it helps concentrate their energies and gives them something to shoot for. Announce a goal – high, but achievable – and put it in writing so employees can stay on task throughout the summer months.

Keep talking

If employees don’t hear from their managers and supervisors during the summer, it’s little wonder their attention starts to wander. Keep your staff in the loop with regular announcements and/or short company-wide meetings. Share longer-range plans and invite input. This way, the team will feel they’re still part of a thriving business – and they may have some great ideas to contribute as well.

Provide the right tools for the job

When a printer breaks down or computers freeze for no reason, employees expect prompt assistance from IT. But if the IT help guy is on vacation and you’ve got a less-talented substitute in his place, employees will quickly determine that steady productivity isn’t a real priority. They can’t get things done if their tools don’t work. Make sure your computer systems and related processes are all kept up to speed, so no one can say broken-down equipment left them with little to do.

Maintain a positive work environment

When you come to work in the morning, do you enter an environment where employees are upbeat and working hard? Or do you sense that people are lethargic and maybe even a bit depressed? It’s up to you to foster an atmosphere that prizes camaraderie and collaboration, where team members are motivated to work hard because they like what they’re doing. You set the tone for the summer months.

Celebrate achievements

Employees who work hard should be recognized all year-round, but particularly during a time of slow business. Recognize these individuals through emails, newsletters, and at staff meetings. If a team marks a significant achievement, treat everyone to lunch or take them out after work to celebrate the occasion. Everyone likes to be recognized and rewarded for their work, and during the dog days of summer, this helps keeps people engaged, rather than wishing they were somewhere else.

If you’re looking for skilled, motivated workers to fill open slots during the summer months, Meador Staffing Services can help!

Temp Worker – To Be Or Not to Be?

May 18th, 2012

According to a recent Harris Interactive survey of more than 3,000 hiring managers and HR professionals, 36 percent of companies either already have or plan to hire temporary workers this year – up from 28 percent in 2009.

Why the increase? For one reason, hiring temporary workers gives companies the option to gear up for short-term or seasonal business, without the expense and burden of health care and other benefits. And of course they can choose from a talent pool of laid-off workers, hungry for any type of paying position.

But what’s in it for you? Does opting for temporary work detract from your search for a full-time position? Does it seem like taking your eye off the ball?

Not if you’re looking to change careers, say job experts. A temporary assignment in a field that interests you offers an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the industry. It also gives you experience that can help launch you into a full-time opening at a later date.

Even if you’re not looking to change careers, there are numerous compelling reasons to check out temporary work assignments. They:

  • Give you something to do – and doesn’t that beat sitting around the house all day?
  • Offer decent pay (sometimes even better-than-decent, if you happen to possess the special skills they need right away.
  • Expand your professional network, enabling you to nurture new relationships that can open the door for you later on.
  • Nab you a couple of valuable references, also useful at some future date.
  • Fill those annoying gaps in your resume, so you no longer have to invent explanations for what you did for a whole six months in 2012.
  • Hones your skills and keeps you sharp, thus avoiding the sense that you’re getting out of touch with the workplace.

Most companies that hire temp workers do not promise anything beyond the term agreed-upon at the outset. At the same time, no one can predict the future. It’s always possible an existing employee will leave during the time you’re in the office. If you’re doing an outstanding job, chances are you’ll be considered for the full-time position, or at least you’ll have made a very favorable impression on a potential future employer. It’s win-win!

Find out about the wide range of resources available from Meador Staffing Services to help you find the ideal position.

Don’t Have a Business Blog? What Are You Waiting for?

May 11th, 2012

Does your business have a blog that’s up and running? If not, you’re missing out on an effective and simple way to build relationships with your customers and with potential candidates for open positions in your business.

You’re the expert

A blog keeps your business in customers’ minds, even if they’re not presently looking for what you sell. By regularly updating content on the blog, you establish yourself as an expert in your field. Of course, by “content” we mean information that’s useful to readers, not blatant advertising for your products or services. The goal is to make your blog the first place to visit if someone has an interest in or question about something in your industry.

Blogs drive traffic

Everyone knows the more traffic that comes to your business site, the more customers you’ll get. A blog that continuously provides fresh, informative content will generate traffic to your site, particularly if you embed links to specific web pages as part of your message. Another method of increasing traffic is linking your blog to other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), which further broadens readership and expands your potential customer base.

Posting content on a regular basis also “feeds” search engines (be sure to include keywords relevant to your industry), thus making it even easier for potential customers to find you.

Better customer service

Blogs are interactive; you post content, readers respond. Your blog should always include a brief summary of who you are and what you offer, as well as contact information if readers have questions or wish to inquire about open positions.

Use the blog to post updates on your products or services, and to also respond quickly to any specific customer feedback. The comments you receive can also alert you to any “problem areas” which you can address promptly, in order to keep customers happy.

A variety of sites make it easy to create a blog for your business and get it running. (You don’t need HTML web programming skills to do it!) Sites such as Tumblr, WordPress and Typepad are either free to use or cost little to use.

Meador Staffing Services delivers flexible and customized staffing solutions for employers across Texas and beyond. Contact us for details on how we can help you.

Leave Your Job Behind Without Burning Bridges

May 4th, 2012

The time has come – or is coming soon – for you to leave your current job. You may be quitting because work conditions have become intolerable or you’re fortunate enough to have been offered a new and more attractive position. Whatever the case, it’s critically important to make your departure as professional as possible.

Why? For the simple reason that burning bridges never makes sense and because you never know when you might need a reference or when you might wish to network with former colleagues.

Telling others

Start with your boss. Let her know in a private meeting and follow-up with a letter of resignation. Briefly explain that you are leaving to take on a new challenge and express your gratitude for everything you’ve learned working with her. This holds true even if the relationship with your boss is awful; giving in to the temptation to make a scene and tell her off will come back to haunt you at some future point.

If you manage others, gather them as a group to make your announcement. Be direct and factual about your situation, but do not criticize the company or your boss. Thank the team for their loyalty, support and dedication to getting work done. (It’s OK to say you’re proud of them, too!) Take the same approach with co-workers. If there’s someone you wish to stay in touch with, exchange contact information in private later on.

Letter of resignation

Again, if circumstances are less than ideal, do not give in to writing a harsh and emotional resignation letter. Keep it brief and to the point – including the date, name of person being addressed, one sentence announcing your resignation, the effective date of departure and your signature. The only exception for making this any longer is if you can a genuine word of praise for your boss and team members.

Be professional

A few additional tips that will impress the people you’re about to leave behind:

  • Give two weeks’ notice.
  • In the exit interview, explain your reasons for leaving as succinctly as possible. No tirades or blanket accusations. If you’re invited to offer criticism, make it constructive and helpful.
  • Offer to train your replacement and to be available to answer questions after your departure.
  • Finish the work on your desk. Don’t leave projects incomplete or in disarray. Try to work as hard on your last day as on your first.
  • Don’t take anything that doesn’t belong to you.

Regardless of the reasons for your resignation, conducting yourself in a professional manner will stay in the minds of your former boss and co-workers. That favorable impression could well benefit you in the future.