Turn Your Employees into Rock Stars

August 31st, 2012

We’ve all heard the term “the power of positive thinking.” Imagine applying the same thought process to your management style. You can encourage your employees to be the best they can be simply by telling them they are the best at what they do. Reinforcing positive behavior from your employees helps to discourage negative situations. Here are several tips to turn your team into rock stars.

  1. Set positive expectations. When dealing with your team don’t rely on negative reinforcement to get the job done to your satisfaction. When you expect mediocre results you will get mediocre results. Provide details for what you would like the project to be in the end and guidelines to get the team there, but then allow your team freedom to be successful. Encourage them along the way and assess milestones.
  2. Leave out the “But.” Sometimes managers believe that the way to break the bad news is to start with something positive but add a “but” to the sentence. Try leaving it out altogether. Describe the job or the project in the most positive ways and don’t give them a negative aspect to focus on at all. You’ll be surprised by the results. Employees often assume the project is expected to fail or that management has no faith in their abilities once the “but” is added to the sentence.
  3. Easy vs. Complex. Similarly, try to describe job duties or project requirements in the easiest terms. Don’t tell an applicant that the job they are doing is incredibly complex and difficult. Instead, try to encourage them by explaining that the job will be easy for someone of their background and expertise. Studies have shown this type of encouragement increases performance.
  4. Give an ego boost. This may sound silly, but boosting an individual’s ego will help their performance. You can do this any number of ways but try to tell your employees they are wonderful at what they do and that they are a key part of the team even at a time when their performance isn’t critical.

Looking for additional management tips or superstars for your team? Contact Meador Staffing to find out what we have to offer.

Turn Seasonal Work Into a Full Time Job

August 24th, 2012

Summer is starting to fade and the crisp chill of autumn air is creeping in. With the holidays right around the corner now is the time of year to consider picking up some seasonal work. If you have found yourself in the job market for quite some time adding part time seasonal work to your resume will help keep your skills fresh for your next full time job. In addition to that, it is not impossible to turn a seasonal job into a full time position. Here are some ways to swing the odds in your favor.

  1. Be upfront. Let your manager know you are really looking for a full time job. Your manager will know your intentions and keep you in mind for any full time positions. Make sure your attitude reflects your desire to work with the company long term.
  2. Go above and beyond. The majority of seasonal jobs are in the customer service arena. Make sure that you don’t check out early in the game. Make an effort to go above and beyond in the service you provide. Managers want to hire someone they can rely on to treat customers well so prove that you are the right person for a full time job.
  3. Don’t be passive. Being proactive will get you noticed by the people who make the hiring decisions. If someone calls in sick, don’t hesitate to volunteer to cover that shift. Ask to lend a hand on any additional projects. And if you find yourself with idle time, ask for additional work.
  4. Care about the company. Prove you’re interested in the company. Learn as much as you can about the core values, the business structure and any challenges they may face in the coming year. Show that you want to contribute to the organization.
  5. Be forward thinking. Prove to the manager that you are thinking beyond your seasonal job. Speak up and provide suggestions that will help the company. They may not be implemented but they will show the manager that you are interested in the future of the organization. You want to demonstrate that your contributions will be positive for the company.

Looking for your next opportunity to make an impression? Contact Meador Staffing today!

Which is better? Fast or Slow Paced Work

August 17th, 2012

Methodical or fact paced – which is better in your business? Many companies and employees will use these words to describe their work style but what does it really mean and which is better? When evaluating between the tortoise and the hare, here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Quality vs. Quantity. What is the more important value for your company? Are you looking for high output or minimum mistakes? Or maybe you need both. There is no right answer and the right person for the job will depend on how you envision the workflow.
  2. No such thing as multi-tasking. The human brain is not designed to do more than one thing at a time. If an individual says they can multi-task you need to be cautious about the level of quality they can produce in their work. Our brains need to focus on one thing at a time. Keep this in mind when hiring someone who claims they are masters at multi-tasking.
  3. The work never ends. Some businesses require super-fast reflexes to be able to keep up with customer demand. A more methodical worker will likely be unable to keep up with the pace and will fall behind. Keep work styles in mind when considering people for individual positions. There may even be a place for both in your organization.
  4. Ask for Honesty. It is common to ask the question “Do you prefer a fast or slow paced environment.” Almost no one answers “slow, please.” Let the job seeker know there is no wrong answer but you want to make sure they will be happy in the job. Allow the seeker to share examples of their work pace with you.
  5. Continue to reevaluate. It will be markedly noticeable when an individual does not fit into the mold of the job. If the job requires a slower pace to ensure steps are done correctly you will begin to see simple mistakes that show someone is rushing. Alternately, if the work requires a fast pace but production falls behind it will be easy to spot the break in the process. Continually evaluate your current employees to ensure they don’t begin to exhibit behaviors that are inconsistent with the expectations.

Are you looking for a business partner that understands your individual environment? Contact Meador Staffing today!

Don’t Get Lost in a Busy Workplace

August 10th, 2012

When starting a new job you want to make a great impression on your boss and team. You’ll strive to be the “go to” employee. Here are several tips to making sure you stand out from the crowd in an environment that can become easily distracted.

  1. Establish face time. Don’t settle for conference calls. When you need to speak with someone consider setting up a face to face meeting. People do remember faces so establish yours as the one they think of first when they need something handled.
  2. Put down your smartphone. When you start attending large corporate meetings it is not unusual to see everyone at the table with their smart phones in hand. Some people think this makes them look valuable – that they are so busy they can’t put down their phone even for a meeting. The opposite is actually true. People are avoiding the meeting even if attendance is required. Stand out by paying attention and even referring back to information regularly.
  3. Be interesting. You should be able to share something new that you’ve learned, or tried, or accomplished every week. People remember individuals who are willing to speak up and share their personal stories.
  4. It is all about them. Always be prepared to answer the question “what can you do for me?” Anticipate question before it is literally asked. Be ready to contribute and make your manager’s life and job easier.
  5. Be vocal. This doesn’t mean you shout to be heard above the din. Rather, you should avoid the lazy  trap of email and make sure your managers know the sound of your voice. Tone is much easier to understand when you’re speaking than when you’re typing. You will escape some of the common pitfalls of electronic communication.
  6. Stick to the point. Avoid having to clarify what you mean on a regular basis. If people have to ask your intentions or purpose it is possible you have not communicated your point clearly enough. Learn to do this and you will stand out.
  7. Be complimentary. Don’t just be a yes-person but do offer words of encouragement and praise when they are deserved. Individuals at every level respond better to positive reinforcement every time.

Are you ready to find your next opportunity to shine? Contact Meador today to see what we have to offer!

Employee Handbooks: Why You Need One

August 8th, 2012

Employee handbooks are a great tool to have in your HR arsenal. There will never be an end to employee questions about policies or situations where the rules will need to be interpreted. Here are 10 tips for creating an employee handbook or improving one that you already use.

  1. Have it reviewed by a lawyer. To ensure everything in your handbook is appropriate and legally correct, have your policies reviewed by a lawyer who specializes in the industry. Policies are easy to misinterpret, so protect yourself by using clear and legally appropriate language.
  2. Follow federal and state laws. A lawyer can help you understand if your policy complies with federal and state employment laws.  There will be a lot of subtle details that a lawyer can walk you through.
  3. Keep it short. Thick tomes of rules will go unread. Reviewing it should be easy for employees. Provide a table of contents and index so it is easy to look up specific policies.
  4. Detail the procedures for reporting issues. The text needs to include the steps to take to report an issue such as harassment or discrimination.
  5. Review handbooks of similar companies. There is no need to recreate the wheel. Consider handbooks from other similar companies in scope or size. This will give you an idea of what subjects will be important to your employees.
  6. Update regularly. Laws change and policies should too. Set aside time once a year to evaluate your handbook and update anything that may have changed or to make an existing policy more clear.
  7. Include a disclaimer. It is impossible to foresee every potential situation that will occur in your company.  Make sure employees know that the handbook is not comprehensive but rather a general guideline. Without such a disclaimer, the handbook can be seen as a contract and can cause legal roadblocks if anyone ever decides to take an action against the company.
  8. Use professional and easy-to-understand language. Experts suggest hiring a writer with a human resources background to craft the handbook.
  9. Ensure employee awareness. A sudden introduction of a handbook can send a message that you are not happy with your employees’ current conduct. Communicate that the handbook has been introduced to enforce policies already in place. Once it is implemented, new hires must receive a copy or know the location of the handbook in the office.
  10. Verify that everyone has a copy or access. Each employee or new hire should sign a document indicating they have read the handbook. Let them know the handbook is there to protect them on the job.

Want more information on how to create an effective human resources program in your office? Contact the professionals as Meador Staffing today!