Category Archives: Staffing solutions

Working with a Multi-Generational Workforce

During the holidays, as you are sitting around the dining room table with your extended family and friends, take a good look around. You have your great aunt who is a traditionalist and cannot understand why your cousin’s wife didn’t prepare the potato dish using your great-grandmother’s family recipe. You have your mother, who is shooting you a dirty look because your college-aged son is wearing shorts and a baseball hat at the dinner table. You have your teenaged niece that has taken 223 selfies and is picking the best one to post on her Instagram account while your Uncle Larry is busy telling stories about his recent hunting trip while your vegan cousin looks visibly ill. And then there’s you—trying to figure out how it is possible that all of these people are somehow related, not just to you, but to each other. Sound familiar? Perhaps it’s just a holiday dinner, but when you really think about, it may also represent most workforces at most companies.

Workforces are made up of multiple generations and many, many backgrounds. While we value each generation, they can become challenging to manage and can be even more challenging to develop recruitment and retention programs around generational differences. Like most things, the key is understanding some generational tendencies and how best to work with them.

BABY BOOMERS: Baby Boomers are people that are currently in their early 50’s up through their mid-70’s. They are motivated by things that provide some sense of security, like decent health insurance, an available savings program, and a decent salary. They did not grow up with technology and spent the good part of their young lives trying to adjust the “rabbit ears” on the TV to try and get a decent picture. They are CAPABLE of learning and using technology, they just didn’t grow up with it. They value authority figures and want to work for a company and a manager that they respect.

GEN X: Yes, believe it or not that Generation X that we tried so hard to understand now are in their mid-late 30’s and 40’s. They have experienced some challenging times in our workplaces (like 9-11 and the recessions) and so they also value job security and a decent salary. They are more technology driven than the Boomers and did not need to be trained as much on how to use things like a personal computer, because it was part of their upbringing. This generation likes to be challenged and doesn’t typically find value in staying in one place or in a stagnant job. To keep this generation happy, you need to provide continued growth or they will look elsewhere for it.

GEN Y: Meet our 20 and early 30 somethings; but move quickly, because they do too. This group of workers are multi-taskers that are part of the mobile technology generation. They do not know a world without cell phones and want to be paid for a job well done. These are our millennials, who value making a difference, collaboration and need to feel valued in everything that they do. While some may say this generation lacks work ethic, we would argue that they just look at work ethic differently. While they value job security, they value CAREER growth and CAREER security more. We’ve talked about this group of employees before, and how they treat their careers as packed suitcases that they like to keep adding contents to, but always being ready to pick it up and move if the right job or opportunity comes along. Ironically, these employees are fiercely LOYAL, if they believe your organization and their job is part of a greater vision. Keep them engaged by defining your mission and their part in it. In addition, let them have a life outside of work or incorporate their personal values into their careers.

Gen Z:  Our newest part of our workforce – recent grads and those that are in their early 20’s or younger. This workforce was raised on mobile technology, immediate responses and social media. They expect to be paid well, and most are, because the employment market currently dictates higher salaries based on the lack of available workers. They don’t like to wait around for things, and expect a company to be fast moving and up to date in terms of technology. They believe (like most of today’s workforce) that it is most important to get your work done, whether that takes 40 hours, 50 hours, or 34 hours in a week and appreciate the flexibility that many companies now offer. They like challenge, they like change, and they deal well with it because they have grown up surrounded by change. They, too, value collaboration but they value personal job satisfaction just as much.

While these profiles are just generalities, it is important to take some time to look around your own “dining room table” and understand who is sitting there, and adjust your strategic decisions accordingly.

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in finding great employees in Wisconsin for both your short-term and long-term needs. As your strategic partner in a tight employment market, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing. Our recruiters are supported by a sourcing department dedicated to finding great employees for our clients. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

Avoiding Holiday Workplace Stress

‘Tis the season……to stress out?

It’s no secret that the holiday season is one that is met with both joyful anticipation and overwhelming stress. It is not unusual that this time of year also brings additional stress into the workplace. Here are some tips to help alleviate the holiday blues and keep your company productive and your employees engaged.

  • Keep things in perspective. Not everyone celebrates the holidays. Not everyone that does celebrate the holidays cares to do so at work. Make it fun for those who want to participate but don’t make people feel obligated to participate in workplace gift giving or attend the holiday functions with a guest.
  • Be respectful of your employees’ time. It’s easy to think your employees will really appreciate an evening or weekend holiday function, but the reality is, they might not. Survey your staff and offer options. Maybe a simple luncheon followed by an afternoon off would be more welcomed, cost-effective and appreciated than a weekend event at a fancy venue.
  • Understand that the year is not defined by one month of results. So many employers wait until the end of their 4th quarter to talk to their employees about a company’s financial goals and where they stand relative to “year end.” Communicate throughout the year so that everyone is on the same page and doesn’t feel stressed by a sudden obsession with numbers.
  • Get some help! This is especially true if you work in the retail industry, or anything that supports the retail industry (transportation, shipping, manufacturing, etc.) Your workers are stretched, you are busier than ever and sooner or later, people reach their breaking point. Plan early and get extra help to meet your customer demands.
  • Focus on the Short Term…for the sake of the long term. Sometimes your workforce just needs to know that you see them. You see the extra efforts, you see the added stress and you appreciate them making their jobs a priority during a very busy time. Employees that feel valued and appreciated in the stressful times tend to remain loyal when the going gets rough.
  • Get Creative! Think of fun and inexpensive incentives that would both relieve stress and provide some sort of helpful service. Chair massages, free gourmet coffee bar, impromptu breakfast or lunch buffets, an extra-long paid lunch to accomplish necessary errands, a little extra unpaid or paid time off or even the services of a personal shopper are little things that companies can do to make the holiday season a little less stressful.

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in finding great employees in Wisconsin for both your short-term and long-term needs. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing. Our recruiters are dedicated to finding great employees for our clients. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

Seven Tips for Holiday Hiring

Ready or not, here they come!

Whether you’re a retailer, a manufacturer, a distribution channel or a professional services firm, the holidays are coming and you feel the pressure on your business as seasons change and customer demand increases.

Here are seven things to consider as you prepare to hire for your busy season:

  • It’s never too early to create a strategy. Be ready to hire well before you need to.  Think about how and where you are going to recruit and exactly what you are going to have the seasonal workers do.
  • Understand your market. As the unemployment rate continues to fall and the demand for qualified workers rises, know what you might need to pay for the skill set you need and how long it might take you to fill your open positions.
  • Create a “quick start” training program and be willing to train to the job. The reality is that as you enter your busy season, you typically need to ramp up quickly.  Identify transferable skills and hire people who have excellent work ethic and a willingness and ability to learn quickly, and then be willing to train them.  Keep it as simple as possible.
  • Develop a retention program. One of the biggest challenges when you hire workers for what they know will be a short time is retention.  Consider developing a retention plan where you build incentives into the duration of your project and award workers that stay and perform well along the way, and then finish with a completion bonus.  The cost of the bonus will likely be far less than the cost of continuous recruitment and training.
  • Ask for referrals. Before you spend thousands of dollars in recruitment advertising, ask your best current employees for referrals and make it worth their time to give them to you.  Remember that saying “Birds of a feather, flock together?” Great people usually know other great people.
  • Never say never. In this employment market, be open to offering long-term positions to your best seasonal workers. You may not know if you “need” them for the long term when you hire them, but finding something for workers that are already proven and trained may be an investment worth making.
  • Find a Hiring Partner. You don’t need to do it alone.  Find a hiring partner that takes the time to understand your business and needs, and develops a plan to help you fill those needs.  Not only will a great partner come to the table with inventory, they will likely come with years of experience doing similar projects and a staff ready to support you.  Why would you want to assume additional liabilities like payroll taxes, unemployment costs and liability and worker’s compensation risk?  Take advantage and find a partner you can work with.

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in finding great employees in Wisconsin for both your short-term and long-term needs.  As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing. Our recruiters are supported by a full-time sourcing department dedicated to finding great employees for our clients. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

 

 

Invest in Your Workforce to Grow Your Business

Your business has two options: invest in the time to train your workforce or refuse to because you’re too busy and pay for it later. Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released the State’s latest employment data. Unemployment numbers are at their lowest point since 1999. These numbers reflect a job market where talent is tight and recruiting is a challenge. Your best choice? Hire to train and train to retain.

There are many upsides to training your existing workforce or hiring trainable people. First, employees that feel they are being given opportunities to improve upon their skills are often more loyal to their employers. The training makes them feel valued and they appreciate the job growth and the recognition that acquiring new skills brings. Second, an employer that is able to train a worker in their own environment has a distinct advantage in teaching that worker company-specific procedures and cultures. Time is not wasted explaining why things are done differently, because the process and reasons behind it are being taught from day one. Third, being open to investing in a training program may not impact your overall costs as much as you may think. For some employers, hiring workers at a slightly lower wage with a paid training program may prove to be a more economical way to hire both skilled and unskilled workers. Wages can increase once an employee completes training and has proven him/herself to be both competent in the skill set and a proven hire. Last, implementing on-the-job training programs provides additional leadership opportunities to other more experienced staff and is also a nice way to promote from within. This type of culture allows workers to see that good work ethic and proven results will be recognized and rewarded.

Of course, there are always downsides to every solution. We cannot create more time in the day and training someone takes time—both for the trainee and the trainer. Productivity can be lost because of the learning curve and time it takes to direct and re-direct a new employee. Developing a training program can be expensive, because the front-end preparation is a crucial step in the process. However, we encourage you to look at this time spent as an investment and not just an expense. As more and more experienced workers leave the workforce due to retirement, a company that is set up with a forward-thinking approach will be in a better position than a company that merely waits and then panics. You may need to step outside of your comfort zone and hire someone with those “untrainable” soft skills and a proven work ethic, and invest in BOTH of your futures.

Your goal, of course, is to become an employer of choice. An employer of choice is able to weather the storm a bit when things get rough. Employers of choice understand their existing workforce and their target workforce and make the necessary changes to appeal to both. They listen to feedback and evolve as they need to. They make strategic decisions about company culture and create appeal. In short, they identify what is most important to today’s job seeker and do what they need to do to attract and retain them.

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in finding great employees in Wisconsin for both your short-term and long-term needs. As your strategic partner in a tight employment market, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing. Our recruiters are supported by a full-time sourcing department dedicated to finding great employees for our clients. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

 

Battling in the War for Talent

April’s Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development report shows unemployment at 3.2%, the lowest point in 30 years. Area employers are quickly reaching a point of pure frustration as they try to fill open jobs throughout Southeastern Wisconsin, and especially in highly populated markets in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. But before you throw in the towel, we urge you to start thinking proactively. At Nissen Staffing Continuum, we are constantly looking for new and creative ways to strategically recruit for our clients. As the saying goes, “the best defense is a good offense.”

Today’s job seekers are looking for VALUE and view jobs as opportunities. They are trying to understand their purpose in a job and how they can contribute with their own unique gifts and talents. They are looking for belonging and a greater purpose, and want to feel like others care about them and their success. And once they understand their value and greater purpose, they are looking to become masters in their roles and apply that mastery through to a promotion.

As employers, we urge you to look at things like benefits and job descriptions and incorporate the needs of today’s job seekers into every step of your hiring process. Ask yourself the tough question of “Why would someone want to work here?” and then incorporate those things into your descriptions, postings and interview questions. Sell it. Make them understand not just the job, but the FEELING behind the job and the vibe of your business.

Staffing experts say that a performance-based job profile is essential to an effective hiring system. This type of job profile helps to define what success is on a job by spelling it in specific and measurable terms. According to Lou Adler, CEO and Founder of the Adler Group, an ideal job profile is a one-page document and includes some important items:

  • The 5-7 most important deliverables required to be successful in the job.
  • The qualities of a successful person in terms of knowledge, skills & abilities.
  • Specific short- and long-term performance expectations that define success.

We will talk more about performance-based job profiles in a future blog, and provide some examples and success stories we’ve had by utilizing this philosophy.

While helping an employee define success is imperative, it’s important to remember that today’s job seekers have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. Websites like GlassDoor, Google, Yelp and social media applications give employees (current, future and former) the opportunity they want to both give and read feedback. Own your feedback and respond to it. Build your own brand in terms of job satisfaction and employee engagement. What you don’t share, someone else will and it is in your best interest to make sure that your message is on point.

To find the best people, you will need to be a best in class employer. Sometimes, this means making changes to your work environment. While these changes may be simple or complex, they are always worth the effort. Making these changes and increasing your ability to recruit talent has an added perk:  retaining the great talent you already have. Understanding your own current and future workforce is the first step in ensuring your company’s success for years to come.

You only get one chance to make a first impression; make sure the first impression you make is a positive one. An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can help you make your next great hire. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing with our team of recruiters that are supported by a full-time sourcing department. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

Temporary Workers and Safety: A Partnership That Requires Some Understanding

In mid-April, Nissen Staffing Continuum had the honor of speaking at the Waukesha Area Safety Council’s monthly meeting.  The topic was the OSHA Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI) and members learned about this 2013 OSHA directive that focuses on “the compliance of Health and Safety requirements when temporary workers are employed under the joint (or “dual”) employment of a staffing agency and a host employer. “  Under this regulation, OSHA outlines the roles and responsibilities of both staffing companies and organizations that use temporary workers (“host employers.”)

OSHA had four main concerns that led to the program development:

  • Employers were using temporary workers as a way to avoid meeting their compliance obligations under the OSHA and other worker protections laws.
  • Temporary workers get placed in a wide variety of jobs, including the most hazardous jobs.
  • Temporary workers are more vulnerable to workplace safety, health hazards and retaliation than workers in traditional employment relationships.
  • Temporary workers are often not given adequate health and safety training or explanations of their duties by either the temporary staffing agency OR the host employer.

Why did we agree to talk about this?  First and foremost—because it’s the LAW, and second, it’s often misunderstood. In February of 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development announced a statewide unemployment rate of 3.7%, the lowest since January of 2000.  With unemployment under 4%, some can argue that those not working are those without adequate basic skills, common sense, and many are what we call “unemployable.”  In addition, keeping employees SAFE is important to the overall health, safety and retention of your current workforce.  Having programs in place to protect your workers and your temporary workers also helps protect YOUR business from costly worker’s compensation costs, decrease your cost of litigation resulting in unsafe work practices and also protects you from workers compensation predators.

The regulation can be broken down into three main parts:  Host Employer Obligations, Staffing Company Obligations and Joint Obligations.

HOST EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS

As a host employer, you have a number of obligations.

  • Maintain a safe work environment: Continually evaluate your workplace and understand and communicate hazards
  • Select a responsible staffing partner: Remember that Cheapest does not equal best.  Understand who you are hiring to help you find workers.  Are they doing their best to screen candidates that are capable of being safe at work?  Are they proactive with safety?
  • Understand that you are in charge of training: You are in charge of all site-specific workplace training, including (but not limited to): Hazard Communications/GHS, Lockout-Tagout, Machine Guard, Forklift or other PIT training, Ergonomics, Safe Material Handling, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Emergency Evacuation, Safety monitoring (hearing, for example) and any other site-specific safety protocols.
  • Keep OSHA records: Temporary employees that experience an injury or illness on your worksite must be included on your OSHA 300 Logs, as your company, in most cases, is the supervising employer and the injury/illness took place at your worksite.
  • Make sure that you cover safety in your contract with your staffing company AND that it includes the host employer’s responsibility for recordkeeping (not only OSHA, but also training, safety warnings/violations, internal accident reports, etc.)

STAFFING COMPANY OBLIGATIONS

Just as you have obligations, so does your staffing company. Being aware of these obligations will help you identify a good partner.  Your staffing company should research your company’s safety record and review your safety and illness prevention program.  They should request to visit your site and do a documented walk-through.  They should understand the job and ask you for a detailed job description that will include essential skills and physical requirements.

The staffing company should also be pre-qualifying employees. At a minimum, they should have a formal application on file, should be doing reference checks and have a clear drug test policy.  Their recruiters should be trained in interviewing techniques that help them evaluate how an employee would handle an unsafe situation.  They should be talking to potential employees about general safety concepts.  Remember, the staffing company needs to work with a cooperative host employer to keep their employees safe.  The host employer needs to remember that choosing a staffing company that does these things will only decrease their own exposure to worker’s comp liabilities and litigation.

JOINT OBLIGATIONS

While each employer (the Staffing Company and the Host Employer) has responsibilities, there are also some responsibilities that overlap.  Be sure to outline in a Memo of Understanding, Safety agreement or contract each employers’ role in ensuring employee safety.  Make sure this agreement is in writing and signed so there is no confusion. Within this agreement, include terms that determine who is responsible for each part of the law, define the scope work and be sure that a workplace hazard assessment has been completed.  In the end, should an OSHA violation occur, BOTH the host employer and the staffing company will be held liable, so it’s best to spell out responsibilities ahead of time.

Safety is a PARTNERSHIP and because it’s a partnership, both host employers AND staffing companies are responsible to ensure the safety of their employees, regardless of whose name is on the employee’s paycheck.  And because they are both RESPONSIBLE, they are both liable.  The TWI protects temporary employees by outlining responsibilities for both employers. You can learn more about this important law by visiting the OSHA website at https://www.osha.gov/temp_workers/

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum is proud of our commitment to safety.  We maintain an active role as the Outreach Coordinators on the Waukesha Area Safety Council and welcome the opportunity to learn from the great speakers that present to the organization.  As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing. Our recruiters are supported by a full-time sourcing department dedicated to finding great employees for our clients. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

Special Thanks to Helene Browning, Senior Risk Engineering Consultant at Zurich Insurance for her assistance with our research and helping us establish our safety program protocols. 

Today’s Employment Market Forces Employers to be Creative

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development just released February unemployment numbers and the results aren’t surprising area employers:  The State’s unemployment rate has declined to 3.7%, the lowest since 2000.  Pick up an issue of any business-focused magazine, HR-related journal or Google “how to find and keep employees” and you’ll see article after article about the talent shortage. While finding new talent is part of the challenge, keeping that talent is equally as difficult.  While employee recruitment and retention is a huge challenge for employers, it’s a huge opportunity for job seekers.

Employees are no longer lured to a company just by a decent salary and benefit packages.  This generation of our workforce has different ideas and the current employment market is only adding to their cause.  Companies are offering things like unlimited vacation time, flexible work schedules, paid volunteer time and employee wellness programs. Employers are getting creative, doing things like providing free lunches and breakfasts and offering family friendly policies that employees are encouraged to take advantage of.  Some are even allowing employees to bring their pets to work. Today’s employers have had to get creative.

This work environment has made us pause and take note and we wonder, what is your company doing about the talent shortage?  What types of recruitment programs and employment offerings would you consider if it helped you find workers and talent in Southeastern Wisconsin?  What type of creative benefits is your company offering?

Sound off!  We want to hear from you!  Let’s get the dialogue going!

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum is proud of our commitment to capitalize on every employee’s strengths.  As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing with our team of recruiters that are supported by a full-time sourcing department.  For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

Source:  https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/2017/unemployment/170323_february_state.pdf

 

Nissen Staffing Continuum Wins Best of Staffing Client Award For the Second Time

We are pleased to announce that Nissen Staffing Continuum, a leading staffing agency in Southeastern Wisconsin has won Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Client Award for providing superior service to their clients. Presented in partnership with CareerBuilder, Inavero’s Best of Staffing Client winners have proven to be industry leaders in service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients. On average, clients of winning agencies are 2.5 times more likely to be completely satisfied with services provided compared to those working with non-winning agencies.

Focused on helping US companies find the right people for their job openings, Nissen Staffing Continuum’s satisfaction scores were nearly two times higher than the industry’s average. Award winners make up less than 2% of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada who earned the Best of Staffing Award for service excellence.

“We are thrilled to be honored again as a second time Best of Staffing winner. Nissen Staffing Continuum makes exceptional service a priority and we are proud and honored to be recognized for our efforts. We are committed to our mission of providing staffing solutions to our clients, while meeting the career objectives of our associates, where we can create and grow value. Our consistent recognition of exemplary service is evidence of this commitment,” Nissen Staffing Continuum’s President and CEO, Scott Nissen said.

“Staffing firms are giving top companies a competitive advantage as they search for talent in North America,” said Inavero’s CEO Eric Gregg. “The 2017 Best of Staffing winners have achieved exceptionally high levels of satisfaction and I’m proud to feature them on BestofStaffing.com.”

About Company

Established in 1997, Nissen Staffing Continuum has consistently focused on helping businesses grow their organization’s most precious asset:  their people. They understand that to succeed in a fragile economy, or thrive in a strong one, organizations require a staff that is flexible, innovative, and dependable. Nissen Staffing Continuum offers many solutions for all of your staffing challenges, from sourcing temporary help required to meet a tight deadline of a project, to finding capable temp-to-hire personnel, to recruiting a professional with the right background and qualifications. Nissen Staffing Continuum also offers personalized, on-site partnerships to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses that rely on a flexible workforce to meet their customer needs. Nissen Staffing Continuum values partnerships and, as they always say, “It’s not who you know alone, it’s who we know together.” This is their second Inavero Best of Staffing Award.  Visit their website to learn about their service offerings, contact their office or read direct customer testimonials.

About Inavero
Inavero administers more staffing agency client and talent satisfaction surveys than any other firm in the world. Inavero’s team reports on over 1.2 million satisfaction surveys from staffing agency clients and talent each year, and the company serves as the American Staffing Association’s exclusive service quality partner.

About Inavero’s Best of Staffing

Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Award is the only award in the U.S. and Canada that recognizes staffing agencies that have proven superior service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients and job candidates. Award winners are showcased by city and area of expertise on BestofStaffing.com – an online resource for hiring professionals and job seekers to find the best staffing agencies to call when they are in need.

Worker’s Compensation Rule Changes May Impact Area Employers

On Wednesday, January 11th, 55 members of the Waukesha Area Safety Council gathered for their monthly meeting. The group welcomed Attorney Charles Palmer from the law firm of Michael Best & Frederich, who discussed updates to Wisconsin’s Worker’s Compensation Laws that were passed by the State legislature earlier this year.  The lunch and learn format lent itself to a succinct presentation and opportunities for questions.  Attorney Palmer reiterated the importance of these laws and their need to balance the interest of both Labor and Management.

Specifically, three major changes to these laws impact Human Resources & Safety Professionals and how they should handle specific worker’s comp situations.  The areas impacted by the changes include:

  • Violations to the Drug and Alcohol Policies
  • Misconduct or Substantial Fault
  • Pre-Existing Conditions

Violations to the Drug and Alcohol Policies

Under the changed laws, if any employee violates an employer’s policy against drug and alcohol use AND the violation causes the employee’s injury, THEN the employee nor the employee’s dependents may receive any compensation under law, including no benefits for temporary or permanent disability.  (This had previously read that they would receive a 15% reduction in benefits).  In order to make the law work effectively, Attorney Palmer suggested that employers need to make sure that their policies are clear, that they can prove the injury was caused by a violation of the policy and that documentation is done correctly.  He also suggested that an employee’s behavior prior to and after the injury should be clearly documented, as well as having adequate documentation that the employee was aware of and had received written documentation of the policy.  Finally, he encouraged that all employers make sure their policies are clear and up to date, including verbiage concerning illegal and legal (over the counter and prescription) drugs.

Misconduct or Substantial Fault

Under the changed laws, any injured employee could be denied temporary disability benefits if they’ve been suspended or terminated due to their own misconduct or substantial fault.  (Previously, a terminated employee would be paid disability while not working until end of healing.)  If an employee is suspended or terminated for safety violations, ignoring employer directives or has a post-accident positive drug test, the employer may deny him/her benefits.  Attorney Palmer encouraged members to be sure that their disciplinary rules and procedures are up to date, and enforced consistently – do not discipline or terminate only the employee who is injured, while not applying the same discipline to those who commit the same violation without being injured.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Under the new rule, an employer may submit evidence that an employee’s permanent disability was only partially caused by an injury sustained at work.  Old laws held an employer responsible for an employee’s full disability, even if they had a pre-existing condition related to the new injury.  So long as the pre-existing injury was aggravated beyond normal progression, the law had held the employer fully responsible.  Under the new law, in order to separate the pre-existing disability from the disability caused by the current job, a doctor must determine the percent of disability assigned to each.  Again, Atty. Palmer encouraged employers to work with their insurers to make sure that documentation is clear, and supplied to the doctor including: prior work history and medical records, specifics of the current injury claim, witness statements regarding the current claim, details of the current job, and other information that will allow the doctor to compare the level of exposure in the current job, to past exposure, and compare the pre-existing medical information to the current medical information.

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum is proud of our commitment to safety.  We maintain an active role as the Outreach Coordinators on the Waukesha Area Safety Council and welcome the opportunity to learn from the great speakers that present to the organization.  As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing. Our recruiters are supported by a full-time sourcing department dedicated to finding great employees for our clients. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

 DISCLAIMER:  This article is meant to be a brief summary of the major points covered in the meeting presentation and is not meant to provide legal and/or medical advice.  As always, we suggest you consult with your medical or legal professional when dealing with any workplace injury or worker’s compensation issue.  Don’t have legal representation and need to retain an expert?  Atty Charles Palmer (Michael Best & Frederich) can be reached by email at cbpalmer@michaelbest.com.

Interested in joining the Waukesha Area Safety Council and taking advantage of learning from our great speakers, while networking with other HR and Safety Professionals?  Please contact Jean at Jean@nissenstaffing.com for more information!

Happy 20th Anniversary Nissen Staffing Continuum!

2017 marks the 20th anniversary for Nissen Staffing Continuum, Inc., one of the largest staffing companies in Southeastern Wisconsin. Nissen Staffing Continuum has grown from the dreams of President/Founder, Scott Nissen, to a company with revenue reaching over $32 million in 2016. A celebration is planned for spring, where the company will invite clients to an open house.

Company President, Scott Nissen, remarked:

“The overriding theme for the last two decades was change, both dramatic and evolutionary. From high-demand job orders for our clients to low supply of talent in the labor market, we’ve seen and experienced a combination of sudden waves and gradual shifts that have shaped our human capital solutions and culture of service.  The staffing solution provider space continues to be a source of reinvention, innovation, and value creation.  We have flexed our business model to accommodate the market changes and have embraced the disruption as new opportunities for our firm. Today our book of business spans all industries, more occupational titles, and greater geography than ever before.

The one constant at Nissen Staffing Continuum that we take great pride in is our core values. Our values guide our behaviors and actions on a daily basis – truth, outstanding performance, engagement, serve others first, diversity, leadership, teamwork, and flexibility.

Thank you, Nissen team members, clients, and associates, for the roles that you have played in our success – we could not have done it without you and we look forward to creating new value, together, for all those we serve in the years to come.  Building a great company and teamwork has been like driving a car.  It calls for us to gain hindsight or experience, by glancing in the rearview mirror, looking back on all that has happened before, which is now history.  It calls for us to take the time to reflect on our successes, our failures, our mistakes, and our missed opportunities.   It calls for us to look through the windshield, imagine a better future ahead, and to gain precious foresight by passing on our trials, errors and achievements as lessons in leadership.  It calls for us to live in the present, worrying about neither yesterday, nor tomorrow, but rather facing the challenges of what today offers, one interaction at a time. To all those we touch, thank you for your confidence in us. We strive to be a firm of excellence and will continue to learn from experience, and build our business around exceptional customer satisfaction while implementing continuous process improvements in the years to come.”

Nissen Staffing Continuum was originally comprised of only three employees and has been rapidly growing since. They are now the sixth-largest staffing company in Southeastern Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. NSC has also received several prestigious awards this past year, including their third MMAC/COSBE Future 50 Award and the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Firms award twice

About Nissen Staffing Continuum

Nissen Staffing Continuum is a team of human resource experts who provide creative staffing solutions for clients, and career opportunities for associates. “Our history of making successful connections between our clients and associates since 1997 has resulted in thousands of new jobs and new hires! We have proven to be successful across the full spectrum of employment solutions – from entry-level to professional, temporary to direct hire,” Nissen Staffing Continuum’s President and CEO, Scott Nissen said.

If you are interested in working with Nissen Staffing Continuum, visit www.nissenstaffing.com or give them a call at 262.544.4787.

Nissen Staffing Continuum 2017 – Leadership and Management Team