Category Archives: Temporary Employees

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!

 

 

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.

Perfect Imperfections

Blogger Shep Hyken tells a story on his blog about an experience that someone shared with him.  The story took place at a Ritz Carlton hotel, where a waiter accidentally spilled hot food on a guest when he was serving him dinner at a banquet. After making sure the guest was not hurt, the waiter promptly took the guest’s suit coat and promised to have it returned to him before the end of the evening.  Twenty minutes later, the waiter returned to the table, clean suit coat in hand, and again offered his apologies. Stunned at the unbelievable service, the guest had all but forgotten that he had had hot food spilled on him.  What the guest didn’t know was that the Ritz Carlton had an onsite dry-cleaner that was able to dry clean the clothing immediately.  What the waiter didn’t know was that the guest was in the middle of picking a venue for BOTH of his daughters’ upcoming weddings.  You can guess the end of the story: The guest chose the Ritz Carlton to host the receptions and the waiter, while recovering from a mistake, made an impression that actually improved the customer’s image of his hotel chain.

The “art of recovery” is something that every business should be talking about.  What is the “art of recovery?” It’s quite simple:  It’s understanding that HOW we respond to a problem is as important as the problem itself.  Our response is an opportunity to strengthen a relationship and re-commit to a certain level of service. It’s the part of our business that allows our character to shine through.

While we are a world full of technology, we are also a world built on relationships and people. In a business like ours, we rely on our product (our PEOPLE) to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations every single day.  But people make mistakes and sometimes things happen that we have very little control over; and here is where our REAL work begins.  Anyone that runs or manages a business understands that perfect isn’t possible, so we must plan on how to handle the unexpected.

As a company that prides itself on building relationships and providing staffing to employers all over Southeastern Wisconsin, we are given opportunities every day to better understand our clients’ needs and to coach our associates to make the best possible decisions.  We are given opportunities to respond to feedback, through conversations with our employees, clients and through survey responsesIn the coming weeks, we will be surveying many of our active clients again and asking them to be honest and allow us to show our character and commitment.  We are able to benchmark ourselves against other world class organizations and ask ourselves, as well as our clients, “How can we do better today?”  We ask that you give us that chance.

The art of recovery is really about building relationships through problem solving. We know our business isn’t perfect, and we would guess that yours isn’t either. However, as we walk the journey together and make adjustments when necessary, we are certain that our consultative business model will result in increased satisfaction and a successful staffing experience.

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 providing human capital solutions to our clients, while assisting our associates in meeting their career objectives and delivering staffing services where we can create and grow value. 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!

 

 

 

The Case for Millennials

Unfocused.  Unrealistic.  Idealistic.  Lazy.  Disrespectful.

You may think these adjectives describe the newest generation of workers.  But actually, they are words that described many of this generation’s grandparents back in the 1960’s, as that generation donned their flowered clothing and organized peaceful protests, while experimenting with drugs and listening to Bob Dylan.

The Millennial generation gets a bad rap, just ask the generations before them.  They don’t understand how they think, and are appalled by how they operate.  They assume they don’t care and shake their heads in disbelief…just like the Baby Boomers did when watching how Gen X entered the workforce.  Every generation is judged by those that came before them.  And every generation has people within it that can easily be described by any of the words at the top of this page.

The reality is that by 2020, Millennials will comprise 46% of the workforce (Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, 2012.) The importance of understanding and engaging this workforce cannot be understated.  Our businesses NEED this workforce to ensure a strong economy, market growth and innovation.  So where’s the gap?  How do we bridge the workplace philosophies and foster understanding, while implementing programs and creating work environments that will bring out the best in everyone?  As with anything in life, we look for strengths and build on them, and we identify weaknesses and address them.

Let’s think about Millennials and just a few of the traits they bring to the table:

  • Millennials were practically born multi-tasking. Think about when YOU first started using a computer.  Were you writing correspondence in Word Perfect for DOS?  Do you even remember not being able to have multiple windows and tabs open at the same time?    Millennials don’t remember that at all, because they were born AFTER these types of applications were invented.  Millennials were born multi-tasking and while it may appear at times that they lose focus, they are often simply accustomed to doing more than one thing at a time. This is not a bad trait to have in the workplace.
  • Millennials are resourceful. Gone are the days of library micro-fiche or calling “Ready Reference.” (Yes, really, I’m that old.) Millennials know how to find information and how to find it quickly.  They do not wait for a subject-matter-expert to spoon feed them information, they are accustomed to the “information superhighway” and finding the information themselves.  Will they sometimes need a little coaching to identify valid sources or utilize industry specific software or databases?  Yes, they might.  So coach them.
  • Millennials are always learning. Millennials grew up in a world of constant IOS updates, new phones, new technology, new apps, new teaching tools, and new expectations for self-directed learning.  Most of them also grew up teaching, whether it was with peers, at school, or even their parents.  In the season finale of “Modern Family,” high school student Manny becomes exasperated trying to explain the “double click” to his step-father Jay.  While seemingly insignificant, Millennials are constantly teaching.  While other generations may look at change as something that is scary and overwhelming, Millennials see change as a way of life.  Again, not a bad trait to have.
  • Millennials want to make a difference. We have raised this generation to be inquisitive.  We have encouraged them to ask why (or why not.)  Because of this, Millennials want to understand WHY they are doing something and HOW it impacts an organization.  Experts say that the best way to motivate a millennial is to share your problems, goals and objectives and then get out of their way.  An engaged millennial, who shares your company’s philosophies and understands your short and long term goals, can be your biggest asset.  But, if your company operates in a “because I said so” type of mentality, you will continue to witness turnover because Millennials simply do not operate that way.  Look for ways they can make a difference.  Ask them what they think.  Be open to a new way of looking at things.  They are a reflection of your customer base and they may have ideas on how you can reach a segment of the marketplace that they understand better than you.
  • Millennials are team players. You can focus on participation awards, scheduled playdates and select sports and say that this generation does not know how to be self-sufficient and has an inflated sense of self-worth, OR you can focus on the fact that this generation has learned to function in an organized group setting and collaborate with others to meet a common goal and has been doing so all their lives.

No generation is perfect.  Taking the time to re-think how you manage your business to capitalize on your employees’ talents and strengths is one of the most important things you can do.  It’s not about giving in, it’s about evolving. Coach your employees, provide them with feedback, allow them to collaborate and set up space and systems that give them the opportunity to talk to each other.  Explain your company goals and objectives and ask for input.  Allow them to help design solutions rather than dictating them.  Encourage their ability and need to learn.  Invest in training, be it company led or self-directed.  Stop judging and start listening.  You may be pleasantly surprised what you learn.

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!

 

 

IMPROVING THE HEALTH OF YOUR STAFF AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE

Would you like to retain great talent, improve employee productivity, boost company morale, and decrease costs associated with absenteeism, workplace injuries and the rising cost of health care?

If you are like the majority of US companies, you answered yes to all of the above. In fact, some of your most important short and long term initiatives center around one or more of these very topics.  What if we were to tell you that ONE simple action could positively impact ALL of these important company goals and objectives?  We can: Implement an Employee Wellness Program.

Everyone knows that our country is in the middle of an epidemic of sorts:  we are sitting more, moving less, eating processed and unhealthy foods, gaining weight, and being diagnosed with chronic illnesses like diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems and high blood pressure.  Our obesity levels are rising and the ages that we are seeing the long term effects of unhealthy lifestyles are getting younger and younger.  Some employers might say that it’s none of their business.  But, that is where they are wrong.  It absolutely impacts their businesses and therefore it literally IS their business.

Like most things in life, there is a domino effect to bad choices.  An employee sits at a desk all day in a high stress job and rarely moves.  He eats fast food for lunch and sips on high calorie soft drinks.  He feels sluggish by late afternoon and reaches for a stimulant, be it a high calorie coffee drink, sugar or a cigarette.  He leaves work late, rushes home to figure out dinner, and ends up at a drive thru or ordering a pizza.  He doesn’t take time to exercise, falls asleep watching television and drags himself to bed only to start the whole cycle again in the morning.

Sound familiar?

An employee that lives this lifestyle has increased his chance of developing a number of chronic conditions, which increases his likelihood of missing work due to illness.  Some research even shows that unhealthy employees have a higher occurrence rate of workplace injuries due to poor body awareness, worn joints, and an inability to correctly lift, move, bend or balance.  Unhealthy employees often suffer from sleep issues, which impacts their daily productivity. Poor lifestyle choices also contribute to mental health issues, including depression and a person’s sense of well-being.  All of these choices can lead to an increased number of doctor visits, prescription costs, and the like.  In addition, a company full of employees as described can have a significant negative impact on morale.  The cycle is difficult to stop once it starts.

What can an employer do to encourage healthier employees?  There are many options, but some include:

  • Create an environment where people are encouraged to move by integrating things like stand up desks, stability ball chairs, exercise areas or walking paths. Even motivational signage and scheduled “brain breaks” can be helpful.
  • Provide healthy choices in your vending machines and cafeterias. Be sure lunches, etc. that are brought in have available healthy alternatives.  Offer free water.  Do not build incentives around unhealthy foods or habits.
  • Hire someone to manage a Wellness Program that encourages a healthy lifestyle. Or, if you cannot do that immediately, find out if there is someone already on your staff that is knowledgeable in this area and start small.
  • Consider making your workplace smoke free, and offer programs that encourage smoking cessation.
  • Motivate employees by incenting adherence to healthy lifestyle choices by creating fun contests, programs and initiatives that employees can participate in.
  • Offer free or discounted wellness screening, fitness testing, health club memberships or the like.
  • Model healthy behaviors.

While there will be costs associated with implementing a wellness program, the returns on such an investment can be significant and, in many cases, immeasurable.

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 improving the lives of both our clients and associates. 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!

Changing Tides – The Rise and Fall of a Changing Workforce

Take a look at your workforce.  If it looks like most workplaces, many of your most experienced and knowledgeable employees have already retired or are getting ready to retire.  The first of the baby boomers turned 65 in 2011 and the exodus began. Employers need to start thinking about the strategy they will use as more of these employees leave the workforce.

Before you decide you don’t need to worry about this, here are some facts to consider:

  • Wisconsin’s workforce is aging.  During the 2014 census, it was estimated that almost 15% of Wisconsin’s population is over the age of 65.  This number is expected to increase to over 17% by 2020 and over 22% by 2035, as older people live longer and Boomers move fully into retirement. (Source: https://www.dane-econdev.org/documents/pdf/Wisconsin_Population_2035.pdf )
  • Today’s employment market is already experiencing labor shortages.  These labor shortages are occurring as mass amounts of people continue to retire and are more obvious in manufacturing sectors, as new workers entering the workforce are less and less interested in manufacturing type jobs.
  • Contrary to popular belief, our workforce is not going to shrink in numbers.  However, our workforce will shrink relative to the needs of our growing and aging population. 
  • Our economies, both local and global, will continue to experience a shortage of quality and experienced workers.
  • The demand for services will increase and the demand for other goods and services will shift to meet the changing needs of our aging population.

Still think you can wait?  Think again.  This issue is less about the numbers and more about retaining the knowledge and experience of exiting workers.  Employers today are not just losing “a body” – they are losing subject matter experts, mentors and trainers.  They are losing history as these people leave the workforce and this undocumented knowledge base and perspective is difficult to replace.

The impact to Waukesha and Milwaukee County employers, especially those in the manufacturing sectors, is great.  Millennial candidates interested in manufacturing jobs seem few and far between and those that are retiring cannot wait until a replacement is found before leaving their positions.  This leaves employers without any transition and new workers without anyone to train them.  Lack of training can cause frustration and frustration can lead to turnover.  The cycle continues.

It is important to understand your workforce and what it looks like today.  Many employers complain that the next generation of workers lacks loyalty.  We would argue that it is not loyalty that is lacking, but rather an understanding of this generation’s value system.  They, in general, are not looking for lifetime employment.  They are looking for opportunities to learn and grow, and then move on and apply what was learned to the next opportunity.  This is an excellent scenario for companies that value and encourage career pathing and growth.  For those that don’t, today’s workforce will simply move on to go work someplace else.

Our job as employers is to redefine the workplace and re-position ourselves as employers of choice.  Companies need to look to non-traditional means of compensating, recruiting and retaining employees.  They need to make manufacturing jobs more appealing and plan long term.  Companies that offer such things as flexible schedules, benefits for part-time employees and on-the-job training will be better prepared during this time of transition.  Companies need to understand the concept of transferable skills and be able to utilize employees in different capacities—such as mentoring, consulting or teaching—to best utilize their skills and experiences for the good of the organization.  Employers need to be creative and take some risks.  Only these employers will succeed in the marketplace of tomorrow.

While all of these issues can be a bit overwhelming, they are also signs of great change, growth and innovation.  The challenge for employers will be to choose to hop on and ride the wave of change, rather than getting swallowed by it.

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 providing human capital solutions to our clients, while assisting our associates in meeting their career objectives and delivering staffing services where we can create and grow value. 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!

 

 

 

 

KEEPING YOUR EMPLOYEES AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE SAFE

Can you answer YES to the following questions about workplace safety?

  • Does your company pride itself on keeping your workers safe?
  • Are you committed to implementing safe workplace practices, implementing training and decreasing your workers’ compensation costs?
  • Do you make sure that ALL of your staff, including your contingent staff, are part of your safety programs?

If you are like most companies, you easily answered yes to the first two questions, but hesitated before answering the last question.  You may assume that your staffing partner has provided safety training to the individuals that are working in your facility.  If this is your assumption, you are both right and wrong.

OSHA has stepped up its enforcement associated with the 2013 Temporary Worker Initiative to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards.  Penalties for workplace violations have ranged from $700 up to $60,000 depending on the number and severity of violations identified during the on-site inspection. OSHA has emphasized that temporary workers must receive the same protection as other employees covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and should receive the same safety and hazard recognition training that all permanent employees receive.

As your staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, we can assure you we are committed to providing basic safety training to our employees that we send to your business.  We have discussed things like PPE, lifting guidelines and basic workplace safety guidelines.  But every business is different, and your safety-related practices and protocols that are specific to your business cannot possibly be shared in detail by us as your staffing partner.  While our employees are our responsibility, we share the responsibility for a safe workplace with our clients.

The driving force behind this OSHA initiative was the high number of temporary workers that were severely injured or killed on the job. Moving forward, when OSHA inspects a client facility, the inspectors are directed to determine if temporary workers are being utilized and if they are exposed to workplace hazards. Below are a few excerpts related to the initiative for OSHA from Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Labor.

Here are some things to consider to help keep all of your workers safe:

Consideration 1:  Include Your Contingent Workforce in Your Safety Training

Any time your company reviews safety practices, your contingent workers should be included.  If there is a change in your safety protocol, your contingent workers should be included in the training.  Not only is it important for their OWN safety, it is also important to the people working around them.  Dr Michaels commented that

  1. Staffing agencies and their client companies who host temporary workers share the legal obligation to provide workplaces free of recognized hazards. This includes providing required, documented safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
  2. OSHA inspectors will determine, in every inspection, if every temporary worker on the site has received the safety training and protection required by law for the job. If they haven’t, OSHA will hold their employer accountable.
  3. OSHA expects that documentation is maintained by the EMPLOYER for all safety related issues, including documenting any temporary employees’ workplace injuries on their OSHA 300 log.  It is not the responsibility of the staffing company to record injuries on this log.

Consideration 2: Keep Your Safety Standards the Same for Everyone

According to OSHA, “staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary workers.”  This means that what applies to your own employees applies to your contingent employees as well.  Dr. Michaels noted that “common temporary staffing violations that are being identified are: failure to conduct a hazard assessment of the workplace, undocumented training that occurs by the staffing agency and host employer, exposure to chemical hazards, unguarded machinery, and/or lockout/tag out violations.”

Consideration 3:  Spell It Out in a Job Description

Be sure to provide your staffing partner with an adequate job description that correctly outlines job duties, including physical requirements.  Too often, employers do not want to share these job descriptions and end up frustrated when an employee is not able to complete the work.  Job descriptions are vital in making sure that an employee is capable of safely doing the job.  In addition, most staffing firms function under strict workers’ compensation guidelines.  Sometimes, they are not able to fill specific orders and complete specific tasks because their insurance simply will not allow it.

Consideration 4:  Be Open to Feedback

If a temporary worker reports a safety concern to you, listen and act on the report just as you would if it were your own employee.  In addition, report the concern and your response to your contact at the staffing company so they can properly document and follow up with their employee.

Workplace safety is everyone’s obligation.  Our goal, as always, is to provide workforce solutions to our clients and opportunities for our employees that are mutually beneficial and, above all, safe and meaningful.  Dr. Michaels states, “Whether temporary or permanent, all workers always have a right to a safe and healthy workplace.”  We concur.

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. 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!