Category Archives: Work

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

 

Do You Know How You Rate?

If the 2016 Presidential Election has taught us anything, it is that press is press.  Good or bad, the presidential candidates have learned that getting people talking can sometimes be more important than what they are saying.

Not true in your service oriented business.

In your business, WHAT is being said is everything.  About five years ago, Nissen Staffing Continuum partnered with a firm out of Portland, Oregon to conduct satisfaction surveys based on the Net Promotor Score (NPS) philosophy.  Like you, we didn’t know a lot about the NPS method and had to do a little research. As we go into our 6th survey in the next few months, we thought it might be helpful to share some information about the NPS methodology and why it might work well for your business.

NPS has some specific benefits:

  • IT’S SIMPLE: Most NPS driven surveys ask only 3 questions that drive the NPS score.  Some surveys will ask a few yes or no type questions to give the company additional feedback, but the first three questions drive the NPS score, and only require a 2-3 minute (or less) effort on the part of the responder.
  • IT’S TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN: Since the questions are limited and answers specific, it allows for fast collection & analysis of data.
  • PREVENTS BAD SERVICE: Since NPS feedback can be almost immediate, it produces a ripple effect for response.  Rather than waiting to respond to service concerns, your staff can respond immediately.
  • GIVES YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO BENCHMARK: If done within a specific industry, it is easy to compare your own results to that of your competitors.
  • IDENTIFIES TRENDS: When done multiple times, it is easy Identify trends and gain valuable feedback, identifying areas of needed improvement and learning where you excel.
  • IT’S CREDIBLE: NPS scores are very objective, even more so when conducted by a 3rd Party Administrator.

What does an NPS survey look like?  A NPS survey asks 3 NPS questions:  the first is on a 1-10 Scale, and the other two are open ended questions.  Ours looks like something like this:

  • On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being least likely and 10 being most likely, how likely are you to recommend Nissen Staffing Continuum to a friend? (Rate 1-10)
  • What is the primary reason for that rating? (Open Ended)
  • What is one thing we can do to improve our service? (Open Ended)

Our survey also asks a few direct questions about your service experience with us, in an effort to give our staff more specific feedback.  However, the first three questions are the most crucial.

But what do the ratings mean?  In short, an NPS score looks at Promoters, Detractors, and “Neutral” respondents.  It all but ignores any rating that is 7-8, and focuses on those rating a business 6 and under (detractors) and those rating a business a 9 or 10 (promoters). The idea is that promoters are out in the market place talking your business up.  They are the ones who would send you referrals, who talk positively about your business over lunch and who would immediately respond with your company name when someone asked them for a recommendation.  On the other hand, those that rate you a 6 or under, are detractors.  They are not recommending your business, they may be somewhat dissatisfied, and they are not a “cheerleader” for your business….in fact they are quite the opposite.  Those in between MATTER, but only in the sense that their goal is to move you to become a promoter.  They know that, in general, your business is doing a decent job, but at the same time they are not “wow’ed”.  The NPS score is determined by taking your total percent of promoters and subtracting out the total percent of detractors.

Once you know your NPS, you can easily compare yourself to other organizations known for World Class service (like Amazon or Google) and see how you rank.  If you use a 3rd party service that surveys within your industry, you can even compare yourself to your competitors.

Even more helpful are the answers to the open ended questions, and the immediate feedback that a short survey like this gives.  You can immediately respond to concerns and deal with detractors.  As we will discuss in a future article, often your reaction to a problem is more memorable to a customer than the problem itself.

When you are on the receiving end of a survey like this, it is helpful to know how the survey is being measured.  Normally, when we give a company an 8 on a 10 point scale, we are feeling like we rated them pretty high.  But remember, if you are someone that would promote the business, you should rate them a 9 or 10.  On the other hand, if you are dissatisfied, rating them a 7 puts you into the “neutral zone, “ so if you are truly dissatisfied and would never recommend them, you should rate them a 6 or lower.

Net Promotor methodology works best when its format is followed.  The survey should be short, the questions should be clear and the open ended feedback should be used to make immediate improvements.

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!

 

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!