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

Twenty Years in the Making

Remember 1997?  We do!

  • The Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI
  • Dolly the Sheep was introduced as the world’s first cloned mammal, and later then-President Bill Clinton banned federal funding for human cloning.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on the WB Television Network
  • Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
  • Princess Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris, thought to be caused by relentless paparazzi.
  • A federal law was passed making 18 years old the legal age to smoke cigarettes.
  • OJ Simpson was found liable in the death of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson, in a civil suit brought forward by the victims’ families.
  • Avian Flu (aka “Bird Flu”) broke out in Asia.
  • The average price for a gallon of gas was $1.22.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial average closed at 7908.
  • The Federal Reserve had interest rates set at 8.5%.
  • Mike Tyson was suspended from boxing after biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear during a boxing match.
  • Tiger Woods, then 21, became the youngest golfer to ever win the Masters.
  • J.K. Rowling published the first book in the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in London. It was released in the US a year later under the title “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
  • Nissen and Associates, now Nissen Staffing Continuum, opened its doors.

2017 is a big year for our company, as it marks our 20th year in business.  We’ve learned a lot over the years and like most companies, we’ve had our share of both successes and setbacks.  But through it all, we’ve grown and flourished and become the company that we are today, partners in your success and committed to results.  We start this year by looking back, and being thankful for the people and the business partners that have made this all possible.  According to Forbes, only 25% of small businesses stay in business longer than 15 years.  We’re proud of what we’ve done here.  We’re proud of our internal staff and our associates that work at our client sites.  We’re proud of our clients and the businesses that we’ve had the honor to watch grow and share in the excitement of their successes.

So we invite you to join us on this journey of celebrating our past and looking forward to our future.  In the coming months, we’ll be sharing some history, some stories and some dreams for our future.  Congratulations to our team on twenty exciting years.  Here’s to the next twenty!

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!

Your Business Could Use a Little R&R* *Recruitment and Retention

In late October, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released a report showing that the state unemployment rate was at 4.1%, the lowest since February of 2001.  Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was even lower than the already low national unemployment rate, which was 5%.  The positive thing is that people are working and businesses are growing.  The negative thing is that businesses are having a hard time hiring and retaining enough qualified employees to meet demand.  So, what can you do?

In a tight labor market, there are several things to consider.

  • Where are you recruiting? To recruit employees in Southeastern Wisconsin, you might need to get a little creative and be willing to invest in job-specific training programs.  Focus on identifying interest areas that you can apply to your business.  Think about where these people “hang out” and then go meet them there.  Gone are the days of more applicants than openings.  For example, let’s say your business is in the automotive industry.  Think about where people that are interested in the automotive industry spend time.  Is it at a car show?  It is on certain social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) groups or special interest sites?  Is it at specific vocational/trade schools?  Are there clubs?  Get creative and start targeting people who are interested in what you specialize in in your business.
  • Who are you recruiting? Have you thought through the transferable skills necessary to be successful in the role you are trying to fill?  Does it matter that they don’t know how to use a specific piece of machinery if they are mechanically inclined and have used similar machines in the past?  Probably not.  Think about the skills that are at the very core of what you are trying to accomplish and then go from there.
  • Who are you retaining? Imagine filling a large tub of water.  The water coming out of the faucet is like the new staff members that are joining your organization.  Have you checked to make sure you remembered to close the drain?  Don’t lose great people you already have because you are so focused on adding new members to your team.  Think about the work environment you have created.  Get people engaged.  Make them feel valued and appreciated.  And most importantly, establish a clear path for growth and provide opportunities for career development.  Every dollar spent in this area is money well spent.
  • Are you willing to pay? They say that money talks, and whether or not you want to hear it, you may need to pay a bit more in a tight employment market to attract the type of talent you want to hire.  Be aware that higher starting wages could have a ripple effect on your organization.  Be prepared to justify, and if necessary, adjust other wages.  While this may seem trivial, it can often be a short-term fix that allows you more time to create career development opportunities and gives you an opportunity to focus on retaining the talent you have.

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.  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!

 

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

Rolling Out the Welcome Mat – Tips to Welcome New Employees

The employment market is tight. In today’s economy, there are more jobs than there are qualified workers.  You have finally hired the perfect person to fill your open job.  Don’t lose them on their first day. Taking the time to make your new hire feel welcome may not only result in better employee retention, it may also result in some great employee referrals.

Here are some helpful tips to welcome your new employees:

  • Remember that they are starting. Don’t laugh; all too often a new employee shows up to blank stares and that is not the way to tell someone you are happy they have joined your company.  If you have a reception area, make sure you tell your front office staff who you are expecting and who should be contacted when they arrive.  A small welcome sign is a nice touch.  Be present and make sure they know that they are a priority in your day.
  • Assign a New Employee Mentor. Do you have an employee that is always looking for leadership opportunities?  Give them the chance to be a new employee mentor.  Having a single point of contact to ask questions is very reassuring to a new employee and gives the new employee an immediate connection.
  • Spread out the Paperwork. New hire paperwork is a necessary evil.  Between payroll paperwork, procedure sign offs, and training/procedure logs, new employees could easily be left alone for hours reading manuals, watching videos and completing forms.  Spread it out a little; that much time alone can make new employees feel isolated and definitely not part of the team.
  • Create a Space. Make sure your new hires have workspace, basic supplies and working technology.  Give them a little time to get their work area set up, letting them know where to request or obtain additional office supplies.  Show them how to use the phone system.  Have your IT department assist them in getting logged into their computer and make sure that they have access to whatever systems they need to start their training.   Also make sure that they have an ID, security card, or whatever else is necessary for them to get in and out of your facility as a staff member.
  • Give Them a Plan. Most employees appreciate knowing what is expected of them and when.  Often, a timeline or orientation checklist gives a new employee a visual of what they need to accomplish.  Be sure to include contact information for each area, in case the employee has questions.
  • Be Sensitive to the Schedule. Is Monday your busiest day of the week? Don’t start someone on a Monday. Does your business become a ghost town on Friday afternoons during the summer?  Avoid Friday starts.  When you plan the first day for a new employee, think about the other people that will be needed to make them feel welcome, and be sure that the start day and time makes sense for all those involved.
  • Give team-led tours. Make sure your new employees get to know your business.  One great way to do this is by giving them a tour and having someone in that department/area introduce the new hires to the staff in that department and tell them a little more about what they do, and how they may be interacting in the future.  Don’t forget to show them the restrooms, where they can hang up their coat, where they can eat their lunch, and any other common areas that may be important to them.
  • Make time for social connections. A great thing to do on an employee’s first day is take the time to offer an opportunity to connect and get to know some of your staff on a more casual level.  Think about a breakfast, or lunch, or even a casual after work get together. Be sure to tell them ahead of time, so they don’t make other plans that they need to awkwardly cancel.

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!

 

 

 

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!