Tag Archives: employee education

Invest in Your Workforce to Grow Your Business

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

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

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

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

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

 

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!

Four Hiring Trends in the Workplace for 2016

As 2016 begins, companies will need to think about making changes to their traditional hiring patterns. Instead of merely looking at skills and experience, employers must consider a candidate more holistically to ascertain the best-fit as the hiring process moves forward. As you evaluate potential changes, consider these four of the top hiring trends. Engaging them in the coming year could prove to be quite profitable.

  1. Maximizing technology

Currently, it’s an employee’s job market, and the workforce has opened to a more global scale. As technology enhances candidate mobility and shrinks geographical boundaries, smart candidates “shop” for specific jobs at specific companies. Embrace this as an employer’s advantage.  Yes, technology may increase your candidate flow but it can also bring those top candidates who are vying for positions to the top of the pile. Don’t hesitate to utilize online testing and evaluations, which assess behavior, personality, and cognitive ability, to target the best candidates. Video interviews also provide a low-cost way that employers can holistically pre-screen a candidate and narrow the pool.

  1. Making the most of the Boomer to Millennial transition

Baby Boomers are retiring in droves, leaving gaps in the knowledge and skills base when they exit. Don’t be left hanging. Plan for succession. Embrace the new leadership styles and strengths of Millennials, but utilize the mentoring/teaching skills of Boomers. Whether you keep Boomers on part-time or hire them back as consultants, not only will they share knowledge and value, but their guidance will be well received by your Millennials.

More importantly, meet your Millennial leaders on their playing field. They are typically transformational leaders who prefer a flatter hierarchy, personal connections, and the chance to impact society. By broadening your company’s vision to include support for social causes and leveling the leadership structure, your organization can experience growth in the hands of these new leaders.

  1. Recognizing the increasing need for flexibility

As countless Millennials anticipate having children, the demand for flexibility both in office hours and location increases. In addition to seeking time for personal and charitable endeavors, Millennials also want to spend time with their children, desiring to “flex” their schedules around their children’s needs. If not already in place, organizations would be wise to establish a flex-time policy, building around the principle of work accomplished and projects completed instead of focusing on how or where it happens.

  1. Redesigning the workspace

With flexibility, comes changes in workspace requirements. Many companies will be able to cut costs simply by reducing cubicles and creating “shared” spaces. These “co-working spaces” should be built with easy-to-move furniture and equipment to encourage collaboration and attract talent. Sometimes referred to as “meaningful” spaces, these inviting locations allow coworkers to feel like they are part of the work community, promote collaborative decision-making, and help shape the company culture. Meaningful spaces also promote happiness in the workplace, and therefore, a more productive working environment.

Understanding hiring trends and attracting new talent through workplace flexibility, technology, workplace setup and other strategies will help companies grow and remain competitive in the marketplace. The tips from above will all assist in branding your company as an employer of choice in 2016.

From our Nissen Staffing Continuum family to yours, we wish all of you a very safe and prosperous New Year!  Let Nissen Staffing Continuum help you focus on success. We work as your consultative staffing partner by adding value as a strategic resource. How may we assist you? Contact us today.

 

Make Every Tuesday Count

Did the year-end sneak up on you? Are you feeling pressure to meet your 2015 goals before 2016 hits you square in the face? It’s never too late to re-evaluate, revamp, and recharge. Even if you are ahead of the plan, don’t coast into the New Year – move into 2016 full speed ahead.

Every Tuesday – one week at a time:

December 8th

Review the initial plan

  • What were your goals in regards to marketing, new clients, increased production, increased staff, additional technology, etc.?
  • In review, were they attainable and reasonable goals? Or not?

Evaluate your progress to-date

  • Were there unexpected, but significant developments that stalled your plan?
  • What could/should you have done differently?
  • What attitudes and actions moved you forward and which ones created roadblocks?
  • This is not a time to beat yourself up – that only hinders the next step. It’s a time to be honest and learn – to take advantage of 2015 hindsight for 2016 planning.

Adjust your goals

  • If you want to reach the finish line, you might need to revise the road map.
  • Narrow your focus – what really matters?
  • What will make the biggest difference?
  • What will keep you most on track as you enter 2016?

December 15th

Replace your battery – rejuvenate company passion – harness the power of your team

  • Begin at the top, of course, but involve everyone.
  • Create a fresh perspective.
  • Provide motivation to finish the year at top performance.
  • Take time to look back and see how far you’ve traveled and what you’ve accomplished – it’s the best motivator for moving forward.

December 22nd

Connect with the company team

  • Seek their insight and ideas for 2016.
  • Evaluate their strengths: Use each employee in the position that fits them best – don’t put your “people person” in the back crunching numbers.
  • Plan for new hires: Go for quality – it may cost more initially, but in the end it saves time and expense.

Take care of your team – they are your best asset.

  • Bring on the praises – say thanks in tangible ways.
  • Feed them – if they have to “stay late” a few times, food always helps.
  • Provide support for the team – take advantage of temporary staffing.

December 29th

The black and white checkered flag

  • Cross the finish line – you did it!
  • Celebrate with the team.
  • Give credit where credit is due – plus a little.
  • Fill the gas tanks and greet 2016 with a smile!

Here at Nissen Staffing Continuum, we are behind your team for every lap of the race. We do more than “find new team members.” From temporary and temp-to-hire to direct placement, we provide quality staffing to support your business goals and help you cross the finish line. Contact us today for a full continuum of staffing solutions – that’s what we deliver.

 

 

How to Show Your Employees You Appreciate Them

Did you know that the number one reason cited by employees for leaving their job is lack of appreciation?

Whether termed recognition, appreciation or simply feeling valued, the need for reinforcement for a job done well is basic and deeply-rooted.

If it is so important, then why is it so rarely shown?

The difference could be due to a discrepancy in perceptions. Employers may be aware that people need recognition but when asked how they meet this need, they cannot articulate an answer. Could it be that employers are used to telling employees when they make mistakes and have forgotten how to provide support and encouragement?

In today’s business climate, salary increases are one way – but not the only way – to reward an employee’s endeavors. A little creativity can go a long way in ideas to show appreciation.

Financial rewards: Has anyone ever turned down a financial boost?

  • Time off with pay: everyone appreciates an unexpected day, or even half-day, off with pay.
  • Flexible scheduling: nothing says an employee matters like helping them balance work with life responsibilities.
  • Offer specialized training: this affirms that you believe in their future with the company.
  • Gift cards: your choice reveals how well you know your employee.
  • Food (restaurant meals, catered events, lunch and learn events): a great way to award a team as well as individuals.
  • Office or group party: builds on team spirit and enhances company culture while saying thanks.
  • Internal or facility improvements: investing in your employees’ workspaces, equipment, etc. says that you appreciate what they do and support them.
  • Gym memberships: shows that while you appreciate work production, you also care about your employees’ well-being.
  • Spa memberships: a great way to say thanks – with no strings attached.
  • Bonuses: enough said. 

Tangible rewards

Financial rewards are a plus, of course, but so is taking time to be more “personal” and/or involving the rest of your staff. Affirming great work in ways that increase an employee’s respect among his/her peers is almost always a winner. Here are some suggestions.

  • Special reserved parking spot
  • Feature in a newsletter or on a website
  • Send a personalized note
  • Celebrations for birthdays
  • Plaques, certificates or trophies
  • Redeemable points
  • Allow peers to have a say in rewarding each other
  • Informal face-time to exchange ideas and touch base
  • Job shadowing
  • Bring your dog (or other well-behaved pet) day
  • Wall of fame 

Verbal rewards: This can be the most important part of your thanks and appreciation. Even when giving financial or tangible awards, a thanks should be included, but sometimes, saying thanks is all you need to do.

  • Saying “thank you,” with the person’s name and reason (“Thank you, Pat, for handling that irate customer today.”)
  • Praising the employee specifically, in front of peers, such as at a staff meeting.
  • Personal acknowledgement of an event (like the birth of a child). 

Each of these rewards creates benefits for employers by not only helping to retain employees, but also by boosting morale for all. A personal touch lets employees know you not only appreciate their work but also take a personal interest in them as individuals. Simply speaking to them about things that are planned for the organization can motivate them to feel as though they are an active part.

Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you with your employment plans and strategies.

At Nissen Staffing Continuum, our focus is on you and your success. We work as your strategic partner by adding value, helping you avoid obstacles and reach your objectives. How may we assist you with your hiring process?

Leading your Introverted and Extroverted Staff

According to The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – a personality-testing tool based on the work of Carl Jung – an individual’s extroversion/introversion value is measured by how he or she acquires energy.

Extroverts

  • are energized by being around and interacting with people
  • are recharged by external stimuli, such as personal interactions, social gatherings, and shared ideas
  • gravitate toward groups and constant action
  • tend to think out loud
  • work well in groups
  • learn by explaining

Introverts

  • are energized by times of quiet solitude
  • are recharged by quiet reflection and time alone to research ideas and focus on their work
  • gravitate toward one-on-one relationships
  • need time to think before speaking or acting
  • work best in small group or solitary settings
  • learn by taking time to reflect on the material presented

Generally, extroverts are labeled as outgoing, sometimes impetuous, often talkative, and are known for being comfortable in groups. They have a lower basic rate of stimulation, which means they need to work harder to stimulate their minds and bodies to their “normal” state. They often seek novelty and adventure. Spending time with people recharges their personal battery.

Introverts get energy from their “inner world,” having a preference for being alone (or with only a few select people). They thrive on clarity, but can be too reflective or hesitant. Crowds often overwhelm and/or overstimulate them. Time alone recharges them, as does being in predictable situations.

Because introverts and extroverts can be polar opposites, leading a team consisting of both personalities is challenging. It demands a balancing act that requires a clear understanding of the difference between the two and mental, as well as emotional, dexterity. These leadership tips will help ensure that both extroverts and introverts have a voice and contribute their unique skills to the team.

Encourage team connections

  • Host team social events over lunch in surroundings that are familiar to everyone, such as at the office, where all will feel comfortable and more inclined to interact.
  • Enroll the team in an interpersonal communications skills development course. This type of training will help everyone to gain a clearer understanding of how the “other half” operates.

Keep brainstorming sessions and team meetings small and on-track

  • Schedule them well in advance.
  • Before the meeting, ask participants to submit a bullet-point list of their ideas.
  • Draw on these points to help introverts express themselves more willingly and keep extroverts on topic as they describe their ideas. 

Learn to respond to and interact with extroverts and introverts effectively

The extrovert:

  • Respect their independence
  • Compliment them publicly
  • Allow room for their impetuous enthusiasm, while keeping them on track
  • Offer verbal and appropriate physical gestures of affirmation

The introvert:

  • Respect their need for privacy and time alone
  • Address them quietly and privately with either compliments or reprimands. Never embarrass them in public
  • Give them time to think before answering, and then don’t interrupt them
  • When possible, provide advance notice when change is expected or new projects are coming
  • Teach new skills in small groups or one on one

No matter what type of leader you are, these tips will help you adapt your style to accommodate both extroverted and introverted employees, keeping both groups at peak performance.

At Nissen Staffing Continuum, our focus is on you and your success. We can assist you with your employment plans and strategies. We work as your strategic partner by adding value and helping you avoid obstacles and reach your objectives. How may we assist you with your hiring process?

Invest in your company: Connect your employees to the Back-to-School scene.

Companies who invest in employee education and professional development invest in their own bottom line. According to various experts and sources, including HR Magazine, The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), and The Huffington Post, investing in employee education brings multiple company benefits, including:

  • Boosts employees’ time management and critical thinking skills
  • Develops leaders
  • Improves company morale, which improves customer satisfaction
  • Results in higher income per/employee, more than 20% higher profit margin for company, and more than 5% higher shareholder return.
  • Enhances employee engagement and performance
  • Increases retention
  • Ignites greater employee innovation

Build your brand as a company who invests in their employees. Let applicants know you:

The cost of training employees, especially potentially long-term ones, is insignificant when evaluating costs associated with high employee turnover and extended position openings.

Established in 1997, Nissen Staffing Continuum has consistently focused on helping businesses grow their organization’s most precious asset: their people. We help promote self-education via our Career Resource Circle, offering:

  • Free job seeker webinars
  • Comprehensive resume review
  • Leading experts and resources to advance your job search
  • Library filled with audio recordings, articles, and webinars

Named a 2015 Future 50 Company by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Council of Small Businesses Executives (COSBE), Nissen Staffing Continuum offers multiple solutions for all your staffing challenges, from sourcing temporary help to meet a project deadline, to temp-to-hire personnel, to recruiting top talent professionals. Nissen Staffing Continuum also offers personalized on-site partnerships to meet the ever-changing requirements of businesses that rely on a flexible workforce to meet their customers’ needs. Contact us today for customized assistance with your hiring needs.