Change It Up To Light a Spark

July 10th, 2015

Change It Up to Light a Spark
Do you often approach the work day with apathy because it’s become dull? Is your work environment so ugly that you cannot bear to face another day there? Maybe it’s time to change it up! Whether you think so or not, your attitude about your job matters the most.

A job that becomes boring or a work environment that leaves you wanting something more can be signs that you need to take steps to make it better. While you cannot change everything you dislike about your job, there are some things that you can change to make it more appealing. Here are some ways to take your job by the horns and improve your outlook.

Change the environment

Whether you work in a cubicle, on the road, or have a simple workstation, there are ways to make your work environment more appealing. Start with removing clutter from your work area as much as possible by putting things into drawers, folders, or obtaining a low-cost organizing system. Next, improve the lighting of your work area with a small lamp that gives off soft lighting, or ask your safety manager to install overhead lights that are less glaring on computer screens. Then add some personal touches, like some pictures of people and things that inspire you, a few houseplants, and even a pillow for your chair.

Ask for new duties

Oftentimes, management may know about opportunities to work in new assignments or on new projects. Unless you speak up and ask for a new assignment or project, you may not know about it. Let your boss know you enjoy working for the company and want to expand your horizons, then come up with a plan to take on new things that will once again get your juices flowing.

Establish an improved personal brand

A big part of developing a solid reputation at work and bringing that spark back is to create a personal brand. This is what you are best known for. Let people know about your special talents, hobbies, and interests. Participate in activities at work that bring these things out. Brand your social media accounts, your office space, and your computer desktop. Be an expert at something, and you will soon gain the respect and admiration of your peers.

Learn something new

Add to your work experience by choosing an area of your job that you really enjoy. Grow this passion by taking some low-cost online classes or by attending some community education at a local college. Let your boss know you are taking steps to enhance your learning in a particular area of the business or industry, then ask for new projects or responsibilities in this area once you have built your confidence.

Try a new assignment

You could also change things up a little by taking some time off from your present job and taking on some paid temporary assignments. If you are considering switching jobs, this can be a great way to try a new job without the full on commitment. How can you do this? You can ask your boss for more flexible hours so you can take on a side job, or you can ask for a brief leave for a few months to try your hand at a new job.

These are just a few ways to make your work life better and change things up so you can shake the boredom of your present job. Be creative and be proactive, focused on being a better person and a better employee for the ultimate results.

As one of the top staffing agencies in Chicago, Davis Staffing presents a number of opportunities for anyone looking for a change in their employment. Contact our great team of recruiters today to get started!

What You Need to Know about Predictable Scheduling

June 12th, 2015

What You Need to Know about Predictable SchedulingWhat kind of schedule does your workplace require? If you have been considering the idea of moving from a flexible schedule to a regular schedule that’s based on production needs, then you must learn something about predictable scheduling. Here is a rundown of what predictable scheduling is and advice on if this is a good option for your business.

Explaining predictable scheduling

First, the term predictable refers to a schedule that is explained or known in advance so there are no surprises for employees or for the management team. A predictable schedule, therefore, means that employees know week to week what hours they are expected to work and, in some cases, their project assignments. The other side of predictable scheduling is that the company makes an effort to minimize any potential changes to the schedules so that employees do not miss assigned work times or have their regular weekly hours altered.

Advantages of predictive scheduling

There are some key benefits to using predictable scheduling in the workplace, for both employers and the people who work for them, which include:

  • Better management and utilization of human capital resources because staffing planning takes place well in advance of actual project and seasonal peaks.
  • Employees are better able to manage their personal schedules and other responsibilities such as childcare and school age children’s schedules, transportation, attending school and working secondary jobs.
  • Improved employee morale, productivity and engagement because employees know what’s expected of them and what they need to accomplish during each shift.
  • Coverage is determined by the scope of work and the skills needed to complete tasks, to limit the number of overtime hours worked and productivity losses due to bored employees.
  • Reductions in employee tardiness and absenteeism as a general rule because they know in advance when to report to work and when to go home.

Choosing predictive scheduling or not?

While these are just a few of the many ways that predictive scheduling benefits all concerned,  how can you know this is right for your particular company or industry?

Predictive scheduling works best for companies who use hourly workers vs. salaried employees. Hourly workers are more apt to deal with fluctuating schedules in some industries that are dictated by seasonal peaks or production needs, so there needs to be some area for flexibility. The challenge is understanding if the organization regularly deals with large fluctuations in projects or market driven needs. Consider any potential safety needs as well.

It’s simple to set up a predictive schedule in any workplace. Talk with the employment and staffing specialists at Davis Staffing for more information and resources to help you make the most use of your people.

How To Be More Productive At Work

January 6th, 2015

Finding new ways to be more productive at work can be difficult if you have struggled in the past with getting work done on-time. But, finding new ways is important to your career success and standing with the company. If one of your resolutions for the New Year is to be more productive at work, consider implementing one or more of the methods outlined below.

Create Routines

One of the first things you must do when trying to be more productive at work is to create routines. When you create routines, you will be able to follow a pattern that sees you complete more work than you have in the past. You can create routines that involve how often you read and answer emails, how you delegate work and how you file physical documents. The more routines you have at work, the more productive you will be on the job.

Complete Similar Tasks Together

If you find yourself making a ton of phone calls throughout the day, consider making all of them together. Set aside an hour of your day to make your phone calls related to work. When you get them all done at once, you will be able to focus on other tasks on your to-do list. This can also be done with returning emails. Bunch similar tasks together so you are not wasting five minutes here or ten minutes there throughout the day.

Take Breaks

Depending on how complex your work is, you will need to take multiple breaks throughout the day. We do not mean you should stop working for 15 minutes at a time every half-hour, but definitely walk away from your desk every so often. Go talk to a co-worker or take a brief walk to the cafeteria. When you return to your desk, you will be energized and better prepared to handle the work on your desk.

Avoid Multi-Tasking

In order to be as productive as possible at work, you need to avoid multi-tasking. The brain is not very good at this task because nothing you do will get your full attention. This can lead to problems with the work performed or mistakes made while talking to clients on the phone.

Write Down Thoughts and Ideas

If your brain is scrambling on a daily basis due to tons of ideas and to-do items, you need to write all of this down to relieve your stress. Put all of these thoughts on paper and connect the dots at a later time.

Use Procrastination to be Productive

Our final tip today is to use procrastination as a way to be productive. You might be wondering how this is possible. Well, try to figure out why you are procrastinating. This can be due to your idea not being fully formed, the project has not been aligned properly or it is not worth completing. When you figure this out, you should be able to increase productivity.

Having trouble being productive at work? If so, use one or more of the methods outlined in this post to make your workday more productive.

Steps To Creating A Healthier Work Environment

September 15th, 2014

Finding new and innovative ways to create a healthier work environment can be difficult, especially when employees are stuck in bad habits for a long time. Getting your employees to buy into a healthier work environment can be tricky, but it definitely can be done effectively without causing too much of a culture shock for employees.

Here, we will discuss the most effective ways to create a healthier work environmentin just a few simple steps.

Step #1 – Fostering an Attitude of Cooperation is a Must

One of the first things you must absolutely do when creating a healthier work environment is to create an attitude of cooperation. This means that give and take must be present in the office each day of the week. Part of the cooperation discussion is offering employees ways to balance their work life and their personal life so they are not overwhelmed when they come to work each morning. This includes offering childcare, flexible work schedules, telecommuting, sabbaticals and compassionate leave.

Step #2 – Create Rewards for Employees

Employees love to be recognized or rewarded for a job well done more than once in their career. This means that you need to create some type of recognition program for your employees. This will make it easier to reward them when they complete a project ahead of the deadline, go above and beyond when dealing with a client and much more. These rewards can be gift cards to local restaurants or businesses, extra paid time off from work, a personalized plaque and much more.

Step #3 – Develop an Atmosphere of Trust

Employees also want to have a feeling of trust when they are at the office. They want to be trusted by their superiors, their co-workers and everyone else they come in contact with in the office. Trust goes both ways, which means since your employees want to be trusted, you must provide them with reasons why they can trust you. When you make this a two-way street, the environment at the workplace will be much healthier.

Step #4 – Offer Stress Busting Activities

Work is stressful, no matter how fun the workplace environment might be, which is why you need to relieve the stress of your employees as much as possible. This can be done using various activities at the office such as picnics, casual outfit days, flexible scheduling during the spring and summer months and much more.

Step #5 – Update Corporate Safety Policies

When companies look to make their workplace environment a healthier one, it can be done by updating safety policies. Safety policies will vary from company to company, but most of them are the same. If you feel that your employees are not safe in what they do at the office, you can hold safety seminars and update the policies and make sure everyone is complying when necessary.

Creating a healthier work environment does not have to a complicated process and it should be done immediately in an effort to ensure that your employees are happy and safe. Davis Staffing, a Hammond Staffing Agency can help reduce stress on your current workforce by giving you access to temp employees to take care of routine tasks, augment for larger projects, or work during peak seasons.

Juggling Multiple Jobs Can Hurt. Here’s Why One Career is Best for You!

July 22nd, 2014

In today’s difficult economy, many people are forced to work multiple jobs to make a decent living. In many cases, these can be very different types of job and in multiple industries. This can benefit some people and it can really hurt others. For the most part, it is best for you to just work one career at a time. There are plenty of reasons why this is the case and we will discuss all of them in this post.

Projects Begin to Blend

If you are working two careers, projects might start to blend into each other. This means that you could make major mistakes at one of your jobs by including information from a project at another company. When this happens, you could be sacrificing your employment status and the result of the project with the company. If you blend projects, unknowingly, you might not catch the mistake until it is too late. When you work just one job, you will never have trouble remembering which project information you should bring with you to an important meeting.

Attention Can Wander

When juggling more than one job, it is very possible that your attention will wander when at one job or the other. This means that you will find yourself worrying or thinking about tasks from your other place of employment instead of the one where you are working right now. If you do decide to work two jobs, you need to make it clear to yourself which job is your regular 9-5 job and which one is your secondary job.

Violating Company Policies

Not everyone realizes it, but you might be violating company policies by working a second job, especially if it is in close relation to your 9-5 job. When you work a second job that is in the same industry as your 9-5 job, this might cause a violation of a non-compete agreement that you signed with your employer. It is always best to disclose a second job with your employer prior to accepting the offer of employment in the event that it could break a non-compete agreement.

Not Enough Time in the Day

Trying to work two jobs can lead to not having enough time during the day to complete everything on your task list. When this happens, your job(s) could be in jeopardy. If you are working a second job and cannot complete a task, be sure to explain to your employer why this happened. Do not provide any excuses or ridiculous stories to save yourself from being fired.

Sacrifices at Work

Working two jobs will require you to make sacrifices. Sometimes, these sacrifices will affect one or both of your jobs and can be a detriment to your career. It would be wise to quit the job that provides you with less hours or lower compensation to save you time and frustration.

3 Books to Read to Improve Your Management Skills | Manager Jobs Chicago

January 24th, 2014

People who hold management positions come in two forms; those who are satisfied with how they run their team and those who are never satisfied with how they run their team. For those of you in the second group, there are plenty of management books on the market today that can provide you with advice, tips, and information about becoming a better manager in Chicago IL. We have chosen three of those books and discuss them in this post for managers of all levels.

“Empower Your Inner Manager: Essential Skills, Self-Assessment, and Effective Planning That Secure Successful Careers”

This book was written by Ian R. Mackintosh and was published on May 31, 2012 by iUniverse. In this book, which is 173 pages and a very easy read, Mackintosh explains how you can analyze your management style and what you can do to improve it. The book describes a process that includes targeting the skills you need to improve, analyzing the skills you need to become a candidate for a management position, revisit your needs for growth in the future as they improve and developing a plan needed to improve your skills.

“TKO Management!: Ten Knockout Strategies for Becoming the Manager Your People Deserve”

This book was written by Dave Anderson and published on May 23, 2013 by John Wiley & Sons. In today’s competitive business world, it is vitally important to work as hard as possible in order to succeed in management positions. You will want to be able to perform the basics of the business world well because it can mean the difference between being successful and losing within the industry. In this book, Anderson provides readers with the practical strategies needed to defeat your competition from start to finish. The book outlines such tips as how to create a workplace environment that wins, how to hold employees accountable for their work, how to balance leadership and management skills and how to deal with underperformers.

“The Clarity Principle: How Great Leaders Make the Most Important Decision and Business (and What Happens When They Don’t)”

This book, published on May 6, 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, was written by Chatham Sullivan. Working in a management position is not easy, especially when you have to deal with various issues that arise at work each day. Some of those issues include low employee morale, battles over who is permitted to work on which project, misguided strategies and bad politics. Managers at companies whose purpose of business becomes confused are responsible for clarifying the issues at hand. This book discusses issues faced by real-world managers who saw their companies deal with identity crises and then rebound from them successfully.

We hope that you take the time to check out these books either at your local library or by purchasing one for your career library. Reading these and other books about management can help you to become better at your job in management and leading people.

Want to learn more? Explore important recruitment and employment topics by reading a few more popular blog posts from Davis Staffing  in Chicago IL! Please feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to learn more about us at LinkedIn for company and industry news, job leads and featured updates. If you are looking for manufacturing manager jobs in Chicago IL, contact us today.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. Davis Staffing is not affiliated in any way with the authors, publishers or retailers of the books mentioned in this article.

How to Prepare for Your 2013 Performance Review

November 15th, 2013

At the end of each year, many employers choose to conduct their annual performance reviews. This is to help establish fair compensation increases and to set new performance goals for the coming year. Yet, for a vast majority of employees, the performance review process is negative and creates a great deal of worry.

Why do employees fear performance reviews?  

  • Employees may worry that they will lose their jobs or not get a raise in pay if they are not working up to company performance standards.
  • Staffers may anticipate that added responsibilities or requirements that will put more strain on already burdensome assignments.
  • Employees may not understand the entire performance review process and find it to be critical rather than helpful to them.

For these reasons and several others, the end of year performance review is something that causes employees to avoid thinking about them. However, this is a mistake. Instead of looking at performance reviews as a necessary evil of being employed, it’s more beneficial to look at a review as time to shine and go after the raise that you deserve. It’s always better to prepare for a performance review rather than just dread it.

Get prepared for your 2013 annual performance review!

Here are some ways you can prepare for your 2013 annual performance review, and come out ahead.

#1 – Make a list of all the new tasks and projects you worked on over the course of the last 12-months.  

Chances are, you have accomplished a lot over the last year. You’ve probably been asked to take on new tasks as a result of new projects that have landed on your desk. This is a good thing, in terms of your career. Make a note of these new tasks and projects to leverage during your performance review.

#2 – Write down at least 3-5 new things you learned and new skills you developed as a result of your hard work.

For each new project or task you’ve taken on, you’ve likely gathered a whole new set of knowledge that makes you a more valuable employee. Write down the things you’ve learned or the new skills you’ve developed as a result of your efforts. Again, these make you more worthy of a raise in pay.

#3 – Take out your last year’s performance review and compare where you were this time last year to where you are now.

If you’ve been on the job for more than a year, you probably experienced a review last year around this same time. Find or ask for a copy of your performance review (from the HR department or your manager) and take the time to read through it. Look for goals you set out to achieve, and any areas that still need work.

#4 – Make a note of the value you brought to your employer, the goals you met, and the goals you have for the coming year.

Using your last year’s performance review as a report card to what you accomplished this year, make a note of the areas you excelled in. Also consider the areas you want to focus on this year as part of your ongoing career development. You can use this information to ask for training support and to help you rate yourself during your performance review.

#5 – Mentally prepare yourself for your annual review by being positive and proactive.

When you are asked to participate in your performance review, do so with a positive mindset. Look forward to the feedback you will receive as it can help you grow as a professional. Be ready to demonstrate how you went over and beyond your normal job duties. Leverage your learning and achievements in your performance review to validate a generous raise in salary or a new job title.

If you are looking for employment agencies in Hammond IN, contact us today.

Job Hunting While Employed – Cover Your Tracks

July 27th, 2012

The job market is tough out there. Even as small signs of recovery are appearing on distant horizons, companies are still reluctant to raise salaries, reduce hours, or hire new employees.  This leaves a lot of people in the market for new jobs but unwilling to put their existing jobs at risk in the process. Sometimes, after all, “prudent silence is wise.” This is especially true when you’re putting out feelers and sending our resumes for other jobs while still employed in yours. Here are a few tips that can help you keep your job search under the radar and off the charts with your current employer.

1)   Keep your search off company tech. As tempting as it may be to check all the job sites and boards during your lunch hour, that’s not a wise use of company equipment. Don’t use the corporate computers or your business email address. You never know who’s watching or what that person is watching for. Instead, limit your job search activities to your personal computer.

2)   Remember that slow and steady wins the race. The job market is not hopping at the moment. Don’t get discouraged after one or two missed opportunities. Use them as learning curves and make the most out of the next one. For many people, keeping a hopeful eye out for the the job you want next is what keeps you coming in, day after day, to the job you have now. Don’t lose sight of that. But, be prepared to stick with it for a fair amount of time.

3)    Don’t draw attention to the fact that you’re “in the market” for another job. In other words, don’t suddenly start dressing up every few days for no apparent reason. People will put two and two together. Instead, consider changing clothes off-premises when you have an interview.

4)   Network. Network. And then, network a little more. The best job leads you’re ever going to come across aren’t going to show up in help wanted ads. They’re going to come to you over the phone or through email from friends who’ve heard about openings and think you’re a good fit. It’s true. But that means you need to get out there and start making the right kinds of friends. Attend conferences and symposiums in your field. Get to know people “in the know” and make sure they know you too. Rub elbows, have dinner, and play tennis (golf, racquetball, etc.) with them. You can do this while keeping your job without ever seeming suspicious and it will deliver results over time.

No matter what you do to try to find another job while still employed, the one thing you must absolutely do is the job you have right now. Don’t show any signs that your heart isn’t in it or it could do you more harm down the road than good.

What Workers Want from Bosses this Summer

July 6th, 2012

Summertime is often the time when HR departments are actively searching for new candidates to fill temporary and permanent assignments. Additionally, as current employees are more frequently dreaming about taking vacations at the beach, supervisors are trying to maintain staffing numbers by boosting employee morale. Knowing what workers want from their employer this summer can help to retain greater numbers of employees, and help make the workplace more productive.

So, what are many employees looking for this summer? A recent employee poll revealed that 78 percent of working parents value flexible work arrangements to care for their families, while another 62 percent of all workers agreed having a flexible schedule is a major perk. In fact, many employees reported they would take a pay cut in order to have more flexibility in their work schedules.

Having the ability to work from home at least part of the week, or being able to leave early on Fridays is another factor that employees want to have more work-life balance. There are certain job tasks that are more friendly to telecommuting, and this is something that all employers should look at closely. In some cases, it can even save your company money by reducing office use.

It’s clear that in order to keep employee happier during the summer months, employers need to be thinking outside the box in terms of offering incentives. Here are some suggestions:

  • Give all employees the option to work remotely during the summer, if their job duties allow.
  • Provide a work environment that is casual and flexible so employees look forward to coming in.
  • Have fun corporate events like catered lunches and after-work parties to let employees relax.
  • Develop an incentive plan for employees who achieve their goals in the summer months.
  • Offer employee development classes and training on-site to encourage skill and team building.
  • Encourage employees to schedule their summer vacation times in advance.
  • Design flexible work plans to allow remote employees to set their own schedules.

Your workplace can be a fun environment in which to encourage productivity and attract more talent to your team. Use the above tips to make your company a place where your employees will want to spend their summer.

Get help with your summertime staffing needs in the Southland Chicago area by working with the Davis Staffing team today!

Happiness is the Ultimate Productivity Booster

February 29th, 2012

As an HR manager, it’s important to know what really motivates workers to be their most productive. In fact, managing productivity is one of the more important roles you play within your organization. You know it’s important to keep them happy. You understand that employees are generally more productive when they are happy. But, do you know why the happiness of employees in your company makes such a huge difference to efficiency? Here are just a few of the reasons why it’s a good idea to keep your employees happy.

Happy People Tend to have a Positive Outlook

This is double good news for your organization. Do you know why? It’s because the old saying about attitudes being contagious is true. If you have people who are happy with their jobs, happy to come to work, and happy in general. It sparks an entire wave of happiness within work groups that will spread like wildfire to the rest of the company.

Optimism is definitely something you want spreading through your company. It makes it a better place for everyone to work and keeps negativity, complaints, and overall pessimism at bay.

Happy People are Problem Solvers

Your organization doesn’t have time for people to stir the pot or create problems. We all understand that time is money. That’s why it’s great to work with people who are content, or dare I say, happy, in their work environments. They are not only less likely to complain and join in the controversy but they are also the ones who are most likely to seek solutions to problems rather than allowing the problems to slow them down.

People Who are Happy at Work Want to be There

This means they are less likely to call in sick or stretch the limits of their paid time off each year. That doesn’t mean that they don’t need to take their vacations and use that time to rest, relax, and recharge. It does mean that they are much more inclined to plan the time they need off ahead of time and give you plenty of notice.

Happy People are Healthy People

In addition to not taking sick time because they are sick of work, people who are happy with their employment situation also tend to be healthier people. There is less stress over the work situation. There are fewer instances of employee burnout.

Happy employees are not only productive members of the company but they are also generally pleasant people to be around. It’s worth going out of your way as an HR manager to make every possible attempt to keep the people who work for your company as happy as possible and to constantly strive to find new ways that are not overly disruptive or cost-prohibitive to keep employees happy.

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