The Most Sought-After Skills in 2020

What are the skills employers are looking for now? Do you need to know how to write up an algorithm? Use computer code? Analyze big data? Not exactly. Although the skills companies are looking for do involve some type of analytical thinking, they are not as techy as you might think.

Los Angeles jobs

According to the World Economic Forum, the top skills that companies want, in order, are complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgment and decision making, service orientation, negotiation, and cognitive flexibility.

Creativity

Creativity clocks in at number three on the 2020 skills list, compared to number 10 on a similar list in 2015, showing that it’s a skill rapidly increasing in value among employers. Negotiation skills, which appeared at number five on the 2015 list, fell to number nine on the 2020 lineup, a sign that employers are expecting new technologies, such as AI and big data, to reduce the need for such skills. In fact, a World Economic Forum survey among companies revealed a widespread belief that AI will eventually have a presence on many boards of directors.

A skill that fell off the 2015 list is active listening. However, emotional intelligence, which makes an appearance at number six on the 2020 list, was absent from the 2015 tally, showing the increasing importance of soft skills in the workplace today.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is generally defined as being aware of your emotions and being able to manage them, as well as understanding and managing the emotions of others. People with emotional intelligence, for example, can recognize when they are feeling angry or frustrated and are able to control and direct the emotion. They are also more sensitive to the emotions of others and are better able to cope with them. Emotional intelligence has gained significance because it is generally believed that people who are better able to recognize these emotional signals, both from themselves and others, are more productive employees and leaders.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking and problem solving continue to hold top positions on the list, as they did in 2015. According to the Foundation for Critical Thinking, it’s the process of effectively forming concepts, as well as applying, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information that is produced through observation, experience, reasoning, or communicating with other people, and using the results of the analysis as a guide for what you believe and how you act.

It’s based on the criteria of clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth and fairness.

The need for such skills is driven by the advance and pervasiveness of technology, which is affecting almost every industry around the world. Change is occurring more rapidly, and for companies to keep up, they need people who understand the change and how to manage it.

Other Skills

Another highly valued skill is the ability to learn. This in turn involves skills such as knowing how to learn, reading intelligently and taking notes. Reading is something that must be done continually in order to learn and to keep up with expanding knowledge.

Reading widely on a routine basis also helps you analyze information and recognize trends and patterns, as well as improving your written and verbal communication skills. Reading also helps improve soft skills, such as cultivating an appreciation and empathy for others.

Communication skills, both written and verbal, are more important than ever. These skills include things like listening effectively, being able to persuade, explain and work with others, as well as providing useful feedback.

If 2020 is the year you plan to move up the career ladder, let Helpmates help you do so. Take a look at our current career and job opportunities and contact the branch nearest you if you see something that interests you.

How to Lead by Example

Good leaders, it is said, never ask their subordinates to do anything that the leader would not do. This is what leading by example means – showing your people how to get things done rather than just telling them. It is the kind of leadership that gains the trust and respect of employees, when they see their bosses walk the talk.

Irvine Staffing agency

It’s more powerful than any motivational speech or business master plan. Here are some tried and true leadership routines that also embody the practice of leading by example.

  1. Modeling what you want to see

If you as a leader expect your employees to do things a certain way, to practice certain behaviors or performance standards, you need to model those behaviors yourself. This is true not just for significant kinds of work projects but for little things as well. You need to model the core values of the company.

For example, if punctuality is important, make sure you get to work on time or arrive at meetings promptly. If you want a company that values openness and communication, you need to take the time to initiate conversations with employees.

  1. Communicate

How well do you communicate with your employees? Everyone may believe that they do, but on closer examination, you may find that when deadlines loom or other pressures mount, communication lags. As a leader, you need to make sure you are talking to your managers about business developments and decisions and make sure they are talking to each other as well.

Take the time to keep each other abreast of the latest activities, even if just a quick word or two.

  1. Acknowledge imperfection and fallibility

Many leaders believe they always need to show competence and decisiveness. But this can be counterproductive. Leading by example means that if you make a mistake, you acknowledge it and correct it. It shows employees that it’s OK to sometimes make mistakes. You want people to take risks to make improvement, but taking risks means increasing the possibility for mistakes.

Being honest like this also encourages communication among employees because they feel they can talk about their uncertainty or seek advice.

  1. Let your team members know your goals

Every company has performance and productivity goals for employees. This goes for leaders to. Leading by example means sharing your goals, letting employees know that you are holding yourself to the same standards of accountability that you expect of them.

  1. Setting priorities

If you want to show employees that what matters is not just getting things done, but doing the stuff that really makes a difference to the company, you need to set priorities for yourself, share them, and emphasize the importance of doing so for everyone.

  1. Explain your decisions

If you value transparency, you need to show it. That means taking the time to explain why things work as they do, why certain decisions were made. This helps employees understand the reasoning behind the actions of company leadership and will help workers to do their own jobs better. It also boosts employee morale.

  1. Help your employees

Let your team members know that you are there to help them if they need it. Talk with workers, and ask them if there is anything you can do to help out. This is a powerful example of teamwork and collaboration, of working cooperatively rather than competitively.

  1. Keep your cool

There are times when things will go wrong or become hectic. This is the time when you as a leader especially need to stay calm, taking a deliberate, measured and businesslike approach in tackling whatever problem has come up. This too will set a powerful example for employees in times of stress.

If one of the things causing you stress is a shortage of workers for crunch times at your business, call upon the recruiters at Helpmates. Contact the branch nearest you and let us know you staffing needs.

For the 11th Time in a Row, Helpmates Is Named to the Best of Staffing® Awards

Let’s imagine that the Dodgers or the Angels won the World Series 11 times in a row. (Imagine!!!) Would we be “ANOTHER World Series? Ho-hum”?

Los Angeles staffing agency

Heck no!!!

And so we’re beyond thrilled that Helpmates has AGAIN – and for the 11th straight year – been named to ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Diamond Awards!!!

Helpmates has earned ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Diamond Awards for 2020. (ClearlyRated formerly was known as Inavero.)

We earned the Diamond Awards in both the Talent and Client categories after winning the Best of Staffing® award in each at least five years in a row. Participating staffing firms are rated by both their clients and their candidates (talent). On average, clients of winning staffing agencies are 3.3 times more likely to be completely satisfied with the agency’s services and candidates who have been placed by winning agencies are 1.7 times more likely to be completely satisfied compared to those working with non-winning agencies.

Some Best of Staffing® 2020 statistics of which we are particularly proud include:

  • We received satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 out of 10 from 76 percent of our clients, significantly higher than the industry’s average of 24 percent.
  • We received satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 out of 10 from 79.1 percent of our placed job candidates, significantly higher than the industry’s average of 45 percent.

We’re also excited about our Net Promoter Scores (NPS), customer metrics that measure the loyalty between a provider (Helpmates) and its customers (our clients and candidates/talent).

  • Our 2020 NPS score was 75 percent from our clients (FAR above the industry’s average of -2 percent in 2019.
  • Our 2020 NPS score from our candidates was 67.3 percent (also far above the staffing industry’ average of just 24 percent in 2018.

Helpmates won in four areas:

  • Client Satisfaction Award (11th year in a row)
  • Talent Satisfaction Award (9th year in a row)
  • The Best of Staffing Client Diamond Award (6th year in a row)
  • The Best of Staffing Talent Diamond Award (4th year in a row)

We wouldn’t have earned this award for the 11th time without the dedication and hard work of our internal team members as well as the associates who work at our client’s offices.  We are humbled that you choose to work with us and awed by your efforts to provide the best in service to our clients.

 

Does Your Business Really Have a Healthy Culture? Questions to Ask Yourself

A healthy culture at your company is critical today because you can neither attract/retain top talent, nor maintain high productivity, yet culture is often something that companies pay little attention to, regarding it as nonessential.

La Mirada staffing

Turning a dysfunctional culture around isn’t easy, but unless you do so, you’ll have a lot of unhappy people working for you (until they leave). And in a world where social media plays such a big role, news of your unhealthy culture will spread quickly, scaring off potential job candidates.

Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding your company’s culture issues.

  1. Do you even have a culture?

Some companies don’t. In one recent survey, only a little more than 10 percent of workers responding said they actually understand what their company culture is. Another study revealed that only about 41 percent of employees know what makes their workplace unique.

You can outline the culture you would like to have, you can even believe that you have the culture you want. But to find out the culture you actually have, you may need to survey your employees.

  1. What are your foundational values?

Have you clearly defined them, and are your workers aware of them? Do they guide the operation of your company? For example, if you have defined one of your values as innovation, how well do your employees collaborate and share ideas to foster innovation? Or if one of your foundational values is diversity, how well is it actually represented in your company?

  1. Are you honest with job candidates about your culture?

In their eagerness to land new talent, some hiring managers tell job candidates what they want to hear. In their efforts to sell the company, the managers may exaggerate a little or shade the truth. This is a recipe for failure. Managers need to be honest and up front about what the company is really like. Otherwise, the new hire will leave when they discover things aren’t as they thought.

In fact, about one-fourth of all new employees leave their job in the first three months. The main reasons for this are misunderstandings about the nature of the job and the company. If a lot of new people are leaving the company, you need to find out why.

  1. Do your business partners reflect your values?

Companies rely on independent contractors and consultants. Do these business partners share the foundational values of the company? If not, this could create friction in working relationships, and even worse, possible exposure to legal action.

  1. Are employees engaged?

If there is a good alignment  between the values of the employees and the company, workers will be more satisfied with their jobs and more engaged, resulting in better performance all around.

One of the aims of company culture is to instill a sense of purpose and meaning in the work of employees. Posters with motivational quotes just won’t cut it. Employees stay at a company because they feel that they are making a contribution, that their work matters and that their career will flourish and they will grow at the company.

To create the culture you want, you need to survey your employees about their perceptions and share the results throughout the organization. To move forward, you need to establish a collaborative process for creating the culture you and your employees want, involving input and buy-in from workers throughout the company.

Are you looking for employees that will thrive in your particular culture? Contact Helpmates: we’ll help you source, vet and place workers who “get you.”

Never Refer to Yourself as Unemployed. Here’s Why.

Most of us will be unemployed at least once in our working lives. Employers are aware of that. So it should be okay to describe yourself as unemployed on LinkedIn or on your resume and cover letter, right?

Anaheim recruiters

Well, no! Unfortunately, there is still a stigma that is attached to the word “unemployed,” a stigma that still prejudices hiring managers, even if they have been unemployed at some point themselves.

It shouldn’t be that way.

The fact is that many people these days have gaps in their work history for a variety of reasons. Employers are always looking to streamline their workforces and so layoffs have become more common. Those who remain are expected to shoulder more of the workload, and companies are filling the gaps with contingent labor.

In this day and age, according to some career experts, people can have multiple careers and multiple jobs within those careers. It has, in fact, become much more commonplace for people to have gaps in their work history.

But old ways of thinking die hard, and the prejudice against the unemployed still exists, although it may not carry quite the negative connotation as in the past. But research has shown that it doesn’t matter how someone lost their job, whether they were fired or laid off, the stigma still attached to his situation.

The unemployed are looked at less favorably than those who have a job, even if their skill levels are the same.

For this reason, some career experts advise people to avoid using the word “unemployed,” instead substituting something such as “between jobs.” The word unemployed has too much negative psychological baggage, denoting defeatism. Because of this it can even affect the job candidate’s self-image and self-esteem, impacting their job search.

What to do If You Are Unemployed

If you are unemployed and looking for work, don’t try and hide it. Many job candidates try to disguise the fact or equivocate about it, but they don’t fool employers and they only come across as dishonest. The fact is, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about it.

Explain what happened, and then focus on how you have been using the time since you became unemployed, how you have maintained your skills and knowledge. For example, have you volunteered your time doing work-related projects, taken classes or attended conferences, traveled, or something else in the meantime?

This will help to achieve two things – the first is showing your tenacity and resilience in the face of adversity, as well as your dedication. Even though you have lost your job, you have continued to work to advance your career and prepare for the time when you are rehired.

Lessen the Fears of the Employer

One of the main concerns companies have about the unemployed is the erosion of their skills. By emphasizing the work you have been doing during your unemployment, you also help to reassure the employer that you have maintained your skills.

Another way of keeping up your skills if you don’t have a full-time job is through temporary work. Working as a contingent employee has several benefits. As mentioned, it helps you maintain your skills. But you also will be working at companies that could be future employers if they like your work. And you get to meet new people in your profession who may also be able to offer leads on jobs.

So if you now find yourself between jobs, contact Helpmates as part of your job search. We can help you find temporary work while you look for full-time employment. We also can help you find full-time work.

Take a look at our current openings and apply to those that interest you.

Why It’s Okay to Follow Up After an Interview, But Not After Sending an Application

We’re always telling you to follow up a few days after a job interview. So, is it OK to follow up after sending in an application for a job advertisement? Unfortunately, no.

Los Angeles recruiters

 Why? Because the two situations are quite different. During the application stage of the hiring process, the employer is likely receiving hundreds of resumes from job candidates. The company really doesn’t want applicants following up because at this point it really serves no useful purpose.

In fact, it may hinder your chances of being considered because you may seem overbearing and impatient. You are essentially taking up valuable time that the hiring manager needs in order to look through the stack of applications. If the employer is interested in you, they will contact you to arrange an interview.

Your call will do little to increase your chances for consideration. You will still be just one applicant among many voicing his or her interest in the position.

Resume and Cover Letter

This is why the resume and cover letter are so important. If you have crafted them well, there will be no need to follow up with a phone call because everything important that you need to say will be contained in these application materials. A follow up phone call would simply be redundant.

That is also why it is essential before putting your resume together that you have thoroughly researched the company to learn about its mission, values, goals, and operations so that you can describe how you would add value to the business and impact the bottom line.

It is also important to thoroughly review the job description to understand exactly what skills and experience the company is looking for. You will then know what skills and accomplishments to highlight in the resume to show how you are the best person for the job.

After the Interview

It’s important to note in this context that the exact opposite is true if you have interviewed at the company. You must follow up with a thank you letter. In fact, your chances of getting the job will decrease if you don’t follow up.

At this point you are more than just a face in the crowd. You are under serious consideration for the position, and you need to express your appreciation for the opportunity to interview.

Again, if the company is well run, the hiring manager will let you know at the interview of the next steps in the hiring process and the schedule they will follow, so you know where you stand and what to expect. (It’s also perfectly fine – and is, in fact, a good idea – to ask what “next steps” are before you leave the interview itself.) If, however, two weeks or more have passed since the interview and you still have not heard anything, you should call.

Do you want a new start in the New Year? Helpmates has many terrific opportunities (temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire). Check out our job board and contact the branch nearest you for more information.

Best Texting Practices for Recruiting

Texting is becoming ever more critical in the recruitment process. It’s a great way to contact job candidates quickly to deliver short messages. This post will take a look at how texting is being used and offer some advice on recruitment texting best practices.

Brea recruiters

Because texting is a more informal, casual way of communicating, it’s all too easy to wander off course, and the message you want to convey gets lost in the banter. And, while the easy back and forth of texting can help to establish a rapport with a candidate, it may also wander into territory that is a little too familiar and personal or contain language that is suggestive. And this in turn opens the door to possible misunderstandings and animosity.

To avoid this, it is important to establish guidelines for texting with candidates. Take a look below for some to consider. (Additional recruiting texting tips can be found here.)

  • Maintain Your Professionalism

This is important to protect your own reputation and gain the respect and attention of the job candidate. Doing this means being a little more formal in your texting than you ordinarily would. For example, use complete sentence, and make sure your grammar and punctuation are correct. Watch your spelling. Avoid using emojis.

Stick to the business at hand – recruiting – and avoid any messages of a personal nature, even if the candidate decides to share some personal information.

  • Keep It Short

Texting is not the best medium to use for longer messages. It is best used for messages such as setting up or confirming appointments. If you need to have a longer conversation with a candidate, send the person a text asking them  to call you or tell the person in the text that you will correspond through email.

  • Include Identification with Every Text

Again, this is just another way of maintaining professionalism. It also lets the candidate know clearly who sent the text because the candidate may be dealing with more than one recruiter. Each text you send should include your name, title and company.

  • Send Texts Only at Certain Times of the Day

First of all, you should only send texts during business hours. However, if the candidate sends a text that requires a response after business hours, it is certainly acceptable to respond.

The best time to send a text is in the morning, between 9 am and noon.

  • What Not to Text

There are two things you should never do by text: one is offering a person a job and the other is telling them they didn’t get the job. These transactions are too important to leave to texting and demand more formal lines of communication.

If you text a job candidate and get no response, stop doing it and communicate through other means. It’s important to remember in this context that many people do not find texting an appropriate way to communicate job-related information. In a recent survey, about one-third of those responding believed texting to be unprofessional, while only one-third thought it appropriate. The survey included all age groups.

  • Using Texting with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Some recruiting experts recommend using ATS that have a built-in texting function. It helps recruiters follow the best texting practices mentioned above, as well as storing a history of all conversations recruiters have with candidates, either by text, phone or email. An ATS also enables recruiters to text on any type of device.

If you’re looking for workers for your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities, contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you. We look forward to hearing from you!

Negating the Parent Trap: Helping Working Parents Move Up the Career Ladder

Career ambition isn’t just for the childless: parents have career dreams, too. But too many unwritten rules in the workplace keep parents trapped in lower-level positions.

Anaheim  recruiters

We’ll first delineate some of these “rules,” and then we’ll offers some suggestions companies could use to help working parents move high up the career ladder.

Take a look below.

  • Presentism

The number of people working from home has risen greatly in the last few years, up 44 percent over the past five years and increasing by a whopping 91 percent over the last 10 years. People doing all kinds of work and of all ages embrace the concept. Parents especially like the idea due to the work-life balance telecommuting offers.

Yet telecommuters lose out when it comes to job promotions and while many workplaces today say they want their employees – parents or not – to have a good work-life-balance, who tends to get the job promotions? Those workers who work full-time in the office: telecommuters and other remote workers are 50 percent less likely to receive a performance-based promotion than in-house employees.

In other words, if a manager doesn’t see someone doing their job, no matter how great their output and quality of work, it’s much harder for them to receive a promotion than someone who works in the office (and who is regularly seen by a manager).

  • You must not be serious about your career if you ask to take time off to see your child’s basketball game.

This harkens back to presentism and really hits parents where it hurts – in both their hearts (family) and their professional ambitions (many employers expect “that employees devote themselves fully to work.”)

Employers Lose, Too

It’s not just employees that lose when they don’t get a promotion: many workers have left a company – and take their skills, education and corporate knowledge with them – if an employer balks at offering flexible schedules.

Helping Your Company by Helping Working Parents Move Up

How can you help employees who are parents with their career goals? We have some ideas, below:

  • Focus on employees’ output/quality of work rather than how often they’re in the office.

Does it really matter when and where an employee works as much as the fact that the work gets done on time and is of high quality. Does it really?

  • If you don’t do so yet, start offering a telecommuting program and/or flexible schedules.

A telecommuting program is a big perk to many candidates, and can help you attract the best-of-the-best. Just don’t “punish” those of your workers who take advantage of it and doubt their value to you as well as their dedication. Conduct a gut check on whether you – and other managers – have a presentism mindset. If you see it’s there, fight it. HARD.

  • Provide online training opportunities for telecommuters.

Your remote workers want to learn new skills, just as your in-house workers do. But if you offer only on-site workshops and benefits/perks for in-class education, you could be hindering your remote workers’ chance to learn new skills and certifications. Because working parents often opt to telecommute, this can be detrimental when a promotion opportunity requires some type of certification or education level.

  • Have regular “How are you doing?” and “How can I help you with your goals?” conversations.

Ask your working parent employees what they need to help them perform at their best. See if their suggestions are something you could implement.

  • If you’re a working parent yourself, remember the challenges you faced if you wanted a promotion when your children were young(er).

Remember how hard it was to prove yourself as a working parent? The obstacles and challenges that came your way your non-parent colleagues didn’t face. Don’t forget your own beginnings and have compassion and understanding for ambitious employees who just happen to also be parents. You were just like them once; remember that.

When you need high-caliber workers for your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire job opportunities, call upon the experienced recruiters at Helpmates for help. Reach out to the branch office nearest you and learn more.

When the Job Interview is Going Terribly Wrong

It’s every job candidate’s nightmare – you’re at a job interview and things are not going well at all. You are a little more nervous than usual because this is a job that looks really good and one that you really want. But you are having trouble gathering your thoughts and articulating them clearly and cogently. You have stumbled through a few answers and begin to feel a little dampness from the sweat clinging to your collar. What can you do to get things back on track?

Santa Ana Careers

We did some digging and found a few suggestions. We also came up with some of our own. Take a look below.

  1. Keep calm.

Yes, easier said than done. But if you want to recover, you need to stay cool and poised. Take a few deep breaths, maybe pop a breath mint. Put the past behind you. Don’t rerun previous answers in your mind or obsess over the way you answered them. You need to give your complete attention to what is going on now and the questions yet to come.

Don’t get spooked by the demeanor of the hiring manager either. Some people are not as emotional as others, so if the interviewer isn’t very responsive or emotive, it could just be the person’s personality. Don’t automatically take it as a sign they’re unimpressed with your responses.

  1. Mirror the interviewer’s mannerisms.

For example, the interviewer may be someone who tends to use their hands more when they talk and raises their voice from enthusiasm. Or, conversely, the interviewer may be someone more phlegmatic, talking more slowly and staying on an even keel.

In either case, take your cue from the interviewer’s demeanor, and try to push the tenor of your responses in a direction that is more in line with theirs.

Body language is also important. Lean forward slightly to show enthusiasm. Make eye contact with the person, and avoid actions like fidgeting or toe or finger tapping, as this can be distracting and give the impression of insecurity.

  1. Connect to your strengths.

As part of your preparation for the interview, you should have a few anecdotes and examples of your strengths, skills and accomplishments. Try to work these stories and examples into your answers.

  1. Acknowledge a misstep and move on.

If, for example, you begin to answer a question and realize that it is not the approach you want to take, don’t be afraid to admit the misstep and start over. The larger error here is to be so fearful of admitting you took a wrong turn that you continue plowing ahead with your original response, even though it’s not where you want to go.

Admitting you made an error may actually impress the hiring manager because it demonstrates a maturity and self-awareness about your performance.

  1. Make a phone call afterwards.

If you leave the interview still feeling that it did not go well, all may not be lost. If there was a third-party involved in helping to arrange the meeting or make an introduction, call them and explain your situation. They may be willing to advocate on your behalf by providing additional explanation or information to the interviewer/hiring manager.

  1. Use the thank you note.

You can also take advantage of your thank you note to ameliorate your situation. If there is some particular information you failed to provide during the interview, make reference to it in the thank you note and provide it there. Or if you feel you botched an answer to a particular interview question, use the thank you note to take another stab it.

Whatever you do, don’t apologize or otherwise call attention to what you perceive to be a poor performance. For one thing, your perception of your performance may be completely different from that of the hiring manager. Focus on being positive, correcting errors, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to interview, and your interest in the job.

If you feel your interview went poorly, talk to your Helpmates recruiter soon after. We may be able to talk to your interviewer to get their feedback and, help plead your case.

Don’t have a Helpmates recruiter yet? Call the branch office nearest you and make an appointment to talk to us.

Boosting Employee Productivity and Morale

Employers need happy and productive workers. Yet if employees don’t have autonomy, the freedom to make mistakes, learning and growth opportunities, a sense of mission, etc., morale and productivity often plummets.

Two Sides of the Improved Productivity Coin

Cypress staffing

This post offers productivity tips. Yet, in addition to tips on what to do, we’re also going to offer tips on what not to do because positive morale and high  productivity often are results of the “don’t” as much as it is of the “do.”

What Not to Do

  • Stop skipping breaks.

We know how it is: your workers are on a roll, they have “just” an hour or two left on this project and even though they’ve been working on it for two hours already, they’re loathe to take a break because they worried they’ll “lose momentum.”

Make sure they take the break! It’s not true that momentum trumps rest. Instead, even just “stand up and walk around” breaks help our brains relax and rejuvenate and “improve focus.” Try it yourself. You’ll be amazed at how new ideas pop into your head when you resume the task and how much energy you’ve regained.

  • Stop with the meetings! (So MANY meetings!)

Researchers at UNC Charlotte found that executives (in this research) spend up to as much as 23 hours a week in meetings. How much deliverable work or “output” actually gets DONE in meetings? We believe pretty much none. Instead, encourage walk-and-talk meetings. Not only will meeting-goers get a bit of a break from sitting, but meetings will be much shorter and ideas may flow as a result of the short exercise session.

  • One word: stop!

Many of us believe we do well – if not very well – on tasks we do at the same time. This is a myth. In fact, multitasking, according to Stanford University professor Clifford Nass (a multitasking expert), instead produces people with low attention spans.

  • Stop aiming for the perfect.

Good enough is…good enough! Perfectionists tend to have lower productivity. Instead, help your employees embrace the “good enough.” Note that we’re not talking “Ok” or “so-so.” We mean “good,” just not “perfect.”

  • Email can wait; stop checking it constantly.

Checking email more than three times a day makes us less productive. It can wait. If necessary, encourage your workers to let people know that they check email at set times each day and only then. (Doing so lets people emailing them know why replies aren’t instant.)

What to Do

  • Help your employees learn to relax…after work.

People who constantly think about work after work never really are away from work. Which makes it pretty much impossible to relax after work hours.

You can help your workers relax after hours by helping them create a “closing down” process every time they get ready to leave the office. Do so and don’t be surprised if productivity at work increases because they’ve been able to truly decompress once they leave for home.

  • Encourage employees to take short “exercise” breaks.

And what we mean by exercise is a walk around the block (or three), some stretching for a few minutes, perhaps some deep knee bends at their desk or even some pushups. Short exercise bursts are proven to rejuvenate people and help them focus. In fact, you might consider allowing employees to exercise on the clock for at least 30 minutes a day for terrific results.

  • Help your employees work in chunks of no more than 90-minutes at a time.

Florida State University researchers found that those who do so tend to be more productive than those who work in intervals of 90 minutes or more.

  • Encourage employees to minimize interruptions.

Concentrated work takes….concentration, and having a friendly colleague pop by for a quick chat can ruin that focus. So make it Ok for employees to shut an office door, make offices available for cube-farm workers who need some quiet time, etc.

Are your employees overwhelmed with work and therefore finding it hard to get all that needs to get done done well? If so, you may need to bring on more people.

Helpmates can provide you workers for short-term assignments, long-term needs. Contact the branch office nearest you and speak to one of our recruiters.

 

 

 

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