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.

 

 

 

Job Searching During the Holidays: Make it Ho-Ho-Ho, Not Humbug

Although hiring activities may slow during the holidays, they certainly don’t stop. Companies are still reviewing applications and scheduling interviews. They still need to fill openings and maintain their operations. Forging ahead with your job hunt over the holidays will give you a head start on all those people who take a break from their search for employment during this time of year.

La Mirada Jobs

Many companies post their job openings before the holidays, even though they won’t make any hiring decisions until the new year. So, you will again have a jump on all those people who have stopped looking.

Moreover, continuing your job search will enable you to keep the momentum going on the job-search work you have been doing, rather than letting it slow and perhaps even become non-existent.

So, if you are thinking of suspending your job search during the holidays, we urge you to think again. Here are a few tips on making the most of your job hunt over the holidays.

  1. Make a schedule and stick to it.

With all that is going on over the holidays – shopping, family gatherings, holiday parties – it is easy to lose focus and let the job search slide. One way to keep up your efforts is by making a daily schedule, where you block out time that is devoted exclusively to your search. It is best to do it the same time every day so you get into a routine.

Doing this should help prevent procrastination or avoidance because you have a definite time and date set up to do it.

People currently employed should especially make a job-search schedule because you will likely have vacation time available, some of which you can use for your job search if you plan well.

  1. Renew connections.

The holidays present a great opportunity for networking. You can send a card or email to your contacts with a holiday greeting. Then also mention that you are searching for a new job and would appreciate any information they could pass along.

If you don’t feel comfortable bringing up the job search with the holiday greeting, your card or email is also an opening to get reacquainted and to set up more conversations where you can bring up the topic later.

  1. Use holiday gatherings to network.

Whether the gatherings are work related or not, they are also great opportunities to do some networking and letting people know about your job search. Attend as many as you can. Talk to colleagues and any other professional connections, as well as friends and family, about your search.

  1. Use volunteer events.

Around the holidays there are also many opportunities for volunteering – with church groups, charities, and others –which can also be used as networking opportunities.

  1. Update your search materials.

This time of year is also a good opportunity to make sure your resume is current. Naturally , each resume you send out will be tailored to the particular job you are applying for, but you can still make sure your work history is up to date and that you have plenty of examples of your accomplishments to draw from when you need them.

It’s also a good time to review your social media presence and to make sure that it is current. Do you have a current picture of yourself posted on LinkedIn? You can also use the time to write a few blogs or engage in a few discussion groups to enhance your professional reputation and make contacts.

Our Clients Always Need Great People Every Day of the Year

Whether you’re looking for work during the holidays for some extra stocking-stuffer money, or you’re looking for a new full-time position, contact the Helpmates office nearest you for more information on our job opportunities.

Prepare for Your Career Talk with Your Manager

Have you ever discussed your career hopes with your manager? No? You’re not alone: too many employees, unfortunately, are not having these kinds of conversations with their supervisors. Many supervisors do not talk about career development with their employees during the performance review process.

Los Angeles jobs

So, if you want to move ahead in your career, you need to take the bull by the horns and start the process yourself – and you don’t have to wait for your performance review to do it.

Preparation

The first step in this process is preparation. You need to have some idea about where you want to go before talking with your supervisor.

Begin by considering a few career issues. First, think about where you want to go with your career. As part of this, think about your values and whether they match up with your career goals. Review your strengths and weaknesses – how can you put your strengths to use in advancing your career, and what skills do you need to work on to move ahead?

What are your short-term and long-term career goals? For example, short-term – within the next year or so – do you want to move to another type of job or take on more responsibilities in your current position?

Longer term goals may be a bit more difficult to specify simply because of the time frame involved. But in general, you should be able to talk about what you want to accomplish in your career.

After you have contemplated all of these issues, develop a plan of action for achieving your goals.

Meeting with Your Supervisor

The first thing to do when you meet is to get some sense of how committed your supervisor is to helping you. You can begin by telling her that you want to talk about the next steps in your career, that you would like to advance within the company but are not sure how to make that happen.

Run through your achievements at the company during your time there and emphasize how much you have enjoyed working there. Then, observe the kind of feedback you get to gauge how supportive your supervisor is.

Talk to her about your goals for the coming years, giving her a general idea of where you would like to go professionally. For example, do you want to get involved with managing people or work more with clients? Also, discuss the skills you would like to acquire, as well as the knowledge you want to gain, and make sure to do so  within the context of how this can benefit the company.

If you are interested in a promotion, you have to let your supervisor know. You could ask her for ideas on what your next step should be. If the response is unbridled enthusiasm, you are off to a promising start.

On the other hand, you may simply get a blank stare, with little in the way of support or ideas. In this case, you will have to forge your own path if you want to stay at the company. Start by looking at other departments that can use your particular talents and where you can expand your knowledge and experience.

Check with colleagues at the company about possible opportunities, such as assignments or projects that you could get involved in.

Talk to your supervisor about what you would like to do and ask her to give his support to your efforts. If your performance has been noteworthy, she should be willing to do that. Review what your investigation has turned up and, working together, decide on a few possibilities that would be a good next step for your career and the best course of action to take. Ask your supervisor to take the appropriate actions to help you get started.

If you’re not sure where you want to go with your career, consider exploring a bit by working as a temporary associate with Helpmates. We have many terrific opportunities that can allow you to try out different industries and companies. What’s more, many of our assignments can turn into an offer of employment with our client (so long as both you think it’s a good idea).

Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

 

 

Helping Employees Embrace Negative Feedback

None of us succeeds in our careers without receiving negative feedback at least once.

Many of us understandably melt into a puddle of despair and never recover believing that if feedback is true (and when done correctly, it is) then we are losers of the first order and so…what’s the point? And we then settle for a career of mediocrity, never reaching our full potential.

Irvine staffing

Since constructive criticism is essential to employee growth and improved performance, we’ve put together a short list of things you can do to help your employees embrace – or at least welcome – negative feedback.

  • Feedback is a tool, not a weapon.

Remember that your purpose is not to shame an employee but to help them improve. When done well, employees receiving less-than-gushing feedback will understand that you’re not trying to hurt them, but trying to help them improve. Truly caring about your subordinates comes across when feedback is given in the spirit of “you’re pretty good; here’s how to get even better.”

(Note: if you learn that someone is using feedback in a vindictive manner to colleagues and/or subordinates, it’s time to have a sit-down to discuss and reiterate that such behavior is not acceptable. Yes, the irony here is not lost on us: there’s the chance you’d be providing strongly worded negative feedback to a negative feedback bully.)

  • The “feedback sandwich.” Is it time to retire it?

Some people think the old “sandwich” technique of delivering feedback with a “compliment/critique/compliment” process can give a worker a “false sense of how they’re doing” (hearing two positives to just one negative can appear to mean that they’re doing well).

  • Try the “critique and solution” method instead.

For example, say someone regularly provides reports past deadline. Tell the employee why this is a problem: “Joshua needs to edit and proof the report and Tenisha then needs to lay it out graphically and if it’s late, you put them both behind in their schedule.”

Then together come up with a solution.  Ask the worker to think about why they’re regularly late with the report and then the two of you can figure out how the report can be done on time.

Understand that you may have to do something yourself to help the employee fix the problem. Perhaps the employee feels the deadline is too rushed and so you then offer to provide a longer lead-time/extended deadline.

  • Follow up is key.

And by follow up we don’t mean micromanage. Check in with worker regularly (let them know you will do so) and offer feedback. Once you feel the employee has improved as much as possible and/or you think is necessary, back off.

  • Failing to provide feedback means you’re failing your employee.

Many managers have a hard time offering criticism to subordinates, but you’re doing no one any favors if you don’t:

  • You’re allowing an employee to continue a sub-par performance, possibly hurting productivity and/or profits.
  • You’re showing other employees that a sub-par performance is okay.
  • You’re not helping your subordinate grow and reach their full potential.

None of us improves without making mistakes and then having someone see that we’ve made a them, professionally pointing it out then offering direction and suggestions for improvement.

Criticism therefore is important for all of us: it helps us improve and better ourselves. Failing to provide negative feedback/critiquing employees when warranted means they will continue performing poorly. And, because it’s part of a manager’s job to help employees improve, by letting a poor status quo continue, you’re letting your subordinates down.

While we encourage you to work with employees to help them improve, if one or more can’t – or won’t – accept your feedback and strive to improve and you decide to terminate, Helpmates can provide you with top-notch workers for your temporary, temp-to-hire or direct-hire needs. We hope you contact the branch nearest you to learn more.

Workplace Change: Constant and Disruptive

If there’s one thing employers and their workers can count on is that….they can’t count on much. What was there yesterday is gone today. Co-workers, clients/customers, technology: they all change.

Santa Fe Springs staffing

Change always has been with us, of course, but the rate of change today is unheard of (some are calling it “exponential”) and when it happens in the workplace it’s extremely stressful, resulting in fatigue, depression, illness, low morale, and….decreased productivity.

How often does change occur in the workplace? Gartner, a business research company, said in 2018 that the pace of change in business has accelerated considerably over the past 10 years, with the average organization undergoing five major changes in as few as just three years.

Helping Workers Deal with Change

The first – and critical step – to helping your employees cope with workplace change is to let them know that changes are coming. This sounds like a no-brainer first step, of course, but not all businesses tell workers of impending change, or they don’t give them time to process the fact.

Additional steps:

  • Before making the change, acknowledge the old way of doing things. “Formally” make note of the work done the old way, celebrate successes and help your team members feel appreciated for their previous work. Celebrating helps workers feel encouraged about taking on the change.
  • Be sure to explain the why behind the change and make it clear why the change will be happening now and not later.
  • Let employees know the outcomes you expect with the change.
  • Be sure your management teams understand how the change will be implemented, when, the tasks necessary to make the change, its timeline, and any challenges you anticipate.

There Will be Push Back

Your employees will complain. They will balk. They will be stressed.

It’s not true that people don’t like change, it’s that we don’t like change that we think isn’t to our benefit! To counter this, you need to understand the change from your employees’ perspective.

What could people be fearful of? They could be worried about loss of status or job security, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, politics within your company, etc.

Bottom line: you will need to carefully and over time (a few weeks) help your employees understand how the change will actually benefit them, both as a company and – especially – as individuals.

For example, if the scuttlebutt you hear is that members of your team are worried they may lose their jobs, emphasize that they’ll be learning new skills.

Keep Communication Open

Let your employees know they can go to managers and executives with questions and concerns. Reward the behaviors you want instead of punishing those you don’t. Make sure managers have the training and resources to help their team members make the transition.

Finally, provide coping strategies to employees: encourage them to exercise, eat well, get enough sleep. Make it a part of your company culture to take regular breaks that include stretching, walking around the block or even within building, maybe even meditating. (Could you provide quite places for this?)

Workplace Change: a Force for Good?

Done well – and that entails creating a plan well in advance of any large organizational alterations – change in your workplace can empower your employees as it (re)engages them with the work you do/services you provide. It can, basically: reenergize your workplace!

Do you need some help – whether temporary or long-term – during a time of workplace change at your company? Helpmates can provide you hard-working temporary personnel for a day, a week or months. Contact the branch nearest you for more information.

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