Blog

Posted

Daylight Savings Time is this weekend! If your office is anything like ours, we are battling summer fever. With gorgeous weather right around the corner employees might be itching to get outside. Don’t let your employees be distracted by the weather. Instead, capitalize on the beautiful weather and incorporate the outdoors into the work day and increase work productivity!1024px-36th_G8_summit_member_20100625-770x400

  1. Host an outdoor activity once a week. If you have easy access to a grassy area, think of an outdoor game that everyone can play. For example: kickball. It doesn’t require anything but a ball and a few markers for bases and you have a fun game. Not only will it get people outside but it will encourage exercise for a happy and healthy lifestyle.
  2. Set up an outdoor area so people can eat their lunch outside. Sometimes the only break some people can get is when they can eat their sandwich for lunch. Instead of sitting at desk, sit outside and eat your lunch. Whether you are scarfing down something quick in 10 minutes or take advantage of a full lunch break – it is necessary to get a few rays for your wellbeing!
  3. Encourage employees to take a walk. Let’s say you are having a bad day, your back hurts from sitting in your god forsaken office chair for 5 hours, or !@#$ just hit the fan in the office. Take a break. Walk outside and take advantage of Mother Nature’s medicine – Vitamin D. It will make you feel better; and when you feel better you work better.
  4. Encourage employees to take their laptop and work outside. If is a beautiful day and you are having a busy day. Charge your laptop and take it to a park bench for a little while. It is amazing how much work you can get done while being outside of the office sometimes. Not to mention, you can fit in a brisk walk to and from the office from your outdoor space.

Why is it important to encourage your workers to get outside?

It is scientifically proven that sunshine is good for the soul. It increases your endorphins, makes you happier, and not to mention gives you a fabulous tan.

Getting outside for physical activity will help your employees!  According to health promotion experts, an organization-level commitment to focus on employee health as a corporate goal is one the most influential and cost-effective things to implement.

So tie up your laces, and get outside. Want to stay up to date on A-Team happenings? Follow us on Facebook!

Posted

In just 5 years, Millennials will make up approximately 50% of the work force, according to Staffing Talk. What does that mean? What the heck is a millennial? Should businesses be preparing for this? Employers are becoming eager to understand the profile of this new generation.  Well Alternative Staffing did a little research and we have some answers for you.

millennials-aspecst

First of all, a millennial is a person that reached young adulthood around the year 2000, born between 1982-1994 (some of them missing the days of teased hair). These are your twenty something’s that are entering the workforce, compared to Gen X (aged 35–49) and Baby Boomers (aged 50–60) that have been at it for years. The White House came up with 15 facts about these newbies, and we chose a few to get you familiar with the generation:

 

  1. Millennials are now the largest, most diverse generation in the U.S. population
  2. Millennials have been shaped by technology
  3. Millennials value community, family, and creativity in their work
  4. Millennials are more likely to focus exclusively on studies instead of combining school and work
  5. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, Millennials are much more likely to have health insurance coverage during their young adult years
  6. Millennials will contend with the effects of starting their careers during a historic downturn for years to come
  7. Working Millennials are staying with their early-career employers longer
  8. Millennial women have more labor market equality than previous generations
  9. Millennials tend to get married later than previous generations

You may have heard a lot of things about Millennials. That they are lazy, boast too much entitlement, and need constant affirmation. Word on the street is that Millennials in the workplace want to move up the corporate ladder fast and tend to job hop.

This has been the Millennial gossip over the past few years. But according to a study by IBM Institute for Business Value (source: Staffing Talk), Millennials aren’t so scary after all. They debunked these myths…take a look:

 

Myth 1: Millennials’ career goals and expectations are different from their elders (i.e. unrealistic)

Not so the study says. Millennials want financial security and a diverse workplace just as much as their older colleagues.

 

Myth 2: Millennials need endless praise and think everyone should get a trophy

Millennials’ idea of a perfect boss isn’t someone who pats them on the back. They’re looking for an ethical and fair boss who shares information. Thirty-five percent of Boomers and Millennials listed this as the top quality they seek in a boss. Last on the priority list for Millennials? A boss who asks for their input.

As it turns out, it’s Gen X employees, not Millennials, who are more likely to think everyone on a successful team should be rewarded.

 

Myth 3: Millennials are digital addicts with no boundaries between work and play

Millennials are less likely than older generations to use their personal social media accounts for business purposes. Twenty-seven percent of Millennials never do so — compared to only 7% of Boomers.

Millennials enter the workforce with a strong social presence and personal social media strategy. They know what they want to communicate, where they want to share it and how it best suits their audience.

 

Myth 4: Millennials can’t make a decision without crowd-sourcing

Millennials value others’ input, but are no more likely to seek advice when making work decisions than Gen X. And, even though they think gaining consensus is important, more than 50% of Millennials believe that their leaders are most qualified to make business decisions.

 

Myth 5: Millennials are more likely to jump ship if a job doesn’t fulfill their passions

Millennials change jobs for the same reasons other generations do, and they are no more likely than older colleagues to leave a job to follow their passion.

In fact, Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are all two times more likely to leave a job to enter the fast lane – i.e. to make more money and work in a more innovative environment — than any other reason, including saving the world.

So our advice for employers – don’t base your business practice on generational stereotypes. Instead, create a business model that works and put the right people in place to make it happen while providing your employees with the incentives they deserve! Success will follow.

Be sure to follow your local A-Team on Facebook to stay up to date on our office shenanigans.

Posted

Troy & RoscoeWe had countless entries for our Alternative Staffing “Share the Love” photo contest. To celebrate the loving month of February we asked our Facebook fans to send us photos of them and their beloved pets. Alternative Staffing Owner, Jan Cappellini, is an avid dog lover. So another contest where she could check out photos of all of the cute pups and other animals in Charleston was a no-brainer.

Our hearts melted at the submission from Troy and Roscoe. A recent adopted black lab pup, Roscoe looked overjoyed at the arrival of Troy after work! As the winner we put together a custom gift basket for the two of them to share that included a $20 Jack’s Cosmic Dogs gift certificate, a new collar and leash, dog treats, a ball, fluffy and squeaky toys, and more. Needless to say, baby Roscoe made out very well.

On top of it, we made a donation to the Charleston Animal Society – $1 for every photo that was submitted.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay updated on our office news, happenings, and future contests!

Posted

AS V DayEveryone at the Alternative Staffing office agrees…there is nothing better than the unconditional love from your pet! So this Valentine’s Day, Share the Love and submit a photo of you and your beloved pet to the A-team for a chance to win the ultimate Valentine’s Day Prize Package for you and your pet to share.

Do you and your cat snuggle every morning? Maybe your dog is waiting patiently at the door when you come home from work. Show us the love that you and your pet have for each other!

Plus, for every photo submission we get, Alternative Staffing will donate one dollar to the Charleston Animal Society!

Enter now until February 12, 2015. Then we will announce the winner on February 13, 2015 – just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Here is how to enter:

  • Like the Alternative Staffing Facebook page and post on our wall
  • Submit a photo of you and your beloved pet to alternativestaffing@outlook.com
  • Include your name, phone number, email, and a brief caption

We can’t wait to see your photos!

 

Posted

Did you know that your email sign off can make a lasting impression? 2015 New Year’s Resolution: Create a relevant and unique email signature! Read the Alternative Staffing tips on how to maximize the readability on your email signature:

  1. Images in your signature – A lot of people have images in their signature, whether it is a photo or the company logo. The problem with this is that some email servers may not find that compatible, therefore no one is seeing your images. Some email servers will automatically take those images and file them as attachments in the email – which can be confusing. Sometimes these images can get distorted on mobile as well, stretching the images to make even the prettiest of people a little unattractive.
  1. Too much text – Keep your signature relevant. Do you use your fax number? If not, nix it. What about those links to all of your social media? If you don’t have up-to-date blogs or social media, then don’t have it linked in your signature. How important is your physical address and mailing address? Think about who your clientele is and who you communicate with. What information will they need from you? Will they be coming by the office? Will they be sending you bills? Will they just be corresponding via email, office phone, cell phone or fax? When you narrow this down you might find that you need a lengthy signature, or you may be able to drastically cut it down.
  1. What’s the best way to reach you? The only reason people will look at your email signature is to contact you. So make it easy for them! It is good to have a line that directs people to the best way to reach you. If you check your email 3 times a week, you will probably miss out on some news. So let them know. For example “The best way to contact me is via text

Read more »

Posted

For many Americans, the average work week not only takes up 40+ hours of you time, but also the added time spent commuting to am from your workplace.

The average American’s commute to work is 25.5 minutes each way, according to a report in USA Today. That’s about 51 minutes a day getting to and from work, or about 204 hours a year spent commuting. (Feb 26, 2014)

With the traffic on 26 and 526 in the Charleston Tri-County area, that time can be doubled if not tripled on some days. Why not spend that time doing something useful? Take a look at a few tips from Alternative Staffing on how to make that time a little more enjoyable!
Flip the pages of a book, or listen to the good ole’ books on tape (AKA download it on your tablet or phone). Reading is a great way to pass time and can help make your commute more pleasant. For those who drive, you may want to consider an audio book or a podcast. Make this time to yourself fun and enjoyable with a good book you’ve been dying to read. Or use this time with an educational purpose. Is there something you have been wanting to learn? A new language perhaps, or maybe some career advancements you want to make. This can be a good time to utilize this time to take those extra steps and reach your goals.

Make your commute a “workout”. If you live closer to your office, consider using alternative modes of transportation. Can you bike to work? Is your workplace within walking distance? If not, can you drive and park and then walk the rest of the way? You can easily incorporate an exercise routine at the start and end of your work day. This not only gives you physical benefits, but is a good mental break for your to gear up for the day ahead and decompress before heading home.

Get a commuting buddy. Beat the traffic with fun conversation with a coworker and carpool. Not only that, you can cut your gas (and possibly parking) bill in half. Think of the thousands of dollars you could save, and all of the friends you could make!

Take our advice and make your commute matter! Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlternativeStaffing.

Posted

The Staffing Stream recently published an article about the importance of retaining your hardworking employees; because after the New Year 21% of those employees could be gone.

good-work-280x300According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, approximately 1 in 5 US full-time workers plan to change their jobs after January 2014.

Why is this?

Employees could be overworked or underworked, dissatisfied in general, underpaid, see no growth opportunities, seeking better benefits, seeking a better work/life balance, seeking a better job location, and many more reasons.

Because the economy has seen some positive changes, the job market has gotten better for employees. More opportunities are available, therefore curiosity is high.

Let’s face it; employees are pursuing job opportunities to see if the grass is greener on the other side. Can you blame them?

What can you do?

No, you can’t blame them. But as an employer you can make some strategic steps to ensure you employees that your grass is the greenest.

Take advantage of the spirit of the Christmas season, and show your employees just how much you appreciate them.

Be thankful.

You can never tell your employees enough how much you appreciate their hard work. Publically or privately tell each employee how appreciated and valuable they are to your company before leaving for a holiday break. Be sure to mention how you respect the employee’s dedication, work ethic, and time – give specific examples. Send a personalized card to the home of each employee and their family/significant other with genuine wishes for a wonderful holiday.

Be fun.

Create a work environment full of special surprises that SHOW your employees just how much you appreciate them.

Bring in lunch for your employees a few times before the holidays or surprise them with a special holiday dinner. Take your employees out for fun activities that are available in your area. Or do something simpler and cost efficient and host a game day in the office with charades, bingo, and other interactive games.

If you have the capital, give each employee a Christmas bonus (and be sure to tell them why they deserve it). Go above and beyond and give employees gifts, host an office gift raffle, and bring in baked goods each day.

It’s the little things that count. Regardless of the amount of money you have, there is something you can do outside of the box to surprise your employees for the holidays.

A prosperous business is the result of good management and good employees. These tips are the icing on the cake to keep employees happy. But be sure to evaluate the core of your business and that each employee feels worthy, successful, and content in his/her role.

Once 2015 rolls around, you may have to say farewell to some valuable employees that you don’t want to see leave. But not to fester; give your local Charleston A-team a call and we will be happy to help find the perfect employees for your company. At Alternative Staffing, we love it when a plan comes together!

Posted

The holidays are a busy time for everyone in the business world. Whether your organization is a service, product, retail, or industry, the volume of work can be high during the holidays. To keep up with the business demand and alleviate some stress off of employees, temporary workers can be a successful fix.

To get your holiday staffing needs put into place with these key steps:

Take it back a year

To figure out your organization’s unique holiday staffing needs are, take a look at the previous year’s holiday figures. Examine your financial gains and losses, and where you need to put your focus this holiday season. Did you hire the right people for the right job? Did you place your temporary staffers in the right positions, or were there positions that needed more attentions? Is there anything different this year than the previous year that you will need to account for when hiring seasonal staff?

Make a plan

Once you know the lacking areas that can be improved, things that worked in the past, and new office endeavors that must be filled, it is time to put a plan into place. Now you can narrow down the ideal candidate skill sets and traits for your holiday temporary staff. It’s a myth that temporary workers are not as skilled as permanent employees. However, the most reliable and qualified temps will typically be recruited well before the holiday season is underway. So making a seasonal staffing plan as soon as possible will increase your likelihood of snagging the best temps for the job.

Bringing the temps on board

Make the transition as smooth as possible for holiday temps and for your permanent staff by creating a unique training process designed specifically for the seasonal staff. Decide exactly what the expected duties will be, rules and limitations, and who is responsible for temp worker productivity.

Prepare Current Staff

It is important to communicate with your current team, whether full time or part time, the temporary staffing plans for the holidays. Make sure that your employees know what to expect: (1) how many temps will be working seasonally, (2) how long they will be working, (3) what the temps responsibilities will be, (4) who the temps will report to, (5) and then finally address any potential concerns.

Some employees may feel threatened by temporary staffers. Just ensure them that having temp workers will not take away from permanent staffers jobs, but will help make everyone’s job easier, increase productivity, and keep the holiday spirit high!

The process of finding the right talent to fit your holiday staffing needs can be more efficient and effective with the partnership of a staffing firm, like Alternative Staffing. So call your local A-Team, because we love it when a plan comes together!

Posted

The staffing industry never rests, even during the holidays. So the A-team at Alternative Staffing understands the stresses of having employees work during the holidays. But how do you keep up company morale when employee have to work holiday shifts?

While smaller companies can’t afford to give hefty bonuses, there are other ways to treat those employees working overtime during the holidays.

  • Give employees a choice. Have employees request certain days during the holidays that they would rather work. Have employees list in order the holidays that they would like to have off. Then do your best to work around these requested holiday shifts. For example, someone may prefer to have Christmas Eve off while another employee doesn’t mind working Christmas Eve.
  • Give workers flexibility. Offer other days off after the holidays to counteract the holiday work.
  • Give back. Maybe you can’t afford a large Christmas bonus, but sometimes the little things go a long way. Treat your employees to coffee, lunch, holiday cookies and treats, or even a gift card to a different employee every day (Example: a daily holiday raffle).
  • Get festive. If your employees will be spending time at work during the holidays, make sure they aren’t missing out on holiday fun. Decorate the office, have a Christmas party, host a holiday spirit week, or have a special holiday activity each day.
  • Thank your employees. Personally thank each employee for their hard work. Give each employee a hand-written explaining your appreciation why they are so awesome!

If you have a small business, your staff is like a second family. So remember to treat them as such during the holidays.

Posted

The Staffing Stream published a recent article, “Avoiding Dependent Leadership” with tips on how do do just that.

Oftentimes leaders try to have their hands in every project, which spreads themselves too thin. We’ve all been there when we think to ourselves, wouldn’t it just be easier if I did this myself. Wrong. As a manager, you must learn to “let go” or certain responsibilities because you are stifling yourself, your staff, and inevitably your business.

In the article Scott Wintrip wrote, “Leadership Dependence, an all too common reality in companies, has caused leaders to be even more overwhelmed than ever and employees to be less self-sufficient. The alternative, Corporate Interdependence, promotes personal responsibility for doing the next right thing and engaging in collaboration where it’s actually needed.”

The issue is that leaders enjoy taking on everything. But all that does is overload the leader, and sets the wrong example for the staff. Without the appropriate experience, a staff can never be innovative and powerful if they aren’t confident in their decisions. Which means, more work for the manager. That confidence can only be instilled by the manager.

A leader is a teacher. A leader should teach their employees, empower employees to make the right decisions and actions, and hold them accountable for decisions. Trust and accountability among managers and employees are key in a successful workplace.