Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Surround Yourself with Motivated Individuals"

Even the most determined individuals can feel detered when surrounded by negativity. When the stress is on, people react and deal in different ways. When the work environment is competitive or overly busy, one could feel overwhelmed and understandably so! However stay away from the complaints and keep your mind on what you have to do. Team up with someone in the office that tends to keep positive, encourage one another and at the end of the week you will feel accomplished.

One up the situation and encourage the team to also rise above the obstacle and dive into whatever it is the task at hand; offer help and a way to get the team to work together. The less you complain the more time you have to move onto the next task at hand. The sooner the entire team gets this the better!

If you stay determined and motivated, it shows in your performance and to others.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Friendly Competition in the Workplace to Drive Success!!

How to motivate a team to motivate themselves.... Start a friendly inner office competition of course! Dangling incentives such as monetary team and individual prizes usually can get the excitement moving! And if the company culture is competitive by nature? Well, then you just better watch out!

Staffing and recruitment takes a competitive and motivated team of individuals. The roller coaster that is this industry is not an easy ride by any means, but having an encouraging team of co-workers on your side gets you through the day, week, month and year.

Motivating employees to motivate themselves is the wanted result from a competition clearly. Another part is also the effect of team members pushing team members to do better. To make this work, you must have accurate record keeping displayed for the entire company to see. To track individual progress as well as overall team or company progress helps all to see the actual picture. Creating a clear picture of where each team member stands creates encouragement and congratulations.

Individually, it forces you to see your successes and losses and therefore it should hopefully want you to put in a bit of an extra effort. Individual successes lead to overall company success and therefore when the big picture is clearly documented, each team member can see how they attributed.

So as you can see friendly competition brings folks together when they are all working towards one goal.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Longevity and Loyalty - MY Story

So this week I celebrated my 6th year anniversary with The Employment Store - some days it feels like just yesterday and others seem just a bit longer. Getting calls and emails from my co-workers and the owners allowed me to reflect on how much I have changed and grown over the last 6 years. It also made me think that I am contrary to mainstream, 6 years is now considered a LONG time to be with one company. Most people would be on their 3rd job by now.

So how did they do it?

How did my company not only attract, but retain me?

Planned or not (most of our success as a small, local and successful business is due to our flexibility) I was given opportunities to create opportunity. I have been able to come up with new ideas and see how I could impact the bottom line both positively and negatively. I have been allowed to learn, grow, make mistakes and have major wins! I have been able to teach, mentor and educate new and existing staff; all of these factors play in to what my company and the owners empowered me to be and try.

Interestingly enough, in a year that was tough for many, words such as "thank you" and "we appreciate you" go a long way in keeping people motivated. Knowing that the owners are working just as hard if not harder and just as long (usually longer) than I to keep our business growing that is what has kept me always striving to be better.

I have been able to join groups and community organizations that allow me to continue to grow not just professionally but personally, some of this happens "on company time" and this is looked at as a valuable use of my time. (some people I network with don't have this type of support at all)

Retention for me has been about all of these things, but it is also about trusting the organization you work for, trusting the people you work with and important for me is to be and feel trusted to make decisions; some call it empowerment, I am calling it trust.

Look at your team, yourself, what does longevity and loyalty mean to you?

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Media and Customer Engagement; Time to Jump on Board!

As every employer and job seeker alike has come to realize, social media is the next wave in the future. It has grown tremendously impacting the culture of businesses and communcations across the board forcing us to jump on the bandwagon or get lost in dust. What is the true impact and results of this new mode of communication?

Social media by definition enables relationship growth and development as well as an outlet for two way conversations across multiple facets in a way never expected. To better explain just the impact of social media alone, there are roughly 200 million US internet users with 86% of those utilizing soical media sites, consequently spending 73% of their online time updating, researching, marketing, promoting or chatting these sites such as Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and the list goes on and on...This is a huge statistic especially as the number of internet users alone has jumped 86% in the past 7 years, making an increase of 883% logging onto social media sites.

The trend is apparent, social media is a necessity and spikes in usage is seen across all demographics. What is the result of this? Businesses are creating new jobs for experts within social media to promote their company, recruit and to provide customer service.

Ready to jump aboard yet? Where to start? Remember, social media has many outlets and there is not one particular site that works for all, really think about what you are trying to do and to who before you dive in.

When looking at your Social Media and Marketing strategies you want to incorporate your corporate brand into everything you do. You want to be sure you are involving the entire business so that you are engaging not only current employees but also potential prospects and customers. Some questions to really disect are: what's your goal, who's your audience, what is the best network for me to join - this is done by researching and commenting, how do I integrate with my existing network and lastly how do we measure this success.

Remember to keep it professional and business oriented, the internet can be a scary place so research, research, research.

Friday, March 26, 2010

HIRE Act Update and Tax Credits for You our Small Business Partners

Many of our business partners have asked about the HIRE Act that was signed into law on 3/18 and its provisions. For those of you who need a refresher the info is below. Things to make not of the Social Security Tax Forgiveness is separate from the WOTC (work opportunity credit) so be sure and only take advantage of one; HOWEVER the Business Retention Credit can be received in combination with one of the above. Obviously consult with your accountant and for more information and there will be ongoing changes to the 941 tax form.

For those with more questions on how this will effect you and your hiring plan please let me know; I am more than happy to assist in taking calls or pointing you in the right direction.

These will be eligible at the end of your Q2 filings for those hired after 2/3/2010 the form should be out soon so be sure you are tracking the hire information.

Latest Legislation
The cornerstone of the HIRE Act is a federal program that will provide employers with incentives to hire and retain employees. HIRE will exempt an employer from paying the employer portion of Social Security taxes for the remainder of the year on new hires who are currently unemployed. If those workers stay on the payroll for at least a year, the employer would also get up to a $1,000 business tax credit per employee.
Social Security Tax Forgiveness
The 6.2% employer portion of the Social Security tax would be exempt for any qualified individual hired after February 3, 2010 and before January 1, 2011, for wages paid between March 19, 2010 and December 31, 2010 up to the $106,800 Social Security wage base.
A qualified individual meets the following requirements:
Begins employment with a qualified employer after February 3, 2010, but before January 1, 2011.
Has not been employed for more than 40 hours during the previous 60 days.
The individual must sign an affidavit attesting to the employer that he was not employed in the previous 60 days, or was employed for no more than 40 hours total.
Is not hired to replace another employee unless the previous employee was separated from employment voluntarily or for cause.
Is not a family member of the business owner.
An employer can save up to $6,622 in employer Social Security tax for each qualified hire. There is no limit to the total amount of tax benefits or hires during this period, so employers will receive greater tax benefits by hiring individuals earlier in the year.

Businesses, agricultural employers, tax-exempt organizations, and public colleges and universities all qualify to claim this tax benefit. Household employers cannot claim this tax benefit.

Note: The Social Security tax exemption can not be taken in conjunction with the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). In other words, if the employer chooses to take the WOTC on a qualified worker, they cannot also take the Social Security tax exemption.
Business Credit for Retention
A business tax credit can also be claimed by the employer for each qualified individual hired after February 3, 2010 who stays with the employer for 52 consecutive weeks. This business credit will be the lesser of $1,000 or 6.2 percent of the wages paid by the employer to the retained worker during the 52 consecutive week retention period.
For the employer to claim this additional credit, wages paid during the previous 26 weeks must equal at least 80% of wages during the first 26 weeks of employment.
IRS Guidance
The IRS is issuing guidance as quickly possible on the many tax deposit and reporting issues created by the Act. Here is what is known so far:
The credit is for eligible employees hired after February 3, 2010, but only wages paid between March 19, 2010 and December 31, 2010 are eligible.
A new Form 941will be updated to account for the tax credits beginning with the second quarter form. First quarter wages and credits will also be reported on the second quarter form.
Employers can reduce their federal deposit amounts throughout the quarter by the eligible employer Social Security tax amount, or they can wait to claim the credit on their 941 return.

This payroll tax relief applies only to wages paid with respect to employment during the period from March 19, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2010. Employers may not claim a Social Security tax exemption on new hires who were first paid wages between Feb. 3, 2010 and March 18, 2010. The Social Security tax exemption will be reported by many employers on Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. The exemption earned for the period from March 19, 2010 to March 31, 2010 may not be claimed on the first quarter Form 941. The tax benefit that employers would have received in the first quarter of 2010 will be claimed on the second quarter Form 941 instead. The IRS has issued a draft version of a revised Form 941 that would be effective beginning with second quarter returns due on Aug. 2, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Employers Turn to Temporary Help; Can this Strategy Help You?

As jobs appear to be opening up, why are employers leaning towards staffing agencies and recruiters to find them temporary help when they could hire their own employees? The answer is that as companies are beginning again to grow, they like the option offered by the agencies; a "try-before-you-buy-strategy," allowing companies to avoid the extra costs of health care and retirement expenses while still reaping the benefits of the extra talent.

Temporary and Contract Staffing services has added 44,000 jobs since July 2009 and has seen the demand for contract employees climb significantly in the last year within such industries as manufacturing, IT/technology, tax accounting/Finance, compliance/quality and customer service. The needs for contract workers are increasing as companies are beginning to recover and looking down the road to convert contract staff to permanent hires.

In terms of the outcome of most placements, companies are more often than not bringing on the contract worker permanent after a specific amount of time. The contract period allows employers the opportunity to evaluate performance and cultural fit prior to making their actual hiring decision; a choice which is proving itself to be the most economically efficient one.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Education is Important Check out the Unemployment Numbers

I saw a recent news story talking about the unemployment rate is 13+% but for people with a bachelors or higher it is under 5%. Based on a recent study put out by the NY Times based on Bureau of Labor Statistics the 12 month unemployment average is 8.6% for all men and women. This number jumps to 17.5% for all men & women who do not have a high school degree and down to 4.5% for all men & women who have a Bachelor's or higher - this is staggering. There are additional facts and figures that can be pulled out based on age, race and gender - here is the link:

These are interesting and somewhat tough figures to look at. I was discussing this last night with a friend who is an adjunct at a local college and we were discussing how current traditional students in liberal arts programs don't see the point in finishing because they are not sure what they want to do when they get out OR their friends are in jobs that have nothing to do with their degree, but we as employers know it isn't always what the degree is in as much as it is in the fact that they have a degree (obviously depending on the job, etc...). That degree shows reliability, responsibility, social skills, competitive abilities and an academic mind with an ability to learn new things.

We also were discussing that just under 1/2 of her students are non-traditional students who are looking to recareer or are unemployed and know that they need the degree to be competitive in the job market. To the employer looking to hire this individual we feel you are working hard to set yourself apart from the pack, you are investing in yourself and making a commitment to move to the next level. This is typically the middle managment person who worked hard to earn their position but didn't ever think about finishing thier degree until they were impacted.

So, what about the manufacturing person who isn't interested in getting to the next big career, they just want to work and work hard, go home? We have heard that many of the skilled and unskilled manufacturing jobs have gone away and to some degree this is true but there are still companies out there hiring for reliable individuals the issue we are seeing and others would agree is that the pay isn't where it used to be and people are having to start over in many different areas not just in the skilled labor/trades but in professional and mid level positions as well.

For HR and Hiring Managers this means that we will have to really understand the needs of these individuals, is it schedule, benefits, responsibility? What is going to motivate them and retain them so that they don't leave for just a little more money? These are questions that we may ask ourselves but are we implementing them? Better yet, are we talking about them?

If you have employees that might be interested in going back to school but not sure for what we have a tool that can help; feel free to pass this on, it is geared more toward the non-traditional student and many of the resources are free