Is Your Workforce Using PPE Effectively?

August 14th, 2018

One of the most important things any company should focus on if it wants to be successful is making sure that it is creating a culture of safety. Workplace injuries can be damaging to morale, can drop productivity, and can lead to adverse regulatory action including large fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. You need to make certain that you aren’t putting your companies or your employees at risk.

A focus on safety includes lots of different components, but the effective use of personal protective equipment (PPE) should be one of those components. To make sure your workforce is using PPE effectively:

  • Understand the OSHA rules and regulations for PPE use for your industry. To reduce the risk of injury and avoid the possibility of an OSHA investigation and fines, it is important to carefully research all the regulations that apply in your workforce. OSHA has established safety standards based on careful study of the risks employees face, and if you comply with those OSHA rules, this goes a long way towards ensuring that your staff members will be safe on the job.
  • Provide adequate training on the use of personal protective equipment. Simply making personal protective equipment available is not sufficient. Your staff also needs to know how to use the equipment you have provided so they can reduce the risk of getting hurt.
  • Make sure you regularly inventory the PPE equipment for workers. Personal protective equipment can become older or damaged and can thus become ineffective at minimizing and mitigating the risk of a workplace injury. Make sure you keep careful tabs on whether the PPE you are providing is still up to par.
  • Monitor workers to ensure their compliance with safety standards. Finally, it’s important for staff members to know that safety is one of the things that their job performance is evaluated on. Too many workers don’t devote enough energy to using PPE because they don’t think they’ll get hurt, so it is up to your company to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to in order to stay safe.

SmartTalent can help your company find staff members who are committed to building the safest workplace possible. To find out more about how our staffing professionals can help you, give us a call today.

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Four Reasons Why New Hires Fail

August 7th, 2018

When your company brings on new talent, you want your new hires to be successful. Unfortunately, sometimes the people who join your team won’t perform up to expectations or will not stay on the job very long. With either of these outcomes, your organization loses.

The good news is, by understanding why new hires fail, your organization can reduce the chances of something going wrong and maximize the likelihood your new employee will exceed your expectations. Four key reasons new hires may be more likely to fail include:

  • Failing to make your expectations clear. Most people want to succeed at any new job they take on, but they need to know how the company defines success. Be clear about what you expect new employees to accomplish and how you want tasks completed so the person you’ve added to your team can rise to the challenge and give you the finished product you are looking for.
  • Not providing an effective onboarding process. Employees will be much more successful if you can integrate them into an organization. This means you should have a proper onboarding process that includes showing them the ropes, introducing them to team members they’ll need to work with, and providing the insight they need to hit the ground running.
  • Failing to provide new hires with the tools necessary for success. Make certain new hires have the training and tools they need to complete their job tasks. This can mean providing appropriate training on software programs your company uses, project management systems that are in place, or other internal systems that employees will need to take advantage of.
  • Having a poor hiring process. While equipping employees with tools and training can be very helpful to ensure they succeed, it’s also important you bring on staff members who have the capacity to thrive. To do this, you need to ensure your hiring process is designed to carefully vet candidates and find the right person to hire. If your process doesn’t properly identify a candidate with the soft and hard skills you’re looking for who is a good fit with your company culture, you’re just setting up new hires for failure.

SmartTalent can ensure you are only extending offers to people who have the best possible chance of succeeding at your organization. Give us a call to find out about the ways our staffing professionals can help your company hire the best possible who are most likely to excel.

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Keep Workers Safe in the Heat

July 12th, 2018

Summer can be a challenging time for workplace safety because many employees must work in extreme weather conditions. Working outdoors in the heat could leave workers vulnerable to life-threatening heat-related injuries, so it is imperative you take safety seriously and have a plan for keeping your staff from harm.

Some of the key ways you can help to keep employees safe from heat-related risks on the job include:

  • Providing training on heat-related illness and signs of heat-stroke. Many people underestimate the dangers of working in hot environments, so you need to make sure your staff is aware of the risks. Training can include not just details on staying hydrated, taking breaks and watching for signs of heat stroke but can also address issues such as what clothes to wear to try to stay cool. You should also provide training on signs of heat stroke so if workers experience them or notice symptoms in others, swift action can be taken.
  • Offering workers the opportunity to take plenty of breaks. When workers are doing their jobs in hot environments, either indoors or out, make sure they have a chance to escape to cool down. Encourage regular breaks in cooler areas and provide a place for workers to get out of the heat. Also, make sure there is ample water available for staff members to stay hydrated and take a drink during break time.
  • Limiting the time employees spend in extreme heat. If you have a mix of projects for staff members to do, try to limit the amount of time that workers spend in the heat. By having team members trade off so each is outside or in hot environments indoors for only limited portions of the day, you reduce the risk of serious heat-related health issues developing.

You need to hire workers who understand the risks that heat presents and who can work proactively to protect themselves and their co-workers. SmartTalent can help you hire skilled staff in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas. To find out more about how we can help you build a team that takes safety concerns seriously, give us a call today.

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Safety Success Starts With You

July 5th, 2018

Maintaining a safe work site is essential for companies. If your workers experience injuries, this is not only devastating because a valued employee has been hurt, it can also have major financial and legal consequences.

On-the-job injuries could trigger an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and could potentially result in fines. Injured workers could also make workers’ compensation claims, causing workers’ comp premiums to rise. Productivity and morale could also be hurt if staff members are harmed.

You want to ensure your company does everything it can to minimize the risk of a worker getting hurt – and the good news is, safety success starts with you. Here’s what that means:

  • Employers and managers should model best practices for safety. A safety culture starts at the top as staff members will model the behaviors exhibited by managers and executives. Everyone in the organization needs to follow safety protocols at all times, and managers should make it clear that safety is always the priority.
  • You want to build a culture of safety into your organization. Building a culture of safety means addressing safety issues at every opportunity. When planning for projects, make risk assessments and risk mitigation an integral part of the plan. Include safety issues in employee performance reviews, and make sure you’re always reinforcing that caution is key when it comes to doing dangerous work.
  • You should provide training and tools to enhance safety. It’s imperative to train new and existing workers on risk mitigation and provide staff members with the tools they need to stay safe. Safety issues should be built into routine training, and you should make sure equipment is provided that is up-to-date and staff members know how to use effectively.

It is also important to hire workers who take workplace safety seriously and follow the training and example your managers provide. SmartTalent can help you find skilled workers in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas that make safety a priority. To find out more about the assistance we can offer your organization, give us a call today.

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Why Transparency Matters

June 26th, 2018

When you’re running a business, one of the key things that you should focus on is transparency. Letting workers into the decision-making process and ensuring they understand what’s going on at your organization is beneficial for several reasons. Transparency is essential to keeping your workforce active and engaged because:

  • Staff members will better understand your goals. If you want every member of your team working towards the same goals, those team members need to know what your business goals are. The more information you can provide about business objectives, the more likely it is that employees will meet their targets and enhance productivity to help achieve those goals.
  • Employees will feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. Most workers want to feel like their job has meaning. If they know only about their own role within the organization and not how they fit into the big picture, this can be frustrating and sap motivation. By letting employees in on big projects, future expansion opportunities or even just what other departments are doing, those who work for you will feel more like they are working on a team to help you accomplish these objectives, rather than just doing a job.
  • Workers will understand how they fit in with the organization. The more employees know about business operations, the easier it is for them to find ways they can add value. If employees aren’t sure what your objectives are, don’t understand the point of processes or are otherwise kept in the dark about business operations, you could be missing out on a chance for those employees to develop innovative approaches to enhance productivity that your company may not have thought off.
  • You’ll reduce turnover. People who don’t understand how they can advance or who don’t know why changes are being made are likely to become disillusioned and start looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Developing a transparent culture at your company works effectively only if your staff members are up to the challenge of absorbing and processing the information you provide in a responsible way. SmartTalent can help you find skilled employees who will thrive in a transparent environment. Contact our staffing professionals today to learn how we can help you to build a great team in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynnwood, Everett and surrounding areas.

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Is Noise Exposure a Concern for Your Workforce?

June 19th, 2018

Noise exposure may seem like a minor issue, but it is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and it can have profound consequences for staff members. If employees at your workplace are routinely exposed to noise, you’ll need to understand OSHA rules and regulations and follow best practices for handling the situation safely. Here’s what you need to know:

  • OSHA has rules for when sound protection must be provided. OSHA mandates that employers provide protection against noise if sound levels exceed a certain decibel. The specific noise level that will trigger a requirement for an employer to provide protection varies depending upon the octave band sound pressure level, the band frequency in cycles per section, and the equivalent a-weighted sound level. You can reference the table on the OSHA website to find out if your company must provide workers with noise protection. Employers were assessed $1.5 million in penalties last year for not providing noise protection, so be certain you follow the rules.
  • Explore engineering controls. OSHA has identified two types of controls that employers can put in place to protect workers from noise exposure. The first is engineering controls, which involve modifying equipment, getting new equipment or making physical changes to the workforce to reduce the amount of noise a worker is exposed to. Barriers between workers and noise sources or choosing low-noise machinery are two examples of engineering controls.
  • Implement administrative controls. Administrative controls are the other type of control identified by OSHA to reduce or eliminate noise risk for workers. Some examples of administrative controls include scheduling the use of noisy machinery when fewer people are working; limiting how much time each worker spends at noise sources; and putting more distance between employees and the source of unacceptable noise in your workplace.

To protect employees from the dangers of noise exposure, you’ll also need staff members who take safety issues seriously. SmartTalent can help you to hire skilled workers who prioritize the creation of a safe worksite in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas. Give our staffing professionals a call today to learn more.

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Help Employees Learn From Workplace Conflict

May 15th, 2018

Workplace conflict is inevitable, and many managers find themselves feeling frustrated and upset when their staff members butt heads. The reality is, workplace conflict can be an opportunity for growth and help your company to become more innovative as resolutions for problems are found.

The key as a manager is to make workplace conflict a good thing by helping your employees to learn from it. Some of the key steps you can take to help employees turn workplace conflict into a growth opportunity include:

  • Coach employees on the types of behaviors that cross the line. While some conflict is good, certain types of behavior cannot be tolerated in a workplace and don’t help you advance company goals. Identify the types of behavior you think are detrimental and address any issues with employees promptly, so workers will know where your red lines are and what they cannot do.
  • Create a company culture where differences are respected. It’s important for staff members to realize that differences can be a good thing and some conflict leads to innovation. Respect for differences starts from the top, so model the behavior you want to see and celebrate diversity of thought in any circumstances you can.
  • Confront the tension head-on. When conflicts arise, don’t let them be swept under the rug or allow bad feelings to fester. Work with the employees in conflict as soon as tempers cool to have an open discussion about the points of contention and the points of consensus. By facilitating a conversation, you can help employees to both find common ground and discover compromises.
  • Ask for solutions. It’s important to empower your staff to identify the root causes of conflict and find ways to make sure everyone is as satisfied as possible by the resolution. Ask the employees in conflict to work with you to find a consensus that makes everyone happy, and the result may be better than anyone imagined it could be.

It’s important you have staff members who can deal with conflict in productive and positive ways. SmartTalent can help you find skilled staff members in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynnwood, Everett and surrounding areas. Give our staffing service a call today to learn how we can help you build a talented team that turns conflicts into opportunities.

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Help Your Temporary Employees Be Productive from Day One

May 8th, 2018

When you bring temporary employees on board at your organization, you want to get the most value from these human resources – especially if they will only be working at your company a short time. To ensure temporary employees are fulfilling their roles and adding value to your organization, there are a few techniques you can use to help temp workers be productive from day one:

  • Ensure you have a good onboarding process. While it may be tempting to skip the formal onboarding process for workers who aren’t going to be with your organization long term, this type of corner cutting will only impede productivity. New staff members, even if they’re only temporary, need to understand how your organization works and their role within it. An onboarding process allows for this essential information to be imparted.
  • Review your training protocols. It’s important your training process and protocols give temp employees the information they need to succeed in the job. If temp employees don’t know what to do, it’s time to refine your training.
  • Establish open communication. You want temp employees to feel comfortable asking questions and knowing who to go to if they need assistance. Make it clear you’re eager to offer advice and assistance and let temp workers know who their allies are when they have questions.
  • Check in regularly. You want to make sure you are monitoring the progress of temp workers, available to offer guidance, and able to step in if there are issues that need to be addressed. By checking in regularly, you can also give temp workers the chance to obtain the information they need from you to do their jobs properly – and you show them they have an ally in the organization so they’re more likely to work harder.

Hiring the right temp workers is essential to ensure you bring people on board who are ready to hit the ground running. SmartTalent can help. Our staffing professionals will work with you to find skilled temp workers in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynnwood, Everett and surrounding areas. To find out more about the assistance we can provide, give us a call today.

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Your Team Needs These Skills

April 19th, 2018

When you are bringing on new members of your team, you want the candidates you hire have a lot to contribute. Obviously, they need to know how to do the job and must have the essential hard skills necessary to complete work tasks. However, hard skills aren’t the only things you should look for when evaluating job seekers.

There are other essential skills that you should prioritize in candidates, so you can build a strong team that can grow, change and help your company to thrive in a fast-paced global world. Some of the key skills your team members need include:

  • Innovative problem-solving skills: Problems invariably arise at even the best workplace. You need employees who won’t shirk away from solving tough issues but will tackle challenges head-on and look for new and better ways to do things. Finding people who love to innovate and who aren’t afraid to tackle the tough issues will help your company to grow stronger.
  • A diversity of viewpoints: A homogenous team where everyone thinks the same is unlikely to be successful at developing new ideas and finding better ways to work more efficiently. If you build a diverse team of professionals with different backgrounds, skill sets and views on the world, you can foster cooperation, encourage open dialogue and achieve things you haven’t even yet dreamed of at your organization.
  • Teamwork skills: Staff members need to work together to accomplish common aims and to achieve shared purposes. Your team is only as strong as its weakest member, and those who don’t work well with others can drag morale down for the entire organization. Look for people who are passionate about cooperation and who will hold up their obligations to keep the entire team on the right track.

SmartTalent can help you to find skilled professionals with all these essential skills who are looking for jobs right now in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynnwood, Everett and surrounding areas. To find out more about how our staffing service can help you to hire candidates who will be great additions to your organization, contact our staffing service today.

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Battling Constant Tardiness In Your Workforce

April 10th, 2018

Employees are late for work for lots of reasons, and there’s always an excuse. Employees often claim personal problems, forgotten commitments, bad weather or traffic jams as excuses for being late. Unfortunately, if you have chronic tardiness problems, there is probably a bigger issue. Your staff members may not like their jobs very much, they may be burned out or they may simply be unmotivated.

If you find yourself battling with tardiness at work on a regular basis, your organization will need to make some fundamental changes to ensure your staff members are being as productive as they can be. Some of the steps you should take include:

  • Identifying the root cause of the problem: Are you asking staff members to do too much? Are employees not feeling excited about their jobs because managers don’t trust them or give them autonomy to figure out the best way to succeed? Talk to staff members – anonymously if necessary – and ask them to give feedback on what problems they are having at work.
  • Determining if employees have specific issues: If you have one or two employees who are late all the time, the problem may not be your company but may be issues with those workers. If so, talk with them about the tardiness and come up with a solution. If they’re having trouble getting kids to school on time, could you provide flextime, for example, so they could start a half hour later. Ultimately, if you can find a solution to the problem that works best for everyone, you can keep your staff happy while maximizing productivity.
  • Set policies and standards: While being flexible is nice if you can do it, it’s also important for employees to live up to obligations. If your staff is routinely late, this may need to be addressed as a disciplinary issue. You can set guidelines employees must follow and impose consequences if they fail to live up to their obligations.

SmartTalent can help you to find committed, passionate staff members who will show up on time to work and who will do their best for your organization. To find out how our staffing professionals can help you to build a great team in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynnwood, Everett and surrounding areas, give us a call today.

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