What Should Your Policy Be on Tattoos and Piercings?

May 14th, 2019


When your grandparents first entered the workforce, many companies had bans on tattoos and significant restrictions on piercings. The prohibitions were common and not something hiring professionals had to think much about.

At the time, tattoos were mainly for sailors and bikers, and piercings anywhere but a woman’s earlobes might only come up when casting a pirate movie. But culture has evolved since the days when memaw and papaw scored their first internships.

Now, tattoos and piercings are common in people of all ages and walks of life. In fact, it would be difficult to find a workplace where no one had a visible tattoo, or sported what had once been considered an unusual piercing. Declaring an all-out ban would shut the door on a lot of quality talent.

However, companies have the right to enforce a particular work culture, one expressed in part through dress codes and other restrictions on appearance. How to conceive those rules in the tattoo age?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you craft your policy:

Don’t Get Personal

You need to remember your personal feelings on tattoos and piercings have no role in the decision making. You can’t let “get off my lawn” thinking take over or turn your company’s hiring policy into an extension of your individual fashion sense.

Market-Focused Solutions

If you can’t rely on your personal judgment, what metric should you use? Well, you run a business, so a key component to your policy should come from simple dollars and cents. Keep the market in mind.

There are two markets at play. You need to make your customers feel comfortable with the employees they interact with. Meanwhile, you want access to the best talent you can get.

Consider Industry Standards

When you set a dress code, keep industry expectations in mind. What does the competition do and what do customers (and potential employees) expect?

Run a Wall Street hedge fund, blouses and pencil skirts or $3,000 suits might represent de rigueur. Run a skateboard design company, knitted caps and shorts might define the uniform.

The same calculus should apply to your tattoo and piercing policy. Neck tattoo on your investment banker? Maybe not. On your skateboard designer? Sure, they’ll fit right in.

Customer-Focused Positions vs. Internal Positions

One market you had in mind centered on customer expectations. Not all positions interact with the public. Those employees that have significant contact with clients might require stricter considerations compared with positions focused on the back office.

Meanwhile, the placement of the tattoo or piercing can matter in these calculations. Images on the arms or legs can be covered up, if you feel that’s necessary for customer-focused work. That becomes more difficult with images inked onto the neck, face or hands.

The Message, Not the Medium

The fact that someone has a tattoo should have no bearing on their prospects as an employee. However, the type of tattoo and the way it is presented might enter into your consideration.

After all, there’s a qualitative difference between having a cute butterfly tattooed on an ankle, and having a confederate flag tattooed on a forehead. So, when writing a policy, don’t declare blanket bans; leave yourself some room to deal with individual situations that might come up.

When making any policy, maximizing the level of talent you can attract should weigh heavily in your deliberations. Without the best employees, it’s impossible to achieve your business goals.

SmartTalent can help you find the talent you need. A leader in the staffing industry, SmartTalent has the reach and experience to bring you the top-flight workers that will bring you to the next level. Contact us today to find out more.

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Does Your Work Environment Encourage Productivity?

May 7th, 2019


We spend most of our waking lives at work. In some cases, we end up spending more time in the company of our co-workers than we do with our friends or families. Creating a positive working environment becomes central in achieving long-term life satisfaction.

But, of course, you’re running a business. A working environment doesn’t just exist as an incubator for personal bliss. You want to create a situation that stimulates productivity and encourages efficient output.

Luckily, these two goals (a positive experience for workers and an environment conducive to high productivity) are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they usually feed on each other. Happy and secure workers are also productive and efficient ones.

With that in mind, here are four aspects to keep in mind to make your workplace the most productive one possible:

Physical Health

Your office probably isn’t an abandoned coal mine. It doesn’t have leaking barrels of toxic waste stored in the closets or piping hot chemicals running in troughs through the hallways.

Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t physical dangers to look out for. Make sure your workers are safe and secure. Maintain the highest safety standards, and watch for things like air quality and temperature. A comfortable and confident workforce is able to maintain the highest levels of efficiency.

Emotionally Supportive

Beyond their physical safety, workers should feel emotionally secure in their work environments. They should be protected from bullying, from both management and co-workers. You should keep all communications with them professional and constructive … the goal is to get work done, not cause hurt feelings.

Meanwhile, you should have protocols in place to arbitrate any worker disputes that arise. Having the infrastructure in place to diffuse any conflicts before they escalate will allow you to keep the highest possible team spirit.

Harassment Protections

In the wake of the #MeToo era, every company should be aggressive in implementing proper protections against predatory workplace situations.

All workers should feel comfortable coming to management if an incident takes place. There should be clear policies in place to spell out acceptable workplace behavior, along with procedures for dealing with complaints and violations. You should respond to any allegations quickly, with sensitivity and a sense of purpose.

Two-Way Communications

Don’t be afraid of complaints. You might not be able to fix every problem that comes up (“no, we can’t work outside on every nice summer day … and no, we can’t give everyone every Friday off”). But providing workers a voice can keep complaints from metastasizing into long-term morale problems.

Having a method for acquiring feedback gives you the opportunity to reply, improving what you can and responding to those things that are outside your power to fix. The mere fact that you’ve listened can go a long way to building a positive relationship.

Having a safe and encouraging work environment represents one factor in developing a creative and productive team. Hiring the right staff provides another factor. A top-flight staffing firm, like SmartTalent, can ensure your team has the competent, energetic workers you need.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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Should You Start the Hiring Process or Look Internally?

April 18th, 2019


A position opens up in your organization. You have a number of strong internal candidates. However, some of the managers prefer looking for someone from the outside.

What should you do? Should you promote one of your current employees? Or should you launch a hiring process to bring in an outside ringer?

Unfortunately, there are no definitive answers for those questions. Whether or not you bring in an outside candidate has a lot to do with your circumstances.

The basic choice comes down to consistency versus variety. Which of those best fits your situation depends on a diverse set of factors. However, there are some general arguments for each strategy that can help you decide which one suits your hiring needs:

Advantage, Internal Promotion: Known Quantities

When you hire a new employee, you don’t really get a lot of information before you need to make a decision. A resume, one or two interviews, some bland recommendations from their hand-picked references – not much detail on which to make a choice.

For that reason, hiring an outside candidate comes with a big risk. What if it doesn’t work out? You’re stuck starting over, after a waste of time, money and managerial reputation.

Promoting an internal candidate eliminates this risk. You have a long history with the employee you’re moving into the new position. It gives you more confidence in the hire and provides more continuity.

Advantage, Outside Hire: New Ideas

Talking to the same people day after day leads to constrained thinking. You hear the same ideas and settle into a shared set of assumptions. Promoting from within only encourages this loop. You entrench the same people and the same thinking.

Bringing in an outside candidate can break through this. They can bring with them new ideas and a new viewpoint. Beyond the skills of the individual hired, the sheer fact they haven’t developed within your company will grant them a fresh perspective.

Advantage, Internal Promotion: Long-Term Incentive

When employees know they have something to work for, they can show surprising determination and ingenuity. Unfortunately, your resources limit how much you can use salary as a carrot. Internal promotion can provide another possible way to motivate employees.

For the particular position you currently have open, interested employees are likely to put in extra hours and additional effort to impress you. You can use the situation to unlock skills and personality traits that might otherwise remain hidden.

Meanwhile, a culture of internal promotion can contribute to long-term productivity and morale. New hires know if they work hard and provide value, they can move up in the organization.

Advantage, Outside Hire: Tamp Down Factions

Promoting from within can become a fraught political process. In theory, you choose the person best suited for the position and offer them the job. In practice, though, you have to worry about the impact on everyone who doesn’t end up getting the gig.

Should you focus on seniority, even if the employee with the longest tenure isn’t the most qualified? Should you focus on education and experience, or on the person with the highest long-term performance ceiling?

Whomever you select, several employees will likely feel passed over. That might create morale-hurting bad feelings that can fester for years to come.

Bringing in an outside hire short-circuits this grievance spiral before it starts. Employees might argue against the decision to hire from outside, but at least there is no suggestion you passed them over personally.

However you choose to handle these complicated scenarios, a strong relationship with a staffing firm can ensure a positive outcome. By using a top-flight recruiter, like SmartTalent, you can ensure your staff is filled with competent, inventive workers ready to step up when needed. Or, if you prefer outside hires, SmartTalent can streamline the process for you and bring in the top talent you need to supercharge your team.

Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.

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How to Know If a Candidate Is Lying to You During the Interview

April 11th, 2019


A job candidate flies through the recruiting process. Great resume. Stellar interview. Says all the right things and describes all the right experiences.

You bring them in for their first day. Disaster. They have no idea what they’re doing. It quickly dawns on you: the perfect resume, the impressive interview … all lies.

Now you have to cut loose that grifter you just hired and return to the recruiting process, an expensive move that not only slows down progress on other projects, but makes you look foolish within the company.

If only there were ways to spot the liars in the moment, all of this could be avoided.

Unfortunately, it’s not practical (and possibly not legal) to resort to lie detectors or truth serum. Wonder Woman’s golden lasso is fictional, and you don’t have time to train at Quantico to become an FBI interrogation specialist.

However, there are some red flags you can keep in mind while conducting the interview that will show a candidate is fudging the truth. Here are some of the best ways to cut through the lies:

They Use Vague Language

You can expect a candidate to spin their experience a little, framing their qualifications in the best possible light. It’s not lying, per se, but taking someone’s claims at face value can lead to costly hiring mistakes.

Watch out for descriptions that lack specificity. How long did you hold that position? “Around a year.” Do you have any specific experience in this area? “I participated in a project that was very similar.”

The best counter to these kinds of fuzzy descriptions is to drill down with follow-up questions. Make the candidate prove their case by providing details on the topic.

Their Stories Don’t Make Sense

People use vague language when they are trying to shade the truth a little. However, that ethical dance doesn’t really apply to full-on liars. They don’t obscure. They just make stuff up.

In these cases, a person’s story might come highly detailed. But remember: A great novel is highly detailed … but also made up.

To counter this, apply the common-sense test.

Does it make sense that a 25-year-old would be CEO of a Silicon Valley startup, and then two years later, apply for your data-entry job? If her uncle is the Sultan of Brunei, why did she go to a community college in Cleveland?

Check every claim against a healthy skepticism and use your knowledge of the world to counteract any attempt to get one over on you.

Double-Check With Outside Sources

Think about the detective in a murder mystery. They need to wade through suspects’ stories and find out who committed the crime. How do they sift the fake alibis from the real ones?

The detectives compare the various tales with other evidence. They check one story against another. They use physical evidence to prove or disprove a claim.

Utilize the same basic principle when dealing with job applicants. You don’t have to break out the CSI gear or start using a hot interrogation lamp. But compare their claims to harder evidence.

Look at the candidate’s social media feeds to compare dates. Talk to references to confirm skills and experiences. Double-check with oversight bodies to make sure all credentials and certificates are authentic.

Sifting through the claims made by job applicants can represent a frustrating chore. Using a qualified staffing agency allows you to skip that step.

SmartTalent will provide you the best talent available; prevetted and verified. Contact SmartTalent today to find out how we can upgrade your team quickly and efficiently.

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Simple Ways to Make Your Onboarding Process More Enjoyable

April 4th, 2019


The first day of any new endeavor is hard (flashbacks to junior high or summer camp). Beyond these normal anxieties, however, onboarding at a new job comes with a special torture inflicted by all the requirements of corporate bureaucracies, namely: complete, utter boredom.

The start of a new job can feel dreary and uninviting. The first days are filled with paperwork and pedantic instruction on corporate minutia.

It’s a shame, too, because the early stages of a person’s career set the tone for the rest of their tenure. Plus, the first few days mark the time of peak enthusiasm for the new worker … the point they are most impressionable and most excited about the fresh opportunity.

Wouldn’t it be nice to extend that excitement a little longer?

There are tactics that can improve engagement and diminish the dreariness. A little care in how the onboarding process is run and you can preserve that initial enthusiasm – at least until the real work begins.

Make Contact Before the Official Start Date

Don’t wait until the first day to talk to a new employee. Reach out ahead of time and keep in touch during the period before they officially join the firm. You can pass on important information and begin laying the groundwork for a strong working relationship.

Beyond building a connection with the new hire, you can smooth their way into the company. You can alleviate a lot of first-day jitters by detailing what the incoming employee should expect from the onboarding process.

New environments are scary because, well … they’re new. People don’t know what to expect. By providing an outline of the employee’s early tenure, you can prepare them for a pleasant and constructive first day, which in turn sets the stage for everything that follows.

Create a Welcoming Environment

Imagine you’re a new hire, nervous for your first day. You come into a new place, fresh, excited, wound up … and no one really cares.

The annoyed receptionist wasn’t expecting you. You sit around until the right person from HR shows up, gets your name wrong, and hustles you into a sterile conference room where you’ll begin hours of boring lessons and paperwork.

Now imagine an alternative reality: An upbeat receptionist greets you by name, walks you directly to a room where a small reception of your new co-workers has gathered to welcome you to the company.

A little effort on the first impression goes a long way to improving a new hire’s perception of the onboarding process.

Break Training Into Smaller Lessons

You need to communicate a lot of information during the onboarding process. Trying to deliver these all at once can be mind-numbing.

However, if you can find a way to break up the more boring and rote portions of the onboarding process, it can make them more palatable. If you have 12 hours of material to get through, don’t try to cram it all into two days. Break it up into smaller half-hour or hour chunks and spread it out over a few more days.

Mix small portions of the boring stuff in with more practical training and get-to-know-you activities with other team members. The process will feel more pleasant, and the new recruit will likely retain more of the information.

Include Social Activities

Much of the joy of office life (such as there is) comes from other people. The closer you are to your co-workers, the less like work the endeavor will feel. Also, a connection between employees will foster teamwork, eventually leading to a more efficient and more productive group.

With that in mind, take steps to integrate the new employee into the office social life. Set up lunches with co-workers during the onboarding process and arrange for at least one after-hours get together. It will also set the new employee up as a strong team member from the start of their tenure.

Successful onboarding becomes easier when you have the right recruits. Strong employees keep their enthusiasm and quickly absorb the preliminary information they need to become productive employees.

Top-flight recruiters, like SmartTalent, can fast-track that process. Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.

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Balancing Productivity and Fun in the Workplace

March 21st, 2019


Work can’t be a constant laugh-fest. If the office perpetually resembles an after-hours club in Ibiza, no work will get done. Alternatively, if each day seems like a dour slog through a Stalin-era gulag, it doesn’t bode well for long-term efficiency either.

It’s easy to mistake serious and boring for professionalism but tamping down too much on workplace joy can lead to long-term negative consequences. An unpleasant environment will foster increased turnover and an unengaged workforce will ultimately prove less productive than one infused with a sense of exuberance.

Business books love to talk about culture. Often, details are left vague, but one goal of a strong corporate vibe is to inject some joy into the worker’s experience. It opens up creativity and helps bind people to the company.

But, of course, chasing fun can go too far. If the workday becomes one long ping-pong tournament/gossip chat show, there might not be a company to enjoy for very long. Work shouldn’t become a clubhouse.

So, how do you find the proper mix? Here are five key aspects of balancing fun and productivity.

Eliminate Negativity

The first part of a doctor’s Hippocratic oath says, “Do no harm.” Keep that in mind for setting the workplace mood.

Don’t inject negativity unnecessarily. Even when focused on production, keep the mood upbeat and supportive. It doesn’t create “fun,” per se, but it will provide a pleasant experience, which for an office environment, can seem at least fun-adjacent.

Provide Clear Production Targets

Set transparent deadlines well in advance and workers can find their own work/fun balance. If people know what they are supposed to produce and when it’s due, there will be little confusion about when work needs to get done.

Coming up on a project deadline? Everyone knows it’s time to buckle down. Finished everything early? Maybe the team can check out at 4:30 on Friday and meet up for some jalapeno poppers.

Celebrate

Use fun as an incentive for productivity. When your team reaches a goal or achieves a target, reward them with a celebration.

This can take the form of an at-work treat, a small break-room party or bringing in a fun lunch. Or you can splurge a bit and take everyone out for something more grandiose.

Build Relationships

Don’t forget: Fun acts as fuel for teamwork. People who know and like each other will work better together.

For that reason, don’t view production and fun as complete opposites. Joy and laughter can drive creativity and lead to better work results in the long run.

Enjoying Work as Work

By enjoying your work, productivity becomes fun. Beyond helping foster teamwork, fun can become the driving motivation for employees to push themselves further.

Want people to volunteer for longer hours? Looking to see your team members stretch themselves? Help them enjoy their work and they will happily commit to more responsibility.

Having the right employees can make productivity/fun balance easier to find. Competent, upbeat and engaged professionals naturally mix business and pleasure.

SmartTalent can find the right staff to fit your ideal culture. Contact them today to find out more.

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Making Safety a Priority on All Shifts

March 14th, 2019


Your business operates 24 hours a day. You can’t oversee it all that time (although you try). Additional shifts mean additional profits. Unfortunately, they also mean additional complications.

Take safety, for instance. Maintaining safety standards across your second and third shifts can pose a significant challenge.

Non-traditional shifts are often more difficult to control directly. You need to delegate much of the moment-to-moment decision-making to shift supervisor. This can lead to some variations in policies from one shift to another.

However, there are ways to keep safety a consistent priority across all shifts, even if you can’t personally supervise them day to day.

Standardized Protocols

Don’t let individual shifts determine their own safety procedures. No matter when they work, employees should follow the same procedures.

Create centrally produced safety procedures. If a shift requires different protocols for some reason (working at night, for instance), recognize that in the overall rules. Make sure all shift managers work from the same playbook and safety will remain a priority throughout the company.

Consistent Training

Many of the details of how to perform a job are learned in an informal way. Follow the lead of the experienced workers and do what they do.

That’s fine for most aspects of a job. But it can cause problems for safety matters. Corner cutting and alterations from accepted procedures lead to potential long-term problems.

For that reason, make sure safety issues are handled in a standardized, formal way. Everyone should get the same instruction, and training should be as comprehensive and detailed as possible.

Ongoing Refresher Courses

Training shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Even the most conscientious employees can use a refresher. They can forget things, or steps can get skipped enough times that they slip out of habit. An occasional retraining effort can help get day-to-day back to the stated ideal.

Meanwhile, training protocols can change over time. Periodic retraining sessions give you the opportunity to keep veteran workers up-to-date on the latest standards.

System of Communication

Managers of different shifts often work independently of each other. It can lead to a “right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing” situation. Do as much as possible to prevent this.

Install a method of communication between the supervisors of the various shifts. Conduct periodic meetings, or at least a conference call with everyone. If this isn’t possible, or for more immediate concerns, keep everyone in the loop using methods as simple as an email or text chain. Or you can create a more formal process of memos.

Whatever the method, the key is to make sure everyone has the same information and changes can spread through the company as effectively as possible.

Regular Reviews

Check in on your various shifts periodically. Make sure they are following the same procedures and all protocols are in place.

By scheduling regular reviews, you can avoid any resentment from your shift supervisors. By making it routine, it becomes a regular event in the course of business, rather than critique of anyone’s oversight or a symptom of micromanagement.

You stay informed, everyone stays safe and your managers keep the confidence they need to lead the team effectively.

Having careful and concerned workers helps make safety a priority, whatever the situation. Using a strong staffing partner, like SmartTalent, ensures you have this kind of staff. Contact SmartTalent today to find out what we can do to improve your safety profile.

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Training Employees to Spot Hazardous Situations

March 7th, 2019


Safety starts with employees. Frontline workers can operate like a safety spy network, deployed throughout your facility, looking for possible hazards and reporting them before they become real problems.

Run-of-the-mill operations take employees through most parts of your facility on a day-to-day basis. They are in a great position to find potentially dangerous situations early.

Give employees the training to spot danger areas and provide them with a structure to get those problems fixed quickly and efficiently. By doing so, you’ll be able to resolve burgeoning safety situations early, before they become a true hazard … and well before they become a legal or regulatory headache.

You’ll also end up saving money. Catching potentially dangerous situations early represents the cheapest way to eliminate problems. Fixing a crack takes less cash than replacing a pillar.

But how do you go about empowering employees? It’s a great goal, but without a detailed action plan it represents little more than hollow business-speak mantra.

Here are four steps you can take to make your employees more aware of safety:

Comprehensive Training

Make the process of spotting safety hazards a priority early in a worker’s tenure. From the moment, they’re hired, ensure new employees know what to look for and what to do if they spot a problem.

This may involve a longer training process, but it will pay dividends with a safer, more efficient workplace.

Encourage People to Report Problems

Some companies have a don’t-ask-don’t-tell culture when it comes to small safety issues. Employees don’t feel comfortable bringing up problems, for fear it will reflect badly on them or somehow inconvenience their work schedule.

Avoid this culture. Actively encourage employees to report problems. Consider setting up an incentive program, offering small rewards for workers who spot safety issues.

Continuous Reminders

Don’t stop with the initial training. Constantly remind your employees what to look for and how to report it.

You can do this through informal reminders – a daily safety minute, for instance. Or you can set up regular retraining sessions to keep everyone on the same page.

Ongoing Education

Safety standards change. Procedures get updated. New equipment comes in. Points of emphasis evolve.

Once an employee has been on the payroll for a while, the specifics of the company’s safety procedures may have changed since they had their extensive post-hire training sessions. Set up an ongoing education program to bring these veterans back up to speed.

This will ensure that every employee – no matter how long it’s been since they received their initial training – looks out for the same hazards and follows the same protocol.

A safe workplace is an efficient workplace. By bringing in intelligent, observant employees, you can turn much of the safety oversight over to your workers. Partnering with a top staffing firm, like SmartTalent, ensures your ability to find these first-rate workers. Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.

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How to Deal With the Office Debbie Downer

February 27th, 2019


The everyday process of going to work is hard enough. Getting up early. Fighting traffic or the crowds on public transportation. Standing in line for your morning coffee.

Everything gets worse if you’ve got a Debbie Downer waiting for you once you get to work.

The drudgery of a commute is quickly quashed if your workplace buzzes with positive energy and an upbeat vibe. The trip into work may be a nightmare, but once you’re at your desk, coffee in hand, you can get down to business with verve, enthusiasm and maybe even a little delight.

That is, unless you sit within earshot of the office killjoy.

A constant complainer can turn the atmosphere of the whole office toxic. The unrelenting negativity poses a distraction. And it can sap productivity.

There are some steps you can take to counteract the impact of a negative co-worker. Here are three maneuvers you can try to restore some joy to the work environment:

Talk to Them

Some people bond through complaining. It’s a way to build up friendships, an easy topic of conversation. Obviously, it’s not a particularly positive way to reach out to people (and it can get aggressively annoying if used too much), but we all do it from time to time.

Often, people don’t know when they’ve gone too far. You can go a long way to fixing the problem simply by letting people know the negative impact they are having.

Try talking to the negative employee. Take a tactful approach and present your case in a constructive way. Come on too strong, and the Debbie Downer is liable to get defensive.

But an encouraging, honest approach might solve the issue in one conversation.

Keep Your Distance

You had a heart-to-heart with Debbie Downer. No change. It’s time to start looking out for yourself.

Don’t let the office Eeyore sour your attitude. Bad vibes can become infectious and listening to constant complaining can sap your positive outlook. Pretty soon, you’re saying to yourself, “You know, they coffee here really IS terrible. Maybe management doesn’t really care about us?”

Physically distancing yourself from a defeatist co-worker represents the easiest way to avoid a cynical-attitude contagion.

Start by moving your workstation (as subtly as possible – you don’t want to hurt feelings unnecessarily). If this isn’t possible, you may want to consider more drastic steps, like switching to a different team.

Concentrate on the Positive

Maybe you aren’t able to distance yourself from the office’s Black Hole of Doom. Maybe you made a move and it didn’t help – somehow, you’re still receiving the bad vibes from across the office.

Don’t let it bring you down. Counteract the impact of their bad attitude by focusing on the positive aspects of your workplace.

If need be, make a list of the things you like about your job and review it when things get gloomy. Or fight back with a little positive chatter of your own. Try to spread a little good cheer to counteract the impact of negative vibes coming from Debbie Downer.

Working in a supportive, inviting atmosphere turns a job into a vocation. Loving what you do allows you to maximize your career prospects.

Finding those opportunities gets easier when you work with a top-flight recruiter. SmartTalent can help you discover the perfect fit for your skills and personality. Contact them today to find out more.

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Managing Millennials

February 21st, 2019


It’s been an obsession of business writers for a least the past decade and a half: what to do about millennials?

When they were teenagers, people fretted about how to market to them. Then, concern shifted to how to deal with them as new college graduates in the workplace. Now, with the older cohort of the millennials starting to get a glimpse of 40, the tone of the discussion has shifted.

The leading edge of the millennial generation is well into mid-career at this point. They are becoming managers themselves. But intergenerational misunderstandings still plague many workplaces.

Of course, it’s dangerous to make assumptions based on nothing more than an employee’s birth year. Everyone is an individual and there are far more differences among millennials than there are between millennials and other generations.

However, while painting with a broad brush can mask many of the nuances, there are a few concerns to keep in mind when managing millennials.

Flexibility

For a generation that grew up with the gig economy, a traditional 9-to-5 schedule seems particularly outmoded. Millennials take for granted the option of working from home and expect to have personal input into what hours they work.

These don’t represent perks for the millennial set. They are expected parts of the job experience.

How much freedom you can offer will depend on your office situation. Your particular industry might require that most tasks have to take place at the office during the traditional workday. Even so, be open to individual requests and take employees’ desires for flexibility seriously.

Key Into Culture

The old expression “money isn’t everything” was mostly a passive phrase for previous generations. Millennials have taken it to heart.

The idea that work should embody more than a place to pick up a paycheck represents a key touchstone for the generation. They want to feel safe and welcomed. They want to get inspired.

You can increase retention and improve your ability to recruit by developing an inviting culture. Take steps to make employees feel like they belong. Also, communicate a company mission beyond maximizing profit, something that appeals to a person’s spiritual side as well as their business sense.

Workplace Casual

As recently as a decade ago, most workplaces were still pretty regimented. Since then, places like Google, with its nap pods and on-campus ping-pong tables, have changed the definition of a “professional workplace.”

Most millennials began their careers after this change. They expect a more casual atmosphere at the workplace.

This includes an accepting attitude toward social media. Previous generations might cluck their tongues at the constant phone use or the necessity to post every thought online. But it’s a key aspect of how millennials interact with the world. Find ways to integrate it into your company culture.

Experts at Change

Technology and culture evolve quickly. It’s difficult to keep up. This has been a constant theme in American business history, but the rate of change has accelerated in the 21st century.

Millennials have grown up in that accelerated environment and are well able to adapt to the changing landscape. Use that potential.

Rely on millennial employees to help keep the workplace up to date. Ask their opinions and encourage their feedback. It will help keep the company at the cutting edge of the industry.

Building a diverse workforce with a wide range of experience helps your company grow. By teaming with a top recruiting firm, you can build a staff with multigenerational appeal. Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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