Managing Remote Workers

January 25th, 2019


If you’re managing staff members who work remotely, setting your team up for success is more important than ever. As the telecommuting economy booms, you need to be prepared to accommodate and effectively manage your remote workers. Managing remote workers isn’t just about making sure tasks get done, you always want to focus on making remote workers feel included. Everyone wants to be a part of the team, even if it’s from the comfort of their couch. Here are our best tips on how you can manage your staff from a distance.

Tools

As you manage your off-site team, you’ll notice the importance of communication and making it simple for your employee to succeed. Talk with your remote workers about how you can effectively communicate back and forth and make a plan to invest in tools to help your team succeed. Try Slack, Skype for Business or another quick communication tool specifically to address day-to-day proceedings. Research what tools cater to remote workers and find out how your staff members can incorporate them into their routines.

Expectations

There are several ways you can help your staff members succeed in a remote setting, and one is to help them have precise expectations. Are deadlines fluid based on your employee’s workload, or is there a rigidity to what tasks need to be accomplished. If you require a weekly update, be clear about when that is due and what it should include. With telecommuting staff, it’s extra important to clarify your expectations with your staff members. A “work plan” with detailed descriptions of tasks with their due dates may be a helpful way to stay organized.

Be Communicative and Respectful

With so much to juggle in the workplace, it can be easy to neglect the workers who aren’t right in front of you. Schedule a monthly check-in to discuss progress and any concerns and go above and beyond when it comes to communicating. When a remote worker sends a message, remember they can’t just pop in to follow up with you, and they may be frozen on a task until they hear back. Even if you don’t have an answer for them right away, follow up to tell them you’re aware of their inquiry and you’re working on it. This little update can help your remote workers feel like you’re looking out for them.

Looking for better ways to manage an effective team? Try SmartTalent. As a top staffing firm in Washington, we can help you kickstart productivity or bring in fresh talent to keep your team motivated. For more info, check out our website today.

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What to Do When Your Boss Doesn’t Seem Invested in You

January 18th, 2019


One of the most important aspects of your job is your supervision. Great leaders make time for their workers, provide detailed feedback, and show appreciation. It’s essential for you to feel recognized in the workplace because overlooked staff members typically experience low morale and decreased performance.  If you’re feeling like your boss is not invested in you, consider some small changes to help you feel like you belong.

Make Your Mark

One way to gain respect from your supervisor is to stand out in a professional manner. Prove your worth by volunteering for assignments or even innovating your own projects when possible. The more initiative you take, the harder it becomes for your boss to overlook you. Don’t hide if you feel like your boss doesn’t see your potential: prove it to them! Contributing to the team’s success will help you feel inspired to stay on and gain appreciation from your colleagues and your supervisor.

Stay in Touch

Keeping your boss in the loop is an essential way to mitigate any doubt your employer may have. If your boss doesn’t seem invested, frequent emails about your progress are a tangible way to measure your productivity. Your boss may be ignoring you because they are concerned you’re not being efficient. Sharing updates is a positive way to connect and keep your boss in the loop. The more you communicate, the less likely it is you’ll make an error.

Have a Conversation

Even if you don’t have an ideal relationship with your supervisor, it’s necessary to sit down and discuss your contribution to the team and your overall success in your position. The best way to understand your supervisor’s motives is to ask. Plan a one-on-one meeting where you can discuss your duties and ideal career trajectory and bring up your impression that the boss isn’t invested in you. Hopefully, a productive talk can ensue where your employer can discuss changes and mitigate your concerns. If not, it’s time to look elsewhere for employment.

If you need a new position, contact SmartTalent! As a top temporary staffing agency, we can help you find the right role immediately if you’ve decided it’s time to move on. Take the guesswork out of the job search by teaming up with our staff today.

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Is Your Onboarding Process Working?

January 16th, 2019


Evaluating your systems should be a way of life, especially at the beginning of the year. Take a good hard look at how you can improve your processes early in 2019. Today we’re focusing on onboarding. But how can you measure where you might be going wrong? One way to know your onboarding process isn’t working? Turnover. If you’re seeing a rapid cycle of employees quitting, it could be your onboarding system.

Be Inspirational

Remember starting your job? There’s always uncertainty. A new position can create several emotions and reactions, from excitement and curiosity to confusion and fear. Remember where you started and encourage new workers to settle into their new positions. Workers that don’t feel welcome or are overwhelmed by an ineffective onboarding process simply won’t stick around.

Assess the Process

What does it look like when your new employee completes preliminary training? Or even walks in the door? Evaluate your onboarding process from start to finish: including the more trivial details. Go through the onboarding procedure yourself, as if you were a new staff member. When you enter the workspace, is it welcoming? Do you have specific staff training new workers, and are they cheerful and well-versed in the procedure? Review what onboarding entails: You shouldn’t be tossing a packet of rules on the table and throwing them right into the deep end.

Check Your Timeframe

Is your onboarding process two days of training? Training shouldn’t be on overview of the bare minimum that a new staff member needs to know. Onboarding is referred to as a “process” for a reason. You should be looking at what your new employee receives within the first day, the first week, and even the first few months of their tenure.

  • Day One: Introductions
  • Week One: Understanding of job expectations and projects
  • First Months: A scheduled one-on-one meeting with you to discuss highlights and challenges within the new role

To learn more about how you can onboard and retain quality staff members, consult the professionals at SmartTalent. As a top Washington temporary staffing firm, we can help you gain access to top-level candidates and help you fill gaps in your team today. Check out our website today to learn more.

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How to Ask for a Raise

January 2nd, 2019


Requesting a raise from your supervisor can be a difficult conversation. What if they say no? What if they offer you something insulting? How can you adequately prepare for the conversation? If you’re looking for a raise, there are a few tricks and methods that can help. Here are our tips on how to ask for a raise the right way.

Keep Things Professional

There are a few ways to ask for a raise:

DO: Set a specific one-on-one meeting time with your boss

DON’T: Bring the matter up casually in a text or email

DO: Look the part – dress well and have a clean appearance

DON’T: Ask during a stressful time period

If you don’t follow these basic guidelines, you’re starting off on the wrong foot and you’re less likely to obtain the raise you’re requesting. Treat your raise request as a serious meeting, even if you have a good relationship with your supervisor.

Practice Your Pitch

Rehearse what you want to say! Write down a speech, or some bullet points on an index card, and say it out loud a few times. This can be in the mirror, to a trusted colleague or even to a family member! Tripping over words is not a good look when you’re trying to prove your credibility.

Tell a Story

If you want to convince your supervisor it’s time to up your pay, paint a picture. People like to hear descriptive examples, typically in the form of a story. Instead of claiming to improve and saying you’re a great employee, show it. Give specific examples of your experience at work. If you recently pioneered your own initiative, talk about the steps you took to implement tasks. If you’re a team player, talk about your effective method of communicating with workers. Show why you deserve to be paid more for the work you continue to do for the company.

Looking for more ways to prove yourself on the job? Check out the resources from SmartTalent! As a top Washington staffing agency, we know how to improve your abilities and help you take your talent to the next level. Take a look at our resources today to learn more.

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Keeping Your Employees Motivated During the Holidays

December 20th, 2018

The holiday season is a busy time of the year. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when employees frequently become distracted. Your workers may be focused on festivities, eager for a trip to see family, or worried about fulfilling all of their family obligations – and their performance on the job can sometimes suffer because of it.

To help your staff stay motivated throughout the festive season, some of the steps you can take include:

  • Offering incentives for performance: If you want to give staff members strong incentive to work during the holidays, offer incentives to help them concentrate. You could promise an extra holiday bonus if your staff meets certain objectives, or could provide special rewards when specific milestones are met.
  • Providing designated time for celebrations: You want your staff members to form relationships with coworkers and to be happy during the holidays in order to keep motivation strong. Providing time to celebrate together as a team can give staff members something to look forward to, and can also help to boost motivation by making their time at work more enjoyable.
  • Offering flexibility in scheduling: If your staff members are worried about missing their kids’ holiday play or about how they’ll handle their impending visit from family members while finishing up a big project, they aren’t going to be able to concentrate on their work. If you have the opportunity to be flexible about when your staff members get assignments done or come into the office, give your staff a little bit more freedom to fulfill holiday responsibilities on their own time. Your staff not only will concentrate better when they aren’t so worried about balancing family life – but they’ll also be grateful to you for the flexibility, and are much more likely to stay motivated because of it.

SmartTalent can also help you to find temporary staff to help out for the holidays or new full-time staff members who will be excited about their jobs and able to focus even during times of celebration. Just contact our staffing service to find out more about how we can help you find skilled employees in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas.

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Is Your Boss Babying You?

December 18th, 2018

Is your boss micromanaging everything you do and not letting you perform your work independently? It can be frustrating to feel your boss doesn’t trust you and worrisome to work with your boss constantly looking over your shoulder. If you find yourself in this situation, some of the steps you can take include:

  • Understanding their insecurities: If your boss is micromanaging you, there’s probably a reason for it. Your boss may be worried you’ll make a mistake that reflects poorly on them or that you’ll fall behind and affect the department’s performance. Try to understand what concerns your boss has so you can look for ways to assuage them, such as handing in error-free work or turning in assignments before the deadline.
  • Finding ways to prove your worth: If your boss doesn’t trust you to complete projects on your own, it can be hard to show you’ll perform up-to-par without intense supervision. But, there are always ways to take on extra projects or assume some additional responsibilities where your boss may not be so hands-on. If you can show you’re able to succeed in one area without strong supervision, you may be able to get your boss to give you more freedom in other areas.
  • Encouraging your boss to delegate to you: If you want more independent responsibilities, sometimes you just need to ask. You can encourage your boss to delegate by watching for the jobs your boss doesn’t like doing or for situations where your boss seems overworked. Offer to take additional responsibilities on your own shoulders. When your boss sees that he can count on you to take initiative – and you relieve your boss of some tasks he doesn’t like doing – you can build trust and your boss may decide to give you more independent responsibilities.

If you’ve tried everything and still find yourself frustrated because your boss won’t stop babying you, it may be time to explore new opportunities. SmartTalent can help you to explore open positions in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas so you can find a job where you’re trusted to perform your job independently. Give our staffing service a call today to find out more.

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The Best Way to Answer “Why Should We Hire You?”

December 4th, 2018

Why should we hire you? This is a common question that you can expect to be asked at job interviews.  Of course, you want to make sure that the answer you provide is compelling – but how can you do that? Just follow these tips and you’re sure to impress the hiring manager and maximize your chances of getting an offer:

  • Tailor the answer to the job description: The company is looking for a candidate to accomplish specific tasks and bring certain desired skills to the table. When you’re asked why they should hire you, you want to focus on the particular traits they are looking for. Before you go to the interview, you should review the job ad to remind yourself who the company has described as their ideal candidate.  When you’re asked about why they should hire you, you can provide an answer that mirrors the language from the job ad and shows the employer you have the exact skills they’re seeking.
  • Show how you’ll provide value to the company: The company is looking for someone who will perform well for them. You don’t want to focus on what the job could do for you or why it’s the perfect position to advance your career. You want to demonstrate clearly that the work you perform will make the company more productive and more successful.
  • Provide specific anecdotes, not vague platitudes: It’s easy to talk about how you’re the ideal candidate, but it can be harder to show it. That’s why you want to be prepared in advance with stories of your past successes to show that you’re the person the company is seeking. If the company is looking to hire an administrative professional who can multi-task, come prepared with specific details about how you’ve done well before in juggling your time and getting everything done.

SmartTalent can help you to land an interview in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas so you’ll get a chance to excel at the interview and land the job of your dreams. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you in your job search.

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How Often Should You “Take a Breather” at Work?

November 29th, 2018

Working too much can lead to burnout, so it’s important you take regular breaks. Not only should you take a few minutes during the workday to take a breather, it’s also important to take longer vacations as well.

Determining when to step away from your desk and take a break can be difficult, but these tips can help:

  • Pay attention to when your focus starts to wane. You can usually tell when you’ve had enough work and need a break. You’ll find your eyes start to glaze over when you’re looking at the computer screen or you start to get frustrated more easily when tasks you’re doing don’t work out perfectly. Pay attention to when this starts to happen to you and monitor how long it takes before you reach that point. Then, in the future, you can take a break a few minutes before you reach that burnout time, so you don’t push yourself to the point where you start to feel frustration.
  • Schedule regular breaks after routine work. Most people can only concentrate for a limited amount of time. In fact, there’s an entire Pomodoro technique which is built around the idea you should do work for 25 minutes, and then take a five-minute break in order to be as productive as possible. You can consider applying this technique to your own work. That way, you’ll always be focused.
  • Step away from your desk after intense tasks that require a lot of concentration.  Sometimes, work you’re doing requires a strong attention to detail or a lot of focus. In these situations, you should try to take more frequent breaks in recognition of the fact that the work is more challenging.

SmartTalent will help you find a great job where you’ll be motivated to work hard, but that also allows you the leeway to take breaks when you need them. To find out how our staffing service can help you find the right position to keep you focused at work, give our staffing service a call today. We can help you to find a great company to work for in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas.

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The Importance of a Competitive Offer

November 27th, 2018

When you’re trying to hire a new staff member, it’s imperative you make a competitive offer to the candidate you’ve decided to bring on board. Making a competitive offer will:

  • Help you maximize the chances your offer will be accepted. When you go through the process of interviewing a candidate, it can be a very time-consuming endeavor. The last thing you want is to get to the end of a lengthy interview process and end up with your chosen candidate rejecting an offer, so you have to start all over. By making a competitive offer, you’ll have the best chance the candidate will decide to come aboard.
  • Build your employer brand so you can attract top candidates. If your company develops a reputation as a company that pays fairly, you will have a better chance of other highly skilled workers applying to work for your organization. Some of the most talented people in your industry will want to work for you. If you develop a reputation for low pay, on the other hand, the best and the brightest are unlikely to apply to come and work at your organization.
  • Remain competitive and build a stronger team than others in your industry. Paying a little bit more to bring highly skilled workers on board is a worthwhile investment. You don’t want all the best workers in your industry going to work for your competitors just because your offers are not as competitive. By monitoring what other companies in your industry are paying and making sure your compensation and benefits package is at least as generous, your company will be the one that all the best people want to work for. This is sure to give you a competitive advantage.

Working with a staffing service can also help you find strong candidates that will set your company apart. Contact SmartTalent today to find out how our staffing professionals can help you find skilled workers in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas.

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Handling a Slip-Up at a New Job

November 23rd, 2018

Making mistakes at work is always upsetting, especially when you’re new to your job. Unfortunately, errors can happen even when you’re careful and vigilant. If you do slip up at a new job, it’s important you handle the mistake properly. Some of the steps you should take include:

  • Admitting the error right away. There’s a saying that the cover-up is almost always worse than the crime. This applies to mistakes at work too. Your employer will respect you more if you immediately own up to the error and take corrective action. Not only will your employer be less likely to hold the mistake against you if you bring it to their attention, but your employer will also trust you more in the future because they’ll be able to count on you to check your work and speak up if something is wrong.
  • Accepting responsibility. Don’t ever blame others for your error. Admit to your employer you’ve had a slip-up; acknowledge you were to blame; and apologize for making the mistake.
  • Explaining your plans to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Employers will be forgiving of mistakes – especially from a new staff member – if they are confident the problem has been fixed and repeated slip-ups won’t hinder productivity. When you bring the error to your boss’ attention, also come prepared with an explanation of what went wrong and how you’ll be making sure that a similar issue won’t develop in the future. This could mean indicating that you’ll double check your work more carefully, that you’ll ask questions before you submit work, or that you’ll do some studying up so you’re more familiar with the task that you were doing when you made the error.

 SmartTalent can help you to find a job where you’re able to use your talents to succeed so you won’t have to worry too much about making mistakes. Contact our staffing service today to find out how we can help you find work in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas.

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