How to Establish an Optimistic Work Climate

Creating an enjoyable workspace involves a lot more than adding some windows and popping flowers on tables. Bringing about true improvement to your company’s work climate requires multidimensional effort and commitment. As an employer, you hold the power to influence the atmosphere by how you manage your team. Here are some ways in which you can introduce positivity into your company’s work climate.

Showcase your values: Understand and define who you are as a person, and make it clear through your leadership style. Let your personal values shine through the way in which you conduct daily business. Be clear in what is important to you from the start.

Cultivate community: Strive to build more than a cooperative team- build a sense of community so your staff members confidently support each other in reaching their individual and collective goals.

Support collaboration: Create groups of individuals who can learn from one another on a frequent basis. Employees will build dependency and create their own support systems. People can pinpoint their value when working together. Letting employees contribute to something bigger than themselves will help them realize their purpose.

Manage meaningful work: Know what your employees find most meaningful in their role and emphasize its importance. Supporting your staff to excel in the areas they value the most will create a more positive and passionate environment. If they are struggling to find meaning in their current role, work together in shaping meaning in what they do for your company.

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How to Be a Memorable Job Candidate

When job searching, the challenge to stand out from the competition is constant. And according to a survey conducted by Career Builder this summer, the pressure to be memorable can cause many job seekers to do just about anything.

Career Builder asked over 2,000 employers across the country to name the most unusual ways in which job seekers have tried to stand out from the crowd. Hilarity ensued. Some of the best (worst) submissions included:

  • “Candidate lit a corner of their resume on fire to show their ‘burning desire’ for the job”
  • “Candidate had his daughter call the hiring manager in advance of the interview to thank the hiring manager ‘for giving her dad a job'”
  • “Candidate answered a call during the interview stating that another company was calling to discuss a job offer”
  • “Candidate brought a bag of props into the interview and pulled them out as they were relevant in the questions/answers”

It may be tempting to think out of the box like these folks when trying to get a leg up. However, to find success in your efforts, you must be remembered for the right reasons.

Here are some great ways to (appropriately) grab an employer’s attention.

Leave something behind.
Leaving a physical reminder will help you stick in a hiring manager’s mind. Bring in portfolios and/or a hard copy of your resume to refer to as you interview. After concluding your meeting with the hiring manager, leave at least one of your documents that the employer can remember you by.

Turn your interview into a conversation.
Hiring managers don’t actually want to interview you. Rattling off a list of questions is even less enjoyable than sitting there rattling off a list of dry answers. So don’t be afraid to deviate from “the script”- it’s okay to spend a few minutes going on a tangent if it helps you build a relationship with the employer.

Ask amazing questions.
Candidates who ask strong questions are perceived as interested and driven individuals, so you never want to leave an interview having not inquired about any aspect of the job. Do plenty of research about the company prior to interviewing- the more you know ahead of time, the better constructed and thoughtful your questions will be.

Follow up. Always.
Sure, it’s one of the oldest rules in the book, but it has stuck around for good reason. Before you breathe a sigh of relief that your interview is over, send your interviewer(s) a thoughtful thank-you letter. Reflect on the experience and mention something specific and memorable from the interview. If you are still interested in the position, say so! Reiterate your excitement about the opportunity and be upfront about your desire to continue with the interviewing process.

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Lower Your Risk of Skin Cancer

As the weather begins to warm up, you’ll want to spend more time outdoors. While the weather is nice, the sun can be harsh. It’s important to avoid being in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Why? Because skin cancer is actually the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Every year, more than 76,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. There are more than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer each year.

What can you do you to lower your risk of skin cancer? There are several safety precautions you can take:

  • Stay in the shade during midday hours
  • Wear clothing to cover your arms and legs when outside
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim that will shade your face, neck, and ears
  • Use sunglasses that wrap around and block UVA and UVB rays.
  • Always use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that provides both UVA and UVB protection.
  • And avoid indoor tanning because the harsh exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer.

Don’t forget, if you go on vacation, the sun’s UV rays are more likely to reflect off of the sand and cause more damage than normal.The sun is worst between 10 am and 4 pm DST in the continental U.S. So make sure you use the right protection if you are venturing outside during those hours.

 

 

Avoiding Distractions While Driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and we want to help keep you safe. While it may be tempting to look down at your phone for any number of reasons while driving, it is dangerous and can endanger yourself, other drivers, and bystanders.

According to distraction.gov, distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include
• Texting
• Using a cell phone or smartphone
• Eating and drinking
• Talking to passengers
• Grooming
• Reading, including maps
• Using a navigation system
• Watching a video
• Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. However, this doesn’t mean you should freely do any of the other distractions mentioned above. In fact, you do any of the above activities you need to practice extreme caution.

If you need to use your smart phone, adjust anything in your car, or use a map, then your best option is to pull the car over. It is better to be a little late than risk anyone’s safety.

Remember to drive safely and practice precaution.

Eating Fruits and Vegetables for Disease Prevention

Did you know that eating a diet full of vegetables and fruits can actually help prevent certain chronic diseases and conditions? Not only do fruits and vegetables help you maintain a healthy weight and general well-being, they can help save your life. Here are some of the diseases and conditions fruits and vegetables can help you avoid:

Cardiovascular Disease

As the world’s leading killer, heart disease is a serious issue for everyone. Fruits and vegetables can help prevent heart disease and stroke, but the best fighters of heart disease (and keeping it away) are green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.

High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol

Many workers are faced daily with the challenges and struggles of high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. While it isn’t completed understood how fruits and vegetables lower cholesterol, it is believed that the soluble fiber in them helps block the absorption of cholesterol from other foods.

Cancer

Research and tests suggest that eating more fruit can lower the risk of cancers of the esophagus, stomach, and lungs, and can reduce the risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, colon, larynx, kidney, and bladder.

Gastrointestinal Conditions

There are indigestible fibers in certain fruits and vegetables that are important for preventing intestinal ailments. When fiber passes through the digestive system, it soaks up water and expends—this process can calm irritable bowels and decrease pressure inside the intestinal tract.

Cataracts and Macular Degeneration

A cataract, which is usually associated with aging, is the gradual clouding of the eye’s lens. Macular degeneration occurs when the center of the retina is damaged. In order to protect your eyes, you should eat dark green leafy vegetables because they contain two pigments that will aid in protecting your eyes. In order to stimulate night vision and to protect that ability, you should eat carrots, cantaloupe, and pumpkin because of the Vitamin A.

Birth Defects

Neural tube defects (NTDs) are defects of a baby’s brain or spine that can be prevented if a woman has enough folate, found in B vitamins in her body before becoming pregnant. The folate or folic acid is used by the body to make new cells and can be found in asparagus, cooked spinach, and certain fortified breakfast cereals.

Fruits and vegetables can also help prevent other diseases and conditions like coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, dental issues, and skin infections. So the next time you get hungry or want a snack, consider a fruit or a vegetable!

Writing An Effective Follow-Up Email

Whether an interview goes well or not, you can still impress a recruiter, human resource representative, or a hiring manager by sending an effective follow-up email. In the past, sending a formal letter to the person you interviewed with was an effective way to give yourself a boost. However, in today’s technology-filled world, writing an effective follow-up email is a great way to get noticed.

Writing a follow-up email needs to go beyond sending one or two sentences saying how it was nice to meet and/or speak with the person you interviewed with. To be effective, the email needs to be in depth and specific about the position for which you applied, your qualifications, and the interview itself. Here are a few tips:

Greetings

When you start your email, be as personable as possible. If you used the person’s first name in the interview or they informed you it was okay to do so, then you should address them that way in the email. If you know their first or last name, then avoid addressing the email with a general greeting such as, “to whom it may concern.”

Be Thankful

One of the first few sentences of your email should include a thank-you to the person who took time out of their schedule to meet with you or speak with you. This does not need to be an elaborate thank-you, but a sentence or two about how you appreciated them taking time to speak with you and how nice it was to meet them.

Be Specific

After thanking the person who interviewed you, talk about what you are specifically excited about in regards to the position and how your specific qualifications and experiences make you a great fit for the position. The more specific you are, the better it will be. By doing this, you not only touch base on the conversation you had, but you also create another opportunity to show the interviewer why you are such a great candidate.

Close With Enthusiasm

As you close out your email, be sure you sound enthusiastic about the interview and the potential job opportunity. This is another great place for you to thank your interviewer. Thank them for their time spent discussing the position with you, but also for taking the time to read your email. Be sure as you close the email to let them know you are looking forward to hearing from them soon.

Managing a Multigenerational Workforce

As more and more millennials join the workforce, managers are faced with an increasingly critical issue: managing a multigenerational workforce. As millennials join the workforce, baby boomers and Gen Xers stay working longer than previous generations. In the past, managers may have faced the challenge of managing one or two generations, but today, it is more likely to have a workforce that is spanning multiple generations.

Why is this so difficult? The different generations currently in the workforce have different styles of working, desire different things from employers, and have all-around different expectations of work situations. Because managers are faced with this challenge, their job can become increasingly difficult. Here are few ways to make this challenge a little less taxing:

Make It Personal

As you manage multiple people and multiple generations, you will discover that the best way to interact is to make it personal. You need to treat each employee as an individual because that is exactly what they are. When you go out of your way to learn names, hobbies, interests, and career goals, you will find that your workforce is more productive and motivated.

Offer Mentorships

If you find your employees are not working well together, it could be because older and younger employees work differently and view things on different terms. In order to help bridge this work gap, pair older workers with young ones in a mentor setting. Do not force the mentorship on anyone and be sure you are selective of who is paired with who, but a mentorship could be exactly what is missing.

Engage Employees

Keep your employees involved and stay involved yourself. When you take the time to engage employees, you take the time to show them you care. Engaged employees are typically better workers because you show interest in their work. Engaging employees goes beyond saying, “hello.” It is taking the time to listen to their ideas and to their goals within your organization.

Keep Things Open

As a manager, you might be tempted to set standards for things like communication. When you do this, you could be limited certain employees preferred styles of working, which means they could end up being unhappy employees. Instead, keep an open mind and allow employees to work the best way they know how.

Don’t Box Employees In

Managing employees who span multiple generations is difficult. In dealing with this difficulty, you might be tempted to treat everyone in a specific generation the same way. However, doing this will box employees in. By doing this, you are assuming that everyone in the same generation is the same, which is not the case. Instead, engage employees and treat them as the individuals they are.

 

Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net 

Why Work With A Recruiter

As you begin the job search process, you may find that it can be overwhelming. From filling out multiple applications to undergoing extensive interview processes, searching for a job can easily become a full-time job. Instead of wasting energy, you can work with a recruiter who will help you find a job that fits your needs and your career goals. Whether you work in the manufacturing industry or as an executive, recruiters can make the entire job search process less strenuous.

One Application

When you work with a recruiter, there is only one application to fill out. Because the recruiter will be submitting you to various jobs, they are the only one who needs an application. Instead of spending all your time filling out job applications for various positions at different companies, you can focus on interviewing, preparing a resume, and making sure you actually get the job.

Interview Help

Your recruiter wants you to succeed, which means they will work with you to make sure you are prepared for any interview. From giving detailed job descriptions to helping you come up with great interview responses, your recruiter is there to help. If you have questions about an interview or a job, you only have to ask!

Your Fallback

Worried about a job interview? Cannot decide what to wear? Are things not going well at your new job? Your recruiter is there to help you. Even after you have started your placement, you can rely on your recruiter for help. Aside from frequent check-ins, you can contact your recruiter about any issues you may be experiencing at your placement

Long-Term Relationship

Your recruiter’s job is to help you find a job, which means at any given time, they may have multiple job opportunities for you. Your recruiter will always be on the job hunt for you. This person will use their network of job openings and clients to find the right job fit for you!

Why Do Workers Keep Leaving?

As an employer or manager, you may find yourself asking “why do workers keep leaving?” For some organizations, high turnover rates are a real issue. For others, retention is a lot better, but still leaves something to be desired. No matter where you are at with retention rates, it is important to ask yourself why employees are leaving. Do you offer enough benefits? Do you provide enough salary incentive? Is your managing style to blame? There are many factors to consider, but some of the top things to ask yourself include:

Am I paying my employees enough?

Unfortunately, as an employer, you may not be able to do much about this question. Sometimes, what you can afford to pay employees just won’t be enough. However, before you lose great employees because you cannot pay them what they want, you should sit down with them, explain the goals of the company, and how you see them fitting into your future. By including employees in your company goals, you can provide them with a real sense of value.

Do I provide enough benefits?

Benefits are another tricky issue when it comes to employees leaving. Like salary, your hands may be tied with what you can offer and you cannot really do more than what you provide. For things like insurance, that may be the case. However, you can offset that by offering non-traditional benefits like an extra personal day, lunch once a week, or even allowing some employees to work remotely. When it comes to benefits, think outside of the box.

What is the work environment like?

One thing to examine when it comes to why employees leave is the work environment. This includes things like culture, organization, and cleanliness. Do you provide a comfortable place for office workers to take their lunch? Are warehouse workers have access to a clean space wherein they can take breaks? These are the types of things you should consider when it comes to the work environment you provide for employees. You may be surprised just how many of your employees are leaving because of these issues.

Is my managing style working?

This one may be tough for many to face, but some employees just do not mesh well with certain managing styles. If you find that you have a high turnover rate, then maybe you need to examine the way you are managing. Are you to hands-off with your employees? Maybe you micro-manage your employees? While there are many different ways to manage, you also need to be adaptable to what your employees’ needs are.

Back to Work Safety

Being away from work allows us to recharge and refocus. However, before you head back to work, you need to prepare yourself. Back to work safety should be one of your first priorities as you return from time off. You might have gotten used to sleeping in or a brand new routine. Whether you were off for the weekend, a vacation or a holiday, it is important to prepare yourself for getting back into the swing of things. Statistics show that it does not take much time away from work for us to lose our good safety habits that we have worked so hard to develop. So before you head back to work, make sure you take care of a few things:

  1. Get the proper amount of sleep.
  2. Clear your head of any off-job issues and remember your work routine.
  3. Play this memory game to get you focused: envision putting on your seatbelt, the drive to work, and then the parking space you normally use.
  4. It’s helpful to san your path of travel for hazards. When we are away from work, we tend to forget about even the small things that we are used to seeing or avoiding on a daily basis. Also, when we are away, things can change so make sure your safe areas haven’t changed and walkways are still the same.
  5. Be sure to review the critical steps of your job and the specific things you have to do in order to stay safe.
  6. Take the time to settle back in to your work area and make sure everything is where you need it to be.

When you return to work, it’s important to guard yourself from distractions. No matter what mood you are in, the gears on your machines still turn, gravity is still in force, chemicals are still hazardous, and certain areas are still loud. As you prepare to return to work, no matter the environment, be on the lookout for any changes that may been made and allow yourself the time to settle back in and take in your surroundings.