The StaffEx Blog

Warehouse Safety Tips for St. Petersburg Employers

April 16th, 2014

When managing a warehouse facility it is extremely important to pay special attention to safety in the workplace. Permanent and temporary workers should be able to perform at top levels without having to worry about the safety of the equipment and facility. Here are a few warehouse safety tips for your manufacturing facility.

  • Train your staff. Your permanent staff should be trained with safety procedures and provided with any equipment that can make their job easier and safer. Temporary employees should also be provided a safety orientation when they arrive on the job before they start to work.
  • Keep it clean. Accidents happen in warehouses when items are out-of-place or spills are not cleaned up from the floor. Work with your staff to establish a cleaning routine to keep everything as safe as possible.
  • Reasonable time requirements. Rushing is also a cause of accidents on the job. Don’t expect your employees, permanent or temporary, to perform the job at unsafe rates of speed. Encourage them to take their time when they are learning so they understand all of the components and challenges. Unless their slowness becomes a hazard on its own don’t be alarmed when an employee works at their own pace.
  • Zero-tolerance. Your safety policies should include zero-tolerance for unsafe behaviors on the job. If an employee does something to jeopardize the safety of themselves or others they should be reprimanded appropriately. This may also be a good time to reinforce training. Issues that include alcohol or drugs should be cause for immediate dismissal.
  • Forklift safety. Forklifts offer their own challenges on the job. Only allow employees who have been tested and certified to operate your specific forklift machines to work with them. Make sure they are always in good repair. Train your staff to observe safety procedures around the forklifts.
  • Personal safety. Individuals also need to feel empowered to be safe on the job. Offer them information and training for personal safety. If the facility is open at night have a parking lot escort to ensure that everyone feels safe when going to and from their cars.

Do you need additional information on warehouse safety procedures? StaffEx, one of the leading Tampa Bay employment agencies, can help you today!

Are You a Boss or Leader in Your Tampa Organization?

March 19th, 2014

While the words “boss” and “leader” are often seen as interchangeable in business it is important to note the subtle differences. Which characteristics do you want to embody? Let’s take a look at the things that separate bosses from leaders and how you can develop your skills to become a better leader for your team.

  • Be sure to look at the spaces between. Bosses tend to see a world in black and white. A boss will insist that something be done only one way and not allow for creative freedom, changes in efficiency, or new ideas to change the way things have always been done. A leader, however, sees all the shades of gray in between. They can evaluate a project or candidates based on their own specific merits and encourage growth within the organization.
  • Teach rather than tell. The very term “boss” implies a sense of domination and control. When we call someone bossy it isn’t usually said with admiration. A boss will tell their employees how to do their jobs, but a leader will teach them. A leader will share knowledge and understand the different learning styles of every member of the team.
  • Gain trust rather than fear of your employees. One of the biggest reasons exiting employees cite for leaving a job is that they didn’t get along with their manager. When an employee does something out of fear of retaliation it can negatively affect the quality of work and breed resentment. Instead, a leader will gain the trust of their staff. They will be someone with whom they can speak about difficult subjects and feel good about being in their corner.
  • Embrace collaboration and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. The image of a boss sitting in their corner office not doing any real work is prevalent in pop culture. Unfortunately, the stereotype is all too often true. To be a leader you need to be willing to work with your team and collaborate with them to determine the best solution. You made it to your position because you possessed skills and knowledge that can benefit the company so put them to use.
  • Coach your staff rather than criticize them. Bosses often resort to intimidation and criticism to correct negative situations in the office. However, a leader understands that positive reinforcement and praise will achieve better, longer lasting results. When an employee is not performing up to standards create a coaching plan that plays to their strengths to encourage them to improve.

Do you want to improve your leadership skills to make your office a better place? StaffEx, one of the leading Tampa Bay employment agencies, can help you today!

Job Search Goals to set in 2014

December 18th, 2013

Ringing in the New Year means a lot of things to a lot of people. Many will set New Year’s resolutions and most of will be abandoned by February. Rather than challenging yourself with these typical resolutions consider your job search for the New Year. This is a perfect time to reconsider what you’ve been doing and make changes as we head into 2014. As we celebrate the beginning of a new year, take a look at your career and job search goals and what changes you can make for 2014.

  • What were your goals in 2013? The best way to determine where you are going is to look at where you have been. What kind of goals did you set for yourself this past year? How did they work? Now would be a good time to review what you did and how you can make changes to make your job search more effective after the first of the year.
  • Reassess your accomplishments. Updating your resume is about more than just your skills and experience. Look at your accomplishments and determine the best way to show potential employers what you can do for their company. This is a perfect time to brag about the things you’ve accomplished in your career.
  • Be realistic with your goals. If you are looking for a complete career change, it might not be feasible to simply jump from one job to another. If you are looking for another position with the skills and experience you already possess there are some things you can do to make your background stand out to potential employers. Think about your goals and what small steps you can take to make big changes in your job hunt for next year.
  • Embrace your ability to be flexible. Nothing will ever go exactly as you have planned it in your mind. It is important to be able to roll with the punches throughout your job search so that you keep all of the possibilities open for the future. When things come your way, think about how they can help or hinder your search and act accordingly.

Are you ready to jump start your job search for 2014? If you are looking for employment agencies in Tampa, contact us today.

6 Ways You Can Improve Your Professional Productivity

September 19th, 2013

Manager and employees alike have a responsibility to their careers and their companies to consistently improve their skills and productivity. Have you reevaluated your personal productivity in the work place recently? As we begin the downward slope of the year heading for the holidays and 2014 it is a good time to look at the way you work and make changes to improve. Here are six things you can review and improve on before the end of this year.

  • The difference between Goal and Objective. Often in business these two words are interchangeable but they do have very different meanings and purposes. Goals are broad and often un-measurable. They are what you are trying to achieve. An objective can be validated and are often a means to reach the goal. Review your goals and establish objectives to achieve them.
  • What are your specifics? There are a lot of questions to ask yourself when you are determining how to be more productive. Beyond knowing your goals and objectives it is important to know the benefits and the actions required. The more focused you are with your achievements the more likely you will finish them.
  • Measure your progress. As you look at your goal and the objectives that can lead you to it you need to establish benchmarks along the way. Each time you reach a set point on your timeline you can measure the progress of your project. All of the quantifiable data will be important to understanding the success of your task.
  • Establish your control. Of course, each of your objectives is only possible in as much as you have control over the process. What is your role in the project and is your goal attainable? Don’t just look at the physical objectives but consider the psychological ones. Is this a goal that you have a desire to accomplish? You will only be engaged if the project enriches you.
  • Have the right tools and resources. You are only able to complete the project if you have all the right tools at your fingertips. Look at what you need to accomplish each objective and, ultimately, your goal. If the objective is not realistic for you to accomplish you may need to rethink the scope of the project and your role in it.
  • Give yourself a time limit. Once you set a deadline you begin to focus on the project differently. Without it the steps can take far too long and the goal may no longer be important as you meander across the finish line. This gives you a clear picture of how quickly you need to work to accomplish each objective and will help keep you on track.

Are you looking for more ways to stay motivated in the office? If you are looking for staffing agencies Tampa FL, contact us today.

Hiring Is Your Most Important Investment

September 11th, 2013

Too often hiring managers treat their decision as an impulse purchase. For example, you met a candidate who seems to check all the boxes and you are immediately in love with their personality. They may even remind you of you early in your career. Your decision is made on the spot but it doesn’t take long for you to realize you’ve made a mistake. After the employee begins working you notice the flaws you should have seen during the interview process. Change the way you think about the hiring process and treat it like an investment. Here are some ways you can be successful at hiring the right candidate the first time.

  1. Develop interviewing benchmarks. Before you schedule the first interview develop a list of questions to ask each candidate. This will give you an opportunity to compare apples to apples and determine which candidate is best suited for your job environment. Don’t only focus on their resume and job experience, ask questions that allow you to see their critical thinking skills. After all of the interviews go back and review all of the answers together.
  2. Utilize drug and background checks. This type of independent information can help you determine if a candidate is suitable for your employment. You want to hire responsible candidates who match your company core values. Establish criteria for acceptable results and test each and every candidate you’re considering. Your local staffing company can assist by providing these services as part of their cost.
  3. Don’t skip references. While many corporations have a policy to only provide dates of employment it is important to try to get as much background information as possible. Your candidates should have a few connections that can give more than cursory facts and can tell you a bit about their work style. This is also a service your local staffing agency can assist with so talk with them about how they can help.
  4. Provide stellar training and support. 22% of new employees leave before they have completed 45 days on the job. Most cite lack of training and support as their reasons for failing. Spend some time onboarding your new employee to educate them about the company culture and find out more about how they learn best. Don’t wait for their 90 day review to follow up with them.

Do you want to know more about how a staffing service can help you recruit your next employee? If you are looking for staffing agencies in Tampa, contact the StaffEx today.

Soft Skills Needed In the Tampa Workplace

August 8th, 2013

It is exceptionally important that you are able to find a candidate who possesses all of the technical skills to perform for your open position. Have you thought much about their soft skills? Soft skills are those personality traits that are hard to define and often the reasons so many clients describe their ideal candidate as “I’ll know it when I see it.” If you are able to define the soft skills that you are looking for you will have better success hiring the right person from the start. Here are some soft skills to look for in your next interviewing process.

  1. Must be adaptable.  Companies are looking for individuals who are not easily stressed out by changes in direction or priorities. Some individuals don’t handle change well and when new systems are introduced they can breakdown or it can take them an excessive amount of time to come back up to speed. If you can adapt quickly to changes in the office you may be a great fit for their position.
  2. Must be good at building relationships. Good interpersonal skills between you and your coworkers is a very important skill to bring to the table. A manager doesn’t want to handle personal vendettas, bullying, or other negative situations that could affect the entire office team. If you’re good at getting along with all types of other people you will have an advantage.
  3. Must have excellent communications skills. Some people don’t like confrontation so they use passive aggressive communications techniques to try to avoid negative situations. Other people are overly aggressive suggesting that they are just “telling it like it is” or being honest. Good communications skills can walk a fine line between honesty and compassion. It is important that you can explain your thoughts well both verbally and in writing.
  4. Must be willing to learn. So often individuals become stagnant in their duties and experience. Companies want to work with people who will take on challenges and grow within the company. They want to know they can trust their employees with projects and tasks that they may have never done before. If you can and are willing to learn new things your experience will be enhanced.

Do you have exceptional soft skills that you would like to share with your next employer? Contact StaffEx to see what we are working on today!

Can the Use of Company Culture Lead to Better Hires

July 30th, 2013

It may not seem like an important step, but hiring individuals who share the same core values as your organization is critical to performance and success. Dissatisfaction with a job can have a lot to do with a disconnect between your employees and your company culture. You can mitigate this situation by discussing your corporate values from the very first interview. If you hire individuals who match your values you will have less turnover and more brand advocates. Here are some tips using your company culture to help make better hiring decisions.

  1. Research. Are your company values something that is easily accessible? Has your organization created a mission statement or other literature that describe your corporate culture? If not, it is time to develop these things to share with the public. Look at competitors’ websites to see how they have shared this information. Look at the results of the “best companies to work for” in your area to see what it is that attracts candidates to their facilities.
  2. Job descriptions. Each job description should reflect the company’s values. This will be the first marketing material any new candidates see and it is important that they understand who you are as a company. Include your mission in the job description. Emphasize any values that are important to the organization. This may be diversity, teamwork, innovation or anything else that gives your organization its distinct personality.
  3. Interview strategy. You want each new candidate to really see the environment where they may be working. Don’t sequester them in a sterile conference room. Conduct the interview in a place that reflects your corporate culture. Take them on a tour of the facility and introduce them to people with whom they will be working. Give them a “day in the life” snapshot of what it is like to be a part of your team.
  4. Get feedback. After you developed these procedures it is important to get feedback to make sure you are communicating the right information to potential candidates. Talk to recent hires to find out what worked and what didn’t so you can make the message better. Talk to candidates who turned the job down and find out why. Use this information to streamline your message.

Do you want to work with a staffing service that shares your company values? Contact the team at StaffEx for more information.

Improving Employee Quality of Life and Work

June 21st, 2013

It has been proven time and time again that happy employees are better at their jobs than those who are just getting through each workday. As a manager or business owner you have the responsibility to ensure your employees are engaged and motivated every day. Here are five ideas that can help improve your employees experience and keep them happy on the job.

  1. Be a good manager, but not a micromanager. A top complaint from unhappy employees is that they feel their manager is constantly over their shoulder evaluating their work even before it is complete. If you’ve said you want to hire self-starters, allow them to self-start. Let your team to use their specific skills to be successful and you’ll see great results.
  2. Employee recognition. Positive reinforcement goes a long way to increasing employee satisfaction. When an employee does a good job be sure to provide them with recognition in the office. It is dangerous to assume that employees should not be told they are doing a good job because this leads to a culture where people only hear negative things.
  3. Set goals and reward achievements. Challenge your employees to meet your production goals and provide fun rewards at the end of the project. Rewards don’t have to be elaborate and employees value time more than money or material goods. Allow them to enjoy a happy hour, a long lunch, or even an extra half day off work.
  4. Create challenges for your employees. Studies have also shown that employee satisfaction is tied to the challenge of their jobs. Employees aren’t satisfied by coasting on the job and they want to learn more and contribute. If you see an employee becoming bored with their job duties provide them additional projects or change up their functions to get the blood flowing again.
  5. Free lunches. Food is a motivator. Do you remember pizza day in elementary school? Occasionally, and randomly, cater lunch in for your employees. Not only will this make them happy but it also encourages community as your team will spend the lunch hour in the office making connections with coworkers.

Are you looking for more creative ways to engage your employees? Contact StaffEx to find out more ways we can help you!

Summertime Office Improvements to Keep Employees Happy

May 29th, 2013

It’s summertime and your employees are getting restless. It isn’t unusual to have that drop in production between Memorial Day and Labor Day as people are thinking about the beach rather than their jobs. Consider these ways to make some subtle changes in your office environment to re-engage employees and make them happier this summer.

  1. A voluntary employee wellness program. Create a culture of health in your office by offering discounted gym memberships, allowing employees to sign up for a lunchtime walk, replacing candy and soda with healthy snacks and water in your break room, and maybe even bringing in a massage therapist. Consider the creative and healthy things you can do for your employees.
  2. A summertime work schedule.  It is hard to compete with daydreams about the beach and the desire to lay out by the pool. Consider offering a flex schedule or a time bank where employees can have some additional time off. Perhaps 4, 10 hour workdays during the week with either every Friday off or a rotating schedule among your staff to ensure coverage.
  3. Job growth and development. It is easy to slow down in the summer and not want to focus on the job. This is a great time to offer additional training, establish new goals, and have celebrations for big accomplishments.
  4. Redecorate. It might be time to reconsider your office layout and décor. Talk to your employees about how they feel about their environment. Can you improve the mood simply by changing the colors? Does it make sense to reorganize the cubicles? You might even find that the employees think it gets to hot and stuffy in the office and setting the air conditioner at a lower temperature can help get the blood flowing.
  5. Social enterprise. Are you noticing your employees sneaking some peeks at their own Facebook pages throughout the day? They may spend less time there on Mondays but by Friday they are using valuable company time chatting with friends online. The solution isn’t to restrict social media but to harness it. Offer an internal social network that can help different departments collaborate with one another.
  6. Reconsider time wasters. Is that weekly meeting really necessary or do your employees dread it? They know that audit is required but that doesn’t make it any easier to slog through. Consider how to streamline these kinds of requirements and offer ways to make them more engaging.

Are you looking for creative ideas to engage your team? Contact StaffEx to find out more.

Develop a Talent Pipeline for Your Business

April 14th, 2013

Many businesses, small and large, want to understand the benefits of working with a staffing company. Not only can a company provide temporary staff for various projects, but they can also help develop a talent pipeline. Partnering with a local agency is a great way to gain access to top talent. Consider these five reasons to work with a staffing service in your area.

  • Generate interest. A primary mission of a staffing company is to develop relationships with candidates. It is our job to pass on information about fantastic job openings to each person we feel is a stellar candidate. If you are frequently looking for star talent, we are able to share that information with candidates who apply with us, so they are excited about an opportunity when it becomes available.
  • A bigger window. Most job postings only run for a few weeks at a time. This limited time frame also limits the potential candidates who will apply. A perfect employee may not see the job posting or be able to submit their resume prior to a hiring decision being made. By working with a staffing service in your area, you give candidates unlimited access to your opportunities, creating a bigger pool of potential new employees.
  • Establishing your brand. Potential candidates should know your company and be interested in working with you even when you’re not hiring. Develop an online brand that showcases your successes and shares your work environment in a way that generates excitement. A local staffing service can provide this information to potential candidates as well.
  • Using technology. Mobile devices and social networking have changed the recruiting landscape for good. To engage the next generation of talent, companies need to embrace these technologies and reach out to Gen Y. These employees want to work for a company, which embraces these new processes and will tend to avoid an organization that doesn’t appear to be part of the information age. A staffing company can help you put together this plan and target the right candidates.
  • Community building. A job post is not always a two-way street. Sometimes it is more like a web. Individuals will see postings and forward them to friends or family they feel will be a good fit. Staffing services offer referral programs that attract good candidates, who then recommend other qualified candidates.

Do you want to develop a strong talent pipeline for your business? Work with the professional team at StaffEx to see how we can help you!