How Are You Ensuring Your Team is Happy in Their Roles?

February 7th, 2018

Simply put, happy, engaged employees work harder and produce better results. If you’re not absolutely certain every person on your team is delighted with their job, you have some work to do. Obviously, you’re not a mind-reader, but unhappy, disengaged employees typically send out vibes that are hard to miss.

If, upon closer inspection, you realize your team might not be as satisfied in their roles as you thought, there’s plenty you can do to turn that around.

5 Ways to Ensure Your Team is Happy in Their Roles

 

Listen to Their Ideas

Working for a boss who doesn’t value your thoughts and opinions feels pretty bad. Show your team the respect they deserve by giving them the floor to speak their mind. This will help them feel more included and you’ll almost certainly get some pretty great ideas from them. Rational employees don’t expect you to implement all their suggestions, but simply being heard means a lot.

Empower Them

Micromanaging won’t get you very far in business. If you’re constantly hovering over your employees, forcing them to do things your way or no way, they probably aren’t very happy. Change this by taking a step back and empowering people to make their own decisions. You hired bright, hardworking people, so let them do their jobs as they see fit.

Make Expectations Clear

It’s hard for employees to move forward if they’re not sure what they’re working toward. Communicate with your team on a daily basis to be certain everyone is on the same page. Being part of a winning team is rewarding, but for that to happen, everyone needs to focus on the same goal.

Check In Regularly

One of the easiest ways to determine if employees are happy is to just ask them. Hold one-on-one meetings with staffers on a regular basis to discuss things that are going well, any obstacles they’re facing, and projects they’d like to work on in the future. When you take an active interest in the lives of your team, you’re able to make a difference.

Treat Them Well

It should go without saying, but making your company a great place to work is a fantastic way to boost employee satisfaction rates. Be kind to them, show gratitude for great work, and lead by example. Perks — i.e., the ability work remotely part of the time, free snacks, and paid training opportunities — can also sweeten the deal, so find some incentives that fit your budget and business model.

Need a little more time to focus on your team? ECS offers compliant professional payrolling and independent contractor management services to employers in a variety of industries because we know how important it is for you to be present for your staff. Make a change for the better by contacting us today!

Hiring Trends to Watch for in 2018

January 31st, 2018

Each new year brings a wave of trends in every aspect of life, including hiring. Expect 2018 to be no different, as there’s never a dull moment in the constantly-changing business realm. Keeping up with these new trends can take some time and effort, but it’s necessary to attract top talent.

4 Hiring Trends to Watch in 2018

1. Improved Candidate Experience

The unemployment rate has been on a steady decline since 2016. This number reached a more than 10-year low of 4.1% in November 2017, meaning candidates now have the upper hand. Securing top talent will become more challenging than it’s been in years, so companies will need to provide an optimal candidate experience to keep them feeling appreciated and engaged throughout the process.

2. Continued Emphasis on Social Recruiting

An overwhelming 70% of employers used social media to screen candidates in 2017, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Not only that, 57% of respondents said they were less likely to interview a candidate they couldn’t find online. Social media shows no signs of slowing, so this hiring trend is poised to become even more prominent in 2018.

3. Rise of Mobile

The vast majority of Americans — 77% — own a smartphone, according to 2017 data from the Pew Research Center. This number will likely rise in 2018, and as even more people own smartphones, the need for a mobile-friendly hiring process will surge. People are using their mobile phones to search for jobs anytime they have a few spare minutes in the day, so HR sites must be optimized for mobile. Failing to do so will cause companies to lose candidates because plenty of other employers are more than willing to accommodate mobile job seekers.

4. Expansion of Contingent Workforce

Just a few years ago, it was uncommon for professionals to hold anything but permanent, full-time positions, but things have changed. Employers are starting to realize they can cut costs by reducing their full-time payroll to only a core group of staffers and professionals are taking control of their career — and personal life — by seeking non-traditional employment options. Therefore the number of temporary and freelance jobs will likely rise in 2018, and they’ll be met with overwhelming demand.

If your workday has become a bit too hectic, ease the stress by partnering with ECS. We are pleased to offer solutions to clients and recruiters in need of cost-effective management and deployment of their contract labor force. Contact us today to find out what we can do for your business!

How to Improve Efficiency and Focus in the Office

January 24th, 2018

A new year is a great time for a fresh start. If you feel like a lack of efficiency and focus has been holding you back, it’s time to make a change. There’s no need to do things the hard way or spend your day on projects that don’t interest you. Make 2018 your best year yet by learning how to maximize your time.

4 Ways to Boost Efficiency and Focus at Work

Use these tips to become more productive and accomplished, so you can stop leaving the office feeling exhausted and unfulfilled.

1. Make a To-Do List

It’s hard to focus when you’re not even sure what you should be doing. When you get to your desk each morning, make a to-do list containing every task you need to complete by the end of the day. Create a flow by deciding in advance exactly how much time you’ll spend on each item, so you don’t lose track of time.

2. Work Without Interruptions

Constant disruptions make it hard to accomplish anything, but the office is filled with them. Phone calls, emails, and people stopping by your desk can seriously hinder your productivity, so curb them. Schedule blocks of times on your calendar for uninterrupted work. During this time, close your email app, silence the ringer on your phone, and ask any visitors to come back later. Even the slightest disturbance can cause you to lose your train of thought, so guard your quiet time.

3. Take Breaks

When you’re trying to be more productive, taking breaks might seem like the opposite of what you should be doing, but it’s not. Your brain can only focus for so long before it stops absorbing new information. Taking a break for lunch or going outside for some fresh air clears your mind and allows you to feel refreshed. You’ll return to your desk feeling re-energized and ready to work.

4. Learn When to Push Back

Saying no is hard, but you don’t have to agree to every request that comes your way. Whether you’re invited to a meeting you don’t need to attend or asked to work on a project that truly doesn’t interest you, it’s okay to speak up. You’re only human and there’s only so many hours in the day, so take control of how your time is spent.

Need help improving efficiency and focus at work? ECS has been assisting employers and recruiters like you for more than 20 years, so allow us to help you make the most of your day.

Contact us today to make a plan for a successful 2018!

 

Tips on How to Manage a Team as a New Manager

January 17th, 2018

Becoming a new manager is a great honor, so congratulations on your accomplishment! Right now, you’re probably feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety, because being the boss is a very big job. However, it’s certainly nothing you can’t handle, so it’s time to embrace being in charge.

Your first few days as the boss set the tone for the rest of your tenure. Find out how to start strong and be the manager your team needs.

5 Tips for Success as a New Manager

1. Get Acquainted With Your Team

People work hard for managers they like, so take the time to bond with your employees. If you were promoted internally, you probably already know these people, but you’ll need to build the foundation for a different kind of relationship.

Schedule one-on-one meetings with each person to learn about their current skillsets and career goals, so you can assign work appropriately. Get everyone together for an offsite outing — i.e., team lunch — to learn more about their lives outside the office.

2. Keep It Professional

You might be used to befriending your co-workers, and if you were promoted to a managerial role, you’re likely already friends with several. While it might feel natural to develop friendships with your employees, you can’t take this route.

Managing employees who are personal friends adds another layer of difficulty to the job. Plus, feelings are bound to get hurt if other staffers feel like you’re playing favorites. If you’re already friends with some of your new team members, make it clear that your relationship inside the office has to change.

3. Treat Everyone With Respect

Many first-time managers let their newfound power go to their head, but this won’t win you any fans. There’s no need to bark orders like a drill sergeant or constantly flaunt your managerial status.

As the boss, you want your staff to respect you, but this sentiment is earned. You set the tone for your team, so if you treat people kindly, they will do the same in return.

4. Be Available to Employees

Getting a new boss is a major adjustment for employees, so help them with the transition by being present. Put your staff first by promptly responding to their emails, visiting their work area multiple times per day, and keeping your office door open as much as possible.

5. Display Steadfast Confidence

Learning how to be a boss is a process. There’s a good chance you’re scared out of your mind and aren’t sure of what you’re doing much of the time, but feign confidence for your team. People need to feel like their leader is rock solid. Anything less will cause chaos to ensue and will result in some employees walking all over you.

Being a new manager is hard work, so ease some of the stress of your new job by joining forces with ECS. We offer a full suite of services to recruiters and payrolling and independent contractor management services to employers. Contact us today to discuss a partnership!

The Secret to Boosting Productivity Through Automation

December 26th, 2017

If your company is still completing most — or all — tasks manually, it’s time to make a change. There’s only so many hours in the day, so it’s important to get the most from them. Automation allows you to maximize productivity while minimizing costly human errors, so it can seriously inflate your bottom line.

The main secret to boosting productivity through automation is taking the time to do it right. No two companies have the same needs, so create a unique plan catered to your organization.

4 Tips to Make Your Automation Initiative a Success

Set Your Priorities

Take inventory of your current processes and procedures to determine where automation is needed most. Knowing where you’ll get the most value from it will give you a great starting point. In time, you might decide to automate even more aspects of your business, but starting in the right place sets the tone for future success.

Use One Portal

Automation is supposed to save time, not make things even more confusing. Organizing all tasks under one portal will make things much easier, as employees will only have to log in to one interface to access all functions. This saves the hassle of having to remember multiple passwords and usernames, and also allows people to move seamlessly from one task to the next.

Provide Formal Training

If your employees don’t understand how to use the software, you won’t get very far with automation. People learn in different ways, so gather everyone together for formal instruction on the automated technologies, and also provide each employee with a written manual to reference. For automation to be a success, you need the team to know how to properly enter workflows, make changes to processes as needed, and troubleshoot.

Don’t Automate Everything

Some processes are an obvious choice for automation, but others should be left to a human. Clients enjoy interacting with people, not automated software. Working with a person creates a bond that retains clients. Companies become much more interchangeable when clients don’t have a personal relationship with anyone in the business, so don’t turn your team into a bunch of robots.

Searching for ways to streamline your contingent labor workforce? ECS has more than 20 years of experience in the contingent staffing industry, and we want to use our knowledge to help your staffing firm or company. Contact us today to find out what we can do for your business!

How Do I Deal With a Client I Don’t Like?

December 12th, 2017

It’s a fact of life that you’re not going to like every person you meet. For the most part, this isn’t a problem, but it does become an issue when one of those people is your client. Working for someone you don’t care for can be enormously challenging, because not only are you forced to be in regular contact with the client, the fruits of your labor directly benefit them.

Sometimes it’s possible to put your feelings aside to serve a client you don’t care for without issue, and other times it isn’t. Every situation is unique, so create a plan to figure yours out.

4 Ways to Deal With a Client You Don’t Like

Get to the Root of the Problem

Deciphering exactly what it is about the client that irks you will get you one step closer to a resolution. Maybe they call you too much after hours or always expect you to drop what you’re doing to assist them. When you’ve identified the behavior(s) that irritate you, it’s much easier to either accept them as they are or work toward a positive change.

Set Ground Rules

Clients pay your bills, but that doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want. Establish a few rules to help adjust your client’s behavior. For example, explain that you need a one-week turnaround time on projects to do your best work for them. Getting on the same page with the person could make all the difference. It’s very possible they have no idea their behavior is grating on your nerves.

Keep It Professional

You should enjoy most aspects of your job, but sometimes you just have to grin and bear it. Try to remember that the person is a client, not a friend, so you don’t have to like them. Keep all chatter on a professional level and concentrate on the task-at-hand. It might be easier to tolerate the person if work is the sole focus of your conversations.

Know When to Move On

If after giving it a fair try, you still can’t handle your client, it’s time to cut ties. Find another employee at your company with a personality more apt to work with the person. When explaining the shift to the client, it should go without saying that you cannot mention anything about your disdain for them. Simply explain that their new representative is better apt to serve them.

Client management requires a great deal of time and energy, so join forces with ECS to make sure you can handle all the responsibilities on your list. Our team provides a full suite of services to recruiters and payrolling and independent contractor management services to employers. Contact us today to discuss your needs!

Small Things to Do Around the Office to Keep Your Employees Engaged

December 5th, 2017

If your employee engagement levels aren’t quite what they used to be, it’s time to swing into action. You might assume this is a temporary lull — and that could be the case — but productivity and quality of work plummet when people become disengaged, and you can’t afford for that to happen.

Since things haven’t gotten too bad yet, there’s plenty of little things you can around the office to ensure people don’t forget why they chose their jobs in the first place.

5 Small Ways to Keep Your Employees Engaged

Set Short-Term Goals

Long-term goals are important because they guide the way to future success, but it can be hard to for people to get excited about an objective that won’t be achieved for several months or even years. Get your team energized by breaking big-picture goals down into smaller, more digestible pieces. When people can comprehend the progress they’re making right now, they’ll become more invested in the process.

Provide Regular Feedback

Many employees have a hard time giving work their all if they think the boss isn’t watching. Keep them engaged by providing them with consistent feedback. This will encourage them to work harder and better because they don’t want to fall short of their manager’s expectations.

Build a Cohesive Team Environment

When employees are close with one another, they do better work, because they don’t want to disappoint peers they respect and care about. Foster a strong sense of team by holding regular team lunches, getting people together for weekly happy hours, and arranging other team-building exercises as needed to help your staff bond.

Encourage Hands-On Participation

From an employee’s perspective, it’s hard to get excited about work when you don’t feel a sense of ownership. Establish this by allowing people to do work their own way, instead of dictating every last step. You hired hard-working employees with brilliant minds, so tap into the resource right in front of you.

Create a Fun Challenge

A little friendly competition is a great way to rouse employee participation. This doesn’t have to be a big, formal event. Simply come up with a challenge, decide if it will be completed on a solo or team basis, and choose a simple prize — i.e. a $5 Starbucks gift card or a lunchtime pizza party. This will make work more fun and encourage people to step up their contributions.

Keeping employees engaged is no easy task, so team up with ECS to ensure you can dedicate the time to your staff that they deserve. We offer payrolling and independent contractor management services to businesses in a wide-variety of industries, including Fortune 500 companies, defense contractors, information technology, accounting, and engineering firms. Contact us today to find out how we can lighten your workload!

Do Your Employees Take Enough Vacation?

November 29th, 2017

You give your employees a certain number of vacation days each year, but chances are, many aren’t taking them. According to a May 2017 survey conducted by Glassdoor, the average U.S. employee has taken only 54% of their paid time off during the past year.

If this statistic reflects what’s going on in your office, it’s time to take action. Your employees might think they’re showcasing a diehard work ethic by forfeiting their vacation days, but they’re not helping anyone in the long run.

4 Reasons Your Employees Need a Vacation

Avoid Burnout

Your staffers are only human. There are limits to the amount of work they can endure before reaching their breaking point, and going nonstop without a vacation can expedite this.  If people reach burnout, their health, happiness, and effectiveness at work will plummet. Anyone in this state is basically ineffective, so they’ll no longer be a productive member of your team.

Promote Cross-Training

Like many companies, several employees probably have tasks only they know how to complete. So far, this hasn’t been a problem, but if they were to quit, your team would be in trouble. When people go on vacation, their peers are forced to step in while they’re away, which creates a culture of cross-training. Not only does this cover your bases so more than one person knows how to do the work, it also opens the door for innovation.

Boost Productivity

Getting out of the office on vacation relaxes the mind, body, and soul. Employees return to work with newfound energy and that allows them to work more efficiently. Feeling refreshed from a few days or a week away from the office puts an extra spring in their step that results in an inflated bottom line for your company.

Incite Creativity

A tired mind isn’t the most imaginative. If your staff is exhausted, they’re working on autopilot to accomplish the bare minimum. You can’t expect them to come up with inventive ideas that will advance your company because they don’t have it in them. Getting away from the office for a vacation allows them to enjoy a fresh perspective. They’ll return to work revitalized and filled with creativity, which will be reflected in their work.

If your employees aren’t taking enough vacation, you probably aren’t either. Get the break you need by teaming up with ECS to streamline your contingent labor workforce and minimize the risks associated with employing contract and temporary staffers. Contact us today to get started!

What To Do When You Have Too Much On Your Plate at Work?

November 22nd, 2017

As a busy manager, you always have a lot on your agenda, but everyone has their limits. Trying to be superhuman might work for awhile, but it will cause you to reach burnout.

Realizing you’re in over your head is the first step in the right direction. Now it’s time to make positive changes, so you can achieve a healthy work-life balance. Find out how to get your endless to-do list under control.

4 Ways to Get a Handle on Your Heavy Workload

Prioritize Your Tasks

Every item on your to-do list doesn’t carry equal weight. Identify the tasks that are most important and focus your efforts on them. There’s no need to waste time on busywork or assignments that can be completed at a later date without issue.

Learn to Delegate

It’s hard to let go of responsibilities, but you can’t do it all. Identify tasks that don’t truly need to be completed by you and assign them to your team. This will free up a lot of room in your day, make it possible to meet more deadlines, and allow your employees to learn valuable new skills.

You might be tempted to hover, but this could actually cost you extra time, instead of saving it. Provide all necessary information and instructions needed to complete the task, then give people the freedom to complete it their own way.

Practice Better Time Management

There’s only so many hours in the day, so you have to use them wisely. Take a look at how you’re spending your workday to find ways to better optimize your time. For example, declining meeting invitations you don’t truly need to be at and only checking your email three times per day can add a significant amount of time back into your day that can be used to accomplish more.

Realize It’s Okay to Say ‘No’

You worked your way to the top because you’re always willing to take on a challenge, but you have to know when to draw the line. If a task doesn’t fall within your expertise or you — and your team now that you’re delegating — don’t have the bandwidth, don’t be afraid to speak up. Other people don’t know the extent of what’s on your plate, so they won’t know you’re at capacity unless you tell them.

Eliminate some of the tasks on your plate by partnering with ECS. For more than 20 years, our team has been providing compliant professional payrolling and independent contractor services to companies of all sizes and industries, including Fortune 500 companies, defense contractors, information technology, accounting, and engineering firms. Get in touch today to learn how we can be of assistance!

 

Why Should You Invest In Your Staff?

November 15th, 2017

You invest a great deal of resources to hire employees, but that should just be the beginning. If you’re not continuing to provide your team with the support needed to advance their skills, you’ll pay a larger price down the road.

Find out what you have to gain by placing a larger emphasis on the people that keep your business running.

5 Reasons to Invest in Your Staff

Stay Ahead of the Curve

The business world is constantly changing, so if you don’t keep your employees up to date, your company will get left in the dust. Feel certain that your competitors value ongoing training and are providing it to their teams. If you don’t follow suit, your staff won’t be informed about new trends impacting your industry and their once-sharp skills will become obsolete.

Attract Top Talent

The best and brightest professionals have a thirst for knowledge, so they seek employers that value continuing education. Top talent wants benefits like tuition assistance, a mentoring program, and regular training opportunities. If your offerings fall short of the industry standard, there’s no way you’ll be able to convince them to join your team.

Grow the Skills of Existing Staffers

You have a great team of people on staff, but they won’t stay put very long if you don’t invest in them. Providing frequent opportunities for consistent growth will boost your retention rates by helping you mold employees into promotable talent. If people know you’ll train them to take the next step at your company, they’ll want to stay put.

Boost Morale

Working for an employer that believes in you feels great, so employees are much happier at companies that provide learning opportunities. Instead of getting the impression they’re just a number, this investment makes them realize you truly care about them. Consequently, morale rises and when spirits are high, elevated levels of productivity and efficiency follow.

Gain an Outstanding Reputation

People don’t want to work for or do business with a company that treats its employees poorly. When you devote resources toward staff advancement, you gain a reputation as an employer that doesn’t just care about your bottom line. This will allow you to achieve an elevated status in the eyes of your peers, customers, and potential new hires.

Your employees are the backbone of your company, so they require a lot of attention. Get the time needed to focus on your staff by partnering with ECS. Contact us today to learn how your company can benefit from our compliant professional payrolling and independent contractor management services.