4 Tips for Improving Engagement
When it comes to peak performance and productivity, employee engagement plays a big part. You need your people to do more than just show up and perform the bare minimum to get by. You need workers who are truly passionate about what they do and motivated to succeed.
So how can you boost engagement and bring out the best in your team members? With these tips from Murray Resources, a leading staffing agency in Houston TX:
Focus on cultural fit when hiring.
One of the best ways to build engagement is during the hiring process, before you even bring an employee on board. Finding those people who are going to be a fit not simply for the role, but also for your company at large is vital. You need to ensure values, beliefs, behaviors and backgrounds align with your organization. When they do, you’ll have employees who are happier at work, along with being more engaged and productive, as a result.
Offer skills training.
When it comes to the workplace, it’s moving ahead at a rapid pace with new advancements and technologies around every corner. If you want your team to take advantage of these, you need to offer training and support. Otherwise, skills will become stagnant, impacting performance, productivity and engagement.
Define goals and expectations.
When your team knows what you expect from them today and your vision for the future tomorrow, they’re going to become more efficient and productive. But it’s up to you to communicate all this to your employees. Beyond discussing specific goals, it’s also important to give your employees a big-picture perspective so they understand how their work and performance impact the organization as a whole.
Provide feedback and support.
Don’t wait until an employee gets completely off track before you offer feedback. Instead, you should be meeting regularly and informally with your staff members to offer them insight into areas where their performance needs to be improved, as well as to praise and recognize them for work well done. If they need to acquire new skills or knowledge, provide the support and resources necessary to help them along the way.
When employees are engaged, not only are they more productive, but more loyal too. In the long run, a solid employee engagement program can therefore increase retention rates, as well.
Need help finding the right workers to engage on your team?
Call the experts at Murray Resources. As a leading staffing agency in Houston TX, we can help you find the qualified people you need, where and when you need them, whether on a temporary or full-time basis. Contact us today to learn more or get started.
Are Negative Online Reviews Hurting Your Employer Brand? Here’s What to Do
Your online reviews play a big part in your reputation among your customers. But did you know they also impact your ability to recruit, as well? As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that just like customers, candidates too look to these to judge whether or not they’d like to apply for an opportunity with your company.
So what if someone, like a disgruntled former employee, posts something negative about your workplace? What should you do?
First and foremost, it’s always important to track online comments and know what people are saying about your company. That doesn’t mean you should respond to every negative comment out there. However, if something that’s stated is clearly false and it’s especially damaging to your brand, then it is important to consider responding. Here’s how to do it in a productive manner:
Take anger out of the equation.
Don’t respond in anger or hurl insults at the person that’s posting. Instead, be diplomatic and simply respond with an honest answer. If their criticism is a fair one, then acknowledge it and talk about the steps you’re taking to fix the issue. If it’s not, then give specific examples as to why. Keep in mind that everything you post will be seen by the general public, so you want to keep your comments professional.
Keep it short and clear.
Don’t go into a 2,000 word diatribe about your company and why the negative comments aren’t true. Instead, you simply want to get your point across in a clear and concise manner, always being polite with whatever you’re communicating.
Don’t demand a reviewer take down their comment.
If you do, then you’ll come off as overly sensitive and even like you’re trying to hide something. People might even believe there’s truth to the comments even when there isn’t.
In today’s world, having a positive employer brand is a valuable asset that can help boost your recruitment efforts and your business bottom line. Follow the tips above to make sure these don’t take a hit because of a few negative comments online.
Need help creating a strong employer brand and attracting top talent?
Call the experts at Murray Resources. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, we can give you tips and advice on crafting an employer brand that will stand out to today’s best talent, as well as get to work sourcing, screening and vetting quality candidates. Contact us today to learn more.
Stop Employee Burnout with a Staffing Agency in Houston TX
Keeping employees later, requesting that they take on added responsibility, and contacting them after hours with specific needs might get the job finished and out the door. But your staff is going to get stressed in the process. Not only that, but over time, being overworked impacts morale, job satisfaction and retention rates.
The good news is that working with a reputable staffing agency in Houston TX can help. In fact, when you partner with one, they can prevent this scenario from happening in the first place. They can work with you to identify your busy times of year and future staffing needs, and plan well in advance to ensure you have the right people in the right positions when you need them.
Just a few specific ways a staffing agency in Houston TX can ensure your company avoids employee burnout – and all of its consequences – include by:
Enabling employees to take time off without worry.
Your employees should be able to take personal days and vacation time without being inundated with requests and needs. Working with a staffing agency will facilitate the process. You can get qualified temporary employees to fill a variety of roles and cover vacations, or sick or maternity leave. That way, work can still get done while your full-time employee take off the time needed.
Helping your people focus on their priorities.
Employees don’t want to have to take on tasks and duties that aren’t a part of their job description for an extended period of time. But when this is happening out of necessity – because you don’t have anyone else to handle the work – it’s time to consider adding to your team, whether in the form of full-time staff or temporary workers. When you do, your employees can then focus on their priorities and playing to their strengths.
Letting you take on new projects and initiatives without adding stress to your staff.
If you don’t have the manpower to take on new projects and have to turn them down, your bottom line can suffer. If you accept anyway, it can take a toll on your team in the form of tight deadlines, longer workdays and lots of stress. That’s where a staffing agency can help and give you access to skilled workers on a temporary or temporary-to-hire basis.
Whether you need seasonal workers to get through a busy period or you’re ready to bring aboard full-time team members, a staffing agency can meet a wide variety of needs. You can gain access to extra hands or those with a specialized skill set, all while focusing on running your business or managing your department.
Interested in learning more about avoiding burnout with a staffing agency?
Call the team at Murray Resources. As a leading staffing agency in Houston TX, we can help you find the qualified people you need, where and when you need them, whether on a temporary or full-time basis. Contact us today to learn more or get started.
7 Retention Mistakes Employers Make
Millions of capable people are out there, unemployed and looking for work. As a result, your employees aren’t going anywhere, right? After all, who would want to risk taking the plunge to a new company in such an uncertain economy?
Wrong! In fact, according to a 2012 survey by Jobvite, 3 out of 4 workers (75%) are actively looking for or open to new jobs. So retention is a serious issue for every employer!
Unfortunately, as a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that too many employers are just sitting back, assuming it’s a buyer’s market and they don’t have to do much to retain their top employees. This is a huge – and ultimately costly – mistake.
So what are some other mistakes employers make when it comes to retention? Here’s a look at 6 more:
Mistake #1: Thinking no one else is hiring.
Your company may not be hiring. But that doesn’t mean your competition isn’t. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean your competition isn’t trying to woo your top talent away from you with all kinds of perks and offers.
Mistake #2: Not investing in retention.
During tough economic times, it’s tempting to cut areas – like retention strategies – that don’t seem like a priority. Don’t do it! The first employees to leave during tough times can often be your best ones. Then, not only will you be battling a difficult economy, but you’ll be doing it with your B-team, not your A-one.
Mistake #3: Assuming unhappy employees will speak up.
Do you say something every time you have bad service at a store or are disappointed with a product? If you’re like most people, probably not. You simply stop patronizing the store or buying the product. Employees are the same. They’re not always going to speak up when they’re unhappy; they’re just going to look for greener pastures elsewhere.
Mistake #4: Not holding managers accountable for retention.
Most employees don’t leave because they don’t like the company; they leave because they don’t like their boss. That’s why it’s important to tie employee retention to incentives for your managers and ensure it’s a top priority for them, just as productivity is.
Mistake #5: Failure to communicate.
A failure to communicate clear goals and expectations is a retention killer. Employees will wind up feeling confused, uncertain, and ultimately unmotivated and disengaged. This is especially true for new hires; so make sure you communicate early, often, and clearly about your expectations for each and every employee.
Mistake #6: Assuming employees are loyal to your company.
Employee loyalty is a thing of the past. In fact, employee loyalty is at a seven-year low, according to a March 2012 MetLife survey of employee benefits, trends and attitudes. So don’t think you can rest on your laurels when it comes to retention; it’s something you must be aware of and actively invest in on a regular basis. If you don’t, it will cost you.
Need Help With Your Hiring & Retention Process?
If you do, let Murray Resources know. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, we’ve delivered extraordinary recruiting and staffing solutions to Houston’s leading employers for over 30 years. Let us help you too! Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.
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7 Signs Your Leadership Skills Need Some Work
You show up to work each day, ready to hit the ground running, manage your team, and deliver results. And yet, for some reason, your efforts are falling short, whether it’s a lack of respect from your team or less-than-stellar productivity.
As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that, for many managers, problems with effective leadership come from a lack of people skills.
So what are some of the people-related mistakes you could be making? Here’s a look at 7:
Sign #1: You don’t listen to your employees.
An employee comes to you for advice, guidance, or to air their frustrations…and you can barely look up from your computer to give them the time of day. You may think you can multi-task – listen and check your email at once. But what you’re communicating to your employee is that their problem isn’t really important enough to require your undivided attention.
Sign #2: You’re always negative.
Being a good leader requires you to be realistic…even when it means you have to tell your team things they don’t want to hear. But always bombarding them with pessimism and negative news – and not balancing it out with anything positive – is a recipe for a deflated and unhappy team.
Sign #3: You’re always positive.
On the flip side, if you’re always looking on the bright side of the situation, and glossing over any potential negatives, you’re not doing your team any favors either. When there are clearly issues or problems going on, employees expect for you to acknowledge them and put forth a plan for dealing with them, not repeat a bunch of empty affirmations.
Sign #4: You micromanage your team.
You are responsible for your team and the results – or lack of – they deliver. This, however, does not mean you should be a helicopter boss, constantly hovering over your employees.
Sign #5: You’re cold.
You show no interest in getting to know your employees on a personal level. You never crack a smile or demonstrate any warmth. Worse, you don’t offer any praise…even when an employee knocks it out of the park. But while you might think you’re simply calm and cool, you’re really coming off as impersonal and detached, impacting employee loyalty.
Sign #6: You’re a slacker.
You’ve earned your spot at the top, so now it’s time to take advantage of the perks in the form of two-hour lunches, leaving early every day, and delegating all your tasks to your team. But your employees aren’t going to respect you and likely aren’t going to work very hard for you as a result.
Sign #7: You’re two-faced.
You treat your boss and your clients like kings and queens, but behind closed doors, your employees must deal with your wrath. Or, perhaps you’re nice to an employee’s face, but then turn around and complain about them to one of their co-workers. This kind of treatment simply undermines morale and is a recipe for high turnover.
Every leader makes mistakes at one time or another. But most employees are smart – and if you’re regularly demonstrating the signs above, then they won’t respect you and will likely move on when an opportunity comes along. So work to sharpen your people skills!
Are You a Leader in Need of Hiring Help?
If part of your leadership issues come from not having the right people in the right positions, Murray Resources can help. As a top staffing agency in Houston, TX, we will partner with you to learn about your staffing needs and unique culture. We’ll then source and screen candidates with the right skills and personality to excel at your company.
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Are You Making These Common Reference Checking Mistakes?
As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that reference checking is one of those steps in the hiring process many managers would like to avoid altogether. After all, what kind of candidate would give you a reference that wasn’t going to offer a glowing or positive review in the first place?
The answer: a lot.
In fact, one quick phone call could help you uncover lies or other unsavory information and take a candidate out of the running. And so while it does certainly require some legwork on your part, it’s well worth it in the end.
To help you get the information you need to make a smart hiring decision, here are some reference checking mistakes to avoid in the future:
Not Digging Deeper By Asking Good Questions.
Many companies have policies that don’t allow a manager or HR representative to do more than confirm an employee’s job title, salary, and tenure with the company; however, many also do not. As a result, you could be leaving vital information on the table if you only ask “yes/no” confirmation questions to candidate-supplied information.
Instead, take some time to dig a little deeper. For instance, ask questions like: “Would you employ John again in the future?” or “What are the top two areas John need to improve in?”
Not Getting References from Managers.
If a candidate gives you references from co-workers only, that could be a sign that they don’t want you to speak directly with past supervisors – a hiring red flag. That’s why it’s important to require that candidates give you two or three references from managers.
Again, even if the manager can simply only confirm employment information, the willingness to offer you a manager as a reference on the part of a job candidate indicates a lack of fear about what you will uncover.
Not Applying the Process Consistently Across All Job Candidates.
When it comes to reference checks, consistency is a must. Not only will it enable you to more accurately evaluate and compare candidates, but it also can help you avoid a claim of discrimination that could result from selective reference checks. So be sure to apply the same reference check process to candidates applying to the same or similar positions.
Not Checking References for Temporary or Contract Workers.
More and more companies are relying on temporary and contract workers today – and yet they neglect to require reference checks as a part of the screening process. But this adds an undue level of risk and liability to an organization.
Need More Help With Your Hiring Process?
If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, we can help you find and evaluate today’s top talent – including conducting thorough reference checks, whether for full-time or temporary positions. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.
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4 Top Tips for Finding Seasonal Talent
It’s that time of year again…and it can be a double edge sword for those businesses that rely on seasonal workers. While the holidays can certainly be a busy and profitable time of year, seasonal hiring also brings with it a high level of stress.
So what can you do to ease the burden and make the most of this year’s holiday season?
As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that just like with full-time hiring, the best approach to recruiting is to find quality talent…not just warm bodies to fill seats.
To help you in your quest, here are some recruiting tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Start early.
If you haven’t already begun the recruitment process for this year’s holiday season, you need to immediately start building a candidate database and beginning the interview process.
Once things pick up around Thanksgiving, you should already have your new hires trained and ready to go. On the other hand, if you wait another week or two, you will certainly be left scrambling to hire, which can impact the quality of your seasonal workers.
Tip #2: Recruit your own customers.
Sure, you may post job openings in the local newspaper and on job boards. But so is every other business that needs seasonal workers. So to find the best, think outside the box a little.
For instance, consider hiring your own customers to work during the holiday season. Advertise in your store and in email blasts the openings you’re looking to fill. Let customers know that in addition to an hourly wage, they can also earn discounts. Good customers will no doubt represent you well since they already know a lot about your products.
Tip #3: Get referrals from employees.
Another great source for recruiting is referrals from trusted employees. You may have employees with spouses, friends, or college-age kids looking to make some extra money during the holiday season.
Tip #4: Reach out to retirees.
Many retirees are interested in working…just not full-time jobs year round. In addition to offering you plenty of experience and a strong work ethic, you can always re-hire senior workers for future peak needs, unlike younger workers who generally move on to other jobs.
Need More Help Hiring Seasonal Workers?
Let us know. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can connect you with top seasonal workers – where and when you need them. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more about how we can help you!
What To Do When You Don’t Know the Answer to a Job Interviewer’s Question
As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources understands that job interviews are stressful enough, even when you’re well prepared. But what happens when you’re asked a question that you’re not prepared for – and that you don’t know the answer to?
Rather than having a panic attack or making like a deer in headlights, there are some steps you can take to turn a negative into a positive:
Take a Deep Breath.
First, take a deep breath inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. It’s okay if you need to take a moment to get your thoughts together. Remember, just because you lack the right answer for a certain interview question doesn’t mean you’re not a great fit for the job.
Keep in mind, though, it’s important to not come across as nervous or anxious in these kinds of situations…even if you aren’t quite sure what to say right away.
Don’t try to navigate your way through a topic that you have no knowledge of; you’ll come across as dishonest and ill-prepared. It’s much better to honestly admit you lack expertise in a certain area than to attempt to say what you think the interviewer wants to hear – especially when you don’t really know what you’re talking about.
That said, don’t take your admission too far. In other words, don’t apologize or make excuses for the fact that you lack knowledge or experience in a certain area. If you do, you’ll simply highlight your deficiency in the mind of the interviewer.
Simply state matter-of-factly that you haven’t had the opportunity to gain experience in a certain area, but that you’re eager to learn about it should you win the job. Even better, provide an example of a skill that you didn’t have before accepting your last job, but you were able to acquire through hard work and a willingness to learn.
If you can keep your composure in a job interview, even when you don’t know the answer, you’ll score big points with the interviewer. You’ll demonstrate that you can stay calm under pressure and think on your feet – two traits that are important for almost any job.
Need More Job Interview Help?
As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can offer you additional guidance with crafting your resume, prepping for interviews, and finding job opportunities that are a great fit for you! Contact Murray Resources to get started.
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Why You Must Ask Follow-Up Questions in an Interview
You know that part of effective hiring is asking candidates good interview questions. But how often do you follow-up on each candidate’s answer?
As a staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that if you don’t, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to properly vet your candidates. In fact, the answers that candidates give to a follow-up question can typically offer you more insight into who they are and what they can do for you.
Some examples of typical follow-up questions include:
• Really? Tell me more.
• Why do you think that happened?
• How did you make that happen?
• What would you have done differently when faced with similar issues?
• What specific steps did you take to achieve that?
• How would you go about achieving the same results here?
Still not convinced you need to ask follow-up questions? Here are a couple of reasons why it’s so important:
You Can Dig for More Information.
When you ask a candidate a question, their first response is typically programmed. It’s the answer that the candidate practiced for hours in their living room or in their car on the way to the interview. The second response, however, is closer to the truth. That’s why it’s so important to ask follow-up questions…you get the opportunity to dig a lot deeper. In addition to asking follow-up questions, you can also ask important questions more than once, just in a different way.
You Can Better Assess the Information.
In canned answers, candidates will typically offer vague information, rather than specific details. Follow-up questions enable you to dig for those details. However, if a candidate is still offering you vague answers, then that could be an indication they’re lying or embellishing what really happened. If a candidate is truly responsible for the results they say they delivered, then they should be able to offer you very real numbers and specifics.
The bottom line is that the better you are at asking follow-up questions, the more effective of an interviewer you will be. By asking good follow-up questions, you’re able to dig deeper for relevant facts and information and then evaluate whether a candidate is the right fit for you.
Need Help Interviewing…So You Make a Great Hiring Decision?
If you simply don’t have the time or resources to devote to interviewing and hiring, let us know. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can work with you to identify your human resource needs and locate top talent, all while you focus on other priorities. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.
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