Stratford Office: 203-386-8800 | Stamford Office: 203-325-3799

Does Your Team Know How to Prioritize?

September 8th, 2017

When you hire new candidates, you work hard to select those who have the knowledge base and experience to handle the technical challenges of the job. You only bring a candidate on board if he or she knows how to code, for example, or organize a budget, or conduct sales calls within a certain territory. But as it happens, there’s a gap between knowing something and knowing how to complete on-the-job tasks efficiently and effectively. At a certain point, what your candidates have learned in school or training sessions will need to carry over into deliverables and measurable accomplishments on the job. So how can you take a brilliant team and turn their brilliance into results? Keep these considerations in mind.

Train your teams to organize and prioritize.

Too often, young employees enter the workplace after spending most of their lives in the classroom, and in the classroom, tasks are all designed to be completed—otherwise they wouldn’t be assigned. In the workplace, tasks often pile up, they appear out of thin air, and they take the form of instructions and requests from many people who may or may not hold meaningful authority. In other words: in the workplace, most employees can’t say yes to every single task and chore that presents itself, so they need to learn to say no. They also need to learn to say, “Yes, but not today” and “Maybe, if I get to it.” This doesn’t always come naturally. But prioritizing is a skill like any other. Help your teams by exercising your coaching skills and your patience.

Teach strategy.

New and inexperienced employees often spend the first hours of the day utterly overwhelmed by all they have to do—so they do nothing. They sip their coffee in a state of paralysis until the first of their tasks rises to the top of the list of its own accord. Instead of reliving this ritual every day, train your employees to attack the list and aggressively cross off what isn’t vital, downgrade the items that can wait, and start working on the items that matter most. To do this, they’ll need to think into the future and examine the big picture. Who else depends on them in order to get things done? Who’s waiting impatiently for answers, and why? Which larger projects matter most, and how will outcomes be affected by these decisions?

Teach teamwork.

“Teamwork” doesn’t mean dealing with an overwhelming list by pushing tasks off on coworkers. But it does mean asking for help when high priority items are getting out of hand, for the good of the organization. Help your employees to understand the difference, share the load, and communicate effectively when it’s time to offer or receive assistance.

For more on how to encourage a culture of efficiency, teamwork, and productivity, talk to the Fairfeld County staffing and management professionals at Merritt Staffing.

Linkedin Mistakes that Can Make you Look Unprofessional

June 24th, 2016

LinkedIn can be a valuable job search tool if you’re actively looking for work. And even if you’re currently employed, the site can make your profile and career stats available to recruiters in case a better opportunity comes along. So having any small bit of information posted on the site—even just a barebones description or a one-paragraph career summary—might be more advantageous than having nothing posted at all.
Or is it? There are a few common LinkedIn mistakes that can actually turn your profile into a net negative for your job search prospects. If you’re guilty of any of these, consider making some adjustments to your profile or removing it altogether.

Unprofessional updates

Do you respond to every single post that appears in your feed, no matter how meaningless the post or how poorly thought-out the response? Remember, others can see both your posts and your responses, and the things you say (even casual, off-the-cuff remarks) will provide them with impressions that can hurt your reputation. Don’t make thoughtless remarks, don’t be rude, don’t be frivolous, and don’t share posts that are deeply personal. Save those for Facebook.

Starting your profile without completing it

It’s okay to present a lean, minimalist career summary or a short, straightforward, one-line description for each of your past positions. But there’s a difference between a barebones style and an incomplete profile. If you start creating a profile, finish it. Don’t leave half-finished sentences or unanswered questions.

Neglecting to respond

Of course you’ll get plenty of junk mail and meaningless alerts onLinkedIn, as with any other social media site. And of course you don’t have to personally respond to every message, every friend request, and every stranger’s eager attempt at self-promotion. But when you get a message that you care about, respond quickly. This will demonstrate that you do actually check the site on a regular basis and LinkedIn is a valid and reliable way to communicate with you.

Negativity

If you disagree with another person’s post, theory, or opinion on LinkedIn, keep a cool head. Don’t start public wars on LinkedIn where your every word, including your witty retorts, can be read by potential employers. When it comes to career building and personal marketing, negativity is negative, plain and simple.

Never checking the site at all.

LinkedIn won’t do you any good if you never visit the site at all (as in, fewer than once every six months). If you don’t plan to check for alerts, accept new contact requests, respond to messages, or read posts and updates, take your profile down. You’ll only frustrate those who use the site to reach out to you.

For more on how to get the most out of LinkedIn during your job search, contact the Westchester County experts at Merritt.

Turn a Temporary Assignment into a Full Time Opportunity

February 19th, 2016

If you’re stepping into your new temporary job because you really do only want a temporary job, and you plan to say goodbye later without looking back, that’s fine. But if you’d like to leverage this temporary role into career stepping stone, or maybe even a full time position, the power to do so is well within your reach. Here are a few simple moves that can turn your short term gig into a long term opportunity.

Ask a few questions.

Starting on your first day, make it clear that you’d like to make a strong impression, and ask a few questions to find out where this job can take you. Until you ask, you have no way of knowing if full time positions may become available here. You also have no way of knowing how to make a grab for those positions. And your employers have no way of knowing that this prospect interests you. As far as they know, you’re happy to leave when your contract period ends. So explain that, if possible, you’d like to stay.

Make a winning impression.

Again, starting on day one, demonstrate that you aren’t here to fool around. Dress for the full time job you’d like to land eventually. Or at the very least, stay as neat and professional as your workspace will allow. Make direct eye contact and offer a friendly, fully engaged smile to everyone you meet here. Show a genuine personal interest in both the job and the company.

Treat mistakes and lessons as a long term experience.

When you make a mistake and are corrected, treat this as an opportunity for growth. Most temporary employees will dismiss the moment (“I’m only going to be here for two weeks, so what does it matter?”) But if you take a different approach, you’ll send a stronger message (as in, “I’d like to get this right, so I can avoid making similar mistakes in the future.”)

Build relationships.

Try not to drift in and out of the facility every day like a nameless ghost. Make connections by remembering people’s names and recalling personal conversations. Show that you care about these people and in return, they’ll start caring about you. By the time your contract period ends, your employers will be more invested in what becomes of you. They’ll also make more of an effort to create room for you within this organization.

Ask for exposure.

If your temporary job involves filing in an out-of-the way office or moving boxes on the loading dock, try to learn more about the larger organization and how its business model works. Express an interest in expanding your skills and experience beyond your limited workspace. Even if no full time jobs are available in this space, your supervisor may be willing to shift you to another temporary position in another part of the company.

For more on how to leverage every temporary opportunity into a potential long term job, contact the Hartford staffing professionals at Merritt.

© Year Merritt Staffing. Site Credits.