How To Boost Employee Morale During A Pandemic

For the more than half of employed Americans working from home during the pandemic, the sudden switch to remote work wasn’t without its challenges. From having to quickly get up to speed on remote technology to navigating a very new work-life balance, the transition has been anything but easy and overall employee morale reflects it.

In an August 2020 survey of 1,500 employees by FlexJobs and Mental Health America, 75% say they are experiencing burnout brought on by the pandemic. Their top reasons include a lack of separation between work and life, crushing workloads and worries about job security. 

This is enough for employers to worry about their teams and step up by boosting employee morale. To improve the atmosphere, try implementing these creative methods from Lucy Leonard at Namely to your team.

1. Host Virtual Social Time

Set aside an hour of time once a quarter or month to virtually get together with your team. Beforehand, decide on an activity or plan of how the social time will go. A few creative ideas would be to have a virtual ice cream social; have everyone go out and buy their favorite ice cream and enjoy it all together online. You could do the same sort of activity with any food of your choosing. 

You also could buy a craft for everyone to do and mail them to your employees. Have everyone complete the crafts online together and enjoy looking at your team’s masterpieces.

2. Dress Up Fridays 

Whether it be fancy Friday, football team Friday or some other occasion your team enjoys, try implementing a dress up day every other week. Feel free to try once a week, but if you see a lack of participation creep in, reel it back to once every two weeks. The last thing you want to do is create more work or stress for your employees! 

3. Create A Meme Channel

If your team uses a program like Slack or has some other sort of content outside of work, create a meme channel. Let this be a space where your employees post their favorite funny memes of the day. You could even implement a weekly vote on the best one! 

4. Exercise Challenge

Have your team download a free app to count their steps and create a friendly competition. Exercise is a proven way to boost employee morale! 

5. Virtual Trivia Night

You can try hosting a virtual trivia night for your team! Not only will this serve as  an ice breaker, it encourages friendly distraction and discussion! 

6. Care Packages

“We sent care packages to our employees’ homes to help them adjust to remote work. The care packages were tailored for each individual, and they included self-care items such as cozy socks, chocolate, herbal tea, craft kits, puzzles, books and board games. We also included some essential office supplies to ensure our employees have everything they need to work remotely.” – Stuart Cook, Marketing Manager at My Baggage.

7. Thank You Notes

“We keep employee morale high by sending out thank you notes to our employees who are currently working from home. It is a small token of appreciation, but our employees have expressed that they really appreciate the recognition.” – Darryl Smith, Founding Partner at Florida Car Accident Lawyer Team.

We know how important your employees are, so make sure that even during the hardest of times, that they do too. Not only will your team notice and appreciate your efforts in bringing them together, it will ultimately boost employee morale. 

For more recommendations on increasing employee morale at work, check out these additional articles on our blog today!

What Makes JPS Stand Out In The Industry?

Josephine T. Hughes, CEO of Josephine’s Professional Staffing, Inc. (JPS) founded JPS as a staffing company in 1988 in the heart of the Silicon Valley, San Jose, California. Since its introduction to the staffing industry, JPS has continuously built a reputation for professionalism and adherence to the highest standards of ethical practices in conducting business.

Celebrating 30 Years

JPS has 30 years’ experience in satisfying client staffing and human resource requirements. Our success positions us to provide clients with top quality candidates, exceptional value-added services and competitive billing rates. 

We are driven by our mission to provide employment solutions and opportunities to employers and applicants in a way that enhances and diversifies the workforce, while providing jobs for the community. 

Each of our employees play a critical and core role in our personalized, top-notch staffing services. But our services don’t stop at employment; JPS takes pride in providing an ongoing bridge between our clients and employees.

Solutions We Offer:

  • Temporary or Contract
  • Temporary-to-Hire
  • Direct-Hire Placement
  • Vendor-On-Premise Placement
  • Transportation/Engineering
  • HealthCare
  • Manufacturing
  • Commercial

At JPS, we are proud to offer our comprehensive services as a solution to your workforce challenges. It is our mission and goal to provide you with the best possible candidates who will do the same. To learn more about our staffing services and how we can help your business, visit our website by clicking here.

3 Valuable Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

You’ve met with the hiring manager, nailed the job interview and wowed them with your experience. At the end of the meeting, the HR rep will ask if you have any questions for them, and it will benefit you to be prepared. Here are three questions to ask in a job interview.

1. What are the current and ongoing major initiatives this department is working on?

By asking this question you can gauge your potential contribution to the company should you be hired. If the department has few current projects, it may signify a lack of growth or upward mobility at the company, so it can be beneficial to you to determine how useful you’ll be at the business. 

2. How would you describe the work environment and company culture?

Filling a job opening requires finding a candidate who will be not only a good fit for the company, but thinks the company is a good fit for them. Employment is a two-way street so be sure to know as much as you can about the company’s culture, values, day-to-day activities and work environment. 

3. Can you tell me a little bit about the history of this position?

Knowing the history of the job you’re applying for can help you glean out important details that may give away clues to why the position is vacant. If the previous employee left because the work had become too stressful, this may help you make an educated decision about taking the job. If there are no potential red flags, this question can help you learn valuable history that will help you perform well in your new position.

Gauging the level of anticipated activity at the company, learning about the work culture and finding out about the history of the position will help you make an educated decision about each position you interview for. It will also demonstrate your interest in the position and can influence a hiring manager to choose you over your competition. For additional tips to help you in your job search, check out our blog today.

Six Ways You Can Boost Employee Morale

As you probably know, your team is your greatest asset. They’re what keeps your business afloat! How can you pay your team back and keep their daily work from growing stale? 

It’s important to motivate your employees to be as productive as possible, without pushing them too far and stressing them out. Team happiness ignites productivity, and by making your work environment a ‘happy place’ you can take care of your team and encourage them to get more done. 

Here are seven ways you can improve your place of work, and ultimately inspire your employees!

Decorate With Color

Color will brighten the office space and create a cheerful atmosphere. After all, you and your employees spend a large portion of your time there, so it’s important to not hate the space. Life Hack suggests making your office feel like home! Employees need a workspace that is separate from home to maintain that all important work/life balance, but that doesn’t mean work can’t be cozy and homelike.

Celebrate Holidays

There are many ways to acknowledge a holiday, whether that be by decorating the office, dressing up or having a potluck, celebrating holidays is an easy way to mix up the everyday office experience. 

Smile

When you, the boss, are in a bad mood, all of your employees can feel it. Whether you realize it or not, your demeanor drastically affects each one of your employees. So the next time you may be feeling down, smile through it and let your team know they have your full support! 

Open The Seating Plan

Life Hack suggests implementing coworking! Coworking brings an open seating plan and office structure that encourages the collaboration of your employees. Instead of the same 5 employees seeing each other every day, coworking spaces allow them to mingle with the rest of the team. 

Have A Fun Dress Up Day

Whether it’s Halloween, the Super Bowl or a random day, implement a friendly competition between your employees for best dressed. Use topics like “my favorite college,” “my favorite celebrity” or whatever else you see fit to use.

Get An Office Dog

A recent study from the Virginia Commonwealth University found that employees who brought their dogs to work experienced lower stress levels throughout the workday, reported higher levels of job satisfaction and had a more positive perception of their employer. Many bosses will assign their dog the role of Office Greeter, a friendly face who increases employee productivity.

The next time you’re wondering how to boost employee morale, refer back to this list, and be sure to comment and let us know what works best for you.

Do You Have A Business Interview Coming Up?

The economy is beginning to turn around and companies are looking to hire additional staff. If you are currently seeking the perfect employee for your business, here are some tips to help you master the essentials of an interview. 

Know what questions you can and cannot ask. We all know there are certain questions you can’t ask while interviewing a potential hire, but did you know that these questions extend to more than just asking about things like age and race? Some questions, like inquiring if the interviewee has a reliable form of transportation or the ability to get a babysitter on short notice, may not be illegal but can be considered offensive or come off a little too friendly. HR World has put together a great list of the questions you should not be asking and provides great alternatives in the event the answers pertain to the job. 

Record your impression of the interviewee. Depending on how many interviews you are conducting, it can be difficult to keep all the information straight. A helpful method to remember each candidate and your impressions of their interview is to take down any notes you feel are relevant to the position they are applying for. 

Follow through with references. Calling references on a resume can be time consuming and mentally exhausting if you try to do it with every resume. The trick is to call after you have met with the individual and you’ve decided they are a contender. If you are wondering what the best questions to ask the reference are, here are some ideas to guide you. 


Knowing the essentials of interviewing is the foundation of hiring a good employee and creating an exceptional team. If you need help staffing your business, let us handle the interviewing process for you.

How To Be Proactive About Workplace Safety

If your team is anything like ours, you’re already counting down the days until you can return to the office and regain a bit of normality. However, returning to the workplace comes with the responsibility of ensuring office safety for your employees. 

There’s no greater time than now to come up with a plan of action for reopening.

Simple Ways To Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19 In Your Workplace

The thought of staying proactive through the pandemic can feel overwhelming for business owners. To make it easier for you, we’re sharing a few simple steps from the World Health Organization that you can take to ensure safety for your employees. 

  • Make sure your work spaces are clean and hygienic: Surfaces, and objects like phones, keyboards and door handles need to be disinfected regularly. Contamination on surfaces is one of the main ways that COVID-19is spread. 
  • Promote regular hand washing to employees, contractors and customers: Try adding hand sanitizing dispensers in high traffic areas throughout your office, and be sure they are refilled regularly. You could also ask your local health authority for motivational hand washing posters that you can then hang in the office. Here is a directory of local health departments. Most importantly, be sure there is a place for hand washing with soap and water. 
  • Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace: You can display respiratory hygiene posters in your office to guide your employees. Ensure that face masks and paper tissues are available at your workplace, along with closed bins for proper hygienic disposal. 
  • Brief your employees on your plan of action for office safety: Come up with an office safety plan of action regarding future illnesses. The World Health Organization suggests that anyone with a mild cough, or rising fever stay at home. They should also stay home, or work from home, if they have had recently taken simple medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, which may mask symptoms of infection. Continue to promote the message that your employees should stay home even for mild symptoms of illness by displaying posters with this message. Your local health authority may have campaign materials to further help promote this message.

How To Manage COVID-19 Risks When Planning Meetings And Events

Organizers of meetings and events need to think about the potential risk from COVID-19 as there is a risk that people attending your meeting or event might unwittingly bring the COVID-19 virus to the meeting.

We’ve shared the  World Health Organization’s pre-meeting checklist below.

Key considerations to check before the meeting or event: 

  • Contact local authorities for advice regarding the location of where your meeting or event will take place and follow their advice. 
  • Consider whether a face-to-face meeting or event is needed. Could it be replaced by a teleconference or online event? 
  • Could the meeting or event be scaled down so that fewer people attend? 
  • Pre-order sufficient supplies and materials, including tissues and hand sanitizer for all participants. Have surgical masks available for anyone who develops respiratory symptoms.
  • Actively monitor where COVID-19 is circulating. Advise participants in advance that if they have any symptoms or feel unwell, they should not attend. 
  • Have a plan in place, that includes an isolation room and a safe transfer to a nearby health facility, in case someone were to fall ill with COVID-19 symptoms.

Although the future is uncertain, following these steps of caution is the first step in making your workplace safe as your employees return to the office.

Increasing Employee Productivity: 3 Benefits of Plants in the Office

Employee.Productivity

Employees love to spend the day outside, and this can be one of the best ways of increasing employee productivity. Unfortunately, not every workplace can do so frequently. However, incorporating the benefits of living plants can be a cost-effective way of compensating. If you’re looking to add life and energy to your office, adding something as simple as a potted plant can have huge positive impacts on employee morale. Here are 3 benefits of using plants at work for increasing employee productivity.

1. Reduce Negativity

Beyond just adding to aesthetics, plants can impact the mood and environment of a workspace. Negative emotions can spread quickly and be detrimental to the culture and atmosphere of your office. A study from CIPHR shows living plants have been proven to give workers a huge range of benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, lower rates of anger and less risk of depression.

2. Improve Air Quality

Working in an office building can put employees at risk for a number of health hazards, including harsh air quality. If you’d like to quickly fix this at your company, add some living plants! A study conducted by NASA showed the simple addition of plants made a significant impact on the health of employees working indoors. 

3. Create a Comfortable Environment

Plants benefit your office by creating a more pleasant environment; workers are more efficient when they are comfortable. In addition to increasing employee productivity, living plants help regulate the temperature and humidity year-round, lowering heating and cooling costs. Reducing negative emotions, improving air quality and regulating temperature and humidity are all benefits you’ll enjoy from adding plants to your office.

For more recommendations on increasing productivity at work, check out these additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

Social Media & The Workplace – 3 Tips For Success

We live in a world driven by technology. Our Twitter accounts and Facebook pages connect us instantly across the world, but with the freedom that social media platforms provide, it is essential to understand how these technological resources should and should not be used while at work. In this blog post, we identify three tips for appropriate workplace social media activities. 

Three Workplace Social Media Tips for Success:

1. Keep it professional: Social media is a great resource for networking, news, and just about everything in between. Keep in mind that as a professional, everything you post on your personal pages could come under scrutiny at work. Keep your content appropriate and friendly, never complain about work, supervisors or coworkers and use it as an opportunity to convey positive messages.

2. Utilize it on your own time: Social media platforms are available at our fingertips and while they are easily accessible, this doesn’t mean that they should be accessed at any and all times. Try and keep your online activities work related while at the office, and if you do feel the need to update a status or send a tweet, do so only on breaks. 

3. Be familiar with your company policy: Every company will have a different set of rules in relation to their social media activities. The best way to prepare yourself is to have a thorough understanding of your individual organization’s policies. If your company has a ban on all social media sites, don’t risk updating that status as it could cost you your job. 

Social media is exciting; it allows us to remain constantly plugged into the world and those around us, but keep in mind that there is a time and a place for everything, and social media may not always be an appropriate workplace activity. Use good judgment and always be professional and you will be well on your way to social media success.

 For more recommendations on increasing productivity at work, check out these additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

Why You Need To Invest In Team-Building Activities

The most important asset to any company is its employees. They are the backbone of the company, which is why it’s essential to make sure your team feels valued and appreciated. 

It’s unfortunate that the thought of ‘team building’ has become increasingly less exciting, or even seen as a waste of time. Despite this reputation, team-building is one of the most important investments you can make for your people. It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication and increases collaboration. 


Effective team building means more engaged employees, which is good for company culture and boosting the bottom line. Team-building is as adventurous as you want to make it, which is why we’re sharing a few thoughts to consider before you start planning, and the benefits you can hope to see as a result.

Don’t Force The Corporate Stuff

The most successful team-building events are the ones that don’t feel like a typical day in the office. Activities that overtly aim to draw in leadership lessons, or practical takeaways are often less successful. Spending time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common goal allows conversation and bonding to happen organically and far more effectively.

Team Building Is Not A Splurge, It’s An Investment

At the end of the day, you want to provide an activity that resonates well with your employees. You don’t have to overdo it, but don’t skimp out either. You want to leave your team feeling appreciated and valued, which ultimately lasts longer than the activity itself.

Team Building Boosts Employee Engagement

According to Museum Hack, employee engagement is one of the most crucial elements of a successful business. It demonstrates how much employees care about the company’s mission, and how hard they’re willing to work to ensure the company succeeds. 


Team building is a great way to boost employee engagement, morale, and show employees you care about their well being. Teams with highly engaged employees earn two times the annual net income of companies with low engagement levels.

Team Building Can Help You Attract And Retain Top Talent

Kathy Caprino at Forbes wrote an article describing how mega companies like Uber, Facebook, and Salesforce use team building to their advantage. One of the most insightful parts of the article came from a quote by team building expert Jenny Gottstein, who says the following:

“Interestingly, we’re seeing companies use their strong corporate culture as a bargaining chip to recruit the best and brightest talent. When applying for jobs, millennial employees are not only assessing their salary and benefits, but also whether or not they relate to the working environment, and enjoy rolling up their sleeves next to their peers. As a result of this culture shift, team-building is being used as a marketing and recruitment tool. Often we will produce games for prospective employees or interns of large companies as a way to show off the perks of the company’s working environment.”

Team Building Improves Communication

There are a wide variety of team building exercises, and most all of them require communication. Whether it’s strategizing, coordinating, or solving a problem, the need to communicate is inevitable when it comes to team building exercises. 

Let your employees engage with one another naturally, and watch their relationships grow!

With quality team building activities, you can foster unity among your team members and make them feel acknowledged and appreciated.

For more recommendations on increasing productivity at work, check out these additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

How To Give Constructive Employee Feedback With Care

Nobody likes giving an employee negative feedback and, unless everything is going perfectly, giving constructive criticism can be pretty rough on both the employer and the team member. Unfortunately, ignoring problems and hoping they’ll just disappear will be worse in the long run.

The good news is there are a few key tips that can help make the review process fairly painless for you and the employee, and likely to yield tangible results.

Set The Stage For Sharing Employee Feedback

Here are a few things you can do to help the initial sit-down go smoothly.

Avoid Surprises

A meeting without notice can cause an employee to feel intimidated and put them on the defensive when you provide feedback. Schedule the meeting ahead of time and let them know what you want to talk about. This will give the employee some notice and time to prepare.

Keep It Private

Don’t provide individual employee feedback in a group setting. Constructive criticism should be given privately so that an employee doesn’t feel singled out. Public and rushed feedback can quickly devolve into destructive criticism.

Make Sure Your Employee Feedback Is Effective

Giving employee feedback is useless if you don’t present it to them in the right way. In order to make sure that improvements are easy to identify and follow-through on, consider these tips from LinkedIn.

Be Specific, Not General

Specific critiques are far more actionable than general employee feedback, and also easier to deal with. For example, don’t tell an employee they need to run their meetings more efficiently – that’s too broad. Instead, tell them to have an agenda sent out before each meeting and to stick to it.

Be Descriptive and Helpful, Not Evaluative and Punitive

Let’s say an employee turns in a report that has errors within it. If you’re in a rush you might be prone to criticize them for the errors and tell them it’s not up to standard. But taking a moment to be helpful can go a long way. Point out the errors and ask the employee how they might avoid them in the future. This turns criticism into a coaching session.

Own Your Feedback

Don’t give in to the temptation to pass the blame for the feedback to someone who isn’t in the room, or an unnamed force like “management.” Instead, stand behind your words and make it clear to the employee that they are yours by using phrases like, “That’s how I see it,” or “In my view.”

Address Issues, Not the Employee

Don’t tell an employee they are bad at a certain task. Instead, point out the specific errors they have made. There’s a psychological reason behind this. If you tell a team member they are “bad,” it reinforces a fixed mindset and makes it harder to move beyond.

Alternatively, openly discussing the errors and allowing a chance for them to be remedied reinforces a growth mindset and shows that the employee can excel at a task instead.

Employee Feedback Should Be a Dialogue, Not a Monologue

Consider opening your sessions with a question like, “How do you think the meeting went today?” This allows them to open up and share their thoughts, which will help you refine your employee feedback on the fly. 

The employee should also be given the chance to explain his or her reasoning behind their actions and ask their own questions about how to improve. Hearing their perspective can help you tailor your future feedback with them.

Recap at the End of the Meeting

Before the conversation is over, inquire about what the employee heard and give them a chance to tell you in their own words that the message was received.

Follow Up, Don’t Forget

You don’t want to give constructive employee feedback and then never bring up the issue again. Instead, make it a goal and track how the person is improving in that area so their weakness transforms into a strength. If your feedback was important enough to deliver, it’s important enough to follow up on.

Whether you’re an employer seeking out a new employee or a candidate seeking a new position, we want to help you succeed! Click here to check out our current job listings and contact us if you have any questions or are interested in applying.