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.

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.

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!

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.

How To Increase Productivity At Work, No Matter Where You Work

Whether you’re preparing to enter a busy quarter, catching up on work or just trying to make the most of your day, there are always steps you can take to become more productive. Productivity at work may seem like an overwhelming topic, especially when everyone is inspired and motivated differently. So what are the easiest ways to stay on task through a long work day?

The methods to  increase productivity at work are not one-size-fits-all. There are numerous factors including the type of person you are, where you work and what your limitations are. For example, the suggestion to brighten your work space might not come so easily for those working from a cubicle in a corporate office. Read on to find a strategy or two that you can incorporate into your work day.

Tips For Staying Productive While Working In An Office

  1. Plan ahead. Get to your desk 15 minutes early and write out a list of tasks to get your work day started. Highlighting your top three tasks can also help you stay on track to accomplish your daily goals.
  2. Time chunk desirable tasks to help space out your day. Lori Lynn Smith, a Lifehack author, says that by shifting your focus between tedious and repetitive tasks and those that are more engaging, you can keep yourself happily involved in your work throughout the day. Give each task category a time frame and alternate back and forth between them for better productivity at work.
  3. Listen to music. Did you know that music can help you settle into your work routine? Low-volume music or a trusty set of earbuds can drown out noises in the office without interrupting your coworkers. Choose music that helps you focus without distracting you. It has been shown that while listening to classical music your IQ actually increases—you might want to give it a try!

Tips For Staying Productive While Working From Home

  1. Plan phone calls and meeting thoughtfully. Unless you live completely alone, you don’t want to have loud children or a barking dog in the background of your conference call. Not only is it unprofessional, but you might miss something important while trying to silence those around you. Plan your calls according to the daily hustle and bustle of your home.  
  2. Have a designated office space, even if you don’t have a private room for it. Having an office space can increase your productivity at work. Productivity Writer and Author Kayla Matthewssays that this will help put you in “work” mode, as well as prevent you from seeing things that might distract you, like that pile of dirty dishes you ignored last night or a hamper full of clean clothes waiting to be folded. Giving yourself a designated space often means a higher rate of productivity at work.

Whether you work from home or in an office, increasing productivity at work doesn’t have to be a challenge. 

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

How to Use A Staffing Agency and What Josephine’s Professional Staffing Can Do for You

No matter where you are in your career, or how long you plan to remain in your current position, it is never a bad idea to have a staffing agency on your side. Whether you have a business looking for employees or are an individual who is looking for work, allying with a staffing agency may be one of the smartest moves you can make.

What Sets Josephine’s Professional Staffing Agency Apart?

JPS takes pride in our ability to build bridges between our employees and our clients. JPS is a staffing agency with over 30 years of experience matching our clients with employees to fit every need. 

For a business, we understand it can be extremely difficult to find a perfect fit for a position – a hire who is not only be great at doing the job itself and also fits into the environment and be willing to stick around as long as it takes to complete the work.  

We offer:

  • Temporary contract matching, perfect for clients that need a job done but are hesitant to bring on a full-time employee. 
  • Temporary-to-hire matching, ideal for those clients who need a new employee, but want to try them out first. 
  • Direct hire placement, finding the perfect candidate for the position you need filled and getting them started as soon as possible.

We also have decades of experience with, and are happy to provide, vendor-on-premise contracts and payroll services.Contact Josephine’s Professional Staffing Agency Today

No matter your industry or field of business, enlisting a staffing agency is always a good idea. Not only can we fill executive positions, we also excel at filling:

  • Administrative/clerical 
  • Accounting and finance
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare/medical 
  • Light industrial or manufacturing jobs

When it comes to making sure our employees and clients are matched perfectly, few staffing agencies come close to JPS. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company. For more recommendations on increasing employee engagement, read additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

5 Healthy Snacks That Will Increase Employee Engagement

Remaining consistent in healthy eating habits while at work can seem like a second job! With all of the time, energy and planning that goes into preparing healthy snacks, hitting a drive-thru can seem like the easier option. Although opting for convenience may sometimes feel like the better choice, after eating a high carb meal energy and productivity levels pay the price. By keeping healthy snacks on hand in the break room, you and your employees will be able to conveniently stay on track and on task. 

By keeping healthy snacks at the office, you will likely notice an increase in employee engagement and productivity. Here are 5 easy healthy snacks that can be left out for your staff to enjoy throughout the day.

1. Dried Fruit and Nuts

Nuts and dried fruit make for a healthy, non-perishable snack mix. This filling combination has an outstanding balance of all three macronutrients, with healthy fats and protein from nuts and good carbs from dried fruit. Both of these snacks are loaded with fiber, which will leave your team feeling full between meals. By keeping your staff’s carbohydrate intake low, you will likely see a jump in employee engagement.

2. Greek Yogurt with Granola or Fruit

It’s sometimes difficult to peer into the fridge and look past what could be a delicious, but energy draining snack and opt for the Greek yogurt instead. But by offering a healthy alternative, you give your staff the chance to choose a snack high in protein and calcium. If you keep granola and fresh fruit on hand, employees can customize their Greek yogurt even more, too! There are numerous options for different types of granola, meaning each day they can incorporate a different flavor into their plain Greek yogurt.

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