TIP TUESDAY: 13 Tips to Stay Motivated in the Dog Days of Summer

from Entrepeneur magazine

You may not want to admit it, but you’re probably longing to take a dip in a pool instead of working. Unfortunately, an entrepreneur’s 24/7 work schedule rarely allows for much of a summer break.

So, we went to the experts, including pro athletes, authors, happiness experts and, of course, entrepreneurs, to find out what they do to recharge. Read on for 13 ways to stay inspired to work hard this summer and even cull out a few minutes to decompress.

1. Power through it.
“It’s tempting to take a break, to slow things down in the dog days of summer. But there’s somebody out there who wants to be in your place. That person might be working on the next big thing that will compete with your business.

2. Make a (reasonable) list.
“Every night, jot down the things you need to get done the next day. Try to move through all of them, but if you don’t, just add them to the next day’s to-do list. Keep the list manageable during the summer and get a bit done every day.

3. Create your own “quitting time.”
“It’s tempting to work around the clock or at least to feel that you should be working–and that means that you don’t have a feeling of leisure. By telling yourself, ‘After 7:30, no more work’ or ‘Sunday is a day off,’ you ensure that you get the rest and relaxation that are crucial to being productive. I remind myself, ‘To keep going, I have to allow myself to stop.'”–Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project (Harper Perennial, 2009) and the forthcoming, Happier at Home (Crown Archetype, 2012)

Click here to read the other 10 tips in the article in Entrepreur magazine 

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: Job Satisfaction High, but Employees Not Content with Pay or Workplace Trust Level

 CHICAGO—Nearly 9 in 10 employees say they’re satisfied overall with their jobs, with workers noting that respectful treatment of employees—at all levels—is the leading contributor to satisfaction, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey.

Women—more than men—say respectful treatment at work is a very important component of job satisfaction. Millennials—more than members of Generation X—say they are very satisfied with the level of respect at work. Employees who aren’t in management are far less likely than executives to be satisfied with the respect shown to all workers.

“Fairness and transparency are significant themes that repeatedly appeared throughout the top job satisfaction contributors and employee engagement,” said Evren Esen, SHRM director of workforce analytics. “This indicates the importance of these concepts when creating a workplace culture that thrives and inspires continuous success.”

The survey, released April 24, polled 600 randomly selected U.S. employees in December 2016. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Click here to read the full article and survey results from the Society of Human Resource Management

TIP TUESDAY: Offering Unique Employee Experiences

At Patagonia, an outdoor apparel company based in Ventura, Calif., preserving and protecting the environment is a core value.

So Patagonia, which brands itself as an “activist company,” offers a unique employee benefit—paid time off for workers when they participate in peaceful environmental protests, according to Dean Carter, Patagonia’s vice president of HR and shared services.

It is among several companies offering employees experiences that underscore the company’s values.

Employees, for example, have spent three weeks at Chilean Patagonia, at company expense, to help restore a former sheep ranch. They have climbed dams and paddled out to oil rigs to protest the environmental impact of those structures. In addition, the company will pay the bail for any employee who’s arrested for peacefully protesting.

Employers that create a compelling employee experience exemplify the future of work, said Jeanne Meister, founding partner of Future Workplace, an HR advisory and research firm in the greater New York City area, who moderated the panel.

“It’s how you build your tribe and how you go out and identify who’s in this tribe and how you create a shared vision,” Meister said.

Airbnb, an online short-term lodging service that lets people rent out their homes to travelers around the world, offers employees a $2,000 credit annually to try the Airbnb experience.

Panelist Deborah Butters advised HR professionals to think of “moments of impact” that the organization can create for its employees. She is senior vice president and CHRO at PerkinElmer in Waltham, Mass.

“They don’t have to be huge ones,” she said of those moments, “but three or four things you’re going to do this year across the entire company” or segments of the company.

Experience-building has not been HR’s expertise, said panelist Wendy Smith, global head of employee experiences at NCR, so she suggested that HR managers reach out to their company’s marketers to “teach us how to do that with our employer brand. Marketers are the experts at experience-building.”

Meister cited a quote from Paul Papas, global leader of IBM Interactive Experiences, that she uses in her book:

“The last best experience that anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experiences they want everywhere.”

{from an article on SHRM online}

WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: Pay vs. Fun on the Job

fact graphic fun v pay

TIP TUESDAY: The Pros and Cons of Hiring Temps

by Patricia Schaeferfor business know-how online

Depending on the season of the year, about 2 million individuals on average work at temporary jobs each day in the U.S. Temporary workers play an important role in many companies. Are they right for your small business? Check out these pros and cons of hiring a temp.


Enables you to adjust easily and quickly to workload fluctuations
Temporary help agencies can quickly provide your business with qualified staff.  Some common reasons companies hire temps:

  • Employee absences:  illness, vacation, maternity or disability leave, sudden departure
  • Unexpected or temporary demands:  special projects, seasonal or peak periods, employee shortages

Maintains staffing flexibility
With the popularity and staying power of flexible work arrangements, employers need to stay current with the needs of today’s work force.  Temporary work is just one of the ways that businesses can offer flexibility and at the same time better meet their own needs.

Can evaluate worker without commitment
Some businesses employ temporary workers as an excellent and cost-efficient way to recruit and test the abilities of new workers before signing them on full-time. Other companies will repeatedly use the services of a temp worker who has proven to be a company asset.

Can save time and money
The cost of hiring temp workers is often less costly than hiring permanent employees with benefits. In the short term, it is generally more cost-efficient to hire a temp. For jobs that are expected to last six months or longer, it may pay to hire a full-time employee.

When you employ an agency, it – not you – is the temp worker’s employer.   The agency is responsible for and bears the financial burden of recruiting, screening, testing and hiring workers; payroll expenses and paperwork; payroll and withholding taxes; unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance; and any employee benefits they may wish to provide.


Training Needs
Every time a temp starts a new work assignment – no matter how skilled or unskilled – a certain amount of training is required in order for them to perform their assigned tasks to suit the specific needs of that company. Of course, when you’ve developed a relationship with a temp agency, the same temp may be brought back again.

Morale Issues
Morale and employee relations problems can arise when you have temps working alongside permanent employees for months, doing the same work and putting in the same hours, but not receiving the same benefits afforded their permanent employee coworkers.

Safety Issues
No matter what a temp’s experience, care must be taken to see that dangerous tasks are performed safely.  Never assume a temporary worker is fully prepared to work unsupervised until you have taken the time to see that they can safely perform their duties.

Legal Concerns
Recent court decisions have highlighted the fact that businesses must be careful how they contract for temporary staff.  There must be no doubt about the workers’ status and about the lack of eligibility for the benefits of permanent employees.

The question of reliability

Some surveys of employers have found an assumption that temporary workers are generally less reliable than their permanent employee counterparts. Is this myth or reality?

In a study of temporary workers, Joe Broschak, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, noted, “On average, these temporary workers displayed better performance relative to goals compared to their full-time counterparts.”  For temps later hired as full-time employees, Broschak reported that “they continued to become better workers after becoming permanent.”

Choosing a reputable staffing agency – and establishing a good employer/staffing agency relationship and communications – are key elements to finding reliable workers.  Furthermore, the rise of “free agents” to 22% of the U.S. workforce is comprised in part by temporary workers who increasingly bring to the table impressive credentials.

Consider the following in order to choose the right staffing company:

  • What type of staffing help do you need?
  • How does the company recruit and retain its qualified and reliable workforce?
  • How are potential staffing company employees screened and tested?
  • Does the company fully understand your needs?
  • Does the company carry workers’ compensation for its employees?

Finding a temp agency that provides timely and quality service and referrals, is experienced and accommodating, and has established itself as a reliable source of qualified temporary workers for your business, can greatly benefit your company.

{Excerpted from an article by staff writer Patricia Schaefer at business know-how online}