Category Archives: Business Books

Bullying in the Workplace and What Employers Can Do About It

Bullying was at one time just an issue in school yards and classrooms. Yet, in recent years, bullying in the workplace has become a major concern among employees, managers and/or supervisors. While having a tough, demanding boss is one thing, bullying is something different altogether. It can essentially undermine an employees’ performance, greatly affect their overall attitude and cause unnecessary stress.

According to The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, bullying in the workplace is not illegal in the U.S. unless it involves various forms of illegal harassment. The result of bullying is extensive and can even be the potential source of physical and mental health problems. So, what can employers do about bullying and how can they prevent it in their workplace?

Here are a few actions employers can take to fight against this age-old behavior in efforts to prevent it:

1. Identify Bullying

Unlike the school yard tormentor, bullying in the workplace goes way beyond stealing lunch money. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries also states that bullying involves many behavioral patterns towards an employee(s) including (but not limited to):

  • Being shouted and sworn at or humiliated.
  • Deliberately excluded or isolated
  • Excessive mentoring and micro-management
  • Deliberately singling out an employee for no apparent reason

 2. Educate Managers, Supervisors and Directors

Employers or human resource professionals may want to implement a zero-tolerance anti-bullying program (or policy) to ensure senior staff is aware of bullying and that they are provided with proper training on how to get involved constructively. In fact, The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries states that bullying will less likely take place if a company takes a strong stand and the tormentor is likely to be accountable for their actions.

 3. Reporting and Investigating Bullying

Employers can also encourage staff to report any incidents. Although no employee wants to be known as a “snitch or a tattle-tale,” reporting about bullying should be handled quietly and confidentially with assurance that there won’t be any further consequences in the workplace.

On a final note, according to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, if an employer, supervisor or manager doesn’t take action against bullying in the workplace, then they are accepting a share of the responsibility for future abuses.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

2019 Workplace Trends

As 2019 gains full speed ahead, some new workplace trends will be popping up in companies across America. We want to highlight a couple of these important trends that will define the workplace over the coming several months.

Centralized Communication

Workplaces need a form of centralized communication to ensure that all employees are on the same page. While some companies have tried instant messaging to help curtail overflowing inboxes, reports show that employees feel pressure to respond to instant messages immediately. This also decreases overall productivity and may lead to employees having difficulty concentrating on tasks. While instant messages and other chat applications will not disappear, we anticipate they will take a backseat, and we will see a shift in overall communication within companies.

Work-Life Balance

With the advent of technology and digital tools, many employees can work remotely and set their schedules. However, the push for work-life balance will be a central theme for employees. Companies need to let their teams know that work-life balance is a priority to them to help boost employee morale. In fact, work-life balance comes in third when employees consider essential job security components, with salary and job security coming in first and second. Companies need to set clear expectations and boundaries, and not expect employees to be readily available for work around the clock to help accomplish this goal.

Fast Paced Environments

Just because employees want a better work-life balance does not mean that the pace at which companies expect their employees to work will slow down. In fact, with today’s collaborative work management platforms, templates, automation and other technology, employees can accomplish more in less time. This year will not be about robots and automation replacing employees, but about how these technological advancements can help improve workflow and increase business productivity.

Mentorships

While we focus so much on technology, the human element of business is not forgotten. Young millennials in the workforce define their success by rapidly growing their careers. However, employees that stay with companies long-term have mentors to help them successfully build their jobs. Businesses that pair up younger employees with experienced workers can help to implement a retention strategy that boosts morale and personal growth.

Gender Equality

A hot button topic last year, gender equality will continue to define workplace culture and personal interactions in 2019. One study conducted by Ernst and Young shows that increasing women in leadership positions by 30% helps to boost company profitability by as much as 15%. We anticipate that 2019 will make more headway implementing requirements and mandates to ensure that gender equality becomes an integral part of company culture.

 

Is your company interested in staying on top of the latest hiring trends for 2019? Ninja Gig offers custom employment applications so you can advertise that your company promotes work-life balance, mentorships, open communication and gender equality. For a flat monthly fee, you can use Ninja Gig to customize UNLIMITED online job applications. Sign up now for your free trial and start getting your online job applications in front of potential candidates this year.

Interview Questions for a Movie Theater Manager

Most movie theater employees are teens with first-time jobs, which means it’s essential to have a responsible movie theater manager that has the necessary skills to lead and teach employees.

Below are some questions to consider incorporating into regular rotation when interviewing for a movie theater manager.

  • Can you work with budgets?
    •  What do you find is the most challenging part of the budgeting process?
  • Can you give an example and explain a time when you coached or mentored someone on the job?
    • Did it help boost the person’s skills or job knowledge?
  • Share an experience when you dealt with a difficult person or personality type, and what you did to handle and address the situation.
  • Describe successfully organizing a group of people to accomplish a specific task or goal.
  • Give me some examples of how you organize, plan and prioritize work on a daily basis.
  • Describe an instance when you did something “outside the box” that benefited your employer.
  • Tell me when you monitored or reviewed information and found a problem or discrepancy. How did you respond and what did you do?
  • Give an example when your advice facilitated an improvement for your company.
  • When setting expectations and monitoring subordinates performance, what do you find most useful?
  • Share a time when you successfully coordinated with others on a project.
    • Describe a time when that effort was not successful.
  • In your experience, what is the best way to help monitor the work of others?
  • Describe a time when you had to take corrective action with a subordinate.
  • What do you think is key to developing a good, solid team?
  • What do you think is essential when communicating with the public?
  • Describe a time when you remained calm and dealt with a high-stress situation.
  • Share a time when you took on additional challenges or responsibilities without being asked or directed.
  • Describe a time when you worked in a workplace that was rapidly changing. How did you deal with the change?
  • Share a time when you oversaw or managed the work of someone else. How did you motivate, direct and develop their work?
  • Discuss a time when you identified a problem and came up with a solution. Discuss your decision-making process and how you arrived at a conclusion.

Ninja Gig offers easy to customize online job applications, which makes it simple for movie theaters to advertise jobs and ask specific preliminary questions during the online employment application process. Sign up now for your free trial and see how Ninja Gig can bring streamline your online job applications.

Hiring Seasonal Resort Nurses

As the ski season ramps up, so too does the need for seasonal resort nurses. Many of the big ski resort towns grow into a blossoming resort in the wintertime. As the slopes become packed with skiers and snowboarders, the hospitals near resorts see an overflow of emergencies, broken bones and head injuries. With so many seasonal patients, these resort-area hospitals need to hire additional resort nurses to ensure they have full staffing during the winter months.

Traveling nurses especially make the most of the ski season. Here is a list of the top five nursing ski destinations:

  1. Vail, Colorado
  2. Park City, Utah
  3. Killington, Vermont
  4. Aspen, Colorado
  5. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Ninja Gig offers customizable online job applications, which means that you can ask the tough questions up front before committing to a lengthy interview process. Here are some excellent employment application questions to ask seasonal nurses on an online job application:

  • Why did you decide to become a nurse?
  • Write about a situation where you had to deal with a demanding, difficult patient and what you did.
  • Why are you applying for this job and why do you want to work at our hospital?
  • What made you choose your particular field of nursing?
  • What kinds of personality traits do you feel are necessary for nurses to have?
  • In your opinion, what are some of the most significant issues and challenges that nurses currently face? Why do you think you are qualified for the job?

Essay questions can be an insightful part of the initial interview process. When advertising for seasonal nurse positions, make sure to list out detailed requirements and education to help avoid unqualified nurses from applying. Additionally, since ski resorts are incredibly busy in the winter, it’s best to make sure applicants can work in a fast-paced hospital environment.

Sign up today for a free trial of our completely customizable applicant tracking system and see how quickly and efficiently you can take care of your hiring needs this season!

Five Tips for Hiring the Right Employee

Whether you’re a seasonal company gearing up for the winter holiday rush or you have some current positions open in your organization, hiring the right employee is critical to your success.

While you can’t please everyone in your company, you can do your best to mitigate poor hiring decisions and focus on deciphering what employee traits are valuable to your company so you can better facilitate the interview process.

Here are the top five things to consider when interviewing candidates:

  1. Career Commitment – If someone is committed to his or her career, this may signify loyalty. Employees that switch jobs or careers frequently in pursuits of higher salaries may not be the long-term employee your business desires. Heavily weigh the candidate’s previous job duration and make inquiries about why they keep switching jobs. It could be something out of their control – like layoffs – but if they’re always looking for something better that pays more, it may be best to consider another qualified candidate.
  2. Test Learning and Analytical Skills – Keep in mind that a resume may be impressive, but there are also a lot of companies and freelancers that specialize in writing resumes. Because resumes can contain lies, it’s best to use a variety of methodologies to analyze candidates’ skills.
  3. Compatibility Match – You may find an impressive, brilliant applicant, but if they aren’t compatible with your company’s culture, you’ll have personality clashes, which can lead to an unproductive, unhealthy work environment. If a candidate expresses that they have difficulty getting along with co-workers or bosses, it may be a red flag that they are not a good fit for your company.
  4. Improve Your Hiring Process – Companies that follow these hiring steps have more success with finding long-term employees:
    a. Avoid magic bullet or irrelevant questions and focus on the candidates’ knowledge, capabilities, confidence, skills and attitude.
    b. When advertising available positions, make sure to list all job requirements to minimize unqualified candidates applying for the job. For example, list specific responsibilities, experience, skills, knowledge and required education.
    c. Involve several people in the hiring evaluation process, because the more people that participate, the better chance your company can hire a good fit.
  5. Review Social Media – Looking at a candidates’ social media page may have some legal complications, but companies can weigh the pros and cons. Today, nearly 90% of companies recruit through social media platforms because having an online presence is so important in our business world.

Ninja Gig can help companies simplify their online job application process. Our fully customizable online employment applications are ideal for companies to use on their direct websites or social media pages. Sign up today for a free trial of our highly reviewed applicant tracking system!

How to Earn Employee’s Respect

Building respect is a two-way street – and one that both employees and employers need to reciprocate. Long ago, it was thought that respect was something subordinate employees were forced to give their supervisors. However, respect is a valuable – and necessary – way for employers to help build rapport in the workplace.

How can companies build employee respect? Ninja Gig will walk you through five essential tips.

  1. Authenticity – Practice being an authentic reflection of the company’s principles and values, while simultaneously having transparency and promoting justice.
  2. Ownership – Make employees understand that management values and deeply respects their thoughts and opinions. By doing this, employees tend to take a form of “ownership” and pride in the company.
  3. Potential – Develop employees’ potential and invest in helping them become better employees. By helping employees develop and achieve their performance goals, they will respect companies more and become more dedicated employees.
  4. Energy – Focus on creating an energized work culture that is positive, with energy that focuses on winning versus defending.
  5. Sacrifices – If sacrifices need to be made to contribute to the majority’s success, these options need to be weighed and tough decisions made.

Earning employee respect is the key to empowering employees. Employees that report feeling respected at work have higher satisfaction rates with their jobs, which equates to long-term retention and less turnover.

Ninja Gig offers the ease of online employment applications. Companies can easily comply with state and federal guidelines regarding maintaining job applications, while also being able to advertise on social media, the internet and other modern-day job sites to help attract the best, most qualified applicants for the job. Sign up now for a free 30-day trial and streamline your hiring processes!

Tips for Interviewing and Hiring Cleaning Staff

If you have a cleaning company, chances are that you know the challenges of keeping and maintaining good housekeeping staff. Furthermore, you probably dread the interview process. If you fear a mountain of paper applications and what types of questions you can’t ask, Ninja Gig is here to help you simplify your interview process so you can find the right talent for your company.

Here are some examples of interview questions and how to phrase them.

  • Illegal: How many sick days did you take last year?
  • Legal: How many days of work did you miss last year?

 

  • Illegal: Do you have a vehicle?
  • Legal: How will you get to work?

 

  • Illegal: Have you ever been arrested?
  • Legal: Have you ever been convicted of theft or fraud?

 

Here are some different, yet insightful questions to ask when interviewing potential applicants.

  • What type of books do you like to read? – This question can help you gauge an applicant’s hobbies and social activities without directly asking.
  • What was the last movie you saw on TV or in the theater? – This gives insight into their personal preferences and hobbies. If they give details about the movie, it shows that they have comprehension skills that may prove valuable when taking directions.
  • Tell me about yourself. – This measures how well an applicant does when put on the spot as well as how detailed they are in answering the question. Avoidant personalities may try to ask, “What would you like to know?” but that is not the question in this exercise.
  • What types of clubs or activities did you do when you were younger? – Children that are involved in activities may grow up to have a better work ethic. In this exercise, you are looking for team sports or groups, such as 4-H Club, etc.

 

Other interview tips include:

  • Telephone Calls – Conduct the initial interview via telephone. This can help eliminate applicants before they even see you face-to-face. Remember that applicants need to earn interviews. Even a three-minute conversation may be enough to ensure that the conversation is understandable and that the applicant is serious about applying for the position.
  • Interviewing in Groups – One benefit to interviewing in groups is that you can conduct your initial interviews in one session, which is excellent for time management. Additionally, followers in groups will chime in, “That’s what I was going to say.” These activities can also establish leaders and followers when identifying potential applicants’ personality types.
  • Meals – Interviewing the final round of applicants over breakfast or lunch is also a good option because you can see their manners and etiquette firsthand.

 

By employing these helpful interview tips into your next recruitment session, you can easily identify qualified housecleaning candidates for your company.

 

Ninja Gig offers online job applications, which makes it easy to avoid a mountain of paper employment applications. Additionally, you can advertise for open housekeeping positions on your website or social media pages, while complying with all state and federal employment requirements. Sign up today for our 30-day free trial and see how easily you can improve your hiring processes.

Education Is Key: Modern Day Job Application Statistics

You want to hire the best, brightest talent available, which is why Ninja Gig has compiled some interesting statistics to help you find the best applicants for your organization.

  • 79% of job seekers are using social media to conduct a job search. For Millennials, this number increases to 86%.
  • Nearly 75% of people say their employer does not use social media to promote their brand or job openings.
  • 45% of job seekers use mobile devices to search for employment once daily.
  • Job seekers generally look at these five things when applying for a position: salary and compensation, career growth opportunities, work-life balance offerings, location and commute and company culture and values.
  • When advertising sales positions, 94% of sales professionals say that the offered base salary is more important than the commission structure.
  • Millennials cite these three important factors when applying for jobs: growth opportunities, retirement benefits and work culture.
  • 46% of Millennials left their last job because they felt there was no potential for career growth. This means that Millennials are more skeptical about employers’ claims about supporting advancement.
  • 64% of Millennials would be comfortable making $40,000 a year at a job they love than making upwards of $100,000 a year at a job they don’t find challenging. This means that 80% of Millennials look at a company’s culture fit and the people first, with career potential coming in second.
  • 69% of job seekers say that they would rather be unemployed than accept employment with a company that has a bad reputation. On the flip side, 84% of Millennials would leave their current job if a company with an excellent reputation offered them a position.
  • Companies that increase their employee engagement investments by as little as 10% can increase employee productivity by $2,400. Additionally, 70% of employees that do not have faith or confidence in their senior management do not fully engage at work.

Ninja Gig makes it easy for employers’ online job applications to get noticed on social media. Fully customizable, these job applications are a great way to comply with today’s necessary electronic recordkeeping requirements while making it quick and simple for applicants to apply for open positions.  Sign up for your 30-day free trial and see what our amazing software can do to help improve your hiring processes!

Workplace Bullies

You cannot turn on the news without hearing about a school shooting, bombing or violent act. Many of these relate to bullies. But, what can your company do in today’s world to help protect employees from the mental and emotional, and even physical threats of violence perpetrated by bullies?

First, it’s important to recognize the signs of a bully early-on, such as during the interview process. Workplace bullying is responsible for a wide myriad of effects on companies, including:

 

  • Reduced efficiency, productivity and profitability
  • Higher rates of absenteeism, sick time and employee turnover
  • Decreased loyalty and morale
  • Increased costs for recruiting and retraining new hires
  • Workers comp claims
  • Negative effects on the company’s reputation
  • Time spent dealing with bullies
  • Potential fines by government entities, such as occupational health laws
  • Legal costs from employees
  • Increases to worker’s comp and insurance premiums for turnover

 

When interviewing candidates, look for the signs of these types of bullies.

 

  • The Screamer – If someone is loud, obnoxious and abusive in an attempt to humiliate and berate people, chances are they expect to rule through fear.
  • The Snake – The passive-aggressive employee that pretends to be friends with a coworker to gain information and then turns around to purposefully destroy his/her reputation or take credit for work.
  • The Critic – The critic is someone who constantly criticizes people to tear down their confidence. The criticism is often unwarranted, as they just want to break someone down.
  • The Class Clown – The attention seeker needs to be the center of attention at all times. They will flatter their bosses, be helpful to their peers, but if co-workers don’t give them the amount of attention they desire, things can quickly get ugly.
  • The Gatekeeper – This is someone that thinks their position is so important that they can deny other employees the necessary resources, information or time to effectively do their jobs.
  • The Know-It-All – Gurus likes to consider themselves superior to other employees. They can’t understand how their hurtful actions affect others and don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions. They don’t like to follow the same rules as other employees, thinking they are above them.
  • The Wannabe – Employees that typically aren’t very good at their jobs, but loves to complain about everyone else. They want everything to be done their way, even if there is a better way to accomplish a task. They go to great lengths to oppose other employee’s ideas and hate changes in the workplace.
  • The Sociopath – The charming, intelligent, charismatic and well-spoken employee that has no empathy for other employees and loves to manipulate everyone around him/her.

 

Look out for problems that may point to these types of bullying personalities in interviews. Selecting a good team that is bully-free will help companies succeed.

 

Ninja Gig offers online job applications to a wide variety of companies. See how online applications can help your company effectively attract talented employees while helping comply with government regulations.  Sign up now for our free trial, and see how easy it can be to accept job applications online and weed out those bullies!

HR Spring Cleaning

Ever wonder what should and shouldn’t be kept in employee personnel files? Ninja Gig will give you the low-down on how to spring clean your HR department.

What should be in personnel files?

Personnel files should contain objective information that relates to hiring, promotions, demotions, compensation, discipline or employee discharge. Type of documents that should appear in employment files include, but are not limited to:

  • Employment Application
  • Resume
  • Offer letters
  • Performance reviews
  • Disciplinary notices
  • Resignation/Termination letters
  • Compensation and deductions
  • Non-Compete or Confidentiality Agreements
  • Handbook acknowledgements
  • Attendance records
  • Vacation and personal leave
  • Changes in name, address, telephone or contact information
  • Emergency contacts
  • Beneficiaries for insurance policies
  • Training records

What should not be in personnel files?

Subjective information should never be in personnel files. This includes:

  • Notes about the employee during interviews or on their employment applications
  • Letters of recommendation or reference checks
  • Documents about employee criminal investigations
  • Credit reports
  • I-9 Forms
  • Medical files or anything relating to a medical condition
  • Photos of the employee or even copies of his/her driver’s license

Where should employers keep personnel files?

Personnel files should remain with Human Resources departments, but if companies are too small to have an entire department, they should reside with the employee’s manager. Personnel files should always be stored in a locked room or cabinet.

Who has access to personnel files?

Only the immediate supervisor and human resources’ department should have access to employees’ personnel files. While not required, it’s a good idea for companies to have a system in place that tracks every time a personnel file is viewed by whom.

Where should I-9 Forms be stored?

A separate I-9 folder for each employee is not necessary. Many companies have two binders – one for current employees’ I-9 forms and one for past employees. According to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), employers must retain I-9 forms for a minimum of three (3) years from the date of hire or one (1) year after the employee’s date of employment ends, whichever is later.

How is medical information stored?

Medical information, such as worker’s compensation issues, disability issues, sick leave or FMLA should be stored separately in a locked drawer and have limited access.

Ninja Gig offers customizable online employment applications. These applications are easy to store digitally online, so companies can recall the information when needed, reducing the amount of paper filing. These online job applications also help companies target experienced candidates.  Sign up now for a no-obligation, free trial of our amazing software.