Category Archives: Dealing with Bosses

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!

Addressing Sexual Harassment

Right now, our nation is being slammed by daily reports of companies and individuals that are receiving new sexual harassment claims. Thanks to Harvey Weinstein blowing the lid off the top of the entertainment industry’s harassment scandal, victims everywhere are making a stand, demanding to be heard.

Here’s what HR departments can do to help protect companies against harassment claims and to minimize the potential for employees becoming harassment victims.

  1. Hold a Team Meeting – A powerful way to send the message that workplace harassment is not acceptable is to hold a company meeting. Employers need to express that if anyone feels uncomfortable, threatened or demeaned, they need to report this to their supervisor and HR department. Create an open space, so employees know and understand that you have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and you want it reported immediately. Emphasize that both sexual harassment and assault are criminal offenses and no matter someone’s position in a company, there is no tolerance for this type of criminal behavior.
  2. Shared Definitions – Create definitions of what defines harassment. Many studies show that when harassment is precisely defined, more people will report these criminal incidents. This helps in two ways:
    1. Employees are better able to understand and recognize harassment, which allows them to report any workplace violations.
    2. Employees have greater ownership of the company culture, which makes them feel more positively towards their work environments.
  3. Confidential Reporting System – It’s important to have a confidential reporting system in place so that employees can feel free to report harassment without fear of retaliation. Trauma effects every person differently, which is why it’s essential that a workplace environment offers a confidential reporting system.
  4. Shared Accountability – Every individual in a company needs to be held accountable for their actions, whether it’s the president or a mail clerk. An organization should emphasize a culture where no harassment is tolerated and that all colleagues, managers or executives are called out for their poor behavior.
  5. Cultural Impact – It’s crucial that companies regularly reinforce the zero violence and harassment policy. Here are some practical ways to do this:
    1. Explain – All employees and managers should have a clear understanding of how sexual harassment and assault issues are prioritized by the company, what their roles are in implementing policies and protocols, exactly what accountability for these illegal actions entails and what channels will support victims.
    2. Reinforce – Regularly reinforce a company’s zero harassment policy through newsletters, annual reports, social media, board meetings and one-on-one supervision.
    3. Pulse – Stay up-to-date on what is going on in the office as fear of retaliation can prevent employees from providing feedback. Regularly check-in with employees, conduct performance reviews and send out anonymous culture surveys.

Ninja Gig supports your position to hire the best candidates for your company to help create a zero-tolerance harassment workplace. To attract the best, brightest and most talented candidates for your company, consider using online job applications. These employment applications are easy to customize, which means that HR departments can tailor them to specific job profiles.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial of this amazing software!

Biggest HR Challenges

Today’s companies face ever-evolving workforce threats – ranging from cyber breaches, workplace violence to mental health issues and employee well-being – today’s HR professionals must comply with a myriad of laws.

Here are some of the top HR challenges that companies face in 2018.

  1. Harassment – Courtesy of Harvey Weinstein, harassment has plagued America in both the entertainment, political and media industries over the last several months. Employers must have zero tolerance harassment policies, which are in print to protect employees.
  2. Drug Testing and Substance Abuse – Opioid addiction dominated the headlines in 2017. Managing and addressing drug use and testing is a challenging issue many employers face. Employers should implement a drug-free workplace, putting policies in effect that prohibits the use of drugs on work premises and during work hours.
  3. Employee Handbooks – An employee handbook should contain workplace policies, the employer’s mission and goals, and information about discrimination, harassment, leave and paid time off and employee benefits. Handbooks should remain up-to-date at all times, being closely monitored for changes to federal, state and local laws.
  4. Well-Being and Mental Health – To ensure that workers are productive and have low absenteeism rates, physical and mental health needs to be addressed by companies. It is important that HR professionals employ sensitivity, as well as FMLA and ADA rules when it comes to dealing with physical or mental ailments. Employers may also wish to add substance abuse services and behavioral health treatments that extend beyond what medical insurance plans may cover.
  5. Workplace Violence – In a day and age where mass shootings, terrorist attacks and bomb threats are becoming all too common, employers should implement a safety plan to help protect the workplace should one of these unfortunate incidents occur. Additionally, consider requiring background checks on applicants, implementing a zero-tolerance workplace violence policy and not allowing weapons on the premises.
  6. Recruiting – Employment numbers are low, which means that it is an employee’s market for job hunting. This is putting the burden on employers to attract and find the best talent for their organizations. Use online job applications to help manage and organize information for candidates. Additionally, companies can easily post their job openings online and on social media outlets, creating personal job applications that match the skill sets of an ideal candidate.
  7. Cyber Breaches – 2017 saw some major data breaches. As cloud-based systems become more popular, companies will need to ensure that private and confidential information is protected in the event a cyber breach occurs.

Ninja Gig offers customizable online job applications. Sign up today for a 30-day free trial and see how much easier your recruitment efforts can be!

Strategies to Help Your Team Avoid Disaster

Everyone preaches about how teamwork can help companies excel, but while professional athletic teams can rely on teamwork to score a goal or a point, many companies cannot lead their employees to successful team endeavors.

So how can human resources departments help lead their company team to success?

  • Avoid Individual Tasks, Assign Collective Goals – We’ve all been in meetings where the big boss assigns a project and then looks around and expects everyone to magically work together. Instead of expecting your team to divvy up tasks, try open communication. Assign each teammate their own responsibility, while making them all accountable for the final project. This gives room for people to cooperate, but not for one person to avoid tasks and fail the group.
  • Encourage Mutual Respect – Successful teams all  have one common element – they encourage respect, recognizing members’ strengths. Instead of viewing everyone as threats, team members treat one another as though they are assets. Consider having your company implement a peer recognition program. This helps team members acknowledge individual capabilities, while simultaneously contributing to overall team success.
  • Celebrating Winning – Don’t single out one member from a team, but instead reward and recognize everyone equally. Whether it’s a company-wide shout out for recognition, a lunch, happy hour or a gift, make sure to treat everyone equally.

Ninja Gig offers online job applications. These types of applications are easy to customize, which makes it simple for human resources departments to find the most qualified applicants for companies.  Ready to start accepting job applications online?  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial of this exciting applicant tracking system.

Human Resources Trends to Follow in 2018 Part 2 of 2

As a Human Resources professional, it is essential that you stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Having a company that is competitive and treats employees well means that you’ll attract more qualified candidates.

In our last article, we highlighted the importance of offering continuous feedback, digital training, unique benefits and wellness programs. Now, we’ll continue our list and highlight some other significant trends that will emerge in 2018.

Robots

Large companies that already use online job applications will begin using more bot commands to help manage their resumes and other important HR documents. Large companies could easily have thousands of resumes and paperwork on hand, which can be very time consuming to manage. More companies will start archiving these documents, which will make searching for past applicants and resumes much simpler.

Scientific Hiring

Corporations are beginning to explore hiring as a scientific process. Using both gamification and video interviews, outsourced companies rely on psychologists to deliver custom assessments about candidates’ qualifications. While the price point isn’t practical for hourly candidates, it can be exceptionally helpful when hiring management.

So how does this process work? Companies work to create a specific set of questions that elicit responses that predict job success. This helps them to find candidates that exhibit the right behaviors. Candidates are then scored based on a model that has an ideal response. In theory, this should predict job success.

Flexible Working Arrangements

In our last article, we briefly touched on unique benefits. Companies that offer flexible working arrangements, such as letting employees work from home or choose a location that is closer to home, have more productive employees. Flexible working arrangements boost employee morale, engagement and loyalty. If it isn’t practical to have virtual employees, consider letting them choose their work location one day a week or offer flexible working hours to help offset long commutes.

Let Students Take the Reigns

More companies realize that the younger generation will lead the tech industry. For tech companies, the trend will be to have college students in their organization as it helps teach them the latest trends and stay up-to-date with the newest technology. If your company isn’t near a college, consider setting up a virtual or remote location that is near a college. As a bonus, you can increase your pool of qualified applicants when students graduate from college.

Ninja Gig can help simplify your online job application process. We allow you to customize your job applications, which make it easier to attract qualified applicants, sort through potential applicants’ qualifications and skill sets and hire the right person for your organization.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial of our awesome applicant tracking system (ATS) and start accepting employment applications online immediately.

Tips for Team Building

Whether you’re a cleaning company, restaurant or Fortune 500 company, you need to build a strong, dynamic team that will help take your business to the next level. To ensure that you create a culture that honors your employees, consider the following team building tips.

Implement a clear vision and direction. A company that has a concise direction can help build a strong team. Each team member should understand and communicate the company’s vision. When all employees understand your business’ goals, it makes it easier to make sure that everyone is moving in the same direction.

Each team member is unique, but everyone is part of a whole team. The healthiest teams have a strong sense of belonging, while also recognizing that each member has personal strengths and contributions. Companies need to engage with each team member on a one-on-one level to highlight their individual strengths. By building each person individually, it helps strengthen and create a stronger, dynamic team.

Always maintain respectful, honest and open communication. Healthy team cultures all demonstrate one quality, which has an environment where employees can freely voice their needs and options and management will hear them. If you’re trying to gauge the level of communication within your organization, take a step back and listen in meetings to the employee’s background conversations. What is the overall tone of the conversations? Is it rushed and short? Is it engaging and laid back? Taking the time to analyze your company’s communication environment will help you build a strong team.

Ninja Gig wants your company to succeed. By using online job applications, you can help target and attract the most qualified employees. You can also ensure you are in federal and state compliance with job application paperwork laws, as candidates’ information is easy to store and search. Sign up today for your free 30-day trial of this awesome applicant tracking system, and make your life so much sweeter!

12 Human Resources Hot Buttons

Today’s job market has some fierce competition, which is why employees need to stand out more than ever.

Ninja Gig highlights the latest 12 hot button subjects for human resources’ departments to incorporate into their interview questions.

  1. Results – The bottom line is any interview is to determine what the applicant has accomplished. Listen to action and buzz words, such as: initiated, developed, led or increased.
  2. Figures and Numbers – Don’t settle for vague assertions. Ask questions so applicants deliver concrete statistics, numbers and figures. Did they help decrease spending or increase revenue? Ask the hard questions to get the best and brightest employees.
  3. Awards – Make sure that applicants highlight their accolades and awards.
  4. Staying Power – You want to see an employee that has the staying power your company needs to succeed. Look for employees that have stayed at companies for several years and received promotions before moving on. These are signs of candidates that will help reduce your turnover and build your business.
  5. Website or Blog – Blogging and personal websites have become very popular. Reading someone’s grammar and writing style can also highlight good communication skills. This is also an opportune time to see if the potential applicant shared too much about his/her personal life or details about past jobs.
  6. Skills and Education – If your company requires specific certifications, make sure that applicants have kept up with any requirements or necessary education. An applicant that stays up-to-date on the latest technology and industry trends is someone that wants to succeed.
  7. Attitude – You want employees that are flexible, positive and enthusiastic. Avoid hiring applicants that criticize current or past employers or co-workers. Remember that a positive attitude is contagious in the workplace.
  8. Leadership Skills – Many companies think that leadership skills are only reserved for management positions. However, you need to think again. New employees that demonstrate leadership skills can help influence your company and have room for growth. Look for potential leadership by listening to how candidates improved a product or process, came up with solutions to problems or contributed ideas to their workplaces.
  9. Initiative and Ideas – Listen for applicants to tell you solutions and ideas that can solve your business’ current problems. Not only will you be more interested in hearing their proactive solutions, but chances are you’re looking for a candidate that has the potential to hit the ground running.
  10. Growth Potential – You want people that don’t just commit to their job descriptions, but are willing to go above and beyond to ensure your company’s success. Ask candidates about their past experiences where they have operated outside their comfort zones.
  11. Hobbies – You know that all candidates have interests outside of work so why not ask them about their passions. Someone that is devoted to hobbies or has special interests shows he/she is committed to success.
  12. Creativity – You want to hire employees that are creative problem solvers that can easily think outside the box. See if the candidate has a track record for solving problems using innovative solutions.

Ninja Gig can help companies implement a reliable online job application system. You can quickly and efficiently target advertising to potential online candidates and then search through their online job applications. Once you have a narrow list of potential candidates, you can focus on interviewing, asking the right questions and hiring the employee that will help your company succeed.  Sign up today for your free trial and you can make your life so much easier.  Start accepting applications within minutes!

Medical Crisis: Registered Nurse Turnover

A little-known fact that lies in our medical communities is that registered nurse turnover is surprisingly high. In fact, according to the Survey of Newly-Licensed Registered Nurses, one in five newly registered nurses (RNs) leaves their first job within a year and one in three within the first two years.

The overall turnover for hospitals is lower than at other health care settings, but the overall cost of RNs leaving affects the quality of care and is expensive for hospitals. For example, organizational costs alone can be as high as $6.4 million for large acute care hospitals that offer emergency trauma services. In fact, turnover among healthcare providers directly associates with an increase in patient falls, pressure ulcers and the use of physical restraints.

Voluntary termination accounts for approximately 91-percent of turnover. Participants in the 2016 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, identified why RNs left their employment. While relocation, personal reasons, salary, retirement and career advancement are dominating factors, additional reasons for departure include immediate management issues, education, commute, scheduling and workload to staffing ratios. According to The University of New Mexico, the following are the six top reasons why nurses leave their jobs:

  1. Moving
  2. Personal Matters
  3. Promotion
  4. Salary
  5. Retirement
  6. Burnout

For a couple of years, it seemed as though the RN vacancy rate was decreasing, but this latest report shows that the rate is increasing. The report also shows that a third of hospitals have a 10-percent or higher vacancy rate for RNs. This is an increase of 4.8-percent from 2012.

When the number of RNs in a hospital declines, the traditional approach has been to spend more money on overtime, travel nurses or agency staff to fill vacancies. These are costly strategies that can affect overall patient care.

The RN Recruitment Difficult Index (RDI-RN) estimates that it takes 54 to 109 days to recruit an experienced RN (not counting RN specialties, such as ICU, labor and delivery, etc.). Specialty positions can take as long as 80 to 109 days to fill.

The report also shows that the average turnover for RNs costs from $37,700 to $58,400. This means that hospitals can lose $5.2 million to $8.1 million annually from turnover alone.

The costs associated with filling these vacancies can include:

  • Job postings
  • Employing in-house recruiters
  • Hiring third-party staffing firms
  • Applicant tracking systems

The number one preventable reason for nurses leaving is burnout. In this century, the number of nurses that cite burnout has substantially increased. The addition of documentation, new technology and electronic medical records has added even more stress to this pressure-induced occupation. Some of the reasons nurses experience burnout can include:

  • Chaotic job atmosphere
  • Lack of social support
  • Inability to control assignments or schedules
  • Imbalanced work and job life

Healthcare organizations can combat burnout by implementing:

 

  • Self-scheduling
  • Reducing overtime
  • Mentorship programs

 

Nurses that work 12 hours or more in a single shift and more than 40 hours per week are more likely to leave the workforce within a year. Medical organizations should note that overtime should not be commonplace and nurses should not be pushed to work extra hours.

 

Creating programs and incentives for nurses will help alleviate turnover. This can include scholarships, tuition reimbursement, competitive salaries and benefits and even monetary incentives.

 

Ninja Gig can help hospitals find qualified, registered nurses. Our online job applications allow hospitals to customize questions, which helps identify the most qualified candidates.  Sign up now and take advantage of our 30-day free trial.

Insight into Cashier Turnover

Cashiers are responsible for ringing up purchases in convenience stores, grocery stores and other establishments using cash registers and electronic scanners. In 2014, there were approximately 3.5 million cashiers in the U.S., making this the second largest occupation behind retail salespeople.

This entry-level position does not require any formal education or work experience, and the employer provides most training on the job. The pay for cashiers is low as it is generally minimum wage. Due to the volume of cash transactions, applicants may be required to pass drug screens and background checks. Cashier jobs may be full-time, part-time and seasonal or offer flexible hours.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that cashier employment will increase two-percent from 2014 to 2024, which equates to approximately 67,000 new jobs. Because the job description requires good customer service but offers low pay, the turnover rate is high.

More reports show that companies are desperate to keep their minimum-wage workers. Within the last couple of years, companies such as Walmart, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, IKEA, Starbucks and Gap have committed to increasing the wages of low-paid workers. While this has sparked concern among investors, there are reasons why companies are willing to fork out more money for long-term retention in these jobs.

  • The average cashier earns a full-time salary of between $20,026 and $25,400.
  • The cost of replacing an employee that earns a lower income is approximately 16% of their annual wage according to the Center for American Progress.
  • This equates to $3,204.16 to $4,064. Every time a cashier quits, it costs a company this amount to train a new hire, which adds up – especially for larger retail companies.

If you equate this 16-percent number with Walmart’s 500,000 low-wage employees, the total cost is approximately $1 billion. While boosting cashier’s wages will not solve the turnover dilemma, it can help reduce the overall costs associated with training and recruiting new employees.

Costco implemented a long-term strategy to retain good employees. The average hourly worker starts at $11.50 per hour and those employees that stay more than five years can easily earn upwards of $20 per hour. “This is not altruistic,” Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal said of his company’s pay practices. “This is good business.”

Some retailers, such as Target, have made it clear they will not conform to higher wages. If these employers want to decrease their turnover rates without increasing hourly pay, their profitability may lie in predictable scheduling, such as giving cashiers their hours several weeks in advance.

If your company is looking to reduce cashier turnover, the first step is hiring employees that want to work long-term. You can accomplish this by including specific questions in Ninja Gig’s online job applications, which makes it easier to identify good applicants. Second, your organization will need to consider polling employees or looking at the general city and area to see if higher wages or more flexible schedules appeal to applicants.  Sign up today to start accepting employment applications online immediately!

Cleaning Industry Turnover: A Guide to Prevention and Retention

Reducing employee turnover in the cleaning industry can be challenging. Due to the nature of the work, cleaning requires odd hours and generally does not earn societal respect by clients and other employees. It is important to create a work atmosphere that is positive and values good employees. This will help maintain personnel and not have them view their jobs as trivial tasks but as a potentially rewarding and long-term career. Consider practicing the following:

  • Hire employees that want to clean. It’s that simple. Do not interview for cleaning jobs as temporary positions, but look for employees that want to learn and grow within your organization. The cleaning industry may not be glamorous, but make sure potential employees know it’s steady work that can offer future advancement.
  • Provide training to new employees. Employees that understand and are comfortable with their job tasks perform more efficiently and effectively. They also have more pride in their work. Create hands-on training sessions, a training manual and provide cross-training opportunities so employees can learn new skills and continue to grow.
  • Reward employees and create a sense of family. Sometimes employee retention can be as simple as employees feeling appreciated. Create a sense of comradery so appreciated employees know you value their hard work. This can be as simple as having a day out at a baseball game, a staff party or even a family bowling night.
  • Conduct yearly reviews and offer praise. Employees need to feel valued. Encourage employees to go above and beyond their routine job tasks. Recognize employees in annual reviews and praise their performance if they volunteer for overtime, respond to emergency jobs, volunteer to work overnight shifts or tackle tough cleaning jobs. It is important that any criticism is constructive, so employees do not feel discouraged. Offer additional counseling or training to help employees learn from their mistakes, as this will help avoid future repeat mishaps.
  • Implement a workplace survey. To help your cleaning company improve, you need to gain insightful feedback. Ask employees to provide anonymous feedback about training opportunities, shifts, cleaning assignments, management and paid benefits. You can use this information to make changes in your workplace, including adding more rotating shifts, offering a wellness program or including more opportunities for advancement.

Ninja Gig can help reduce your employee turnover by offering detailed job applications. These online employment applications are easy to customize so companies can target long-term employees.  Start accepting job applications online today with our 30-day free trial.  Sign up now!