Autonomy – What It Really Is and How to Encourage It

Autonomy What It Really Is and How to Encourage ItAutonomy sounds great to employees and employers alike, but is it really achievable? Bosses think if they could just turn projects over and employees would do what’s needed that would be the next best thing to heaven. Workers feel like they could get so much more done if their boss would quit micromanaging.

Part of the problem is that both sides don’t always understand what autonomy really is. That makes it hard to achieve. Let’s start with defining the goal and then explore ways to reach it.

What Autonomy Is and Isn’t

Autonomy is the ability to make choices that help you perform at your best. Here are some of the areas where employees might have the freedom to choose:

  • Project types
  • Flexibility in timing and work location
  • Work pacing
  • Preferred client or industry focus

Autonomy isn’t employees doing whatever they want and making all the decisions. It doesn’t mean any of these things:

  • Employees can show up and leave whenever they want
  • Individuals can work in isolation without seeking approval or clarification from management
  • Employees have to figure out what to do without input from the boss
  • Every staff member has the same amount of freedom

A University of Birmingham study indicated people who had flexible schedules and work pacing had higher job satisfaction. Happy employees are more engaged, innovative and productive. An autonomous workplace is better for everyone.

4 Ways to Encourage Workplace Autonomy

People want to direct their own lives. It’s possible to create autonomy at your business without sacrificing leadership. Here’s how.

Hire for autonomy. Not everyone can handle the choices you want to offer. Look for people who have faced challenges and persevered. Ask interview questions that encourage them to explain how they deal with hardship or frustration. When you call their references, ask questions to explore how they act when no one is looking.

Make expectations crystal-clear. Some businesses have safety concerns, governmental regulations or compliance issues that are never up for discussion. Others would lose business if employees didn’t behave or dress in line with company values. Identify the non-negotiables and make them part of onboarding and regular training. In areas where you offer choices, set boundaries and hold employees accountable.

Allow employees to earn their choices. You don’t have to give everyone the same amount of freedom. You probably already know the person who always gets work done on time and the one who almost never makes a deadline. The first employee literally can’t stand to be late. The idea causes him or her physical pain. That employee would be successful with a flexible schedule. They’ve earned it with their consistent excellence.

Instill a feeling of ownership. Ask for employee feedback on company goals, projects and processes. Recognize staff individually and specifically for how their contribution caused improvement or profit.

Find Employees You Can Trust

At Brelsford Personnel we’re committed to excellence when it comes to employee screening and selection. During our interview process we find trustworthy candidates for your professional, administrative and temporary staffing needs. We perform background checks and in-depth reference checks and verify skills as part of our candidate assessment. Get in touch to find the employees who meet your business needs.

Why Brelsford Personnel Supports Coats for Kids

Why Brelsford Personnel Supports Coats for Kids

When you donate to PATH’s Coats for Kids program, you do so much more than help a child stay warm. You make a difference in their future.

Brelsford Personnel is proud to be a drop-off location for the Tyler coat drive because we know it’s not just about outerwear. We support PATH’s program to invest in tomorrow’s leaders and show we’re a community that cares.

Tyler’s Most Outstanding Citizen

This year, like every year since 1952, the Tyler Chamber of Commerce presented the W.C. Windsor Award to Tyler’s most outstanding citizen under the age of 40. This year’s recipient was Yaziri Orrostieta.

The 34-year-old University of North Texas graduate has a master’s in business administration in international marketing with a certification for doing business in Mexico and Latin America.

Yaziri is marketing director at Heritage Land Bank and when she’s not working, she’s making a difference.

She has served on the board of the Hispanic Business Alliance, chaired the entrepreneur committee of the Hispanic Professional Association of Tyler and was an advisory member of Tyler Police Department’s Hispanic Outreach program.

Why does this young professional feel so driven to give back? When Yaziri was a child, she came to Tyler from Mexico with her family. Her parents struggled, and sometimes they needed help to provide for their children’s needs. Yaziri says PATH and Coats for Kids played a part in both her professional success and her heart for the East Texas community.

“It wouldn’t have happened if this weren’t a giving community,” she said when she received her award. “I’ve always said the reason I give back is there was some day, some leader, one day that chose to give, and my family was a beneficiary of that giving heart.”

Coats for Kids and Tyler Business

PATH Executive Director Greg Grubb says Yaziri’s story isn’t the only one. “My staff gave me a report about a young man who managed a large restaurant in town whose mother died in Mexico,” Greg said. “His father brought him to be raised by family here. His family worked hard and they paid their taxes, but he needed a coat. He didn’t have one coming from Mexico. He says the PATH coat drive is where he got one those first few years.”

Greg tells of another business owner who contacted PATH wanting to know how he could help. Volunteers explained how he could offer his business as a coat drop-off location or sign up to help with coat distribution. Then the businessman revealed why he was so driven to participate. He said when his family came to town, the only way he got a coat was through Coats for Kids.

“Coats for Kids is about more than just keeping somebody warm, which is important,” Greg finished. “It’s the act of kindness that’s the really touching part of this.”

How You Can Help

East Texans can participate in the Coats for Kids drive in a variety of ways.

  • Provide coats — Drop off a new or gently used coat at drop-off locations like Brelsford Personnel. You can also click the “Donate” button on PATH’s page and they’ll buy coats for you.

 

  • Help prepare for coat distribution – PATH starts setting up for the November 17 coat distribution several days ahead. Every year they hand out more than 1,000 coats, and that takes work. You can volunteer to help with moving, sorting, lifting and setup.

 

  • Volunteer November 17 – At North Tyler Development Academy PATH sets up 10 stations, each manned by volunteers. They call families one at a time and talk to them about sizes and color preferences. Then they go to the coat storage area and choose the best ideas for that family, usually bringing back armloads of coats. It’s a meaningful, uplifting experience to help so many families in need.

The best coats to give are the heavy, insulated type. During months the weather is only cool and damp, kids can get by with layers. What they need for bitterly cold days is an actual winter coat.

The coat you donate could go to the next Yaziri, the next Tyler business owner or young professional. They’ll be leaders tomorrow, but today they need you. Your contribution can make a deep impact. Bring donations to Brelsford Personnel at 3600 Old Bullard Road Suite 301, Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

 

Should You Change Careers? Ask Yourself These Hard Questions

Should You Change Careers? Ask Yourself These Hard Questions

All jobs have difficult days, but if you feel like work is sucking the joy out of every other part of your life, it may be time for a change. For some people it’s hard to know when to tough it out and when to head for the nearest exit. If you’re not sure which way to go, look inward to evaluate what’s best for you.

How do I feel about doing this for five more years?

Really picture your future. Can you see a way things might get better if you stick it out? If so, maybe you don’t want to abandon your current time investment. However, if the thought of sitting in that same chair day in and day out for five more years makes you feel panic, maybe it’s time to go.

What exactly is making me so unhappy?

If you’re not using your skills or doing something you’re passionate about, a career change might mean a better fit. If you hate your job because your boss has grumpy days and your co-workers are selfish, you’ll probably run into the same problems wherever you go.

Is fear what’s keeping me here?

Are there days you still enjoy what you do or is the only reason you show up that you don’t know what you would do otherwise? Do you stay in your current role because you’re afraid of ridicule or criticism if you decided to change? Do you long to do something else, but you’re afraid it wouldn’t work out?

Can I afford to quit?

In a perfect world everyone could follow their heart and achieve their dreams, but in this reality we all have to buy groceries and pay bills. Do you have the money to take time off or change careers? If you think you might, actually sit down with your budget and make sure it works as well on paper as it does in your head.

If you can’t afford to make a change, plan to save. Cut spending, do without or work overtime now so one day you won’t be stuck in a job you hate.

Is a career in my target field attainable?

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to be a ninja, an astronaut or a billionaire? Some goals are harder to reach. If you don’t have the skills, education or background for the job you really want, be honest with yourself. What’s an entry-level position that might get you where you want to be? If you need more education, how can you fit that in?

Are there opportunities for growth here?

Maybe you can’t see yourself staying at the same desk, but your current employer might have opportunities that are more aligned with your goals, interests and values. They already know what you bring to the table, so they might be willing to train you for another department or position. Talk to someone you trust to find out your options. When you know something better is in the future you’re not just marking time, you’re getting closer to a better tomorrow.

Does Brelsford Personnel have my dream job already posted?

That one’s not actually a hard question. The job you’re looking for might already be available. Click here to browse our online postings.

Sources:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140806165720-15454-the-right-and-wrong-reasons-for-changing-jobs
https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/5-tough-questions-to-ask-before-a-career-change
https://www.careerattraction.com/should-you-stay-or-should-you-go-how-to-decide-if-its-time-to-switch-jobs/

Re-entering the East Texas Workforce When Kids Start School

Re-entering the East Texas Workforce When Kids Start School

It’s bittersweet when suddenly the youngest starts kindergarten and a parent who took time off to raise toddlers chooses to re-enter the workforce. It’s meaningful to have those precious years and it’s also exciting to start a new phase of life. If you recently walked your youngest into an East Texas classroom and let go of those sweet little fingers and now you’re looking for a job, here’s how to get started.

Update Your Resume

Get out your resume and review our resume writing tips. Even if you’ve been immersed in raising your children for years, you probably have some things to add. Be sure you include unpaid work and volunteer experience gained during that time.

If you organized a fundraiser or served on a committee, it lets employers know helping others is a priority for you and that you’re not just motivated by a paycheck. If you tutored, mentored or taught classes, it counts.

Think about including the head of that nonprofit as one of your references. If you worked from home, include that experience in your resume refresh. Successful direct sales or a home-based business show your initiative.

Add Degrees and Certifications

You might have taken off before you finished college, then worked through the rest of your credits while you raised your children. Or you might have added certifications or degrees since then. Those skills make you more qualified and might change your starting salary.

Write a Fresh Cover Letter

Once your resume showcases all your skills and qualifications, make sure hiring managers read it with a solid cover letter. We explain how in our article “3 Must-Haves For the Ultimate Cover Letter.

Reevaluate Social Networking

During the past few years, social media has probably been all about family. Potential employers often scroll through candidates social media feeds to learn more about them. Look at your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds to make sure there’s nothing there that doesn’t show you at your best.

Family vacation photos and videos that show your children’s accomplishments are completely acceptable for your personal feed. If you have shots of your cousin behaving badly at the family reunion, you might want to remove those for now.

A LinkedIn profile is helpful for networking. Post an online resume that’s easy to update. Create content that shows what you know. Read news and tips from your connections to stay up-to-date on industry trends and make a positive first impression when potential employers look you up.

Submit your Resume to Brelsford Personnel

When you’ve been off for a while, looking for work again feels like starting from scratch. It can be overwhelming, but we may be a good resource for you. Check out the jobs on our website and review the kinds of jobs we focus on. If you feel you have experience in any of these areas, submit your resume to employ@brelsfordpersonnel.com . We will review your information and if your skills, experience and education match we will contact you immediately! We have been doing this a long time, and we specialize in matching qualified candidates with some of the best employers in East Texas.

Sources:
https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/all-moms-work-confidence-interview
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-find-a-job-after-being-a-stay-at-home-mom-2062222
http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/going-back-to-work-after-staying-home-with-your-kids

How to Get Your Employees to Show Up Every Day This Fall

How to Get Your Employees to Show Up Every Day This Fall

Cold and flu season is coming. Employees have probably already started asking off for holiday travel. Sometime in the next few months, you’re probably going to notice you have more staff calling in than usual. You want them to stay home when they’re sick, but you also need them to keep absenteeism to a minimum. There are things you can do to reduce the number of call-ins.

Formalize Your Attendance Policy

Spell out exactly what you expect. Answer the following questions:

  • At what time are employees tardy?
  • What types of absences will you approve? How should employees document them?
  • What is the procedure for requesting an absence?
  • How many absences do you consider excessive?
  • What disciplinary action will you take if they exceed that number?
  • What happens if someone is a “no show”? Are there emergency situations in which you’ll excuse an unscheduled absence or no call?

Put your attendance policy in the handbook, make it a part of new hire orientation and explain it in your next staff meeting.

Promote Wellness

Sometimes well-meaning employees show up when they’re just coming down with a cold or the flu. You disinfect the bathrooms, but what about other surfaces with which employees come into contact? Make antibacterial wipes available and encourage their use on keyboards, desktops and landlines.

Step back and look for places germs can hide. That candy basket on the breakroom table has been sitting there for months. Employees eat lunch then reach for a piece after touching their faces. The microwave handle, refrigerator door, coffee pot handle and vending machine buttons all need regular disinfection.

Reward Attendance

Think through the most common reasons your employees miss work and use that to incentivize attendance instead. If you know last year employees called in to get their Thanksgiving shopping done without the crowds, reward perfect attendance the rest of the month with a few hours of flex time to be used as needed. Enter employees who stayed healthy all winter in a raffle to win a massage or gym membership on January 1.

Keep Good Records

When someone calls in, document who it was and why. That might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many managers rely on their memory. It seems like Suzy’s chair was often empty, but they’re not sure exactly how many days she actually called in sick, how many she was just late and for which ones she claimed a last minute family emergency.

Documentation helps you spot trends. If you see Suzy calls in every Friday and Monday, you know the problem probably isn’t persistent infection. You’ll also notice those employees who never miss a day and deserve recognition.

Often having a formal plan and a reward system clarifies expectations and encourages attendance. Create yours now for employees that show up every day this fall.

Sources:
https://www.naturalhr.com/blog/reducing-workplace-absenteeism-five-simple-tactics
https://www.masterclassmanagement.com/ManagementCourse-DealingWithAttendance.html

Simple Ways You Can Improve Employee Motivation Today

Simple Ways You Can Improve Employee Motivation Today

If you manage East Texas employees, there’s a tough season ahead. This time of year parents struggle to get into a fresh back-to-school routine. Almost everyone starts thinking toward the holidays. Distractions and fatigue make motivation start to wane.

You’ve seen your team at their best, and you want to minimize disengagement. Try these simple strategies to reignite a spark that’s beginning to flicker.

Launch a Monthly Recognition Plan

A paycheck is a good motivation for showing up, but what you want is for employees to give their very best. To do so every day takes a tremendous amount of energy and dedication.

The ones who give the most do it from the heart. They often feel an emotional connection to their work. They get personal satisfaction from a job well done and feel like they are a part of your company’s mission. Acknowledge them to point out those traits to others.

Make it a public recognition to affirm to those employees they’re doing the right thing, that they’re the best of the best. Point out specifics so other staff members know what you’re looking for. Recognize them on social media so their family and friends know they’re great at what they do.

Survey employees to find out what type of recognition means the most to them. Would your employee of the month most value a certificate they can hang on their wall, a designated parking space, extra flexible minutes or other awards?

Write Thank You Notes

Go to a Tyler or Longview office supply store and get a box of blank notes with envelopes. Use them to create hand-written thank you notes. Sure, it’s the digital age and email is easier, but that’s what will make your statement of appreciation into a keepsake for the recipients. They don’t have to be long or complex.

There probably are already a few people you need to thank. Sit down and give yourself a head start as soon as you have your stationery.

Notes can be as simple as “Dear April, I don’t know if you realize how much you bring to our business. The way you smile and greet everyone who walks through the door makes this a warm and inviting place. Thank you so much for always being incredibly positive.”

Chunk Big Projects

No, we don’t mean chunk them out the window. One solution could be the Agile Method. It was developed in the software design industry, but it is effective for almost all teams responsible for completing large or complex projects.

The way it works: Instead of giving groups the whole elephant to eat at once, break assignments down into smaller portions and complete them in timed sections called “sprints.” Plan a small amount of the work to be done and set a time limit during which everyone works as hard as possible. Then take a break, reevaluate and move on to the next phase.

You may find teams accomplish more in a shorter time frame than they would plodding along at a steady pace with no definite deadline. It is also motivating to frequently point out how much ground the teams have covered.

Micro-Manage Less

Give your teams autonomy while they’re working toward each goal. People want to feel they’re in charge of their work, their time and their accomplishments. If you’re constantly telling them how to do what you hired them for, it’s an energy sucker. A true sense of ownership is motivating.

Sometimes hiring managers say they would turn over tasks to their employees, but they don’t have people they can trust to take charge. At Brelsford Personnel we screen candidates to find those who don’t just have the skills, they’re passionate about what they do. Get in touch, we’ll help you find the staff that meets your needs and budget.

Sources:
https://www.naturalhr.com/blog/its-not-all-about-bonuses-how-to-motivate-employees-for-free
https://hiring.workopolis.com/article/5-ways-inspire-motivate-employees/
https://www.snacknation.com/blog/how-to-motivate-employees/

How to Rock Your First Day on the Job

How to Rock Your First Day on the Job

No matter how excited you are about starting your new job, you’re probably also nervous. It’s hard being the new kid, and you want to make a good first impression on the people you’ll be working with for in the foreseeable future. Try these tips to make that first day a success.

The Night Before

Your nerves are already prickly, so use that extra energy to make the next morning go smoothly. You’ll sleep better if you know you’re prepared.

Dress code varies by workplace. Take your clothing cues from the people who sat in on your interview.

Don’t just pick out what you’ll wear, try it on. If you bought something new to make a strong first impression, make sure it looks as professional in your bedroom mirror as you remember it did in the store. Locate the belt, scarf, shoes and jewelry you intended to wear with it.

If you wear brand new shoes you take the chance you’ll be limping by lunchtime. It’s better to select a pair you know will get you through the day with a spring in your step.

Set your alarm for at least half an hour earlier than you will on most days. Aim to arrive much, much earlier than you are required to. At best you’ll be there early, enter relaxed and make a great first impression. If something goes wrong, you’ll still be on time.

When You Arrive

Take a deep breath before you walk in the door and remind yourself no one expects you to learn everyone’s name and master every procedure on the first day. Show your positive attitude and enthusiasm for your new job and the rest will follow.

Nervousness makes people hunch their shoulders, look down and avoid eye contact, none of which looks friendly. Keep your head up and shoulders back as you meet people. Make eye contact and offer a welcoming smile.

Lean in when people are speaking to show you’re actively listening. Offer a handshake when you meet people, then allow your arms to hang at your sides instead of crossing them.

When you meet people, repeat their name back to them to help yourself remember. Say something like, “It’s great to meet you Samantha, how long have you been with XYZ Company?” If their name is unusual, ask how they spell it to help etch it in your memory.

Throughout the Day

Ask questions and seek help when you need it. People understand you’re new and will likely see your questions as eagerness to do a good job. If you attend training, show up with a note taking device and use it. Stay off your cell phone and don’t use your work computer for personal use.

If people invite you to eat lunch with them or attend an after-hours activity, join them! Express appreciation for the invitation, and for other ways people help you your first day.

In the evening, if the company website includes employee photos, review names and faces. Plan as thoroughly for your second day as you did for the first and you’ll find yourself in a positive routine that brings success in all the days to come.

Sources:
https://www.themuse.com/advice/what-you-must-do-the-night-before-starting-a-new-job
https://www.salary.com/articles/first-days-on-the-job-15-ways-to-make-a-great-impression/
https://www.livecareer.com/career/advice/jobs/first-days-working

Why Someone Else Got the East Texas Job You Wanted

Why Someone Else Got the East Texas Job You Wanted

You thought it was a sure thing. You had all the qualifications and felt like your background and experience made you a perfect fit. You felt a connection with the interviewer. They may even have indicated you could expect to hear good things soon.

That’s why you felt stunned and confused when you heard they gave the job, your job, to someone else. Everyone’s situation is different, but if it happened to you, identifying what went wrong might lead to a better result next time.

The Other Candidate Was an Exact Match

The person interviewing you might have genuinely felt you would probably be their next hire. You already had most of the skills they were looking for and your personality seemed like it would fit well with their existing team.

Then the next person they interviewed seemed like they were tailor-made for the position. You were a good fit, but they were perfect.

They Hired the Most Prepared Interviewee

Think back through your interview. Did some of the questions catch you off guard? Employers hire candidates who have done their research and ask questions like the following:

  • What do you most value about our company’s mission?
  • What about the job description caught your eye?
  • What can you bring to our company?

The candidate they hired may have spent time before the interview in intense study. If they researched the company and had a firm grasp of how their background and skills related to the job description and you didn’t, you may have been outshined.

Employers are looking for specifics. Before your next interview, be sure you can articulate what you bring to the table. Pay special attention to the job description. Think of several specific examples where you have displayed the job characteristics they’re looking for.

The Other Candidate Had These Characteristics

CareerBuilder interviewed 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals in a number of industries. They asked if they were evaluating two candidates and both had the same skills, educational background and work history, how they would decide who to pick. Here are the top three most influential characteristics:

  • 27 percent of hiring managers said they would pick the candidate with a better sense of humor.
  • 26 percent showed preference for people who are involved in the community.
  • 22 percent of interviewers said they would choose the candidate who was better dressed.

If you’ve been passed over for a position, next time show how you have those characteristics. Interviews are stressful, but don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself and show your good nature.

When questions involve your hobbies and interests, mention how you work with your son’s little league team and volunteer unloading cars at the elementary school. Dress for success with the guidelines on our resources page.

Find a Job in East Texas

At Brelsford Personnel, we help East Texans reach their career goals. Submit your resume to us and become one of our registered candidates today.

Sources:
https://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=8%2F28%2F2013&id=pr778&ed=12%2F31%2F2013
https://www.warnersearchgroup.com/news/20-reasons-someone-else-got-the-job-instead-of-you-26503