Better Meetings, Happier Team

Sometimes it seems like the biggest obstacle between you and productivity is the very thing that’s supposed to make you more productive.

That’s right: meetings.

Whether you’re the one planning them or the one required to attend, workplace meetings can seem like a giant waste of time. Of course it’s important to keep everybody informed, but do you really have to spend two hours on a Thursday morning listening to the long-talker; avoiding the glance of the eye-roller; or getting interrupted as soon as you try to put in your two cents?

The answer is no.

But, that doesn’t mean you can skip the meeting. It means you can make it better. You might even be able to make it fun.

Not running the show?

If you’re not the one in charge of the meeting, your control over the format is limited – but you can improve the quality of your own participation.

First, prepare.

Take a minute or 10 prior to the meeting to review the agenda and consider what you have to contribute to the topic at hand, or what concerns you might like to share. Prepare some questions. If you have a point you’d like to make, gather some facts so you’re ready to make the most of your moment when you have the floor.

Bring a pen and paper, and take notes.

Practice engaged listening – that’s where you really think about what’s being said. Try to speak up at least once during each meeting, but make your comments brief and to the point – people will love you for it. And they probably won’t interrupt you.

In charge of the meeting?

If you’re the one who called the meeting, a few tweaks to your meeting format could make a big difference in what’s accomplished. Here are some ideas:

Start on an up note.

Set an upbeat tone at the outset by asking everyone to share a recent success, large or small.

Set ground rules.

You’re the facilitator; promise your people that you’ll keep the conversation focused. Ask their help in staying on track. Hand out an agenda. Set up the goals, but don’t talk too long – you don’t want to lose people before you’ve even begun.

No devices.

Have the participants put away their phones so their eyes won’t be straying to the screen every time it lights up or vibrates.

Be clear about timing.

What’s the goal of the meeting? When will it end? Everyone likes a meeting that begins and ends on time. Some supervisors inject some energy by using a countdown clock. It sends the message that the end of the meeting is a deadline. Let’s get this done!

Reward participation.

You might throw each speaker a mini Milky Way. Or maybe, later, you give her a pat on the back and thank her for her contribution. Everyone likes to be noticed and valued.

Schedule breaks.

Any meeting longer than an hour must include a break. Make sure you get people out of their chairs and moving. Give them five minutes for a phone check or bathroom visit, then engage them for another five in something active and fun: thumb wrestling tournament, anyone? If you have a little more time, try a team-building challenge like the human knot.

Make time for thinking.

Each time you introduce a new topic, someone will be tempted to dive right in, possibly diverting the conversation to their narrow concerns. Instead, throw out a question… and require 30 seconds of silence before anyone can speak.

Practice redirection.

The skills for managing problem participants can be learned. Got an interrupter? Hold up a finger. “Thanks, Mitch. I’d like to get to your concern. But first let’s let Jose make his point.”

What about that guy who drones on and on? Some people just have trouble stopping, once they’ve begun to talk. Go ahead: interrupt. “You’ve made a great point, Joanne. Now I’d like to hear how others react.”

Shake things up.

Does everyone always sit in the same place? Make them switch. Better yet: remove the table. Changing the setup for your meeting can change the dynamics of the group.

An unproductive, hour-long meeting with eight people in attendance equals eight hours of lost productivity. With just a little preparation and planning, you can turn that around and use your meetings to increase productivity – and, quite possibly, increase morale as well.

10 Ways To Tell You’re Ready For Management

You Know Your Job Like the Back of Your Hand

  • You’ve done your job for several years.
  • You know the goals and challenges of the job.
  • You understand the factors that made you successful.

You’ve Acted as a Leader

  • You’ve taken the lead on projects.
  • You’ve helped teammates through challenges.
  • You’ve helped improve processes or procedures.

You Like Helping Other People Succeed

  • You enjoy advocating for the success of others.
  • You have no problem keeping the spotlight shining on those who deserve it.
  • You have strong coaching abilities.

You Lead By Example

  • You demonstrate the behaviors and attitudes you want to see in others.
  • You do the right thing, even when it’s difficult.
  • You walk the walk; you don’t just talk the talk.

You’re Comfortable Letting Go

  • You are ok with someone else handling your current daily responsibilities.
  • You know you don’t need to own or control every detail of every project.
  • You have faith that any team you lead has the talent to be successful.

You Understand Being a Good Manager is Different From Being a Good Employee

  • You know how to say no.
  • You can make decisions swiftly.
  • You can own up to mistakes.

You’re OK With Not Always Being Liked

  • You know that if someone is upset with you, it doesn’t mean they don’t respect you.
  • You’re comfortable not being personal friends with your reports.
  • You have the ability to tell people the truth, even if it’s not always what they want to hear.

You Are a Strong Communicator

  • You are comfortable and capable of setting clear expectations.
  • You are prepared to give ongoing positive (and constructive) feedback.
  • You listen well and are open to the ideas of others.

You Are Known for Being Reliable

  • You have a reputation for getting things done on time.
  • Other people turn to you for help/ideas/answers.
  • You’ve established yourself as a problem-solver.

 You Genuinely Want the Responsibility

  • You’re taking the step because you feel ready, not because you have seniority.
  • You understand how things will change for you in your professional life.
  • You’re ready to shoulder the successes and failures of your team.

Up and Running: How to Get Your Workforce Back to 100% (or better!)

In this eBook, we will talk about:

  • Whether it’s possible to be productive in extreme circumstances
  • Identifying the changes that will mark “the new normal”
  • The importance of safety
  • The challenges employees and employers face in boosting productivity
  • How you can improve productivity by focusing on employee health – both physical and mental
  • Tips for managing remote and blended teams
  • Using schedule optimization to promote productivity
  • The best partnership you can form to help navigate workforce changes

Innovative Ideas for Upskilling, Reskilling, and Closing Last-Mile Gaps

A global human talent shortage plagues businesses around the world. According to management consulting firm Korn Ferry, if left unaddressed, the shortage could reach more than 85 million people by 2030. At this point, the shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues, too.

Your business needs skilled professionals on staff. Yet, identifying, attracting, and retaining talent remains difficult. Fortunately, options are available to help you strengthen your workforce, regardless of your recruiting strategy. These options include upskilling and reskilling.

What Are Upskilling and Reskilling, and Why Should Your Business Use Them?

Upskilling involves learning new skills or enhancing existing ones. For instance, an employee can complete a training program that allows them to add new skills or improve current ones to further contribute to their company’s success. In this instance, the employee and their business can reap the benefits of upskilling.

Comparatively, reskilling involves developing new skills for a new role. For example, an employee who wants to move into a management role may enroll in online management courses. Upon completion of these courses, the worker will possess a wide range of management skills. Plus, the worker can transition into their management role without a steep on-the-job learning curve.

Ultimately, there is a lot to like about upskilling and reskilling. Key reasons why businesses utilize upskilling and reskilling across their workforces include:

1. Increased Employee Engagement and Retention

Upskilling and reskilling provide businesses with myriad opportunities to invest in their employees. Meanwhile, workers can leverage upskilling and reskilling programs to bolster their skill sets. These employees can feel great about the fact that their businesses are committed to their success. The result: companies that leverage upskilling and reskilling can maximize their employee engagement and retention levels.

Struggling with turnover or employee motivation, ? GPS can help you build a more engaged, loyal workforce.

2. Improved Customer Satisfaction

Skilled employees can deliver exceptional contributions across a business — and customers are likely to notice. So, if a company implements an upskilling or reskilling program, it can help its workers become better in various areas. These workers can then apply their new knowledge and insights to assist customers like never before. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction, along with increased revenues and exemplary customer loyalty.

3. Talent Recruitment

Businesses want to attract top job candidates, regardless of role. With upskilling and reskilling programs, a company can distinguish itself to superb candidates. A company can use these programs to show job seekers it is willing to invest in their futures. This can help the business promote itself to candidates. And it may allow the company to recruit candidates who want to stay with it long into the future.

How to Close the Skills Gap Across Your Workforce

Your business can use upskilling and reskilling programs at any time. However, to get the most value out of these programs, it helps to plan. This ensures your upskilling and reskilling programs empower you to close skill gaps across your company.

Now, let’s look at five tips to help you optimize the ROI of your upskilling and reskilling programs.

1. Establish Skill Adjacencies

Identify skill adjacencies across your workforce. To do so, look for workers who possess skills that align with those required to perform various tasks. Next, you can provide these employees with training to help them advance their skills.

2. Create Training Programs for All Types of Learners

Set up training programs tailored to different types of learning styles. For instance, some educational programs can leverage microlearning, which involves short videos and other media that cover topics in short increments. On the other hand, in-person and workshop classroom-style learning sessions can cater to workers who prefer hands-on learning. You can even offer online training sessions that employees can complete anywhere an internet connection is available.

3. Reward Workers Who Engage in Your Programs

Celebrate workers who upskill and reskill. You can offer bonuses, gift cards, and other financial rewards to employees who complete upskilling and reskilling programs. Or you can recognize these workers’ accomplishments during business meetings.

4. Provide Multiple Program Options

Give workers the flexibility to choose upskilling and reskilling programs that correspond to their career goals. Offer multiple programs, and employees can select ones that can help them accelerate their career growth.

5. Make Your Programs Accessible to Everyone

Ensure workers across all departments can access your upskilling and reskilling programs. This enables employees to gain the skills they want to accomplish their career aspirations.

Need Help Bridging the Skills Gap Across Your Business? Partner With a Recruiting Company

Upskilling and reskilling programs can deliver tremendous value. And, if you use these programs in combination with an effective talent recruitment strategy, your business can avoid a skills gap that can otherwise hamper its growth.

If you need help bridging the skills gap across your business or want to develop and implement an effective recruiting strategy, it pays to partner with a reputable recruiting company. The right recruiting company can help you get the best results from your upskilling and reskilling programs — and get more done.

Meditation: Productivity Miracle or Muck?

Does mindfulness ramp up your team’s speed, quality, and motivation – or is it just a waste of time?

With all the “magic bullets” being marketed these days, it’s difficult to tell what’s effective and what’s nothing more than an expensive placebo or clickbait. Workplace productivity “cures” are no exception, bringing us to contemplate if techniques such as mindfulness and meditation actually improve job performance, or if they’ll leave us with little more than wasted hours.

Luckily, unlike most “magic” weight loss pills, meditation’s link to productivity has been thoroughly studied. So, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of mindfulness – so you can decide for yourself if such tools are right for your team.

Pros – Meditation’s link to workplace productivity

  • Meditation can make employees less prone to making mistakes – According to a study run by Michigan State University, different forms of meditation have different effects on neurocognitive function, including the neural signals that occur half a second after someone has made a mental error. The study suggests that open-monitoring meditation – a form of meditation that allows participants to let thoughts flow through their mind instead of shutting them out – increases the strength of a person’s conscious error recognition if practiced regularly.
  • Self-discipline is strengthened through regular meditation – The practice of regular meditation, even just a few minutes per day, can do more than bring about a cultivated sense of peace; it can strengthen a person’s self-discipline. The act of taking time out of your day to sit quietly and prevent one’s thoughts from running around like a rampant toddler provides ample practice in the development of discipline.
  • With discipline comes focus – Focus is tied to self-discipline, so it makes sense that developing one would develop the other. During meditation, a person focuses on their breath, body, or specific visualization while avoiding the distractions of everyday life. In the same way, a productive employee must focus on their work tasks while avoiding the distractions of the office. Less focus on chatter, ringing phones, and the clock ticking away the seconds between lunch and the frustration of rush hour traffic means more focus on work-related tasks.
  • Meditation increases patience – No employer expects any employee who wants to keep their job to sit patiently throughout the workday, and that’s not the type of patience we’re talking about. Meditation increases the kind of patience that allows a person to slow down mentally and become more detail-oriented by giving them the tools used to step away from the emotional rush of time constraints, such as deadlines or quotas.
  • A decrease in stress that boosts morale – Morale has a heavy hand in productivity, and meditation increases morale by giving employees a chance to relax their bodies, clear their minds, and recharge their mental batteries.

Cons – Meditation might not be as helpful as we thought

  • Meditation may lower a person’s motivation – A recent study suggests that meditation, while increasing focus and discipline, may actually lower an individual’s motivation to complete a given task. The study separated participants into a mindfulness group and a distracted group before having them complete simulated office tasks, and the mindful group reported less motivation to complete tasks than the distracted group, even after being offered a financial incentive.
  • Mindfulness shifts focus from the future to the present – It’s important to live in the present, but it’s also important to plan and strive for future goals. Mindfulness meditation shifts a person’s perspective away from future rewards and advancement (major motivational factors in any workplace) and places it on the here-and-now. Whereas focusing on the present sounds great in theory, most people probably wouldn’t work as hard if they had no future goals.
  • Meditation shows no net gain in productivity – In the same study that suggested lowered motivation in mindful individuals, participant performance was measured and showed that meditation provided no benefit to (or detraction from) the quality of work performed.

Overall, meditation seems to increase focus, discipline and morale without increasing individual productivity. But whether you decide to implement a meditation program or not, staffing and recruiting firms can deliver focused, motivated and productive candidates both quickly and cost effectively.

The Faces of Gallman Consulting

The one thing you should know about us is that our number-one priority is helping you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a job seeker or a hiring manager—we have the experience, the expertise, and the resources to provide you with the solutions you’re seeking.

We’ve been in the search and placement business since 1985. We believe strongly in the importance of relationships, and that’s why we want to introduce the members of the Gallman Consulting Team:

The faces of Gallman Consulting

Georgette Sandifer

Smith Richardson

At Gallman Consulting, we use everything at our disposal to help you meet your hiring needs and achieve your career goals. Gallman Consulting is an executive and professional employment search firm that guarantees quality talent. Honesty, integrity and ethics are not just buzzwords, they are the words we live by. Our goal is to build solid relationships with our clients and candidates by matching top talent with excellent career opportunities. Our parent company, Gallman Personnel Services has been in business since 1985.

As an affiliate of Top Echelon, a national recruiting organization, we follow stringent guidelines for membership related to candidate and client relationships. We are a Top Producer for, and a “Preferred” member of Top Echelon. Top Echelon holds the distinction of being the nation’s largest and most prestigious independent recruitment association. These affiliations provide access to the resources of over 2000 association members, and enable us to share in a large pool of currently employed, hidden candidates.

Our services can save your staff the cumbersome job of recruiting, qualifying and narrowing the field. We send only the candidates that we believe fit the individual job description.Gallman Consulting can provide you with candidates in the following positions:

Manufacturing

  • Plant Management
  • Quality
  • Engineers
  • Manufacturing Managers
  • Materials, Logistics, Purchasing
  • CNC
  • Design
  • Process Management

Human Resources

  • In various industries to include manufacturing, service, distribution, and others.
  • HR Generalists
  • Employee Relations
  • Labor Relations
  • Benefits Specialists

Engineering

  • Electrical
  • Industrial
  • Chemical
  • Civil
  • Mechanical

Construction Management

  • Construction Management
  • Project Managers
  • Superintendents
  • Estimators

Other

  • Administrative
  • Accounting
  • Executive Placement
  • Contract/Consulting Staffing

9 Questions to Ask Yourself about Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is a haunting fear for employees and employers alike. It’s not a casual concern either. The BLS reports that nearly 19000 people were traumatized or killed by workplace violence in 2017 alone. If you want to provide your employees with a safe work environment, here are nine questions you should ask yourself. 

Do You Maintain a Workplace Violence Policy? 

While violence against another person is illegal in general, most workplaces set out a formal policy as well. These policies generally take the form of automatic dismissal for any act of violence. The threat of losing one’s job may just stay someone’s hand if they’re made aware early on.  

Do You Offer Employee Assistance Programs or Could You? 

Workplace violence often stems from pressures outside of the job, either financial or emotional. Do you offer financial assistance programs? Counseling? If not, consider staring such programs. 

Do You Encourage Emotional/Mental Health Activities? 

Many workplaces encourage emotional/mental health activities by sponsoring them. A simple example is offering flexible scheduling. This lets people better manage their home life.  

Do Managers Have the Right Training to Spot Warning Behavior? 

Managers are often best placed to spot an employee in trouble. They still need the proper training to identify troubled employees before things escalate. 

Do You Maintain a Process for Ending Employment? 

A formal process for ending someone’s employment sets out procedures that help control that person’s exit. The process can prevent physical altercations by, for example, having security present.  

Do You Maintain a Formal Process for Reporting Threats? 

If you don’t have a formal process for reporting threats, consider setting one up. This can allow more timid employees to make reports without having to confess to a trauma publicly.  

Do You Maintain Basic Security at Entry Points? 

Security at entry points for your business can make the difference between an ex-employee or disgruntled spouse getting inside or not. Keycards or barcoded badges are a simple solution. 

Can You Use Technology to Limit Potential Violence? 

Security companies and computer scientists have developed programs that can assess historical data and offer predictions of future behaviors. Do you employ technology like this to analyze complaints and reprimands for your employees? If you employ a large number of employees, it may prove invaluable in protecting everyone. 

Do You Provide Ongoing Training for Emergency Situations? 

The average person isn’t prepared for an emergency situation. They need the training to make smart choices. If you aren’t offering emergency training, such as active shooter training, it’s time to make that happen. 

You Can Do a Lot to Prevent Workplace Violence 

Employers can take a lot of steps to minimize workplace violence. You can offer assistance programs, training, and encourage emotional wellness. You can also create processes for termination, threat reporting, and install security at entry points. As with most safety issues, preparation can dramatically improve your outcomes. 

6 Ways To Make Reference Checking More Efficient For You & Your Company

Reference checking often proves one of those tasks in the hiring process that soaks up far more time and energy than expected. You play phone tag with candidates’ old supervisors. The references get very tight-lipped because of decrees from their HR department. The information you get isn’t actionable. If this sounds like your experience, keep reading for six ways you can make the reference checking process more efficient and useful.

1. Ask for a Specific Number

You can’t always predict how many references someone will provide. A highly outgoing candidate might provide a half-dozen. A more reserved candidate might only provide a few. Specifying a set number of references helps you manage the total time the reference checks take.

2. Forget Personal References

Personal references add almost no value to the process. Anyone adding personal references will only select people with a good opinion of them. Asking for personal references also puts the shy or introverted into a tough position without learning anything about their ability to do the job.

3. Use Standardized Questions for All Candidates

A former supervisor who loved a candidate may go on at length about non-critical information. Their positive opinion can skew your perception without the candidate necessarily being the best choice. Develop a standard list of questions you ask all references. This makes the information you gather more relevant. It also gives you a more reliable method of comparing candidates.

4. Make Sure You Speak with a Direct Supervisor

No matter how well-intentioned a manager might be, they often have little direct contact with many of their subordinates. That means they can usually only talk in general statements. The candidate was never in trouble. They got good performance reviews. A direct supervisor can provide you with more concrete information about the candidate’s actual work, even if it’s only through tone and subtext.

5. Leave Reference Checks for Last

Reference checks take time. You need to coordinate with previous supervisors and block out time. Then there is the actual time you spend on the phone. After that, you must compare notes about each candidate’s references. The fewer of these checks you must do, the faster and more efficient the process becomes. Leaving it until you’ve narrowed down the pool to a few candidates makes the process much faster.

6. Work with a Staffing Agency

While this doesn’t streamline the reference checking process itself, it does streamline the process for you. The staffing agency will check the references in advance and weed out the problematic candidates. That means you only need to check a short list of references before you offer to hire someone.

Always Aim for Maximum Value

When making your reference checking process more efficient, always look for what will give you maximum value. That means talking with direct supervisors, asking the same questions, and waiting until you only have a few candidates left.

Interviewing During the Coronavirus Outbreak

As a recruiter for the past 20 years I have experienced some interesting challenges – COVID 19, being the latest.  We are being bombarded with news (some fake news) and some very serious concerns are being raised.  For Gallman Consulting – The safety and well-being of our Staff is paramount to us.  Therefore, we have advised them how to take care of themselves, protect others, and monitor the latest developments per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But….    WE ARE WORKING!!!    We are staying in touch with clients and continuing to provide our expert services.  

For clients who are especially concerned about face to face / onsite interviews, we recommend the following:

  • Do a more in-depth phone interview before bringing potential candidates into your facility / offices
  • Consider a Skype / Zoom or any number of virtual interview systems that are available.   

If a face to face interview becomes necessary, we will check with the candidates to find out if the following applies to them:

  • Traveled outside of the US in the last month.
  • Had contact with someone else who has traveled outside of the US in the last month.
  • Had contact with someone who has the coronavirus.

You can ask these same questions when a candidate arrives for an interview, and even have them sign a form to verify the above.  Of course – it is a good idea to have hand sanitizer available on the premises. We can also ask the candidate if they are willing to wear a face mask if you prefer.

Gallman Consulting is ready to assist you in navigating this public health challenge and furthering the well-being of all employees.  We remain available to service your needs.  Our contingency plans ensure our internal processes will continue without interruption and you will have the candidates you need to fill your open positions.

We are in this together!

Best Regards,

Georgette
TE BU0901

Georgette Sandifer
Senior Director of Placement
Phone: 803-744-3304
gsandifer@gpsjobs.net
www.gallman-consulting.com

Ensure You’ll End the Day Productively with These Steps

Many people assume they’ll become less productive toward the end of the day. There is even some research to back it up. Throughout the day, you make countless decisions. By the end of the day, you’re probably experiencing some decision fatigue. In other words, your mind and brain have worn out their ability to decide things for the day.

Fortunately, you can take some steps to make sure you end the day productively.

Healthy Snacks

Chips and candy bars might give you a short-term burst of energy, but they don’t do much for your overall productivity. For that, you must turn to the world of healthy snacks. Go in for some almonds. Eat a banana and hard-boiled egg on break. If you work somewhere, it’s practical, get yourself a blueberry and low-fat Greek yogurt parfait and put in the fridge for later. These kinds of snacks are quick to eat. Plus, you can even make most of them at home ahead of time.

Frontload Difficult Work

If nothing else, the decision fatigue research backs up the claim that you should frontload more difficult work. By getting that out of the way earlier in the day, it leaves you free to tackle smaller but necessary tasks later in the day. As a bonus, you get to experience the “completion high” more frequently at the end of the day. That can help you stay productive at your smaller tasks.

Become Unavailable at the End of the Day

Distractions kill productivity when you’re well-rested. They can completely derail you when you’re already tired from putting in most of a day’s work. Tell everyone that you won’t answer emails, respond to Slack notifications, or take phone calls that aren’t extremely important for the last hour or two of work. That lets you focus your remaining energy on finishing any work you must complete before you leave.

A fall-off in mental performance at the end of the day is probably inevitable, but not necessarily a disaster for productivity. Staying productive at the end of the day is mostly about managing yourself in a way promotes productivity. Eating healthier snacks, ending your day with less demanding tasks and limit your distractions will help you marshal your mental resources better when you get to the end of your day.

Looking for a job that lets you be more productive than you are now? Gallman Consulting can help you find the right job at the right company.