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.

5 Ways To Become The Company Everyone Wants To Work For

Every company wants to be the company that’s always flooded with resumes, yet most aren’t. If this sounds like your company, you’re probably wondering what to do. Keep reading to learn five ways you can transform your company.

Flexible Schedules

An exceedingly small number of families conform to the traditional model of an income-earning husband and stay at home mom. That means the traditional, rigid 8-5 schedule works for almost no one. While some job categories must adhere to a fixed schedule, you’ll become a place people want to work if they’ve got wiggle room in their schedules.

Takeaway: You can build some minor flexibility into rigid schedule jobs by including a no-penalty grace period of 10-15 minutes at the beginning of each shift.

Wellness

Some companies probably still encourage 80-hour workweeks, but that is a path to losing good employees. Your workers don’t want to burn out on the job or have heart attacks. They want more balanced lives that leave them healthy and active. Encouraging health and wellness activities will make your company more desirable for potential employees who want those balanced lives.

Provide Development Opportunities

No one wants to feel like they’re stuck in a rut in their job. This is especially true in jobs where there is a small chance of promotion or no clear path to it. Left to their own devices, employees will seek out professional development elsewhere. Offering professional development signals that you take a healthy interest in your employees’ progress.

Takeaway: If you don’t provide development opportunities, your best employees will find another way.

A Culture of Recognition

Study after study and article after article talk about how people desire recognition at work, often more than they crave a raise. It’s a big ask in companies where managers often struggle to manage their existing workloads. Carving out time to provide employee recognition can feel impossible. This priority must start from the top and may require bringing on more managers to lighten the workload. The upshot is that inculcating a culture of recognition will create a vastly happier group of workers.

Be Trustworthy

It’s a sad truth that managers and supervisors will sometimes tell outright lies to get subordinates to do what they want. They’ll exaggerate how soon something must be finished or pretend higher-ups are angry about the degree of progress. While this might work in the short-term, it drives a permanent wedge the second the lies get exposed, as they almost always do.

Takeaway: Always keep things on the level. It only takes a single lie for a supervisor, manager, or business owner to lose credibility forever.

The key to becoming a company where people want to work starts and ends with never treating people like a number. If you treat everyone like a human being and show a modicum of human concern, people will flock to your company.

Put in the work to become one of these companies.

Offboarding Doesn’t Seem Important…But It Is. Here’s Why

Tens of millions of people quit their jobs every single year. While this might appear as a simple situation for the employer, it isn’t. You can’t just lock them out of your network and disable their ID card after their last day. It would be best if you had an offboarding process to make sure that everything that needs to happen actually happens. Still, you might wonder, why does this matter?

Retaining Organizational Knowledge

When employees leave, they don’t just take their personal effects with them. They also leave with all of their accumulated organizational knowledge. The longer an employee has been there, the worse the loss for the organization. A good offboarding process works to avoid this wholesale loss. Part of any good offboarding process is getting the employee who leaves to train their replacement. This helps pass along at least some of that organizational knowledge.

Maintain Employee Morale

Any departure can send overall employee morale into a dive, but especially if the persona leaving was a high-performer or well-liked. Letting employees find out about the exit through gossip will only make things worse since they can get false information, such as the employee was fired. A formal offboarding process includes reaching an agreement about how to disclose the information to everyone. This lets you and the departing employee exert some control over how the information is received.

Managing the Details

There will be many details you must attend to when an employee leaves. An offboarding process makes sure you tick all those boxes. For example, you must revoke any network access they have to non-public materials. You need to collect any devices, keys, or passcards you issued and remove them from the active employee database. Plus, you must schedule and conduct an exit interview before they leave. A formal process gives these activities structure and coherence.

An offboarding process serves several important functions for your company. It helps ensure that you retain organizational knowledge. You exert some control over how other employees find out, which lets you avoid some damage to employee morale. It also helps you perform all the small tasks that must happen when an employee leaves.

Did you recently wrap up offboarding a valuable employee and need to find a suitable replacement? Contact Gallman Consulting today to find their successor.

4 Ways to Spot a Lie in a CV

Lying on resumes and CVs has become so commonplace that around 85% of companies report catching applicants lying on their resume. While some lies might only rise to the level of obscuring the exact dates worked at a company, others wholly misrepresent a person’s skills or credentials. So, how do you spot a lie when you see one? Look for Incongruities One of the simplest ways to spot a lie on a CV or resume is to keep an eye open for incongruities. For example, they list accomplishments that don’t line up with their job title. Someone working in HR won’t realistically have anything to do with sales or production numbers. A massive jump in job title from one company to the next can also serve as a red flag for dishonesty. Takeaway: Incongruity doesn’t always mean dishonesty, but it should prompt some serious questions for the candidate. Universal Proficiency It’s the very rare candidate indeed who brings proficiency in every skill listed in the job description. Someone who works with spreadsheets might have seen a pivot table, but it doesn’t mean they’re experts at making them. By the same token, someone might have played around with HTML a few times, but it doesn’t mean they can write the code for your new website. Make sure you dig into these proficiency claims with some technical questions that can expose exaggeration. Get a Background Check If you think that someone is misrepresenting their education or credentials, the simplest way to vet the CV is with a background check. These checks can verify not only educational history but work history and even prior earnings. Background checks come at different levels of scrutiny, and more extensive checks cost more. You’ll need to decide how deep you want the background checks to go. Takeaway: A background check will prove much cheaper than going through the entire hiring process a second time when you discover the lie. Use Backdoor Reference Checks No one provides references who will torpedo them with a potential employer. That means that sometimes, you need to go with a backdoor reference check of someone who worked with a candidate but isn’t on their reference list. You can use a resource like LinkedIn to find former managers or coworkers. Takeaway: These backdoor reference checks often reveal a much more accurate picture of someone’s skills and accomplishments. With lying some common on CVs these days, you must remain wary for the lies. Keep an eye open for incongruities and claims of universal proficiency. Shell out for a background check on all serious applicants. Dig into their background with backdoor reference checks. It’s always better to avoid hiring a lying applicant than needing to replace them later.

The Smartest Managers Hire People Who Are Smarter Than Them

The Smartest Managers Hire People Who Are Smarter Than Them

 

Nobody’s an expert at EVERYTHING — business is simply too complex and fast changing! Whether you engage them for an assignment or hire them full time, here’s how to effectively manage people with more experience or knowledge than youT– and make yourself, your team and your company even more successful:

Leading a team full of smart people is important for your personal success. However, it can be intimidating to manage people who have learned and achieved more than you. The key is to take the right approach so everyone pulls in the same direction.

Don’t Let Them See You Sweat

It is normal to feel nervous about hiring and managing people who might be smarter or more experienced than you. You can feel the fear, but take care not to let it show. You must project confidence at all times if you want others to feel comfortable with your abilities as a leader. When it comes to confidence, however, you must walk a fine line. If you aren’t careful, confidence can come across as arrogance.

Address Issues Swiftly

If you catch buzz that a member of your team is unhappy working for someone with less experience or knowledge, don’t let that buzz get out of hand. Even one openly hostile employee can quickly destroy morale, spreading ill will through the group.

Sit down with that employee for an open and honest conversation as soon as you’re made aware of the situation. Take care not to be hostile or defensive. Open by saying, “I know that you have X more years of experience than I do, and I understand that you’ve got some concerns about that.” Let the employee know you are there to support them, and find out what they want from you and do your best to provide that support.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

When your reports ask you a question you don’t know the answer to, don’t avoid the question and by all means, don’t lie. Offering poor direction or giving an answer that is just plain wrong can put you in a bad position, it could put the employee in a bad position, and it could lead to loss of respect among your team.

When someone has a question you can’t answer, do the same thing you’d want your employees to do in that scenario. Tell them you aren’t positive of the answer, but you’ll track down the correct answer ASAP — and then get to work finding it.

Solicit Input, Ideas and Feedback

Employees who have been with the company for a decade or more have been on the front lines of change. They’ve witnessed the evolution of processes and management, and they have seen what works and what doesn’t work for the department and the organization.

During one-on-one meetings with your team members, actively solicit feedback and input from experienced employees. When you are faced with a challenge, crowdsource ideas and input from the group, especially those who have been there the longest.

Don’t Micromanage

Micromanaging can be tempting, but great managers give their teams the space to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Delegate strategically, assigning tasks that align with each employee’s strengths — then trust them with that responsibility.

You must also remember that you were hired to lead the team. Just because you’ve got direct reports with more experience does not mean they should run the show. You’re still in charge of keeping the ship righted, so give them room to do the job, but don’t let them run roughshod over you as a leader.

When In Doubt, Ask for Advice

Hopefully, you have a mentor or close members of your professional network with whom you can share ideas, vent frustrations and celebrate successes. These people are incredibly important on your leadership journey and they can be a terrific sounding board. Don’t be afraid to tap this network when you need to. Schedule a weekly breakfast, coffee date or lunch with your mentor(s) to stay connected to your network and receive objective advice when you need it.

Be a Development Advocate

If you hire and manage people who are smarter and more experienced than you are, take an active interest in helping them grow their careers as well. During one-on-one meetings, familiarize yourself with each team member’s career goals. Identify people who want to take the next step, and help them map out a plan to get there.

Smart leaders hire smart employees. Pull from their experience and use them strategically to set yourself and your team on the path to success.