Give Them a Break (Room)!

By Cheryl Mayfield – Grafton Staffing

Break RoomA break gives you time to recharge and refresh both your mind and your body to make certain that you don’t hit a plateau in the middle of the day. I’m sure you know how big a difference it can make to step away from the whirlwind of what is going on at your desk and get a cup of coffee. You come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle another project!

In fact, studies have shown that taking a break is so important. If you work for more than 8 continuous hours, you hit a plateau. And the effectiveness of the work you’re doing goes down. Which is why it’s so important to take breaks during your work day to ensure maximum efficiency.

Break Rooms in the Workplace

It doesn’t matter if you work in dining, construction, recreation, or an office job – every type of work environment should offer some place for employees to rest up and recharge.

Employees come back from breaks feeling better and are more likely to perform better in terms of quality of work. Papers get filed faster, concrete gets poured faster, plates of food get cooked faster. So, it only makes sense to offer a “rest area” or break room for your employees – after all, they’re your most valuable asset.

A rest area can be as simple as a few chairs placed around a water fountain or as extreme as a full room with a stocked fridge, couches, and a flat screen television. No matter how big or small the area is, it should be stocked with water. Studies have shown that dehydration slows production by 12%. There needs to be a place to sit down, and if possible, it should be located apart from the normal bustle of the daily work flow.

A break room not only shows that you’re aware of maximizing efficiency, it also proves that you care about the health and well-being of your employees.

Employees are more likely to work hard and be loyal if they’re appreciated and taken care of by their employers.

In the recruiting world, we’ve seen a lot of candidates that are hesitate to leave a workplace that offers a good break room or “takes care of employees” even if the job offers better pay. They like that their current employer is making the feel valued.

A tired employee can be a dangerous employee.

Think about it, if you have a nurse working a 12-hour shift that hasn’t had a chance to take a 15-minute break, do you really want that nurse poking you with a needle? They need a chance to sit down, hydrate, and turn their minds off of “high-alert” mode. It’s important not only for the well-being of your company but also for the safety of your employees to ensure that breaks are taken and that proper break rooms are available.

So… if you want loyal, hard working employees who make fewer mistakes, set up an adequate break area and ensure that your team uses it!

Maintaining a Sense of Urgency

By Greg Dabbs – Business Development Manager at Grafton Staffing

Sense of UrgencyI think overall there has been an increase in a lack of sense of urgency in our culture. We relax and put things off. But we need to move things forward whether it be in our personal lives or our business lives. The lack of sense of urgency can lead to things like procrastination which is a part of human nature that I think everyone has experienced at some point.

Some people have it worse than others, but we all have fallen victim to procrastination at some point. Establishing a sense of urgency will help reduce this procrastination disease as well as other negatives.

Picture yourself returning to your office from lunch. You’ve been back for about an hour when you notice you didn’t have your wallet. You realize you’ve left it at the restaurant where you had lunch! Would you say, “I think I will wait until tomorrow to go by and see if they have it in the lost and found.” No, of course not. You would double time it to your car and get there as quickly as you could. You would embody the meaning of the phrase “lighting fast”.

That is the mentality you should have often. A sense of urgency with things in your personal and professional life.

There are many ways you can adopt and maintain a sense of urgency. Here are four that might help.

  1. Be proactive not reactive.
    If you’re thinking that there is something that needs to be done, then you probably need to do it. If you think there is something wrong, there probably is and you need to address it. Being proactive is related to urgency. If you feel like you’re in an emergency situation, then you’re being reactive, not proactive. Always have the urgency to be thinking about steps you can take now to move the deal forward or solve a problem and set yourself apart.
  2. Watch out for complacency.
    Don’t take things for granted. Don’t sit on your hands. These things lead to being complacent in your environment. Finding positive energy and being confident will help prevent this behavior. Make a decision and do it. Also, remember your own values and your company’s core values. This will help you stay on track.
  3. Live the phrase “why put off until tomorrow what you can do today”.
    Don’t say you will do it later. Strike the word “tomorrow” from your vocabulary and replace it with “today” and “now”. Always be thinking ahead and get things done sooner rather than later. Then interesting thing is that when you operate this way, you are able to relax more when the time is right.
  4. Incentivize yourself.
    Reward yourself for being ahead of the game. When you accomplish a goal in a timely manner, treat yourself to a steak dinner. Leverage your brain’s reward center because it feels good and will encourage you to do it again next time. If you meet your goals by the end of the week, go buy the thing you’ve been wanting to purchase.

There’s only so much time in the day. You need to be organized and prioritize your daily routine. Finding and maintaining a sense of urgency will help you knock things off your list and help you be successful. It will help you fly, move mountains, cross the deepest valleys. Store it, remember it, live it, breath it and recognize its power. It will serve you well.

Let’s Stop Awarding Trophies for 10th Place

By Greg Dabbs – Business Development Manager at Grafton Staffing

Greg DabbsThe count was 1 & 2 with two outs and runners on first and second base. The pitch comes in and I hit a shot over the fence in left center field. It was a good feeling to hit a home run that bounced off the roof of the big shed past the fence. It was the field we called “Shed Field”.  I was awarded my fifth home run ball that year for that hit, and all the guys signed it.

I’m not going to try to date myself, well I guess I am a little, but that was the time frame in the late 1970s and into the 1980s. This was one of those memories we all have of our youth that stick with us forever.

I also remember getting a third place ribbon in the 100 meter in track and my friend got the first place ribbon in shot put that same track meet. My little league baseball team received a first place trophy in ’83. In 1989, my high school baseball team received a first place trophy for winning Districts that year.

Just like in sports, I remember being in the spelling B and only those that finished first, second or third getting awards… not fourth or fifth and definitely not tenth place. These are examples of how top performers were recognized when I was growing up.

I believe we as a society have gravitated to rewarding anyone and everyone just for showing up.

Awards for First, Second and Third PlaceWe reward people for participation rather than for true achievement. The top performers get the same reward as those that come in last. These “participation trophies” as they’re called are hurting young people preparing to leave their protective childhood to enter the real world. This behavior is teaching them that average is good enough. That getting by on the bare minimum is okay.

This country has not become the greatest place to live on the planet by having that kind of a mindset. We need to get back to focusing on achievement and striving to be at the top.

Whether its trophies, ribbons, or awards of any kind, they should be earned. And only the top performers should get recognition for finishing first, second or third.  There’s only room for a select few at the top.

I do think that participation should be recognized. But it should be the kind of recognition that’s more verbal and a pat on the back. The trophies need to be reserved for those that make the podium. It will give the others motivation to work harder and achieve more in sports, in their job and in life.

Our society should always be striving to improve, working towards being on top of the podium in everything we do. We’re in trouble if we continue to settle for average and believing that’s a good thing. I encourage you to set a personal goal in 2019 of being in the top three (if not at the top) for something that matters to you! If you don’t make it, learn from that and try again.

The Goal Guide

By Cheryl Mayfield

Cheryl MayfieldJanuary always sparks a lot of buzz about setting resolutions or personal goals for the New Year. While it’s great to have an idea of what the big picture looks like if you reach those goals, it can be difficult to dissect the milestones that it takes to reach said big picture and to celebrate the small things along the way.

This blog will help you on your way towards crafting a goal that makes sense for your place of business, plan the goal out in smaller steps, and set incentives for reaching the end goal.

Step One – Passionate and Realistic

The first step to achieving a successful goal is to set one that you are passionate about. It also needs to be a realistic goal for where you are currently at in life.

For example, setting a goal of having a million dollars in savings would certainly be something that most people are interested in. But if you only make $11/hour in your current job, then saving that amount of money would be both hard and frustrating. That situation may lead you to give up on the goal altogether. However, if you were to set a goal that is more realistic for your current situation, such as saving a thousand dollars, then you would be more likely to keep the goal and actually achieve it.

With this in mind, set a professional goal that you can achieve in 2019 that is within your grasp and relevant to your position. The important thing to remember is that your end goal is going to be very fluid and may look different as you make progress through the year.

Step Two – Milestones

Goal settingThe next step to fulfilling your goal is to break it down into smaller pieces or milestones that can be reached in shorter time frames.

Take your goal and cut it into four items that can be completed one after the other, and then break those items into even smaller parts if need be. This creates a road map that will help you figure out how to get to your final destination. This ideally is the “big picture” goal.

Step Three – Motivation

Once you’ve broken down the steps to reaching your objective, you’ll need to find a way to stay motivated.

The best way that I’ve personally found to stay motivated is to reward yourself along the way! Knowing that you’ll receive an “incentive prize” at the end of a task makes it more enjoyable to complete. However, the incentives should match the amount of effort that went into each project. For example, you probably shouldn’t have a pizza party for putting a letter in the mail.

It’s important to balance each task with an equally weighted award. Whether it be rewarding yourself with something as simple as a sweet treat or more lavish treatments, be sure to always take a moment to relish in the fact that you have are more step closer to reaching your end objective.

Should you choose to use these three tips on goals in their entirety or customize them to meet your specific needs, they are sure to help you along the way in your new year resolutions!

We Take a Lot of Pride in Being Different.

Mike Bollinger

Mike Bollinger

Post written by Mike Bollinger, Operations and Business Development

We’ve all experienced the following scenario a few times in our lives. You’re talking to someone, often for the first time, and they ask you, “So what do you do for a living?”

Sometimes that explanation is simple and straightforward. Other times, not so much. As a young professional in the staffing industry, I’ve found myself often responding with “I work in staffing” and leave it at that.

The reason is that discussions about the staffing industry can take a countless number of turns, both negative and positive.

The purpose of this post isn’t to try to persuade people to think a certain way about the staffing industry as a whole, but to instead share what led me to find a home at Grafton and why I plan to spend the majority, if not the rest, of my career here.

Grafton differs from the majority of the staffing world in several ways, but I want to highlight three critical areas:

  • Grafton’s Internal Culture
  • The Grafton/Client Relationship
  • The Candidate Experience

Grafton’s Internal Culture

The internal culture at Grafton is the foundation of the successful reputation that’s been built and earned over our 36 years in business. We constantly preach (and consistently practice) several different qualities and virtues on both the professional and personal levels. Those practices include, but are not limited to:

  • 100% transparencdifferenty on the client and candidate level
  • Honesty and integrity on any level 100% of the time
  • Support without hesitation both professional and personal
  • View each role as equally important… from the receptionist to the president… and everything between
  • Win or lose, Grafton operates as a team with a “no one left behind” mentality

The Grafton/Client Relationship

Our clients receive more than just their job openings being filled with our candidates.

We pride ourselves on the fact that our clients view us as a partner instead of just a vendor.

We accomplish this by consistently remaining true to our values, ourselves and our clients.

Our goal isn’t solely to fill positions but to truly learn and understand our clients to the point that if they feel pain, we feel it too. We’re an extension of their team and we want them to know we’re there for them, in good times and in challenging times.

The Candidate Experience

Here’s one quick example that demonstrates who Grafton is as an organization when it comes to working with candidates…

Many candidates who have worked with staffing agencies experience pressure to quit jobs without notice when they’re getting ready to start a new one. Until joining the Grafton team, this was all I had ever seen in the staffing industry.

I feel extremely blessed to be a part of a team/ organization that doesn’t conduct business in those terms. We always respect and honor our candidates wishes to put in a notice if they’re currently employed. It’s little things like these that truly set Grafton apart from many other staffing companies in the industry.

The ultimate goal is to provide a service that results in a happy client, candidate and staffing firm. I like to refer to this as the “triangle of happiness”. If one piece is unsatisfied, we’ve got more work to do.

Grafton Launches New Website, Blog in Pain-Free Fashion

Jeff Hagen

Jeff Hagen

Post written by Jeff HagenStaffing Exec ◉ Educator ◉ Award Winning BBQ’r ◉ DIY Hack ◉ Rotarian

I’m super excited to announce the launch of our brand new website!

We put A LOT of work and effort into it, and now it’s so much easier for candidates, clients and prospects to get information about us. And now candidates can easily find and apply for jobs from their mobile devices.

As I reviewed the site and had some time to reflect, it struck me how hard it was to believe that we’ve been running the GraftonEd program for three years now and never had anything on our website about it! But it’s there now for us to share with the world and it feels great to finally have that done.

The Website Process – Virtually Pain-Free

As to what it took to build the new website…Wow. What an amazing (and virtually pain-free) process it was.

We started months ago working with Mike Farag at Fervor. He and his team did an outstanding job uncovering why our partners choose to work with Grafton. They talked with several of our clients and dozens of our candidates. We received some great feedback, most of which is now reflected on our new website. Big THANK YOU to everyone involved.

Once we finished the process with Fervor, I called Mic Johnson with Blue Gurus. I knew these guys did a great job with several other companies in town. I’ve seen what they’d done with some of my friends’ companies and I knew I needed to work with them.

Grafton websiteMic referred us to Julie Bartels Smith, owner of JBSmith Communications, to help us articulate the information we gathered.

Julie made everything so simple. She came in for a few hours and we went through our vision for the content that would be on the website.

She asked us great questions about the website and its purpose. Her questions generated plenty of conversation among the team.

She took the information we gave her and made sense out of it all. Julie added stuff, removed stuff and changed some other stuff…but it all works. Thank you Julie.

The Website Was Built AT OUR OFFICE

Then Blue Gurus came to our office (yes, they built the website AT OUR OFFICE).

Mic and I had talked about it for weeks and he tried to prepare me for what was going to happen.

I had completed all of my homework. We had the info from Julie so everything was ready to go. They sat down in our conference room and started plugging way.

It’s kind of funny, actually. You see, our conference room has a glass wall so whenever we walked by it was like seeing two model employees working. Heads down, no talking, work faces on.

In just a couple of hours they were able to show me a few pages of our new website. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I was so excited. By the end of the day the site was up and live. Are you kidding me?

It was a great experience from beginning to end and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. Please check out our new and improved website and let us know what you think!

Oh and by the way, as you might be able to tell from the article you’re reading right now, we’re going to start blogging. Mic tells me it’s a good idea and one thing I’ve learned for sure during this process…when a Blue Guru speaks, I’m smart enough to listen.

You’ll see a new post each week on who we are, what we do, and why we do it. We’re excited to share our stories!