Positive Reinforcement Part 2: Is Your Strategy Working?

b loehr - positiveDo you want highly engaged employees who help drive the company’s profitability? Of course, you do! A company’s greatest asset is its workforce. And one of the best ways to build a phenomenal team and motivate them to assist you in striving for success is to reward and acknowledge their individual and team accomplishments.

It’s a safe bet that you have high expectations of your employees. You want, need and expect them to do their best, to be at the top of their game. Your acknowledgment of their past, present and future successes is crucial to creating the employer/employee bonds that will drive the business forward and propel the entire team toward future success.

Failure to acknowledge, reward and celebrate individual and team accomplishments will not get you where you want to go. Not even close.

Bill Sims Jr., president of the Bill Sims Co., a leadership consulting firm, cautions against “Leave Alone/Zap” management. “Simply put, it means that we leave employees alone and say nothing when they do something right, but we are quick to ‘zap’ or to punish them when they make a mistake.”

Gauge your prowess at doling out positive reinforcement with these tips:
1. Sincerity must set the stage. Show appreciation for achievements with genuine actions. Don’t forget the importance of tone of voice, word choice, body language.
2. Be specific. While a generic “Great job!” is better than nothing, go a step further and give the employee concrete, specific information about what he/she did right.
3. Be realistic. Absolute perfection is a tall order that will discourage some workers from even trying. Make expectations clear and reasonable.
4. Acknowledge both effort and improvement. Not all “best efforts” result in stunning results, but consistent, top-notch effort will pay off in the long run.
5. Don’t wait for monumental achievements before recognition is made. Celebrate the small as well as the large victories.
6. Immediate reinforcement is much more effective than the vague, “Hey, that thing you did last month? Yeah, it was good.” Instead, try “Hey, Bob, Great job on the presentation yesterday. You certainly started our project on the right foot. I appreciate the difference you are making in this company.” It will make a significant and lasting impact.

When the situation warrants an actual award, do some behind-the-scenes work to come up with truly motivating rewards. A gas card for the best sales record will do little for the guy who takes the train to work. A family membership to the zoo or the Y won’t be much of a motivator to the singles in the office. Gift cards for the steak house downtown will be shrugged off by the vegans in marketing. You get the picture. Think outside the box to come up with rewards that will truly incentivize.

Boost your employees’ self-confidence with positive reinforcement and watch their eagerness to learn new techniques, take additional training, and accept more responsibility soar.

B. Loehr Staffing’s employees are the highest caliber workers to be found anywhere. Our pool of excellent candidates can quickly meet all of your temporary long and short-term, temp-to-hire, and direct hire needs. Contact our Staffing Specialists today and you’ll find it easy to engage in positive reinforcement because your workers will be the best.

Cap off Summer Fun Without Breaking the Bank

b loehr -summer funWith hot summer temperatures in St. Louis expected to last well into September, there’s plenty of time to squeeze in a lot more “fun in the sun” before the books are closed on the summer of 2016.

St. Louis boasts a multitude of family-friendly attractions, many of which won’t cost you a dime. Others offer great adventure at little cost. Grab a calendar and make plans to spend time with family and friends enjoying the great outdoors.

Water fun to beat the summer heat

  • The fountain and wading pool at Tower Grove Park provide a cool reprieve from the summer heat. Dozens of pop-jets and a large water bowl in the center of the fountain offer lots of opportunities for children to beat the heat. During the summer, the fountain and jets are on every day while the wading pool is open Tuesday through Sunday. No admission charge.
  • One of the city’s newer downtown attractions is Citygarden. The park is filled with fountains, wading pools, sculpture and more offering kids a great place to enjoy a hot summer day. Located along Market Street between 8th and 10th Streets, the park is open daily from sunrise to 10 p.m. No admission charge.

Who doesn’t love animals?

  • The 281-acre wildlife preserve and family attraction, Grant’s Farm, is located just south of St. Louis, on what was once the property of President Ulysses S. Grant. The farm showcases more than 900 animals from six continents. People of all ages will love the animal shows and petting The farm is open annually from mid-April through October. While general admission is always free, there is a charge for parking and some attractions.
  • The World-Class St. Louis Zoo is home to more than 5000 animals. Located at One Government Drive in Forest Park, this zoo is considered one of the top in the country. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended summer hours; the Zoo offers free admission although some attractions require a small fee.

Who says learning can’t be fun?

  • The Camp River Dubois Lewis & Clark Illinois State Historic Site, just up the Mississippi from St. Louis in Hartford, Illinois, marks Lewis and Clark’s exact point of departure for their famed expedition. Admission is free to everything on the property, including the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, a replica of the 1804 winter encampment, and special reenactment events.
  •  A visit to the World Bird Sanctuary provides an opportunity for an up-close look at bald eagles, owls, falcons, vultures and more. A variety of seasonal shows offer educational programs on the world’s threatened bird species. Admission and parking are free at the 125 Bald Eagle Ridge Road facility in Valley Park. The sanctuary is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas).
  •  The Delmar Loop Planet Walk offers a unique, scale model of the solar system. It turns the 6100 to 6600 blocks of Delmar Boulevard into a free, three-billion-mile walk from the Sun to Neptune where kids (and mom and dad) can learn about celestial bodies.

St. Louis—it’s a great place to enjoy summer!

B. Loehr Staffing  has proudly served the Greater St. Louis area as a trusted staffing resource since 1898. “We’re not the best because we’re the oldest, we’re the oldest  because we’re the best.” When you’re finished with your days of fun in the sun, Contact us to see how our staffing specialists can provide for all of your employment needs.

 

Start on the Road to Better Health with these Small Steps  

Lots of people choose an all-or-nothing proposition when it comes to making improvements to their diet.  Thinking the only avenue to achieving better health is a radical revamping of how they eat – they give up before they begin, abandoning even small efforts to make positive changes. Too hard. Too much trouble and bother.

Well, folks, major diet makeovers aren’t necessary to achieve lasting results. In fact, research reveals that “baby steps,” rather than giant leaps, result in lasting, positive changes that impact overall health more than a major diet shift. New routines that incorporated minor adjustments proved more successful over the long haul.

While the aim of most diet modifications is to see a lower number staring back from the scales, the positive impact on overall health, energy, and well-being is every bit as important as a drop in weight – and sometimes, more important.

The key to achieving any and all of these improvements is making changes that are both practical and sustainable; that can be adapted for and adopted into everyday life. Incorporate a couple of these tips at a time into your daily routine.

Choose food wisely

  • Pack in the Protein. Not only are proteins one of the four building blocks of life, “they constitute more of a cell’s dry matter than do lipids, carbohydrates, and all other molecules combined.” Studies have found that doubling up on protein could help you eat less without feeling hungry due to making the brain more sensitive to leptin, a hormone that helps you feel full.
  •  Aim for protein as a part of every meal, with a goal of at least one-third of the calories coming from a source of lean protein.
  • Take advantage of the increasingly popular one-hundred calorie packaging of many snacks from chips to yogurt to nuts to ice cream. While these portion-controlled servings may be costlier than economy sized packages, the convenience, and the lessened temptation are worth the expense.

Monitor shopping habits

  • Never, ever shop on an empty stomach. Even a quick stop to grab just a couple of items can result in a plethora of craving-satisfying foods walking out the door with you.
  •  Shopping without a plan in the form of a specific list? Then expect some indulgent, I-didn’t-plan-to-buy-that items to appear in your cart. Guard against hasty decisions with a commitment to make a list and stick to it.
  •  Because Little Johnnie is too cute to resist, and Susie can be expected to sob until Mom purchases all of her favorites, shopping with the kids is sure to result in unplanned items getting toted home. If at all possible, leave the “beggars” at home. Swap babysitting with another Mom or Dad also striving for solo shopping excursions.

Smart dinnerware and utensil choices

  • A smaller plate at meals will look “full” with a lesser amount of food. Kind of a “mind over matter” situation that will lessen the sense of being deprived.
  •  Insert a smaller serving spoon into higher calorie dishes, a larger spoon into low-cal salads and veggies.

Tame your Achilles Heel

  • Everyone has those one or two foods they can’t seem to resist. Lesley Lutes, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of psychology at East Carolina University suggests, “If you’re eating six of these foods a week, try to go down to five.” Each week, drop another until you’re at no more than one or two. Substitute better choices like fresh or sautéed veggies, fresh fruits, and whole grains.
  •  Fool your sweet tooth with a piece of hard candy rather than indulging in a calorie-dense dessert. Savor the sweetness as long as possible then pat yourself on the back for settling for a healthier option.

If you thought you’d reach the end of an article about diet improvements without any mention of water intake, sorry. Most people grow weary of the “drink more water!” speeches even while admitting they struggle to consume adequate amounts of water. Even though they realize that drinking more water can increase energy, flush out toxins, and lower overall calorie intake, often that’s not enough motivation. Because let’s face it, water can be boring.

Here are few strategies that can help.

  • Purchase a reusable water bottle that’s handy to tote around.
  • Change things up with flavored or sparkling water options.
  • Have a quantity of cold, flavored water always on hand with a DIY infuser equipped pitcher. Experiment with different flavor combinations to liven up the taste of the ol’ H2

B. Loehr Staffing  is here to cheer you on – and, while you are making wise diet choices, we’ll help you make wise staffing choices too. Whether you have open positions or need extra help for special projects, rolling out new products, or making changes to your service processes, our team at B Loehr will ensure we find the staffing solution that best suits your organization’s specific needs. Contact us today.

The Secret to Enjoying Life

b loehr - enjoyIf the title enticed you because you expected a quick solution to magically make your life enjoyable, well . . . Sorry folks. We hate to burst your bubble, but there is no one secret to enjoying life. There’s no magic pill or formula or even supplement that will trigger an enjoyable life. It just doesn’t work that way.

But before you slink away in despair, consider this. What if the secret to enjoying life is realizing you can’t pin life happiness on any one thing? Or person or circumstance or event. Rather, it seems there’s a number of factors – many within your control – that contribute to an enjoyable life. Of course, some things in life simply are what they are, and there’s not a thing you can do to change them. But it’s also true that a lot of the other stuff that makes up the fabric of our daily lives is most definitely within our power to modify or improve upon.

Consider how working in the following areas could make your life more enjoyable.

  1. Take a chill pill

Not every obstacle has to be a mountain. Not everything is worth fighting over. I used to bristle when folks quipped, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” It seemed, to them, everything I sweat over was small. They didn’t understand my life, my circumstances. My issues were outside of their realm of comprehension. But after I smoothed down my ruffled feathers, I had to admit there were small things that I did sweat. Stuff I could have let go and should have let go.

  1. Make relaxation a priority

Our culture celebrates being busy, living nonstop lives, always trying to fit in one more thing – all to the detriment of both our health and happiness. We feel guilty at the thought of taking a break and ignore the mounting stress our go-go-go lifestyle produces. Taking time to relax, recharge and reconnect with ourselves and our family should not be considered a luxury but rather a necessity. Believe the truth that R & R will leave you better equipped to handle the challenges of your hectic life. If you have to schedule times to recharge, then do it. But no “penciling-in” allowed. Use ink.

  1. Set goals

 Could be you gave up on New Year’s resolutions years ago – so has more than half of the adult population. But why not jot down a couple of things you’d like to accomplish. Something simple like organizing the garage or a more challenging feat such as paying off a debt. Because even the smallest goals, when met, come with a sense of accomplishment that can boost your morale. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back and celebrate. Then set another goal or two.

  1. Adopt an attitude of gratitude

Ever notice how it takes zero thought to come up with something to gripe about but it can take real effort to think of something for which you’re thankful? Another casualty of busy, stressed-out lives.

If you’re serious about upping the enjoyment factor in your life, commit to writing down three things that you are grateful for each day. Such purposeful effort is guaranteed to make you happier because it will shift your focus toward gratitude.

At B. Loehr Staffing, we understand people. And it’s that understanding that has earned our reputation as a premier provider of staffing solutions in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Contact us today to learn more.

 4 Tips for Beating Procrastination

b loehr - procrastinationThe “simple” definition for procrastinate, according to Merriman-Webster.com is:

“To be slow or late about doing something that should be done: to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it, because you are lazy, etc.”

Ouch, lazy? That cuts pretty deep. I mean everyone procrastinates from time-to-time, right? It’s part of being human, right?

Webster’s “full” definition leaves out that ugly four-letter word.

  1. To put off intentionally and habitually
  2. To put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done

Still not a pretty picture.

Did you know there is a science to why people procrastinate? According to the UPMC Healthbeat, there’s a chemical reason we prefer relaxing activities versus those “have to” things that we find so easy to put off. The intense urge to avoid work by focusing on more pleasant or satisfying activities is an actual  battle between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is less developed and thus weaker, so often the limbic system wins out, leading to procrastination.”

Before you get all kicked-back and in the so-it’s-not-my-fault-at-all zone, consider the very real pitfalls of procrastination. For instance, putting things off can cause stress later when you have to double or triple-time it. And we all know how stress wreaks havoc on your overall health – your immune system in particular – not to mention how relationships between stressed out people suffer.

Factor in the bad rap your reputation will get. Also, how repeatedly succumbing to procrastination will squash both your drive to succeed and the likelihood of realizing your dreams. And those are but a few of the myriad ways procrastination can lead to trouble.

Understanding the science behind procrastination is all well and good, but what most of us need are practical tips for beating procrastination.

  1. Dismiss the notion of perfection

 If you’re waiting for everything to line up perfectly before diving into whatever it may be, just don’t. Not only will you accomplish next to nothing, but you’re giving procrastination a foothold in your life. Get your ducks in a row as best you can – then dive in.

  1. Change things up

 Realize that different environments have a huge impact on your productivity. A writer friend of mine finds one distraction after another at home, but can buckle down at the corner coffee shop where laundry, dishes, and a million other chores are not front and center.

  1. Remember how to eat an elephant?

 Big tasks or projects often saddle you with a crippling sense of being overwhelmed before you even get started. Which makes it ten times harder to get started. So, break the assignment into bite-sized pieces . . . Err, smaller tasks. And make it a priority to bask in the sense of accomplishment, for just a wee bit, after each step.

  1. Create the adult equivalent to a sticker chart

Remember the sticker chart that worked wonders to get your preschooler to behave? That same reward principle can work for adults too. Establish little reward incentives along the way then treat yourself to something special when the task is finished, on time in a quality manner.

Get a grip on procrastination before it becomes the middle name that even the dog knows you by.

Now here’s a biggie. Don’t procrastinate about contacting B Loehr Staffing. You are our priority at B. Loehr Staffing. That’s why both our Client and Candidate Toolboxes are chalk full of resources to assist you. Check them out today.

A Good Laugh on Us

Every one of us can benefit from a good hearty laugh. Did you know laughter relaxes the whole body? Indeed it does. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes.

So laugh to your heart’s content over these hilarious happenings and enjoy the lingering, relaxing effect.

Get a hearty chuckle from the funnies at LaughFactory.com

  • Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Officer asks a young engineer fresh out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “And what starting salary are you looking for?” The engineer replies, “In the region of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.” The interviewer inquires, “Well, what would you say to a package of five weeks’ vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a red Corvette?” The engineer sits up straight and says, “Wow! Are you kidding?” The interviewer replies, “Yeah, but you started it.”

Hold your belly and enjoy these better-than-the-comics anecdotes!

  • The Invisible Man, Dracula, and the Wolfman were all applying for a job. Which one got hired?

Certainly not Dracula, he can only work nights.

Not the Wolfman, severe grooming problem.

Needless to say, the Invisible Man was hired, sight unseen!

  • “Has your son decided what he wants to be when he grows up?” I asked my friend.

“He wants to be a garbage man,” he replied.

“That’s an unusual ambition to have at such a young age.”

“Not really. He thinks that garbage men work only on Tuesdays.”

If you haven’t laughed yourself silly yet, check out these funny one-liners:

  • Imagine being 5 minutes from the end of the longest movie ever & it starts over because it forgot something. That’s my kid telling a story.
  • I changed my password to “incorrect”. So whenever I forget what it is the computer will say “Your password is “
  • Entered what I ate today into my new fitness app and it just sent an ambulance to my house.
  • A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.
  • You’d think that with NSA reading our tweets all the time, they could star or retweet some of the good ones.
  • The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget cuts.

And finally, if your teary eyes can still focus, take a peek at these gems from Good Clean Jokes.

  • “Frank Smith,” announced the judge, “for breaking into a house in the middle of the night, I sentence you to two years in prison.”

“But your honor,” pleaded Smith, “last time I was in court you sentenced me to a year in jail for breaking into a house in the day! If not in the middle of the night, and not in the middle of the day, just when am I supposed to earn my living?”

  •  Sally walked into the Dentist office to make an appointment. “How much do you charge to pull out a tooth?” She asked.”

“It’s $130,” was the prompt reply. “$130!” gasped Sally, that’s ridiculous! There must be a way for you to go cheaper.”

“Well,” said the Dentist thoughtfully, I suppose if we don’t numb it, we could knock off $30.”

“Only $30?” countered Sally, “that’s still $100, you’ve got to make it cheaper.”

“Well,” said the Dentist after a long pause, “I suppose if we take it out with a wrench we could knock it down to $50.”

“Perfect,” said Sally happily. “I would like to make an appointment for next Tuesday, for my husband Jack.”

Let B. Loehr Staffing be your one-stop staffing solutions firm. We understand how challenging it is to have the right number of people in the right places to get the work done on time and still keep your bottom line in the black. Through our specially designed Staffing Systems and Management Programs, you can be sure of finding the staffing solution that suits your organization’s specific needs. Contact our staffing specialists today.

 

4 Tips for “Giving Back” to Your Community

b loehr - community 1

For many non-profit organizations, the donations they receive in money, time and various other resources are more than merely a “want”. Without the support of large and small businesses alike, these organizations that meet the crucial needs of multitudes of people, would not be able to operate. But thanks to the generous support of community-minded companies, these life-impacting organizations can continue to meet benefit humanity.

No gift of money, time, talents or services is too small to have a lasting impact. And as companies across the country have discovered, they receive as much goodwill as the not-for-profit they serve.

“For me, giving back means finding ways to benefit the community that may also benefit my business — after all, without the community’s support, small businesses wouldn’t exist,” notes Dwight Lieb, commercial real estate developer. He further cites research by Ernst & Young and the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund that demonstrates the correlation between philanthropy and business success.

  •  89 percent of entrepreneurs donate money, both personally and through their companies
  • 62 percent of those who donated reported that giving back makes their companies more successful

Check out these tips for ways to get onboard with “giving back.”

Focus your Efforts

Want to really make an impact? Choose one cause/organization to commit your entire company’s efforts and resources to. If the sheer number of worthy causes has your head spinning, initiate a sit down with your employees. Choosing from among causes your staff is familiar with is a great place to start. Appoint a willing volunteer already associated with the organization to spearhead the company’s involvement. This will get things moving faster.

Consider sponsoring local sporting teams.

Who doesn’t appreciate the long-term benefits youth gain from team endeavors? Yet, these worthwhile activities often suffer from both a lack of funds and volunteers. Not only is this a fantastic way to dip your toes into the world of giving back, but also offers varying levels of involvement. These community-backed activities also provide a great opportunity for exposure.

 Serve on a Community Board

 Commit your company to fill one or more spots on a local community board. These positions are crucial to the long-term success of these organizations yet can be difficult to fill over the long haul. If possible, find an interest that suits what your business is all about. If you’re in a medically related business, participation with the Red Cross will make sense. If manufacturing is your area, then supporting the vocational arts programs at the local high school would be a good fit. Connecting with your industry in this way will likely provide a plethora of networking opportunities as well.

Plan and Host a Community Event

 Pitching in wherever needed is a great way to show community spirit. But why not go a step further and volunteer to plan and host a segment of the local festival or the big parade – some significant community event. Get all troops on deck, utilizing the natural abilities of your workforce. Set the organizers to strategizing, the sales department to soliciting financial donations, the ad team to creating a marketing campaign, and so on.

As the largest independent, locally owned and operated staffing company in the St. Louis metropolitan area,  B. Loehr Staffing name has been synonymous with giving back to the community with employment and training program for not-for-profit organizations since 1898. We have always been and will always be committed to providing top quality service and innovative solutions to the businesses of this fine community. Contact us today for assistance will of your staffing needs.

 

 The Best Summer Ever

b loehr - summerA couple of months ago over lunch, a friend and I made plans to get together this summer to brainstorm this idea that had mulled around in my brain for years. “I think you’re on to something here,” he’d said, encouraging the tiny spark to flicker brightly once again.

While I would have loved to get him on board and make some headway in turning this idea into something tangible, I filed the “get together this summer” comment in the same faraway place where all the other this-summer-let’s-do conversations ended up—never to be heard from again.

So I was totally blown away when in mid-May he called and announced, “Let’s get those brainstorming sessions on the calendar. You mentioned Wednesdays are good for a long lunch, right?” I mumbled something unintelligible, too stunned to form a coherent sentence. Undaunted, he continued. “Sorry I didn’t call sooner, but I saved every other Wednesday. I figure by the end of summer, we’ll be ready to make a presentation.”

Now words really failed me. But somehow the conversation had continued. The proof now stared back at me from my calendar in two-hour lunch blocks on half the Wednesdays through June, July, and August that bore the notation “lunch w/Brian”.

That first Wednesday, I not only picked up the lunch tab but thanked him profusely for making time for me in what had to be an incredibly busy summer schedule. After all, whose summer schedule wasn’t busy?

“Yeah, we have a lot going on. But this project is important to me.”

“Aren’t you coaching Little League, too? I don’t know how you fit everything into your schedule. Summers fly by so fast that it seems like I blink and it’s over.”

And then he shared his secret to making every summer the best summer ever: get it on the calendar.

“Used to be like that for us too. All these hopeful plans that never came to fruition. Then a couple of years ago we got serious about planning our summers. Now in early May—actually started in April this year—we grab the calendar and begin plotting out all the stuff we want to do. The fun things like outings to the zoo and the kids’ games as well as the not-so-fun stuff like painting the deck. We try to knock out all the major chores around the house by the end of May, so we have more time to enjoy summer.”

I’m sure my mouth hung open in a most unflattering pose as he detailed how the calendar had become their secret weapon for making the most of the summer. And thankfully, he shared some awesome time-saving tips that help them squeeze every spare minute out their summers.

  • His wife does a huge grocery stock-up the first week of June to cut back on all those annoying emergency runs to the store.
  • He hires a couple of teens from the neighborhood to help with the major lawn care.
  • They established a family chore time that has incentivized the kids to pitch in because when the job’s done, they take a family bike ride to get ice cream.
  • They offer double allowances to any child willing to take on additional, age-appropriate household responsibilities that free up some time for mom and dad.
  • Each family member gets to suggest an outing for the family to enjoy together.

On the way home, I swung by the office supply store and purchased a calendar with huge blocks for writing in summer activities. Then after dinner, I called our first “best summer ever” calendar planning session.

At B. Loehr Staffing we understand the importance of life-work balance. We can offer you a position with the freedom and flexibility your lifestyle demands. Contact us today.

 

 

Preparing for Generation Z – Part II

b loehr - gen zGeneration Z has been dubbed “the reality-check generation,” a title they earned as a result of expectations and aspirations tempered by uncertain economic conditions during their formative years. By the year 2020, they’ll make up 20% of the workforce.

Like their predecessors the Millennials, they value creativity and innovation, but they place greater importance on stability and are seen as more pragmatic than Generation Y. They will arrive in the job market looking to build their careers on a solid foundation, and they’ll need managers who understand them to help them get off to the right start.

What should companies expect from Generation Z?

• While many businesses boast of friendly workplace cultures, flexible schedules, and transparent salaries to pique the interest of potential candidates, it appears more career focused perks will get the nod from Gen Z.

Today’s college students ranked opportunity for career growth as the most important aspect of their first job (36%) followed by fulfilling work (19%) and stability (19%). Friendly work environments (10%), flexible schedules (7%), and the highest salary (6%) rank lower in priority.

To attract the top talent in Generation Z, companies will have to demonstrate an interest in and ability to assist their employees in reaching their most important career goals.

• While it’s expected the job-hopping tendencies of Millennials will carry over to the next generation, Gen Zers’ yearning for stability and the establishment of a firm career foundation will provide employers with some ammunition in the retention war.

Companies who make effective and frequent training a priority and who strive to offer a variety of professional development opportunities will realize the greatest opportunity for maintaining a steady, qualified workforce.

It might come as a surprise that this i-everything generation places a high value on key relationships. Being fluent in a world of social media, text messages and email hasn’t usurped their desire for genuine conversations and connections, especially with those in places of authority over them.

They long to be taken seriously, to have their energy and enthusiasm encouraged rather than stamped down. They fear that older generations won’t give them a chance as they actively seek to be part of a team that will embrace their knowledge and skills. They want the opportunity to present their ideas and to join forces with employers who share their passions.

Generation Zers will find their niche within companies who value employee development, who encourage and appreciate their drive to climb the ladder, and who take employee engagement seriously. Companies who aren’t too afraid to embrace this promising generation will benefit from this generation’s technological savvy as well as their focus on continual learning.

B. Loehr Staffing is already striving to attract top-notch talent from among the brightest and best of Generation Z. Allow our staffing experts to match these rising young stars with your company’s open positions. Contact us today.

What Employers Can Expect from the Class of 2016

As 2016 college grads get serious in their quest for a job, you may hear a rather odd sound whistling with the breeze. An echo-y noise that strangely enough sounds like a huge sigh of relief – and that’s exactly what it is. As these student-loan-ridden grads hear reports of the best hiring forecast in a decade, they are indeed heaving a huge, collective sigh of relief.  Finding a “real” job is imperative for these latest graduates as they are entering the workforce with the highest levels of debt ever – an average of $37,173 each.

The descriptor that pops up over and again for this group is “pragmatic”. They’ve grasped the reality of their situation and appear to be rising to the occasion with a determined passion.

What are these optimistic young adults looking for as they hit the job trail?

For starters, one-in-four new graduates report student loan assistance is a “top priority.” Such programs offer employer contributions that can shave years off the debt as well as save a bundle on interest. While several companies including investment firms FidelityNatixis, and auditing and consulting firm PwC offer such programs as part of their benefits package, a study by the Society of Human Resource Management found that only 3% of employers offer this perk.

Along these same lines, it seems basic economics will play a key role in the recent grad’s job search. Over 60% of this year’s graduating class claim that they want to be living on their own within the first year of graduating. This drive for independence will likely place economic concerns over the desire for a hip, happenin’ workplace. Which means companies who went all out on the cool culture they thought would attract millennials may want to dial those incentives back, just a bit, and focus on the financial perks they can offer. Cool is still in but it may take a back seat to financial incentives.

But what about employers? What are their plans for these fresh, young candidates? And what are they expecting from them as future employees?

It would appear they are as eager to bring youthful talent into their workplace as the grads are to secure a promising position. A recent CareerBuilder survey revealed that 52% of responding employers said they would make offers to students before graduation, with 67% noting they would be willing to negotiate salary when extending a job offer. Further proof of the all-around let’s-get-this-show-on-the-road attitude comes from the Accenture Strategy 2016 U.S. College Graduate Employment Study that found 21% of the Class of 2016 accepted a job before graduation, up from 12% last year and 11% two years ago.

Bottom line? The best and brightest of the class of 2016 won’t be unemployed for long.

Forty-three percent of hiring execs responding to a survey from Futurestep noted that learning agility as the top attribute they’re seeking in recent grads. This ability “to learn from experiences and apply those learnings to new roles,” is an important characteristic that crosses industry lines as well as geographic locations.

Employers share many concerns as they prepare to onboard a new crop of graduates. The continuing saga of the disconnect between the jobs these promising young adults will secure and the skills they bring to the table tops the list.

According to Karsten Strauss, “The gap has always existed. Young people coming out of school cannot all be expected immediately to possess the hard skills organizations require. Some will, of course, but most won’t.”

A recent PayScale survey highlighted the most frequently noted missing skills as writing proficiency, public speaking skills, and data analysis ability among “hard skills.” “Soft skills” found lacking included critical thinking and problem-solving skills, lack of attention to detail, and less than stellar communication skills. Leadership qualities and teamwork skills were also found to be lacking.

This is not an impossible situation nor, as Strauss stated, is it a new scenario. Bridging the gap can happen with additional instruction and a willingness on the part of both employer and employee to learn-as-you-go. In fact, some execs prefer to hire for an overall passionate, enthusiastic temperament and train for the specifics of the position.

The class of 2016 has much to offer, and companies have much to gain by filling openings in their workforce with these recent graduates.

At B. Loehr Staffing we know great teams don’t happen by accident. That’s why the top priority of our Team-Based Client Support System is faster access to more people who can handle your requests, answer your questions, and solve your staffing problems better than ever. Contact us today.