At Work

Boss Types, Part 1: The Bad, the Worse, and the Ugly

There are 7.7 billion people in the world. Each one of them with their own values, culture, hopes and dreams. And some of those 7.7 billion people are bosses, each one of them different and unique.

And unique isn’t always a good thing.

Some bosses just aren’t that great. They come to work late, yell at employees, and everyone wonders how they got their position. They prioritize their own needs above those of the group, causing bad blood and major conflict.

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New Year’s Job Resolutions and Sticking to Them

Start off strong and don’t let your foot off the gas.

It’s 2019 folks. The new year is a time to celebrate everything that happened in the previous year and to then turn to a whole new year of goals.

That’s when we start making New Year’s Resolutions. This year, I’ll live a healthier lifestyle. This year, I’ll be a better person. This year, I’ll read more books.

Making resolutions is easy to do, but it’s much harder to keep them. Especially when it applies to your job search.

We’re here to help. Here are tips on setting job resolutions you can keep.

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Poll Results: The Most Popular Employee Training Programs

Is your company offering the training you want?

Getting to know the ins and outs of a new company can be complicated. You’re juggling learning about the company history and culture with remembering your new co-workers’ names and getting familiar with the responsibilities specific to your position.

That’s where employee training comes in. A great onboarding program can help reduce your stress load and provide a path to follow.

But different employees prefer different types of training. To determine which was most popular, we polled you, our dedicated readers and here’s what you had to say!

The Results

The top option was a “formal employee training program,” with just under 20% of the vote, followed by “mentorship” and “access to online training classes and resources,” both at just over 15% of the vote.

“Supervisors/managers train employees” came next with 15% of the vote, followed by “reimbursement for college/career tech training and certification fees” at 11%. “Apprenticeship,” “self-guided training,” and “internships” rounded out the pack at 10%, 8%, and 5%, respectively.

Many others also submitted “hands-on training” as an “other” option.

What does this mean?

Self-guided training is fairly unpopular, given that it can be difficult for a new employee to wrap their head around every facet of the company all on their own.

And most new employees want structure; a dedicated, formal training plan that outlines their responsibilities and how they should handle them. Employees don’t want to go through piles of training materials on their own; they want a manager or dedicated training person to guide them through the process. Periodic training check-ins are also a great idea.

Did the results surprise you? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Have You Considered Phased Retirement?

You’re tired of working and ready to retire, so what’s stopping you?

Maybe you can’t afford it yet. Or perhaps you don’t want to stop working because you enjoy it. You want more time to dedicate to your family or hobbies, but aren’t quite ready to give your job up and retire. So, regardless of reason, you keep working.

The Good

But working forever isn’t the only option. There’s another way to ease out of the workforce—phased retirement.

Not sure what that means? Investopedia defines phased retirement as including “a broad range of employment arrangements that allow an employee who is approaching retirement age to continue working with a reduced workload, and eventually transition from full-time work to full-time retirement.”

In other words, phased retirement allows you to work in a part-time capacity for a certain time period before you start full-time retirement. You get to keep working for longer, while employers get the benefit of you passing on your knowledge and experience before heading off to retirement.

Sounds enticing, right?

The Bad

A study published by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, as reported by Forbes, notes that 77% of employers believe many of their employees want to keep on working post-retirement. Forty-seven percent think employees would like to do some sort of phased retirement. The issue?

Only 31% of those same employers actually allow that shift to a phased retirement, and only 27% are okay with employees taking on jobs that are less stressful or demanding to make retirement easier.

The Solution

If you want to keep working and embrace retirement, there is still a solution through staffing companies like Express Employment Professionals.

You don’t have to pay anything to benefit from Express. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call a local office or register online. Let your employment specialist know your work availability and they’ll find you part-time positions that allow you to phase into retirement at your own pace.

For more in our retirement series, check out these helpful blogs:

Retirement: Happy 40th Birthday 401(K)

Beginner’s Guide to Retirement

Job Searching Past Retirement Age

Three Tips for Getting Your Retirement Started Off Right

Do you plan on retiring? If so, will you retire outright or opt for a phased approach? Let us know in the comments section below!

Poll: Do You Like Your Current Job?

Jobs are tough. We have to spend hours away from our friends and family doing something we might not love so that we can afford to pay our mortgages, utility bills, and many other things.

But for those who love their jobs? The paycheck becomes a bonus to the work instead of being the sole purpose of working.

We want to know how you feel about your current position. Whether you love it, hate it, or are indifferent about it. And, given those feelings, do you see yourself leaving anytime soon?

Let us know by voting in our poll!


Are You Too Nice to Your Co-workers?

When never saying “no” turns into a problem.

It’s a question they ask. Every. Single. Interview.

“Are you a team player?”

There’s only one right answer: “Yes.” Followed by examples of how great you are at working with a team.

And it’s true—if you can’t work well with others, you’re probably going to have trouble in any workplace.

However, there’s a limit. If you accommodate every single person’s request, from picking up lunch for a group meeting to taking notes, you become everybody’s “go-to guy (or gal).” It’s flattering to be thought of as the co-worker who can get any task done. But that can take a toll on you, both mentally and physically.

Here’s a few ways to tell it might be time to start embracing the word “no” (or a suitably polite equivalent).

You Say Yes. A Lot.

As noted by the Wall Street Journal, many employees now spend 85% of their time working with other team member in emails, meetings, conference calls, or instant messaging. That’s why it becomes a problem when you tell everyone you can handle anything.

You want to do a great job. So, you email a friend in a different department that you’ll send their request to your manager, help every customer (via phone or in-person) with any requests they have, and tell the front office coordinator you can cover the desk while they’re on lunch break. You like being reliable.

But before you know it, it’s two hours before you’re supposed to go home and you haven’t even started your own projects for the day.

You’re (Too) Stressed

When you say you can do several things for several different people, even if they’re all small, it all adds up. And saying “yes” makes you accountable. You said you’d do it, and don’t want to let everyone down.

But now you’re juggling too many things. You almost forget what you’re working on, who requested it, and when it’s due. And even if you can keep all those things straight, you still have your own responsibilities as well.

You’re Becoming Bitter

Eventually, initial feelings of pride over being the reliable person can turn sour. You don’t even remember why you started doing these things that aren’t in your job description in the first place! Why did people even ask you to handle responsibilities that aren’t yours? Why don’t they do it themselves! But now it’s too late to say no. You’re buried with no way out.

Or are you?

You’ve Accepted You’re A Yes (Wo)Man; Now What?

First off: you’re not alone. Being overwhelmed is a real problem, all across North America.

According to Robert Cross, lead author of an eight-year, 28 employer study on collaborative demands, “The volume and diversity of collaborative demands on employees have risen 50% in the past decade.”

But not all hope is lost. The article goes on to note that “changing just a few behaviors can regain 18% to 24% of the time spent collaborating.

These include:

  • Taking time to focus, whether through meditation or whatever else relaxes you.
  • Not answering every email. It’s okay, not everything is meant for you to respond to. If you’re addressed directly, feel free to forward it to the appropriate person.
  • Having hard discussions. Sitting down with your boss or a particularly demanding co-worker to let them know you’re a bit overwhelmed. If you’re handling odd jobs for multiple people, it’s likely each person doesn’t know the full extent of everything you do.

And if you’re resolved to continue doing everything for everybody? At least try to schedule your workload down to the minute. Once you go past your scheduled time on a task, stop it and move to the next one. Prioritize your own projects and let people know you’ll be handling those responsibilities first.

 

Have you ever ended up as the workplace go-to person for basically everything? If it became overwhelming, how did you handle it? Let us know in the comments section below!

Poll Results: Are Companies Offering the Flexible Work Employees Crave?

And how do workers define flexible work?

Open up any employment news report these days and you’ll see that workers want flexible schedules.

But what does that even mean? And does it mean the same thing to workers as it does to employers?

We decided to find out with two polls. One here on Movin’ On Up, and one on Refresh Leadership, our blog for business leaders.

The Results

Job seekers listed “freedom to adjust your schedule to accommodate personal family needs” at number one, with 22% of the vote. Just under 25% of business leaders agreed, making this the most popular response for both groups.

The number two definition for jobseekers at 19% of the vote was “freedom to adjust your own hours/schedule.” Number two for employers was “options to work outside the traditional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. business day,” with 20% of the vote.

And rounding out the top three for jobseekers was “options to work outside the traditional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. business day” at 18%, while 15% of employers chose “freedom to adjust your own hours/schedule” as their number three choice.

Beside that slight difference, responses were more or less the same. We’ve listed the remaining results for both job seekers and business leaders below.

What Flexibility Means to Jobseekers:

  1. Working extra hours each day to accommodate a 4-day week: 10%
  2. Working from home part-time: 9%
  3. Working remotely from another city or state/province, etc.: 7%
  4. Working from home full-time: 5%
  5. Working part-time: 4%
  6. Unlimited vacation/paid time off (PTO): 2%
  7. Job sharing: 1%
  8. Doing freelance/gig work: 1%

What Flexibility Means to Employers:

  1. Working extra hours each day to accommodate a 4-day week: 11%
  2. Working from home part-time: 10%
  3. Working remotely from another city or state/province, etc.: 8%
  4. Working from home full-time: 3%
  5. Working part-time: 3%
  6. Unlimited vacation/paid time off (PTO): 2%
  7. Job sharing: 2%
  8. Doing freelance/gig work: 1%

What does this mean?

Job seekers and employers mostly agree on what flexible work means. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that flexibility is being provided. Conversations should be had between employers and employees to work toward a suitable solution to the flexibility question.

About Express

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S and Canada with over 800 locations. If you have any questions about part-time work in your area or job search in general, feel free to contact your local Express office or fill out our online contact form.

Does your employer offer a flexible work situation? Let us know in the comments section below!