The holidays are among us. Christmas trees crowd the entrance at Target and holiday sweets stock Publix’s shelves. The planning and preparations have begun and for most of us, work turns into a whirlwind until the end of the year. As many of us get ready for the seasonal break, we begin to think about taking extra time off.
In Ireland, they began their Christmas holidays last week, and are looking at a four-week break, returning to work on January 12th. In the United States, that length of vacation time is virtually unheard of.
Besides a handful of national holidays, the typical American worker gets about two precious weeks off out of a whole year to relax and see the world — much less than what people in many other countries receive.
For many Americans vacation just means you work from somewhere else. Only 57% of U.S. workers use up all of the days they’re entitled to, compared with 89% of workers in France, a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found.
Some U.S. companies don’t like employees taking off more than one week at a time. Others expect them to be on call or check their e-mail even when they’re traveling home for the holidays.
“Managers and executives have smart phones with 24 hour access, and it is encouraged to ensure work / life balance, but with the responsibility to monitor any emergencies / issues that need to be immediately addressed,” says Rebecca R. Totten director of human resources at Triad Isotopes. “Front line team members are not expected to check email or answer calls while out of the workplace.”
So what are a few tips to avoid adding stress to your fellow co-workers and managers when you are starting vacation a day or two early?
“Plan ahead,” JB Himmer recommends director of resource planning for UCF Foundation, Inc. “Try to only assign the employees that are working the essential deadline-oriented tasks. Have the employees on leave communicate in advance what needs to be done so there are no surprises. And try to have fun!”
Himmer says her office usually plans a potluck or games in the conference room so the staff that is working enjoys the holidays also.
While the holidays can be stressful, it is important to respect your time off. Take the break to rejuvenate and reflect. Prepare your office for your departure and tie up loose ends, but remember to relax and enjoy the time off.
- Stephanie Bruha, Operations Manager at Kavaliro
Kavaliro Employment Agency, has offices in Tampa, Florida, Charlotte, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida and can make sure you find the right people for this important role. We are ready and waiting to help you anytime and look forward to hearing from you.Read More...
Our July Consultant of the Month, Jason White, has done a phenomenal job working for Kavaliro. He came all the way from Colorado to work on an emergency project on a few days’ notice and has put in substantial overtime each week since. He best represents the Kavaliro Pillars of Agility and Commitment. We know we can count on Jason to represent us well and we look forward to a positive and long lasting relationship!Read More...
Who says work has to suck all the fun out of your day? Many companies have taken it upon themselves to make sure their employees enjoy coming into work rather than dreading it. Executives often forget that happy employees make productive employees. Here are three easy ways to inject some fun into your workplace.
1. Allow for Flextime
- Allow your employees to be flexible with their schedules. By doing this you are acknowledging that their personal lives are important to you. The reason executives don’t always allow flexibility is because of the fear that production will decline. However, giving your employees the opportunity to get their work done on their own time can be a great motivator.
2. Lead with Laughter
- Taking time to laugh will increase productivity, not reduce it. It is important to understand that people think more clearly when they have a break to clear the clutter and cobwebs. Lead by example by laughing a lot and encouraging others to do the same.
3. Have a Fun Spot
- Make a corner of your office/break room a place where employees can post funny pictures or articles. Not only will this provide fun for your staff, but it will make your staff a closer group. Having areas for employees to reduce stress is a great way to increase retention.
-Mike Groeneveld, Resource Development Manager at KavaliroRead More...
If you are in an industry that is active in social media the time will come that you will need a professional photo of yourself. That time came for me about 6 months ago. I’d been using a picture taken on a cruise back in 2007 and I realized that every other professional that I connected with on LinkedIn or Twitter had a great looking photo. My photo was, well, unprofessional to say the least.
The final push was when I heard about a promotion that a studio called Macbeth Photography does called “First Friday.” Jim Hobart, Photographer and Owner of Macbeth Photography, cuts a deal for a professional photo that to be edited and sent to you electronically. This was an experience unlike any other I have had. The photographers moved me around and put me in positions that would photograph best; I was told “if it feels weird, then you’re doing it right!” In the end, there were about ten pictures of about fifty that were really good, and they chose the perfect picture to clean up and make final edits to. A couple of days later, I was pleased to add my first real professional photo to my social media profiles. I feel much more legitimate already!
In the current era of information, everyone should have a photo that they’re proud of to represent them while online. It can be even more important if you’re on the hunt for a new job because it is more common today that your potential employer will do a search on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter to see if you’ll be a fit with their corporate culture and represent their organization well. I am not saying you have to dress up like a CEO for your photo; but a quality picture that wasn’t cropped from a group photo in college can set you apart from all of those other applicants in a positive way. If you can’t afford a private session, take advantage of student photographers that are willing to take your picture to use for school projects, or as practice using editing software. I was happy to find a studio that ran promotions to reach out to new partners in the community. In the end, just make sure the person you are presenting online sends the right message!
-Stephanie Bruha, Operations Manager at KavaliroRead More...
We are proud to announce the June Consultant of the Month: Michael Coots. Michael has been with us since December 2011 and continues to be an excellent resource for us. Leading a team or getting hands on during a project, Michael has always been the go-to technician on multiple projects. He best represents the Kavaliro Pillar of Commitment with over 6 months of continued excellence in consulting. Thank you Michael!Read More...
In business, it is becoming increasingly more important to stay ahead of your competition. To remain competitive in the market and to continuously see growth within your company, your employees should be comfortable in the workplace and be able to convey their ideas effectively on a daily basis. This is one reason that employers should promote their employees to remain active within their personal lives, in their career and in the community.
Employers should always promote exercise and healthy ways to promote a healthy mind. Exercise helps relieve stress and allows time for you to think about the day at hand or the day that has passed. With most professionals working longer hours, taking an hour out of your day to be active will only make you more effective in mind and body while at the workplace.
Depending on where you work, there are many ways to be active. Employers should always promote their employees to be active within their professional and social networks. This allows for the opportunity to achieve more business or garner connections to help you in the future. A connection you make today may not come of anything, but it shows others that you are making an effort to meet people within your industry or community. When employers promote this activity to their employees, it enables the company to reach out beyond their original connections and grow.
When companies encourage their employees to be active in the community, it allows the entire employee base to contribute to community causes. This shows that the company does more than send their CEO to make a speech at a community event or to kiss babies. It demonstrates that the company makes an energetic effort to reach out with all employees. Having active employees allows for a larger base, promotes the image of the company and sets employers apart from those who are not promoting employee activity.
Whether it is exercise to relieve stress from normal office woes, staying connected within your networks or even remaining active within the community, these activities will boost employee attitudes and performance. Promoting your employee base to be active will help your company grow while making it a team effort.
-Andrew Johnson, Resource Manager at KavaliroRead More...
Conflict in the workplace not only causes unnecessary stress in your life, it can be detrimental to your job. You will only find yourself focusing on the issue rather than your actual job responsibilities throughout the day. There are many ways to handle, manage and minimize conflict in the workplace. If you find yourself in a conflict the main key is to stay calm and open minded.
First, always avoid office gossip. If you find your coworkers talking about a fellow employee, the best thing to do is walk away from the conversation. Converse only about harmless subjects such as television shows, music, news, sports, etc.
Remember to use positive language when discussing the company or co-workers’ personal lives. Don’t ever vent to a fellow employee about the company, a coworker or especially your supervisor. If you have a negative comment that you wouldn’t want that person to hear, it’s probably not the best idea to share it in your place of work. Don’t be too trusting. Stay professional at all times.
Be kind and compliment your coworkers appropriately. This sends out positive vibes in the office. The more positive the team is, the more enjoyable the work atmosphere will be.
Never snap when frustrated in the workplace. This takes discipline. Think and listen before you speak. If a problem arises, think clearly and confront the issue without an attacking approach. Use “I feel that….” instead of “You did….” You will be surprised how much faster a problem is solved in an adult conversation rather than a verbal attack.
Make sure to let your fellow co-worker speak their mind and express their side of the issue. It’s important to be open minded when dealing with conflict. The best way to resolve an office conflict is to work together to find a solution that benefits everyone.
- Katie Kennedy, Resource Manager at KavaliroRead More...
Just a reminder that the HDI Local Chapter Orlando Interest Meeting is fast approaching…two weeks away!
We hope you will plan on joining the group of support professionals in your area that are getting together in Orlando to gauge the interest in starting an HDI Local Chapter in the Orlando area. This is a great opportunity to meet people in your industry and in your geographic area that speak your language, understand your dilemmas, and can help you answer questions that you deal with each and every day!
We can’t do it alone, so join us for this interest meeting and let’s get this ball rolling!
This Interest Meeting will be held:
Thursday, April 19, 2012
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Dr. Phillips Hospital
9400 Turkey Lake Rd.
Orlando, FL 32819
Directions to the hospital and information about the free parking garage here:
If you know someone who might also be interested in attending this Interest Meeting, please forward this email to them. The more support professionals we can reach, the stronger our chapter becomes!
Please RSVP your interest so we can determine if this is something that works for your geographic area!
I look forward to hearing from you!
(If you have already RSVP’d there is no need to do so again!)
This meeting will be hosted by Orlando Health and is sponsored by HDI. There is no charge to attend this meeting so feel free to bring your team!Read More...
Have you gotten into a rut at work? Would you like to be more engaged, satisfied and fulfilled in your work? Would you like to be more productive and feel a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of each day? Well you can. It just takes a desire and commitment to renew your habits and routines. Follow these tips and you’ll see your work life improve. And that improvement will trickle into the rest of your life.
Planning. Establish a routine of planning your week and your day. This will allow you to have your most productive week all the time. Start your day an extra 15 minutes early to do this planning. Write down the top one to three most important things you must do that day. And most importantly, set and reach your goals! Use the power of intention to get there! (This is what adds jazz to your life. And focusing on your future helps you get through challenging times.)
Take Breaks. It’s a fact that taking breaks will increase productivity. It’s been proven in studies. If you need to find someone to help ensure you take a morning and afternoon break.
Choose Happiness, Humor, Enthusiasm, Gratitude, Kindness and a Positive Outlook. Being productive and competitive in business doesn’t mean that you have to be serious all the time. Smiling doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. Enthusiasm doesn’t mean you’re not competitive. Being positive doesn’t mean you’re blind to challenges. Choose to enjoy your time at work. Find others who are like this and spread good cheer. It’s contagious and it grows. Try to avoid gossip and negative chat. It can be tempting, but it doesn’t serve anyone well, including yourself.
Face the Tough Stuff Head On. If there is something difficult that you must do, just bite the bullet and do it. Don’t put it off. Do it first thing in the day. It’s like jumping into a cold pool. Just count to three and do it!
Adapt. Adaptation is the number one survival skill of living organisms. Those that don’t adapt, become extinct. In the work world, the same is true for companies, whole groups and for individuals. Be open to change. Give it a chance. Adapt to new things while using your experience to guide you, and you will have great success.
– Michael Groeneveld is a resource manager at KavaliroRead More...
We sat down with Ryan Kahn, Career Coach for Dream Careers, Inc. and star of MTV’s Hired, to ask him for some advice on finding mentors and standing out in the hiring process.
How would you recommend students to go about finding mentors? And how do you ask someone to be your mentor?
Mentorships are a great way to learn and grow in an industry and I would strongly encourage everyone to have at least one. Sometimes the hardest part of getting a mentor is just building up the courage to ask but once that is out of the way the opportunities are endless.
What I’d recommend is set up your personal “Mentor List.” Have the first on that list someone who seems far out of the reach of your network but you admire their career, for example the CEO of Warner Bros. Then the next five on the list will be within you’re extended network for example alums of your school, local business owners and friends of family. Round out the list with four people within your personal network in example your favorite professor, boss, family member or friend. Now that you have the list its time to contact each of them… OK I know you’re thinking how in the world am I going to contact the CEO of Warner Bros, well I’ll tell you later on in this interview!
For each person you reach out to write out a captivating message which is clear and to the point of who you are, why you respect them and their career and then close with asking them to be your mentor. It all needs to start with a hook in the subject line, one that I’ve found to work great is “You were 21 once right?” a subject like that brings them back to when they were your age and helps to level the playing field.
Now that you know what to say, how do you contact them? I would recommend (in order) via phone, email, hand written letter, or through their social network page. Some people on your list you may have their phone number or need to go to their companies website for their contact info but others may be tough to find… that’s where you’ll need to be creative. You ever notice people at the same company seem to have the same email address? Well that’s how you’ll get to who you want to contact. For example if you want to email someone at Warner Bros their emails are set up First.Last@WarnerBros.com just plug in their name and send! Now I’m not recommending you email blast or spam CEO’s but I want you to take any chance to seek out great advice and find a mentor that can help you be successful.
Let me know if this works for you? @RyanKahnHired
Who was one of your mentors?
One great mentor for me was my teacher Randy Jackson who taught my Artist & Repertoire class. Despite his hectic schedule filming the show American Idol and a newly released book with press interviews around the world including Oprah; Randy still took the time out of his day to be at our class to teach his students. His work ethic was definitely an inspiration for me and taught me tons in my career.
What are 5 strategies to stand out in the hiring process?
A great strategy is pick out the handful of positions you are truly qualified for and put all of your efforts and resources into those specific openings. Often I see people blasting their resume out to every job opening online. You’ll find more success with focused efforts.
These days internships are crucial to landing a job out of college. The more experience and contacts you make, the better you are positioning yourself for your future.
It is all about knowing someone who works at the company that can get your foot in the door. Ask family, friends, anyone you can. If no luck there, don’t worry. You can take it into your own hands by being active on the company’s social media pages or seeking out people who work for the company on Facebook and LinkedIn to message them directly and tactfully. Still no luck? Try hanging out at the coffee shop or lunch spot across from the office — you never know, one of their employees may be in line behind you.
Think ‘Inside the Box.’ Try mailing in your resume to the hiring manager using an empty shipping box filled with just one copy of your resume. That’s one way to get noticed!
Don’t be afraid to follow up with hiring managers. Often job seekers fail to follow up because they are afraid of rejection. Be persistent and make personal connections, as it may land you your dream career.
Career expert Ryan Kahn is a Career Coach for Dream Careers, Inc. and star of MTV’s Hired; the 20-episode documentary series helping recent grads land the job of their dreams. Kahn has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Star Magazine and is author of Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad. His intimate working relationships with industry leaders makes him the go-to expert for dream jobs.Read More...