Make Your Meetings Better

November 20th, 2015

Your meetings may be efficient, short, and productive, but there’s a strong chance you could be getting more out each session than you already do. And there are plenty of reasons to make this happen: meetings consume a huge portion of the working day for an average employee, and every minute NOT spent in a meeting can be spent on other tasks that require focused individual attention. These extra minutes add up. Just a simple tweak to your meeting structure can help you—and your employees—accomplish more over the long term. Here are a few ways to streamline the process.

Cancel when you can.

If there’s any way to avoid scheduling a meeting or any alternative methods that can be used to accomplish the same goals, consider these alternatives. Meetings should be a last resort. As you create a list of invitees, keep the list short. Before you add a name, consider this person’s hourly salary and imagine how this time and money might be better spent.

Write down goals.

The person who decides to schedule a given meeting should document the goals of the session before distributing invitations. He or she should also type up an agenda so the session stays on track. Distributing the agenda before the meeting can help each participant know what to expect, how they can contribute, and when the session is expected to end.

Encourage contributions, but stay focused.

A totalitarian approach to meeting sessions can keep your meetings short, since everyone at the table will be afraid to speak up and will just scribble notes until it’s time to leave. On the other end of the spectrum, a relaxed open forum may encourage contributions that haven’t been fully thought out, and may turn your meeting into a rambling free-for-all. Find a sweet spot in between; encourage participants to speak up, but keep the atmosphere formal, focused, and respectful.

Planning or status?

Don’t confuse a forward-thinking planning session with a status update. If the goal is to inform, check in, and report on progress, keep the conversation centered on the present. If the goal is to look ahead and lay the ground work for future action, stay focused on the road. Make sure each participant clearly understands his or her next steps and action items before leaving the room.

Provide background before the meeting begins.

Don’t spend the first half of a long session providing updates and backstory that most of the participants already know. Distribute this information beforehand, or encourage participants to inform and educate themselves before showing up. Again, weigh the value of this time against the hourly salaries and alternative tasks of each participant.

For more on how to keep your meetings focused and purposeful, contact the staffing and business management team at PSU.

Contact us today

Supplementing Your Staff with Temporary Employees

March 28th, 2014

There are several reasons why companies choose to take on temporary and contingent employees instead of hiring permanent, full time staff. And for each common situation, there are a few tips that hiring managers are wise to keep in mind. Whether you’re engaging in a complex transition, reshaping your workforce, or looking for support during a quick burst of activity that you expect to subside, temporary employees can offer a perfect, low-risk solution to your labor needs.

Staffing Transitions

You just lost a key member of your team, and the world won’t stop and wait while you launch a lengthy, meticulous search for a highly skilled replacement. But don’t worry; a recruiting firm can help you cover the gap with a capable, experienced employee on a temporary contract. And in the meantime, the same firm can help you publicize your open position and screen potential applicants.

Hiring Jitters

Maybe you’ve made some expensive hiring mistakes in the past. Or maybe during the recent economic downturn, you had to shrink the size of your workforce by letting loyal employees go. In either case, the experience can be traumatic and unpleasant. And now that you’re in a position of growth, you’re hesitant to take on permanent new team members who you may not be able to keep. The future is uncertain, and you’re looking for ways to manage your risk and grow your company at the same time. Temporary staffing contracts can easily become permanent if all goes well. If not, they keep risk and commitments to a minimum.

Temporary Labor Demand

Your busy season happens predictably during a few months out of the year (summer, the holidays, etc), and during this time, your business triples and you need extra hands to share the work and process a flood of orders. But when the season ends, your needs subside and your extra hands become idle hands. A temporary recruiting agency can help you deal with the overflow while keeping your expenses down and your business lean.

Project Assistance

You need to expand and consolidate your IT network after a recent merger. Or you need to implement a new back office management software system in a one-time, six-month operation. Or you need to clean out your warehouse and relocate inventory after a flood. Whatever you need, an experienced staffing agency can provide you with a ready team that can offer the specific, complex skill sets you’re looking for. Again, if you decide to take on some of your temporary employees on a permanent basis, you can. But if your needs drop when your project ends, the agency can accommodate you and also find new positions for your extra staff.

If any of the situations above describe your hiring needs, don’t wait. Contact the NC staffing and workforce specialists at PSU and arrange a consultation today.

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