Organization for Productivity: Tips for Boosting Productivity by Getting Organized

It’s no secret that being organized can help boost productivity while easing the burden of everyday-stressors. It’s not always easy when you’re a manager, however, because the vast quantity of paperwork and other materials you deal with on a day-to-day basis is enough to cover your entire office. If you’ve found you’re having a hard time remaining organized at work, these tips may be the answer to this overwhelming problem.

Everything Has a Place

No matter what type of business you manage, or even if you’re a department manager within a business, chances are you have several different types of paperwork floating around. Give everything a place. Don’t worry if you don’t have room for a large filing cabinet; other options are readily available at discount stores and online.

Paper trays, for example, can stack anywhere from two trays and upward. They’re barely longer and wider than a typical 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper, so you can have a dedicated place for commonly needed forms and other paperwork. Vertical paper trays that hang on a wall are another great option and can create even more space on your desk.

Too many pens, pencils, paperclips or boxes of staples? Try a magnetic strip for paperclips and loose rows of staples. Simple desk organizers can also tackle these small items. Want to go for the up-cycling approach? Use glass or plastic jars from home by cleaning them, removing the label and then labeling them with their new purposes. Another tip: only leave out what you’ll need in a short time. Store extra writing utensils and office items away to help keep your desk clutter free.

The Beauty of Labels

Labeling everything creates a sense of organization while also allowing you to quickly get what you need when you need it. Label makers are ideal for this purpose, but you can also use strips of used copy paper and tape. Labels are a great item to have when you share an office, as well, so that all parties can quickly find what they need whether they’re the ones that put them there or not.

Clean Up!

Cleaning your desk before you leave every night is a sure way to start the day fresh next time you come in. During your cleaning routine, go through the paperwork you have pending or in other files to ensure you’re not keeping anything you don’t need and that everything is in its new place. For example, if you have a pending folder, go through this first to file away anything that has since been completed.

These are just a few tips to help boost your productivity while giving you a clean, fresh work space. Having a clean, productive work zone is totally doable and doesn’t have to break the bank! 

Boundaries: What They Are in a Work Environment

Setting personal boundaries is important for everyday life; setting professional boundaries is pivotal to being an efficient and fair manager. A boundary is a way to know where your tasks end and another’s begin. Professional boundaries are a way of letting those you supervise know how and when to do things. Boundaries are often the oil for the work machine: they help keep a smooth operation.

Boundaries allow you to decipher some of the more sensitive situations within a work environment in a fair manner. The boundaries also protect you from using emotion during work procedures. Interpersonal boundaries are those used between two or more coworkers in a setting. They include attitude and tone.

When discussing or creating boundaries, always start in an open discussion with all involved. Having a defined list of boundaries can create a more efficient workplace and is an ideal start to a comfortable working relationship with those involved.

It’s important to thoroughly understand your job description when creating boundaries; this includes knowing who assigns you tasks, whom you report to, who you supervise, and which tasks need done and when. It is nearly impossible to correctly delegate tasks to those under you when you don’t thoroughly know your own responsibilities.

As a manager, having clearly defined boundaries can allow you to more thoroughly handle the tougher parts of your job. For example, it is important that your employees or subordinates know the proper manner and times to get a hold of you. It’s important for you to delegate tasks in a fair and efficient manner.

When boundaries are properly created, your entire team knows what to do and how to do it, resulting in a smooth operation that is a direct result of your management strategy. If work boundaries are something new for your company or team, have an open discussion and take suggestions and listen to differences. Overall, create boundaries that are functional, fair and efficient to ensure the success of your team and your company.

The Staffing Firm: What Can It Do for You?

Connecting with a staffing firm to solve your current opening problems may be somewhat of an undertaking if you’ve never done it before. Many companies don’t believe they need to hire a staffing firm, and many others don’t realize the benefits a staffing firm can bring. Not all staffing firms are the same, further leading to the confusion of many companies who are reluctant to work with one.

Some staffing firms, including FORTIS Resource Partners, are dedicated to finding the perfect candidate with speed, accuracy and precision. Using a consultative approach allows the firm to more carefully diagnose what problems your company is facing and which candidate is going to fill the position and have the most generous impact on the company as a whole.

Thoroughly interviewing candidates while building a relationship with both parties allow a staffing firm to have a solid grasp on filling the void. The thoroughness they display while building relationships with candidates allows them to have a better understanding of who will quickly integrate into the company.

Not only is this beneficial to you because you successfully get a new employee, but the dedication to knowing all candidates more thoroughly ensures that you will get someone who is going to make a positive impact on the rest of your team.

Another benefit from working with a staffing firm is that you can build a relationship with your account executive, allowing you to more quickly fill positions in the future. Temp, temp-to-hire and direct-hire placement are all available. When you know a position will be opening up, such as if an employee is going to go on maternity leave in two months, or a busy time of year is coming for your company, you can reach out to your staffing firm representative and be able to have that position filled before it’s too late.

If you’re still not sure that a staffing firm can help, give one a call to figure out how the business runs and what other clients have to say. Chances are you’re not going to be disappointed if you work with a top firm with a strong dedication to nothing short of excellence.

How Personal Is Too Personal? Tips for Remaining Professional with Work Relationships

Humans are a social species. We enjoy spending time together and interacting. It’s not uncommon for us to make friends at work, even with those in higher- or lower-ranking positions. However, personal relationships can sometimes get in the way of work, especially if you have become personal with someone who works directly beneath you.

If you are a supervisor, manager or another position which directly oversees the work of others, the most important factor is knowing your job description and being able to follow through with it completely. If your job description is confusing or isn’t thorough, ask for clarification from your manager or supervisor. If you happen to own your own business, write a description for yourself and let it be known.  Your job description should answer – directly or indirectly – whom it is you report to and get assignments from, and who you oversee.

Ask your supervisor what the employee-management relationship guidelines are per the company. This will let you know how far a personal friendship can go in the workplace without crossing any lines or making others feel bad.

When you’re working, it’s easy to become friends with someone in your department. However, problems can sometimes arise when you take the working relationship into a personal relationship. For example, It may be a common thing for the guys from work to go grab a beer every Thursday. As a manager, this can become a tricky situation. Hanging out with some employees and not others can quickly become seen as unfair, and it is in some senses. Once you’ve developed a personal relationship with certain employees and not others, it may become more difficult to keep a tight-knit and friendly working environment, especially if certain parties begin to feel you are biased when delegating tasks or disciplining.

Does your company have a policy or guidelines for relationships in your office?

One Position, Multiple Candidates

Choosing the Right Candidate

Having multiple qualified candidates for a single position are the banes of many hiring managers’ existences. It’s a tough decision to make already, but when you have two, three, or even more seemingly qualified candidates for the single open position at your company, you have to get down and dirty to unearth the qualifications of each candidate.

Start by going over all of your interactions with each candidate. Many companies start the interview/hiring process via email, then by phone, then by one or more in-person interviews. It may help to have a 1 to 10 scale system ready for “grading” each of the candidates.

Email

Go over the email correspondences you’ve had with each of the candidates. Thoroughly re-read the emails, looking for professionalism and enthusiasm for the job. Were they prompt in replying to you? Was their correspondence on par with the expectations of the position?

Phone Interviews

Grade each of the candidates’ phone interviews. Although they have obviously passed on this to be considered for the position, re-read the notes you took during the phone interview. Were they articulate? Did they show enthusiasm for the position? Did they understand the culture and values of the company?

In-Person Interviews

Review the interviews in your mind while also looking at the notes you took during each interview. Did anything stick out about any of the candidates, either positive or negative? Was their personality a good fit for the company and the current staff?

Small Tests

If you still can’t make a decision based on the interview process, you may need to give each qualified candidate some sort of small task or test to more thoroughly judge their abilities for the position. In his article “You Have Identified the Candidates. How Do You Pick the Right One? for The New York Times You’re the Boss blog, Bryan Burkhart outlines small tests he gave to qualified candidates for H.Bloom. Floral buyers were given a list of the stems for a single arrangement and asked to state how they would go about creating the arrangement, from the resources she would use to buy them to the prices she would pay for them.

It’s not easy, but someone’s got to do it (and that someone is you). Finding the correct candidate the first time around can be incredibly advantageous to the company.