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The Benefits of Mindfulness

August 18th, 2016

These days, there are a lot of things vying for our attention practically every moment of the day. We have our electronic devices with email, text messaging, apps and social media. Plus, we are constantly going over in our minds what we have done and what we need to do.

The result of all this is that we don’t focus on any one thing for very long. This constant barrage keeps us from focusing on the here and how, and what we need to be doing in the present moment, because in the end, the present moment is all we really have. It’s the time that counts.

That is why more and more people are practicing mindfulness to help them focus more on the present. This includes everyone from business leaders to elite athletes. Here are some of the benefits of mindfulness.

1. It helps you focus better.
You are better able to concentrate on what you need to. Not only that, it gives you more flexibility in your thinking, the ability to adapt to new information.

2. It improves your relationships.
Studies have shown that people who practice mindfulness get along better with their significant other and have better communication.

3. It can make your healthier.
Research has shown that mindfulness has several positive effects on our health, including helping the immune system, lowering blood pressure, and reducing pain.

4. It improves your mental health.
Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and lower the risk of having mental health problems.

5. It helps to keep you emotionally stable.
Mindfulness can help you better handle painful emotions because you don’t feel them as intensely. You are able to develop a kind of emotional equilibrium, where you are not as hard on yourself when you make mistakes and can approach things with greater equanimity.

Being mindful is something that everyone can do. It is not that difficult. You can train your brain. Practicing mindfulness can be something as simple as focusing on your breathing. You give your complete attention to your breathing as you inhale and exhale, without thinking of anything else. When your mind wanders, you simple bring your attention back to your breathing and continue.

If you are looking for work, you need to be mindful of Winston Resources. We are an experienced firm well equipped to work with you and find you a job that fits your skills. Contact Winston Resources today.

How to Improve Employee Development

August 11th, 2016

These days, many companies are investing in employee development. The upside of doing this is increased competitiveness and productivity. The downside is that you run the risk of losing the employee to another firm. How can you get the most out of your employee development programs while at the same time ensuring that employees stick around for a while afterward?

1. Choose carefully
Choose your candidates for development programs carefully. You want to focus on your high performing people, but at the same time you do not want to neglect other employees. You also need to realize that people are different, and you need to tailor the training programs to the individual. Some people respond better to on the job training – coaching, 360-degree feedback, job expansion or promotion — while others work better in a more structured environment, such as a classroom setting or online instruction. You need to customize training to fit an employee’s particular job, as well as the needs of the company.

And remember, employee development is a way of enhancing a person’s skills and knowledge. It is not meant as a solution for an employee who is performing poorly. For that situation, you need a different approach, one that focuses on the employee’s particular shortcomings.

2. Explain why
You need to communicate to the employees the reason for the development programs. They need to see it as part of their career path, and to put it into the context of their future role at the company.

3. Find out why
If your company is having trouble retaining employees after they have received training, you need to find out why this is happening. Talk to the employees to find out why they are leaving, what they are dissatisfied about, and rectify the problem.

Often, the problem centers around the employee’s relationship with his or her supervisor. If you have supervisors who are not able to connect with their people, they may be the ones undermining your development efforts. You need to address the problem with some core skills management training.

Employee development begins with hiring the right people, and Winston Resources is here to help your company find the right people. We are a trusted resource among businesses in the New York City area. Give Winston Resources a call today.

How to Improve Transparency in Your Company

August 4th, 2016

Other words for transparency are honesty and openness. In recruiting, companies need to be honest and open about who they are and what it is like to work at the company.

Why is this important? It is important because this can have a huge impact on how motivated and productive your workers are and how long they stay with your company. Studies have shown that people who are more knowledgeable about a company are much more satisfied with their job at that company, which can go a long way toward attracting the best people. Here are  few ways to increase transparency.

1. Be honest about what you expect.
For example, do you expect employees to be available after work and on weekends to answer emails? How do managers really feel about people working from home? Do people leave early on Friday or are they putting in longer hours?

This lets people know what it is actually like to work at the company.

2. Be honest about your goals.
Let the job candidate know what the company leadership really wants to accomplish, and how that will play out for its employees.

3. Be honest about the people at the company
What is the company culture like? Be honest about it to the job candidate. Is your crew more traditional and sober minded, or are they more laid back and freewheeling. Let the job candidate meet the people he will be working with so they can interact and ask each other questions.

According to one study, 60 percent of Millennials have left a job after three years because they were not the right fit for the job. A lot of this turnover might have been prevented if the companies were open and honest with these people during the recruiting process.

Being honest with job candidates gives them a better experience with your company during the recruiting process, makes the hiring process more efficient, and helps you and the job candidate in the end make the best, most informed decision about working at your company.

Transparency is important, and we at Winston Resources are open and honest with the companies we work with, constantly focusing on feedback and communication to provide them with the best workers. If your company is looking for qualified, reliable workers, give Winston Resources a call today.

How to Counteract Physical Inactivity

July 28th, 2016

In today’s workplace, many people spend a lot of time sitting and looking at a computer screen. They could be doing this all day. That is a long time to be sitting, and it’s not very good for your health.
Not only that, after we get home from work, we usually just do more sitting.

What can you do about it? New research has discovered an effective antidote to all this sitting and lack of physical activity – one hour of exercise a day can counteract all of the negative health effects of an inactive lifestyle.

And doing this is more important than you may think – statistics show that around the world, about five million people die annually because they don’t get a minimal amount of exercise, which is defined as 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week.

So, if you sit at least eight hours a day, you should try to get at least 60 minutes of exercise daily. This may sound like a lot, but you can make it more manageable by breaking it up into smaller chunks. You don’t have to do it all at once.

For example, if it’s feasible you could walk or take a bicycle to work or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

To see if exercise could reverse the effects of an inactive lifestyle, researchers looked at a number of studies. They divided the subjects of the studies into four groups, depending on how much they exercised. The lowest exercise group exercised less than five minutes a day, while the highest group exercised 60 minutes a day. They found that 60 minutes a day of exercise was enough wipe out the increased risk of early death associated with an inactive lifestyle.

People who are inactive have a 50 percent greater chance of dying early compared to people who are more active, an increased risk that is very similar to smoking and obesity.

Researchers stressed the importance of getting some kind of exercise during the day if you are generally inactive, even if you cannot manage 60 minutes, to reduce the risk of early death.

Just as exercise can help you live longer, contacting Winston Resources can help you find a job that best matches your skills and experience. Give Winston a call today.

Using Psychology at a Job Interview

July 21st, 2016

You want to make the best impression possible at a job interview. That goes without saying. So, you want to make sure you do everything right – arrive on time, dress appropriately, act confidently, watch body language.

These are the standard behaviors to watch. But you can also put psychology to use as well with other behaviors during the interview. Here are some ways.

1. Expansive poses.
Psychological research has shown that your body language influences your own feelings of confidence. If you strike a pose that exudes power, such as lifting your arms above your head, or putting your hands on your hips, it has the effect of making you feel more powerful and more confident, and this shows in your performance.

On the other hand, if you strike a more submissive pose, such as crossing your arms, or hunching over with your head down, this has the effect of making you feel more insecure and uncertain, and this too manifests itself in your performance.

So, to perform better during the interview, you need to strike a pose that shows power and confidence.

2. Smile sparingly
Smiling too often can give the impression that you are not serious enough for the job, especially for a higher level position. So, you should smile, just not too much.

3. Be direct
In other words, rather than trying to impress the hiring manager with some heavy-handed jargon in a long, rambling answer, speak clearly and simply, and try to make your answer as well organized as possible. Psychological research has shown that people who speak clearly and directly and logically tend to do better in interviews than people who try to be technical.

4. Show your passion.
Showing enthusiasm is important. Candidates who show a higher energy level, and greater modulation in their voice – loudness and softness, high and low – have more success than candidates who present a more Stoical demeanor. Those who show less enthusiasm are perceived to be more tense and less confident.

5. A mirror image
Research has also shown that when we mirror the actions of someone, we tend to form more of a bond with them, a feeling of cohesion. This is something you can use to your advantage during an interview if you mirror the actions of the hiring manager.

However, you need to be careful that you do it in a subtle manner and not too much, otherwise the hiring manager may catch on to what you are doing.

At Winston Resources, we know the psychology of putting people to work. We know what employers want and we know how to fit people to the right job. Give Winston a call today.

Should You Include a Salary Range in Job Descriptions?

July 14th, 2016

There are different opinions about the advisability of including a salary range in a job description, or going with something more vague, like “depends on experience.”

But there is mounting evidence to show that including a salary range is actually a good idea, while there is not a lot of support for excluding it. You want to give job seekers enough information so that they can make an informed decision about the job. This is probably one of the most important pieces of information you can put in a job description.

The Argument Against

The argument against posting a salary range is that you are undercutting your bargaining power as an employer. Leaving it for the interview gives the company more control over salary discussion and how they want to present it to job candidates, the argument goes. This is preferable, some say, to simply putting it out there for everyone to see, including employees and competitors.

Reasons to Include It

But the question is, if your salaries are competitive, and equitable among employees, what reason should there be to withhold it in the job description? If anything, posting it probably will only enhance company reputation for being transparent and showing how it values employees.

You would not want to reveal salary range only if you want to try and get away with paying as little as possible to potential employees. But is this really good business practice? If you do not offer competitive salaries, you will not attract good people. It is also more efficient and cost effective for employer and job candidate. This way, the candidate will not have to go through a long application process before finding out that the salary just isn’t what they are looking for, which is a big waste of time for everyone involved.

Moreover, there are now many websites that list salary ranges for various types of jobs, so candidates will already have a good idea of what they should be making in a particular job.

In addition, posting salary ranges produces more responses than withholding it – about 30 percent more.

If you want a position with a good salary, you need to see the people at Winston Resources. Winston will work with you throughout the job search and application process to help you land the job you want. Contact Winston Resources today.

How Standing Increases Productivity

July 7th, 2016

An office innovation that has been gaining some attention is the standing desk. They are supposed to be better for your health, and the research appears to back that up.

Standing desks help you to burn more calories. They also improve a person’s attention and cognitive processes. A new study has shown that they may even have additional benefits – increasing productivity.

The Research

In the study, researchers looked at productivity differences between two groups of call-center employees. The study lasted six months. In one group, employees worked at a desk that could be adjusted, so they could stand or sit depending on how they set up their workstation. The other group of employees worked at traditional desks. The results showed that the adjustable desk group sat for almost two hours less during the day than the other group. The study found that those who worked at the adjustable desks were almost 50 percent more productive than those who sat all day.

Researchers measured productivity by how many calls each worker made during one hour. They also said that the increases in productivity more than offset the greater expense for the standing desk workstations.

Information gathered from the experiment also showed that productivity among the adjustable desk people increased over time. Researchers speculated that work output increased as the workers became more comfortable with their new desks.

Health Benefits

Standing not only increases productivity, but has a positive effect on the health of workers as well. About three-fourths of those working at the standing desks had less body discomfort.

The researchers are not yet sure what may have led to the productivity increase. It may have been the drop in body discomfort or that standing desks may have an effect on cognitive capabilities.

Although the researchers did not use a random sample, they believed the groups were similar enough that the results are valid, showing a correlation between the standing desks and greater productivity.

Moreover, people were assigned to a group, rather than choosing one on their own. This eliminated the possibility that there was some other factor which increased productivity and the likelihood of choosing a standing desk.

Winston Resources is a staffing agency that will stand up for your company when you are looking for employees. And we respond with greater productivity as well, productivity in finding the reliable and qualified workers you need. Give Winston a call today.

Misconceptions About Contingent Workers

June 30th, 2016

Many companies now rely on contingent workers more than ever. And the trend toward using contingent labor is likely to continue.

But these workers are not employees of the companies they work for. They may be employees of a staffing agency or working as a contract employee for a specified period of time. This situation can create some murky waters regarding legal issues.

Discrimination

For example, if a staffing agency has been found to be discriminating against workers, can the company that has a contract with the agency be held liable for discrimination as well? The answer is yes. In one case, a staffing agency used code words to identify people by race and gender. They used the term hockey player for whites, basketball player for African-Americans, and chocolate cupcake for female African-Americans. The code words were attached to applications sent to companies.

The staffing agency received a significant fine for this practice. But the employers, who chose workers using the code words, are also legally implicated and could be sued. The moral of the story here is that companies should not collaborate with staffing agencies to discriminate against workers. Moreover, legal experts say the companies also need to spell out in their contracts that the agency will cover any legal expenses and settlement costs if their discrimination results in a lawsuit.

Benefits

Another misconception about contingent workers is that they cannot qualify for benefits from a company. But this is not always true, and can depend on their agreement with a company and how long they have worked there. Contingent workers also have the same rights as other workers when it comes to wage and hour laws.

Full-Time to Contingent

Many company officials also believe that there is little difficulty in changing someone who is a full-time worker to a contract employee, involving just a simple name change. But there is more to it than that. Simply changing titles or names does not really convert someone into a contract worker if that person is still working under someone at the company and drawing a paycheck from the company.

The Internal Revenue Service may need more proof than that to convince them that the person is indeed a contract worker.

If your company is looking for contingent workers, Winston Resources can help you. With Winston, you can be sure the hiring process is done right, with attention to all legal details. Winston is thorough and efficient. Give us a call today.

How to Handle Job Interview Questions

June 23rd, 2016

There are different opinions about how to handle questions at a job interview. Much of the conventional wisdom is that you should make sure to answer each question thoroughly, giving it the attention it deserves, but that you should avoid lengthy responses. You don’t want to ramble on. You want to answer the question, and when you have done this, stop.

There are certain questions, however, where you should keep your answers short, according to some human resource specialists. That is because the more time you spend answering them, the greater the chance that you will create the wrong impression. Here are the questions.

1. What kind of salary are you looking for?
You can go off the rails pretty quickly with this question if your answer begins to drag out. When the hiring manager asks this question, he is simply attempting to find out if your demands and the company’s budget are in the same ballpark.

So, when you answer the question, simply give them a range between x and y. The range you give, however, should be based on previous research that you have done about what the job pays. You should find out what the industry average is for this type of job and use that as a basis for your salary range.

2. Is there anything you want to know?
Now, you should have questions to ask the hiring manager about the company. It doesn’t look good if you don’t have any. But if your questions become long and detailed, you run the risk of simply frustrating the hiring manager.

And if your questions are long, you also run the risk of revealing information that may not reflect well on you. To keep your questions short, ask about some issue the hiring manager raised during the interview, or some other topic you are curious about. Or ask about plans for a future project.

3. Any regrets about leaving your current position?
Again, if you give a long-winded disquisition about the marvels of your current job, the hiring manager may begin to wonder why you want to leave. Often, this question is simply a way for the hiring manager to wrap things up.

So again, keep it simple. You can say that your current job gave you an opportunity for professional growth, and you will miss the people you work with, but that the challenges of the position of you are applying for are too exciting to pass up.

If you want to get some job interviews, you need to see the people at Winston Resources. Winston has the knowledge and the network to help find the right job for you. We have built a solid reputation for excellence in New York City. Give Winston a call today.

How to Get the Most From Your Work Day

June 16th, 2016

We all want to make our work days as productive as possible. For many people, that simply means putting in more hours. But there comes a point when working longer produces diminishing returns. In fact, there is research showing that the longer we work, the less productive we become.

But there things you can do to get more done without working longer, just working smarter. Here are a few.

1. Prioritize
To get more done, you need to set priorities, and then hold to them. When you get to work at the beginning of the day, write out a list of the things you need to get done, in order of importance. Before you head off to lunch, check your list to see how things are going. Then check your list again at the end of the day to review how things went, what went well, and what you can improve upon.

2. Take breaks that energize
It is important to take breaks throughout the day. But you can get even more out of your breaks if you do the right things. For instance, walking during your break can help you get reenergized. It gets your blood pumping, making you feel better and getting more oxygen to your brain. Drinking water helps as well because it keeps you hydrated.

3. Focus
Concentrate on doing one thing at a time and only one thing until you get it done. That means you need to avoid multitasking as much as possible. Research has shown that multitasking actually hurts more than helps because we can really only focus on one thing at a time.

If you have something big and complicated to do, break it down into smaller parts so you can focus on each part before moving onto the next.

4. Don’t overanalyze
Many times we get in our own way by thinking too much. We think about what could go wrong, what the consequences will be, what problems we might have. Much of this is wasted energy. Often, we just need to get started, dive in and just do it.

5. Stay healthy
If you want to be productive, you need to keep your mind and body in the best shape possible. That means getting a good night’s sleep, exercising regularly and eating right.

If you want to be productive in your job search, Winston Resources can help you get the job you want. Winston is a leading staffing firm in the New York City area, with the resources to help you. Give Winston a call today.

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