Advice From An Administrative Professional

secretary sits in front of the office with fires and chaos reigning around her

Editors note:  Administrative Professionals Day is celebrated the last Wednesday of the last full week in April. In honor of Administrative Professionals Day on April 24th, today’s blog is guest-written by an administrative professional with 15 years of experience as an office and business manager. WSI celebrates our team of Front Office Administrators and support staff who are the glue to our operations!

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In the intricate web of corporate life—where jargon is tossed around like paper planes—administrative professionals like myself are often seen as the steadfast constants. We’re the silent maestros, orchestrating a symphony of daily operations with the precision of a seasoned conductor. But today, let’s sprinkle in a little sass because, let’s face it, this job has its mix of sugar and spice—and everything panic-induced. Here’s an unfiltered glimpse into why we’re the unsung rockstars of any business operation—with a twist.

Masters of Organization and Last-Minute Panic
First off, organization isn’t just what we do—it’s our superpower. But let me clarify: when I pencil in a meeting, it’s not merely about syncing calendars. It involves cosmic alignments, pacifying time-warping executives, and occasionally, handling the ones who think “RSVP” is merely a suggestion. You wouldn’t believe the hoops I jump through to corral everyone into one virtual space. And just when you think you’ve nailed it, someone bails 20 minutes in because apparently, their cat started a live stream. Yes, that meeting you coordinated after two weeks and a flood of emails. But sure, let’s reschedule for when Mr. “My Time is Precious” can grace us with his presence.

The Communication Lighthouses
We are the communication hubs, the gatekeepers of dialogue, and sometimes, the unofficial diplomats. Juggling calls, emails, and a relentless stream of queries with poise that would put a ballet dancer to shame is part of the job. As Worxbee points out, one of our key contributions is ensuring that every team member is in the loop, transforming chaos into order—one email at a time.

The Real MVPs of Problem-Solving
Think of us as the special ops of the office world. We intercept problems before they explode into crises. Adaptability? Check. Resourcefulness? Double-check. Whether it’s salvaging a critical presentation marred by tech gremlins or orchestrating last-minute miracles for meetings, we handle it all. Our prowess in pivoting and tackling challenges is what keeps the business humming smoothly, even when the unexpected strikes like a rogue coffee spill.

a forty year old administrative professional sits at her desk looking at the camera
Administrative Professionals Day honors the vital support staff who manage office efficiency and workflow.

Custodians of Office Culture and Morale
We don’t just manage schedules and files; we’re the cultivators of workplace culture. As She’s a Given notes, administrative professionals play a pivotal role in fostering team spirit and boosting morale. We’re the masterminds behind the scenes, planning office outings, remembering birthdays, and sometimes, being the bearer of motivational cookies and coffee when the stakes are high.

Guardians of the Galactic… I Mean, Office Supplies
From budget oversight to ensuring the printer isn’t a barren wasteland of empty paper trays, getting breakroom dishes put in the dishwasher, then put away…we do it all. It’s not just about keeping the lights on; it’s about managing resources effectively to ensure our teams can shine without a hitch. As noted by Worxbee, our skillful resource management is essential for preventing operational hiccups and boosting overall efficiency.

So, there you have it. Being the linchpin of the king’s or queen’s court is a role riddled with challenges and victories. It’s about being the dependable force everyone relies on—even if sometimes they forget just how daunting their requests can be. But at the end of the day, the satisfaction of seeing everything (and everyone) come together is truly unparalleled.

We’re more than just the planners or the organizers; we’re the heartbeat of the operation. Recognizing and valuing the role of administrative professionals isn’t just good manners; it’s smart business. After all, without us, the show doesn’t just go on—it doesn’t go on at all. Here’s to the strategic wizards, the unsung heroes, and yes, the sass-masters who keep the wheels turning at our businesses and factories.

Five Red Flags Your Business Presents to Potential Employees:

an animated image of a woman's hand holding aphone. the phone has a dating app. on the screen is a manufacturer holding a fish (a regular theme on dating apps)

If you look around the room at who makes your manufacturing operation or business successful, you’ll know it’s the people who’ve been with the company for years. Retaining key talent year-after-year is crucial for long term success. As a company that conducts a mind-blowing amount of interviews each year, we know that recruitment process offers a unique insight into a company’s ethos and operational efficiency, which can significantly impact a candidate’s decision to join or bypass an opportunity. For manufacturing business owners, HR personnel, and operators, recognizing potential red flags in the hiring process is crucial. 

We’ll outline five major red flags that could deter prospective employees from saying yes to your offer:

1. Lack of Clear Role Definition and Professional Development Opportunities
Candidates seek roles that promise not only immediate responsibilities but also a clear path for growth and development. An inability to outline the specific duties associated with a position or a vague explanation of career advancement opportunities can signal to candidates that the position might lead to a dead-end or that the company lacks a coherent strategy for employee growth.

2. Questionable Company Culture and Leadership
A company’s culture and its leadership are under close scrutiny during the recruitment process. Signs of a toxic work environment, such as badmouthing current or former employees and competitors or displaying a lack of transparency, can raise significant concerns. Moreover, an uncomfortable interview environment or an interviewer’s unpreparedness may reflect broader issues within the company’s culture and leadership, impacting employee satisfaction and retention.

3. Inflexible Negotiation on Job Offers
Flexibility in negotiating job offers, including salary, benefits, and role specifics, indicates a company’s willingness to accommodate and value a candidate’s worth. An employer’s unwillingness to engage in negotiations or altering the role significantly from what was initially advertised can be perceived negatively by candidates, suggesting a lack of respect and appreciation for their skills and contributions.

4. Inadequate Online Presence and Reputation
In the digital age, a company’s online footprint provides valuable insights into its operations, culture, and industry standing. An outdated or absent online presence, coupled with a poor reputation and high staff turnover as evidenced by negative reviews or the frequent reposting of job listings, can deter potential candidates. These factors may indicate that the company is not keeping pace with industry trends or struggling with internal challenges.

5. Neglect of Candidate Experience Throughout the Hiring Process
The overall candidate experience, from initial contact through the interview process to job offer, speaks volumes about a company’s operational efficiency and respect for prospective employees. Red flags such as a lack of communication transparency, prolonged hiring processes without clear timelines, and unprofessional conduct during interviews can significantly impact a candidate’s perception of the company and their willingness to accept an offer.

split image of a factory with a clean and bright happy setting on the left, and a dark, industrial, smoky setting on the right.

Bonus Entry: Disregard for Work-Life Balance and Employee Well-being

A significant red flag for potential employees, especially those under 30,  is a company’s disregard for work-life balance and the overall well-being of its employees. Signs of this include expecting candidates to be available outside of normal working hours, vague or non-existent policies on leave and vacations, and a lack of support for mental health. These indicators can signal to candidates that the company views employees merely as resources rather than as individuals with personal lives and needs. A disregard for work-life balance can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and a high turnover rate, which are detrimental to both employees and the company. Recognizing and addressing candidates’ needs for a healthy work-life balance is essential for attracting and retaining top talent.

Navigating the recruitment process with a keen eye for potential red flags is not just about avoiding pitfalls; it’s about affirming your company’s commitment to excellence, respect, and mutual growth. In today’s competitive job market, especially in industries like manufacturing that are the backbone of Michigan’s economy and beyond, the ability to attract and retain top talent hinges on more than just the promise of a paycheck. It requires a holistic approach that values the individual, fosters a culture of inclusivity and growth, and champions operational integrity.

 

At WSI, we believe that recognizing these red flags is a crucial step in refining your recruitment process, thereby enhancing your company’s appeal to prospective employees. By committing to these principles, you position your business not only as a leader in your industry but also as a beacon of a positive workplace culture. We are dedicated to guiding our partners through the complexities of recruitment and staffing, ensuring that your company doesn’t just fill positions but builds a thriving community of dedicated professionals who share your vision for success and innovation.

Why is American Manufacturing Surging? Unpacking the 2024 Boom

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Discover how U.S. manufacturing’s surprising growth is shaping the future, driving innovation, and setting global economic trends.

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You’re Doing Great! New Report Says Worker Confidence Is Soaring.

three workers in factory gear give a thumbs up in approval

As 2023 wrapped up, American workers started feeling a lot more hopeful about their jobs, marking a big change after a tough year. The latest U.S. Worker Confidence Index (WCI) for the last quarter shows that workers are feeling better than ever, giving us all a reason to be optimistic as we step into Q2 of 2024. Today, we look into why workers are feeling more confident and what it might mean for jobs and the economy moving forward.

The start of 2023 was shaky for many workers across the U.S., with worries about the economy, job security, and other global issues. But by the end of the year, things took a positive turn, and the WCI hit an all-time high. This isn’t just a random good news story—it shows that the economy is getting stronger and the job market is bouncing back.

The WCI measures how workers feel in four key areas: job security, chances of getting a raise, chances of getting promoted, and how much they trust their company’s leaders. The score shot up to 114.9 points, which is really impressive, especially after it was dropping for most of 2023. Workers are now more optimistic about moving up in their careers and believing in their company’s leadership than they’ve been in a while.

Even with the overall positive vibe, not everyone is feeling secure about their jobs. The Job Security Index dipped a little, showing that while some people are feeling more secure, others, especially men and workers in their prime years, are not as confident. This mix of feelings shows that there’s still some work to do to make everyone feel stable in their jobs.

A big highlight from the last quarter is that workers are really optimistic about getting promoted and getting raises. The scores for these areas jumped up a lot, turning around the downward trend from before. This means that more people believe they’ll move up in their careers and get recognized with better pay.

Trust in company leaders also went up, which is great news. When workers believe in their leaders, it makes for a better work environment, especially during uncertain times. Nearly half of the workers now feel good about their company’s leadership, which is a big step forward.

three men in a factory wearing factory gear all stand shoulder to shoulder in approval of their jobs. They seem happy.

The Bigger Economic Picture

The rise in worker confidence comes at a time when the U.S. job market is doing well, and the economy is picking up. The last quarter saw a lot of new jobs, especially in healthcare, hospitality, and government. Despite challenges like higher interest rates and inflation, the strong job market and growing consumer confidence show that the economy is on the right path.

Looking ahead to 2024, there’s a cautious but real sense of optimism. The economy and job market are expected to keep getting stronger, though the pace might slow down a bit. It’s important for companies to keep listening to their workers, especially when it comes to job security and career growth.

Why Worker Confidence Matters

The insights from the WCI are not just numbers; they show us how American workers are feeling overall. High confidence can lead to better work, more creativity, and stronger loyalty to companies. On the flip side, when workers aren’t feeling great, it can hurt productivity and morale. That’s why it’s crucial for companies to keep an eye on how their employees are feeling.

The last quarter of 2023 showed us that despite challenges, American workers are feeling hopeful and confident about the future. This is great news for everyone. For businesses, it’s a reminder of how important it is to create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and supported. Moving into 2024, we’ll all benefit from keeping the momentum going and making sure workers continue to feel confident and satisfied with their jobs.

What is The Worst Way To Celebrate Your Employees?

drone workers stand in a line in an employee breakroom. a dystopian look at the office pizza party

As Employee Appreciation Day on March 1st draws near, it’s a golden opportunity for businesses to pause and reflect on the immense value and contributions of their teams. At WSI, we recognize the critical role employees play in the success of any organization. Therefore, we’re committed to guiding businesses through meaningful ways to show their teams the appreciation they richly deserve. However, it’s equally important to address what not to do when it comes to expressing gratitude. Let’s explore the right—and wrong—ways to celebrate your employees, ensuring your gestures of appreciation are both meaningful and impactful.

The Misstep of Pizza Parties

One common yet misguided attempt at showing employee appreciation is the notorious “pizza party.” While the intention behind offering free pizza as a token of gratitude may initially seem benign, this approach has increasingly come under fire. Criticisms stem from the perception that pizza parties are a superficial and inadequate way to express genuine appreciation or compensation, especially when employees face issues such as overwork, low wages, and stressful work environments.

The backlash against pizza parties is not about the food itself—pizza is universally beloved—but rather what these parties represent: a token gesture that fails to address or acknowledge the deeper needs and contributions of employees. Particularly among young people and online communities, there’s a growing sentiment that such efforts, especially when they involve limiting employees to a single slice or excluding non-management staff, can feel patronizing and dismissive.

Furthermore, while small gestures of appreciation can be meaningful when they genuinely reflect a manager’s limited capacity to enact broader changes, they should not replace substantial forms of recognition such as salary increases, bonuses, or improvements in working conditions. Thus, businesses should strive for more substantive ways of recognizing and rewarding their employees’ hard work and dedication.

 

Building a Culture of Genuine Appreciation

With the pitfalls of pizza parties in mind, let’s pivot towards more effective and heartfelt strategies to show your team they’re valued—not just on Employee Appreciation Day but year-round.

10. Personalized Thank You Notes
A handwritten note acknowledging specific contributions can make employees feel seen and valued.

9. Public Acknowledgment
Recognizing employees’ hard work in front of their peers boosts morale and fosters a sense of community.

8. Professional Development
Offering opportunities for growth shows investment in your team’s future and career progression.

7. Flexible Working Arrangements
Adapting work schedules to fit employees’ lives demonstrates respect for their work-life balance.

6. Engaging Team Building
Choose activities that genuinely bring your team together, fostering stronger connections.

boss in a suit in a factory shakes hands with a young man while his team watches

5. Thoughtful Surprises
Small, unexpected gifts or treats can brighten your team’s day and show your appreciation in a tangible way.

4. Extra Time Off
Time is a precious commodity. Offering additional time off acknowledges your team’s need for rest and rejuvenation.

3. Enhanced Work Environment
Improving the physical workspace or providing better tools shows a commitment to your employees’ comfort and productivity.

2. Recognition Programs
Regularly celebrating achievements through awards or bonuses motivates and honors exceptional work.

1. Open, Genuine Communication
Above all, fostering an environment where feedback is welcomed and valued demonstrates a deep respect for your employees’ voices and contributions.

As we approach Employee Appreciation Day, it’s crucial to remember that the best way to honor your employees is through actions that reflect a sincere appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Avoiding superficial gestures like pizza parties and focusing instead on meaningful recognition strategies can significantly impact your team’s morale, satisfaction, and overall performance. By implementing these practices, you’ll not only make Employee Appreciation Day special but also cultivate a culture of continuous appreciation and respect within your business. Let’s use this occasion as a stepping stone towards building stronger, more motivated teams ready to achieve greatness together.

 

 

WSI Shines Bright with 10-Year Diamond Award for Service Excellence

In an industry where service excellence is paramount, WSI, a leading staffing and recruiting agency, has emerged as a shining example of dedication and commitment to clients. The recent announcement of their win of the Best of Staffing Client 10 Year Diamond Award is not just a milestone; it’s a testament to their unwavering pursuit of excellence. Winners who earned the 10-year Diamond Award distinction have won the Best of Staffing Award for at least 10 years in a row, consistently earning industry-leading satisfaction scores from their clients. Fewer than two percent of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada earn the Best of Staffing designation.

 

The Best of Staffing Client 10 Year Diamond Award is no ordinary accolade. It signifies a decade-long commitment to superior service—a commitment that few agencies can boast. Presented by ClearlyRated in partnership with Gold sponsor ClearEdge Marketing, this award is a recognition based entirely on ratings provided by clients. WSI’s consistent dedication to client satisfaction has elevated them to the upper echelons of the industry.

With satisfaction scores soaring at 89.1% and a remarkable Net Promoter® Score of 87.5%, WSI has set a new standard for excellence, beating the industry average of 36%. These scores not only reflect the quality of service provided but also the trust and confidence clients have in WSI’s ability to deliver results.

Jeff O’Brien, President of WSI, expressed profound gratitude for this achievement, stating, “We are immensely honored and humbled to receive the ClearlyRated 2024 Best of Staffing Client 10-Year Diamond Award. This recognition is a reflection of our team’s relentless dedication to our clients’ success and our unwavering commitment to service excellence.”

WSI’s success is not just about numbers; it’s about the enduring partnerships they have built over the years. By prioritizing client satisfaction and tailoring workforce solutions to meet unique needs, WSI has become more than just a staffing agency; they are trusted advisors and partners in success.

 

jeffobrien_sq
Jeff O'Brien | WSI President

As O’Brien aptly puts it, “We extend our heartfelt appreciation to our clients for their continued trust and support over the past decade. At WSI, we remain committed to exceeding expectations, driving innovation, and delivering value that propels our clients’ businesses forward.”

WSI’s win of the Best of Staffing Client 10 Year Diamond Award is a testament to their unwavering dedication to service excellence and their commitment to exceeding client expectations. With this milestone, WSI continues to set the standard for excellence in the staffing industry, paving the way for more successful partnerships and achievements in the years to come.

About WSI
WSI is a leading provider of workforce solutions, dedicated to connecting top talent with exceptional opportunities across various industries. With a commitment to client satisfaction and service excellence, WSI delivers customized workforce solutions that drive success for businesses and individuals alike. For more information, visit www.wsitalent.com.

About ClearlyRated
Rooted in satisfaction research for professional service firms, ClearlyRated utilizes a Net Promoter® Score survey program to help professional service firms measure their service experience, build online reputation, and differentiate on service quality. Learn more at https://www.clearlyrated.com/solutions/.

About Best of Staffing®
ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing® Award is the only award in the U.S. and Canada that recognizes staffing agencies that have proven superior service quality based entirely on ratings provided by their clients, placed talent, and internal employees. Award winners are showcased by city and area of expertise on ClearlyRated.com—an online business directory that helps buyers of professional services find service leaders and vet prospective firms with the help of validated client ratings and testimonials.

Contact:
Bill Fahl, Marketing Manager
p. (269) 488-5100
bfahl@wsitalent.com

Unlocking Team Unity: How Super Bowl Season Transforms Workplace Dynamics

Discover how the Super Bowl transcends sports, fostering unity and teamwork in the workplace. Dive into its impact on workplace dynamics, and please read in your best Jim Nantz voice.

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Right To Work Falls In Michigan: The First Domino?

The repeal of Michigan’s “right-to-work” law this month marks a significant shift in the state’s labor landscape, representing a major victory for organized labor in a state historically known as a bastion of union activity. This move comes after Democrats regained control of the state government, enabling them to pursue a range of legislative priorities that had been obstructed by the previous Republican majority. The “right-to-work” law, enacted in 2012, allowed workers in unionized workplaces to opt out of paying union dues, a provision criticized by unions for creating “free riders” who benefited from union representation without contributing financially. Its repeal is expected to strengthen unions by requiring all workers in unionized settings to pay dues, thereby enhancing unions’ bargaining power and financial resources.

Right-to-work” laws are state statutes that prohibit agreements between labor unions and employers that make membership or payment of union dues or fees a condition of employment, either before or after hiring. Essentially, these laws allow individuals to work in unionized workplaces without being required to join the union or pay union dues. Proponents of “right-to-work” laws argue that they protect workers’ freedom of association and provide them with a choice about whether to support a union financially. However, critics contend that these laws weaken unions by allowing some employees to benefit from union negotiations and protections without contributing to the costs of union representation, creating a “free-rider” problem. This can lead to reduced funding and bargaining power for unions, potentially impacting their ability to negotiate better wages, benefits, and working conditions for their members. The debate over “right-to-work” laws is deeply intertwined with broader discussions about the role of unions in the workforce, workers’ rights, and the economic impacts of union membership on wages and job growth.

The broader implications of this legislative change extend beyond the immediate financial boost to unions. By restoring the prevailing wage law alongside the “right-to-work” repeal, Michigan signals a commitment to elevating labor standards and ensuring that workers on state projects receive union-level compensation. This aligns with the Democratic leadership’s goals of protecting workers, fostering a strong middle class, and making Michigan an attractive destination for labor.

However, the repeal has sparked concerns among opponents, who argue that it could deter businesses from investing in Michigan, fearing that the state’s labor market may become less competitive due to the perceived increase in labor costs and the potential for forced union membership. This perspective reflects a broader debate over the impact of “right-to-work” laws on economic growth and job creation, with critics pointing to the potential for such policies to contribute to lower wages and weaker labor rights.

The historical context is crucial for understanding the significance of this move. Michigan becomes the first state in nearly six decades to repeal a “right-to-work” law, reversing a trend that saw such laws proliferate across the United States, particularly in the Midwest. The state’s action could inspire similar efforts in other states where Democrats gain legislative control, signaling a potential shift in the national conversation around labor rights and union power.

The controversy surrounding the “right-to-work” law and its repeal underscores the deeply polarized nature of American politics, especially on issues related to labor and economic policy. The inclusion of appropriations in the legislation, effectively making it referendum-proof, highlights the strategic maneuvers both parties employ to advance their agendas and secure legislative achievements against future political reversals.

Looking ahead, the repeal’s long-term effects on Michigan’s economy, labor market, and political landscape remain to be seen. While it undoubtedly strengthens organized labor and aligns with the Democratic Party’s pro-worker stance, the broader economic implications and the response from the business community will play a critical role in shaping Michigan’s future. As other states observe Michigan’s experience, the debate over “right-to-work” laws and their impact on workers, unions, and economies will likely continue to evolve, reflecting the ongoing struggle to balance economic competitiveness with labor rights and protections.

Even The Biggest Jobs Should Be Filled Quickly

Discover how Alabama’s swift replacement of Coach Nick Saban exemplifies the importance of preparedness in business. Learn key strategies for effective talent acquisition and management.

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Housing Crisis: Where Are Your Employees Going to Live?

animated picture of a man and woman in the forest in teh snow living in a tent. they are wearing carhart jackets and in the background is afactory. blue and black tones dipict a cold life for the couple

Generation Z is already giving up on the American Dream, which is increasingly becoming out of reach. How can employers help them?

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