Roskam Hiring Event July 27th

ROSKAM HIRING EVENT
Roskam Baking Company will be hosting a hiring event on July 27th, 2022.

[Kentwood, MI:] WSI (Workforce Strategies, Inc.), an award-winning and staffing agency, will be hosting an onsite hiring event at Roskam Baking Company in Kentwood on Wednesday, July 27th from 2-7pm.

WSI is teaming up with Roskam to fill open positions on all shifts. Roskam Baking Company is a family- owned and operated business based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Roskam produces high quality food products including croutons, snacks, seasoning blends, fresh bakery products, candy, frozen foods, and more across six facilities.

“Working at Roskam has allowed me to achieve several of my goals and really helped me focus on building a career and skills I’ve never had.” says a current Roskam employee.

Associates of Roskam enjoy a team-oriented environment, the opportunity to be hired in at 720 hours worked with good attendance and productivity, and a pay rate of $16.00-$18.00 per hour, depending on shift.

“There are great employment opportunities at Roskam. They make some of the most beloved snacks in America.” says Jacob Porath, WSI Grand Rapids Branch Manager. “Roskam has done a terrific job of keeping pay rates competitive in a tight labor market. We’re also excited about the new bonus we’re offering our associates.”

workers prepare packages of croutons

Roskam has recently introduced their all-new retention bonus available to all associates on all shifts. Roskam employees are now eligible to earn a $100 bonus after completing 80 hours on the job.

Highlights:

●  WSI & Roskam Baking Company Hiring Event

●  Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

●  2pm – 7pm

●  Job seekers should bring 2 forms of identification

●  3035 32nd Street SE, Kentwood, MI 49512 – Scan the QR Code for directions to the hiring event.

Media Contact

WSI Marketing

marketing@wsitalent.com

(269) 488-5100

__________________

About WSI

You know how they say actions speak louder than words? WSI is an award-winning staffing and recruiting firm because we understand the power of a positive and fulfilling workplace. We live and breathe it every day, and love helping others experience it too. Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, WSI also has offices in Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Holland, Metro Detroit, and Sturgis, Michigan, and northern Indiana.  Learn more about us at wsitalent.com.

Feeling The Burn(out)

Your efforts to be fully staffed are being fought on two fronts. The first is trying to fill your open positions. The second is keeping the employees you’ve already hired. With nearly everyone short-staffed, chances are your existing staff is working harder and longer to get the job done. Overworked workers are picking up a lot of the slack and they are suffering from burnout.

According to the World Health Organization, burnout is a syndrome resulting from workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Companies without systems to support the well-being of their employees have higher turnover, lower productivity, and higher healthcare costs, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).  Another study by the APA claims that burned-out employees are 2.6 times as likely to be actively seeking a different job, 63% more likely to take a sick day, and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room. These numbers show burnout is a terrible enemy to your success at work. 

A thousand workers were surveyed by Ipsos in early April of 2022 and the studies amplify what many managers already know: this pace of burnout is not sustainable. These charts show what is causing burnout, and what employees think would help alleviate the problem.

Burnout is being felt most by women with 52% reporting feeling burnt out.. Demographically, the highest number of those suffering from burnout remains among young workers where 53% of those aged 18-34 have started to feel the effects of burnout. These employees are prone to leave their jobs in the next 12 months, a 33% increase from August of 2021.

You get it. Everyone’s exhausted from the last couple of years. Their basic needs aren’t being met and they’re losing balance between work and everyday life. So what can you do?  The Ipsos survey asked their respondents “what would help ease your burnout?”

About 70% of those surveyed said that a four-day workweek would help. Flexibility and working from home are also highly sought-after job benefits. Some businesses may be able to offer those to their employees, but many of those benefits would require a logistics reshuffling of epic proportions by most companies. Short of some of these lofty goals, there are a few things you can do right now to try and minimize burnout with your staff.

Extra breaks – Even giving an employee a couple of extra fifteen-minute breaks through the course of a week can go a long way. It shows that you are an empathic employer by giving employees a few extra mental health breaks throughout the week.

Ask the right questions – Start with smaller departments and ask, ‘If I could wave a magic wand and make your jobs easier, what would that look like?” This should help you figure out priorities of what needs to be done first to improve your staff’s workload. Employees shouldn’t be expected to have all the solutions, but they can tell you what is not working, and that can be invaluable. Don’t make assumptions. Have in-person conversations. 

Solving Little Problems – Tiny little things that go wrong at work wear people down. One day, there’s coffee in the break room or the vending machine is full and the next day it is not. Burnout happens when presupposed features in our day-to-day work lives are missing or taken away. Maybe the company has spent money on something the employees didn’t ask for or even use. Employees could view such an action as impractical, a waste of money, and a poor reflection of the organization. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not on a continuum with one increasing as the other diminishes but are instead independent of each other. It’s important to look at each independently and work to keep the little things running smoothly.

Empathy – If an employee is missing quotas, deadlines aren’t being met, seems to be in a bad mood, or starts coming in late–it all may be signs of burnout. Keep in mind that people can have burnout in their private lives as well. That can carry over into work. Don’t assume that there isn’t burnout just because things aren’t busy at work and don’t take it personally that the work environment is leading to burnout. 

Access to Resources – Burnout can cause a lot of health problems, both physical and mental. It’s important to make sure your team is connected to resources. Hopefully, you have wellness programs in place that can help your staff work out burnout issues. You should have a list of external sources that can provide support in mental and physical health. Encourage employees that are feeling burnout to utilize these services.

Take Care of Yourself – If you’re a manager feeling burnout yourself, it can be contagious. Setting a positive example of how to manage burnout can help your team understand how to deal with their own struggles. It’s ok for you to be vulnerable too. Managers are not superhuman. It’s ok to let the team know you feel the same issues as they do.  Take a mental health day and let your team know it. Here’s some advice on how to deal with burnout as a manager. 

The best way to stop burnout is to get in front of it. Implementing some of these action items and tips along with focusing on keeping workloads balanced can minimize the effects of burnout and create a stronger bond with your staff and improve your company culture. 

Best Ways to Earn Extra Cash This Summer

mowing the grass

The upper Midwest can be the last to get the memo for spring. Thankfully, we may have seen the last of the snow and can look towards the best time of the year, summer. But all of those things that make summer fun, like vacations and parties, cost money. If your kids are home from school for the summer, child care costs, as well as extra food costs, can get out of control very quickly as you’re trying to work a 40-hour week. If the warmer months put a strain on your budget, there are a few ways to make some extra cash with side hustles.

If you’re working for WSI, hopefully, you’ve got some extra overtime being offered by your assignment which can be very helpful for both you and your employer. The warmer months are a great time to be outside and to earn a little extra cash to pay off debt, save for a major purchase, or take a relaxing vacation with the family. Here are a few side hustles you can explore, or that may spark your imagination for a whole new way to earn extra cash this summer:

Sports Referee – There are numerous sports and leagues throughout the area who are always on the hunt for umpires and referees. Most will offer free training for soccer, softball, baseball, and more. The best place to check for opportunities is local recreational league social media sites and calling rec league officials. Early spring is a great time to scout for these summer jobs. Many youth softball and baseball games can pay between $25 and $35 per game. It might be a great place to bring your kids out in the evenings to get exercise and play, as many facilities incorporate playground equipment. If you officiated three games a week, that could mean an extra four hundred dollars a month, enough for the family vacation!

Mow Lawns – It’s not the most glamorous gig, but it can be highly profitable as many mowers can earn more than $30 an hour with steady jobs. There will be some investment upfront  on your part. Good lawnmowers that can handle the wear and tear of commercial use could cost several hundred dollars. But that cost could be covered in a week or two with steady clientele. Don’t undercharge for your work! Maintenance, gas, and travel can be expensive costs associated with a lawn mowing business. Yard signs, Facebook, and flyers can be a great way to market to your neighborhood.

House Sitting – Dogs and Amazon deliveries…where would housesitters be without them? Housesitting is a fantastic side hustle as it gives homeowners a great relief to know that their home, mail, plants, and plants and animals are being cared for while they vacation or travel. The best thing you can do is start cheap, and get great reviews. To find clients, you can sign up with sites like HouseSitter.com, HouseSittersAmerica.com, and MindMyHouse.com.

Amazon Delivery – A program called Amazon Flex pays people to deliver Amazon packages. Like most delivery jobs, you can set your own schedule and work as little or as much as you need. You can plan your week by reserving blocks in advance or picking them each day based on your availability. Driver delivery rates range from $18 to $25 an hour. Remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others packages as you would have them do to yours.”

Babysit – The demand for child care never ceases. If you have the ability to work by providing child care for a family, be it in their home or at a daycare or camp, it can be a great way to double your paycheck each week if you can work it on an off-shift  from your regular job. Most babysitters are averaging between $13.50 and $16 an hour. With kids home from school all summer and child care centers struggling to find help, many parents are scrambling to find adults to watch their kids this summer. You may even want to offer a full-day, half-day, or weekend rate for repeat clients. Care.com or sittercity.com are reliable sources to find jobs babysitting.

DeliveryShipt, DoorDash, InstaCart are all shopping and delivery services you can try. If you have a reliable delivery vehicle and a valid license, you’re eligible to deliver groceries and shop for other people’s purchases. The benefits of this are the flexibility and freedom. The downside is gas prices can cut into fees. Plus, these services allow their delivery drivers to be tipped for great customer service.  

Create and Sell Homemade Goods – This one requires some groundwork but pays the most rewards in both personal satisfaction, pride, and extra money. Maybe you’re great with yarn or painting the same thing over and over. Everyone has something they’re passionate about. If you can, or have turned your passion into a tangible item, working a little each day to get a storefront on Shopify or Etsy is a side hustle that will reward you in many ways. You can also use Farmer’s Markets to sell homemade food and craft goods. Here’s some guidance to get started. 

Purge the Clutter – A summer-long project could earn you extra income each week. We’re all hanging onto lots of things we don’t need. Decluttering your garage, home, or yard can open up your space and stuff your wallet. You can sell your stuff both offline and online. Use Facebook marketplace and eBay to sell your items. Learn how here. You can plan several garage sales throughout the summer. You can also resell thrift store items if you’ve got a flashy eye for style or can repurpose items, which could be a great long-term side hustle. 

If you want to lounge away the summer, that is amazing! If you want to use the summer to grab a little extra cash, we hope any or all of these ideas create some motivation for you to earn what you need to have a little summer fun. Either way, enjoy the warmer temperatures coming our way. 

Roskam Hiring Event April 27th

ROSKAM HIRING EVENT
Roskam Baking Company will be hosting a hiring event on April 27th, 2022.

[Kentwood, MI:] WSI (Workforce Strategies, Inc.), an award-winning and staffing agency, will be hosting an onsite hiring event at Roskam Baking Company in Kentwood on Wednesday, April 27th from 2-7pm.

WSI is teaming up with Roskam to fill open positions on all shifts. Roskam Baking Company is a family- owned and operated business based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Roskam produces high quality food products including croutons, snacks, seasoning blends, fresh bakery products, candy, frozen foods, and more across six facilities.

“Working at Roskam has allowed me to achieve several of my goals and really helped me focus on building a career and skills I’ve never had.” says a current Roskam employee.

Associates of Roskam enjoy a team-oriented environment, the opportunity to be hired in at 720 hours worked with good attendance and productivity, and a pay rate of $16.00-$18.00 per hour, depending on shift.

“There are great employment opportunities at Roskam. They make some of the most beloved snacks in America.” says Jacob Porath, WSI Grand Rapids Branch Manager. “Roskam has done a terrific job of keeping pay rates competitive in a tight labor market. We’re also excited about the new bonus we’re offering our associates.”

workers prepare packages of croutons

Roskam has recently introduced their all-new retention bonus available to all associates on all shifts. Roskam employees are now eligible to earn a $100 bonus after completing 80 hours on the job.

Highlights:

●  WSI & Roskam Baking Company Hiring Event

●  Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

●  2pm – 7pm

●  Job seekers should bring 2 forms of identification

●  3035 32nd Street SE, Kentwood, MI 49512 – Scan the QR Code for directions to the hiring event.

Media Contact

WSI Marketing

marketing@wsitalent.com

(269) 488-5100

__________________

About WSI

You know how they say actions speak louder than words? WSI is an award-winning staffing and recruiting firm because we understand the power of a positive and fulfilling workplace. We live and breathe it every day, and love helping others experience it too. Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, WSI also has offices in Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Holland, Metro Detroit, and Sturgis, Michigan, and northern Indiana.  Learn more about us at wsitalent.com.

Building Your Best Resume For The Future

WSI never requires a resume for an application for employment. Our online application process is very simple to use. But, if you’re looking to build a resume to highlight your qualifications and experience to go for that dream job you’ve always wanted, we’ve put together some tips and information to help you navigate through building a resume. A customized up-to-date resume will let potential employers know what you can do specifically for them. The purpose of a well crafted resume is to get the job interview. 

Our internal numbers here at WSI show that about half of our associates have a resume. Of that 50%, our hiring managers report that almost 80% of them are out of date. Again, this doesn’t hinder anyone from getting an interview for a position they’re qualified for. Taking a couple of hours and updating your resume is like having an ace in the hole for when you need it. 

Some people say, “If I’m applying online, I just have to input my resume line-by-line anyway.” Yes, some jobs on Indeed.com will take you to an employer’s website where you’ll have to input all the information by hand. This can be infuriating! Thankfully, WSI’s job page has just five fields, and that’s it.

Other openings could have software that scans your resume and fills in the blanks for you. Then there are jobs where you can attach your resume and write a cover letter and push “APPLY NOW” and that’s the end of it. But what happens to your application after you push send?

Applicant Tracking Software

Writing a good resume means making sure your resume has key words and phrases that you see in the job description. Most employers will use software that sorts and ranks resumes based on qualifications set up by the hiring manager. So, it’s important to make tiny changes to every resume you send to match the job description and requirements. It could be the difference whether or not you’re called for an interview. If there are other candidates who’s keywords are a better match, they will rank higher for the job. Here’s an example of a job opening we have for a position here at WSI, with some keywords highlighted.

Notice how many times “communication” was mentioned? Account Management was also mentioned a couple of times in the job description.  These keywords are the skills and talents the employer is looking for. So customize your resume to work in some words and terms you see in the job description. 

If you want to see how well your resume stacks up against a job description, use this Simulator. It will scan your resume and the job description you copy over and see how well your resume stacks up against the system. 

Best Practices for Creating Resumes

Make sure your headline lets the employer know you meet the requirements of the job description. A summary is how you benefited your previous employer.  For example, if you worked at a restaurant, you might highlight your customer service experience. A solid headline and summary example would be: 

Headline: Customer success professional with 2+ years experience delighting clients in the retail industry.

Summary: Experienced in resolving client concerns via chat, email and phone; routinely recognized by management and peers for assertive and enthusiastic spirit. Excited to continue my career in eCommerce.

Keep your formatting simple. 

Be aware that the software may struggle to read and parse the correct information from your resume and misplace your skills and details that you want to put front and center. Don’t use headers, columns, or footers when you create the document. 

Here’s the rundown for sections on your resume:

  • Name and contact information
  • Summary or objective
  • Professional history (Company name | Dates of tenure |Description of role and achievements)
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)

This template is an example Indeed uses for simple formatting.

Be sure to use simple, professional fonts such as Arial, Calibri or Georgia at a 10–12 point font size. In short, keep formatting simple. Make sure each section is labeled clearly: 

  • Work History
  • Work Experience
  • Experience
  • Professional History
  • Professional Experience

Be Honest With Your Skills, Experience, and Education

Aside from creative job titles, if you mash together job ad keywords and your experience in an attempt to make yourself look more impressive, it could very likely backfire. It’s best to be honest with your skills and not embellish your previous roles. Employers want to see how you contributed to the company. When you write your resume, make every effort to highlight these employer benefits.

HR managers are notoriously detail-oriented creatures who do a lot more background work than they are given credit for. If you say you hold a bachelors degree and you don’t, or were a manager at your last job, and you weren’t…that’s going to raise some serious red flags about who you are as a candidate.

If you were a cashier at your last job, say you were a cashier/customer service specialist. No need to over-fancy a title as an attempt to stand out. Being honest, like in any relationship, is the best foundation for success. 

Finish Your Efforts With a Well-Crafted Cover Letter

Nothing personalizes your resume like a well crafted cover letter. The key to writing effective cover letters is to succinctly communicate how your professional experience fits the needs of the role and culture of the company. A great cover letter shows the employer you are interested in the job. Some studies are showing that the cover letter isn’t necessary anymore. But employers are still looking for it as part of your application package. 

  • Don’t use a generic letter. 
  • Be sure to include the employer’s name, and the position. If you can call to ask who might be in charge of hiring for the position, put their name on the cover letter.
  • Your first paragraph should highlight why you are the specific candidate for the job.

Remember, WSI does not require a resume for application. Even if you’re happy in your current role, it’s always good housekeeping to make sure your resume is up-to-date. You’ll want to make it as readily available as possible if you stumble across that position you’ve always dreamed about. If you don’t have a resume, it’s time to put one together so you don’t miss out on great opportunities. If you don’t have access to a computer to craft a resume, start with your local library. You’ll find many librarians are eager to help you navigate how to use the computer. Below is a list of resources you can use to help you in the process. Good luck out there!

More Resume Building Resources

Indeed Resume Builder

Resume Writing Tips 

Monster.com resume Evaluator

Writing a Great Cover Letter

Top 10 Resume Mistakes

Making Day One The ‘Best Day Ever’

Temporary associates sound off on their job placements and how they are treated differently.

The American Staffing Association says that there are more than 3 million temporary and contract workers working for staffing companies in America during an average week and  17 million during a typical year.

Both sides of the employer-employee relationship can feel trepidation about one another. Both sides go in hoping they are a good fit for one another. The early days of an associates assignment are crucial in reducing your turnover, and engaging them to strive to be hired-in for full time employment. 

Pulling back the curtain here at WSI, some of the common complaints we receive from our associates is that they were treated poorly by supervisors, didn’t feel like they received adequate training, didn’t have a voice in the operations and issues that arose during their shift, or felt like they are treated differently because they are on a temporary assignment.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

How does this negatively impact your business? 

Many associate workers have long felt that they’re treated as second-class citizens in some workplaces. Your business has a responsibility to everyone who comes to work for you each day, whether they are full-time employees or temporary workers. Morale and employee relations problems can arise when you have temps working alongside permanent employees for months, doing the same work and putting in the same hours, but not receiving the same benefits afforded their permanent employee coworkers. Your regular employees might look down on those working as temporary associates as “outsiders,” or simply not talk to them or mix with them at lunch or office functions.

If an associate worker on assignment has negative feelings about their workplace early in their assignment, what are the chances they see the assignment through? How much desire will they have to become a full-time employee in your operation? What are the long-term effects to your culture and reputation when new employees have a negative experience working for you?

Get Into Their Heads-In a Good Way!

The psychological aspect of managing employees is habitually lost on large scale employers. Making an associate feel like part of the team improves their output. Acknowledgement of their issues, ideas, and concerns helps validate them as an employee and makes them feel pride in being a part of your operation.

Easy ways to do this include remembering their name right off the bat, asking top-level questions about the employee (where they grew up, family at home, etc) and what they like. How can you prepare them for a terrific first day? Who’s going to show them around and who are you asking to have lunch with them to make them feel welcome from the start? An associate who feels seen and that their new employer is making a small effort to treat them like the ‘family company’ everyone always boasts about in their job descriptions will make you stand out from this being ‘just another job.’

Keep Them Safe

Studies show that the frequency and severity rates of on-the-job injuries are significantly higher with temporary workers. Never assume an associate is fully prepared to work unsupervised until you have taken the time to see that they can safely perform their work tasks. It’s not just the dangers of the job. Many employees are going to be eager to prove themselves and could open themselves up to injury or harm moving too fast or without caution. With potential legal liability, it is best practice to ensure that all workers undergo a basic orientation safety training as well as issues such as discrimination and harassment.

Show Them the Way

Most of WSI’s clients love to hire hard-working, dependable associates as full-time employees usually well before the minimum hours-worked threshold is even met for the assignment. Supervisors and team leaders can be on the front lines not only to train workers on temporary assignment, but to also motivate and coach them to get to the finish line and become full-time employees.

If a temporary associate can see the way forward, feels that they’re already part of your team, and their concerns and ideas are validated by their supervisors, why would they not give your company their loyalty and best effort? Coach your staff to treat temp workers as equals, and you’ll likely see your requests for temporary assignment workers drop sharply over the long run because you’ve hired them all to your team.

Spotlight on Black Business – Huey D’s Goodies

To honor Black History Month, WSI is shining a spotlight on a locally-owned black business. We’re proud to introduce to you Huey D’s Goodies, led by CEO Demargeo White. From humble roots, Demargeo is working hard to achieve his dream. We had a chance to sit down and ask Demargeo some questions about his start, his cheesecakes, and the struggle the black small business owners face.

How Did Huey D’s Goodies get started and where does the name come from?

What influenced me to start Huey D’s I was in the food industry for ten years working under chefs, and feeling like I wasn’t getting the recognition I deserved. So, when I moved back home from Grand Rapids, I ended up doing my own thing. I started off doing meal prep, desserts, and catering private dinners. But I found myself getting spread real real thin and buying a bunch of stuff I didn’t need. So I sat down with my wife, and said I wanted to do something different. The reason I chose cheesecakes is because I was terrible at it. The name Huey D’s Goodies come from our son, Houston.  Before he was born, my wife named him Houston, and his nickname is Huey, and his middle name is Deandre. I chose ‘Goodies” because I didn’t want to put myself in a box. I’ve been in the food industry for the last twelve years and as the company grows, we’re going to be introducing more products.

You said you were terrible at Cheesecakes at first. Somehow that’s improved because your speciality now are those famous scrumptious cheesecakes. What makes a great cheesecake? 

What makes the perfect cheesecake? It starts with love. If you’re not cooking with love, then why are you cooking? One of my top sellers is Strawberry Crunch, a fan favorite. Cookies and Cream, Turtle… I think the Superman is making its way to the top. You can’t get that flavor here, locally. I did my research and the closest you can get a Superman Cheesecake is Detroit. So, me doing it here, I am saving you two hours drive. You can get it right here in town.

What do you hope people take away from Black History Month?

What I hope people take away from Black History Month is that our black excellence goes beyond slavery and goes beyond Black History Month. No shade to the people who came before us. We had black entrepreneurs to this day who are creating history. We bring more to the table than basketball and hip hop music. Our excellence goes way beyond that.

What are some of the other black-owned businesses in the area people should know about?

Some of the other black-owned businesses here in Kalamazoo? I’m going to be biased, because I’m in the food industry. There’s Pop’s Gut, Twine Urban Winery, Jarell McKinney, he does an awesome seafood boil. One of my associates, Sayber Cloud, she’s from Muskegon. She does meal prep, home-cooked meals for families. There’s a lot of hidden talent here in Kalamazoo if you know about it.

What are some of the struggles of owning a black-owned business that people might now be aware of?

Some of the challenges of being a black business owner: we don’t have access to a lot of resources like funding, grants, mentorship. That’s the area we don’t have access to. I tell people, you have to get out here and network and ask questions to access those resources. That’s the best advice I can give to black entrepreneurs. Network, get out and ask questions.

You’re known for giving back to the community. What are some organizations Huey D’s Goodies partners with?

Some of the organizations Huey D’s work around town like Men of Purpose, which I’m actually a chairman of. We pretty much focus on mentoring young black men in the community to help them from boyhood to adulthood. Another non-profit we work with is Mothers of Hope. Whenever I have goodies to donate, I call up one of the members and ask if they mind taking them.  Also Young Kings and Queens as well. I try to do my best giving back because I want to set an example for the rest of the community. Just because you’re a business owner, in a certain position, you don’t’ ever want to look down on the little people. Never forget where you come from. I always want to give back.

If you could go back to the beginning just a few years back, what advice would you give yourself?

If I could go back in time and give myself advice in the beginning: definitely do your research.  I kind of hopped in head-first. I took off pretty fast and crashed just as fast. As the months went on, I did my research, met with people, networked. I learned a lot along the way. But if I could go back, I’d say research. Look for, try to tap into some grants early on. It took me about a year early on to get my hands on some grants. 

How do people find your delicious cheesecakes?

If you’re looking to order a cheesecake from us, you can find us at our website, https://hueydsgoodies.net/, also on Facebook. The Harding’s on 9th and Stadium in Kalamazoo sells our cheesecakes by the slice. You can download our app and order in the Google Play Store and order within minutes!

Best Tips for Business Donations to Charity

Your business can create a simple act of kindness that benefits the community and helps your brand build goodwill. Corporate philanthropy is the act of a corporation or business promoting the welfare of others, generally through charitable donations of funds or time. Donating to nonprofits helps the charity of course, but the impacts of giving to charity and how it helps your community and your business are invaluable.

Sadly, contributions by U.S. companies fell 6.1% in 2020 to $16.66 Billion (a decline of 7.3% when adjusted for inflation) during the pandemic, while individual donations increased. This is largely blamed on the economics of the pandemic in 2020, as personal savings rates skyrocketed, while corporate profits were down 5.1% in 2020. 

On average, corporations donate less than 1% of their profits to charity. American Express and The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently conducted a study that found small companies donate an average of 6% of their profits each year. American households donated 2-3% of their income to charities over the same period. Many would like to see corporations increase their donations to match what the typical American gives each year.

WHY DOES MY BUSINESS NEED TO STEP UP?

A study from the Chronicle of Philanthropy says declining levels of trust among Americans for most institutions and each other may also contribute to the move away from charitable giving. Most of the distrust lies along the same division lines in American society today. That mistrust is especially pronounced among Gen-Z and millennials, which could cause another layer of challenges for charitable organizations. An example of this would be Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which raised $2 billion in 2020, making it the third most contributed charity in the United States. Yet, only half of what St. Jude raised over the last five years went to research or patient care. Thirty percent went to cover fundraising costs. Allocations like these cast doubt in donors’ minds about the true impact of their gift. 

How much money Americans make also plays into the reduction in charitable donations. Four out of five households with an income of $200,000 or more contributed to a nonprofit. On the opposite end of the spectrum, less than three in five households with an income of $50,000 made a charitable donation in 2020.

In addition to helping fill in the gaps for your local nonprofits, there are other benefits for your business including building goodwill in your local community, improving the morale and company culture of your organization, promoting charities that match your values as a company, and building up your network. 

WHERE DO I START WITH CHARITABLE GIVING?

Volunteer: Instead of a monetary donation, companies can donate their time to a great cause. Volunteer as a company at a soup kitchen, charity run or homeless shelter. With volunteer support initiatives, companies partner their employees with nonprofits to provide specialized support only that company can provide. 

Sponsor a sports team: Youth organizations are always looking for businesses to sponsor their teams. Donate funds towards field upkeep and uniforms. Companies that sponsor teams can have their names displayed on uniforms or field signs.

Launch a charity drive: Start a collection for a particular cause. Your company can collect non-perishable food items for distribution at food banks. Toy drives are popular around the holidays.

Technical Assistance: Do you operate with professionals who could donate their skills and time to help non profit organizations get a leg up on technology, web and IT services, or graphic design. You can’t claim this as a deduction, but it’s an invaluable donation to many groups.

Donate online: Set up automatic donations through virtual giving platforms. Donors that set up some sort of recurring monthly donation give 42% more than one-time givers, claims Nonprofit Source. You could even leave out a collection jar at your place of business and cash in the collected amount to send through an online portal.

Create A Giving Culture: Collective participation in philanthropy engages employees with each other. Companies with engaged employees who enjoy their jobs outperform companies with disengaged workers by up to 202%! You can match employee contributions to their favorite charities. Employee grant stipends are also a way to not only encourage giving, but to create an added benefit to employees and their well being. An example is The Coca-Cola Company, which offers a $20,000 employee matching opportunity, and Walmart, who provides $250 to employees for 25 volunteer hours.

WHAT CAN I DEDUCT?

Studies show that donating to nonprofit organizations just to get a tax break are few and far between. Business deductions for charitable contributions may be limited, and the deductions may only be deductible for the individual owners rather than the business itself. Every business type, with the exception of traditional C corporations, pays taxes as a “pass-through” entity. This means the business’s taxes are passed along to the company’s individual owners.

The IRS website reads, “In general, contributions to charitable organizations may be deducted up to 50% of adjusted gross income computed without regard to net operating loss carrybacks.” New laws now permit C corporations to apply an increased corporate limit of 25% of taxable income for charitable cash contributions made to eligible charities during calendar year 2021. The increased limit is not automatic. C corporations must choose the increased corporate limit on a contribution-by-contribution basis.

It’s important to start by verifying whether you can claim a deduction for a donation to a charity. In order to claim as a deduction, only donations to 501(c)(3) organizations qualify, and a donation to an individual person or any other 501(c) designated non-profit is typically not tax-deductible.

If donating to a new charity this year, be sure to ask to see the business’s letter from the IRS that designates them as a tax-exempt organization. You can also search using the IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check online tool to verify whether the charity is or is not eligible for a deduction.

Don’t make it so that you’re donating to receive a benefit of any type (e.g.. donations to a raffle don’t qualify because you could win a prize in return). As mentioned above, you can’t create a donation based on time and services provided and your meal and entertainment expenses don’t qualify.

You can only deduct mileage if you were not traveling to the destination for any other reason. You cannot deduct your time or the time of your employees who are volunteering for a charitable organization. Gifts and/or donations to political parties, organizations, candidates, or particular individuals, are not recognized as tax-deductible by the IRS.

Do not take this as professional tax advice. It’s not a bad idea to speak with financial experts for advice on how to donate to charity in a way that makes sense for your business.

Everything Great (And Not So Great) About Third Shift

What can you get done while the world is sleeping?

Third shift isn’t for everyone. Even if you are a night owl who thrives on the night shift, it’s not meant to be for life. Most people never think about working the third shift. Seventy-five percent of the world starts their workday between 6am and 10am every day.

For many, it’s just unnatural, sleeping while the world buzzes, and working while the world sleeps. But for millions of Americans, there are quite a few reasons why people choose the graveyard shift: emotional and financial benefits, privacy, less traffic, and more focus just to name a few. But there are also certain health issues you should monitor as you work through the wee hours of the morning. Let’s take a dive into what happens on the graveyard shift.

THIRD SHIFT STATISTICS

An estimated three million Americans now work third shift – between 11 pm and 7 am. An additional four million employees go to work during the evening shift, and even more work floating or erratic schedules that include night work. One in five employees in the U.S. works nonstandard hours, like evening, night, or rotating shifts.

IN DEMAND JOBS

Ziprecruiter says that their number of postings for jobs that require overnight shifts was almost fourteen times higher than was average before the pandemic hit. Clearing the backlog of supply chain issues and meeting growing consumer consumption demand has fueled the need for overnight workers. 

WHO WORKS THIRD SHIFT?

The rate of night work is still highest among blue-collar workers, particularly service workers (including those in security, food services, manufacturing, and cleaning services), with 6.5% of the 11 million service employees working night shifts and 10.8% working evening shifts.

BENEFITS OF THIRD SHIFT

  • A higher salary: Many companies offer shift differential, or more pay, for working hours outside of the first shift. WSI is not an exception, as most of our clients offer $1-2 more per hour to work overnights. It adds up quickly. $16 extra dollars per day over a 52-week calendar year is more than $4000 in extra salary.
  • You can grow your career faster: Most third shifts operate with a smaller staff than the first or second shift. This means you’ll have more opportunities to cross-train on jobs, gain new responsibilities, explore different areas of the business, be exposed to various projects and ultimately make yourself a more well-rounded employee. Overnight employees tend to be less micro-managed as well.
  • A better work-life balance: Working overnights allows you to be able to make those doctor visits or other errands or appointments that can only be done during the hours of 9am to 5pm. It gives some parents who share the load with child-care a chance to sleep while their kids are at school. Many parents are able to put their kids on the bus each morning, sleep during the day, pick up kids and have dinner with them each evening and even tuck them in before heading off to work for the night. 
  • The option to go to school during the day.  This is the ultimate in discipline and time management. Many third-shifters find working overnight and going to school during the day is the perfect way to work their way through college. Third shift allows in-person classroom attendance and a chance to grow your skills or develop them for a new career path. How you get your homework done, we have no idea!
  • Privacy – It’s no surprise that some on the third shift aren’t the biggest fans of other people. You’ll find some who get anxious around large groups of people that typically work the earlier shifts. Working overnight gives you a chance to increase your productivity without stress or distraction. Less people means more focus on the task-at-hand, less meetings, and best of all, a faster commute!

WHY PEOPLE WORK THIRD SHIFT

DANGERS OF WORKING THIRD SHIFT

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. A Circadian disruption, a disturbance of biological timing, is believed to be a cause of many health issues for people who work the third shift for multiple years. 

In a recent National Toxicology Program report, it was concluded that there is “high confidence” that persistent night shift work that results in circadian disruption can cause human cancer. Chronic sleep loss has also been shown to be a contributor of high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

HOW TO SURVIVE THIRD SHIFT

Prioritize Sleep: On average, third shift workers get 45 minutes less sleep than their 1st and 2nd shift peers. Make a focused effort to go to bed at the same time each day and to get a full seven to eight hours of sleep per night  day.

Get Your Family on Board: Make sure members of your family know when you’re sleeping, and when you’re awake. Post a schedule or calendar where they can see it. Make sure you find time each day to share a meal with your family as well, as it will fulfill your emotional needs to have connections.

Maintain a routine: Consistency is key to success working third shift. Rotating between day and night shifts could be problematic for your sleep schedule. You should strive to wake up, leave, work, eat, hit the gym, get home and relax at the same time each day. 

Consistent meal schedule: Take your meals at the same time each day. It’s important to have the energy to get through an unconventional schedule. Avoid the cliché of living off of nicotine and caffeine. Stay hydrated with water, mix in plenty of veggies into your diet, and keep the caffeine and sugar to a manageable level. 

Hit The Gym Everyday: The number one way to manage any stress on your body from the third shift is to work out several days a week. Scheduling some gym or fitness time each day will keep you social, healthy, and trim. Many gyms have classes starting as early as 5 am. Working out after your shift may not seem appealing, but it’s a great way to unwind from the day, release anxiety, and you’ll sleep like a champ.

Third shift can be a lifestyle. The extra pay and daytime availability are terrific perks. Take good care of yourself, maintain a strict regimen, and be pushing to find an exit at some point to avoid sacrificing your health.

What is Antiwork? (and why you need to embrace it)

Tune out the noise and depravity and try to reach those who are making it.

If The Great Resignation gave you heartburn, antiwork may cause a coronary. It doesn’t have a positive ring to it for a reason. Antiwork is a “movement” that has gained momentum in the last several years as a community on the social media platform Reddit. It now boasts 1.7 million followers in its community and was the fastest growing community on Reddit in January 2022.

In short, r/antiwork seems to be against just about everything including getting out of bed in the morning, especially when it comes to having a job. The forum says that work is pointless and humiliating. If you’re an employer, this is a mind-numbing journey down the rabbit hole of madness. But don’t lose sight of the forest in the trees.

Gen-Z and Millennials are consistently blamed for the labor shortage. r/antiwork is also taking its fair share of blame. The community isn’t defined by any political ideology that may exist on Reddit. The founders “simply” argue for a utopian employment system that deprioritizes output and/or production. “Unemployment for all, not just the rich!” That’s the catchphrase of r/antiwork. Sounds fair.

On January 25th, Fox News interviewed the moderator or “mod” of the community, Doreen Ford. It did not go well. It went so poorly, in fact, that the community retreated to a private sub-reddit, and Ford was terminated as moderator of the forum. This may be the smoking gun that proves the community was fan-fiction and under blistering cross-examination, not a serious movement that has any lasting impact.

But, where do the misguided go now?

If you’re unfamiliar with Reddit, it is a network of communities each with their own front pages. Reddit is sometimes referred to as “The Front Page of the Internet” and is the tenth most popular social network. It’s demographics skew young and male. 36% percent of adults 18-29, and 22% of adults 30-49 use Reddit regularly. Just under half have a college degree. Almost all have a high school diploma. They’re venting anonymously against all the forces of life pushing in on them: student debt, housing, wages, inflation. They’re not all lazy, and not against having a job, even if the loudest comments say otherwise. They just want to feel some positive momentum. They’ve seen the rich get richer, while they themselves have not.

You’ve increased wages, reduced overtime, offered more flexibility, and improved your workplace culture since the pandemic took hold. What more can you do? Weirdly, why not embrace r/antiwork…or at least the platform choice of the youth who have recently guided toward their beliefs before they went underground. (again)

Manufacturers should create pathways to tomorrow’s jobs today. Left unabated, the manufacturing skills gap — which is now anticipated to leave 2.1 million jobs unfilled by 2030 — could cost the U.S. economy as much as $1 trillion.

Utilizing Reddit is an opportunity to present yourself to a still impressionable demographic to show them what makes you unique. Find creative ways to show those pathways to success for those who are looking for a way forward after years of frustration treading water personally and professionally. Changing their minds about what it means to work and who you are as an employer may be the only way to save the future. You can start your own Reddit profile. Join communities also known as “subs”. Create an ad campaign (called Promoted Content). Beware though, unlike Facebook or Instagram, non-promoted branded material that feels like a generic advertisement could get downvoted or marked as spam. Here is a great guide to how to develop content on the Reddit platform without pandering to those on the platform. Users will always respect honesty.

Create memorable content to post and advertise to grab their attention. Take time to listen to what they want. Both the antiwork crowd and Employers are going to have to give a little to solve this massive problem of unfilled jobs coming over the next eight years. Manufacturing can help with their incentives and flexibility, and workers can help with willingness to kickstart their output. As a business, the best ways to show this very deliberate demographic that you have a great culture worthy of their time is to celebrate your diversity, your commitments to the community, your commitment to their values, and a digital evolution in your operations that only they can solve. Empowerment comes from the knowledge that we are not victims of circumstance.

The people who are going to fill these jobs are on this platform and you can’t ignore them. There’s just too many of them. Be authoritative—yet gentle, transparent, self-deprecating, unique, funny, and compassionate. Showing this young generation that your business sees them as part of their future, is going to be part of your successful growth. The time to plant the seed is now…even if it is on Reddit.