Mindfulness at Work

You may read this title and immediately think of monks or yoga poses, however mindfulness at work doesn’t need to involve either to decrease your stress level!  The main principal of mindfulness is being consciously present, that is being aware of what is going on around you and within you. Tips on exploring mindfulness are abundant and said to increase productivity, decrease stress and help take back control of your emotions. We’ve listed the basics, and our favorites below.

Press Pause

Give yourself time to live in the moment. Pause before heading into the office each morning and regularly throughout the day even if it’s for 4 slow deep breaths. This, along with different types of mindful exercises help rebalance the nervous system and encourage rational decisions over rash reactions.

Aim for Conscious Awareness

Practice being present in what you are doing, while you are doing it. It’s not uncommon to get distracted at work, but when your mind begins to wander, acknowledge it and bring your thoughts back to the project at hand.

Active Listening

Hearing, but not really listening… We’ve all been there! Also coined inactive listening, tends to happen when we are not in the moment, distracted by thoughts outside of the conversation or stressors unrelated to the topic. We often don’t realize this is happening until it’s too late. You’ve been asked a question or it’s your turn to talk and you’re clueless. To dodge these types of awkward scenarios, stay engaged by asking questions, providing feedback or even jotting down notes, if appropriate.

These small changes in mindfulness and therefore attitude can literally add years to your life and improve your productivity and achievements in the workplace.

5 Phrases You May Be Using Incorrectly

It’s no secret that proper grammar should be used in the workplace. Good grammar not only makes you appear more professional, but it also ensures your ideas and messages are conveyed with clarity. Poor grammar can do just the opposite and lead others to make assumptions on your intelligence. A common way business professionals are dropping the grammar ball is with using incorrect idioms and phrases. Here are 5 that even prominent celebs are screwing up.

For all intensive purposes vs. For all intents and purposes

Originating from English law in the early 1500s the correct phrase, “for all intents and purposes” was used to say “officially” or “effectively.”

Shoe-in vs. Shoo-in

Most don’t have a clue they are using this wrong and imagine a shoe crossing the threshold of a door, opening a new opportunity. While the meaning is somewhat accurate the correct phrase is “shoo-in.” Just as you would shoo a bug out of your car window, to shoo means to move something with urgency.

I could care less vs. I couldn’t care less

If you really think this one through you can catch the double negative which has most people saying it wrong. The correct phrase, “I couldn’t care less” says there is no less caring you could possibly do, that is how little you care. Those who say “I could care less” are simply saying its of some importance to them and it is possible for them to care less about it.

Nip in the butt vs. Nip in the bud

A common phrase heard within management when a problem has occurred is, “nip in the bud,” however some have started using “nip in the butt.” While the latter is rather funny, the first is correct. “Nip in the bud” refers to a flower’s bud and cutting the issues straight at the source.

Down the pipe vs. Down the pike

Around here, we ask our clients if there’s any work coming “down the pike” as in turnpike and meaning in the future. This phrase is commonly mistaken for “down the pipe” which is understood given another commonly used phrase, “in the pipeline.”

Incorporating phrases or idioms into your day to day speech may make you feel more polished in the workplace, but you’ll want to make sure you are using them correctly so you’re not the butt of the joke.

31 Ways to Be Ambitious This August

August 1st – “Do something nice for someone.” Not only will it make them feel good, but it will make feel good too!

August 2nd – “Make someone laugh – it’s Friday!” A big stress reliever is laughing and a study shows that people will like you more if you make them laugh.

August 3rd – “Go sit in the sun and absorb some Vitamin D.” Vitamin D promotes bone growth, reduces depression, promotes weight loss, and fights diseases! Why wouldn’t you want to be lounging around in the sun with all those health benefits? But, don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

August 4th – ” Look at yourself in the mirror. Give yourself one compliment.” You can either be your own biggest fan or your own biggest enemy. By complimenting yourself, builds confidence and positivity within yourself.

August 5th – “It’s the first Monday of the month! Dress for success.” Dressing professionally demands respect and it also builds your self-confidence. It’s also fun to know you look great!

August 6th – “Excercise for 30 minutes.” This can be going for a walk during your lunch, going to yoga, and everything in between! Get up and be active – there are so many health benefits to working out.

August 7th – “Call someone close to you – someone you love. Express your gratitude towards them, tell them you love them or thank them for being there for you.”

August 8th – “Write a nice note on someone’s desk.” This brightens up people’s day and freshens up the office environment.

August 9th – “Bring in some treats for the company.” Get your ‘Martha Stewart’ on and bake some cookies, brownies, or cupcakes! Or bring in some yummy carbs and goodies for everyone to chow down on.

August 10th – “Clean up your friends’ list on social media” Still friends with those annoying, popular girls from high school? Just unfollow them – you’ll feel less anxiety logging on without seeing all their posts about “joining their pyramid scheme”.

August 11th – “Wash your car.” There’s nothing better than a squeaky clean ride! Just cross one more thing off of your list.

August 12th – “Meditate ten minutes before coming into work” Get your mind focused and relax before the worries of work sink in.

August 13th – “Schedule a lunch date.”

August 14th – “Organize your desk – sanitize too!” You should be organizing and ridding your desk of germs, at least, once a month. Not only does this help you avoid illnesses, but it also reduces stress by not having to deal with a messy desk. Messy desks make for messy minds!

August 15th – “Go into the office early or stay late.” Think of all the work you can get done by spending a little more time in the office.

August 16th – “Organize your folders on your desktop.” Get rid of folders or documents you don’t need anymore to clear space up on your computer.

August 17th – “Buy yourself something nice – you deserve it!” Everyone deserves a little splurging every now and then.

August 18th – “Make a to-do list for the week.” Reach out to this partner on Monday, clean your bathroom on Tuesday, finish that project by Wednesday… Write down everything you want to get done within the week – personal and professional.

August 19th – “Ask three coworkers about their weekend.” And actually listen.

August 20th – “Learn something new.” Knowledge is power!

August 21st – “Read a career article.”

August 22nd – “Make your bed, you lazy bones!”  Navy Seal William H. McCraven, commander of the forces that led the raid to kill Osama bin Laden, told the 2014 University of Texas graduates, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”

August 23rd – “Introduce yourself to someone new.” The more friends the merrier!

August 24th – “Clean your home.”

August 25th – “Meal prep your lunches for the week.” Start your week off right with healthy lunches!

August 26th – “Turn off your cell phone today.” Don’t let the hundreds of notifications distract you from your work.

August 27th – “Get a full nights rest.” A whole eight hours of sleep? Unheard of! Well, not tonight…

August 28th – “Compliment five coworkers.” Compliments are nice to receive but even better to give. Tell someone how much you love their hair or their outfit! You could turn around someone’s awful day to somewhat bearable.

August 29th – “Help a coworker with one of their projects or responsibilities.” Help out some of your coworkers that are stressing over certain projects, they’ll appreciate it.

August 30th – “High-five 10 coworkers.” August is over, time to celebrate the coming of a brand new month.

August 31st –End the month doing three of your favorite things you did this past month from the list above.” You’re ending the month & starting the new month as productive as ever!

How to Fall Back in Love with Your Job

Throughout the course of our professional career, we fluctuate between loving our job and despising it. When you first start a job, you start a new chapter in your life. You’re financially supporting yourself, you’re starting to make new friends, and you’re working for a company that chose you out of hundreds of people – overall, it’s a fresh feeling. But sometimes these feelings seem to evaporate over time. In fact, every year, 5.6 million people leave their job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Falling out of love with your job happens to millions of people so, in order to overcome this, you should figure out if you want to move on and find new opportunities or learn how to fall back in love with your job. If you choose the latter, here are a few easy ways that can help you:

  1. Rearrange your desk or your office. You’ve been at the same desk for a long time now. Freshen things up by rearranging it or buying new decorations. You spend forty hours a week around the same space, be sure to surround yourself with the things you love. Also, keep it neat and tidy. 
  2. Take more breaks. Walk around your building a few times. Workout during lunch. Taking productive breaks during your day allows your mind to relax. Working out or going for a walk recharges your brain and clears your head.
  3. Read a career book that relates to the industry you work in. This can help you appreciate your line of work and will motivate you to get back in the office and grind. Other people go through the same thing, but they write about it to help you get over it as they did.
  4. Befriend passionate coworkers. It’s easy to be around people that are passionate about what they do, and it helps you to be passionate too!
  5. Celebrate your accomplishments. It’s fun when you do things right and you’re positively impacting the company. So, celebrate when you do things right or when you reach a goal! It will relieve work tension and remind you how good you are at what you do.
  6. Do one nice thing a day in the office. Hold the door open for someone, buy someone lunch, or write positive notes on people’s desks. Simple stuff like this is an easy way to make you feel good.
  7. Try something new. If you feel like you’re doing the same thing repeatedly, maybe it’s time to try other things and learn new things outside your job description. Talk to your manager about whether you can take on new responsibilities to help other teams or departments.
  8. Remind yourself about the way you felt when you got the job. How relieved and excited were you when you got offered the job? When all of a sudden all the applications you sent in and interviews you went on were over and you secured yourself a job. Remind yourself of that feeling you got and put it in your back pocket. Always keep that feeling close.
  9. Think about all the good things about your job. This can be whether your company culture is awesome, you love your job or all of the great friends you’ve made. Just remind yourself of all the good things going for you. Thinking positively impacts you more than you know.
  10. Maybe it’s time to take a vacation. Life is better when you have something to look forward to. Decide to take a vacation or a staycation. Not only will you be excited leading up to the event which will make the days pass by, but your brain can also use the break.

If you’ve tried all these tricks and the feelings still aren’t there, you will know it’s time to move on to other opportunities. Our team of recruiters is here to help! Visit our website for a list of up-to-date job openings to see if one piques your interest.

Questions You Should Be Asking At Every Interview

Asking questions during an interview allows the interviewer to know you are interested in the position and you are serious about the company. You also want to make sure you’re getting every single piece of information about the position and the company before you accept the job. so, which questions should you be asking to give you a good feeling about what this opportunity is all about?

Job Openings Outnumber Unemployed: What Should Companies Do?

The number of job openings has exceeded the number of the unemployed for the second month now, setting it at 7.45 million open jobs to 5.82 million unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the largest margin on record – leaving a gap at 1.63 million – which is why so many employers are having a tough time finding good, quality candidates. While the number of openings in April decreased by 25,000, the number of hires increased by 240,000 and the unemployed fell by 387,000. Employers are eager to fill roles as the week’s pass, so what should they be doing in order to fill their jobs?

One of the most obvious things employers can do is raise wages. Quality candidates know their worth when they come in for interviews, so if you offer them something lower than what they expected, then it probably will not work out.  Raising wages in your company improves the productivity, motivation, and overall morale in your company. In the end, don’t you want employees who want to come in and work hard to make a positive impact on the company?

Another way companies can help with the job openings to unemployment ratio is to be quick when making a hiring decision. Did you know it takes one to three weeks to hear back from a company after you’ve applied? And the job hiring process as a whole? That can take up to twelve weeks; maybe, even more, depending on how many applicants the company receives. Twelve weeks is a long time to wait for one job and, most of the time, candidates are going through more than one interview process. Some ways you can speed up hiring is letting your internal team know what positions are open and see if any of them want to make the switch to a new department. By letting your employees know, they can also dig up some quality candidates of their own through their network. To speed up the hiring process, companies can also be more selective about the candidates they bring in for an interview and reach out to those not chosen so they can move on in their job search. One last thing that will help speed up the hiring process is using a staffing company, like HealthCare Support. Hiring recruiting and staffing firms for your hiring needs may cost money but will save you tons of time because while they are busy finding and screening quality candidates, you and your employees will be doing your own work with the thought that your company is in good hands. If speeding up the hiring process seems like a tough thing to do because of the size of your company, then focus on staying in touch with your candidates every step of the hiring process so they won’t lose interest.

The last thing companies can do is improve their company culture. With millennials becoming the main group in today’s workforce, they are drawn to companies that have an awesome company culture with great perks and benefits. Some of the most common questions millennials ask during an interview are, “what’s the company culture  like” and “do you like working here?” This allows them to get a feel if your employees are happy working for your company. Some of the perks and benefits that candidates are most drawn to are flexible hours, company incentive trips and prizes, unlimited PTO, gym membership discounts, healthcare coverage, working remotely, and food catering. A company’s culture makes a huge impact on one’s decision to work for a company, so in order to fill jobs, have a company culture that stands out from other companies.

With job openings exceeding the unemployed by about one million, now is as good a time as any to start thinking about what changes you can make to reel these unemployed in. Increasing wages, speeding up the hiring process, and improving your company culture are a great place to start.  Partnering with a staffing firm like HealthCare Support who can guide you through the process and provide insight to industry supply and demand, salary averages and speed up new employee onboarding could be just what your company needs.

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Are you Dreaming of a White (and Worry-Free) Christmas?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! People’s cubicles and offices are decorated in all things merry, seasonal candles are being burned, and holiday music is flowing out of speakers. Everyone’s getting antsy and they know it’s almost time to get out of town to be reunited with their families. Some people may have mentally checked out already, these people are part of the Great Christmas “Click Off”. December 16th is the day of the Great Christmas “Click Off”, meaning this day is the point when productivity plummets in the office. Don’t be a part of the “Click Off”, push until the holiday. We even made it easy for you by brainstorming some ways to make sure all your responsibilities are done, and you are worry-free before heading home for holidays!

  • When you know the dates of your vacation, let your manager and coworkers know. Put your hours in early and make sure it’s not around any important deadlines or meetings.
  • There is nothing worse than coming back into the office from a long weekend and having your desk be a mess. Before heading out for the holidays, go through your drawers and organize them. Get some Windex and give your desk a wipe down. If someone needs to find a file in one of your drawers, it will be easy for them to find. Plus, you’ll be all set to grind in the new year!
  • Have two separate to-do lists. One needs to be time-sensitive. These involve things that absolutely must be done before you leave. The other list includes things that aren’t as time sensitive but still need to be done before you go. Also, check your calendar and see if there is anything coming up when you get back from the holidays.
  • Clear your schedule for the last two hours before you leave for the holidays and the first two hours you get back from the holidays. A coworker may have an important, last minute task that you need to attend to or someone might need your undivided attention as soon as you return.
  • Find a coworker to cover for you. Make sure they have everything they need during your time off. Meet with them before you leave and answer any questions they may have. Tell your coworkers and boss this person will be filling in for you while you’re gone. Lastly, bring them back a little something for all they’ve done!
  • People who are out of the office might want to put an automatic email responder. You should include how long you are going to be away from your email for, when and if you’ll ever be checking into your email, and who to contact in case of an emergency. Even add a touch of holiday to them, if you’d like.

Some good examples:

For the Grinches –

Hello,

Thank you for reaching out. Unfortunately, I will be out of the office from December 21st to January 3rd for the holidays. I will be checking my email sporadically throughout the week. If this is an emergency, please contact John Doe at johndoe@company.com.

Wishing you a happy holiday.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

 

For the people with some holiday cheer –

Happy Holidays,

Thanks for your email! You caught me on my holiday vacation in Colorado! I will be out of the office, away in a cabin, with little to no service, making snowmen from December 19th to January 5th. If there is an emergency, contact Bob at bob@company.com. Until then, I’ll see you all in 2019.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

[Your Name]

 

For Buddy the Elves’ –

Ho-Ho-Hello there,

It’s my favorite time of the year! That means I’m at the north pole, helping Santa pack up the last of the gifts! I’ll be up here in the land of the holly and jolly until January 2nd. In the meantime, if you have an emergency you can contact John at john@company.com. I’ll try to check my emails every time Santa gives us a break, most likely every couple of days!

Until then, I hope your stuffing your face with Christmas cookies, making snowmen, and decorating your tree with tons of Christmas Spirit! – Oh, Santa’s looking for me, I got to go finish these dang wooden horses!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night,

Santa’s little helper [Your Name]

Make sure you’re enjoying yourself over the holidays, you deserve it. Recharge and be ready to come back fresh for the new year! And, if you want some more career advice, subscribe to our blog here !

The Impact of Body Language

Something so little as a slouched posture can decide someone’s fate of getting their dream job. But is that how it should be? Most bad body language happens when people are stressed and uncomfortable, and these feelings come out during a job interview. Is it right to base your first impression on someone’s body language during an interview? Most of the time that’s not how the candidates act all the time. So, why is body language so impactful?

Let’s break it down first: What is body language?

Body language, or nonverbal communication, is not about what you’re saying but about how you say it and what your body is doing while talking. Body language is a way to better your conversation by using your facial expressions, hand gesticulation, and posture in your favor.

Some examples of body language:

Eye Contact:

Eye contact is a very controversial thing and a matter of opinion. In some countries, constant eye contact is rude while in in others it shows politeness and good manners. Some may think that too much eye contact is intimidating and consider it staring, which we all know is a very ill-mannered thing to do. Eye contact also exhibits interest, honesty, and confidence.  So how much eye contact is enough and how much is too little? It’s a delicate subject but during an interview, keep enough eye contact and keep it consistent. If you’ve been making great eye contact the entire interview then start blinking or fidgeting with your eyes, that is a sign of nervousness.

Body Posture:

Slouching is never a good thing. Not only is it bad for your back, but it shows a lack of interest and respect for your interviewer. Remain upright and lean forward, this shows that you are engrossed in the conversation. Just like other types of body language, you can overdo it. Don’t get too close, everyone needs their own personal space.

Fidgeting:

Fidgeting is a major sign of nervousness. Whether if it’s picking at your nails, constantly touching your hair, or shaking your legs, the interviewer will get the sign that you’re uncomfortable. So, keep your hands placed on your lap and cross your legs so you don’t get the urge to twitch.

Handshakes:

Have you practiced your handshakes with a friend before your interview? You should. Do you know when a handshake is too much versus when it’s too little? The limp handshake can be just as detrimental as the cutting-off-your-circulation handshake. Have all your items in your left hand so you’re prepared to shake someone’s hand. If you have sweaty palms, go for a subtle wipe of your hand on the side of your pants before shaking so you don’t give a clammy handshake.

Facial Expressions:

Smile! Giving someone a smile puts them at ease and conveys a sense of calm, control and confidence.  Smiling also reveals enthusiasm for the position and the company.

Body language can make or break you during interviews, even if you aren’t a fidgety person in your daily life. There are many ways you can positively express yourself through nonverbal communication, which can bump you up in the position standings. So, keep eye contact, sit up straight, and give them that million-dollar smile!

HealthCare Support Attends CAHP in the Golden State

California Association of Health Plans Annual Conference

October 22-24, 2018

We are excited about our upcoming conference for the California Association of Health Plans (CAHP) in San Diego, California at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. With the attempted changes to the Affordable Care Act in D.C, stakeholders in California are partnering to improve our healthcare system. There has been some debate over whether California should regulate healthcare prices, expand coverage to the remaining uninsured, create a public option, or start using a single payer healthcare system.

While this is happening, CAHP and its affiliates are working to better the existing healthcare system and improve the way consumers work with health plans. The debate to California’s health plans include expanding coverage, providing increased subsidies for those who buy their own insurance, and persuading lawmakers to think about a state level individual mandate.

HealthCare Support’s Business Development Manager, Jay Bridge, will be in attendance and joining over 1,000 health care professionals. At the conference, Jay will be learning how our health plan partners are handling the changes being made to the health care system in California. Fulfilling new staffing needs and expectations will be instrumental to the success of the implementation of new health plan regulations.