Blog

5.23.17
Helping Your Transgender Employee Feel Comfortable
  Workplace diversity is a deep commitment at Integrity. As both a staffing industry leader and minority-owned business, we've had a unique opportunity to prove that character values like work ethic and team spirit are what make a successful employee, not vital statistics like ethnicity or gender.   The rights of transgender individuals are gaining broader acceptance in our society (and in the law courts). Smart businesses are keeping pace with steps to ensure that these employees are welcomed and protected from discrimination just like any other minority.   Here are our top tips for making it happen.   Put the policy in writing. You probably have a discrimination policy already, so it's simple to add transgender people to the handbook and sexual harassment training. There should also be procedures established for people already in your employment who decide to transition: leave benefits, name changes, a designated point person to manage the process and so on....
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5.16.17
How to Professionally Critique Your Boss at the Annual Review
  No boss is perfect. But is it a good idea to tell him/her so? After all, you might be setting yourself up for retaliation, or called a complainer. However, there are ways to do it with class and tact. If your supervisor's behavior is hindering productivity, you owe it to yourself, the team and the whole company.   Bring notes. At a time when you're calm and objective., write down the points you want to bring up — and stick to them. Speaking off the top of your head, in the heat of the moment, is more likely to cause hurt and anger than any beneficial behavior change.   Ask if he/she would like feedback. Prepare your boss for the discussion with a polite lead-in. If he/she just doesn't want to hear criticism at all, or will be insulted no matter how nice and positive you try to be, it's better to back off. If you believe the situation is putting the team or company at risk, handle it another way, such as through HR.   Focus on your perceptions. Don't make direct...
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5.09.17
Stay Organized and Take Back Your Life
  How much time do you spend every day hunting for something that's not where you thought you put it, looking at the same paperwork as yesterday, or jumping from one project to another without finishing any of them? This is pure wasted time, and you have better things to do with it.   These tips aren't about getting organized in the first place — setting up tools and systems. You probably have some already, or at least some idea of what you need. It's about actually using your organizers so that they simplify your life as they're supposed to, not just add more clutter.   1. Organize as you go. Take a tip from professional chefs who constantly clean their workstation so that they can maintain maximum speed and efficiency. The instant you're finished using your comb or that client file, put it back in its rightful home. At the end of the day, you'll be free to enjoy your life with no big, messy pile demanding your time and attention.   2. Segregate your activities....
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5.02.17
It's Mental Health Awareness Month — So Let's Talk About It
  It's estimated that one in four people in America has a mental health issue at some time in their lives. Yet, even though it's so common, nobody wants to talk about it — either their own or anyone else's.   That's too bad, because talking can often reduce the fear, shame and anger people might feel towards someone suffering with mental illness, and go a long way towards helping the sufferer feel better too.   Is there someone you need to start a conversation with? Here are some tips.   Plan a good time. Right in the middle of a busy day is not the moment to suddenly say, "I have something important to tell you about myself" or "I've noticed you seem really down/stressed/angry lately." Pick a time when both of you will have at least 30 minutes for uninterrupted talk.   Be prepared for a discouraging reaction. Many people are extremely uncomfortable talking about mental health, or may be in denial about their own situation. They might push you away with, "you're...
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4.26.17
Top Ways to Save Money
    "Pay yourself first." You often hear this advice from personal finance experts, but it's rarely followed. What it means is that before you even think about paying bills or debts, you should put some of your income into savings for long-term goals, such as owning your own home, sending your child to college or enjoying a comfortable retirement.   But that just isn't possible when your entire paycheck is gone almost the minute you get it. So, how can you ever pay yourself first? By plugging up the drains that are putting your money into other people's pockets instead of your savings for a brighter future.   1. Eliminate/avoid high interest debt. This includes credit cards and payday loans, and it's the biggest money suck most of us face. We just don't realize how much it costs us to use those cards; but if your average daily balance is more than, say, $700, you're paying well over $100 per year in interest. Eliminate: Some banks offer 0% APR for a limited time (i.e....
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4.18.17
Go Green for Earth Day 2017
  Earth Day was started in 1970 as a way to make people aware that the environment must be protected if it is to continue providing us with the air, water and food we need to survive. Four-plus decades later, there is still much to be done and opportunities for everyone to help. Check out these activity ideas for April 22 (and all year round):   Join a clean-up party. Many local, state and federal parks, lakes, highways, residential neighborhoods and playgrounds sponsor Earth Day events where volunteers pick up litter, pull weeds and get the public areas ready for a summer of fun.   Ditch the packaging. Plastic and paper bottles, bags, boxes and other packaging add huge volumes of trash to our landfills. Some easy switch-outs include: Bring your own cloth bags to the grocery store. Even better, make your own bags out of old garments or household linens you were going to throw away. Carry your own reusable water bottle (saves money too). Make more meals at home instead...
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4.05.17
Surviving and Thriving on your First Day of Work
Starting a new job is nerve-wracking. You don't know where to go, what to do or who anybody is. We've all been there, and we know how you feel! So here are our top tips for finding your feet fast, and standing out (in a good way).   1. Get there early. The absolute worst impression you can make is to arrive late on your very first day. Show that you're ready and eager to do a good day's work by getting there 10 to 15 minutes before your official start time. You might even do a test run a few days in advance to see how long the commute is likely to take.   2. Learn in advance what you'll do first. If you can walk in the door knowing who you're supposed to meet or what office you should go to, you'll have more confidence. Have your contact's name and phone number on you in case the receptionist has to call him/her to come and get you.   3. Scope out the environment. Knowing your way to the restroom, break room, supervisor's office and other frequent destinations will...
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3.21.17
Time to Spring Clean Your Workspace
You spend a good chunk of your life in this space — you deserve to have it neat, clean and functional. Spring is the time-honored season to spruce up and pare down, so what are you waiting for?   Environmental. Your desk, keyboard, phone and other surfaces are probably a tad grimy and/or germy by now. Clean them with anti-bacterial microfiber cloths, cotton swabs, compressed air can and other tools of your choice. Don't forget the computer air vents, which suck dust inside the electronics and cause a lot of damage.   Material. We bet there's a pretty hefty load of stuff lurking in your work area that you would never miss if it was gone. Weed out the filing cabinet Use that new-found filing space to clear your desk of everything not being used for current projects Scan hand-written notes and store them in the PC or cloud Remove outdated notices from the bulletin board Clear your drawers of excess pens, paper clips, etc.   Digital. Physical clutter kills your...
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3.08.17
Our International Women's Day Honoree: Lady Gaga
Like many people, Lady Gaga was bullied in school. It's what she has done with that pain that has made her so inspiring to millions around the world.   She was called ugly, fat, weird and annoying. Classmates didn't understand why anyone would want to stay home and write music instead of go out and play. Then it got even more serious: when she was 19 she was sexually assaulted.   Those memories still hurt, even now that she's a mega-star. In fact, just two months ago, she revealed that she lives with PTSD as a result of the sexual assault.   Like no other artist, Lady Gaga has channeled her emotions into positive action, in both her music and her social activism. She champions the cause of all victims of human rights abuse, from LGBT teens to bullied children.   She writes songs about being different and the importance of owning it, such as "Born This Way." Her Oscar-nominated "Til It Happens to You" makes you share the pain of being sexually assaulted.   Lady Gaga...
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3.07.17
What Type of Hire Are You?
Those of us in the staffing industry tend to throw around insider terms like "direct hire" and "temp-to-hire." Meanwhile, you're scratching your head, asking what it all means. Here's our handy guide to what type of employee you are.   Temp (temporary). Short-term employment for a specified length of time, usually less than one year. When Integrity hires you as a temporary worker for one of our clients, you are actually employed by Integrity and receive your pay and benefits from us. However, your work hours and duties will be directed by the company where you're assigned.   Temp-to-hire (AKA contract-to-hire). Like a temporary employee, you are hired for a specific period of time while the client company tests you out to see if you'd be a good choice for a full-time employee. During the test period, you remain an Integrity employee. If the client likes you, you will then transition to being their employee.   Direct hire. Sometimes Integrity clients will ask us to help...
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