The Bullseye - July 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

In This Issue:
How to Create a Positive Work Culture,
Alumni Update,
How to Dress For Work Success,
Congratulations to This Month's Winner,
Family Net Worth Plunges,
Connect with Orion

How to Create a Positive Work Culture

According to The American Time Use Survey, which collects information about the activities people do during the day, the average workday for employed persons is 7.5 hours. That’s almost two thousand hours per year. With that much time spent in the workplace, it is essential that employers know how to create a positive work environment where employees truly enjoy coming to work.

The first thing an employer should do to create a positive workplace is hire intelligently. Investing the time and resources into hiring can make a dramatic impact on an organization. If a “bad seed” is hired, it can affect the entire work dynamic and make for an awful office environment.

After this, employers should work towards creating a trustworthy and open workplace, one where employee input is valued and sought-out and feedback is made into workable solutions. CHG Healthcare Services, one of the top ten companies to work for in America according to CNN Money, is known for their DecisionWise 360-degree assessments where employees are asked to complete engagement surveys, which, according to management, offer some enlightening information.

Ask employees what they like and don’t like about their workplace. What would they change, and how would they go about doing it? Take those suggestions, and map out a plan for implementation. Showing employees that their ideas are valued can go miles for an employer.

Sharing is another way to create a positive work culture. Values, mission, and financial/performance objectives should be shared and known by all employees from the CEO to the mailroom clerk. Sharing makes employees feel part of a whole. They should always know that their job makes a difference to the bottom line.

Finally and perhaps most important to employees is a reward and recognition program. Rewarding an employee through financial and public acknowledgement is key for motivation. Boston Consulting Group takes the second spot on CNN Money’s “Top 100 Companies To Work For”. They pay their employees at the top of the pay scale and reward them for going the extra mile.

If a company has the available funds to support extras, then they should if they want to inspire and motivate employees. Some companies offer health club memberships or onsite workout facilities. They have free health care, intramural sports leagues, coffee shops, lush campuses, spa services, and even bowling alleys! All employers can’t be expected to offer services such as these, but starting small and moving towards these bigger perks can go a long way.

The bottom line is that rewarding, recognizing, and acknowledging employees will aid in the creation of a successful and profitable business. Treating employees as worker bees will produce honey, but it won’t keep them in the hive. With over two thousand hours per year spent at work, there should be a happy place for employees to call home.

Alumni Update

Robb Adams
Field Reimbursement Manager, MedImmune
U.S. Navy, Hospital Corpsman Third Class (1990 – 1994)
U.S. Army, Field Artillery, Captain (1996 – 2002)

A little more than ten years ago, I made the decision to leave military service after serving for ten years on active duty as both a commissioned and non-commissioned officer. It was a very hard decision, as I grew up a military brat, and that life was the only one I had ever known. The decision was difficult, but with the support of my friends, family, and the team at Orion International, the transition was seamless, and I landed a job in the field that I had chosen. I’ve never looked back with any regret on my decision; both to serve and to leave the service.

In the past 10 years I have worked for two companies and have been promoted three times, served in leadership roles, and have seen my salary increase by 163%! I attribute all of these successes to the leadership and discipline that I learned while serving my country. In hindsight, I would not change a thing about my decision to serve as both an Army Officer and Navy Corpsman.

Do you have an update to share with us?  Did you get promoted, have a new addition to your family or any other news you’d like to share?  Click here to tell us about it

How to Dress For Work Success

With hot summer months now upon us and ever-changing definitions of business casual, employees often push the limits of corporate dress code policies. And like it or not, what a person wears does matter. We’d like to think that an employee’s value is measured on their merit and not their blue blazer and skirt that passes the two inch rule, but the hard truth is that what an employee wears to work makes a difference.  After all, how often does a CEO wear flip flops and a Tommy Bahama shirt to work? More often than not, the answer is never.

According to an article, “What Not To Wear To Work This Summer” on by Jenna Goudreau, people are judged at all times by what they are wearing. Jacqui Stafford who is a fashion editor and corporate style consultant states, “At all times, whether you’re the secretary or CEO, people will judge you in nanoseconds by what you’re wearing. I’ve seen smart, talented people passed over for promotions simply because they didn’t dress correctly.”

Company dress codes are designed to project an image to the customers, potential employees, and community. Employers do recognize the need to be comfortable, so many offices allow business casual dress. Unfortunately this is where the lines of what is and is not acceptable are crossed. So, from a professional perspective, here are the general guidelines for most office dress code policies:

1. If it reveals too much, don’t wear it. Too short skirts, low cut blouses, and mid-drift shirts are never acceptable.
2. Keep it neat and clean. Attire should fit properly, be clean and pressed, and not frayed.
3. Do wear khaki and cotton pants similar to Dockers, wool pants, and even dressy capri pants are usually acceptable. Don’t wear exercise attire (sweatpants, yoga pants, etc.), any form of shorts, overalls, leggings, or tight fitting pants.
4. Skirts should split at or below the knee and fit no shorter than two inches above the knee. Mini skirts are out of the question, as are sundresses, beach dresses, strapless dresses, and anything with spaghetti-straps.
5. Shirts should be tasteful. Collar shirts including oxfords and golf-shirts are good options. Most sport and suit jackets work well, as do turtlenecks or cardigan sweaters. Never wear tank tops, midriff tops, halter tops, graphic t-shirts, team-style shirts, sleeveless shirts (i.e. tube-tops), or sweatshirts.
6. Shoes should be loafers, flats, dress heels, deck shoes, and even comfortable walking or athletic shoes (not tennis shoes). Sandals, slippers, and any open toe shoes are not acceptable, especially in a manufacturing workplace. No flip-flops, period.
7. Jewelry, make-up, and perfume/cologne should be kept to a minimum. In fact, it is preferable if no cologne or perfume is worn to the office due to allergies. Body piercings and tattoos should be minimized and/or covered during office hours. Hats and head-coverings are not appropriate for the workplace, unless required for religious purposes or medical reasons.

In conclusion, what an employee wears to work does matter. The way a person looks can affect a person’s ability to get a job, be promoted, and even accepted in the office. A general rule that can be applied is when in doubt, don’t wear it.

Congratulations to This Month's Winner


Marisol won the Job Seeker Referral monthly drawing and is the winner of a $50 gift card.  
Ready for your chance to win a $50 gift card? You’ll receive an entry into our monthly drawings for Client and Job Seeker referrals for each referral that you submit – good luck and thank you for the referral!

Family Net Worth Plunges

Between 2007 and 2010, the average American family’s median net worth nose-dived by almost forty percent, according to a study titled “Survey of Consumer Finances” released by the Federal Reserve. The study is conducted in order to determine details regarding American consumers’ finances, such as savings, income, debt, assets, and investments. It is estimated that nearly eighteen years of savings and investment by families were wiped out by the financial crisis.

The median of families’ net worth was reduced from $126,400 to $42,300 in 2007 and from $77,300 to $29,800 in 201. This is primarily due to the recession, which triggered a sharp decline in housing values. In 2007, the median homeowner had a net worth of $246,000. Three years later, the median homeowner’s net worth dropped to $174,500 – a whopping loss of more than $70,000 on average.

Additionally, income levels also fell by 7.7%, and the amount of Americans who saved money fell from 56.4% to 52%. Lower debt levels have helped keep debt levels down, but the number of Americans who have fallen behind on debt payments grew to 10.8% from 7.1%.

Families in the top 10% of income saw their net worth increase from 2007 to 2010, with median levels rising from $1.17 million to $1.19 million respectively.

Connect with Orion


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