Blog Posts

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer in Canada

Summer in Canada is too short. At least it feels far too short…

When the mercury rises, so too does the desire for employees to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Staff gaze longingly out the window when there’s not a cloud in the sky and the thermometer is pushing 30C.  Even if it’s not sunny, summer Fridays are a special day.  We all seem to gear down in those summer months probably because of the memory of our school days.
To assist in fighting this natural distraction, many organizations offer summer perks. Employees clearly want flexibility in their schedules, especially during the summer months. In fact, flexible schedules and leaving work early on Fridays are the most coveted summer perks.
For many workers, coming in early and leaving early (or staying late to bank hours) is feasible, but for some it isn’t.  It’s surprising flex time hasn’t caught on to a greater degree than that. After all, flex time costs nothing and the benefits are huge.  Some companies, of course, just give their employees extra time off in these months without having to make the time up.
Giving employees the freedom to shift their start time makes for happy, productive employees. They still get their work done, yet can make it home in time to take their kids to soccer, get a jump on the weekend or more time to run errands.
Organizations and managers in particular, have to abandon the notion that workers have to sit at their chairs for a specific time and under the thumb of supervision in order to be productive. As more companies adopt flexible philosophies – a trend that is only going to gain steam – more organizations will have to jump on the bandwagon.
But merely jumping on the bandwagon isn’t enough. All managers and supervisors need to be trained on the benefits of flex time. Too many organizations that have embraced flex time on a corporate level still face pockets of resistance from managers who don’t buy into the philosophy.
This may not apply to some, as in factory workers.   Machines need to run and the product needs to be made.  For single shift companies they could run for an extra hour a day for each of the 4 days and have a 4 hour shift on the final day or eliminate the final day all together by adding 2 hours a day for the other four.  Multi-shift companies are in a bind. What brings happiness for some doesn’t bring happiness for all as some want the jump in the weekend but others with weekday activities might not get to them if their workday is extended by 1 or 2 hours. There needs to be a vote perhaps and even then it won’t bring happiness to all.  All should remember this is for the two summer months and not the whole year.

Office staff are so much easier to accommodate. There may just be the odd Reception position, which may be the most difficult but automated switchboard has become more popular, thus alleviating the need.

All companies should review their policies and see what they can do.  It will bring so many benefits. More than you know!!

Please remember TPI for your Labour and Office Personnel requirements, whether temporary or permanent.  Also, TPI Driver Services supplies AZ and DZ drivers on a temporary and permanent basis as well.    Call 1-888-650-4TPI (4874) for your closest office in Southern Ontario.

We look forward to working with you!

Friday, January 20, 2012

24/7 Workweek!

No matter what you’re doing, it’s impossible to resist that little ‘ring, ring’ or vibration. Whether you’re in a darkened movie theatre on a Saturday night, enjoying dinner with friends and family or attending your child’s recital, it’s an irresistible siren call.
It becomes a question of when, not if, you’re going to sneak a quick peek at your smartphone to find the source of the vibration. Was it a text from a friend? An email from the boss? The lure is irrefutable.
Most people I know who have a company-issued smart phone like it. But there’s no denying the encroachment on personal time and the importance of work-life balance and the many benefits — for employers and employees alike — of time away from the workplace to relax and recharge.
But smart phones have undoubtedly created a 24-7 workplace, and a backlash against the blurring of work and personal time is gaining traction around the world. Earlier this month, Brazil passed a law stating employees who answer work-related emails on their phones after hours are entitled to overtime. An email to a worker is on par with an order given directly to the employee, according to the Brazilian law.
Stuart Rudner, a partner with Miller Thomson LLP in Toronto, wrote about the risks of Blackberry’s and unpaid overtime.
He warned about organizations handing out Blackberry’s and similar devices “like candy” without thinking about whether employees actually need the device.
“The result is, often, employees feel they are expected to check and respond to emails when off duty. Such time can certainly count as hours of work, and therefore toward entitlement to overtime pay,” wrote Rudner. So what’s the solution in a wired world? How can employers balance the benefits of equipping key staff with smart phones against the risk such devices pose when it comes to unpaid overtime?
One idea that often gets bounced around is to only issue devices to “managers” — who aren’t entitled to overtime in many jurisdictions. But that’s a flawed idea for a couple of reasons. First, many key employees in non-management roles benefit from having a smart phone. And, second, as anyone who reads publications like Canadian Employment Law Today knows, the line between who’s a manager and who’s not can be blurry. Titles are meaningless to courts — it’s the actual work that counts — and many managers spend a good portion of their time doing non-managerial type work.
Plan B might be banning the use of devices after hours. As reported in 2008, Citizenship and Immigration Canada banned its employees from using Blackberry’s between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. That’s a good step, but would such a ban pass the scrutiny of a court? What if an urgent email came in from the boss at 7:30 p.m.? The employee would feel compelled to respond, regardless of the policy. And if the worker’s shift ended at 5 p.m., there’s still a solid two-hour window of trouble lurking.
So what’s plan C? Volkswagen may have come up with the best solution. The German automaker blocks emails from company-issued smart phones 30 minutes after their shift ends and only flips the switch back on 30 minutes before their next shift.
But what if you need to reach that key employee in an emergency? No problem. Every smart phone, believe it or not, also doubles as a telephone.
This article is food for thought and never forget that these thoughts are out there and must be remembered.  Employers sure have lots to think about don’t they?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Let it Snow!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

Many of you employ people and can expect the unexpected at any time of year but especially Christmas. It’s never easy being the boss or hiring people.  Each individual you hire or work with bring their own unique personalities.  If you think you have everything figured out and things are running like a top, get ready.  You never know what lies around the corner. These cartoons bring that message home.

However, at this time of year we hope our relationships at work remain constant through the holidays and that the problem issues wait for the year to end.  Actually, we try and put our issues from work or at home into the New Year and deal with them then if possible. We’re all looking for happiness at this time of year.  Procrastination is OK at Christmas and over the holidays.

We want to spend time with our family and friends at this beautiful and active time of year. 

From All of us as TPI, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Managing and Maintaining your Contract and Temporary Workers

Managing and Maintaining your Contract and Temporary Workers

Many of you have taken on more workers this fall.  These new employees can be temporary or contract workers but also full-time staff.  It’s the time of year when many companies are busier.

If your company hires temporary workers or personnel, you want to keep them and keep them motivated.  Too many companies treat temporary workers as if they don’t really matter and they don’t treat them as they would their regular employees.

Temporary workers need to be treated with respect as we all do.  They need to feel as if they are members of your team as well as the agencies team.  It is not a secret that everyone works harder in a positive working environment. Offer temporary workers the same perks as your regular employees.  Include them in events; get to know them, etc.

Too many times companies try and get the temporary workers for the lowest rate they can.  It’s a false economy.  They need to be paid a similar amount to your regular employees doing the same job. It gives the person a greater sense of self worth.  If you’re looking for production, the right attitude is needed.

You have spent time and money training these temporary workers and again, you want to keep them. Remember high turnover costs you money whether with your full time staff or your temporary workers. You don’t want to have to keep training new people.

In certain areas of your company, temporary workers will make successful full time employees and that is what temporary workers are striving for.

Treat everyone that works at your company the same way you would want to be treated and this will go a long way towards increasing your companies productivity and save you money in both the short term and long term.

TPI has been in the personnel business since 1985 and understand the business of managing and placing people.

Take advantage of our experience.              You won’t regret it!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The busiest time of year!

Here it is, the time of year when business generally moves into it's busiest season.  Holidays are now over and the summer slowdowns are winding down.

Even the most industrious of us have different attitudes in July and August.  Much of the hard work can wait and when September hits, we'll step it back up.  In July and August, most manufacturing facilities have shutdowns during part of these two months.

But here comes September.  Historically it starts in mid August and increases steadily. Businesses generally get busier.

With this increased demand and activity, there is a need for more staff or personnel. In specific areas of the company, students are used extensively.  Generally, these students are used for vacation relief but when August hits, they are used to handle some of the increased volume.  Then they go back to school.

What do companies do?  These students need to be replaced with permanent, contract or temporary workers. This starts a chain reaction in hiring that goes all the way up to the top.  

Companies need more permanent people and they need more temporary workers. This is where TPI comes in.  We're there for both and we get prepared for this time of year.  Workers are needed in the factory, office and on the road.  Call us.  We can partner with you to handle your increased volume. We get to know you and you get to know what we can do. 

Call us today for all your needs! We’ve been successfully satisfying your staffing requirements since 1985.


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