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ALKAR HUMAN RESOURCES

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CONTACT INFO

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Address

3273 Claremont Way
Napa
CA, 94558
United States
Phone
(707) 224-5468
Fax
(707) 224-3897
Primary
Liz Davis

SERVING NAPA, SONOMA AND SOLANO COUNTIES

ALKAR HUMAN RESOURCES offers temporary staffing, direct hire recruitment and temp to hire solutions to meet your human resource needs. Locally owned and operated for over 30 years, ALKAR has build a solid network of relationships in Napa, Sonoma and Solano Counties. With one call to ALKAR HUMAN RESOURCES, we will put this knowlege and experience to work, saving you time and money. All of our services are guaranteed. Our Motto says it best, " One Company... One call... One Solution."

Administrative, Hospitality, Winery and Light Industrial staffing.


Alkar is a Woman Owned Business.

 

PROFIT FROM THE EXPERIENCE


ALKAR prides itself on working with clients to develop their unique organizational needs as well as providing them with the most experienced and tested employees and candidates. You will save time and money when you trust your staffing needs to ALKAR, because with one call, you can go back to doing what you do best: running your business.

Alkar Human Resources offers the following products to meet your needs.

  • Temporary Services
    ALKAR understands your unique needs and provides only pre-qualified employees with a proven track record for your project staffing, seasonal staffing and short or long-term requirements.
  • Direct Hire
    ALKAR will be your source for job candidates, cutting your cost and time by referring only the most qualified candidates for your business.
  • Temp to Hire
    ALKAR offers a flexible solution for you to staff a position for a predetermined conversion period, giving you an incomparable level of control and ability to judge the employee in your actual work setting.

Alkar Human Resources specializes in the following wine industry segments;

  • Winery:Bottling, Cellar, Barrel Room, Lab Tech, Cellar Master, Weighmaster, Quality Control, Shipping/Receiving, Forklift
  • Hospitality: Banquet Server, Tasting Room Attendant, Wine Educator, Guest Relations, Wait Staff, Housekeeping, Food Service
  • Clerical: Accounting/Finance, Human Resources, Office Manager, Call Center, Administrative Assistant, Customer Service
  • Executive Search: Administration, Sales, Marketing, Finance, Operations, Manufacturing, Winery

 


News Archive


6 Steps to Nail Your Next Interview
28 September, 2017

Employers rely on nonverbal cues as much as verbal ones to gauge your intelligence, confidence and power. Shape-up your body language with these six simple steps to nail your next interview.

1. Prepare Yourself

As you prepare for your interview, get yourself in the right mindset. Think about what questions you may be asked and decided on your answers, read over your resume for any last minute edits, and tell yourself how much you deserve this position. Prepare a neat, plain folder with two printed resumes and/or portfolio, you can even bring a blank piece of paper to take notes. Being prepared to display your best manners and professionalism will allow you to demonstrate just how great a candidate you are.

Your confidence exudes through your appearance and attitude. Dress professionally with solid colors in slacks, a dress or knee-length skirt; avoid patterns and loud colors. Use a lint roller before leaving your house, keep one in your car if necessary.

2. First Impressions matter and they start well before the interview.

Before you walk into the building for your appointment, arrange your possessions, double-check your appearance and put on a smile. People who see you when you first arrive (i.e., receptionists or other employees) may be asked for their opinion of you later. If you spend your first few minutes frantically looking through your briefcase or texting on your phone before greeting them, their opinions may leave something to be desired.

Your handshake says a lot about you before you ever speak a word, so make sure it’s as confident as you are. When you do meet your interviewer grip their hand firmly and shake it up and down once. Be sure your nails are trimmed and clean and your palms are not sweaty. Never give a limp handshake, but be sure to not squeeze too hard.

When sitting down, keep your bag and any other items at your feet and place your folder with portfolio on the desk.  Piling your personal items on an interviewer’s desk or in your lap, is poor interview etiquette.

3. Eyes Ahead

Eye contact is important. Avoid staring at the ground or ceiling while they’re talking, since these signals could be taken as disrespectful or disinterested. Don’t glare at the interviewer, or stare at them so intently that they gets uncomfortable. Relax your gaze and look him/her in the eyes as much as naturally possible.

4. Play it Cool

Everyone gets nervous at an interview! When you feel nerves creeping in, control your breathing and listen to your interviewer. The more you pay attention to the moment, the less you will worry about the next question they might ask. The trick is to stay in control of your nerves. Panicked breathing, chewing your nails, or twirling your hair may comfort you during a stressful situation — but these behaviors cannot come out at a job interview. If you’re ever unsure of the atmosphere of the interview, try “mirroring.” This tactic involves making small, subtle reflections of the interviewer’s body language. Copying movements such as the direction they lean in, or smiling while they’re smiling, lets the interviewer know you are attentive and engaged — factors which will work in your favor. But use common sense. If the interviewer is slouching, making wild gestures, or just plain unprofessional, then it’s best to stay away from mirroring and stick to your interview best practices.

5. Posture Pro

Try to sit as upright as possible, or lean in slightly with a straight back. This shows interest without seeming stiff. If you must gesture with your hands, keep them in the area between your belly button and your collar bone. Anything higher or lower seems frenzied and can be a distraction to the interviewer.

Also, be sure not to drape your arms and legs across furniture. Or shrink up to the middle of the chair. Sitting with legs or ankles crossed, back straight, and arms folded in your lap will help you appear confident and well-mannered.

6. Closing Time

Thank your interviewer for his time and be genuine. Ask if there is anything you can read or do to prepare for the position and ask for the job. Shake their hand again, and then leave cool and collected (don’t rush off!). If possible, shake hands with and thank anyone else who was a part of your interview process. This is the last impression you will leave on interviewers, and being genuinely grateful will make you memorable.

Whatever you say to an interviewer, your body will be saying something louder. So be sure that your body talk is confident, expressive, and professional from the moment you arrive.

Click here for more information on Alkar Human Resources. 


Too Much To Do, Not Enough Time
17 July, 2017

One of the biggest frustrations many of us feel is having too much to do, and not feeling like we have enough time to do it. We are overwhelmed.

Of course, having “not enough time” is just a feeling — we all have the same amount of time, but we often fill up the container of our days with too much stuff.

The problem is having too much stuff to fit into a small container (24 hours). If we look at task management and time management as simply a container organization problem, it becomes simpler.

How do we fit all of the stuff we have to do into our small container?

By simplifying.

And letting go.

I promise, with this two-step process, you’ll be able to deal with the problem of “too much to do, not enough time.”

Simplifying Our Tasks

When we realize we’re trying to fit too much stuff (tasks, errands, obligations) into a small container (24 hours), it becomes obvious that we can’t get a bigger container … so we have to get rid of some stuff. It just won’t all fit.

We do that by simplifying what we have to do.

Mindfulness is a helpful too here: pay attention to all the things you do today and tomorrow, and try to notice all the things you’re fitting into the container of your day. What websites are you going to in the morning? In the evening? What games are you playing on your phone? What are you reading? What busywork are you doing? How much time are you spending in email, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram? How much time on blogs, online shopping sites, Youtube? How much TV are you watching? How much time do you spend cleaning, maintaining your personal hygiene, taking care of other people? How much time driving around or commuting? What are you spending the valuable commodity of your attention on?

What you might realize is that you’re fitting a lot of junk into the container. Toss some of that out. Ban yourself from certain sites or apps until you’ve done a few really important tasks.

Notice also that you’re committed to a lot of things. Those commitments are filling up your life. Start getting out of some of them, and saying “no” to new ones.

Now look at your task list: how many of those things can you reasonably do today? I say three.

If you could only do three things today, which would be the most important? If you’ve ever played baseball, and swung a bat, you know that what matters is not so much how hard you swing, but hitting the ball with the sweet spot of the bat. What you need to do with your task list is hit it with the sweet spot of the bat — find the tasks that have the most impact, that matter most to your life. Choose carefully, because you only have so much room in your life.

Now ask yourself this: which task would you do if you could only do one task today? That should be what you put your focus on next. Just that one task. You can’t do your entire list today, and you can’t do your top three tasks right now. So just focus on one important task.

Clear everything else away, and focus on that.

By picking your tasks carefully, you’re taking care with the container of your time. You can pick important tasks or joyful ones, but you’re being conscious about the choices. You’re treating it like the precious gift that it is: limited, valuable, to be filled with the best things, and not overstuffed.

The Art of Letting Go

What about all the other stuff you want to do (or feel you need to do)? What if it doesn’t fit into the container?

This is where the joyful art of letting go becomes useful.

You have too many things to fit into your container, and you’ve decided to only put the important and beautiful things into the container. That means a bunch of things you think you “should” do are not going to fit.

You can get to those later. Or you can not do them. Either way, they won’t fit into today’s container.

This in itself is not a problem, but it only becomes a problem when you are frustrated that you can’t fit it all in. Your frustration comes from an ideal that you should be able to do it all, that you should be able to do everything on your list. Plus more: you want to travel, workout, meditate, learn a new skill, read more, be the perfect spouse (or find a spouse), be the perfect parent/friend/sibling, draw or create music, and so on.

Your ideals don’t match with reality — the reality is that you can’t do this all today, or even this week. You can choose to do some of them, but the others will have to wait, or not get done at all.

Since you can’t get a bigger container, you need to adjust your ideals. The ideal you choose to have can be this: that this moment be exactly as it is. The old ideal is one that you can toss into the ocean, as it was harming you (causing frustration). Let it go with joy and relief.

The new ideal is that this moment is perfect, and it deserves to be in your container.


Job Fair in Napa on March 29th!
17 March, 2017

If you know of anyone that is interested in registering with Alkar send them down! If you are already registered you don't have to attend the open registration, just make sure you're still checking in with us!!
And remember, our referral program pays up to $200.00 per referral, so tell your friends and family.


Guaranteeing Hiring Success
26 December, 2016

Time is the most critical factor in hiring today. Spend too long on your hiring process, and you'll lose top candidates. Spend too little time, and you may make the most costly mistake of all-a bad hire. The secret is to spend enough time, while using the proper tools, to make the right fit between the candidate and the company.

This article highlights the benefits of improving your hiring process, and gives you an assortment of tools to help you make your hiring decisions. Once you've set up a process to recruit, assess, and interview potential job candidates, you can guarantee your hiring success.

Recruiting

In today's tight labor market, just finding the right people to interview can be a major challenge. You should seek every opportunity to locate potential applicants. While print advertising has remained the primary recruiting medium for most organizations, an analysis of costs have led many companies to seek additional methods. The following practices are some of the most popular and effective recruiting methods companies are using today:

  • Recruit applicants even when you're not hiring.
  • Develop a contact database of people you're interested in.
  • Partner with a skilled staffing service to recruit for you.
  • Redesign jobs to take advantage of available talent.
  • Encourage referrals-make your company the best place to work.
  • Use temp-to-hire options with a staffing service to "test out" before you commit to hiring.
  • Go global: can your work be done by someone across town, across the country, or across the world?
  • Use on-line career fairs to gain exposure to more applicants.
  • Post job openings on your company's web site.
  • Fill in with temporary clerical, technical, professional, or executive staff while you look.

Recruiting is a sales job-why would a top quality applicant buy your firm? Once you answer this question, you'll be better prepared to face the challenges involved in finding good candidates.

 

Candidate Assessment

Once you've selected the people you want to interview, the real challenge begins. Interviewing should be thought of as a process. Take your time getting to know the candidate-through screening, interviewing, testing, and reference checking. Your goal is to get an understanding of a person's behavior-and the more chances you have to learn about the person, the more likely you are to get a true sense of their personality, ability, and behavior.

Screening

Once you've found a way to locate applicants, you need to screen resumes to make sure you interview the right candidates for your open positions. How many good people have you passed over because nothing on their resume caught your eye? Unfortunately, the answer is you'll never know-unless you catch them working for your competition because they saw potential where you didn't! Use the following techniques to improve your screening process:

  • Work in teams to gain more insight into a candidate's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Use a resume scoring system to compare candidates.
  • Telephone pre-screen-don't rely solely on resumes.

Interviewing

Dr. Pierre Mornell, author of Hiring Smart, states three basic assumptions about interviewing: 1. Interviews test how well someone interviews; 2. A good con artist can fool you every time; and 3. Interviews in which you induce stress seldom work. Additionally, he offers a few strategies to improve your interviewing technique.

First, he suggests asking a series of initial questions at once, then allowing the candidate to answer them all. The reason is, it forces you to listen, and it relaxes you. Once you know your part is over for a while, you can focus on the candidate's answers more intently. He also suggests you announce when the interview will end-by saying something like, "we've got five more minutes." This usually prompts the candidate to say the most important thing about him or herself-Mornell calls these "last minute revelations."

Finally, Mornell suggests throwing in a curveball at the end of the interview by doing something unexpected. He often walks people to their cars. He observes the make, model, interior, or anything else which shows something about the candidate's personal side. One candidate he did this with had left his wife in the car-for the whole two-hour interview. This action spoke volumes to Mornell, who did not recommend the candidate for a position. The company hired him anyway, only to have to let him go less than a year later because of his poor relationships with female coworkers.


The Blind Spot Preventing You from Finding a Career You Love
21 November, 2016

If you’re like most people, you began attempting to figure out your ideal career direction by first reflecting on who you are and what you want in life. You considered past experiences, took self-assessments, and tried to imagine what new career would be right for you. This is a natural starting place, since any career path needs to relate to the person who is going to be walking it.

Yes, your career should revolve around you, but basing your career choice solely on your personal knowledge and thought processes limits your access to new perspectives and ideas that could just give you the breakthrough “Aha!” that you’ve been wanting. The access point to expanding your horizons is to include other people in your process.

Add these five interpersonal strategies to your wheelhouse, and you’ll move towards a great career fit with more speed and precision than you would on your own.

Interview for information

All the online research in the world can’t tell you what it’s really like to work in an industry. Informational interviews give you a chance to learn from people in the field, as they describe their day to day experiences and give you advice on industry pros and cons and what it takes to succeed. Stories from your interviewee’s work life or those of their colleagues can give you insights into whether an industry is or isn’t for you.

Find hidden gems

One-to-one interviews aren’t the only way that other people can help your career search. A second way people can help is by sharing information on industry resources. While it may seem like Google holds all the answers, there can be resources you don’t even know to search for. Industry-specific job boards, smaller local groups that relate to particular topics, and hidden Facebook groups are all resources that you’ll only discover if you connect with people in the industry and ask them for information.

Build your network

One real downfall of relying on internet research is that you’re only going to see the same information that everyone else sees. To go farther, you need to actually go out and talk to people. Not only can they give you information about resources and industry life, they can introduce you to others who can help you and connect the dots for you. Remember, opportunities always flow through people. The more people you talk to, the more opportunities you’ll find.

Get through the rough spots

Figuring out your career direction can be a challenge, and you can get stuck in parts of the process you didn’t expect and don’t know how to work through. At that point, it’s helpful to reach out to a career coach or a career counselor who specializes in helping people figure out their career direction. Working with this kind of person means that somebody else will be by your side, guiding you through the process, looking over your shoulder, and helping you move forward.

Boost your confidence

Other people can be fabulous resources for information, opportunities and connections, but a less-obvious way they can help your career search is by boosting your confidence. People you connect with will often be encouraging and supportive, giving you momentum into that new career direction you’re thinking about.

As you reach out and connect with people, it’s important to remember that not everyone will be helpful. Be wary of people who have an obvious agenda for your career, or who are perpetually down about everything, including your opportunities. Be careful, but don’t let a few bad apples keep you from enjoying the richness that is available when you get out of your house, away from your computer, and connected with other humans.

The resources are there waiting for you, but you need to be the one to step out and ask for the help you need. When you do that, you will move past the blind spot of isolation and get on your way to figuring out what you want to do with your career.


Creating Championship Teams for Your Business
19 August, 2016

It's game time--for your work team, that is! Your business team faces tough competition every day. As a leader, it's your responsibility to help them win. The best way to ensure their success? Treat your employees like a sports coach treats his players:

  • spend time developing them before they have to perform;
  • make sure they have a solid game plan they can use;
  • manage from the sidelines and let them execute;
  • celebrate wins and learn from losses.

Use these Great Ideas to build a cohesive, productive team that achieves its objectives without micromanagement:

Help them prepare.
Just as a winning team practices regularly to prepare for a big game, you should help your work teams prepare to succeed. The quality of your team's execution will almost always be directly proportionate to the quality of its preparation. So put the hard work in now, to make sure they're ready for any game-time situation:

  • Nurture each individual's role
    Discover and develop the unique talents and strengths of each team member. Help them overcome their shortcomings and grow as professionals.
  • Create a game plan
    Establish clear, agreed-upon objectives, and outline the steps for achieving them.
  • Equip your team to execute
    Supply the resources your team needs to accomplish its goals.
  • Lead them through adversity
    When things get tough, make sure they don't give up. 

Play up each team member's strengths.
Creating a championship team takes more than just hiring the fastest, brightest, most experienced players. You have to understand each employee's unique strengths--and use them to the team's advantage. Just as some athletes have a natural affinity for defending or attacking, some employees are naturally made to support or sell. 

A great team is more than just a collection of great individuals. It leverages each member's natural strengths, so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Actively manage egos. 
Team members should have a healthy sense of self; but if one person's ego gets out of control, it can jeopardize the entire group's success. And although it may be easy to give an egomaniac the boot if he's a slacker, it's much harder to fire him if he's an essential high performer. 

To maintain a balanced team, proactively manage self-centered members. Nip egotistical behaviors--multitasking during team meetings, failing to respond in a timely manner, exhibiting dominant behavior--in the bud. Decide, as a team, how to address counterproductive behaviors--and then follow through.

Create individual and team agreements. 
No matter what responsibilities your team has, members must agree upon who will do what to accomplish their objectives. So ask individuals to openly commit to what they will do. Collectively set rules for how the team will function. Establish guidelines for managing interdependencies. Declaring agreement upfront clarifies employee obligations, fosters collaborative management and lays the groundwork for successful team operation.

Manage from the sidelines. 
As a "coach," you don't actually play the game--that's your team's job. So once you've established clear expectations and guidelines, it's time to let go. Take your hands off the wheel and trust your employees to make good decisions.

To keep from micromanaging your teams, follow these simple rules:

  • Don't try to teach team members while they're executing. Instead, plan the next learning opportunity and make notes for future lessons (kind of like reviewing Sunday's game tape on Monday morning). When mistakes occur, help everyone learn from them.
  • Be a source of guidance, motivation and advice for your employees. Resist the temptation to correct their actions based on how you would've handled a situation.
  • Stay objective when leading your team, especially when strong emotions are involved. If you address a person's actions and behaviors, you set the stage for resolution and collaboration.
  • Find ways to eliminate the obstacles that block successful teamwork. Improve your company's support structure to facilitate execution of your plans.

Recognize and reward team accomplishments.
Make sure you have systems in place to acknowledge successful teams, including taskforces, workgroups and your company as a whole. When the efforts of more than one individual combine to create a successful outcome, mark the occasion in some way. Whether it's a simple "pat on the back" during a meeting, a mention in the company newsletter or a cash bonus, rewarding team accomplishments promotes cohesiveness and paves the way for future success.


HARD WORK VS. TALENT: THE ETERNAL DEBATE
22 June, 2016

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” — Albert Einstein, German-American physicist.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” — Michael Jordan, American pro basketball player.

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” — Stephen King, American writer.

One of the cornerstones of American culture is the concept of human equality: the notion that while some of us may be born into better circumstances than others, we all have equal rights as human beings to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We’ve enshrined that status in the very documents that declare and outline our system of government.

But as equal as we may be in the eyes of the law, it would be a mistake to assume or assert we’re all the same. We all have things that come more easily for us than they do for other people, even the very first time we try them. Like it or not, we can’t doubt the existence of the elusive quality we call talent.

Maybe you find it easy to play the clarinet, or chess makes intuitive sense to you. Dealing with people may be a snap; or perhaps you’ve got an instinctive flair for time-management skills. Talents pop up for everything in every corner of life. You can learn a skill or get better at something, but it appears you either possess a talent, or you don’t, with no in between. Why? Like most of the big “whys” in our world, the answer to that one remains uncertain. There may be a genetic component to it. Many people have a “talent” for rolling their tongues, while others lacking a certain gene can’t roll their tongues at all … no matter how hard they try.

Recently, the New York Times reported that all else being equal, those with innate talents — especially in terms of intelligence — tend to do better in life than their less-talented colleagues. That makes sense … but so do the studies that suggest that in the long run, hard work and constant practice can overcome a lack of natural talent, which can often take people farther and higher than talent alone. Like the nature vs. nurture debate, this one will no doubt drag on for decades before we reach a consensus — if that ever happens at all. It probably won’t, because let’s be blunt here: when it comes to human intellect and behavior, pat answers rarely exist beyond the realm of children’s stories. Perhaps “practice makes perfect” comes closest to reality. Research by psychologist Anders Ericsson (popularized by writer Malcolm Gladwell) estimates it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at anything. This applies most obviously to music and sports, but it also extends to mundane activities like business skills, learning to write well, driving, even housework. We just don’t see these sorts of things celebrated they way we do Yo Ya Ma’s cello playing or Michael Jordan’s basketball skills. For every Mozart who excelled as a child prodigy, we have an Albert Einstein, who did only reasonably well at math in school (the popular misconception that he failed is a myth) but later built himself into the world’s top physicist. Better yet, consider Tiger Woods, who started playing golf at the age of 18 months before going on to become a superstar in the sport starting at age 18. Does Woods have talent? Indubitably. Did almost two decades of constant practice hone his talent to a keen edge? Absolutely. If talent trumped hard work, then would the most famous basketball player in history have started out on his junior varsity high school team? Well, he did. Michael Jordan’s coach didn’t even think he deserved to be in his school’s top-10 players. Jordan undeniably has talent; but combining it with hard work, and pushing himself well beyond the required workouts, got him into the Hall of Fame, not just talent.

When it comes to success, I believe three qualities — hard work, persistence, and desire — hold greater value than sheer talent. Just about anyone of normal intelligence can learn to accomplish any human activity or behavior competently — IF that person practices enough, day in and day out. Sometimes, talent can actually hinder accomplishment. If you tell someone over and over they have a talent for something, they may just decide they don’t have to work hard to succeed. Needless to say, we don’t hear much about those people, do we?

You can make it without innate talent if you work hard — no doubt about it. Conversely, you’re less likely to succeed by depending on talent alone. Those of us who make the big time usually do so because we combine talent with hard work and determination.

The lesson here? Talent does give you an edge — you can’t deny that. But hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

For more from Alkar Human Resources visit our website http://www.1alkar.com/2016/04/19/hard-work-vs-talent-eternal-debate/


Hooray! It's Time for a Disney Giveaway!
10 March, 2016

Place an order by March 31st and be entered to win 2 one-day passes to DISNEYLAND!


It's Our 30th Anniversary, Get 10% Off!
07 October, 2015

It's our 30th anniversary, and you get to benefit from it with this great promo! Let us help you find your next great employee.


6 Effective Ways to Change Your Employees' Behavior
10 August, 2015

Every so often, your employees productivity will wane and they will pick up some bad habits. As a leader, you need to find effective ways to change their behavior. Unfortunately, thats easier said than done."So often the effort produces an opposite result: rupturing the relationship, diminishing job performance, or causing the person to dig in their heels," Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of leadership development consultancy Zenger/Folkman write in Harvard Business Review. Zenger and Folkman decided to find out how good leaders effect change, so they conducted a study of 2,852 employees and their 559 bosses. The results revealed a set of behaviors that "correlate with an exceptional ability to drive change."


Below, check out the six most important methods leaders should adopt if they want to drive change in their employees actions.


1. Inspire, but do not nag.
Its worth noting that one of the least effective behaviors was incessant requests and suggestions. Nagging, the study found, will work against you.The most effective leadership behavior in driving change, rather, is to inspire your employees. You can inspire your employees by working with them at an individual level to find out what their goals and aspirations are. "Inspiring leaders understand the need for making an emotional connection with colleagues. They want to provoke a sense of desire rather than fear," Zenger and Folkman write. "Another approach in many work situations is to make a compelling, rational connection with the individual in which we explain the logic for the change we want them to make."


2. Pinpoint problems.
The second-most effective behavior is the ability to recognize problems in your companys systems and in your employees so you can help drive positive change. As an example, Zenger and Folkman write that when they were working with one company, employees were being recognized for their "heroic crisis management" for helping get products out on time. When a new manager came on board, she found that that the heroic crisis management was in fact a "symptom of a broken process."

3. Aim for a collective bullseye.
Providing clear goals for the entire team will help you guide employees into positive behavior. "Change initiatives work best when everyones sight is fixed on the same goal," Zenger and Folkman write. "Therefore, the most productive discussions about any change being proposed are those that start with the strategy that it serves."


4. Kill sacred cows.Leaders who challenge the companys standard practices are successful at driving change. The forces that hold teams back from effective change are "old practice and policies" even sacred cows," Zenger and Folkman write. "Leaders who excel at driving change will challenge even the rules that seem carved in stone."


5. Instill trust in your judgment.
Making judgment calls after collecting evidence from both sides of an issue is a big part of leadership and driving change. But you need your employees to trust your judgment. Look at Abraham Lincolns team of rivals, for example: the president was constantly exposing himself to opposing views and being challenged. Good leaders "recognize that asking others for advice is evidence of their confidence and strength, not a sign of weakness," the authors say. "Because of their ability to build trust in the decisions they make, their ability to change the organization skyrockets. If others do not trust your judgment it will be difficult to get them to make the changes you want them to make."


6. Be courageous.This may sound like something out of a self-help book, but courage and successful leadership go hand in hand. Everything you will do as a leader requires courage. "Indeed, every initiative you begin as a leader, every new hire you make, every change in process you implement, every new product idea you pursue, every reorganization you implement, every speech you deliver, every conversation in which you give difficult feedback to a colleague, and every investment in a new piece of equipment requires courage," Zenger and Folkman write.

Written by:Will Yakowicz

- See more at: http://www.1alkar.com/2015/07/27/6-effective-ways-change-employees-behavior/#sthash.GH9Lmz8n.dpuf


8 Toxic Employees That Ruin Great Companies
02 July, 2015

Oddly enough, it isn’t the truly terrible employees who cause the real problems. Whether clearly incompetent or unbelievably lazy, they’re easy to spot.

So although it’s never fun to fire anyone, at least you know there’s a problem — and you can quickly let them go and move on.

The real problems are caused by employees who appear to be doing a satisfactory job but meanwhile acts like what a friend once called an “insidious cancer,” slowly destroying other employees’ performance, attitude, and morale — and with it, your business.

Here are eight destructive qualities of employees you absolutely must address — or, worst case, need to let go:

1. They lead the meeting after the meeting.

You have a meeting. Issues are raised. Concerns are shared. Decisions are made. Everyone in attendance fully support those decisions. Things are going to happen.

Then someone holds the “meeting after the meeting.” Now she talks about issues she didn’t share earlier with the group. Now he disagrees with the decisions made.

And sometimes they even say to their teams, “Look, I think this is a terrible idea, but we’ve been told to do it… so I guess we need to give it a shot.”

And now, what was going to happen never will. Waiting until after a meeting to say, “I’m not going to support that,” is like saying, “I’ll agree to anything, but that doesn’t mean I’ll actually do it. I’ll even work against it.”

Those people need to work somewhere else.

2. They say, “That’s not my job.”

The smaller the company, the more important it is that employees can think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done.

Even if that means a manager has to help load a truck or a machinist needs to clean up a solvent spill; or the accounting staff needs to hit the shop floor to help complete a rush order; or a CEO needs to man a customer service line during a product crisis. (You get the idea.)

Any task an employee is asked to do — as long as it isn’t unethical, immoral, or illegal, and as long as it’s a task “below” his or her current position — is a task an employee should be willing to do. (Great employees notice problems and jump in without being asked.)

Saying, “It’s not my job,” says, “I care only about me.” That attitude quickly destroys overall performance because it quickly turns what might have been a cohesive team into a dysfunctional group of individuals.

3. They act as if they’ve already paid their dues.

An employee did great things last year, last month, or even yesterday. You’re appreciative. You’re grateful.

Still, today is a new day. Dues aren’t paid. Dues get paid. The only real measure of any employee’s value is the tangible contribution he or she makes on a daily basis.

Saying, “I’ve paid my dues,” is like saying, “I no longer need to work as hard.” And suddenly, before you know it, other employees start to feel they’ve earned the right to coast, too.

4. They think experience is a tangible commodity.

Experience is definitely important, but experience that doesn’t translate into better skills, better performance, and greater achievement is worthless. Experience that just “is” is a waste.

Example: a colleague once said to younger supervisors, “My role is to be a resource.” Great, but then he sat in his office all day waiting for us to come by so he could dispense his pearls of wisdom. Of course, none of us did stop by — we were all busy thinking, “I respect your experience, but I wish your role was to do your job.”

How many years you’ve put in pales in comparison with how many things you’ve done.

Saying, “I have more experience,” is like saying, “I don’t need to justify my decisions or actions.” Experience (or position) should never win an argument. Wisdom, logic, and judgment should always win — regardless of in whom those qualities are found.

5. They love gossip.

Before a meeting some of us were talking about supervisors in another department when our new boss looked up and said, “Stop. From now on we will never say anything bad about anyone unless they are actually in the room. Period.”

Until then, I never thought of gossip as a part of a company’s culture — gossip just was. We all did it. And it sucked — especially because being the focus of gossip sucked. (And in time I realized people who gossip suck, too.)

If an employee has talked to more than one person about something Martha is doing, wouldn’t everyone be better off if he stepped up and actually talked to Martha about it? And if it’s “not his place” to talk to Martha, it’s definitely not his place to talk about Martha.

Saying, “Did you hear what he did?” is like saying, “I have nothing better to do than talk about other people.”

Not only do employees who create a culture of gossip waste time better spent on productive conversations, but they cause other people to respect their co-workers a little less — and anything that diminishes the dignity or respect of any employee should never be tolerated.

6. They use peer pressure to hold others back.

The new employee works hard. She works long. She’s hitting targets and exceeding expectations. She rocks. And she eventually hears, from a more “experienced” employee, “You’re working too hard and making the rest of us look bad.”

Where comparisons are concerned, a great employee doesn’t compare herself with others — she compares herself with herself. She wants to “win” that comparison by improving and doing better today than she did yesterday.

Poor employees don’t want to do more; they want others to do less. They don’t want to “win.” They just want others to make sure they don’t lose.

Saying, “You’re working too hard” is like saying, “No one should work hard, because I don’t want to work hard.” And pretty soon very few people do — and the ones who keep trying get shunned for a quality you need every employee to possess.

7. They rush to grab the glory.

OK, maybe he did do nearly all the work. Maybe he did overcome almost every obstacle. Maybe, without him, that high-performance team would have been anything but.

But probably not. Nothing important is ever accomplished alone…even if some people love to act like it.

A good employee and good team player shares the glory. He credits others. He praises. He appreciates. He lets others shine. That’s especially true for an employee in a leadership position — he celebrates the accomplishments of others secure in the knowledge that their success reflects well on him, too.

Saying, “I did all the work” or, “It was all my idea” is like saying, “The world revolves around me…and I need everyone to know it.” And even if other people don’t adopt the same philosophy, they resent having to fight for recognition that is rightfully theirs.

8. And they rush to throw others under the bus.

A vendor complains. A customer feels shortchanged. A co-worker gets mad. No matter what has happened, it’s someone else’s fault.

Sometimes, whatever the issue and regardless of who is actually at fault, some people step in and take the hit. They willingly accept the criticism or abuse, because they know they can handle it (and they know that maybe the person actually at fault cannot).

Few acts are more selfless than taking the undeserved hit. And few acts better cement a relationship. Few acts are more selfish than saying, “It wasn’t me…” especially when, at least in part, it was.

Saying, “You’ll have to talk to Martha” is like saying, “We’re not all in this together.” At the best companies, everyone is in it together.

Anyone who isn’t needs to go.

Written By: Jeff Haden

- See more here

 


How to Combat Employee Burnout
28 July, 2014

After completing a bachelor’s degree everyone looks for that perfect job. Sometimes even a little eager to take work home because the position is just that perfect. After a few years constantly staying engaged at work is exhausting. Management positions with emails, phone calls, meetings, small talk at the water cooler… by the end of the day nothing sounds better than sitting at home. Organizations experiencing employee burnout notice higher levels of absenteeism, turnover, conflict, and job ineffectiveness. Ninety-one percent of Millennials don’t see the value of relaxation over work, which can greatly affect performance and burnout rates. Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report revealed that 70 percent of employees are disengaged at work… evidence of burnout in the workplace. It’s hard not to burn out, but there are tricks to staying busy and remain involved at work.

 

1. Know When Enough is Enough

When is enough, enough? Don’t push past it and don’t go too close. Lack of sleep, too much work, hunger, bring on the breaking point. Leave work at work as much as possible to reduce the threat of an impending breaking point.

 

2. Find Harmony

Finding reasons to laugh at work creates harmony behind the desk instead of stress. Laughter can lower blood pressure, heighten the immune system, and relax blood vessels. Relaxed blood vessels means no bulging forehead anger veins, which is a good thing.

 

3. Truly Unwind

When away from work, don’t think about work. Take a Friday off. Take actions to actively unwind. It not only uses up paid vacation, it is good for a healthy mind and a relaxed body. Not using vacation time could be hazardous. Even using breaks at work could help unwind after a long meeting or a strenuous project. Look away from the computer and take a gander outside, which can ease muscle tension (and let’s be honest, it’s nicer to look at).

 

4. Find Happiness

Look for things during the day to smile at, or even chuckle at. It takes just a moment to look at a funny GIF, or listen to a coworker’s horrible joke. But they are always worth it. Take time to find joy in the day. Therese Borchard explains the 8 Pillars of Happiness in the Workplace. They include balance, concentration, compassion, resilience, communication, integrity, meaning, and awareness.

 

5. Make Time for Time

When meetings, soccer games, phone calls, dinner parties, projects, reports, and emails take every moment of the day, it’s time to readjust schedules. Take time at work to have lunch with a coworker instead of eating at a desk. Sometimes scheduling down time is the only way to truly get free time.

 

6. Vacay Away

Everyone loves a good ‘staycation’. To really let loose and forget what’s waiting at work, leave. Change the surroundings. Some companies have taken vacation time to the extreme. Netflix allows unlimited paid vacation as long as employees finish their work. Since most people don’t work at Netflix, plan an “awaycation.” Go somewhere with mountains instead of walls or a spa instead of a desk.

 

7. Be Passionate

Find something to be passionate about. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about work. Find a hobby, or recover an old hobby. It provides activity at the end of the day instead of zoning out to the television; and it’s just as relaxing.

 

8. Exercise

Studies show exercise reduces stress levels, lowers blood pressure, and releases endorphins (the happy chemical). Companies like Nike and Centro have exercise rooms onsite, allowing employees to workout over lunch or break. Offer fitness classes in a conference room or gym memberships to employees.

 

Relax. Breath. Use these steps to stay engaged at work and away from work. It’s amazing what a good run, short vacation, or a new hobby can do for the spirit. Share these tips with employees. They will be happier, more engaged, and more productive. Management will be happy with the productivity of its employees.

 

Written by: Maren Hogan

 

 


How To Hire Team Players
07 May, 2014

A Leadership IQ study shows that one of the main reasons that new hires fail is not down to technical incompetency, which accounts for just 11 percent of failures, but due to a failure in attitude, which actually accounts for 89 percent of failures. What was interesting was that nearly half of the failings were linked to a lack of teamwork; that is 26 percent of new hires failed due to not being able to accept and implement feedback from bosses, colleagues, customers and other team members. And 23 percent of workers’ failures related to a failure to manage one’s own emotions accurately and those of others.

 

Teamwork is proven to be a far more important selection factor than technical skills, and hiring processes that are too technically focused, while sacrificing a teamwork assessment focus, are unlikely to correctly separate star performers from the mediocre. I think that assessment processes should incorporate a huge team-working assessment element, and below I have described how to do this.

 

Interview in a team setting

Team exercises, such as those seen in assessment centers, are a great way to assess team working, but they are not an option for many small businesses. So, why not conduct interviews in a relaxed team setting with perhaps four to five individuals, including peers and superiors, to see how candidates respond in a team setting?

 

Candidates with good collaborative and interpersonal skills should excel in this kind of environment. Great team players will be able to build a fast and strong rapport with all members of the group, and will be comfortable disagreeing with certain suggestions or raising potentially controversial questions without antagonizing members. They’ll also be comfortable with expressing their opinions and will be able to do so in an appropriate way.

 

Another behavior that you are likely to observe in great team players is an ability to work well with peers, subordinates and senior staff. So, try and have a diverse interview team in terms of grade so you can observe the individual’s ability to collaborate effectively at all levels of the hierarchy. Great team members will be able to develop a good rapport at all levels of the hierarchy.

 

You might also want to bring in a representative from outside the immediate team in which the candidate would be working. Perhaps you could include a representative from an internal customer or department that the job incumbent’s team work closely with. This enables you to observe how well they can build a rapport with looser connections/weaker ties and avoid developing a silo mentality with the close, stronger ties in their team.

 

At some point in the interview (perhaps at 2nd interview stage), you might want to do an office tour so you can see them collaborating with team members in the actual team environment of your office. True team players and workers will excel in this kind of team interviewing environment as it will give them the opportunity to display their social team-working skills and mentality.

 

Questions

You can and should ask some questions around team working but observing team working in an assessment center styled format is generally considered to be the most reliable form of assessment, and I think actually observing their teamwork in action is the best way to assess their team-working skills. You can supplement this observational assessment of team-working skills with some additional probing questions, such as:

 

  1. Can you be a good team player and disagree with your manager?
  2. What questions spring to mind a few minutes prior to your first meeting with a new project team?
  3. What do you do if you disagree with the direction the team is taking on solving a problem?

But, I believe that the most reliable way to assess team-working skills is to observe them interacting in a team setting as I have shown earlier in the article. Good luck with your next hire.

 

KAZIM LADIMEJI

 


Harvest Time in Wine Country is Coming Soon!
19 August, 2011

Alkar Human Resources is ready to assist you in staffing for all your crush-related needs.  From cellar workers to weighmasters and all production jobs in between, we have qualified employees ready to meet your needs during the harvest season.  Alkar Human Resources opened its winery division in 1992 and we now serve hundreds of wineries throughout Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties.


The Benefits of Hiring Temporary Workers

Much like online dating sites, temporary workers can’t seem to shake being the target of unflattering stereotypes. But if you know anyone who’s ever found their true heart’s desire through (or at least gotten a few decent dinners out of) online dating, you know better than to let negative stereotypes get in the way of what for many is a great experience.

Companies are often hesitant to hire temporary workers for fear these workers will turn out to be lazy, unproductive, and unqualified or unskilled. What employers need to realize is that today’s temporary workers are actually highly qualified, skilled individuals who have a strong work ethic and take pride in their work.

Oftentimes, they’re specialists in their fields who choose temporary work because they enjoy the flexibility and autonomy of it. Because they understand that their reputations follow them where they go, they produce high quality work for their employers in efforts to build their personal brands, resumes and portfolios.

In other instances, they may be stay-at-home parents, recent retirees, college students or other qualified individuals whose current schedules or situations do not allow for a full-time position; however, that doesn’t mean they’re any less capable than turning out consistent, high quality work.

In addition to providing high quality work and diverse skills, temporary workers offer other major benefits.

 

Money-saving benefits

Hiring temporary workers saves companies from having to throw a larger than usual amount of money at candidates before knowing their level of performance. Temporary workers do not require incentive-laden benefit packages or costly insurance coverage. Temporary workers are paid only for hours worked, so companies get exactly what they pay for without having to offer a large salary.

 

Time-saving benefits

Temporary workers offer companies the flexibility to cover long absences and seasonal demands without adding an additional salary. When it comes to covering for employee who is out for an indefinite amount of time – due to something like maternity or medical leave, military duty or a sabbatical – a client may need to fill a position but not necessarily want to hire a full- or part-time candidate to cover this period. Temporary workers offer a convenient solution to this problem.

 

“Try before you buy” benefits

Temporary workers provide companies the luxury of getting to “test drive” employees before offering them a full-time position. Say, for instance, a company wants to expand its marketing efforts and see if there’s enough work to keep a full-time copywriter busy. Hiring a temporary copywriter would allow a company to see first-hand whether the position is warranted. If they like the copywriter’s style and think having one on staff full-time is beneficial, they can offer the temp first shot to come aboard full-time; otherwise, the company can cut the temporary copywriter loose with no strings attached.

 

Right now, it is more important than ever for businesses to hire temporary workers in order to save money. The competitive job market has forced many companies to increase salaries in order to fill open positions. According to CareerBuilder’s most recent Annual Job Forecast, employers expect compensation levels to increase for both current staff and prospective employees as recruiting for skilled talent becomes more competitive. Sixty-two percent of employers plan to increase compensation for their existing employee base while 32 percent will offer higher starting salaries for new employees.

 

Temporary workers are not the answer for every client and every situation, of course, but understanding when temporary workers are the ideal option is beneficial.

 

Written by – Mary Lorenz

 

SELECTED CLIENT REFERENCES

Kas McGregor
RAYMOND VINEYARDS
849 Zinfandel Lane
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-3141

Scott Loopstra
SONOMA WINE
205 B Jim Oswald Way
American Canyon, CA 94503
(707) 551-0820

Title Name Email Phone
President & CEO Elizabeth Davis (707) 224-5468
Account Executive Kaleigh Heathcote (707) 224-5468