Employee & Job Seeker Blog
Practicing Mindfulness in the Workplace – Why It’s So Important
It’s one of those early Spring days where, after a stretch of dreary, cold weather, the sun is finally out. You step outside, turn your face to the big orange ball in the sky, and breath in deeply. For a minute, all you notice is the sensation of heat radiating on your face, the smell of the fresh, crisp air, and the sound of birds singing. You’re simply in the moment. If you have ever done this before, you were practicing mindfulness and may not have even realized it.
Why Contract Work May Be for You
You’re torn. During your job-hunting endeavors you come across a contract position that you know you possess all the required skills and qualifications. You want to apply but are hesitant because it’s a contract position.
5 Tips on Being a Successful Conversationalist
Was that really a two-way conversation?
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone where…?
…every time you started to say something, they cut you off with one more thing they wanted to say?
…you realized, when you finished the conversation, that all you had said during the past 30 minutes was, “uh huh,” “oh,” “interesting,” “really,” or something else along that line?
THANK YOU... Gilly's House
for being a light to so many!
“Out of tragedy, some people create something good.” Barbara and David Gillmeister are two of those “people,” who have brought good out of a tragedy, and it is how “Gilly’s House” came to be.
Body Language in Zoom Meetings (and In-Person)
Zoom fatigue. Why are so many of us experiencing it on a daily basis? Part of the reason video calls can be so draining is that our human nature of relying heavily on nonverbal cues to listen and assess information during meetings is challenged? Some studies suggest that 93% of communication is made up of nonverbal communication (body language and voice). How does this transfer to video meetings?
There are certain questions we are asked on a regular basis from businesses when considering using The Alpha Group for their staffing and hiring needs:
Who is The Alpha Group?
What makes your company different from other staffing and employment agencies?
What different types of hiring does The Alpha Group assist with?
What additional services do you offer?
To assist you, and make your life easier, we've brought the answers here, to one location.
The holiday season is a great time for those who want to give back to the community, bring comfort and joy to those less fortunate. It’s always wonderful to see how individuals and businesses go the extra mile to help those in need. Whether it’s donating to a food bank, adopting a child or family to give Christmas gifts to, or serving at a food shelter the generosity is plentiful. And there are some organizations who continue to distribute this generosity year-round. The Matthew Mission Resource and Advocacy Center in Taunton, Massachusetts is one of them.
The Matthew Mission “take(s) care of the homeless population (including veterans) and those in need,” connecting them with social service agencies, making referrals and guiding the individual through the process of getting “into programs such as shelter, rehabilitation, GED courses, job training, Social Security, and MassHealth.” In addition, they provide recipients with physical resources that so many of us take for granted: hygiene products, food, clothes to keep them warm in the winter, blankets and sleeping bags, and tents for shelter.
It only takes a quick glance on their Facebook page to see all The Matthew Mission does, including this time of year. For example, for the past six years they have been collecting for and providing needy teens with Christmas gifts.
The Alpha Group’s accounting manager, Jennifer Corby, has a special place in her heart for The Matthew Mission. This year she has been helping her neighbor, who made over 5000 masks and gave them away for free, support the organization. Any donations Jen’s neighbor has received for the masks has been given directly to The Matthew Mission and other organizations. Jen has donated materials for the masks, gotten the word out about them, and let people know, via Facebook, how they can help. Jennifer was “happy to be a part of it.”
In addition to helping with the masks, Jennifer crochets hats, gloves, and scarfs for donation to The Matthew Mission. As the cold has now arrived in Massachusetts, these are a necessity, especially for the homeless. Jen’s neighbor, Mark (who is Matthew’s Mission director), is grateful for the support.
If you’re looking for a way to share with others, consider helping The Matthew Mission. Visit their Facebook page to learn more about what they’re doing and how you can help. This year you have until December 15th to get them gift cards for the teen adoptions for the holidays. Whether it’s now or in a couple months, the recipients will thank you!
Thank you, Mark and The Matthew Mission for all you do for our community!
Top 10 Skills for Warehouse Workers
Which ones do you have? Which ones do you need to gain or strengthen?
Have you wondered what warehouse workers do and what skills they need? Are you thinking of applying for a warehouse position and wondering what skills and experience will help you get hired? Continue reading to find out.
4 Tips on Keeping Business Running Smoothly During An Employee Leave of Absence
(Written by Lori Narewski)
As 2021 is rapidly approaching so is the start date of PFML (Personal Family Medical Leave) for all Massachusetts' businesses. As an employer, in addition to being aware of your responsibilities – which you can find on the Mass.gov website, you should also have a game plan to ensure all business continues to run as usual during your employee’s absence. In fact, a plan should be in place for any employee's extended absence.
THANK YOU... Joe Andruzzi Foundation (JAF)
For "Providing Financial Support to New England Cancer Patients When It's Needed Most!"
(Written by Lori Narewski)
With last month having been Breast Cancer Awareness and National Women's Small Business month and this month being Pancreatic Cancer Awareness and National Gratitude month, what better nonprofit organization to highlight than the Joe Andruzzi Foundation (JAF)!
5 Things to Consider if You Find Yourself Hesitant to Return to Work from Furlough
You were furloughed earlier this year, along with over 33 million other American employees. At first you were disappointed and worried. Then you realized, due to the CARES Act, you are making more money while collecting unemployment than you were when you actually worked. If you have children in daycare you've also decreased your expenses by not having to pay childcare - since they're home with you now. You're thinking, "This isn't so bad!"
Then you receive the email or phone call from your employer. They're ready to open back up and need you to return to work. Instead of being excited about going back, you find yourself trying to figure out how to delay the return. You're thinking about the money you feel you will "lose" when you return. If you have children at home, you have to arrange and pay for daycare. You may even be nervous, healthwise, to go back - even though you or a family member don't fall into a high-risk category.
Returning to Work: Alpha Answers Employees Frequently Asked Questions
As we return to work and begin this "new reality" in our workplaces, we understand that many employees and clients are concerned about safety. We want every employee and client to be assured that we are taking your concerns and the well-being of our employees and clients very seriously. To help communicate and assist you with the changes we are providing you with answers to employees' frequently asked questions.
Q: What is ALPHA doing to keep everyone healthy and safe?
A: The following steps have been implemented:
- All employees and visitors entering our buildings will be screened for COVID-10 symptoms and possible exposure. They must do a self-screening by answering the questions on Alpha's Health Screening form.
- Common areas and frequently touched surfaces are being cleaned daily. Cleaning supplies will be available, and employees are encouraged to clean and disinfect workspaces throughout the day.
- Hand sanitizer and masks are provided in the office foyer.
- Posters are displayed with reminders on how to prevent the spread of germs.
- On-site business hours have been modified to allow for staggered work shifts to reduce the number of people in the building at one time. The Alpha Group staff is working remotely, unless needed to be in the office for prescheduled meetings.
- Workspace layouts and seating arrangements are revised to allow for social distancing.
- Meeting rooms, break rooms, and other communal areas have reduced seating and capacity limits.
- Alpha's safety protocol has been implemented and reviewed with all Alpha staff members.
Q: What can YOU do to keep everyone healthy and safe?
A: We encourage everyone to do their part in keeping those around them safe by continuing to:
- Stay home or go home if you are sick.
- Maintain social distancing practices in the workplace.
- Follow cleaning product instructions when cleaning your work areas.
- Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wear a face covering.
- Replace handshakes with head nods and waves.
- Avoid using other employees' phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
- Talk to your manager if you have concerns specific to your circumstances, such as a health condition that places you or someone in your household at high risk.
- Follow all company policies and practices.
- Be kind. Understand that this is a stressful time for everyone, and an extra bit of kindness right now can go a long way!
Is it safe to return to work?
A: We and our clients are taking every precaution to ensure the worksites are safe. We are following federal health and safety guidelines as well as guidance from state and local governments. We are implementing practices such as employee health screenings and social distancing practices to keep our workplace healthy.
What if I can't get to work?
A: It is likely that some employees will have to change their normal commuting practice. Using mass transit may not be an option or may be considered too risky for some. You should take steps now to identify all potential options for a safe commute, such as using a personal vehicle or ride-share services. If you have difficulty with transportation to work, please call Alpha's Human Resources department.
What should I do if I feel sick?
A: Employees who feel ill should notify The Alpha Group immediately, per the company policy and not report to work. If you are already at work and begin feeling sick, you should notify your onsite supervisor, as well as The Alpha Group, and then go home immediately.
Do I have to wear a mask at work?
A: We highly recommend you wear a face mask at work. Employees in positions with frequent person-to-person contact are required to wear masks. If you have a medical condition that restricts you from waring one, or if you do not have a mask, please speak with The Alpha Group's human resources.
How will positive cases of COVID-19 be handled in the workplace?
A: Despite all precautionary measures, there is always a risk of workplace exposure to communicable diseases. Should an employee contract COVID-19 and expose others in your workplace, your manager will immediately inform all employees of the possible exposure. Employees who have been potentially exposed will be sent home and asked to self-quarantine for 7 to 14 days. A thorough cleaning of the workplace used by the infected individual will be conducted after the area has been closed off.
If you have any additional questions, please contact The Alpha Group's human resources department.
Alpha's Safety Protocol for Meeting with Clients, Employees, and Applicants in the Office
The health and safety of our clients, employees, and staff is our top priority. To ensure in-person meetings continue to safeguard all individuals Alpha has set up the following safety protocols when meetings are held at our office.
Alpha's COVID-19 Safety Protocols:
All meetings are by appointment only
Applicant / Employee will text or call the person they made an appointment with to meet them at the door and let them into the office.
Human Resources (Lory Taylor): 207-776-1134
Payroll (Jennifer Corby): 508-840-9875
Sales (Chris Lihzis): 508-280-7388
Sales (Jessica Kegler): 608-234-2960
Alpha staff member will greet visitor at the door. Prior to entering the office the visitor will be asked if they have read the standard CDC checklist questions. There will be hand sanitizer and masks on a table outside the door for visitors to use at their discretion.
While maintaining social distance (6-feet apart), the visitor will be led to the meeting area.
Social distance (6-feet apart) will be maintained while visitor is seated for interviewing or being assisted with paperwork.
If the visitor is using an Alpha pen, they will take the pen with them at the end of the meeting.
Alpha staff will use disinfection wipes pre and post visits, as well as wear a mask.
If you have any questions, please contact Alpha's Human Resources Department: 207-776-1134
Stay Safe and Healthy!
The Alpha Group
61 East Main St, Norton, MA 02766 / Tel: 508-285-8500 / Fax: 508-285-4000
Alpha's Employee COVID-19 Health Assessment
The CDC requires us to ask these questions. We are asking you to do a self-evaluation health assessment. Do not enter the office, report to work, or apply to work if you say "YES" to any of the following questions: Please contact our Human Resources Department: 207-776-1134.
Question 1: Do you have any of the following symptoms?
- Shortness of Breath
- Sore Throat
- Chills and Body Aches
- Nausea or Vomiting
Question 2: Do you have a member of your household suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19?
Question 3: Have you recently been in a large gathering with 10 people or more not wearing mask and not social distancing?
- To social distance - 6 feet apart
- Wash your hands often
- Wear a facemask*
* We require you to bring a face mask with you every day to work. If you do not have a mask, please call Human Resources 207-776-1134 and one will be provided to you.
Be safe and thank you for your understanding.
The Alpha Group
61 East Main St, Norton, MA 02766 / Tel: 508-285-8500 / Fax 508-285-4000
Assisting Alpha Clients in Staying Up-to-Date on COVID-19
At The Alpha Group we feel it's important to provide our clients with up-to-date resources on staying healthy and safe during COVID-19 and when returning to work. To assist you with this links to external sites that provide valuable information are listed below, and will be added to as new ones become available.
COVID-19 Information Links:
- CDC Activities and Initiatives for COVID 19 Response
- OSHA COVID-19 Guidelines
- COVID-19 Return to Work Series by Holland & Knight
- Employer COVID Reporting Obligations by Holland & Knight
- Contact Tracing for Employers
Stay Healthy & Safe!
The Alpha Group
Helping Employees Stay Up-to-Date on COVID-19
At The Alpha Group we feel it's important to provide our candidates and employees with up-to-date resources on staying healthy and safe during COVID-19 and when returning to work. To assist you with this links to external sites that provide valuable information are listed below, and will be added to as new ones become available.
COVID-19 Information Links:
At the Alpha Group we realize the importance of word-of-mouth and referrals!
Do you know someone who would be perfect for an open position at our company? We'd love for you to refer them. And as a thank you, we will send you a $25 referral bonus!
Simply complete the Friend Referral Form and return it to Payroll.
We can't wait to hear from you!
The Alpha Group
How to Successfully Bring Back Employees as States Reopen
Are you tired of hearing the words "COVID-19" and "coronavirus," as well as the phrases "the new normal" and "getting back to business?" We are too! But, being in the staffing industry there are times we must use them. Assisting employers with finding employees - now that they are "getting back to business" or increasing business - is one of those times when we find ourselves communicating with these terms. After all, reality is, it is because of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the CARES Act that employers are facing the current staffing challenge.
WORKING REMOTELY: 5 Tips on Making It Work for You!
You're about to work from home! Are you nervous? Excited? Overwhelmed? Looking forward to it? All of the above?
If you haven't worked remotely before you may wonder how you will balance everything, how you'll stay disciplined and focused. It may take a bit of adjusting your mindset, but it will be worth it. You may even find you have increased production, less office distractions, and time freed-up from no commute.
Protect Your Back While You're at Work
It's the only one you have!
It's Monday morning. My back is aching. I spent Saturday sitting on an airplane, sitting outside in the cold at a sporting event, then sitting on an airplane to fly home. Sunday I cleaned out, organized, and rearranged my home office. Now I sit behind my desk at work typing on my computer. All the lifting, carrying, and moving furniture and items, combined with sitting for long periods of time, took a toll on my back. So it's fitting that I am now writing about protecting your back. Whether it's at work or home, there are several ways to protect your back.
The Legalization of Marijuana and the Impact It Has On the Workforce
Are you an employer who currently drug tests your employees? Is your business located in a state that has legalized marijuana for medical and / or recreational use? How has this impacted your company's hiring practices?
Providing Support to Employers and Employees When Employee is in the Reserve or National Guard
If you're an employer who has an employee in the Reserve or National Guard you may struggle trying to determine how to make their time away, serving our country, work for all involved - your business, the employee, and their family.
You're ready to fill a position, now you need to decide if you will go the direct hire or temp-to-perm route - which is the best route for you?
Being a staffing agency, we often receive the question from our clients, "Is it better to hire an employee as a permanent (direct hire) or temp-to-perm employee?" As with so many things in business, the answer is, "It depends." I sat down with Jessica Kegler, our sales manager, to get her thoughts on this. Let's see and listen to what she has to say about this topic.
Tips on Writing a Professional Resume
You've been searching for a new job and wonder if your resume needs to be cleaned up a little. You're not sure what to include and not include, what the layout should be, or how to best highlight your skills and accomplishments. Below are a few tips for you to consider as you write or rewrite your resume.
Payrolling is different from the payroll processing services most of us are familiar with - where you process payroll checks for your employees or outsource the service to a third-party. Payrolling an employee - is a cost-effective option, with lower company payroll risks! Read on, to learn more about Payrolling Services and how your company could benefit from it...