It is time for Leap Solutions’ annual “Staff Picks”; our wishes, recommendations, and commitments to you—
our loyal clients, associates, and friends—for making 2023 a year of inspiration and success!
Our Staff Picks in the 2022 Annual Year-End Newsletter will cover:
- Giving Back
- Work Life Balance
- Designing Jobs That People Enjoy
- The Entrepreneurial Spirit
- Save for Retirement!
- The Gift of Hearing
- Stop Waiting
- Values vs. Goals
- Dreaming Up Your Future Self
During the holiday season, we all get our heart strings tugged to give back. Whether it is throwing some coin in the kettle or handing a buck or two to someone that appears to be in need, we decide to give back. Obviously, it does not have to be just during the holidays that we give or want to give. One approach I use is to set an annual giving amount at the beginning of the year and distribute it throughout the year. I highly recommend adding this strategy to your giving.
There is no shortage of nonprofit causes in need of donations or fundraising activities throughout the year. However, consider non-monetary contributions as well such as volunteering or mentoring. I do both as there is always a need and something that resonates with me. My concern is having enough time to give. At Leap, we get asked by nonprofits to help with some business information or to be mentored. Sometimes these requests are a perfect match for one of our Leap team members who are willing to give back as well.
As this year comes to an end and the New Year begins, I encourage you to consider monetary and nonmonetary donations. Frankly, a nonmonetary give back lasts longer and has lasting opportunities!
Chuck McPherson, Partner
Work Life Balance
Call me crazy. At 55 years of age, I decided to get a puppy. Yes, not long ago I had to put my 15-year-old Golden Retriever down. So, what was I thinking? Had I forgotten what it was like having a puppy? Up every 2-3 hours for potty breaks in the middle of the night, endless teething, itchy gums and destroyed home décor from a puppy’s gnawing. The funny thing is, through all of this, I can’t stop smiling. I love him. He’s a 14-week-old Mini Golden Doodle with boundless energy and without a care in the world. Ah, to see life through the eyes of a puppy – when’s my next meal, where’s my next bone, when do I get a belly rub? And at the end of a long day, I can’t wait to get home to him. And yes, I’ve become that crazy dog mom, dressing him in sweaters and Golden State Warriors jerseys, posting his pictures on Instagram and Facebook.
Getting a dog really put into perspective how I need to keep my work/life balance in check. Having a dog is keeping me active outside the home – and away from couch surfing! Which in turn has helped me be more productive and creative at work. And boy have I needed to be! As the Executive Search Consultant, I recruit for our clients. We have been extremely busy all year long. Busy with many open positions and busy trying to find candidates to fill those roles. It’s really exciting to see the hiring that’s happened this year and even more encouraging looking toward 2023!
Luca and I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!
Jen Chelini, Executive Search Consultant
Designing Jobs That People Enjoy
As we move out of 2022 toward 2023, companies /organizations might need to consider redesigning jobs. Today there is still confusing information about what is going on within the job market. Many sectors of the economy struggle to fill vacancies. To get people back to work, employers need to review long standing policy or procedures. What we are hearing from employees is “work isn’t working for us”.
In 2018 the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reported that 71% of adults have at least one symptom of workplace stress. The pandemic added more pressure, showing engagement and resilience are at an all time low. According to an article by Marcus Buckingham in the Harvard Business Review, companies need to redesign work and enhance engagement and commitment. This can be accomplished by a random survey of the workforce. Leaders need to rethink the employee experience and learn what their employees really want. Some questions to ask:
Were you excited to work every day this week?
Did you get a chance to use your strengths this week?
When at work, do you get a chance to do what you are good at?
Once you have the results, it is time to start rethinking the design of the jobs. Collect and review your policies and procedure; do they relate to new ways of working? Interview individuals; realize work organizations are built on the commitment of each person who comes to work. Treat employees as human beings and encourage them to set goals, both career and personal. People are the point!
Understand when looking at designing the work force (working from home vs. working in an office) that one size only fits one, not all. Each employee is unique with different skills and interests. Companies need to take advantage of their diverse employees and make trust the foundation of practices, policies and procedures.
Avoid tools that standardize and rigid career paths, which have become the norm in many large companies. Instead, try to define each role as a measured outcome. Examples of this are hotel managers who are measured on guest satisfaction or sales managers measured on sales volume. If outcomes are identified, employees can acknowledge which activities will support meeting both the company’s goals and their own personal goals.
As we move into redesigning jobs, be transparent with employees and help them understand the big picture, creating an environment where employees can feel connected to the organization. If they work from home help them prioritize work life/balance. If working in the office, offer the same balance and encourage communication in common areas so all employees remain engaged and committed.
As companies and organizations request employees return to work, acknowledge tensions and respond to questions regarding returning to normal. Will we go back to the way things were? Work with the employees to help them understand their jobs are redesigned to allow for increased communication, and that they are valued, recognizing “one size does not fit all”. Redesigning individuals’ work should allow the employees to realize the company’s commitment to their workers as most genuine and the company will truly deserve the best employees.
Wishing you a joyful Holiday Season!
Judy Coffey, Senior Consultant, Leadership Coach and Mentor
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
A wise king once wrote that a person can do nothing better than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in their work. As I reflect on 2022 and look forward to 2023 I find that what is fulfilling about my work is that I have opportunities to be creative. And not just my work with our Leap clients, but in my “work” as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a community member.
I believe as human beings we are created to be creative. We desire to learn, embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, and to find inspiration in our world. This is the entrepreneurial spirit.
The term entrepreneurial spirit is used so much it can seem hard to define, but the word entrepreneur stems from the French word entreprendre, meaning to undertake, begin or make. The word spirit is rooted in the Latin word spiritus meaning breath. To me an entrepreneurial spirit is that thing that pushes us to risk loss in order to create something and the desire to make the world a better place.
The entrepreneurial spirit is not just a business thing, a capitalism thing, or an American Dream thing. It is creativity and it is central to who we are as humans. So, as we look forward to a new year filled with opportunities, my wish is that we will all embrace our inner entrepreneur and eat, drink, and find satisfaction in our life’s work.
Jonna Dye, Senior Human Resources and Organizational Development Consultant
Save for Retirement!
2022 was a fabulous year! Three new grandchildren, lots of work and lots of play! As I mark another year off the calendar, I find myself dreaming of what life will be like when I retire.
In 2016, California passed legislation stating that employers who do not sponsor an employee-retirement plan must participate in a state-run retirement program. This program became known as CalSavers. CalSavers provides an opportunity for employees to defer wages, through payroll deductions by the employer, to a state-run individual retirement savings account program. An employer is not required to participate in CalSavers if it sponsors or participates in a retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or pension plan.
Saving now for retirement will ensure that you have enough money to enjoy a comfortable standard of living when you want to reduce your hours or stop working all together. If you are fortunate enough to have an employer that offers a retirement savings plan that has a company match, take full advantage of it! It’s free money! I advised my children to start putting money into their retirement accounts as soon as they were eligible. If their company matched their contributions, they should put in at least the minimum to get the full match. If you receive a pay increase, try to put at least half of it in your retirement account. People learn to live on whatever their net paycheck is, so pay yourself first!
I only wish I had listened to my own advice and I would be retired now babysitting all those grandbabies…on second thought, maybe I still want to work!
Happy Holidays! Enjoy time with your loved ones!
Tracy Emmerich, Senior Human Resources Consultant
The Gift of Hearing
Many of us take our physical abilities for granted. It’s not until we have an accident or a disease process take place that we understand how vulnerable we are to losing a function that we depend on daily. Take the function of hearing. Most of us cannot imagine going through the day without listening to our favorite radio, TV, or podcast program. We use our hearing at work, to socialize, and to be entertained. Our hearing also protects us from danger (ever walk across the street and not hear the nearby electric vehicle?). Reduced hearing affects our ability to effectively communicate, so many people with hearing loss start avoiding social situations and become more isolated as a result.
If you’ve experienced such a loss, you know that hearing aids are costly (in the thousands of dollars) and are not usually covered under your group health insurance plan. This means that many forego effective treatment, because they can’t afford it. Additionally, you need to have a medical exam, a prescription, and a fitting by an audiologist to get access.
Fortunately, in August of this year, the FDA issued a final rule establishing a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids for those with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment. The effect is to cause competition which would lower the costs of hearing aids. This is great news as the FDA reports there are approximately 30 million U.S. adults who could benefit from hearing aids.
Early detection is important, so if you suspect a friend, a family member, or yourself of having a hearing issue, you might consider downloading the hearWHO app to do a preliminary check or schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist (which is covered by insurance).
I experienced a profound hearing loss in one ear many years ago. This last year, my “good” ear also experienced a significant loss. There is no understandable cause for the loss which makes it even harder to accept. As a result, I try not to take my remaining hearing for granted. So, in this season of gift-giving, I’m grateful that I still retain the gift of hearing so that I can listen to music, hear the comforting purr of my cat, and the sweet sound of “I love you” from my loved ones.
Tracy Long, Senior Human Resources Consultant
As I approach the new year and begin making holiday plans I tend to reflect on my life; past, present and future. I have learned so much about myself in the last few years. If there is one message I want to share, it is to “Stop Waiting”.
I have begun to pay more attention to what my thoughts are telling me. I have been caught multiple times, especially in my 20’s and 30’s saying; “Once I achieve this, then I will start that”.
If there is anything I have learned about myself over the last 4 years, it is that I can accomplish more than one thing at a time. This is even more attainable when you work at a company that supports your life outside of work. I have been blessed to work so close to home and have a team that respects each other and everyone is rooting for each other.
Here are a few examples:
- I left a full time job so I can dedicate more time to volunteering and begin looking for part time work.
- I took a SSU course while I was campaigning to be Mayor.
- I began acting at age 50 when I was busy serving my first year on council in Windsor.
Now, when I get a new idea all I need to ask myself is: What is the intention? Who am I serving? Am I the one that needs to do it or can I pass it on to another group or person?
These types of questions will be more important in 2023 as I begin my first year of serving as Mayor of Windsor, CA.
So, whether you want to run a marathon, write a book or go back to college, stop waiting and start the process.
Rosa Reynoza, Human Resources Associate
Values vs. Goals
As we turn the corner and a new year is right ahead, we can’t help hear and notice all the talk (and marketing) centered around New Year’s resolutions and goals. Evidently, January is a better month than any other month of the year to set new goals!
What if we assessed our values instead of our goals every new year? It might be the difference between striving to accomplish a task or arrive at a certain marker versus living out your values, becoming a better more authentic person and accomplishing more as a result.
For example, I was thinking about excellence. I read a quote that said, “If you don’t value excellence, you won’t achieve excellence” (Glenn C. Stewart). This got me to thinking, that if we set goals that don’t flow from our values, then we will likely not reach those goals. If we do reach the goal, it usually requires extra effort since we are more motivated to pursue those things we highly value.
As 2022 comes to a close, I will shift my thinking from resolutions and new goals to re-evaluating my values. This will lead to looking at my priorities and the things I focus on the most, helping me set goals that flow from the person I am (my values) and not just what I can do or accomplish!
Blessings to you and your loved ones this holiday season!
Robin VanderWerf, Office Administrator
Dreaming Up Your Future Self
Just to put it out there first, I’m not a New Year’s Resolutions goal-setter. Never have been. However, I admire those who take this bold step to imagine a different state—envision a new lease on life.
What I do embrace throughout the year and year after year is dreaming of a future state for myself and my business. I enjoy the state of dreaming, imagining, and envisioning what can be when I set my sights on a future vision. During those times when I’m on a long drive, walking the dog, or sitting outside enjoying the scenery from my back deck, I love to dream of where I am headed. These moments allow me to see the opportunities and start playing with them as possibilities. The result starts to build the stage for planning action steps to accomplish the desired state.
I find these dream-up moments bring relief to built-up stress, the continual focus on the day-to-day activities, and the To-Do items to be crossed off the list. Instead of focusing only on what needs to be accomplished now, I dream about how to utilize my skills, interests, and desires to set vision and fully surface the gifts I can bring to others.
Instead of having to resolve my future state with temporary, hard-to-complete January resolutions, I am actively enabling the year-round gift of dreaming up my future state. Consider spending your time to dream up your future and allow the sub-conscious to inform your conscious state. The outcome will surprise you when the dreams turn into your realities, and you achieve what you have imagined.
Warm wishes to all our Leap Solutions clients and friends for a blessed holiday season. Time to start your dreaming state of mind!
Scott Ormerod, Partner
Leap Solutions is a diverse group of highly skilled management, organizational development, and human resources, and executive search and recruitment professionals who have spent decades doing what we feel passionate about helping you feel passionate about what you do. Our HR specialists can help you get a handle on the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines, programs, and legislation that may impact you and your employees. We are available to work with you to develop practical solutions and smart planning decisions for your organization’s immediate, near, and long-term needs.
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