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Much like Collin Robinson from the popular show "What We Do in the Shadows," who thrives by draining the energy of his unsuspecting co-workers through tedious conversation and monotony, every workplace has its version of an energy vampire. These individuals can sap the morale and productivity of a team, leaving a trail of exhaustion in their wake. For hiring managers, recognizing and neutralizing the impact of these energy vampires is crucial to maintaining a positive and productive work environment. This blog explores how to spot these challenges early on and implement effective strategies to foster a vibrant, engaged workplace.


Identifying Energy Vampires


Energy vampires are not always easy to spot; their effects may be subtle and accumulate over time. However, some common characteristics include:

  • Constant Negativity: Frequent complaints about work, colleagues, or the company without constructive feedback or solutions.
  • Drama Creation: An inclination towards creating or exacerbating conflicts, often leading to an atmosphere of tension and unease.
  • Lack of Enthusiasm: A noticeable disinterest in their work or the team's success, which can dampen the group's overall motivation.
  • Poor Collaboration: Difficulty working with others, often due to an inability to listen, empathize, or compromise.

Strategies for Managing Energy Vampires


Once identified, taking proactive steps to manage energy vampires is essential for protecting the team's morale and productivity. Here are some strategies:

  • Open Communication: Engage in a private, honest conversation with the individual. Express your observations and the impact of their behavior on the team. This can sometimes lead to self-awareness and change.
  • Set Clear Expectations: Clearly outline the expected behavioral standards within the workplace. Emphasize the importance of positivity, teamwork, and constructive feedback.
  • Provide Support and Resources: Sometimes, the behavior of energy vampires stems from personal or professional dissatisfaction. Support, such as access to counseling services or career development opportunities, can address underlying issues.
  • Encourage Positive Relationships: Foster an environment that encourages positive interactions among team members. Team-building activities and social events can help cultivate a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect.
  • Monitor and Follow-Up: After addressing the issue, closely monitor the situation and follow up regularly. Recognize and reinforce positive changes in behavior to encourage continued improvement.
  • Decisive Action: If the behavior persists despite interventions, it may be necessary to take more decisive action, including reassignment or, as a last resort, termination, to protect the well-being of the team.


Much like their fictional counterparts, real-life energy vampires can drain the life out of a workplace. Hiring managers can mitigate their impact and preserve the team's engagement by remaining vigilant and employing targeted strategies. Remember, the goal is to stop energy vampires in their tracks and transform the workplace into a space where positivity and productivity can flourish. Through open communication, support, and positive reinforcement, it's possible to turn even the most draining situations into opportunities for growth and improvement.


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Career Spotlight: Millwright


In the heart of Ontario's bustling manufacturing landscape lies a profession integral to the success and efficiency of numerous industries: the Millwright. This career spotlight deep dives into the dynamic and essential world of Millwrights, shedding light on the skills required, the responsibilities shouldered, and the abundant growth opportunities available in this field. Whether contemplating a pivot in your professional path or just starting out, understanding what a career as a Millwright entails could be your key to a fulfilling and prosperous future.


The Role of a Millwright


Millwrights are the unsung heroes of the manufacturing sector, specializing in installing, maintaining, and repairing industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. Their work is critical in ensuring the smooth operation of production lines, from food processing plants to automotive factories. A Millwright's day might involve dismantling machinery, replacing defective parts, and performing adjustments to optimize performance. Precision and problem-solving are at the core of what they do, requiring a deep understanding of mechanics, electronics, and hydraulics.


Skills and Qualifications


Becoming a Millwright typically starts with a high school diploma, followed by an apprenticeship program that combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Essential skills for succeeding in this career include:

  • Mechanical aptitude and a keen eye for detail.
  • Proficiency in reading and interpreting technical blueprints and schematics.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities.
  • Excellent manual dexterity and physical stamina to handle heavy machinery.
  • Effective communication skills for collaborating with team members and understanding job requirements.

Safety consciousness is paramount, as Millwrights often work in potentially hazardous environments. Adherence to safety protocols and regulations is a must.


Growth Opportunities


The manufacturing sector in Ontario is ripe with opportunities for skilled Millwrights. The demand for proficient Millwrights is rising with the continuous introduction of new technologies and machinery. Career advancement can take several forms, from supervisory and management positions within maintenance departments to specialized roles focusing on a particular type of machinery or industry.


Additionally, the skills acquired as a Millwright are highly transferable, offering the flexibility to move across different sectors within manufacturing or even into related fields such as industrial engineering or machinery sales.


Why Choose a Career as a Millwright?


Choosing a career as a Millwright opens the door to a world of challenging and rewarding opportunities. Here are a few reasons why this path can be incredibly fulfilling:

  • Job Security: Millwrights' indispensable role in running manufacturing operations smoothly translates into solid job security.
  • Competitive Salary: Reflecting the skill and expertise required, Millwrights enjoy competitive salaries and benefits.
  • Variety of Work: No two days are the same. Millwrights can work on a wide range of machinery and systems, making each day a new opportunity to solve problems and learn.
  • Impact: Millwrights' work directly impacts manufacturing operations' efficiency and productivity, providing a tangible sense of accomplishment.


A career as a Millwright offers the chance to work with your hands and engage your mind in solving complex mechanical problems. It is a profession characterized by continuous learning, growth opportunities, and the satisfaction of knowing that your work plays a crucial role in the manufacturing process. For those with a mechanical aptitude and a desire for a dynamic, fulfilling career, becoming a Millwright in Ontario's vibrant manufacturing sector could be the key to unlocking a successful future.


Is a Millwright career right for you? Explore our current job openings and apply today!

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2023 is almost over, and it's essential to take time now to reflect on the last year and dive deep into your sense of satisfaction. If you're wondering if you need to make a change at your current job or find a new one, we can provide you with a few questions to ask yourself. You can develop strategies to help you find more joy in your work. Here are four key factors to consider when evaluating your current job satisfaction.


Job Engagement and Interest


Begin by assessing your interest and engagement in your daily tasks and responsibilities. Reflect on whether your job aligns with your skills, interests, and long-term career goals. What qualities do you like about your current job, and why did you accept this opportunity initially?


Work-Life Balance


Next, evaluate the balance between your work commitments and personal life. Do you feel stressed at the end of every day? Do you dread going to work in the morning? Consider the time and energy your job demands versus the time available for relaxation, family, and hobbies.


Relationships and Work Environment


Reflect on your relationships with colleagues, supervisors, and other team members. Do you work with people you consider friends? Have you ever felt bullied on the job? Evaluate the overall work environment, including the workplace's level of collaboration, support, and communication.


Compensation and Recognition


Finally, assess your satisfaction with your current salary, benefits, and other forms of compensation. Is there room to ask for more money? Have you researched the current market salary for positions like yours? Reflect on how your efforts and achievements are recognized and rewarded within the organization, including promotions and skill development opportunities.


By considering these aspects, you can comprehensively understand your current job satisfaction and identify areas that may need improvement or adjustment. Use your evaluation to determine the next steps in your journey to long-term success.


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While not every work environment will be perfect, making your employees feel disposable only worsens your company's culture. Feeling unappreciated, overworked, and burned out will cause your workforce to become less productive and motivated. That doesn't just affect their morale but can cost your business money. Here are a few ways companies make employees feel disposable without even realizing it.


Speaking Poorly About Employees


Speaking poorly about employees in the workplace significantly damages the organizational culture. It fosters negativity, erodes trust among colleagues, and creates a toxic environment where fear and insecurity thrive. It undermines teamwork, lowers morale, and hampers productivity. It's crucial for leadership to set clear policies against gossip and negativity, encouraging open communication and constructive feedback. Promoting a positive work environment where accomplishments are celebrated and concerns are addressed professionally can transform the workplace culture, fostering collaboration, trust, and a more productive atmosphere.


Focusing on Production Only


Exclusively focusing on production without considering the broader aspects of workplace culture creates a myopic environment that values output over employee well-being. It can lead to burnout, stress, and a lack of job satisfaction among employees. Ignoring the human element in pursuing high production numbers can result in a disengaged workforce, higher turnover rates, and a hostile workplace atmosphere. Management must adopt a holistic approach that balances production goals with employee needs. Encouraging team-building activities, investing in employee development, and soliciting regular feedback can further contribute to a healthier work environment where productivity and job satisfaction thrive.


High Turnover


High turnover rates can significantly damage workplace culture by creating an atmosphere of instability and uncertainty. It erodes team cohesion, as new employees frequently disrupt existing work dynamics. Frequent departures can lead to decreased morale among remaining staff, who may feel overburdened due to the constant need for training and onboarding. This churn also impacts institutional knowledge, hindering organizational progress. To address high turnover, employers should invest in employee engagement programs, offer competitive benefits, provide opportunities for skill development and career growth, and foster a positive work environment.


Immediate Firings


Immediate firings without a probationary period create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity among employees, diminishing trust in the organization's leadership. Team members may feel anxious about making mistakes or taking risks, hindering creativity and innovation. It sends a message that the company does not value its employees, impacting motivation and engagement. To change this, companies can implement a structured probationary period where employees receive clear expectations, regular feedback, and support to succeed.


Disregard for Work/Life Balance


Disregarding employee work/life balance leads to burnout, decreased job satisfaction, and a high turnover rate as employees seek a healthier work environment. This imbalance fosters resentment and stress, eroding teamwork and morale. It also hampers creativity and productivity, as exhausted employees are less likely to contribute innovative ideas. To improve, companies can implement policies promoting flexible work hours, remote work options, and clear boundaries between work and personal time. Encouraging employees to take their allocated vacation days and discouraging excessive overtime sends a message that the organization values their well-being.


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Much of any company's culture has much to do with the people at the top who make the rules. Sometimes, these policies and rules are explicit, but often, they're unspoken, such as not leaving until the boss leaves. Here are five ideas for leadership to develop a better company culture and more work/life balance for the entire team.


Respect Time Outside of Work


Respecting employees' time outside the workplace is crucial to improving company culture. By promoting a healthy work-life balance and setting clear boundaries, employers show consideration for their employees' personal lives and foster a more motivated and engaged workforce. Encouraging employees to disconnect during their time off, offering flexible schedules when possible, and minimizing after-hours demands can reduce burnout and stress, resulting in higher job satisfaction and productivity. In turn, a company that values its employees' well-being and work-life balance tends to attract and retain top talent, contributing to a positive and vibrant organizational culture.


Don't Work on Vacation


When leaders set the example by unplugging during their time off, it encourages employees to do the same, reducing burnout and stress. It also fosters trust within the team, as employees feel confident in taking their vacations without fear of being constantly tethered to work. This practice promotes respect for personal time, enhances job satisfaction, and leads to a more motivated, refreshed, and productive workforce. In the long run, a commitment to vacation boundaries contributes to a healthier, more positive company culture where employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to perform at their best.


Take PTO Time


Encouraging employees to take their paid time off is essential. It promotes employee well-being by allowing them to rest, recharge, and reduce burnout, enhancing their overall health and job satisfaction. It helps maintain a more productive and engaged workforce, as well-rested employees tend to be more focused and motivated when they return to work. Unused PTO can lead to burnout and potentially result in higher turnover, which is costly for businesses. Lastly, supporting a culture of taking PTO demonstrates that the organization values its employees' work-life balance, which can improve morale, loyalty, and retention rates, contributing to a more positive and sustainable work environment.


Be Flexible for Obligations


As a manager, being flexible and understanding of your employees' obligations, such as doctor appointments or school programs, is essential for fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment. By allowing employees the flexibility to attend to their responsibilities, you demonstrate empathy and respect for their diverse needs outside of work. This flexibility not only boosts employee morale but also enhances their work-life balance, which can lead to improved job satisfaction and productivity. Encouraging open communication and accommodating these obligations when possible can help create a positive and accommodating workplace culture that benefits both employees and the organization.


Lead By Example


Leading by example as a manager is a powerful way to improve company culture. When leaders embody the values and behaviors they expect from their employees, it sets a clear and inspiring standard. Managers cultivate a culture of trust, integrity, and alignment by demonstrating transparency, accountability, dedication, and respect. Employees are more likely to follow suit and uphold these principles, fostering a positive work environment where everyone feels valued, motivated, and committed to the organization's success. Leading by example strengthens company culture and helps drive higher employee engagement and overall performance.


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It's not uncommon for productivity to dip in the summer months. Your team is daydreaming of anywhere but work. But your productivity rates must stay high. Here are some fun incentives that can improve morale and increase energy in your company this summer.


Offer Flexible Hours


If your environment can handle more flexible hours, offer this as a benefit in the summertime. You can allow your team to adjust their start and end times based on their personal needs, such as the commute or children's schedules. You can also tap into your employees' most productive hours. For example, if someone is a morning person, they may start early and get things done before closing time so they can end their day when their brain begins to wander.


Organize Sports Events


Teambuilding can be a great opportunity in the summer. Consider organizing a sports event or team for your employees. Casual games like softball or kickball are popular among employees and provide an outlet for their energy in the summer. It can be a fun way for your workplace to get involved in the summer and have fun.


Offer Free Lunch


When you can, offer your team free lunches, which can be motivating when they start to feel the lunchtime slump. Provide options for people with all dietary needs to encourage everyone to participate.


Plan an End of Summer Party


Another fun way to get everyone excited about the workplace in the summer is to plan an end-of-summer party. As the season begins to wrap up, plan an event for employees and their families before your employee's children start back to school. There are countless options, including a barbeque at a local outdoor spot, a fun day at an amusement park, or a casual dinner at a great venue in your town.


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Every good manager wants a team of happy and fulfilled employees. But to do this, it's important to gather employee feedback and know how to support their needs. Both good and bad employee feedback will make a difference in what you can do as a manager, so it's up to you to solicit their input and create an environment where they are willing to share. Here are tips to help you transform employee complaints into compliments and create a more cohesive workplace.


Take Time for Feedback


One complaint many employees have of bad managers is that they don't take the time to listen to feedback. They assume things are fine and don't solicit the thoughts of their team on any given project, situation, or experience. Make sure your employees know that their contribution matters, including feedback.


Listen to the Good and Bad


Another mistake managers make is that they are only willing to hear the good feedback and avoid the bad. It's just as important to know what your team is unhappy about so you can solve the problem. Don't assume just because no one is saying anything negative that everything is just fine.


Show Your Support


It's also up to you as a manager to show your support and make their jobs easier. What can you provide that will help the team thrive? Are there tools, technology, or additional talent that could improve the working conditions of the entire group?


Go the Extra Mile


There may also be times when you must go the extra mile and pitch in when necessary. If things are overwhelming, find out how you can help. Roll up your sleeves when needed, and work with your team to get things done.


If you need help hiring, give our team at itec group a call!

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Social media is not a fad. We live in a world where everything worth mentioning ends up online one way or another. And once something's online, there's no going back. But what does that mean for your employees and creating social media policies? If you've been thinking of developing guidelines to help your team and represent your company well, here are the top tips to get you started.  


Create and Enforce Official Accounts 


Your business should have official social media pages on all the major platforms. Keeping these owned by your company prevents someone from creating an account that unfairly targets your business. Maintain ownership, make branding consistent, and have someone within your organization responsible for posting and commenting on these pages.  


Request Transparency  


Your team is online; that's just a fact of business today. What's important is that you create a culture of trust. What you can ask your team is that if they include their place of employment on their social media, they make sure people know the opinions posted on their social media are personal and not representative of your organization.  


Ensure Privacy  


While you need to trust your employees to use sound professional judgment online, you can create policies around what they can and can't share. It's vital to let everyone know confidential client or company information not be shared online. This needs to be a formal policy; if it's violated, there are professional consequences.  


Train on Cyber Safety 


It's also critical that your team is safe online. There are constant threats to safety on the internet, and many of them can look very legitimate. Offer regular training to reinforce safety guidelines. These include:  


  • Creating strong passwords 
  • Two-factor authentication 
  • Limiting personal information online 
  • Using secure internet connections 
  • Spotting and avoiding phishing 
  • Not clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown files 


Be Tough on Harassment 


Cyberbullying isn't just something teenagers do. Harassment online is all too common, and you must have a no-tolerance culture in your workplace. There is no room for hate speech or other forms of harassment. You should also provide resources for your employees if they experience harassment online.  


Follow Legal Guidelines 


There can also be a lot of legal traps online that people get caught in unwittingly. Always remind your employees to respect intellectual property, copyright, trademarks, and other laws regarding content and creations. Make sure they know if they don't have explicit permission or licensing to post something, they need to avoid it.  



Let the staffing experts at itec group weigh in.   

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Relying on your team of loyal employees is what makes your business succeed. Loyalty is a two-way street, so what can you do as an employer to improve team loyalty? Here are five ways to create a culture that encourages team loyalty now and in the future.


Focus on Culture


Good company culture can improve employee loyalty by creating a positive and supportive work environment. When employees feel valued and appreciated, satisfaction rates are improved. They can build better relationships with coworkers and managers and feel a sense of belonging within the organization. A strong company culture can align employee and company values. And when employees feel their work is meaningful and their contributions are valued, there are higher performance levels and a reduction in turnover.


Provide Meaningful Work


Giving employees a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their jobs can also improve employee retention and loyalty. When their work is meaningful and their contributions positively impact, your employees are more likely to stay engaged and motivated. A stronger emotional connection to the organization based on the feeling of doing good and meaningful work can improve retention. Employees who see themselves making a difference are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.


Be a Stellar Manager


Management can make all the difference in employee satisfaction and loyalty. Managers can improve performance and retention by clearly communicating expectations, providing regular feedback, and listening to employee concerns. Showing appreciation and recognition will enhance employee engagement. There should also be a culture of supportive leadership, empathy, and fair treatment with respect and dignity.


Listen to Feedback


Employees who feel empowered and comfortable providing feedback will also be more likely to stay engaged. But you shouldn't just listen to feedback; it should be used to improve processes and workplace culture. When you hear and incorporate feedback, you demonstrate that you value and appreciate what your employees bring to the table.


Offer Room for Development


Advancement is a big draw for many professionals. If someone feels they've maxed out their company's career growth opportunities and earning potential, they will seek that gratification from another employer. Provide opportunities for learning and increasing responsibilities within your organization to improve retention and employee loyalty.


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Feedback is a necessary part of any job. But often, employees don't feel empowered to provide feedback to their managers. It can be tricky, but it's an integral part of productive communication and necessary for everyone's growth in the workplace. Here are a few ways you can give your management team better feedback and get results.


Gather Examples


Whenever you make a case with your manager, you should always have evidence available. Examples that can help get your point across will be better than simply telling them what you want to change. For instance, if there is a need to make a process more efficient, provide examples of how the current process is causing projects to take more time.


Reach Out


Next, reach out directly to your boss and ask for a time to meet one-on-one. This allows you both to prepare for the conversation. Don't forget to let them know what the discussion will be about, so they're not blindsided. You don't have to give details until the discussion, but let them know your reason. "Can we meet this afternoon? I need to talk to you about the department's project."


Be Respectful


Always be respectful of your boss's position and time. You respect them as professionals and expect them to do the same for you. Don't make the discussion personal or accusatory in any way. Present your feedback professionally and ensure to communicate that you're looking for their assistance in creating a solution.


Focus on the Future


There are certainly reasons why this situation has come up, but focusing on the past can be less productive than looking toward the future. Make it clear that you're providing this feedback because you want to improve the situation for the future, not just rehash information from the past.


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Modesty Sabourin
May 19, 2021
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