Let’s Put The GIVING Back In ThanksGIVING!

Thanksgiving has always been known as the holiday where we should give thanks for what we have. But what if we shifted the focus to the other half of the word for a change? What if we focused on the GIVING just as much as the thanks? Barbara Bush once said, “Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.”  We are beyond blessed to be surrounded by great organizations that are doing everything in their power to help those in need whether financially, physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Below are a few of the organizations that the Godshall staff are participating in to help build up the community of Greenville.

 
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The Meyer Center of Greenville – Carol Tribby
“I give and volunteer at The Meyer Center in Greenville.  Their vision is to help children living with disabilities reach their maximum potential.  For over sixty years, the Meyer Center has provided a one-of-a-kind environment that immerses their students in a world of learning. While my volunteer work there is year around, I am especially involved during their school year.  We had a Family Fun Night this year, which was a lot of fun for the families of the children who attend The Meyer Center.  I can’t go there without seeing the smiling, happy faces of the kids we serve, and our community is blessed by the work that is done there.”
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Brookwood Church – Feed the Homeless or Less Fortunate – Richard Heard
I am fortunate to lead a men’s bible study group at Brookwood Church every Monday night. Our group sponsors/leads a “feed the homeless or less fortunate” meal on the first Saturday of every month at 3:00pm off Hammett Rd just off Poinsett Hwy. It’s an outdoor event and we bring chairs, tables, and tents and feed between 85-200 people every meal. (Brookwood has this feeding on the other Saturday’s of each month as well.) We supplement the other group feedings as needed and likewise, they assist us as well. It’s a great way to show that we care, to spread God’s word/love, and bring some happiness to those less fortunate. In addition, we provide community service projects such as home repairs on an ongoing basis.
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The Family Effect – Hannah Spellmeyer
When I first moved to Greenville, I joined the Junior League to meet other women. The impact we’ve had as an organization and its subsequent impact on me over the last four years has been enormous. In addition to providing thousands of volunteer hours and countless grants to deserving organizations, the Junior League of Greenville stays true to its mission of developing the potential of women through our volunteer efforts. From parliamentary procedures to managing significant budgets to making fundraising asks to handling difficult conversations with poise, The Junior League is an organization that gives back to its community and its members. Although I had known about the Family Effect for some time, my first exposure to volunteering there was through the Junior League. I’m honored to have joined their Board of Directors this year. The Family Effect’s mission is to reduce addiction as a leading cause of family collapse through evidence-based programs. Their programs include a home for young men who are coping with addiction as well as an inpatient rehab facility for mothers where their young children can stay with them and receive early treatment for emotional and behavioral issues related to an addicted parent. At the Family Effect, we believe our community is stronger when families can heal together.
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The Salvation Army – Shawn Kinard
I was recently introduced to the Salvation Army and the amazing work they have been doing for people for over a hundred years. I used to think all the Salvation Army did was ring bells around Christmas time, but I quickly learned they do so much more! The campus here in Greenville has men and women’s shelters, adult rehabilitation programs, ministry programs, and so much more! I got to serve in their dining hall a couple of weeks ago and met some of the participants in their rehab and housing programs. The men and women there were so appreciative of all that The Salvation Army is doing for them and said they don’t know where they would be without it. I’m excited to get more involved and would encourage anyone looking for an organization to check out The Salvation Army!
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Read Up Greenville – Katherine Ericson
I was the Logistics Co-Chair for the inaugural year in 2016.  LOVE this charity – it is so important that Lee Yarborough brought this event to Greenville, SC.  It is a Young Adult Literature Festival that was held in August at the Peace Center.  Close to 30 authors came to talk to avid readers – ages 10 and up through adults.  These authors are like rock stars to young readers.  The passion and encouragement they gave for the youth of the Upstate to read and write was just amazing.  We had over 200 attendees in the first year from all over the southeast and plan to grow it even larger in October 2017.  Reading is so important to me.  When I was a child and my mom would say lights out, I would take a flashlight and continue reading under the covers!  I have seen children want more out of life because of the books they have read; I have seen children want to travel the world because of the books they have read; I have seen children want to invent and challenge themselves in their careers because of the books they have read; and most importantly, I have seen children become comfortable with their individuality because of the books they have read.
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Sponsor a Child – Cathy Boggs
Since baseball does not count as a charity, I have to give more money than time.  We sponsor an 8-year-old child named Diego in El Salvador and give monthly to help his family provide education, birthday presents, holiday gifts, etc.  We keep an ongoing “pen pal” relationship and will continue to sponsor him until he graduates.  I want my kids to appreciate all they have and realize we can make a difference in another part of the world.  We will eventually do a mission trip as a family to finally meet him in person and see first-hand the difference we made in a family’s life.
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United Way – Rebecca Faulk
Greenville is blessed to have many diverse and strong charitable organizations, so for me, it is hard to pick just one. I love giving to and being involved with the United Way of Greenville’s efforts in the Upstate. They have a strong team, a great support system, and fully vet the organizations they disburse funds to. It makes me feel confident that, since I do not have one organization I specifically donate to, my money and efforts are being spread to several organizations in need of assistance.  
 Loaves and Fishes – Ana Davis
I have been a volunteer board member for the last 7 years and this has been an eye opening experience for me and my family. I came from Colombia, South America almost 20 years ago and never thought that there were hunger issues in Greenville County or in this country. I was completely wrong! I have seen so many cases through my involvement with Loaves & Fishes. Childhood hunger is a real issue in Greenville County. 49.5% of our children are eligible for free or reduced lunches. I have been so blessed to be able to serve on this board and I highly encourage you to get involved in any capacity–as a volunteer rescuing food, coordinating a can food drive within your church, your community or your business, or just being aware of what we do.  When you see a situation of anyone ready to throw away food or anyone experiencing hunger, you can just give us a phone call and we will take care of it or refer you to the right organization. What Loaves & Fishes does is a beautiful thing. They not only feed the hungry, but they rescue food and put those two pieces together making a huge impact in this community. There are only 5 people on staff and what they do every day is incredible and a blessing to all of us!

 

Do you have any charities or organizations you like to give to or serve with?

4 Practical Tips To Help Master Your Next Phone Interview!

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In a world of job portals and hiring black holes, just getting an interview can feel like an impossible task. I’ve been there. Now that I’ve seen the other side of the curtain, I can disclose in our defense that HR departments and recruiters are parsing through hundreds of resumes on a regular basis. Those are intimidating odds where every interaction counts.

Phone interviews can be used to speak with candidates who are geographically unavailable, but more often than not they are merely the first hurdle in a hiring process. Phone screens allow employers to get a brief look into the personality and skill set a candidate brings to the table without blocking key decision-makers’ schedules, reserving conference rooms, and struggling through an hour-long interview that’s clearly not a fit. Phone interviews also allow employers to evaluate a larger number of candidates before narrowing down the talent pool.

If all goes well, you’ll get an interview with the hiring manager and team. If the phone call is botched, you’ll go back to canvasing LinkedIn and Indeed. Follow the tips below to dial-up success.

  1. Set the scene. A corner booth at a busy Starbucks is no place to have a phone interview. It’s loud. It’s distracting. And your interviewer won’t think you respect their time. Find a quiet place that allows you to hear and be heard.

Eliminate any and all distractions including cell phone notifications, televisions, pets, children, and computers. Some experts recommend keeping a laptop open in case you need to quickly research something. This is a terrible idea. Interviewers can hear you typing and there is no feasible way you can continue a conversation while Googling the answer to the last question.

  1. Talk the talk. During a phone interview, you and the other caller obviously aren’t able to read non-verbal cues. One of the most common mistakes candidates make during phone interviews is demonstrating very poor listening skills. Elaborate on all of your great experience, but make sure you’re leaving enough time for the interviewer to provide insight or follow-up questions.

Don’t forget that we’re relying solely on verbal communication. You must also use proper grammar and pronunciation.

  1. Don’t forget your body language. We can’t see you, but your non-verbal cues do influence how you sound. First, sit up straight. You should not conduct a phone interview on an overstuffed couch or comfy bed. Sitting at a table or desk will prevent you from sounding groggy.

Dress professionally. If you’re wearing your jammies, you’re definitely not going to feel confident and prepared.

Most importantly, smile. It changes the inflection in your voice and interviewers can hear the difference.

  1. Use a cheat sheet. Your interviewer can hear you typing on a laptop, but we surely cannot discern your pencil jotting notes. Have your resume and a blank sheet of paper available in order to take notes and write down questions along the way.

 

A phone interview is not the time to be nonchalant about your preparation. It can be even more difficult to impress someone without shaking their hand and looking them in the eye. Take a little effort with the suggestions above and you’ll have no problem standing out from the crowd – in a good way.

 

Written by: Hannah Spellmeyer

 

 

Just a Receptionist

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Often I hear the words “just” and “receptionist” in the same phrase. Every time I hear this, it truly hurts. I’ve heard it from employers and I’ve even heard it from receptionists. Why is this crucial position for any company valued so lowly? Probably because people think it’s an easy job. Years ago on Administrative Professional’s Day, our staff filled in at the front desk in shifts so that our admins could have a nice lunch out of the office. I think it’s fair to say that it opened our staff’s eyes to just how hard a receptionist works. Imagine the phone ringing off the hook, a lobby full of people staring at you, your Outlook inbox overflowing with emails, and you’re supposed to keep a smile on your face and in your voice for eight hours straight, five days a week. Sounds impossible, right?

Your receptionist is often the first person your customers interact with. How much is a first impression worth to you as a business owner? In Greenville, receptionists make $10-$15 an hour and are often the least compensated in the company they work for. We’ve all had a bad experience talking with someone on the phone or walking into a business for the first time. Competition in any industry is so high, if the receptionist is rude, unhelpful, or just sounds bored, what is there to stop the customer from picking up the phone and calling the next company in your industry to try to place an order? Communication skills matter. In fact, as someone who talks on the phone and speaks with people in person all day, I can tell you that they matter a lot. First impressions count and you get what you pay for–these are generalizations for a reason. Are you as a business owner making the connection that this role is more than crucial to your company’s success?

So as an employer what do you need to be looking for when hiring a new front desk person? A top-notch receptionist needs to love interacting with people—both over the phone and in person. They must have a natural affinity for helping people and they must understand that their role is crucial for any company’s success. If you as an employer don’t take the position seriously, with your voice and with your actions, then how can you expect that of the person you’ve hired? The best receptionists know that they have to be “on” at all times. In the world of social media reviews galore, the #1 interactor with customers, your receptionist, needs to make it look easy—no one should have the slightest idea that their inbox is blowing up or that they’ve already answered 50 phone calls and it’s only 9 a.m. When I’m coaching my employees in support roles, I often make the point that if you show you know what you’re doing and you are polite and helpful, the customer will be at ease. Find a calm person with the proper administration skills who truly enjoys interacting with people, treat her/him as if they light up your office, and you can’t lose.

 

Besides managing the best support team in the Upstate, Karen enjoys the daily adventures of her dog Maddie and her cat Guillermo J. Gosling.  She is a 13 year veteran with Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing where she has served in a variety of roles including recruiting, medical credentialing, and management.

 

Showing Appreciation: A Win for Managers, Employees, and Companies

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Years ago when Facebook caught on with middle-aged people like myself, it became clear to me that people deeply wanted to express their stories, feel seen, and be heard. I think that is true for employees in the workplace as well. Do I want to be paid a fair salary? Yes. Do I want to feel like my manager really sees what I provide to the company, appreciates it, and trusts me just as much? Yes.

I manage a small team. Or as a friend once said, “I look after them.” I always liked that phrasing because that is exactly true. I do look after them. Below are the top 10 ways I try to make my team feel appreciated:

  • Make yourself available: If a team member asks to speak with me outside of our regularly scheduled catch up, I drop what I’m doing to make time for them. To me, nothing is more important than letting each member know that they are important to me and the company.
  • Coach them on the areas they can improve upon: I let my team know that theirsuccess is my success and a success for the company. I am there to help each team member achieve their goals and get better. Be specific, keep it to the facts, and be fair.
  • Have their backs: A former co-worker once told me that she always boosted up her team to the president in meetings and then later went back and communicated to her team what needed to be corrected. I have never forgotten that. I take responsibility for any shortcomings and begin coaching my team up.
  • Take a personal interest in their lives: I have tried to get to know each person that reports to me as a person. I once listened in on webinar where the speaker said that if employees like their managers, there is nothing that they won’t do for them, and I believe that. They know that I’m not asking anything of them that I wouldn’t do myself. We are all in this together.
  • Treats! As a former teacher, I love celebrating holidays and special occasions. My team gets flowers, candy, extra time away from the office, homemade sweets, a personal note, etc. It costs me very little time or money and I think it makes them feel special, and in turn, that makes me proud.
  • Be flexible with time: I try to accommodate their requests for time off. We are a small team but if they need to leave early, take lunch at an unusual time, or go to a dentist appointment that they remembered at the last minute, I try to make it happen. No one likes to ask their manager if they can do something outside of the norm. If you always do your best to accommodate, on the off times when you can’t, they will know that you’ve done what you can.
  • Listen: Sometimes employees just need to vent, blow of some steam, cry, or have a meltdown to get their emotions out. Sometimes you just have to listen.
  • Ask them what they need from you and ask for their ideas: What do they need from me to be successful? Do I need to run interference on something, move a task to someone else’s plate temporarily, or be a sounding board? Not everyone feels comfortable giving their opinions freely, so I make a point to see if someone from my team has a fresh set of eyes on something or a new perspective.
  • Let them manage a project that they enjoy: Our social media campaigns are important, but they were never something that I enjoyed doing on a daily basis. It was more of an after-thought for me after getting everything else on my plate finished. My millennial team member really enjoys creating content and making our postings look nice so I moved that over to her. Win, win.
  • Trust them: Assign a project, check in with them on their core responsibilities, be a sounding board, but in the end, let your direct reports know that you trust them to get the job done.

There’s a saying that employees don’t leave companies–they leave managers. It is 100% easier keeping a good employee happy than searching to refill a position, identifying the new employee, and training them to get them up to speed. It just is. I firmly believe that if you pay employees a fair salary, see, hear, and trust them, that you will have the beginnings of a satisfied and engaged team of professionals.

Writte by: Karen Truesdale

Karen is celebrating her 13th anniversary with Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing this week.  Away from the office, she enjoys spending time with her pets and her husband Matthew who is her LinkedIn editor.