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-  Mya Borgman, Founder and CEO

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Creating a Stable Working Environment

We are being constantly bombarded by disaster these days. If we were to believe everything in the news then within the next few days we are going to be spiraling further toward a monumental economic depression that will make the Great Depression look like the Roaring 20s. This disaster will be the direct cause of food shortages, water shortages, electricity shortages, which in turn will spawn riots, war, and then a nuclear holocaust. Finally we will wind up living in our own personal space suits in a post-Apocalyptic nuclear fallout zone. Whew! I'm glad I don't believe everything I read because that is pretty tragic!

Happy people

“A productive staff raises the statistics, income, and morale of your business...”


And quite frankly not at all what our future really holds. I don't know about you, but I for one am sick and tired of the doom and gloom. Yes, things suck in the economy right now — that's true. But did you know that there are companies who are absolutely thriving despite this economy? There are people out there who are actually doing great, making money, being happy, and working in a stable environment. And that's perhaps the most important thing you can do as an employer for your people.

With all the craziness and fear that is being stirred up by the media and the rising unemployment rate, it is now more important than ever to ensure that your employees have a safe place to work where they know that their job is secure. Even if the business is riding a roller coaster of instability, it is your job as the manager, boss, CEO to instill confidence in your staff. A confident staff is a productive staff. A productive staff raises the statistics, income, and morale of your business, which in turn stabilizes your company and brings about more confidence, production, morale, and income. Here is something you can do immediately to put stability there and boost the confidence in your staff.

Create (or Update) Your Employee Handbook

Create an employee handbook that has all the policies of your company in one easily accessible binder that anyone of the staff can read at any time. If you already have this in place, then review it to ensure you've covered the points below.

It's important to note that laws vary from state to state so you should definitely have your counsel review your handbook before it is issued. You will have to live with any rules you put forward so make sure that they are fair and equitable to both you and your staff.

The basics of an employee manual should include:

  • An equal opportunity employment disclosure
  • Employee classifications, such as Full-Time, Part-Time, Exempt or Non-exempt (meaning whether they qualify for overtime and such, based on the duties of their job)
  • Any federal employment laws (such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act, etc). You may want to establish a policy to address the salary issue during a disability and what conditions limit whether your disabled employee will or won't be paid.
  • Your company's policies on work hours, paid leave, vacation time, holidays, and overtime. (A calendar would work well for the holidays). Check with any state regulations on minimum amount of break time, and time allowed before a break must be taken. For instance in California, employees MUST take 2 fifteen minute breaks in the course of an 8-hour work day.
  • General office guidelines, such as when an employee may or may not make personal phone calls, web searches, mySpace, Facebook, Twitter usage. Some companies allow employees to keep and update these social network sites as a means of promotion, while other corporations block them out. These policies should also notify the employee as to where they can file a staff grievance, report harassment, or get help in some other way to remove any difficulty that is preventing him or her from doing their job to the best of their abilities.

An employee handbook is a very important (if not the most important) document to have on hand in your company. It is the communication that tells your employees exactly what you expect from them, so that there isn't any question about what is to be expected from your employees, both new and old. In turn, it also gives your employees a very good idea of what they can expect from the company; such as what kind of support and backup, what the benefits are, why your company is a better company to work for than, say, your competition.

You certainly don't need your competitors hiring up your best people because they have better benefits that are more clearly explained in their employee handbooks. Bad economy or no, a good company is always in need of good people, so definitely don't lose yours because your guidelines are unclear, or worse, not even there.

Which leads me to my final point: your employee manual should be clear and concise and, most importantly, understandable. Yes, you have compliance statements and the requisite legalese, but that can all be buried on the back page. Keep your employee manual friendly, with a conversational tone and simple words used in it so that you can be sure it's read, understood, and can become part of your employees daily habits and routines.

If you have a manual, dust it off and take a read. See how easily understandable it is. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I bored?
  • Do I understand all the words? Are the majority of people who read this going to understand all the words? The concepts?
  • Does it paint a clear picture of the company's ideals? Mission? Expectations?
  • What expectations (from the employee perspective) do I now have of this company?

If you find that your answers to the above questions are not up to par, or your employee handbook could stand a round or two of edits, let me know. We can help you!

If you don't even have a handbook, we can definitely help you!

As you can see, having an accessible and friendly employee manual can go a long way in providing stability to your staff. They KNOW what to expect. And so do you.

Stay tuned for next month's edition: Part 2 of Creating Stability in the Work Place.

Call us to get the Qualified Staff you need NOW

If you have had any bad hiring experiences in your company and at this point have lost all faith in mankind and completely given up on the idea that there is somebody out there whose sole purpose in life is not the destruction of your property, we need to talk. Bluntly, there is hope that you can have somebody on staff that will help you and your business. It can be done.

This is our secret weapon that reveals who you should hire. Find out how you can use this to your benefit.

Call us today!


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Professional Employment Handbooks from Tim Bowles Office

We have developed a "soup-to-nuts" employee handbook for companies, based on the size of your employee base — for companies with less than 50 employees — and for companies with 50 plus employees. The manual is customized to your company and provided in an electronic format for ease of use. We encourage you to use this handbook to greatly improve your company's legal protection.
Employment Handbook

Happy Employees = Better Business

You have seen our previous newsletters talking about the need to keep your employees happy. Well, people agree with that. In fact, a few people produced a great little video on that very subject. Check this out. Only about 3 minutes long:

Happy Employees = Better business.

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