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Mark Kelly, President of Safety Marking Inc., Shares 7 Traits to Look for in Prospective Employees

Bryan Cleveland

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7 Traits to Look for in Prospective Employees

Hiring employees might be a business leader’s most important responsibility. Here, Mark Kelly, Founder and President of Safety Marking Inc. in Bridgeport, CT explains seven important traits to look for in potential hires, detailing why each quality is essential for business success.

In many ways, a company is but the total sum of its employees. This adage is especially true for labor-intensive fields like construction or pavement marking. Employees largely determine the attitudes and opinions of customers, clients, and the public. Perceptions matter, and people’s perceptions of a business are formed by their experiences interacting with the company’s employees.

“At Safety Marking, Inc., we believe that our Core Values of Safety, Accountability, Communication, Teamwork, Integrity, Commitment, and Exceeding Expectations provide focus and direction for every person in the organization,” stated Mark Kelly.

Commitment to Safety

Some may wonder why anyone would include a commitment to safety at the top of the list of desirable traits for employees, but it is the most critical trait a prospective employee can bring to your company. While all the qualities listed are essential, commitment to safety stands alone as the one trait that can significantly impact a business’s success.

Douglas Dolinar, Director-At-Large of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), shared: “Worker safety starts with the employee. Each worker bears the ultimate responsibility to work safely and protect themselves.”

A safe workplace not only protects workers from harm, but it will also lower injury costs, reduce absenteeism and turnover, increase productivity and quality, and raise employee morale. At Safety Marking, employees are aware how crucial safety is for the company’s overall success.

Accountability

Employees who are willing to be accountable for their actions will not provide excuses when things go sideways. Although it may seem like giving an excuse to a customer for why their expectations were not met is a good idea, often that is counterproductive. Customers, teammates, and managers will be more satisfied when faced with accountability rather than excuses.

Part of being accountable is recognizing the difference between an excuse and a reason. An excuse exists solely to defend a fault with the intent to absolve oneself of accountability. A reason accepts responsibility but explains why the event occurred as it did. Explaining is helpful and does not excuse fault.

Communication

All tasks that need to be completed in business requires clear and concise communication. Incorrect communication or miscommunication can lead to disaster. Lengthy and confusing communication is not much better. The best employees will exemplify accurate and concise communication, both verbally and written. The difference between twenty five-dollar bills and twenty five dollar bills is significant, so look for employees that know how to communicate effectively.

Teamwork

Pavement marking, like many construction jobs, is a team sport. One important trait that sets a prospective employee apart from the rest is their ability to be part of a team. Even the most highly skilled employees pale compared to competent workers that can help the entire team function more efficiently and effectively.

Integrity

Employees that can’t be trusted to tell the truth and do the right thing will never make a meaningful contribution to the company’s success. Furthermore, they are likely to drive away customers and foster disruptive behavior with other employees.

Kelly Lavoie, Human Resources Manager at Safety Marking explains, “We rely on these core values to not only guide our hiring, performance and recognition processes, but also to guide our daily interactions with colleagues, clients, partners, and vendors. With our core values in mind, it is our practice to conduct all business in an honest, professional, and ethical manner, taking a zero-tolerance approach to violations of our workplace harassment, violence, diversity and ethics policies.”

Loyalty

Loyalty from employees is critical and commitment to your employees will promote a lasting work relationship. A person that feels unappreciated and taken advantage of will likely move to a competitor, taking valuable experience with them. An employee for whom management has demonstrated a sense of loyalty cannot be tempted away as easily under most circumstances.

Commitment to excellence

When vetting prospective employees, ask the candidate questions designed to uncover a commitment to excellence in their past experiences. It could be a commitment to learning to play an instrument or learning another language. The “what” is not nearly as important as finding someone that knows how to commit to excellence in what they do. If the business is committed to excellence, such an employee will readily adopt the company’s values and adapt to the work environment.

About Safety Marking, Inc.

Safety Marking Inc. of Bridgeport, CT is a family-owned business founded by Mark Kelly in 1973 to provide pavement marking services in Fairfield County, Connecticut. After almost five decades of service and growth, Safety Marking Inc. is now a nationally respected leader in pavement markings with offices in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. The company’s success is based on premium-quality service, innovation, continuous development, and philanthropic involvement with the community.

I cover national business news and lifestyle for Metic Press. Previously, I've written for TIME, Newsweek, the New York Daily News and VICE News. I am also an editor at HuffPost, a small business news room for a young audience.

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Dr. Kevin Dalby Reveals 7 Ways to Cut Productivity-Sapping Internet Distractions and Habits

Bryan Cleveland

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Dr. Kevin Dalby Reveals 7 Ways to Cut Productivity-Sapping Internet Distractions and Habits

The internet is filled with distractions. People know they get into bad habits online but knowing that an activity is bad for you isn’t enough to break the habit of doing it. Here, UT-Austin professor Kevin Dalby explains why habits are hard to break and offers seven ways to push aside unproductive internet habits, from simple tricks to more drastic measures for the truly addicted.

Anyone who has found themselves reaching for their smartphone, or another connected device, without even realizing they were doing it and with no idea of what their intention was in doing so knows what it feels like to succumb to a productivity-sapping habit. What may not be clear is that they have just experienced a trigger and then habitually responded to the input.

Habit inducing triggers can be challenging to identify. Often it is nothing more than boredom. Sometimes it is emotional stress that causes people to reach for a Facebook fix. It can be loneliness, arousal, or any number of stimuli that acts as the trigger. Still, the result is their body craves a brain chemical that regulates movement, emotion, motivation, and pleasure, called dopamine, and it reacts. Before they even know it, they scroll through their news or Twitter feeds and neglect what they were doing moments ago.

Internet-based habits are incredibly challenging because we all need to use the internet regularly. Disconnecting entirely is rarely an option, but this habitual behavior can become a full-fledged addiction if left unchecked. In some cases, professional help may be required to bring this behavior under control. Employing these seven suggestions may help keep an annoying habit from becoming a relationship-damaging or career-killing dependence.

Avoidance

Avoiding temptation is always easier than resisting it. If a particular app, feed, or site is the most common offender, delete it from your device. If it requires powering up a laptop to check your Instagram feed, you will likely significantly reduce the number of times you log in each day. Avoid easy access to device apps.

Identification

Make a concerted effort to identify your triggers. If you find yourself reaching for a device when you should be doing something productive, note how you are feeling at that moment. Are you bored, hungry, lonely, angry? Make the connection between the behavior and the trigger. Then avoid the trigger to the extent possible.

Replacement

Just like chewing on carrot sticks can help some people stop smoking, find an alternative behavior to replace your productivity-sapping habit. If, for example, you have noted that boredom is your trigger, and you have the latitude to switch between productive activities, doing so to avoid boredom is a great way to replace the non-productive habitual behavior with a constructive alternative.

Preparation

Preparing to react when the temptation to ease off the productivity pedal prematurely hits you provides the motivation needed to push through. With practice, you will remember to resort to your plan B before giving in to the habit.

Accountability

Being accountable to another person can be very helpful in resisting temptation. If you know you will need to explain to someone you care about why you failed to avoid the habitual behavior; you will be motivated to try harder. You must, of course, commit to being honest with yourself and those you are accountable to.

Reward

Rewarding yourself for successfully staying on track is a useful tactic. Maybe allowing yourself an hour of guilt-free-scrolling at the end of the day will be just what you need to stay productive during the day.

Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness will help create awareness around all of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Mindfulness will help identify your triggers and enact your plan B behavior. Mindfulness can improve many aspects of your life, including your ability to stay productive.

About Kevin Dalby

Dr. Kevin Dalby is a UT-Austin medicinal chemistry professor. He is researching the mechanisms of cancer cell signaling to develop targeted therapeutics. Dr. Dalby’s efforts were recognized by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and the National Institutes of Health, granting him nearly $5 million to support his research.

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Supersets: David Reagan of Atlanta Explains How to Burn More Fat While Building Muscle

Bryan Cleveland

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Supersets David Reagan of Atlanta Explains How to Burn More Fat While Building Muscle

Your overall fitness can be improved with resistance exercise. However, a better workout can be achieved by burning fat both during and for a period of time after completing your resistance workout. By incorporating supersets into your routine, you can reap the benefits of enhanced weight loss, high metabolic function, and cardiovascular health. In this article, David Reagan, an Atlanta-based personal trainer, defines supersets, explains why they are beneficial, and gives you some tips for incorporating them into your workouts to achieve better results.

What Are Supersets?

Supersets are the performance of two separate exercises back-to-back. Unlike a traditional set where you might do three rounds of 10 pushups, a superset would require a round of pushups and a round of sit-ups back-to-back.

The two exercises that can be used in a superset vary. It’s an excellent idea to superset lower body and upper body exercises, exercises that oppose each other (pushing and pulling, for example), or two exercises that target the same muscle group but challenge those muscles in different ways.

Why Use Supersets?

By super setting, you double the amount of work you are doing while keeping the recovery periods the same as completing individual exercises.

This maximizes your valuable time spent working out and can help you to build muscle more quickly. You’ll also burn more fat because you are doing more work, burning off calories. Especially for individuals that are short on time, supersets are a leading method for trimming fat and building muscle without spending a ton of time at the gym.

How to Incorporate Supersets Into Your Workout

Whether you are working out at the gym or home, you can easily implement supersets into your workout for a better overall routine. Remember that if you are super setting at the gym, you’ll want to consider the equipment (free weights, plate-loaded machines, etc.) required to complete those exercises. Choose activities that can be performed close together to save your own time and make sure you aren’t in anyone else’s way.

In general, you will need to rest a bit longer between supersets in order for your body to recover. It’s important not to rest between the repetition itself. That is to say, if you are super setting pull-ups and pushups, you should rest only after you have completed both activities.

You should also be aware that your body will likely come away more fatigued than usual after implementing supersets into your workout. Eat a high-protein meal as soon as possible after your workout while your body is in a metabolic state to ensure that the muscle repair and rebuilding process can happen right away.

Your workout can be ignited by implementing supersets. Supersets can contribute to more effective fat burning for weight loss, faster muscle building, and better overall cardiovascular health. Try incorporating supersets to save time, have a more intense workout today, and let the results speak for themselves!

Burn More Fat While Building Muscle

About David Reagan

David Reagan is a NASM Certified personal trainer from Atlanta, GA, specializing in weight loss, personalized workout plans, bodybuilding, and nutrition. He caters to high-end clients and executives in Atlanta, helping them achieve their fitness goals by accommodating their busy schedules. The client’s needs come first, and David’s fitness plan will set you up on the path to success.

 

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4 tips on travelling with a young baby

Bryan Cleveland

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travelling with baby

Travelling overseas via plane can be a real nightmare for young parents with young children. Taking care of an infant is hard enough on the ground, let alone in the air, stuck in a congested aircraft with hundreds of annoyed strangers. However, travelling with a young, restless child shouldn’t be the end of the world. If you’re about to embark on an overseas vacation and are unsure how your child will cope with the extended travel times, check out these great tips on how to get through the ordeal!

Give yourself plenty of time

If you’re travelling by plane, make sure you give yourself more time than usual when bringing your child. This extra time will allow you to handle any last-minute problems, like a diaper change.

Schedule your flights at suitable times

It would be best if you aimed to schedule your flights during times when your infant is generally in a good mood or sleepy. Them sleeping through large chunks of the plane trip is the best thing you can hope for, so try to coordinate your flights to reflect their sleep schedule as best as you can.

Keep them busy

If they are awake and stubborn, try to keep them preoccupied and engaged with something. Some babies find it hard to fall asleep on flights since the change in air pressure can cause some level of discomfort. Distract them with a book or a movie.

Bring supplies

Finally, you must bring all the essentials you need for the flight. Bring several diapers, plenty of healthy snacks, wipes, hand sanitizer and plastic bags. The last thing you need is to have a crying baby in need of a diaper change, and you have no diapers left. Pack extra just in case.

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