How Motivated Are Your Employees?

By Brie Juran, Career Coach, and Program Manager

There are many key factors that contribute to creating and maintaining a successful business. Without focusing on finances, strategy, or operations, it would be impossible to keep your company afloat. But while these areas of a business are essential, they are all impacted by one element that is just as fundamental: your employees. Having a staff that is energized, invested, and compelled to reach goals, and ultimately play a part in the company’s success, can truly make a difference to your bottom line.

Employee motivation is the willingness one has to bring energy, commitment, and innovation to work each day. Employees may have the right skill set, and abilities to manage their responsibilities, but without any driving force, those skills will not translate. This can become problematic because, without motivation, there is a lack of engagement. This, in turn, can lead to a decline in productivity, efficiency, and ultimately profits. Workers who are not connected may contribute negatively to office culture, and are less likely to remain at the company, resulting in the harmful consequence of high turnover.

In order for your company to remain competitive by attracting top talent, implementing strategies to promote employee satisfaction is fundamental. Below are five basic approaches that can aid your company in helping your employees stay motivated:

  • Communication: Make sure to communicate with your employees often, as well as in-person. Taking the time to have simple but meaningful face-to-face interactions can have a big effect on making an employee feel valued.
  • Lead By Example: It is important to exhibit the behaviors that you expect of your employees. Having a positive attitude, and showing excitement and enthusiasm about the work you are doing, can be contagious to those you work with.
  • Empower: In order to facilitate employee engagement, foster an environment in which their ideas and input are valued. Creating space for their ideas to be heard is helpful, but actually implementing their suggestions makes a powerful difference in their attitudes. Allowing a certain amount of autonomy for an employee to dictate how a particular job gets done, without needing prior approval, can help drive their desire to perform at higher levels.
  • Room To Grow: A crucial element of an employee’s sense of satisfaction can be nurtured when they feel like there are legitimate opportunities for advancement and that they are working toward an actual goal. Facilitating the professional development of your staff keeps them motivated to work harder to advance their careers, but also positions your company as a great place to work, because of how it values employees.
  • Incentives: While cash rewards are nice, there are other ways to motivate your employees, such as a paid day off or gift cards. Getting to know your employees and learning what, specifically, matters to them, can help personalize and make such incentives more meaningful.

In ever-increasing numbers, organizations are focusing on company culture to ensure employees are engaged and motivated. It is a job-seekers’ market and if an employee does not feel connected, they have plenty of options to go elsewhere, and will often pursue them. Companies that avoid the pitfalls of low employee engagement will ultimately be the ones that retain top talent and succeed in reaching full potential.

The War for Talent and the Cost of Waiting to Hire the ‘Purple Unicorn’

Peter Landesman, Senior Business Development Manager, JVS Career Services

A recent article in the Cincinnati Business Courier discussed the current unemployment rate of 3.7% might be great for job seekers, whether their job searches are “passive” or “active.” While some employers have been strategic by reacting to this tight labor market with better pay and benefits to attract and keep employees, others have continued with “business as usual” attitudes and old tactics to fill their open positions.

Hiring managers, many of whom operate as if it’s still 2009, expect to see 200 resumes from active job seekers for every position they post. They also believe they have the luxury to wait for their perfect candidate to show up among the applicants.

How many hiring managers consider or even know that the average cost of turnover (both voluntary and involuntary) is $15,000 per worker (assuming the median U.S. worker’s salary of $45,000)?

Want an even bigger number? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 40 million “quits” in 2018, which was up more than 3 million from 2017. That makes the annual economic impact of the voluntary turnover amount to $600 billion.

The average time to fill vacancies for certain classes of jobs is as high as 94 days, according to a recent Deloitte & Milken Institute and Economic Planning Institute report.

One must ask why employers, usually keen on making wise decisions for other key aspects of their business, contribute to these sorry yet preventable statistics. I can answer that with one simple phrase: The Quest for the “Purple Unicorn.”

Let’s consider some adverse impacts on those businesses that pour resources into the quest for the “purple unicorn”:

  • Potential candidates tend to ignore positions that have remained unfilled for 30+ days. What’s worse, some will resort to “ghosting” employers who do not fill positions fast enough.
  • The negative effect on current employees can be extreme. Who is doing the work while the position remains unfilled? What’s the impact on those who must shoulder extra work? Will they soon be creating additional vacancies?
  • Extended time taken to fill vacancies gives competitors the opportunity to hire the best
  • The stress and strain on a company’s talent acquisition staff, who must struggle to find all the candidates to fill all the vacancies, can lead to serious consequences—none of which are good.

A wiser business decision would be to outsource some critical talent acquisition efforts to a professional recruiter. Employers selecting this option can leverage the advantage of a recruiter’s experience and resources to acquire talent. Recruiters also have inside knowledge and a wide network to work with, which helps them quickly find qualified candidates—both passive and active ones.

Recruiters can work full time to fill an employer’s open position, which provides an employer’s overworked human resources staff with the time they need to become more fully engaged business partners. Plus, they are often successful in reducing that critical time-to-fill metric.

As a nonprofit, JVS Career Services can offer recruiting services at surprisingly affordable rates while providing an excellent quality of service.

The College Process: Where Do I Begin?

Brie Juran

By Brie Juran, Career Coach and Program Manager

When applying to college, there are many details to consider that can make the process challenging and stressful. It’s easy to lose perspective and get lost when options seem to be bombarding you from every angle. To help you feel more confident with this, I’ve come up with four categories to consider when you start thinking about your college career.

Your Future Career: The main purpose of college is to prepare you for your future career. It’s important you put effort into exploring what you’re interested in. Keep in mind, certain colleges may be better for specific programs, majors, and careers than others, so it’s beneficial to integrate this knowledge into your process. If you’re not sure what you want to do, that’s okay. Many students aren’t sure what they want to do, but there are assessments and coaching tools that can help you decide on your career path.

The College Experience: This is a broad topic that covers a lot of ground. Are you looking for a large school or a small school? Close to home? Or far away? What is the average class size? Are there study abroad opportunities and travel programs? What about athletics, or research opportunities? The list goes on. It’s good for you to know what you’re looking for in your college experience, as you will want to carefully consider this when choosing a school.

College Financing: A college degree can be expensive, and getting an education should not leave you financially ruined. It is imperative that your school of choice be within your financial means. And keep in mind the ratio of your debt versus your post-degree earning potential. Be sure to check out what assistance you’re eligible for. There are federal, state, school, and even local scholarships (such as the HILB scholarship administered through JVS Career Services) that can help minimize your financial burden.

Making a Decision That’s Right for YOU: You may be feeling pressure from family or friends to attend a certain school, but this is your experience, not theirs. When looking at schools, keep in mind:  

  • What are the outside influences that are guiding my decision?
  • Will this school help me achieve my goals?
  • What are my “whys” and do all my thoughts align?
  • Does this feel right for me?

A healthy combination of planning and open-mindedness will lay the foundation for successfully transitioning into your college career. There is no “right answer”; many colleges can provide you with a great education and a memorable experience. Preparation and exploration are important, just don’t get bogged down in minutia. These guidelines are a general map to help you make an informed decision.


For more information about how JVS Career Services can help you with your college application process, please contact Brie Juran at (513) 745-2907 or email


Brie Juran, Career Coach and Program Manager of JVS Career services, is a Florida native with strong family ties to Cincinnati and comes to JVS Career Services with a multitude of skills. Along with her sales and management experience, Brie will be using her networking expertise to enhance business development and client relationships. Brie obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, and then went on to earn her Culinary Arts Certificate from L’Academie de Cuisine, a culinary school outside of Washington D.C. Subsequently, she worked in the food industry and returned to her Alma Mater to head the Admissions Department. Her time in this role enabled her to share her experience and inspire others to change careers and pursue what they love.

As in her previous position, Brie is passionate about the services and resources JVSCS is able to provide to assist job seekers in various stages of their careers as well as businesses with hiring needs. She has an energetic approach to engage community members and looks forward to contributing to the growth of the young adult professional community in Cincinnati. As a recent transplant from D.C., Brie is enthusiastic about connecting with others and in turn, facilitating their connection with JVSCS to find their place in the community through their careers.