Rick control workshop

Risk Control: What are you doing?

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Heather Goines-Evans, COO, and Leah Tinault, Director of Safety and Benefits, represented Priority Staffing Group at a Risk Control Workshop in San Diego, California February 1 – 2, 2018.

The valuable information they learned on safety programs can be implement at our own office and at our clients’ facilities. They brought back better information on handling OSHA inspections and compliance, creating safety partnerships, and identifying safety risks. We’re ready to take that information and put it to work for all our new and existing clients.

 

If you’re not currently a client of Priority Staffing Group, ask yourself these questions about your current staffing agency:

 

  1. Does your current staffing agency promote your internal safety programs?
  2. Does your current staffing agency provide feedback on safety concerns?
  3. Does your current staffing agency work with your safety team to provide pre-employment and ongoing safety training for their employees at your work site?

 

If you answered “No” to any of the above questions, you should reach out to your staffing agency to create a plan that keeps all employees at your facility safe. At Priority Staffing Group, we go beyond just protecting our employees. We want to reduce risk and eliminate accidents for everyone at your facility.

Priority works with YOU to ensure the safety of both our temp-to-hire employees and your permanent employees. No company should be without an up-to-date safety plan that complies with laws on the OSHA temporary worker initiative (TWI).

 

Contact us about how we can help you manage risk and promote safety at your business, whether you currently have a safety plan or not.

Marion, IL: (618) 969-8800 | Vandalia, IL: (618) 283-9533 | Murfreesboro, TN: (615) 295-2127

thanksgiving contest winner

Thanksgiving Contest Winners

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Priority Staffing Group held a contest for our current employees the week before Thanksgiving.

Any current employee who left a review for us on Google was entered into a drawing to win a $50 Kroger gift card and a food basket to help with Thanksgiving.

 

OUR WINNERS

Congratulations to Jess (Marion, IL), Melissa (Murfreesboro, TN), and Kenny (Vandalia, IL) on winning our Thanksgiving contest prizes!

 

 

Make sure to follow us on Facebook to stay updated on future contests!

Southern Illinois FB – Central Illinois FB – Tennessee FB

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Active Shooter Preparation

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dhsWhile no one wants to think about the possibility that an active shooter could enter your workplace, it is always better to look ahead and be prepared. Kara Metzger, Director of Operations and Business Development at our Vandalia office, attended an active shooter class in Effingham, Illinois on November 7th.

 

The Effingham Chamber of Commerce sponsored this class, taught by Michael Mobley, a retired ISP officer. The tips below were given during the informational session and come directly from Homeland Security. The full guide to have on hand at your office or facility can be seen and downloaded here.

 

TRAINING YOUR STAFF FOR AN ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION:

To best prepare your staff for an active shooter situation, create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), and conduct training exercises. Together, the EAP and training exercises will prepare your staff to effectively respond and help minimize loss of life.

 

Components of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

Create the EAP with input from several stakeholders including your human resources department, your training department (if one exists), facility owners/ operators, your property manager, and local law enforcement and/or emergency responders. An effective EAP includes:

  • A preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies
  • An evacuation policy and procedure
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments (i.e., floor plans, safe areas)
  • Contact information for, and responsibilities of, individuals to be contacted under the EAP
  • Information concerning local area hospitals (i.e., name, telephone number, and distance from your location)
  • An emergency notification system to alert various parties of an emergency including:
  • Individuals at remote locations within premises
  • Local law enforcement
  • Local area hospitals

 

Components of Training Exercises

The most effective way to train your staff to respond to an active shooter situation is to conduct mock active shooter training exercises. Local law enforcement is an excellent resource in designing training exercises.

  • Recognizing the sound of gunshots
  • Reacting quickly when gunshots are heard and/or when a shooting is witnessed
  • Calling 911
  • Reacting when law enforcement arrives
  • Adopting the survival mind set during times of crisis

 

Prepare For and Prevent an Active Shooter Situation

 

Preparedness

  • Ensure that your facility has at least two evacuation routes
  • Post evacuation routes in conspicuous locations throughout your facility
  • Include local law enforcement and first responders during training exercises
  • Encourage law enforcement, emergency responders, SWAT teams, and bomb squads to train for an active shooter scenario at your location

Prevention

  • Foster a respectful workplace
  • Be aware of indications of workplace violence and take remedial actions accordingly

 

HOW TO RESPOND WHEN AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IS IN YOUR VICINITY

 

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Remember that customers and clients are likely to follow the lead of employees and managers during an active shooter situation.

1. RUN

If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.

Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 911 when you are safe

2. HIDE

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the active shooter’s view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door)
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

 

If the active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet

 

 If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

3. FIGHT

 

As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions

 

CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO!

 

HOW TO RESPOND WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT ARRIVES

Law enforcement’s purpose is to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. Officers will proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard.

  • Officers usually arrive in teams of four (4)
  • Officers may wear regular patrol uniforms or external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment
  • Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, handguns
  • Officers may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation
  • Officers may shout commands, and may push individuals to the ground for their safety

How to react when law enforcement arrives:

  • Remain calm, and follow officers’ instructions
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets)
  • Immediately raise hands and spread fingers
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling

***Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises

 

Information to provide to law enforcement or 911 operator:

  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters, if more than one
  • Physical description of shooter/s
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter/s
  • Number of potential victims at the location

The first officers to arrive to the scene will not stop to help injured persons. Expect rescue teams comprised of additional officers and emergency medical personnel to follow the initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove any injured persons. They may also call upon able-bodied individuals to assist in removing the wounded from the premises.

Once you have reached a safe location or an assembly point, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control, and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.

chili cook off

Chili Cook Off

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The 9th Annual Southern Illinois Chili Cook Off was held at the Marion Elks on November 4th. The outdoor event raised money for several local charities.

 

chili cook off

Gail Lannom, Priority Group CEO, along with Megan Jones, Professional Group COO, and Lindzey Barger, Business Development, were on the planning committee for the event.

 

Nearly 800 people attended and 32 competitors participated in the Chili Cook Off and Bloody Mary competitions, which had a Game Show theme.

 

 

The GLITS girls represented Priority Staffing Group for the 9th year in the competition. They won Best Team Theme with Wheel of Fortune.

chili cook off 

Other activities included a silent auction, raffles, and a bags tournament, all raising money for the selected charities.

chili cook off

Megan Jones, Professional Group COO

Up from last year’s $23,000 raised, the event surpassed the $25,000 goal for 2017. The money benefited The Fowler Bonan Foundation Clothes for KidsThe Night’s Shield Children’s ShelterThe Lighthouse Shelter, and the Williamson County Heartland Rotary iPad project for children with learning disabilities.

Priority Group is excited to have a part in our community’s events. If you have an event you’re interested in partnering with us in, call (618) 969-8800 to speak to one of our office representatives.

 

To view more photos of the event, visit the official Facebook page for the Southern Illinois Chili Cook Off.

 

Block Par-tee 2017

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Priority Group attended the inaugural Marion Chamber of Commerce Block Par-tee, a Community Fest & Bag Board/Putt-putt Tournament. Our representatives were Megan Jones, Professional Group COO, and Lindzey Barger, Business Development.

The Block Par-tee was held on Friday, October 13th from 4:00 – 8:00 PM at Heartland Regional Medical Center’s Serenity Trail and was a fundraiser for the Marion Chamber Foundation, which coordinates awards scholarships to Marion-area students by Grad Spree, a Committee responsible for all planning, fund-raising and coordination of activities for the drug/alcohol free celebration for Marion High School graduating seniors.

 

Block Par-tee Representatives

Megan Jones & Lindzey Barger

The event, which included food, drinks, prizes, games, vendors, networking and more, brought in a large number of people from the community, said Lindzey Barger, Priority Group Business Development. “It is always a heartfelt feeling to give back to the communities we live and work in and this event is a great example of that.”

 

Priority Group was a food vendor and also participated in the putt-putt tournament with a Friday the 13th themed putt-putt hole.

 

Block Par-tee

 

Leadership Conference: Live2Lead

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Live2Lead Leadership Conference

Priority Group attended leadership conference, Live2Lead, on October 6th. Our representatives were Gail Lannom, CEO; Megan Jones, Professional Group COO; and Emily Melvin, Account Manager.

What is Live2Lead?

Live2Lead was a full-day leadership and personal growth event hosted live in Atlanta. The event is an annual leadership gathering developed by The John Maxwell Company. For almost a decade, Live2Lead has shared leadership and personal growth principles to a live audience and over 300 simulcast locations around the world.

Attendees learn from renowned leadership experts from a variety of industries, gain new perspectives on relevant topics and get practical tools to take home with them.

Conference speakers included John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Warrick Dunn, and Cheryl Bachelder.

John C. MaxwellDave RamseyWarrick DunnCheryl Bachelder

The Southern Illinois simulcast was hosted by the Marion Chamber of Commerce in the John A Logan College auditorium.  At the end of the conference, an interactive group discussion on the topics led by Russell Williams, the John Maxwell Company leader in Southern Illinois.

 

The presenting sponsor of Live2Lead – Southern Illinois: Heartland Regional Medical Center

Additional sponsors: The Southern Illinoisan, AISIN, Watermark Auto Group, Legence Bank, Priority Staffing Group, Harness Digital Marketing, WSIU Public Broadcasting, Walker’s Bluff and John A. Logan College.

HR TN Conference

TN HR Conference 2017

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HR Tennessee 2017

Priority Group’s Heather Goines-Evans, COO, and Chris Nichols, Business Development, attended the HR Tennessee Conference and Exposition, hosted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) from October 1 – 4. Being members of the Middle Tennessee chapter, MT|SHRM, Priority Group was happy to participate in this educational conference in Nashville.

 

MT|SHRM is celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2017, and had the opportunity to host this event, which was the largest TN state conference ever. Over 1,500 HR colleagues, exhibitors, guests and sponsors attended this year’s event.

 

With 78 sessions and workshops in six focus tracks (Business Management & Strategy; Talent Management; Compensation; Benefits; Legal; HR Technology), the conference offered many learning opportunities for Priority Group, so that we can continue to develop our organization in a way that helps our clients and communities.

“Attending this conference gave us the knowledge to deliver more practical solutions to our organization and stay on top of the latest HR developments,” Heather said.

 

The conference opened on Monday with a keynote delivered by Peyton Manning titled Business Lessons from the Gridiron. Other speakers included Dr. Michael Burcham, CEO of Narus Health; and John Daniel, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for First Horizon National Corp.

“The keynotes were really informative,” Chris said. “Peyton Manning did a great job making the connection between managing a football team versus an organization.  Michael Burcham was outstanding as well in discussing How to Think Like a CEO.”

 

The conference as a whole was a great event for Priority Group. We are excited to attend the conference again next year so we can continually develop our Human Resources knowledge.

For questions concerning our business or to learn how we can help you with HR related issues, please email us or call a representative at any of our offices listed below.

Marion, IL – (618) 969-8800 | Vandalia, IL – (618) 283-9533 | Murfreesboro, TN – (615) 295-2127

 

 

Risk Management Tips

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How to Manage Risk

Priority Staffing Group sent two representatives to the Risk Control Workshop in Denver, Colorado this month.

Kara Metzger and Ally Farlow spent three  days studying up on risk management procedures and workers’ compensation laws. They learned new tips on how to help both our business and our clients’ businesses.

So, does your company have a plan for when work-related accidents happens?

There are some simple steps that your company can take to create a safe work environment. And when an accident does occur, you should know your employees will have the best care possible.

StethoscopePre-Employment Physicals

  • Pre-employment physicals are a risk management tool used to screen individuals for risk factors that may limit their ability to perform a job safely and effectively.
  • Functional testing before starting work can prove essential function capability, limiting the risk of injuries associated with certain jobs.

Pre-Employment TrainingSafety Training

  • Try to stop the accident from happening in the beginning! You can do this by implementing training videos to make sure that your employees know what kind of work hazards they will be around and how to deal with them properly.
  • Make sure that you hold regular training sessions to keep employees up to date on new rules and regulations and remind them of the correct safety procedures.

Safety Sign

Visual Warnings

  • Have all the appropriate signs posted regarding workplace rules and safety.
  • Make sure all signs are up-to-date and in a heavily trafficked area so all employees can see.

Emergency Plan

Employment Physical

  • Make sure your company has a plan of action when an employee is hurt on the job. Find out what level of care is needed and get the employee taken care of as quickly as possible.
  • Have a designated urgent care set up to send employees so that the process is simple for everyone.
  • Make sure to document all the details of the accident by taking notes and photographs. You should have a standard accident report and witnesses to back everything up. There should always be a signature from the supervisor that was on duty when the accident occurred.

Check mark

An additional tip to help improve safety in the workplace:

  • Have a safety committee. Get together once a month and go over ways to improve workplace safety.

 

Priority Group wants to help our clients establish a safe and prepared work environment. For additional information on our services and how we can help you as a client, email us or call any of our office locations.

Priority Group Staff Photo

Employee Appreciation Weekend

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Priority Group’s three partners, Heather Goines-Evans, Gail Lannom, and Carlos Tanner, extended an invitation to the staff and their families for an Annual Employee Appreciation Weekend!

 

Heather said they offered this event to all three offices and their families because “Priority Group’s success is a direct result of [employees’] hard work, determination and dedication to our vision.”  The company also has several new additions to our team this year and wanted to welcome “your family to our family.”

 

Emily Melvin, Placement Specialist & Heather Goines-Evans, COO

The weekend started on Friday July 28th when Priority Staffing Group closed the office early, rented the Marion Pool for a family pool party and had a cookout in the park. The event was open to all employees and their families.

“I honestly liked the whole weekend and loved that a family included portion was a part of the event,” says Emily Melvin, Placement Specialist in the Marion office.

 

The fun continued the next day when the adults loaded up the Redneck Party Bus to tour a few of Southern Illinois’ best wineries. A twist was also added to the day in the form of a Hawaiian theme. Flower patterns and hula skirts took over the day as everyone enjoyed the company of their Priority Group family.

 

Gail Lannom, PSG Partner

Lindzey Barger, Business Development & Gail Lannom, CEO

“The ‘Redneck’ bus was so funny,” said Gail. “The Southern Illinois wineries are so beautiful, and the music we heard was great too!”

 

The event didn’t focus on the day-to-day operations of business – just some off-the-clock personal time with the rest of the staff. “Sometimes in the hectic days at the office we can forget how fun our co-workers are and how awesome a team we have,” says Emily Melvin. “Fun events help us to realize great positive qualities about our team members and Priority as a whole.”

 

Priority Group believes that appreciated employees will do their best work. Each year, the Staff Appreciation weekend allows our separate offices to come together, socialize and get to know people we wouldn’t otherwise meet. “We have been able to do a company appreciation day every year and I always look forward to this event,” said Gail.

 

2017 Back to School Drive

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Priority Group is hosting a Back to School Drive for The Night’s Shield Children’s Shelter in West Frankfort, Illinois.

The shelter is a private, non-profit organization that provides a 24-hour emergency shelter for abused, neglected and/or abandoned children for the entire state.  The Night’s Shield accepts both male and female children from ages newborn to 18 years. The children are provided food, clothing, medical care, education, and weekly activities.

All donations can be dropped off at Priority Staffing Group’s Marion location from July 24th to August 9th during business hours. Please contact Robyn with any questions about the school drive.