News & Articles

NWCS negotiates lower cost Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance

Good news for our insured medical/dental/vision plan employees.  In the face of rising medical insurance costs elsewhere, we have negotiated lower costs for the same benefits and coverage that we all currently enjoy. What this means is that we can continue to bear the full cost of insurance for our employees, and furthermore, employee dependent costs are lower. The medical plans remain the same low deductible plans with the same coverage as currently provided by our current medical insurance provider, Premera. The Dental plan is now Washington Dental, the largest network in WA state. Vision plan remains VSP.

NWCS is proud to be one of the few employers nationwide that still affords full medical/dental coverage to their employees.

NWCS Privacy & Data Protection Practices Approved

NW Contract Services is pleased to announce that we have received a favorable and satisfactory attestation from Independent auditors, Clark Nuber, PS, with respect to our corporate control and protection of client data and sensitive information. After concluding their comprehensive audit of our documented processes and controls, which also included onsite interviews, Clark Nuber, PS stated: “In our opinion, as of February 1, 2017, [NW Contract Services], in all material respects has adequately designed controls over their [Client] Personal Information and/or [Client] Sensitive Information in its possession to provide reasonable assurance that this data is managed inconformity with the Data Protection Requirements and criteria set forth in Generally Accepted Privacy Principles.”  

In summary, this attestation confirms that NWCS complies with the data protection requirements of our standard contractual terms, binding corporate rules, or other structure approved by any data protection authority, the European Data Protection Board, and adopted or agreed to by our clients, including, but not limited to, the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.

This  re-affirms NWCS’ obligation to actively protect all of our clients’ information entrusted to us and ensure protection and management of all personal information, including that of our employees. We take this responsibility seriously and are very proud of the efforts of every one of our employees’ commitment in adherence to this policy.

Green isn’t just our color

CDP, a not-for-profit that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts, recently released their 2017 Supply Chain Report.

In concert with that report, one of our clients, Microsoft was recognized as only one of 89 organizations, worldwide, that engaged their suppliers through CDP in the past year. As CDP supply chain members, these companies and government entities leveraged their US$2.7 trillion of procurement spend to request information from over 8,200 suppliers, on which the data in this report is based. Furthermore, Microsoft was also recognized as a Lead Member for their support of climate change initiatives with respect to supplier involvement.

NWCS is proud to have been one of a select few who participated in this review as a key supplier to Microsoft; we congratulate them on their special recognition. NWCS will continue to support these initiatives for all of our clients as part of our obligation to be a responsible corporate citizen.

NWCS Selected for ‘2016 Best of Auburn’ Award

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Northwest Contract Services Receives 2016 Best of Auburn Award

Auburn Award Program Honors the Achievement

AUBURN December 13, 2016 — Northwest Contract Services has been selected for the 2016 Best of Auburn Award in the Employment Agency category by the Auburn Award Program.

Each year, the Auburn Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional contributions in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Auburn area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Auburn Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Auburn Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Auburn Award Program

The Auburn Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Auburn area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Auburn Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Auburn Award Program

CONTACT:
Auburn Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@myawardcenter.org
URL: http://www.myawardcenter.org

Confidentiality, Privacy and Security

As the year comes to a close, we’d like to remind you of your responsibilities with respect to our clients’ confidential information. Many of you are aware of the heightened awareness and ever increasing reminders with regards to confidential information and protection of that information, by our various clients. They, and by extension, all of us, operate in a competitive business environment so it is very likely that the wrong thing spoken (or written) about in the wrong place at the wrong time will have serious negative impact on new products coming out or in the development. To help ensure their competitive advantages, and our success, every one of us has a responsibility to protect any and all client confidential and/or private information.

When each of you came to work for us, you signed a non-disclosure agreement; you also signed an NDA with our client.  It’s very important that you review these agreements and that you do all that is possible to protect the information and knowledge that you gain while working with our clients.

Many of you who have worked in the Aerospace/DoD environments are aware of “need-to-know”When discussing or transmitting client information/projects at work, be aware of the parties involved and whether or not they are ‘authorized’ to receive such information—it doesn’t matter the color of their badge; if in doubt ask your supervisor. They will appreciate your efforts at protecting the security of their data.

Some of you may be involved in collecting and/or processing ‘private’ data for our clients. At the time of your hire, you may have been so informed and provided with additional training on how to protect such information. Please review the instructions that were provided to you.  Following is a link provided by one our clients details good instruction on how to protect private information that you may be exposed to during the course of your employment. If you have any questions, contact your immediate client supervisor and/or one of us.

Any information, regardless if it is well known or not in the public sphere, as long as our Client has not authorized its release by you, is considered confidential. Violation of confidentiality and/or privacy agreements constitutes grounds for immediate dismissal.

Non Compete Clauses: Fair or Foul?

Below is a reprint of an article discussing House Bill 1926, introduced into the Washington State legislature in 2015 and reintroduced in January 2016. We at NWCS do NOT include these clauses in our employee contracts. We believe ‘non-competes’ are unfair, uncompetitive and misused by many of our competitors who use these contract clauses to restrict your rights to seek employment in a free market.

 

Rep. Derek Stanford introduces bill to ban non-compete agreements

February 3, 2015 | By Washington House Democrats

OLYMPIA – In Washington state some of the best and brightest future entrepreneurs are knocked out of the running by overused non-compete agreements that reinforce the wealthy and stifle startups.

But today the House Labor Committee heard House Bill 1926, a bill from Rep. Derek Stanford (D – Bothell) that would prohibit all future non-compete agreements in Washington, with few exceptions.

“Non-compete agreements have ballooned into a business practice that’s used too often and too broadly,” Stanford said. “Of course, there are legitimate business interests in protecting things like proprietary information and trade secrets, but those can be protected by non-disclosure agreements. The overuse of non-compete agreements only hurts workers and discourages entrepreneurs.”

Non-compete agreements are often used in the technology industry, where even temporary software developers, coders and web designers are forced to sign contracts that prohibit them from finding a “similar” job after their temporary employment ends. While large tech companies claim that prohibiting non-compete contracts would hurt business, Stanford cited evidence to the contrary in today’s hearing.

“California beat us to banning non-compete agreements — back in 1872,” Stanford said. “We’ve all heard of the Silicon Valley and companies like Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe and Facebook. These are all companies that thrive in a state where non-compete agreements have been banned for more than 100 years.”

Non-compete agreements are not only used for restricting future work for highly-skilled employees in the creative and tech industries. Last spring, The Seattle Times reported on a wage worker who left a $15 an hour job in water-damage cleanup with ServiceMaster of Seattle — a franchise of a national corporation worth $3.4 billion — when he was offered an $18 an hour job at Superior Cleaning of Woodinville. ServiceMaster sued the worker to force him to quit his job on the grounds he signed a non-competition clause that supposedly prohibited him from working in water-damage jobs. For that matter, ServiceMaster claimed he couldn’t work in fire-damage jobs, janitorial, window washing, floor- or carpet-cleaning jobs since ServiceMaster also offered those services.

Stanford’s bill is awaiting a vote in the House Labor Committee.

 

New Year’s Resolution

Resolutions for 2016

 Sustaining success is the great challenge of our time.

Every generation has taken on some great cause and left its mark on history. In the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s our ancestors took on the challenge of the Great Depression and World War II and guided us through an extraordinary advance in education. In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s wise and courageous people took on the issues of civil rights and have generated extraordinary progress in creating greater opportunities for more people just in our lifetime alone. Over the past thirty years a technological revolution has allowed people around the globe to communicate with each other in real time and advanced our lives in countless ways. Why can’t we set a goal to continually improve our results and maintain positive momentum through the end of this decade?

You have resources for sustaining success that you can turn to over and over again. In doing so, you can successfully build on your earlier achievements and continually improve your performance and results.

 Resource #1: Your Terms

Take out a sheet of paper and write down your definition of success. What does achieving success mean to you? For example, one definition of success is bringing a vision into reality. Since you get to choose the vision you want to bring into reality this allows you to not get caught up in what other people consider to be success. Or if you’re working with another person to clarify the desired vision then you’ve chosen to co-create that vision with this individual or group of people. However, we are creating the desired vision and not allowing other people to impose their standards on us.

In general what does success mean to you? What is your definition? Then think about the different areas of your life both on an individual basis and in terms of the organizations you are a part of. Write down specifically what you consider success to be for each of the different aspects of your life.

Resource #2: Your Time

You get 24 hours to do what you want with. If you let other people dictate how your time is used up, that’s up to you. Just know that time is one of your resources for continually improving your results. The way you manage it will determine to a large degree whether or not you sustain your earlier performances and go beyond them.

 Resource #3: Your Choices

Sustaining success is just as much about avoiding the stupid, debilitating decisions as it is about proactively selecting the moves that generate better results. If you look at the wild economic swings the world has experienced in recent years, you can see where poor decisions led many people to a financial breakdown whether it be in the housing market or the dot-com bubble mania or some other area.

Before moving into action or making a purchase or investing in an idea, ask yourself, “Will this decision bring only a short-term gain or will it increase my chances for sustaining my current success and building on it?” Pausing to reflect on this question may help you avoid stumbling backward.

 Resource #4: Your Integrity

Looking back on the first decade of this century it seems that most collapses for enormously successful people can be traced to financial fraud or cheating on a spouse. Go back several decades and find the same pattern. In other words, successful people interrupted their ability to sustain their results by choosing to cheat. Perhaps they lost sight of what they wanted in the first place or decided they wanted shortcuts to increase their “success.” Whatever the reason, letting go of your integrity greatly diminishes the chances for sustained success.

In maintaining your integrity, you can start each day with a clear conscience. That alone can help you to sustain success over the long term. When you lose your integrity, you’re done, and eventually your results will prove it.

Before moving into action, ask yourself, “Do I believe this is the right thing for me to do?”

 Resource #5: Your Capacity to Earn Your Results

If you blame others or something outside of yourself for your results, it may feel good in the short term, but it might keep you from taking hold of your results for the long term. On the other hand, if you ride some short-term advantage such as being in a hot industry to great results today, you may find that the advantage is not sustainable.

Take responsibility for your results regardless if they are good or bad. In doing so you can see what adjustments you need to make in order to steadily improve results.

No matter how tough times get don’t relinquish your capacity to earn your results.

 Resource #6: Your Purpose

In studying very successful individuals and organizations for twenty-five years, one common denominator is that they all had a clear purpose that they held on to for an extended period of time. These individuals and organizations knew why they were doing what they were doing.

Without a clear and compelling purpose for doing what you are doing in any aspect of your life it is unlikely that you will maintain the energy necessary to continually improve your results.

The fundamental question you need to answer is, “Why am I doing what I am doing? What is the purpose behind my activity?” If you can’t find a compelling reason for doing what you are doing, you need to move on to an area that fits much better with your purpose.

 Resource #7: Your Strengths and Passions

You can take away all of the trappings of success from a great performer, and he or she will generate as great or greater success in the future as long as you leave the person his or her strengths and passions. However, if you take away the person’s strengths and passions while leaving the trappings of success in place, the person will soon lose all of the indicators of success.

Luck

There are certain types of luck which you cannot affect (deterministic or probabilistic or elements such as where you were born, or which card you draw from a deck of 52), there is absolutely a lot of luck that you can meaningfully influence. Arguably, most of “work luck” can be influenced — i.e. you can increase your propensity to be lucky at work if you understand how.

 

How? Being “luckier” at work is fundamentally about having the right LUCKY ATTITUDE. As it turns out, luck is as much about attitude as it is about probability.

We have found in research that people who self-describe themselves as lucky in their entrepreneurial profile with us tend to be luckier because they have the right attitude. Their secret towards a lucky attitude — whether consciously or unconsciously- stems from three traits:

 

  1. At the foundation of a lucky attitude is humility. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, helped identify humility as one of the key traits of the high performing leader. Having a lucky attitude begins with humility and open vulnerability towards your own limitations. You need enough self-confidence to command the respect of others, but that needs to be counter-balanced with knowing that there is much you simply don’t know. Humility is the path towards earning respect while self-confidence is the path towards commanding it. But it is humility that humanizes leaders and allows them to be luckier. It is at the root of self-awareness, and creates the openness for one to take on our next lucky attitude trait — intellectual curiosity

 

  1. Intellectual curiosity is an active response to humility. Humility gives people the capacity to be intellectually curious. Conversely, people who are fully confident or arrogant are less likely to question their personal assumptions and outlook of the world. Business builders who are intellectually curious hold a voracious appetite to learn more about just about anything. They devour reading, listen to suggestions, and explore new ideas at a much higher rate than others. They are more frequently asking questions than trying to answer them. Ultimately they become luckier because they are more willing to meet new people, ask new questions, and go to new places.

 

  1. Optimism is the energy source to allow for positive change. If humility is the foundation for intellectual curiosity, then an optimistic disposition gives one the belief and energy that more, better, faster is always possible. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy: more luck tends to come to those who believe in possibility — to those who see the good in something before they see the bad. Optimists are givers of energy rather than takers of it. By having a positive disposition, such individuals are more likely to have a greater number of seemingly “surprise” encounters with good fortune. They are also more likely to act on what they find through their intellectually curious pursuits because they believe — always believe — in the potential for better.

 

The basic equation of developing the right lucky attitude therefore is quite simple. It starts with having the humility to be self- aware, followed by the intellectual curiosity to ask the right questions, and concluding with the belief and courage that something better is always possible (optimism).

 

The luckiest people in the business world are those who hold all three elements of this lucky attitude equation of humility, intellectual curiosity, and optimism. They are the people who say to themselves: I am humble enough to say I don’t know how to make better/perfect happen on my own; I am curious and courageous enough to ask questions that might help make something closer to perfect; and finally I embrace the “glass half-full” optimism that the end result can always be improved, so let me act towards that objective.

The 8 Dumbest Career-Ending Mistakes That Smart People Make

(Forbes.com)

 

  1. They assume their past success will continue in the future on new projects.There’s an arrogance that can take hold in really smart people over time.  They’re used to being the stars.  They’re used to having an audience of admirers.  Their whole lives have been a series of one success after another.  Why wouldn’t this pattern continue, they think?  This over-confidence breeds lots of blind spots.

 

  1. They stop paying attention to details.When you have success early in your career, you get promoted and you get further opportunities to show your skills.  Quite often, you get more responsibility too.  If you’re over-confident that your past success will continue, you can stop paying attention to all the details like you used to during the early times when you had some of your biggest successes.  You can start mailing in your efforts, or you simply delegate the details to others and forget to check up on them later.  Because you’re still so busy, you don’t realize everything that’s slipping through the cracks beneath you.

 

  1. They forget their own strengths and weaknesses.Let’s face it, none of us is perfect.  No matter our college degree or education.  No matter our latest achievement, we all have strengths and weaknesses.  The most successful people in the long-run never forget their weaknesses when they look in the mirror.  They find a way to surround themselves with people who can cover those weaknesses because others have strengths in those areas.   The smart folks who fail assume they can be experts in areas that they have no business offering opinions on.

 

  1. They banish people from their inner circle who have a different opinion.Nobody likes to be told they’re wrong.  At the early stages of our careers, if our boss tells us we’re wrong, we have to accept it.  As we grow into positions of authority, someone tells us we’re wrong, we can simply tell them they’re probably not the best fit on our team.  Over time, the smart people who make dumb mistakes surround themselves with “yes” men or women. They assume – based on all their past success – that they can’t be wrong.  And they will drive full-steam ahead on one of their decisions, even if it drives the whole company off a cliff.

 

  1. They forget that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.There’s an old saying: “be nice to the people on your way up, because you’ll also be seeing them on your way down.”  We all have highs and lows in a long career.  At some point, no matter how successful you are in the moment, you will get knocked down by something or someone.  And then you’ll need allies and supporters.  Therefore, don’t alienate people by telling them how brilliant you are and stupid they are — even if it never seems like you’ll need their support in the future.  You never really know who you might have to call on for a favor in the future.

 

  1. They decide to move out of their area of expertise.Sometimes on business TV, you’ll hear people quoting how so many big mergers or acquisitions have ended up destroying value instead of creating value.  We might be successful because we know the business we’re in but that doesn’t mean we can now know every other business under the sun.

 

  1. They don’t build bridges with all the senior people who will have a say in their fate.A lot of times, smart people assume that their results will speak for themselves.  But we live in a world where relationships matter.  It’s not just in Game of Thrones where good guys get their heads chopped off out of nowhere thanks to some enemy they never realized they had. It’s again arrogance to think that your brilliance and successes will speak for themselves.  They might have just the opposite effect of annoying some key influencers above you who think you’re full of yourself and not ready for the next big promotion.  You’ve always got to be selling yourself to others to ensure they know your success and abilities (although you have to do it in a way that doesn’t annoy those above you).  It’s got to be sincere, not obsequious.  Who’s going to do your PR if not you?

 

  1. They take needless risks in their personal lives.One final word of warning: if you think you can be the top of your game in your work life and have one vice in your personal life that won’t affect it, you’re probably very wrong.  Whether it’s gambling, alcohol, drugs, adultery, or something else, you’re playing with fire if you can’t control yourself in those areas.  Sure the politicians like Anthony Weiner, Gary Hart and John Edwards come to mind, but there are lots of smart and successful engineers and other professionals who succumb to this one as well.
Not My Job

What is your job? It is your job to provide what the customer needs. The only reason that our customers engage our company’s services is because they have things that need to be done that they either don’t have time to do, don’t have the personnel to do, or just plain don’t have the inclination to do, If each of our employees makes it his/her focus to constantly be on the look-out for things that the customer needs done and that they have the skills to do, all would go well for both the customer and you.

It should never be your inclination to say (or think) “That’s not my job!” It is your job to give the customer what the customer thinks they want. Each of us should function in a manner that recognizes that we are not consultants hired to tell our customers what they should do. We are hired to do what our customers want us to do. Yes, if they ask for an opinion regarding what should be done, you should feel free to offer advice based upon your experience and knowledge, but without a specific request, the focus of your work should be set by the wishes and needs of our customer.

When you start limiting what you consider to be “your job”, you start limiting the duration of your job. Our customers value flexibility and willingness to adapt to whatever the customer sees as today’s priority situation. Our longest service employees have all shown a willingness to adapt and that ability has made it very easy for us to continue placing them in different groups as they have developed a reputation for taking on whatever needs to be done without the “not my job” attitude. Make it your goal to be more like them in this regard.

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