Retention

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Got an interesting email the other day. It came from the “home office,” which is really the organization that oversees the “division” I work in, but that is really totally separate from the regular organization. Basically, the money (think paychecks, benefits, budgets) flows through the “home office” but we could be totally independent organization if it weren’t arranged this way.

Anyway, the email was a company survey talking about the S.M.A.R.T. goals (there’s a buzz word for you) of the organization and they wanted feedback on the goal to “improve employee recruitment, retention, and engagement.” The survey had the general multiple choice questions about workplace climate and job satisfaction, etc. Pretty standard stuff.

But then there was an open section for Comments…and this is the place where you can enter anything you want. The survey is supposedly anonymous, but I don’t really care either way as I like to have my voice heard (thus, the blog and the reason you read – LOL).

So, one issue that I have talked about often on here is the commute to work. I have a great job and I enjoy it and the people I work with but, seriously, the worst part is the commute. Given that I am required to go to the office at least several times a week is rather annoying when the job literally could be done from anywhere in the world. Literally. As long as there is a decent internet connection, that is.

Anyway, I said what was on my mind. I pasted my response below.

“As part of the ‘improve employee recruitment, retention, and engagement’ goal, one of the things that needs to be addressed is the telecommuting policies and opportunities.

As an organization that looks for people with specialized skills or training, the recruitment pool is fairly narrow. Since the ESD covers a rather large area of service, your candidate pool could be rather large as well but factors such as location and commute times have a negative impact, both on current employees and potential ones.

Obviously, moving and obtaining reasonable housing for a job isn’t much of an option these days, but the technology exists to allow for people in remote locations to provide and complete the same (or better) functions they would at the office without having to be there. This would, in most cases, increase the number of people who could apply for a job but also would increase the satisfaction of current employees since many of them have between a 20-50 minute (one way) commute on good days.

People stay at jobs for more reasons that just work place atmosphere and pay. There are factors outside of the job that also play into their satisfaction and if those aren’t addressed, no matter the benefits the job offers, they will always consider other opportunities, even if it means taking a pay or benefit cut, so that it makes their life outside of work better.

Technology today can aide in much of those issues, if it is used for the benefit of employee and employer. The need for an office, a building, diminishes as technology improves and a central location is “business as usual” thinking. Allowing employees to work from remote locations obviously has an immediate overhead implication, in that it lowers it significantly. No big spaces to maintain, heat, clean, insure, etc. Are funds better spend on a physical location or on serving students directly? The answer is easy, but it takes out-of-the-box thinking to make it work.”

Do you think anyone will listen? Do you think it will matter? Moreover, if you were the boss in charge of employee retention and engagement, would it make a difference to you?

Reply All

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Etiquette.

“Reply All” should never be used.

Unless there is an extreme need (i.e. an extenuating circumstance that requires mass communication) to a previously sent message or it is mutually agreed upon between all parties involved that a conversation should take place via email.

Otherwise, you may be signing yourself up for a throat punch.

Seriously people. Seriously.

I don’t need to see your reply to the cute puppy picture someone sent out. I don’t care if you have grandkids to share if someone has sent a picture of their grandkids. In almost every case, I don’t need your two cents. I don’t need to see your comment about anything someone sent out that isn’t directly pertinent to me.

We have enough email to wade through on a daily basis, let alone to have to deal with people inane comments about stuff that is only remotely related to me. And by remotely, I mean I happen to work in the same organization.

Good grief. Stop using the Reply All!

 

False hope

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Hopes up.

Get them up. Higher. Higher!

Hopes crushed.

Don’t you hate it when people tell you they will do something and then they don’t?

Even worse, they tell you they will do it by “X” (a certain time they determined) and then they don’t get it done. They don’t come through. They just plain don’t make it happen.

Then, they don’t even have the courtesy to tell you it won’t happen and ignore you when you ask what happened. Or, worse still, they just blow you off like it didn’t really matter in the first place.

(see how this is progressing? Irritating isn’t it.)

Integrity.

It takes integrity to actually do what you say you will do, when you say you’ll do it.

It takes integrity to admit and communicate that you can’t get it done when you say you will and then make adjustments (maybe even at personal cost) to get it done in a timely manner to deliver as best as possible upon your word.

Integrity is something we don’t see much of these days. What used to be a standard has now become very rare.

It.Sucks.


 

Ever been promised something and then not have it delivered? My guess is you have and my guess is it frustrated you just as much as it does me. Tell me about your experience in the comments!

Doctor doctor

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Is it getting near impossible to get good service at a doctor’s office any more?

I was reminiscing the other day about how when you used to go to the doctor that they would actually spend some time with you and actually show concern for you, not just your physical self but for other aspects of your life.

Those times are gone. Long gone.

Now, when you go to the doctor, you barely get 10 minutes with the doc and you only get “one thing at a time.” In other words, if I am visiting the doctor for one physical ailment I can’t also mention a different ailment. I am told that I will have to make another appointment for that. Really?

Heaven forbid that I take more time than my allotted 10 minutes!

Doctor’s offices have become all about production rather than quality and patients are feeling the effects. Its all about “How many patients can I see in a day?” rather than “I am going to do the best job possible for my patients so their care and health comes first.”

A relative recently visited the doc and was going because they were pretty sure they had a sinus infection but also something else is going on internally, like in the stomach or kidney area. Unsure of what is going on in one area but pretty positive in another, they hoped they could have both addressed in the same visit. At first they were told that another appointment would be needed. When it was brought up again with the nurse, the response was “I’ll see if the doctor has time.” The doctor “made time” and broke their policy to talk about the second issue without a second visit…only to have my relative go back to the doctor two days later because the second issue is getting worse.

Is that really care? Is that really best healthcare we can get? “If there is time…” ” I am not supposed to do this…” “We’ll try and squeeze you in…” Whatever.

Your life, your well-being, your health is at risk because our doctors (maybe not them, but whoever is making the money and holding the docs hostage) can’t time time to actually provide you with the care you need.

I am not really sure what the answer is, but I certainly know what the answer isn’t. It’s not the kind of care we are getting now.

“The good ol’ days” really were better when it comes to doctor office visits. Let’s put some personal level of care back into “healthcare.”


 

Do you miss the “Good ol’ days” of healthcare too? 

Refund

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I bought something online at the beginning of the month that needed to be sized before being purchased. Of course, I don’t want to buy something that doesn’t fit right off the bat so I was careful to follow instructions.

The instructions said to download the fitting guide and make sure to “print at 100%” so the fitting guide printed accurately. The fitting guide was a PDF on the company website. When you hit download you have a program that opens the PDF and then you print. Pretty simple process. At least it should be. There is no magic here.

So, the product arrives and I try it on. Doesn’t fit. It doesn’t fit!

I decide to compare the item I received to the fitting guide I printed off. It was obviously bigger than what I determined the size should be so where exactly did it fit on the sizing guide? Interestingly Frustratingly enough, the item was a full two sizes bigger than what I ordered. TWO!

Now, I take pictures of the fit and sizing guide with the item and what it should have been versus what it actually was. Then I contact the company and submit my request for a refund and to return the item.

The response is rather irritating. Yes, they will refund the money, but a “common mistake is that the sizing guide isn’t printed at 100%.” Oh, so you are going to blame the problem on the customer when all they did was download and print the guide you provided?

Is the PDF already at full size or not? It fit onto and filled an entire 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper so I don’t know how there could be any mistaking how it was printed. If the PDF isn’t already at full size, why put it up on your website as your fitting guide?

Sorry, but you lost a sale and any recommendation you might have gotten for the whole process even if it was a return. You can’t blame the customer for a problem you may be creating yourself.

Clean air

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If you are still doing this, then you’re an idiot.

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Or if you are now doing this, you’re an idiot.

If you are trying to defending doing either of these, you’re an even bigger idiot.

We all know now that smoking is bad for you. There is no doubt about it. Not only does it waste your money, but it destroys your body…and you do it knowing full well the consequences.

However, this whole vaping thing replaced the smoking trend with a “safer” alternative. Yeah, so much for that right? If you have followed the news at all, you know it isn’t going to end well.

This “safer” trend has been around a lot less time than smoking. Yet, it has taken significantly less time to show that it isn’t any safer. But, for some reason people think that putting something that doesn’t come from a cigarette into your lungs is better for you. Weird logic, don’t you think?

Look, it is pretty simple. The only think that should be going into your lung, for any reason, is air. Clean air (as clean as it can be).

That is all. There is nothing you can substitute it with and you can’t logically make an argument for anything else. If the American Lung Association tells you to avoid smoking, smog, and household chemicals, etc. then obviously any foreign substance – “safer” or not – shouldn’t be put into your lungs.

Honestly, I don’t even understand how this can be a debatable issue.

Idiots.

DOH!

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There are those clients who just don’t know what’s up and then there are those clients who are lucky to survive a day when left to their own devices…

You, of course, have heard of the typical IT calls where someone has to “check to see if it is plugged in” and to “turn it off and turn it back on” and “did you turn your computer monitor on?” You are smarter than that, right? I am sure you have never had to need that sort of tech support, right? You’re all beyond that now, right?

So, yesterday I took a call about the software we support not working. It was in my area of expertise and so I figured it was something the user was doing (or not doing) and that is why it wasn’t working the way they expected.

In this case, a teacher wasn’t able to get the software to record the grades being entered for a graded assignment. I called the client and shadowed them in my virtual meeting room. Below is the conversation:

Me: “What seems to be the problem? Can you show me what is happening?”

Client: “I know you can’t see this but I am pushing the numbers for 2 0 and nothing is happening.”

Me: “Are you using the numbers on the keyboard above the letters or does your keyboard have a 10-key pad?”

Client: “I am using the numbers on the side.”

Me: “Can you push the NUMLK key on your keyboard and try it again?”

Client: “Oh, huh, weird. I have never had to do that before.”

Me: “silence….as I roll my eyes and bite my tongue”

Me: “So everything is working like it should now? Glad I could help.”

Add that to the list of “I’ve seen it all” items.

Why is it that people have a hard time troubleshooting issues themselves? Is it that we can’t, won’t, or don’t because we always expect it to be someone else’s problem?

Chalk this one up as another head shaker…