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?

Frosted

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Why aren’t all freezers “frost free”?

I am asking myself that as I face the prospect of having to defrost a large chest freezer before stocking it full of beef this weekend.

It can’t really be that the tech is that expensive, so why isn’t a frost free function on a freezer standard? Anyone?

Frosted freezers make the task of making them frost free not very cool. In fact, it burns me up.

**See what I did there? LOL**

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!

 

Get out and vote

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I don’t know about your state, but we have elections in ours today. Want to know who’s really stupid? People who choose not to vote.

One thing that has never made sense to me is that people are actually willingly giving up their right to vote by not participating.

They haven’t registered to vote. They haven’t cast a ballot in a long time. They haven’t changed their registration location because they moved. They haven’t voted, for whatever reason…“Oh, I’m not political.” 

Whatever! You are political. Every time you complain about the government or those working in it, for it, or around it. You’re political.

Voting is a fundamental right to CITIZENS of the United States. It’s your right. It’s your voice. No vote, no voice. But here’s the thing, it’s REALLY easy to do, if you really care. But even if it isn’t easy, you should still do it! Voting is like breathing, eating, and sleeping. You just should do it because it matters a lot.

Of course, there are those in our country who are not citizens and they vote, which is totally illegal and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. How is it they care more than actual people who are citizens?

Get and vote. Seriously.

Today.

And every other opportunity you have.

Admission

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OK, I’ll admit it.

It’s hard for some to admit, because of their age, and likely it has also been hard for me too, but I have come to the realization that I jut have to admit it. I am 47, and coming up on 48 rather quickly and it is time for me to put it out there.

I like to play video games.

Well, let me rephrase that.

I like to play FPS (first person shooter) games.

Specifically, I really like the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare games. I have also played games in the Halo series (these were really what got me hooked), a few of the Ghost Recon series, and some in the Far Cry series. But, I would have to say my favorites out of all the games (at least of late) are Call of Duty:WWII, Call of Duty: Black OPs IIII, and now the new Modern Warfare.

Why? I don’t know really. I like the stories. I like the competition. I like the shooting and the challenges they pose. I like the temporary escape of being able to do something mindless for a while.

Am I a violent person? No. Do I know they aren’t real? Yes. Do they make me want to be violent? No. Do I know the difference between real and fantasy? Yes. Do I believe that it has desensitized me to violence? No.

Do I waste time doing it? Yes. Are there better things I probably could be doing? Yes. Do I care? No. I am able to balance my time and allot free time as necessary while still maintaining my responsibilities.

Am I very good at it? No. Am I competitive? Yes. Do I play competitively? No. I like the feeling of being able to improve and it is really a competition against myself and my own skills rather than other people, though I do play online with other live players.

Am I out of the ordinary? Maybe; but I have a feeling I am not.

What do you think? Am I alone in this enjoyment? Are there others of you out there that are “old” like me but still like to play video games? If so, what do you enjoy playing?

 

Clogged

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Stuffed to the max.

It appears today I will be a mouth breather…

Woke up with a stuffed nose and a tight throat. I think we all know where this is going. I am about to enter the land of flu/cold season.

Thankfully I am telecommuting (today and tomorrow) and not going to expose someone at the office. But, if it isn’t gone in a day or so, then I’ll be burning some sick days.

How are you feeling today?

Disconnect

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Well, it’s been a trying 24 hours.

Roof leak – still dealing with that issue.

Yesterday, after working fine the day before, the internet decided it didn’t want send any data to our devices. It just plain pooped out, even though it was showing there was a WiFi signal. After more than an hour on the phone with a tech, I was going to have to go and exchange the modem and router for a new one.

Hard to work from home (telecommute) when the internet isn’t working.

Exchange is done and now I am back up and running.

Irritated. To say the least. But, at least it is getting better.