Synergy Finds Its Center

It is no secret that the American workplace has rapidly changed and the “Madmen” office culture from the 50’s, (you know, the chain smoking cigarettes and having midafternoon drinks), is gone. Now-a-days, the 40-hour work week is all but history. The stress of keeping a job has never been higher and the American worker is momindful mind birdsre physically and emotionally taxed than ever.

We all know stress is bad for our health but what you may not know is that stress is terrible for the bottom line – not just your company’s but it’s detrimental to your own checkbook as well. This comes to fruition in two ways. The first is rather obvious, that being healthcare costs. Stress related diseases cost Americans and the businesses they work for an astronomical amount. Healthcare spending has soared as high as 300 billion dollars according to the World Health Organization, proving many employees and companies are spending more on healthcare than ever before. Unfortunately the cost isn’t predicted to drop anytime soon either. Within the last 30 years, stress levels in women have grown 18% and they’ve grown 25% in men. These elevated levels have resulted in the American worker being exposed to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. In fact, two thirds of all doctors’ visits for employees are due to stress related conditions. You might not expect stress to affect your performance or the company’s output but it is, without a doubt, doing so. U.S. employees spend 200-300 percent more on indirect healthcare in the form of absenteeism, sick days, and above all lower productivity.

The second way stress robs us blind is by cutting into productivity. While you may be putting in extra hours, the benefit of each additional hour spent working while stressed yields a lower quality of work. While the “work yourself ragged and squeeze ‘em for all they got” mentality might have been the approach that kept butts in seats for more hours, studies have shown it doesn’t always mean more revenue generated. We are seeing that happier employees produce more in less time than individuals who are stressed out due to working longer hours. Like some economist said way back when, the law of diminishing marginal returns is always at play. The time you spend at your job will not be valuable if you are overly stressed out and in this case it’s not only supported by economics, but science too.

However, all hope is not lost. We as employees must find balance in our lives…a “center” if you will. For many Fortune 500 companies that center is coming in the form of meditation. It is widely known that one of the best and least expensive ways to become healthier and happier is through meditation. In fact participants in a mindfulness program displayed “an increased sense of purpose and had fewer feelings of isolation and alienation.” Combine this with the decreased symptoms of illnesses related to stress and you get a Grade A solution according to the Huffington Post.

The benefits don’t stop there. According to an additional study done by the National Institute of Health, benefits can be even more dramatic than these aforementioned ones. Individuals that participated in frequent mindfulness meditation saw up to a 23% decrease in mortality and a 30% decrease in death due to cardiovascular disease. To those who thought working yourself to death was just an expression, and to those who thought meditation was simply some breathing exercises…you couldn’t be more wrong.

The wonderful thing about mindfulness is that there is no overhead. There is no equipment needed to indulge in enlightenment. All you need is yourself and an open minded approach. While there are studios available and an increased number of classes popping up around the United States, mindfulness can be practiced in your own home or cubicle. According to http://www.helpguide.org, mindfulness lies in practicing techniques to achieve a state-of-alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to the thoughts and sensations without predetermined judgment. These steps allow the mind to refocus on the present moment.

To practice mindfulness on your own (courtesy of helpguide.org):

Sit on a straight-backed chair or cross-legged on the floor

Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale

Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and your ideas

Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.

 

These exercises practiced and incorporated into a daily routine can be extremely helpful for individuals in high stress positions or for anyone seeking to reduce the amount of stress in their lives. In this new business landscape, companies recommend their employees try to find their center and practice mindfulness.

Encouraging our employees to lead physically and mentally healthy lives? WE MINDFULLY DO THAT.

Why Settle for “Good Not Great”

 

imgresWe all have that one thing in our home or office we literally hate using. Just think of the movie Office Space, Mr. Niena…..Nineana …Niniajhad?..however you say it, literally was swinging for the fence like Prince Fielder due to his problems with copy machine paper jams. For me it’s my snow blower, I can never get the darn thing to start, and when it does, it never works properly. Despite how much I hate it, you won’t see is me going all 1950’s and shoveling the drive way. Why? Because I have a small frame and can’t stand when I hit a crack in the cement and impale myself with the shovel handle (don’t lie, you’ve been there) Does it stop me from wishing there was something better out there? Sadly, no.

 

Can anyone else think about another product like this? One that does a lot of things better than average but not good enough to stop you from looking for something better? According to the Newsroom by Gartner Technologies, that other product would be Microsoft SharePoint. It’s widely known that Microsoft SharePoint is present in many an office building across the country, maybe even the world. What is less evident is that many professionals view working in SharePoint like eating crappy pizza after a long night out. In some aspect you’re disappointed, but then again part of you is still saying, “Meh. Any pizza is better than no pizza.” When Jeffrey Mann, Research Vice President at Gartner was asked about SharePoint, he replied:

 

A large part of its success comes from providing reasonable support for most of the things, most people, need most of the time. Together with support from the third-party developer ecosystem, this brand promise has made SharePoint widely deployed. However, few end users really love using it. It remains a tool that people are required to use, not one they want to use.”

 

imgresSo what we can gather here is we have something that professionals are using on a day to day basis that does things well enough, but no one really knows how or bothers to optimize it, or find a way to make it streamlined and practical. Typical approach right?
Remember the tale of the snow blower? Well had I taken the time to read the manual or asked for an expert opinion, I would have known hitting the primer button 20 times wouldn’t make it start any faster, and running it with the choke wide open wouldn’t help get me a clear driveway.

 

Same thing applies here, if companies would take the time or invest the funds to actually not just pay for the product but harness the powerful application they have available and properly allocate it’s abilities to better accomplish tasks, it would clear up ill feelings about the program rather quickly.  In fact one of SharePoint’s strengths is it’s versatility and ability to be customized, yet few people know or can take advantage of it. Tell me, how backwards is that? Your company hands you a square peg and everyday asks you to fit it into a round hole, repeatedly! I’d be frustrated to the point where my face changes color, might even switch jobs. Only thing is, you would likely run into the same issue at the next stop. Why? Because this problem is widespread and many companies won’t ask for help due to cost or lack of awareness. Mr. Mann continued to say:

 

We regularly hear end users and administrators complain about features or user-experience improvements that they would like to see in SharePoint. Although they want new functionality, they are less keen to have more upgrades, which are seen as expensive, disruptive and time-consuming.

 

So again this begs the question: instead of spending money aimlessly for people to use something they are not sure they like, why would you not outsource?  It’s been noted above a large part of the success of SharePoint in everyday business happens when you pair it with a third party as mentioned earlier. Why fight it? There is no shame in admitting an outside company can help you utilize something better than your current resources can. If this leads to you better utilizing and allocating your efforts, then it should be a no brainer.

 

What it comes down to is we have to get out of our way.  There is no shame contracting out a third party expert, much like there is no shame in reading the instructions.  Often times the cost of confiding in a SharePoint expert is less than that of the cumulative man-hours wasted with people fumbling around more than the Detroit Lions do on the field and in the front office. In the end, what you will end up with will be a better working program that gets the job done. You will have scored major points for streamlining your process and making your company’s SharePoint experience a walk in the park rather than dinner at your in-laws.

Make Recurting Personal Again.

With the speed that everything moves now a days its easy to forget that recruiting and hiring is supposed to be a fairly personal process. automated services have caused some larger corporations to lose sight of this fact. modern day web submittals, key work filters, and large ATS systems have made the modern day hiring process feel like a meat grinder operation. All hope is not lost. Companies like Synergy Computer Solutions make sure that we get to know each and everyone of our employees and our clients. We find that needle in the haystack talent and submit only the best candidates to our customers so that we can assure that both our employees and our customers happy and successful. This article by Liz Ryan hit the nail on the head. Join Synergy and help make recruiting a personal experience again!https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140822075741-52594-how-technology-killed-recruiting?trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A3642256891439383907825%2CVSRPtargetId%3A5908430255722348544%2CVSRPcmpt%3Aprimary&trk=vsrp_influencer_content_res_name

Companies “Hire Slow, Fire Fast” Policy Creates Opportunity for Recruiting Agencies.

According to the US News and World Report 100 Best Jobs Study, 4 out of the 11 most desired jobs are in the rapidly growing field of Information Technology (IT). Companies are scooping up web developers, software developers, and computer systems analysts at an alarming rate. With everythingChart 1.JPG around us seemingly becoming automated, going digital or transitioning to an online service, the technology Industry is primed for massive growth by 2020. According to an independent study, the Information Technology industry has grown almost 14 times faster than the overall economy over the past 14 years. Temporary IT staffing alone is expected to jump 7% in 2015 and become a 20 billion dollar industry. With the amount of qualified individuals starting to rise along with the demand, all signs point to major growth in the IT Sector for years to come.

Growth does however come with a guarded optimism. Companies are posting more jobs than we have seen in ten years, but, according to the Wall Street Journal are taking an exponentially longer time to hire new employees. Chalk it up to fear of another “great recession” or the fact that some companies Chart 2.pngseem to be getting the cold feet when it comes to committing to IT professionals who might not be able to fulfill the task that these new jobs require. Never before have we seen such stingy requirements for entry-level positions or time devoted to screening and recruiting candidates. A recent study shows companies on average are taking almost five days longer to make staffing decisions than they were five years ago. That’s taking almost an additional full weeks worth of time to render an HR decision. What’s the key word there? Time spent. Employers are investing time into filling a position they fear may not be available in the near future; instead of allocating those efforts into tasks that directly generate revenue. That affects the all-important bottom line.With firms tentative about long-term commitment or having only a need for IT support on only a project by project basis, a unique opportunity has birthed a new industry altogether—enter IT Consulting and Staffing firms

You have an IT problem? That’s our IT opportunity! It’s the mentality of many companies in a brand new industry created by this recent demand in demand for qualified IT professionals. A new service based around providing permanent or temporary staffing, project consulting, or internal IT solutions has arisen on the heels of this uptick in demand for qualified employees. It’s not just big box firms either. Mid sized companies are grabbing a foothold of the market share and they aren’t looking back. Companies like Synergy Computer Solutions, a Mid sized corporation based out of Michigan, has been making a name for itself for the past 20 years “solving IT problems” of clients. Chart 3.pngWant to outsource your IT dilemma to Synergy? They can handle it and get it done on time and within budget.  If the client prefers to execute the project internally but does not think they have the time or resources to get it done? Well, you can bet your bottom dollar companies like Synergy can take the guess-work out of the process and pair your company with someone who is a perfect match for that specific IT project or position with their precise staffing and consulting capabilities. These Mid size companies are providing clients the human capital needed to carry out day-to-day operations or the ability to deliver on specific projects be it short or long-term. Let it be known they are sparing no expense making sure they are able to fulfill the rapidly changing industry needs. Synergy for example, just created a new Offshore Development Center to ensure they are able to provide their clients with the most specialized resources possible, and maintain current relationships in addition to establishing new ones. Other companies are following suit, as they rush to make this small niche staffing industry big business. With companies like these on the rise, the future of thIs new industry looks bright for many years to come.