About Our Publication
Med One to One started as an informal newsletter that was only distributed to the company. What started as a company update has now become a way for our customers to connect with us and learn more about the Med One story.
Med One to One officially became an outside publication in 2006. Six issues were published every year with the latest news in the leasing industry and happenings at Med One. In 2012, the publication went quarterly, expanding and increasing the quality to improve the reader experience. All articles are written by company employees, each providing their own unique voice and perspective that combines to create the voice of Med One to One. Click here to start receiving a free copy of Med One to One.
Med One to One consists of editorials, a message from our owners, testimonials, information regarding our financing solutions, employee spotlights and more. Four issues are published every year and with each comes the most recent and exciting news of Med One Capital.
JAN / FEB / MAR 2012
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I Love Sports Letter From the Editor
I love sports. It doesn’t really matter which sport; I love them all. OK, maybe I don’t love all of them, but I do have an appreciation for each of them in their own way.
We recently had the chance to see the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers to win their second Super Bowl title. In my opinion, football is the ultimate team sport. It requires every player to do his job in order for the team to be successful. Very seldom does one guy win the game on his own. He may make an amazing play, but when you break it down, there are always ten other guys doing something so the one could be successful.
This is true in all sports, even when only one player is participating. For example, Novak Djokovic recently won the Australian Open. While he was the only person on the court, there were many people behind the scenes who played an important role in his success such as coaches, trainers and family supporters.
In the business world, we often hear about teamwork. Many times the comparisons are the same in sports as they are in business. The idea is that we all need to do our particular part so the entire company can succeed. Other analogies are made with sales teams and administrative teams. Regardless of the situation or comparison, the message is always the same: It takes many people to create success.
So what does all of this have to do with my article? Good question. Let me explain. In another recent sports story, a middle school student by the name of Owen Groesser showed the world the importance of being ready when the coach calls your name. Many of you probably saw this story or have seen one similar to it.
Owen, who was born with Down syndrome, is the team manager for his basketball team. He had never missed a practice and was always encouraging the other players by giving them advice and helping in any way possible. Thanks to the efforts of an amazing coach, family, school and opponent, Owen was given the chance to play in a game.
This is where it gets really good. With two minutes left in the game and the crowd chanting his name, Owen took the court for the first time. Not only did he get on the floor, but he made his very first shot – a three-pointer. He would end the game shooting .500, making two three- pointers and missing two.
For me, the greatest lesson from this story has nothing to do with Owen, a student with Down syndrome playing in a basketball game. The lesson I learned has everything to do with being ready when given the chance. Owen didn’t let anything stop him from making a difference for his team. He just went out and did what he could. Every day Owen would practice with the team knowing his chance of playing was slim to none. Yet, he still did his best so he would be ready if the coach called his name.
In the business world there are many who are “sitting on the bench” waiting for their name to be called. Some of them, like Owen, are doing everything they can to make sure they are ready when that chance comes along. Others are just there wondering why they are on the bench. They find reasons or excuses why they don’t need to work as hard and they do just enough to get by.
Teamwork is very important in sports and in business. We all have specific roles and if we do them to the best of our abilities we will be successful. Even if we aren’t the starting wide receiver or point guard, we are still part of the team and need to do everything we can to be ready when the coach calls our name.
Just Do It, Take Action Letter From The Owners
To begin with I want to quote from a good friend of ours, Michael Staver:
"I was speaking to a group in the last few weeks driving the point about how the most progressive and successful people and organizations are quick. They don’t spend so much time getting ready to be ready. They don’t over plan and over prepare. They are focused on driving more action and less talk. More do and less getting ready to do. I paused for a moment and a member of the audience raised their hand. I recognized them and here was their question, “Don’t we run the risk of becoming impulsive and careless if we just run around making quick decisions and not planning?” That one question sums up the challenge. It’s not about NOT planning, NOT being ready. It’s about not allowing fear and paralysis of analysis to keep you from acting.
Many opportunities are missed because of hesitation. Many challenges become bigger for lack of action. I differentiate quickness from fast in this way - quickness has to do with response times, being nimble and able to move without massive disruption or layers upon layers of caution and approval."
Med One started out 22 years ago as an equipment leasing company – focused on providing a unique resource to help equipment manufacturers offer financing options to their customers. In 1991 when we started, Medicare reimbursements had recently changed the way in which hospitals were viewing capital equipment acquisitions. A market segment (hospitals) which up until then had enjoyed almost unrestricted capital to purchase equipment at will, was beginning to learn how to deal with limited access to cash and the need for tightening and prioritization of capital budgets. Most hospitals back then rejected much interest in leasing their assets, but most were keen on finding unique and innovative ways to acquire needed equipment without having to access shrinking capital budgets.
"Many opportunities are missed because of hesitation. Many challenges become bigger for lack of action. I differentiate quickness from fast in this way - quickness has to do with response times, being nimble and able to move without massive disruption or layers upon layers of caution and approval." During this time, the concept of peak need rental came into its own, was embraced by a significant share of the market, and became a critical tool allowing hospitals ready access to important unbudgeted equipment. The relative ease of acquiring the use of state-of-the-art equipment through month-to-month rental encouraged many clinicians to adopt rental as a primary acquisition tool.
Another important tool that was used extensively was a pay-per-use approach. Customers and manufacturers adopted various ways of paying for capital equipment using operating funds. These included payment per hours of use; disposable up-charges; payment based on patient days, etc.
Med One was very successful in developing a wide array of programs such as these, and others that would offer customers the ability to access capital equipment through the operating budget. This capability helped to propel Med One’s phenomenal growth in offering lease based options to our customers. Over the years Med One has purchased equipment for long term leases to our customers totaling over $1.5 billion. Our current portfolio of leases totals approximately $500 million. These numbers rank Med One as currently the 4th largest independent leasing company in the United States. This ranking obviously does not include bank owned leasing companies, but it is a significant milestone nonetheless. Every other company in the rankings provides leasing services to a wide range of end users across the entire market place. Med One is the only leasing company in the United States that leases healthcare equipment almost exclusively to acute care hospitals. Having such a limited market has allowed us to become very proficient in what we do, but it has challenged us to maintain the growth that we have enjoyed for so many years.
We have recently announced some significant new initiatives. Med One has a customer base of over 2,600 hospitals throughout the United States and Canada. We are well respected and have provided an important service for our leasing customers for many years. In an effort to take our unique story directly to the market and offer the breadth of our product line to more customers we have established a direct sales force (see p. 13). This effort officially began January 1, 2013. This is a first for Med One. Our sales people will be offering virtually all of our services directly to acute care hospitals throughout the United States. What is unknown to many of our customers is that Med One is not just a leasing company.
• Med One has a very strong presence in peak need equipment rental. With more than 10,000 pieces of equipment being rented on a month-to-month basis to over 600 hospitals across the United States. Additionally, we have recently begun actively promoting our rental business in the territory of Puerto Rico.
• Med One sells a significant volume of high quality, pre-owned medical equipment which has been previously on lease to our customers.
• Med One is active in providing asset management with our employees actually working inside hospitals focusing on management and more effective use of critical patient care equipment.
• Med One maintains its own state-of-the art biomed center with the capability to service, repair, and refurbish all of the equipment that we deal with.
Med One will never stop being a leasing company. It is a core capability of the organization. The Med One approach to equipment leasing has made a profound impact on the way that many hospitals acquire equipment. We have been established as nationally prominent “player” in the medical market place. It is our intent to bring this same expertise and success to our other capabilities.
This brings me back to the quote from Michael Staver mentioned above. While as a company, we have been preparing for this new era for over 20 years, the decision to move forward actually came very quickly and was accelerated by the catalyst of a number of very timely events that have come to pass in the past few months. Certainly our direct sales force initiative is an emerging work in progress, but we are very, very encouraged by the initial response. We felt that it was important to take quick action in order to fill the needs that we perceive exist in our market and to capture current opportunities.
I emphasize Mike’s statement – "Many opportunities are missed because of hesitation. Many challenges become bigger for lack of action." Now for the very first time in our history, Med One will have their own people actually interfacing with our customers (and other potential customers) to tell our own story and provide our unique and impressive array of products and services to the market.
I invite you to visit our newly reconstructed website www.medonecapital.com to learn more about the continuing Med One story.
While nothing may sound more appealing than a juicy cheeseburger, french fries, and a large dose of anything caffeinated after a hectic day at the office, you may want to think again before pulling up at your favorite drive-through window. You might be surprised to learn how much your health correlates with career success.
Recent studies conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership show that executives and leaders of companies tend to live healthier lifestyles overall. Here are a few statistics from their study to get you thinking:
- 88% of executives claimed that exercise clearly impacts their job performance
- 75% of executives stated that a healthy diet clearly impacts their job performance
- 75% of executives stated that being overweight or obese is a “serious career impediment”
- Less than 9% of executives smoke
- Overweight executives are often viewed as less effective in the workplace by colleagues and other executives
While these statistics may or may not always be indicative of a person’s ability to do their job well, it’s amazing how much affect perception can have. An article posted in the Wall Street Journal quoted Barry Posner, a leadership professor at Santa Clara University, who said: "A heavy executive is judged to be less capable because of assumptions about how weight affects health and stamina."
But weight isn’t the only correlation between health and success. Factors such as stress, sleep, and lifestyle habits also contribute to the amount of success a person experiences in their career. It’s safe to assume that many top executives have more stress and less sleep than those working beneath them, right? Most stay up late into the night, at least occasionally, finishing up projects and starting new ones. They have dozens - sometimes hundreds - of people to manage and things to worry about. Still, research supports assertions that executives are healthier overall. So how can this be?
Simply put, much of it has to do with conscious decision-making. Those advancing in their careers don’t exactly live a lifestyle that allots time for organic eating, daily exercise, or a good night’s rest every night. However, they have made the conscious decision to be healthy, which has, in turn, made their work life more successful and fulfilling.
I believe that discipline, commitment and motivation are the three driving factors behind the decision to live a healthier lifestyle. If you’re looking to advance your career, improve your health, or simply make a change for the better, consider these things:
Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Polish author, said, “Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.” Learn to respect yourself by making a concerted effort to do better. Self-discipline is a personal matter and your ultimate reward for doing better is becoming better. Write out a few thoughts on what discipline means to you and then draw some guidelines for yourself. It is important to recognize the times when you must ask more of yourself, but equally as important to learn how and when to say no. Being disciplined can reduce stress, promote healthy eating and exercise habits, and ultimately result in more productivity in the work place.
Kenneth Blanchard, management expert and author of The One Minute Manager, stated that, "There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses - only results." Living a healthier life doesn’t just happen overnight. As in any other large endeavor, a commitment must be made with the intended results in mind. Take the steps toward a healthier life one at a time. With such demands on everyone’s time, it would be nearly impossible to commit to exercising five days per week, sleeping eight hours each night and eating only healthy and balanced meals starting tomorrow. This is especially true if none of these practices are already in place. Start by setting reasonable goals for yourself to maintain and improve your health.
World-class runner and politician, Jim Ryun, had this insight about motivation: “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Whether your motivation is to receive a promotion at work, run a marathon, lose 50 pounds, or to simply live a healthier and more fulfilling life, you have to decide what your motivation is and keep it in the back of your mind. And, like Ryun said, motivation alone may not be enough. Create healthy habits and have the discipline to recommit yourself to them each day.
Ultimately, being in good health boosts work attendance, productivity, and performance, which, in turn, can advance your career. Make the conscious decision to be healthy and experience more success in all aspects of your life.
Last summer, as I anticipated watching my 6-year-old son play soccer for the first time, I unexpectedly got recruited to coach his team. This totally changed the dynamics of my parental support. Instead of simply cheering him on from the sideline, I would now be heavily involved in helping him and his teammates learn the game of soccer and work together to win games, despite the fact they don’t “keep score” in recreational soccer (more on that later). My only prior experience with soccer is limited to the time I spent playing youth soccer between ages 7 and 12. By 12, my soccer career basically faded away (probably,
at least in part, because I wasn’t very good at it). I needed to learn quickly how to be a coach, and how to “appear” that I not only liked this game, but also KNEW this game so the players and parents would trust me to help them have a good experience. As I look back on the fall season, there are plenty of valuable lessons learned that can be applied to business. Here are my top six takeaways:
Lesson 1: I did it voluntarily because I had to. The league put the invitation to coach out to all the parents that have kids on my team, but no one would step up (including me, initially). Luckily for me, one of my neighbors helps run the league, which means I got “extra encouragement,” so ultimately I agreed to do it. Of course it’s easier to sit on the sidelines and cheer while some other guy handles the coaching duties, but I’d rather be the coach than let my son miss out on playing. There are plenty of situations in business that require us to take initiative. Not everyone can sit on the sidelines. Effective business demands effective leadership, and at times that means people stepping out of their comfort zone to accept a new role in a company or simply pushing forward an initiative that requires momentary leadership.
Lesson 2: Make the best out of what you’ve got. Sometimes in life, you have little or no control over whom you get to work with, or in my case, which boys would be on my team. Other than my own son, I had no idea who any of my other players were prior to meeting them at our first practice. As expected, it was a mixed bag of personalities and skill levels. Of the nine players on our team, each could easily fit into one of three categories: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happened. I had two or three kids that were go-getters. They had the competitive drive and the skill set to match. These players, as you might expect, scored the majority of the team’s goals in every game. Another handful of boys just ran around, kicked the ball if it came to them, and if they were lucky, kicked it into the goal if the timing and place was right. The rest of them really did seem to have the persona of “wondering what happened.” As the coach, it was challenging and yet fun to create different lineups to see which four kids would play best together, and it was great fun to encourage them all. In a work setting, the same dynamics are in play. One of the keys to being a good manager of people is understanding what motivates each person and striving to get the best out of everyone. At times, that requires trial and error and restructuring, but it’s satisfying to see people grow and succeed as much as it is to see young soccer players get better. In turn, employees need to have a solid work ethic. Too many people are content to simply follow or even just watch while others do the heavy lifting. Successful companies, like good soccer teams, need a healthy amount of go-getters or star players in order to win.
Lesson 3: Does practice really make perfect? Maybe not, but it did make me lose my voice at times. I quickly learned that coaching 6-year-olds is akin to herding cats. They did get better each time, but at such a young age, their attention spans were pretty fleeting to say the least, so it takes patience to be a coach. Many of the things I did were intended to not just work on their skills, but to keep them interested in the game of soccer. At the end of a practice or game, the most important thing was that each boy walked off the field with a smile on his face and was looking forward to the next game. Jobs also take practice and proficiency, and it’s a long time in the making for any job. There’s a reason why senior management at most companies are typically 30-40+ rather than 20-something. Great executives have often spent many years in the trenches honing their skills and gaining experience. That experience and practice gives them the wisdom and ability to lead effectively. It would be a lot to ask a kid right out of college to come in and become the CEO of a major company, but give them 15 or 20 years of effective practice and it’s a different story.
Lesson 4: Those invested in the outcome always keep score. Just because the league doesn’t keep score doesn’t mean my players don’t. At some point since I was a kid, some well-intentioned people decided that keeping score causes irreparable harm to the psyche of our young ones. I could not disagree more. Winning and losing builds character. Competition is good because in life, sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose. Everyone needs to understand how it feels to do both, and how to do both with class and dignity. Interestingly, all nine of my boys – yes, even the “wonder what happened” group, were pretty aware in each game of the number of goals our team scored versus the number of goals the other team scored. It showed up in their body language, their confidence and their effort. Competition is good for business, too. It makes companies better by forcing them to produce a product or service consumers actually want to buy. Lack of competition leads to complacency and mediocrity. In addition, most companies I’ve been associated with hold some kind of national sales meeting in which awards are given for the top producers or top sellers. Salesmen always keep score.
"Not everyone can sit on the sidelines. Effective business demands effective leadership, and at times that means people stepping out of their comfort zone" Lesson 5: Recognition matters. After our last game of the fall season, a couple of my players asked me where their trophy was. The oranges at halftime were nice, but a trophy to put on their dresser – that was the object that tells the world they played soccer. Everyone likes to be recognized for their accomplishments and successes. It’s a huge boost to get recognized or rewarded when you succeed at something, and it motivates employees when there’s a reward at stake. Yes, salesmen keep score and so do executives. That’s why companies have national sales meetings and organizations exist to recognize things like the “fastest growing companies” or “ outstanding entrepreneurs.”
Lesson 6: Just go with it. Regardless of how much time we spent practicing or how many games they played, the fact is, my kids were 6 years old, so it was all new to them. My number one objective was to make sure they enjoyed the experience. Beyond that, I can only hope that they gained some degree of appreciation for the game, learned how to function as part of a team and developed stronger character. As a coach of 6-year-olds, I had to resist the urge to micromanage and in effect, over-coach them. They needed the freedom to learn on their own simply by doing – by playing. Employees must be given the same consideration. It’s important as a manager to give employees the right amount of guidance and training, but not over manage them. They must be allowed to succeed and to fail, to grow, and to function as a crucial part of the company team. "Just go with it" also means that company culture should allow for people to enjoy their jobs and to genuinely look forward to coming to work each day.
Working as a team is imperative for any organization to reach their maximum potential. In most organizations there are many sub-teams that come together to be one team. Recently, the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl. However, there were many sub-teams—defense, offense, special teams, offensive line, wide receivers, running backs, defensive line, line backers and many others—who practiced individually and as sub-teams to make the entire TEAM the Super Bowl Champions.
Arnold Anderson said, “An efficient team can be trained as a group, help each other maximize their job performance, and help to make an inviting and productive atmosphere. Certain elements of teamwork in the workplace should be in place for your company to benefit from group organization.” Regardless of the industry or organization, teamwork is important. These four elements of teamwork can help improve the general work environment and help companies function more efficiently and effectively.
Collaboration is an important element to any team. According to Penn State University, teamwork allows projects to get done that one person alone is not able to complete. Several people working together bring different ideas and backgrounds to one place. Each team member brings his or her own experiences and level of expertise to a project to help create an effective finished product. To collaborate effectively, the team must be able to communicate and share ideas. It is also important that there is a feeling of respect in place for each team members’ contributions.
After a team has started working together there is always a possibility for conflict. Some people feel their ideas are not being heard and others think their ideas should always be part of the team’s solution. A struggle for leadership in the group could potentially diminish the group’s effectiveness as well. The element of conflict resolution within a team means leaving room for every- one’s contributions, developing the ability to listen to all ideas, and creating a method of consensus that is used to develop a solution the team can agree upon. When a team practices effective conflict resolution, everyone involved feels like their ideas were heard and they were part of the overall solution.
"An efficient team can be trained as a group, help each other maximize their job performance, and help to make an inviting and productive atmosphere. Certain elements of teamwork in the workplace should be in place for your company to benefit from group organization." - Arnold Anderson Roles And Responsibilities
One of the strengths of teamwork within an organization is the ability to bring together differing points of view to create a solution to an issue. According to Penn State University, “An effective team creates solutions that are manufactured from the many different perspectives of the individual group members. This helps to see a situation from several different angles, and can create a solution that no one individual could create on his own.” Although it sometimes may be difficult to work with varying personalities and backgrounds, many people’s ideas are usually better than just one person’s idea.
At Med One, teamwork is vital because we do so many different things. We have one team, but there are also many sub-teams that must all work as one to be the best we can be. Med One is the leader in making medical equipment available. Since 1991, the professionals (team and sub-teams) at Med One have been creating flexible finance, rental and sales solutions that meet the needs of each individual customer.
With an emphasis in the medical industry, Med One has an understanding of the specific challenges healthcare professionals face. The Med One philosophy is simple: “Determine and exceed the needs of our customers.” With every deal, our focus is to provide for our customers' needs by helping them acquire equipment when they lack the funds to pay for it. Whether it’s equipment financing or rental, equipment sales or services, Med One has solutions that work.
Creative financing options available with ability to customize the solution for each specific customer.
Peak need, long term, equity rental, and rent-to-own options available.
Off-lease inventory of pre-owned equipment and new equipment available direct from leading manufacturers.
Equipment Service and Repair
Authorized service provided by our certified biomed team using OEM parts.
Allows healthcare organizations to become more efficient and profitable through People, Processes and Technology.
When Med One employees work together and exhibit great teamwork we are able to more efficiently serve our customer base of over 2,600 different medical providing entities. Each and every day we are continuing to work on teamwork at Med One.
Each organization that has more than one person has the opportunity to work in a team atmosphere and make their organization a more efficient and healthy place to work. I know that when Med One employees work together as a team, we do a great job of taking care of our customers. By providing them the best solutions possible, facilities have the proper equipment available to take care of everyone who utilizes the services of healthcare providers.
I was born in Dearborn, Michigan where I lived until I was 8.
I was a devoted Detroit Tigers and Lions fan (you were beat up if you weren’t). Even though I moved away when I was young, I guess I developed loyalty along the way. To this day, I am still a Detroit Tigers and Lions fan. My parents moved to Orem, Utah, where I spent the rest of my childhood and teen years. I had a paper route when I was 10, and learned at an early age the value of hard work and having my own money. After I turned 16 I worked as a route manager, and I delivered the bundles of newspapers to the boys. When I was a junior in high school I worked at Safeway Grocery Store as a bagger. I played sports in high school and especially loved basketball and baseball. When I was 15 Dwendy (My wife and not a typo) moved in next door. We didn’t like each other much because we were both so competitive, but when we turned 16 things changed. We decided we kind of liked each other. We dated throughout high school and got married when we were both barely 19.
By the time my wife and I were 25, we had three children: Scott, Brittany and Brooke. They have since grown up and are all married and have families of their own now. We have one grandchild (Eden) and one on the way (Nova). Grandkids really are awesome! My wife and I love to travel whenever we get the chance. We have been to all of the Hawaiian Islands, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Cozumel, Tahiti, Thailand, Puerto Rico and seven of the Caribbean Islands. We are planning a trip to Panama for our 30th wedding anniversary this year. We also love to go to Lake Powell every year where we have a houseboat. We enjoy spending time with the family, and love to watercraft, tube and have recently taken up the newest fad of wake surfing. Now, I know what you are thinking... The answer is yes; fat guys can wake surf!
I started my college experience at Salt Lake Community College in Business Management and ended it one year later. I worked as a meat cutter for 19 years then decided it might be fun to start a landscape company. So, my best friend from high school and I started a landscaping company and were partners for a couple years. He then decided to go back to school, and I pursued the landscape company where I have been the owner for the past 19 years. I love landscaping; it’s my passion.
I have been with Med One Capital for about a year and a half. Since landscaping is non-existent in the winter because of our “greatest snow on earth,” I decided to quit bothering my wife for the three months I had off, and find some temporary work. I asked a good friend at Med One if they had any temporary jobs for the winter. I was hired on and loved the new challenge it presented. I worked my way up from the warehouse to a Biomed tech and I love the challenge of troubleshooting and helping customers. I have enjoyed the office environment and all the guys I work with. Med One is an exceptional company to work for. Larry and Brent (the owners) really do treat us like family, and I enjoy working in an environment where there are new and different challenges every day.
Driving to work the other day I heard a very interesting set of ideas from a podcast produced by the Harvard Business Review. (If you haven’t listened to the HBR podcasts I’d recommend you check them out. They are free and although they have a college radio kind of feel to them, they offer great information.) In the podcast, Shawn Achor, author of the book The Happiness Advantage, describes the major flaw in the typical thinking of “once I’ve finally made it in
life I’ll be happy.” This is a pretty common way of looking at it. Who hasn’t had this thought run through their head? “If I could just make $100k or $200k (or whatever the number) this year...” Here’s the problem, new studies have shown that it hardly ever works that way. Actually, happiness precedes success and not the other way around (think of the people who win the lottery and are broke and depressed 18 months later). By the way, the author is not talking about “fake it till you make it”; although, if that works for you, I’d run with it- it’s close to the same principal.
In his research, Achor and his team conducted a study where they made sure that employees in an experimental group received a compliment every day for at least 21 days straight and continued a similar pattern of amplifying their happiness for six months. At the end of the study they saw a 31% increase in productivity from that group compared to those who didn’t receive the same compliments and treatment. That’s huge! His findings suggest that your brain actually functions better when you are genuinely happy.
Achor goes on to propose that it makes sense to take appropriate steps daily to ensure your happiness. In spite of his study format, I don’t think you should expect your employer to take the initiative. If you want to make yourself happy, find your own personal ways of making that happen. Achor recommends emailing a two-sentence compliment to someone within your organization every day. This could work for some - for me, it sounds a little outside of my persona. I’m thinking something more along the lines of recognizing small successes as you start your day. You might review deals you’ve closed previously, remember times you have served others, think about that great workout you had yesterday, create a screensaver that rolls through some of your best moments with family, listen to inspiring music or audio on the way to work like the HBR podcast, etc. Pick something that you can repeat every morning before you start your workday and use that to jump-start your day into a happier one and hence be more productive. On top of that it’ll help a ton to work on other successes in your life outside of work. Straighten things up with family members, get more involved at church, get healthy, take some lessons or coaching for any sports you do, join outside groups with people that work in the same field or have similar hobbies. Elevate the success of those activities and you’ll see the other areas come along as well.
Techniques like these are needed these days. In fact, recent statistics show that employee satisfaction is fairly low. In February 2013, Inc. Magazine published statistics on what makes employees happy or unhappy. First, the majority of employees appear to be satisfied with their co-workers, the amount of vacation time offered to them, and their boss. The top complaint was stress on the job, followed by health benefits and salary. The most requested change from men was more money or a promotion and most women asked for reduced hours.
Teresa M. Amabile, Harvard Business School professor and Co-author of The Progress Principle, sums it up nicely:
"Of all the things that contribute to a happy workday, the one thing that stands out from my research is making progress on meaningful work. Feeling like you are able to move forward on a daily basis engenders real joy."
At the end of the day, it’s real progress on real work that constitutes job satisfaction over anything else.
There’s an interesting trend happening out there that falls within this topic. Some companies feel that their employees can be their greatest investment and aren’t afraid to throw money at the cause (especially software companies). There’s a billboard down near my home that shows the ultimate character from the 1980s. The guy has a serious mullet with a tagline below him that reads "XYZ Company – Business in the front and a party in the back." I’ve seen others: "voted best place to work," "most of all, we value people," and other taglines that seem to appeal to the entitlement generation. Of course we've all heard of the crazy stuff that Google and Pixar do for their employees but most employers would be nuts to go to those extremes.
"Of all the things that contribute to a happy workday, the one thing that stands out from my research is making progress on meaningful work. feeling like you are able to move forward on a daily basis engenders real joy." - Teresa M. Amabile The real question is, does an investment in employee satisfaction, some that many may feel is over the top, really yield more than what’s put into it? The answer is above my pay grade but it looks like companies are trying to add incentives for the younger generations that are entering the workforce. Will it pay off? I guess we’ll know in a few years.
I will say this though, success breeds success and we’ve learned that if you get happy before that success, you have a better chance of achieving it. So get happy, get successful and get even more successful after that.
PS – This is not some warped way of asking for better perks at Med One! Things are great here! :)
Over the past few weeks I have had a number of systems that I manage die. Two were due to hardware failures, another due to data corruption. When these problems occur, we jump into recovery mode and start restoring the data from our backups. Sometimes though, when you turn to your backups in the moment of crisis, you find there are data corruption problems there too, or perhaps an older backup than you had previously thought. These are the times when things go from bad to worse in a hurry. Fortunately, this time I was able to get through these problems, and (with some data loss) get things back where they needed to be.
1. You have to restore some of your data. This is the most important thing a person can do to ensure they have backups that work. Every so often we must actually go to our backups and restore some data. Verify that the documents are there and that they can be opened. You do not have to restore everything, though. You can just open a file here and there to verify that the data is there and still readable.
2. Ensure you have backups in multiple places. Having one copy is better than no other copy. But having it in two or three places is even better. For all of my data at home, I back up using a service called CrashPlan. This allows me to back up to a local HD and to the Cloud (their secure servers). So, in the event that my computer was stolen or my house caught on fire, my critical data is in a secure place. Still, I don’t back up everything to their cloud. I only back up the critical things I would have a hard time replacing, like my picture and home video libraries. Movies and music can be repurchased and programs can be re-downloaded.
Before the next crisis occurs, test and retest your data. If you currently don’t have a backup for your systems now, I would highly recommend taking the time to do so. Anything is better than nothing. You don’t ever want to be in the position of losing something you can’t replace.