Monthly Archives: July 2009

Kids and Technology (How important are the 3 R’s?)

Children are being exposed to technology at a very early age. When a 9 year old can take a class at the University of Washington and create a video game and website of their own, it begs the question is it time to re-evaluate what is important to teach them in school.

Reading is of course essential, you can’t embrace technical ideas if you can’t read so reading should still be high on the list. Rithmatic (arithmetic)?  Well since computer technology is based on binary number systems, math is going to remain at the top of the list too. But what about Riting (writing)?

This blogger is going to say no not so much-I don’t think writing is very important and here is why:

  1. I would venture a guess that 90% of people type and email or text a message rather than write a letter.
  2. By the time a 9 year old enters the work force, technology is only going to have advanced and for all we know computers will work on voice command which will make even a typing skill outdated.
  3. Most of the people I know only use their hand written signatures for things like birthday cards and signing checks.

Why is it so hard for school systems to evolve? It doesn’t seem to be so much of a problem in the college arena-but I think it is a huge problem for up and coming teen agers. Is it antiquated teaching styles from teachers and district administrators or are parents not using their voices to influence policy?

Is it me or doesn’t it seem more important to teach typing rather than enforcing perfect printing? Instead of cramping children’s hands with repetitive cursive, why not use that time for something like how to protect yourself on line? Health classes teach 7th graders about protecting yourself from HIV with condoms (which BTW I don’t agree with) but no one is teaching them how to be safe on Myspace! Google streetview is taking pictures of playgrounds and putting children’s identities and locations on the internet and yet no one is telling 6th graders about the downside of sexting.

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Employee Reviews

We love all our employees at Connectzone.com. Each one plays an integral part in our business and we simply couldn’t survive without them. Employee reviews are a little bit like getting your report card and can create anxiety for both the reviewer and the reviewee. Connectzone.com uses a common tool in reviews where not only does the supervisor review the employee but they also must review themselves and describe how they have increased their value to the company over the
time period under review. Here are some helpful tips and ideas to keep in mind during a review:

Negotiating Salary:

From most employers’ standpoint, if an employee is deserving of a salary increase it is because they have added value to the company, not because a calendar page has turned. There are many ways an employee can add value:

  1. Consistently increase your skill set with independent continuing education.
  2. Seek out certifications for your industry.
  3. Consistently give quality service to your “customers”. Customers being inclusive of co-workers, vendors and your employer.

Dos and Don’ts:

  1. Never compare your salary with co-workers; what other employees make is irrelevant to your negotiation.
  2. Do research salaries in your field.
  3. Do consider your experience level.
  4. Do evaluate the present economy.
  5. Always be accountable for your mistakes.

 

Everyone is in Sales!

This is a key concept in business and life in general. If you ever want anything from anyone-you’re in sales. While generally I work in the administration of Connectzone.com, I am in sales because I want to “sell” the idea to my employees that working for me is a great place to be. Every time I have contact with a vendor I am selling them the idea that I am a great customer so I can get their best customer service. Of course I sell to my customers, but I am never talking with them about cables, I am selling them customer service and making their experience
with us the best it can be.

As an employee you are in sales by selling yourself to your employer and your co-workers. It is simple things like arriving at work on time. I remember my father telling me before I went to my first job “if you start work at 8:00 AM that means you show up at 7:45 AM to put your coat away and get your coffee so you are actually working at 8:00 AM”. It is complex things like finding ways to positively interact with your co-workers and leaving petty jealousy and gossip at the door. It is courteous and respectful behavior, for example calling your supervisor
if you are going to be late or absent. Be a problem solver, be creative and embrace new ideas!

The “No Whine Zone”

Most people have heard of Fox News “No Spin Zone”; make your work area a “no whine zone”. What the heck does that mean you may ask? It sounds easy and no one ever thinks they are whining-or they wouldn’t be whining. Trust me no one likes to be around a whiner. Instead view
challenges as an opportunity to think outside the box and problem solve. Some days work is just hard and you can be faced with tasks you don’t like or that aren’t necessarily in your “job description”. After being in the workforce for 30 years, trust me, it’s like that for everyone. You can either be noticed for your whining or noticed for your positive and creative force and tenacity to meet a challenge. The later will get you farther in business and life.

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