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Productivity

 

As technology becomes increasingly ingrained in companies operating in nearly every sector, IT departments are no longer just supply and troubleshoot various forms of equipment. Now, they are active players in selecting and crafting solutions that can improve operations in every business area, fundamentally changing the function of many tech roles.

 

The increasing levels of involvement and responsibility mean CIOs need their IT departments to be as productive as possible. At times, this requires a significant cultural shift, and that can be difficult to implement.

 

Luckily, there are things CIOs can do to boost productivity in IT. If you are ready to take on the challenge, here’s how to get started.

 

Make Change Part of Your Culture

Technology evolves at a rapid pace, but people aren’t always quick to embrace change. After all, change can be scary, even threatening, leading many IT professionals to resist implementing something new unless it is absolutely necessary.

 

However, this resistance to change can stymy productivity. It can cause unnecessary delays at critical junctures, slowing the progress of the team or the organization as a whole. Instead of allowing this attitude to permeate in your IT department, work to create a change-oriented culture.

 

Typically, this involves focusing not on the technology being added or adjusted, but the larger company goals. Discover what benefits the users and IT team will experience once the solution is identified and implemented, relate it to the business objectives, and use that to highlight the value of embracing that particular change.

 

Additionally, embrace the notion that IT can be a proactive part of the equation and not just a provider of requested technology. When a department requires a new solution, they may only have a general idea of what they genuinely need to be successful. Instead of allowing your tech pros to wait for others to define the desired technology, have them get involved in the conversation to help identify the requirements and locate viable solutions. This allows them to be a driving force behind beneficial change instead of a casual participant.

 

Locate the Right Candidates

When you need to add someone to your IT team, it’s wise to seek out those who are passionate about the field and excited about discovering new solutions. Then, give them opportunities to handle challenges, innovate solutions, or explore emerging technologies.

 

While you might not be able to make that the entirety of their job, by allowing them to explore the world of tech during projects, you help nurture their curious natures. This can make it easier for them to embrace change and to create a culture where introducing something new isn’t scary but invigorating.

 

Ultimately, by finding talented job seekers that aren’t afraid of change in the workplace, you can increase your odds of building a culture that supports the shifts that are necessary for your business to thrive. If you are looking for a skilled tech professional to join your staff, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you find the ideal candidate quickly and efficiently. Contact us to discuss your hiring goals today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Transerable Skills

 

Whether you are a recent college graduate looking to take your first steps into the IT field or a seasoned professional interested in a career change, you likely possess some skills that an employer would find valuable. Certain soft skills transcend the boundaries that define specific industries and showcasing yours can help you stand out in the eyes of hiring managers.

 

By focusing on the right transferable skills, you can demonstrate why you could be successful in the role and an asset to a prospective employer. If you want to know which ones are worth featuring, here are a few that can set you apart from the competition.

 

Analytical Skills

Most tech jobs are analytical in nature. Whether you need to draw insights from data, troubleshoot problematic systems, or monitor traffic patterns, having an analytical mind is beneficial.

 

If you want to impress a hiring manager, consider what analytical tasks were associated with your previous jobs or educational experience. This can include data-oriented research, report generation, or even incidents where your problem-solving abilities were put to the test.

 

Prioritization

When you work in IT, juggling multiple tasks and assignments usually comes with the role. Most tech professionals have to review their workload and define priorities, ensuring the most important activities are completed first.

 

Prior experience in project management can directly relate to your ability to prioritize tasks. Similarly, taking on a leadership role at any level can also qualify. If you have experience with productivity tools, mention those as well, particularly if you were responsible for making assignments and identifying which activities were more critical than others.

 

 

Innovation

Beyond simple problem-solving, innovation involves forging a new path to create a viable solution. This includes identifying more efficient approaches that were previously used as well as crafting something entirely new to tackle an issue that had not occurred before.

 

When you write your resume, highlight points where your ideas were implemented and led to a success. You can also discuss troubleshooting approaches that weren’t previously used in the organization that you discovered or created.

 

Teamwork

The vast majority of IT professionals function as part of a larger team. Group projects are commonplace, so showcasing your ability to work with others can help you stand out when you apply. Additionally, demonstrating your communication skills is also wise, especially since skilled communicators are typically more effective in group settings.

 

Mention any collaborative experience you have on your resume, focusing on those where the outcome was improved through effective teamwork. You can also list any communication tools you’ve used previously if they may be relevant to the role.

 

Ultimately, all of the skills listed above can be highly transferable, helping you stand out as a top candidate for a tech position even if you haven’t worked in the field previously. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new IT employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about job openings in the area and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Blocking Sites

 

IT managers are typically tasked with deciding whether certain websites should be blocked on the next work. Members of the leadership team usually favor the idea, asserting that restricting access to potential “timewasters” like social media sites ensures employees won’t be distracted by non-work activities.

 

However, many workers push back on the idea, insisting that these sites offer a source of enjoyment and can be beneficial to morale. Additionally, many managers and employees are fully aware that, even if you block a site, that doesn’t mean a worker won’t turn to their personal smartphone to access the websites anyway.

 

Considering that you can’t prevent an employee from wasting time entirely, can blocking websites actually boost productivity? If you are wondering the same thing, here’s what you need to know.

 

Does Blocking Sites Help Productivity?

According to a recent survey, blocking websites does have a positive impact on productivity. When a company restricts access to classic timewasters, such as social media, employees spend less time on sites that are unrelated to their jobs during the course of a standard workweek.

 

The reduction in such activity is actually fairly dramatic, too. In businesses that don’t block sites, 58 percent of workers admitted to spending a minimum of four hours a week on timewaster website. Over the course of a year, that means that more than half of the organization’s workforce wastes approximately 26 days every year on sites that don’t relate to their job.

 

When social media websites alone are restricted, only 30 percent of workers admit spending four or more hours each week on such timewaster sites.

 

 

What Sites Should Be Blocked?

Social media is often an obvious target when it comes to blocking sites, but there are a variety of other websites that should potentially be on the table. Anything illegal or unethical are obvious additions to the list, and dating sites are also timewasters that should be on the chopping block.

 

Personal instant messaging sites are also potential targets. Music and video streaming websites are also frequently blocked and just because they could potentially be distracting, but also because they can require a substantial amount of bandwidth.

 

When you are examining which sites to block, also consider if any websites pose a security risk. This can include sites that may contain malware as well as those that may allow business communications or data to be sent and stored outside of the organization (regardless of the presence of encryption) without the company’s knowledge or approval.

 

Ultimately, the decision regarding which sites should or shouldn’t be blocked usually lies in the hands of leadership and the IT team. However, it’s wise to create a robust policy regarding the use of business assets for personal activities and to make it clear that certain websites will be blocked as well as the general reasoning behind those decisions. This ensures your staff is well-informed regarding the choice, decreasing the odds that they’ll object.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business needs today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Time to Quit

 

Let’s face facts: figuring out if you need to quit your IT job isn’t easy. Ultimately, you want to make sure you are making the right choice, and it’s common to feel conflicted about leaving.

 

However, there are certain signals that could suggest that making a move is the best option. Here are seven signs that quitting might be the right move.

 

  1. The Idea of Work Fills You with Dread

While every day at work can’t be a walk in the park, constantly dreading heading into the workplace is a sign that the job may be a poor fit. If you keep trying to convince yourself that it’s just a “bad week” or “bad month,” but things never improve, leaving may be the best option for preserving your well-being.

 

  1. Your Boss Isn’t Knowledgeable

No one knows it all. But, if your manager doesn’t seem to be knowledgeable in critical areas that relate to your department or role, then that can quickly become frustrating. If you don’t trust that your boss has the knowledge and skills required to make good decisions and lead things in the proper direction, it can cause feelings of anger, doubt, or anxiety.

 

If you find yourself repeatedly doubting your manager’s level of competence, then it may be wise to move on.

 

  1. The Company is Failing

Working for a business that may not survive is challenging. While some employees feel that sticking it out is the “right” thing to do, hanging on to an employer that is going under is going to increase your stress levels.

 

Even if you feel loyal to the organization or your manager, if you witness signs that the end is on the horizon, it could be wise to at least plan for your exit, and the sooner, the better. If you wait until the company closes its doors, you could be stuck hitting the job market with your former coworkers, leading to more competition when you find a new opportunity. In contrast, by starting early, you may be able to land another job before everyone else starts applying.

 

 

  1. You Hate the Work

While it is unrealistic to expect to love every task that falls into your hands, if none of your duties ignite your passion, then moving on could be a smart decision. Being enthusiastic about your work is necessary for long-term success. Whether you need to find a job at a different company or shift into a new career depends on how far your distaste for the field goes, so be honest with yourself about how you feel and then make an appropriate change.

 

  1. You’ve Hit a Ceiling

Being comfortable on the job isn’t automatically a bad thing. But, if you aren’t improving your skills, engaged in exciting activities, or given a chance to advance, your job could be holding back your career.

 

In some cases, if you’ve hit your career peak, that’s okay. However, if you have bigger goals, then you may need to seek out an employer that can help you get there. Otherwise, you could end up feeling trapped and stagnant, and that isn’t good for your overall well-being.

 

  1. Your Health is Suffering

No job is worth your health. If job stress is leading you to experience depression, anxiety, frequent illnesses, headaches, or worse, then it’s better to move on.

 

  1. Your Personal Life is Gone

Whether its job stress, long hours, the inability to take a vacation, or anything else, if your job is significantly affecting your personal life, it could be time to leave.

 

Ultimately, staying in a bad job can be harmful to your career, your health, and your overall well-being, and any of the signs listed above could signal that it’s time for a change. If you are interested in exploring new employment options, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with leading employers throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our staff members today and see how our services can help you find your ideal role.

 

 

Employee Wellness

 

Your employee wellness program is an investment. Providing access to the benefits comes with a financial burden, so being able to measure the return on investment (ROI) is essential if you want to make sure the business is deriving value from the offering.

 

From the employer perspective, it can be challenging to measure the ROI on your employee wellness program if you aren’t sure which metrics act as indicators of success. If you want to be able to measure the ROI, here are a few points that can help you see the program’s value.

 

Absenteeism

By offering an employee wellness program, you can experience a decline in health-related absenteeism. Employees in good health traditionally use fewer sick days during the year and may not require as many “mental health days” to manage stress effectively.

 

The length of each absence may also shorten, as healthier workers tend to recover more quickly from illnesses and injuries, allowing them to return to work faster. When you need to measure the ROI, associated with your program, keep an eye on absenteeism to see if it declines.

 

Medical Costs

Healthcare benefits and similar medical expenses often have a substantial impact on a company’s bottom line. By providing access to an employee wellness program, you may be able to reduce these costs, allowing you to experience a savings beyond the financial investment required to operate the program.

 

When workers are healthier, they generally don’t require as many medical appointments or treatments. This can make it easier to secure a lower rate for your healthcare plan. Additionally, this can save your employees money in the long-run, both by reducing their need for medical care and by keeping their recurring costs low.

 

 

Retention

Another important point to monitor when you want to measure the ROI is your retention rate. Offering a robust employee wellness program can increase longevity, especially if it helps differentiate your business from your competitors.

 

A side benefit of the program is increased job satisfaction on the part of employees. This may reduce their desire to seek out opportunities elsewhere, particularly if it helps them view you as an employer of choice.

 

Recruitment

If word gets out that you offer a comprehensive employee wellness program, this may make recruiting top talent easier. Job seekers often look at various aspects of a company before they apply, and the range of benefits and perks plays a substantial role in their decision.

 

While it may be challenging to measure the impact of your wellness program on the surface, you can find out if it had an effect on a candidate’s decision to apply if you ask, potentially giving you another way to measure the ROI.

 

Productivity

Offering an employee wellness program can have a positive effect on morale, partially because it demonstrates that the company cares about the well-being of its workforce and is willing to go the extra mile to help them improve their health, reduce stress, and more. Plus, a healthy employee tends to be happier, and attitude can have a significant impact on performance.

 

Ultimately, productivity usually increases after you implement an employee wellness program. You can monitor the speed and quality of outputs to monitor productivity improvements, giving you another valuable metric to watch.

 

Overall, an employee wellness program can save you money, boost retention, enhance your recruitment efforts, and increase productivity. Use the points above to help determine your ROI and see if your numbers don’t improve over time.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business goals today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

React Engineering

 

When it comes to tech, which skills are considered to be in-demand can seemingly change on a dime. While options like Tableau and Linux were once popular with employers, interest in these skills diminished significantly during 2017.

 

However, as one skill becomes less coveted, others rise to take their place. In 2018, React, the JavaScript library commonly used in the creation of user interfaces, is what has the attention of employers.

 

React Engineering of the Rise

Over the course of two years, employer interest in React has skyrocketed, based on a recent study. Job site Indeed examined two periods, October 2015 through September 2016 and October 2016 through September 2017, and found that the number of companies seeking out React skills rose by 229 percent.

 

That level of growth far outpaced other in-demand skills, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure at 40 percent and 62 percent respectively.

 

Another point that spurs growth is the amount of developer interest in React. Many coders appreciate its simplicity and flexibility, often leading them to consider React to be one of their favorite library options.

 

While developer support doesn’t guarantee employer buy-in, it can have an impact. As more coders touted Reacts benefits and began using the library in their work, the level of prevalence increased, leading companies to experience the benefits and start seeking out others who could work with React.

 

 

Why is React Popular with Employers?

React was developed by Facebook, a giant in the social media space. That fact alone should stand as a testament to React’s capabilities in the front-end development arena. However, the number of big name companies that embrace React doesn’t stop there. Dropbox, Expedia, Netflix, The New York Times, and Reddit all use React in some capacity, showcasing just how many organizations have shifted to the library.

 

Overall, React is highly adaptable, adjusting the renderings as new data is provided or current data changes. It also provides for a substantial amount of customization and offers a significant amount of functionality. Further, React works with a broad selection of frameworks, making it incredibly flexible too.

 

Additionally, thanks to React Native, mobile development can also be more straightforward from a company perspective. Since the transition from the web-oriented React to React Native is fairly easy to handle for most developers, this allows organizations to secure talent that has the potential to create designs in both web and mobile formats.

 

Ultimately, Reach provides a significant number of benefits and it is becoming more widely used. This increases employer interest in React, leading to additional opportunities for those interested in React engineering.

 

If you are looking for a new position, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore opportunities in the area. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our experienced recruiters today and see how our services can benefit you.