Newsletter March 2019
Recruiters for the Copier Channel® for more than 30 years, Copier Careers® has been the only recruiting firm exclusively dedicated to connecting Copier Channel employers with experienced service technicians, copier sales representatives, sales managers, service & operations managers, controllers, support staff, and MPS/MNS experts. Start your month off right with Copier Channel news and career advice. Search copier jobs now.
All of us make hundreds of small decisions—and usually a few significant ones—each day. Improve the quality and efficiency of your decisions by following these five simple steps.
1. Focus your mental energy on big decisions, not small ones. Some decisions, like how to handle a delicate client situation, are worth spending time and thought on. Others, like which brand of chewing gum to buy, are not. “When possible, eliminate the need for decisions by establishing rules for yourself,” says science and lifestyle writer Catherine Price. “You will go to yoga every weekend. You will not have more than two glasses of wine You will buy whatever toilet paper is on sale.”
2. Identify your goal. David Welch, author of Decisions, Decisions: The Art of Effective Decision Making, explains that people “end up making bad decisions because they don’t really know what they want in the first place.” Take the time to truly examine your needs and motivations: Do you really want to change careers, or are you just tired of your current manager?
3. Don’t maximize when you can satisfice. “Satisficing,” coined by the economist Herbert Simon, describes an approach to decision making that prioritizes a faster, adequate solution over a slower, optimal solution. “Maximizing,” on the other hand, describes seeking an optimal solution at any cost. We see the differences in these decision making modes every day in recruiting:
Satisficers can make a decision once their criteria are met. That doesn’t mean they’ll settle for mediocrity – their criteria may be very high – but as soon as they find the qualities they want, they’re satisfied. Satisficer candidates will typically jump on a job offer that fits a certain salary range, type of work, commute distance, company culture, etc. Similarly, a satisficer employer has a list of required qualifications/qualities and are ready to make a hire when they meet a candidate who matches that list. The key to success for satisficers is understanding the point of diminishing returns on meeting their exact criteria – if their ideal commute length is 15-25 mins, they may still accept a commute of 35 mins but reject another that would take upwards of 45 minutes.
Maximizers want to make the optimal decision, beyond simply meeting criteria. They will not willingly settle for anything less than the best. Maximizer candidates may have lists like the satisficers (although they tend to be longer and more specific), but even when they get an offer from an employer that meets those requirements, they still hold out to see if there is a better option out there. Maximizing employers may have met a candidate who can do the job but won’t make a decision until they’ve extensively interviewed a dozen other candidates so they can chose the exact right one. While this strategy seems like it would get people the best option, in this hiring market, delaying a decision over-long can result in it being made for you. We’ve seen candidates and employers miss getting perfectly good positions or employees because their exhaustive search for perfection dragged on too long.
According to research by psychologist Barry Schwartz, people who satisfice are actually happier than people who maximize, and it goes without saying that they can make decisions more quickly.
4. Write it down. When making a big decisions, a good old-fashioned pros and cons list can really help put things in perspective.
5. Don’t rush it. While it doesn’t make sense to spend time mulling over small, insignificant decisions; it is advisable to take your time with decisions that matter. “When facing a complex decision,” says Price, “use your conscious brain to gather the information you need, and then take a break.” Doing so allows your unconscious mind to work on the decision while your conscious mind is occupied with other tasks. It also prevents you from making snap decisions while you’re feeling rushed or stressed, so you can come back to it later in a clearer, more relaxed state of mind.
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Staples announced the agreement to acquire DEX Imaging in mid-February. The existing executive team at DEX will continue in their current leadership roles, included the President and CEO; Dan Doyle, Jr.; and Chairman; Dan Doyle, Sr.
While the terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, CEO of Staples, Sandy Douglas, expressed appreciation for the independent dealer’s strong customer relationships and industry knowledge. Doyle, Jr., on the other hand, indicated that “being a part of Staples will allow us greater access to industry leading technology, and a world class supply chain to accelerate our position as the premier North American print management provider.”
Strike at Fuji Xerox
Union members at Fuji Xerox voted to strike on February 25th and 26th over pay issues and union discrimination. E tu, a New Zealand union representing engineering, printing and manufacturing professionals, cites the company’s ongoing failure to address their complaints since August of last year.
“Our members are very angry,” a union rep stated. “First, the company actually lifted wages to stop people being poached by its competitors. But while one group of union members got the increase, another group in Auckland got nothing. To add fuel to the fire, while the union negotiated the pay rise, non-union members also received it.” Fuji Xerox’s offer of a 2% raise was the final straw for the union as it excluded backpay for the time since their collective agreement expired in July of 2018.
Tensions have been especially high as the company has been struggling to recover from the major accounting scandal. The fallout of that scandal included the resignation of top executives, increased oversight from Fujifilm, the loss of important government contracts as well as layoffs. “This is a multi-national company that has been mismanaged over the past few years and there have been job losses affecting our members,” said a union rep. “Those who remain are working harder, smarter and longer and they want fair recompense.”
According to a Fuji Xerox rep, the union members only make a third of the engineering workforce so the strike would not immediately impact customers. Any effects of the two-day strike have not yet been released.
Xerox Creates Holding Company
Xerox announced it will restructure, allowing the printer maker to become a wholly owned unit of a new holding company. This change is expected in mid-2019 and will lower Xerox’s tax bill, protect patents and efficiently diversity its unit’s businesses.
Our readers respond to last month’s poll question
Last month we discussed tips for improving your productivity so we were curious to hear what you thought of your own time-management skills. We had a solid turnout of 7,586 votes this month along with some very thoughtful comments!
Most of you responded that managing your time was a work in progress, coming in with 66% of the vote. A confident 21% of you believe they have a great handle on balancing their to-do lists while the remaining 13% said they were simply terrible at keeping up with your work.
Interestingly, most of the comments pinpointed a common factor affecting their time-management: communication. This make sense considering that no one can work in complete isolation. But the key appears to be finding the balance between too much and not enough.
Too much and you end up spending more time saying what you’re going to do that it would take to actually do it. For people with heavy workloads this wasted time can be extremely demoralizing and is a common cause of work burnout.
On the other hand, you cannot expect everyone who is counting on you to wait in the dark, just hoping the work is getting done without any idea of how or when to expect results. If you don’t stay ahead of your client and management’s questions, you may end up wasting more time explaining yourself, apologizing or trying to win back lost business. Read some of our readers’ experiences in the comments below!
- Work in progress (66%, 5,043 Votes)
- Great (21%, 1,589 Votes)
- Terrible (13%, 954 Votes)
Total Voters: 7,586 (February 1, 2019 @ 5:13 am - March 1, 2019 @ 5:29 am)
Some comments from y’all:
- “Using one calendar and planning the night, week, and month beforehand will significantly reduce stress and prove to be very productive.”
- “You can’t manage your time well without planning and communicating. You need to listen to the customers’ issues and verify those problems, then develop a plan to resolve them in a timely manner. But you can’t just keep the plan to yourself – maintaining communication with the customer is very important to build trust in your ability to actually do what you say. You can’t forget that customers are priority one! Keep your customers and management informed – nobody likes to be blindsided because they weren’t kept in the loop.”
- “I could manage my time just fine if there wasn’t someone 200 miles away micromanaging. They’re tracking by phone and car, questioning every little thing. Because of this, half my day is spent CYA instead of actually doing my work.”
- “As a long-time field technician, I know you have to be flexible. I use a three-pronged approach every day because what do I want to do today, what do I have to do today, and what I actually accomplished today can be quite different. I prioritize calls based on my customers’ needs and locations to cut down on travel time. But one phone call or text can ruin my best laid plans. I think communication is the key to managing everyone’s conflicting needs/expectations and the limited time I have to meet those needs. I don’t like making promises I can’t keep. And I am still learning how to best let customers know they are important and I will respond as soon as I can.”
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- Maximizing: I do the research to find the optimal choice (47%, 2,915 Votes)
- Prioritizing: I save my energy for the decisions that really matter (32%, 1,982 Votes)
- Intuiting: I follow my instincts (15%, 938 Votes)
- Satisficing: I choose the first option that meets my requirements (5%, 295 Votes)
- Gosh, I don’t know – stop pressuring me! (1%, 90 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,220 (March 1, 2019 @ 5:40 am - April 2, 2019 @ 11:59 am)