News & Articles

Not My Job

I can make ya circuit, but anything else, not my job
I write ya code,  but anything else, not my job
I can PM ‘til  PM, but anything else, not my job
I can tweak ya bluetooth, but anything else, not my job

(Apologies to Mac Dre)

What is your job? It is your job to provide what the customer needs. The only reason that our customers engage our company’s services is because they have things that need to be done that they either don’t have time to do, don’t have the personnel to do, or just plain don’t have the inclination to do, If each of our employees makes it his/her focus to constantly be on the look-out for things that the customer needs done and that they have the skills to do, all would go well for both the customer and you.

It should never be your inclination to say (or think) “That’s not my job!” It is your job to give the customer what the customer thinks they want. Each of us should function in a manner that recognizes that we are not consultants hired to tell our customers what they should do. We are hired to do what our customers want us to do. Yes, if they ask for an opinion regarding what should be done, you should feel free to offer advice based upon your experience and knowledge, but without a specific request, the focus of your work should be set by the wishes and needs of our customer.

When you start limiting what you consider to be “your job”, you start limiting the duration of your job. Our customers value flexibility and willingness to adapt to whatever the customer sees as today’s priority situation. Our longest service employees have all shown a willingness to adapt and that ability has made it very easy for us to continue placing them in different groups as they have developed a reputation for taking on whatever needs to be done without the “not my job” attitude. Make it your goal to be more like them in this.

Coping

At some point in your work life, you’ve no doubt had to deal with a situation that was out of your control. These events cause stress and frustration, which negatively impact your health and mental outlook on life. Learning how to cope with events you can’t control will help keep you in a positive frame of mind and alleviate your stress.

Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that you can control only your own actions (and reactions), you can begin to find peace of mind. What can you control? Worrying about the people or events in your life that you can’t control can cause all kinds of stress-related health problems, such as angina, high blood pressure, and sleeping difficulties.

If you need to feel more in control of your life, focus on those things that you can physically change.

Who you decide to accept as your friends and spend your time with is something you can definitely control. It may not be easy to meet new friends, but the opportunities are plentiful if you look for them.

– Being around negative people can drag your attitude down, since you adopt the mood of people around          you.
– If you have people in your life who aren’t encouraging you to fulfill your potential, find other people to           surround yourself with.
– Having the support of people who believe in you will propel you toward reaching your lifelong goals.

Live one day at a time.

When you intentionally consider each day a gift, your struggles don’t seem as dire. While life does deal some bad hands, such as death, divorce, and financial challenges, how you cope during these hardships can make you stronger or break you.

When you purposely feel gratitude for the good moments within each day, you can genuinely start to accept your struggles as a path to a new beginning.

You can always control how you respond.

By accepting that you can’t change some things, you’ll become more powerful in changing the things that you do have control over. You’ll free yourself from the negative thoughts and emotions that can

Workplace Conduct Rules & Regulations

There are certain workplace conduct rules and regulations that should be followed no matter the political climate or the area in which the work site is located. While Federal laws cover many of the acceptable conduct activities allowed in the workplace, most conflicts could be avoided by following basic common sense.

Golden Rule

When employees are considerate of their fellow workers, they rarely conflict with Federal laws or company policies. The Golden Rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” can be used as a guide to acceptable behavior in the workplace. Respect the space of fellow employees and keep personal opinions that don’t have anything to do with work to yourself. A working environment built on mutual respect can provide a pleasant work experience for everyone.

Stay Sober

Employees are hired for their skills and talents and their ability to perform their duties competently. Drugs and alcohol impair an individual’s abilities. The use of drugs on the job is illegal and written into company manuals. Federal law allows employers to seek drug testing with no warning when the practice is clearly written in the company policy manual and employees waive their rights upon employment. Most company policy manuals forbid intoxication in the workplace, which is a rule that adheres to common sense principles as well.

Employee Theft

Clichés often are ubiquitous because in many cases they are true. “Honesty is the best policy” is another of those sayings that are spelled out in the handbook given to most new employees in business and should be the mantra of every working person. Dishonesty on job applications is often discovered, causing embarrassment and termination. Direct stealing of goods or money from an employer can lead to imprisonment and loss of valuable licenses and certifications. Wasting time, making personal calls on company time and taking items such as office supplies is illegal and should be avoided.

Individual Rights

Sexual harassment and religious discrimination are expressly forbidden under Federal law in all workplaces. Creating an environment that is unsafe, hostile or uncomfortable for an employee, whether it is overt or subtle, is an important regulation is also an important rule to remember. Sexual harassment includes comments as well as inappropriate pictures or posters hung in plain view. Employees cannot be ridiculed or discriminated against because of their religious beliefs either.

Stalking as a behavior is also strictly forbidden. Stalking refers to repeated harassing or threatening behavior by an individual, such as following a person, appearing at a person’s home, office, or place of business, making harassing phone calls, or even leaving unwanted messages (including written or electronic). 

Basic Workplace Rules

  •  Follow Reporting Structure: One of the most important things to consider at work is the reporting structure; violating the accepted practices can create ill-will with your supervisors and mark you as unprofessional. When you start a job, ask about the chain of command and commit it to memory. During the course of your employment, follow the hierarchy when reporting a problem or bringing up a new idea, starting with your immediate supervisor and moving up. Establish a paper trail for a record of your good faith efforts.

 

  • Be Respectful: No matter which job you hold in a company, it’s important to be respectful of clients, vendors and coworkers. Show respect for religious beliefs, lifestyle choices, personal property and work styles. Communicate openly and politely, and avoid getting into emotionally driven confrontations. In any given office or situation, respectful behavior helps establish a professional reputation.

 

  •  Leave Personal problems at Home: All employees have their own personal viewpoints and problems. When you arrive at work, leave your issues at the door so they do not affect your professional life. Avoid discussing in detail sensitive topics like politics, relationship issues or financial woes.

 

  •  Minimize Personal Communications: With the quick availability of texting, cell phone calls and social media, it can be tempting to spend a disproportionate amount of time participating in personal communication during work hours. Limit your use of these technologies to avoid the perception that you waste company time or do not get enough work done.

 

  • Follow Company Policies: In most businesses, company policies exist for a reason, from safety to legal protection. Get to know your company policy and make every effort to follow it. If a situation arises that requires you to break policy, speak to a supervisor and ask for suggestions or alternate paths of action.
NEW: Education Reimbursement Benefit

NWCS supports employees who wish to continue their education to secure increased responsibility and growth within their professional careers. In keeping with this philosophy, we have established a reimbursement program for expenses incurred through approved institutions of learning. If you are a full-time regular employee (work 30 or more hours a week) and have completed 90 days of full-time employment, you are eligible for participation in this program as long as the courses are job-related and as long as you maintain full and satisfactory employment.

The company will reimburse up to a maximum of $1,500.00 per calendar year incurred by an employee for continuing education through an accredited program that either offers growth in an area related to his or her current position and/or may be required by the employee’s client supervisor. This can include college credit courses, continuing education unit courses, seminars and certification tests. You must secure a passing grade of “B” or its equivalent or obtain a certification to receive any reimbursement.

For details please refer to your employee handbook, a copy which can be downloaded from

www.nwcontract.com/employees .

Tough Minds

10 THINGS TOUGH MINDS DON’T DO

Lydia Dishman (fastcompany.com)

Many of us spend a lot of time trying to boost productivity by clearing off our desks, walking while we work, working out at lunch and deploying a host of other hacks to make the most of our days.

Those are all great strategies, but what may bring us the ultimate success–in work and life–isn’t simply a matter of rearranging files and appointments. It’s about mental strength; self-control and grit–the tenacity to set a goal and see it through, are excellent predictors of success.

“Stick-to-itiveness” is among the behaviors that the mentally strong exhibit. In addition, what they don’t do allows them to stay tough and focused. Taken together (and adding a couple of our own) they provide a compelling checklist for anyone looking to push past the obstacles that may be holding back growth.

1. DON’T WASTE TIME FEELING SORRY FOR THEMSELVES

‘Sunk costs’. Refers to any time, effort or money spent that can’t be gotten back. The reason most of us can’t get past them is because our brains are wired to feel loss far more strongly than gain. A tough mind doesn’t get stuck in the sunk-cost fallacy and has the strength to make a rational decision without getting mired in the emotional muck of regret.

2. DON’T TRY TO CONTROL EVERYTHING

Trying to control things takes up a lot of energy. Instead, by accepting the situation and letting go of outcomes, a strong mind can adapt and thrive–even when the going gets tough.

3. DON’T FEAR FAILURE

We’ve heard many an entrepreneur’s tale to fail fast and get on to the next thing. To really deal with failure, a tough mind needs to wrap itself around what went wrong and figure out how to do better next time.

Acknowledging mistakes is also important for moving on. In doing so, you not only sidestep the psychological pitfalls of cover-up, rationalization, and guilt; you may also find that you enhance your own brand through your honesty, candor, and humility.

4. DON’T FEAR A SMART RISK

Acknowledging that you may reach greater success if you think out of the box also comes with the risk of making more visible mistakes. Those with more mental strength can silence the saboteur inside their heads and weigh the risk rationally to make an informed decision. On the plus side, taking a calculated approach to risk cuts the recovery time even if you make a mistake.

5. DON’T DISCOUNT EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Emotional intelligence, that is, the ability to tune in and control your own emotions and be aware of those in others, is an excellent indicator of success. Resilient minds are able to navigate through the currents of emotion in any situation and don’t get pulled into the undertow of office or family drama.

6. DON’T SHY AWAY FROM TRANSPARENCY

At collaboration software startup Asana, they create a road map for blocks of time called “episodes.” At the end of each they pull together a document that summarizes their hits and dissect their misses to share with the team, investors, and entire rest of the world. A tough mind can handle the sheer transparency because it understands that the exercise is about learning and not blame.

7. DON’T FEAR BEING ALONE WITH THEMSELVES

It takes a tough mind not to get stuck in the unproductive fight/flight/freeze state exacerbated by procrastinating until the last minute and doing ‘good enough’ work. Those who can rise above take the time to be alone with themselves and learn to listen to the silence, even for just five minutes a day.

8. DON’T THINK SUCCESS HAPPENS OVERNIGHT

Even “rock star” executives can’t make a sustainable splash in a short period of time. A tenacious mind understands that it takes time to listen to customers and constituents, and teasing out a solution can take months–or years. To succeed in the long run, there has to be a balance between the passion for instant gratification and practicality.

9. DON’T HAVE THE DISEASE TO PLEASE

Not every email or request needs to be answered immediately. A resilient thinker will chew on the best way to deal a problem or concern and substitute “I think” wherever others are tempted to say “I feel.” Tough minds don’t obsess about hidden meanings. They simply address the issue by removing any fraught emotion.

10. DON’T GET JEALOUS AND HYPER-COMPETITIVE

“The old adage ‘competition brings out the best in people’ deserves a proper burial. Instead, a tough mind will naturally gravitate to motivation that ranges from extrinsic (“What can I earn or win in doing this task?”) to intrinsic (“What can I enjoy by doing this?”).

Happy Holy Days!

And Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Festivus and Happy Holidays!

However you and your loved ones celebrate this season, the staff at NWCS: Tasha, Jen, Joe, Helena, Aaron, Mary, Donn and Gabe wish you and yours the very best and thank you for being part of our growing company.

This is the last newsletter of 2013, (and last meeting of the year) so with that we also wish you a safe and Happy New Year! See you in 2014.

Work Values to Live By

In addition to relevant skills, NWCS seeks employees who have the personal values, characteristics, and personality traits that spell success. Good personal values are what makes the foundation for a successful employee-employer- client relationship.

Strong Work Ethic

We value employees who understand and possess a willingness to work hard. In addition to working hard it is also important to work smart. This means learning the most efficient way to complete tasks and finding ways to save time while completing daily assignments. It’s also important to care about your job and complete all projects while maintaining a positive attitude. Doing more than is expected on the job is a good way to show our clients that you utilize good time management skills and don’t waste valuable company time attending to personal issues not related to the job

Dependability and Responsibility

We value employees who come to work on time, are there when they are supposed to be, and are responsible for their actions and behavior. It’s important to keep supervisors abreast of changes in your schedule or if you are going to be late for any reason. This also means keeping your supervisor informed on where you are on all projects you have been assigned. Being dependable and responsible as an employee shows that you value your job and that you are responsible in keeping up with projects and keeping them informed of the things that they should know about.

 Possessing a Positive Attitude.

We also seek employees who take the initiative and have the motivation to get the job done in a reasonable period of time. A positive attitude gets the work done and motivates others to do the same without dwelling on the challenges that inevitably come up in any job. It is the enthusiastic employee who creates an environment of good will and who provides a positive role model for others. A positive attitude is something that is most valued by supervisors and co-workers and that also makes the job more pleasant and fun to go to each day.

Adaptability

We want employees who are adaptable and maintain flexibility in completing tasks in an ever changing workplace. Being open to change and improvements provides an opportunity to complete work assignments in a more efficient manner while offering additional benefits to the corporation, the customer, and even the employee. While oftentimes employees complain that changes in the workplace don’t make sense or makes their work harder, oftentimes these are the very conditions that provide opportunities to excel.

Adaptability also means adapting to the personality and work habits of co-workers and supervisors. Each person possesses their own set or strengths and adapting personal behaviors to accommodate others is part of what it takes to work effectively as a team. By viewing change as an opportunity to complete work assignments in a more efficient manner, adapting to change can be a positive experience. New strategies, ideas, priorities, and work habits can foster a belief among workers that management and staff are both committed to making the workplace a better place to work.

 Honesty and Integrity

NWCS values employees who maintain a sense of honesty and integrity above all else. Good relationships are built on trust. When working for us we want to know that we can trust what you say and what you do. Successful businesses work to gain the trust of customers and maintain the attitude that “the customer is always right”. It is the responsibility of each person to use their own individual sense of moral and ethical behavior when working with and serving others within the scope of their job.

Self – Motivated

Also important to us are employees who require little supervision and direction to get the work done in a timely and professional manner. Supervisors who hire self-motivated employees do themselves an immense favor.

For self-motivated individuals require very little direction from their supervisors. Once a self-motivated employee understands his/her responsibility on the job, they will do it without any prodding from others. Taking the initiative to be self-directive will provide you with a better sense of accomplishment and increased self-esteem.

 Motivated to Grow & Learn

In an ever changing workplace, an important trait to have is one where you are interested in keeping up with new developments and knowledge in the field. Learning new skills, techniques, methods, and/or theories through professional development helps keep the organization at the top of its field and makes your job more interesting and exciting. Keeping up with current changes in the field is vital for success and increased job security.

 Strong Self – Confidence

Self-confidence has been recognized as the key ingredient between someone who is successful and someone who is not. A self – confident person is someone who inspires others. A self-confident person is not afraid to ask questions on topics where they feel they need more knowledge. They feel little need to have to impress others with what they know since they feel comfortable with themselves and don’t feel they need to know everything.

The self-confident person does what he/she feels is right and is willing to take risks. Self- confident people can also admit their mistakes. They recognize their strengths as well as their weaknesses and are willing to work on the latter. Self-confident people have faith in themselves and their abilities which is manifested in their positive attitude and outlook on life.

Professionalism

We value employees who exhibit professional behavior at all times. Professional behavior includes learning every aspect of a job and doing it to the best of one’s ability. Professionals look, speak, and dress accordingly to maintain an image of someone who takes pride in their behavior and appearance. Professionals complete projects as soon as possible and avoid letting uncompleted projects pile up. Professionals complete high quality work and are detail oriented. Professional behavior includes all of the behavior above in addition to providing a positive role model for others. Professionals are enthusiastic about their work and optimistic about the organization and its future.

NWCS Company Holiday Dinner Cruise

OfficeThe administrative team of NWCS greeted and welcomed aboard many of the company employees along with their family and friends for a holiday dinner cruise around Elliot Bay. Shown in the accompanying photo are company President, Gabe Valentin, Computer Systems Specialist, Joe Toney, Payroll and Accounting Manager, Tasha Church, President Emeritus, Donn Doré, Senior Recruiter Helena Deakin, CFO, Mary Doré. HR and Accounting Specialist, Jen Bauman Dobbs, and Senior Recruiter, Aaron Edgington.

Everyone had a good time and it was great to have the chance to share the evening together away from work. We would like to extend our warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season (Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Welcome Winter Solstice, and Happy Holidays)  to all those who attended and to the rest of the company who could not attend. Additionally, we look forward to working with you in the year to come as we all continue to make our company a company of which we can be proud.

Welcome New Employees Joining Us This Month!
  • James Clark, Image Test, WPI (Welcome back!)
  • Eric Dixon, CAD, Xbox Access. (Welcome back!)
  • Carl Hulit, ME, Xbox Access.
  • Nancy Jiao, Test Engr., Console Dev
  • Slava Karulin, HW Test, Xbox Access.(Welcome back!)
  • Abram Lopez, STE., Xbox Access.
  • Jesse Vaught, STE, Xbox Access.
  • David Vielma, HW Technician, Xbox Access.
  • Willie West, CAD Engr., Console Dev
Be Thankful, Be Healthful

A Dose of Gratitude: How Being Thankful Can Keep You Healthy

Robin Madell, healthline.com

Studies have shown that people who regularly practice feeling thankful have a leg up when it comes to their health. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California at Davis, has been a leading researcher in this growing field, termed “positive psychology.” His research has found that those who adopt an “attitude of gratitude” as a permanent state of mind experience many health benefits.

Emmons’ findings, along with those from other researchers such as Lisa Aspinwall, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, suggest that grateful people may be more likely to:

  •      Take better care of themselves physically and mentally
  •      Engage in more protective health behaviors and maintenance
  •      Get more regular exercise
  •      Eat a healthier diet
  •      Have improved mental alertness
  •      Schedule regular physical examinations with their doctor
  •      Cope better with stress and daily challenges
  •      Feel happier and more optimistic
  •      Avoid problematic physical symptoms
  •      Have stronger immune systems
  •      Maintain a brighter view of the future

 

Focus Attention Outward

Your attitude plays a large role in determining whether you can feel grateful in spite of life’s challenges. According to Emmons, gratitude is defined by your attitude towards both the outside world and yourself. He suggests that those who are more aware of the positives in their lives tend to focus their attention outside of themselves.

Be Mindful of What You Have

You may assume that those with more material possessions have more to be grateful for. However, research suggests otherwise. Edward Diener, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, found that a high percentage of affluent people in Japan report low levels of life satisfaction, just as those living in poverty in India do. These findings suggest that it’s not how much you have, but how you feel about what you have that makes the difference.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Recording what you feel grateful for in a journal is a great way to give thanks on a regular basis. Emmons found that those who listed five things they felt grateful for in a weekly gratitude journal reported fewer health problems and greater optimism than those who didn’t. A second study suggests that daily writing led to a greater increase in gratitude than weekly writing.

Reframe Situations as Positive

It’s not actually a challenging situation that is upsetting. It’s how you perceive the situation. The next time you find yourself complaining about life’s hassles, see if you can mentally “flip the switch” to frame things differently. For example, rather than getting down about missing an opportunity, try to see the positive side. You might now have more time to direct towards other priorities.

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