Christmas Bells by: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We have so much to be grateful for this holiday season! What better way to prepare for and be mindful of the holidays than to listen to the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882), an American poet and educator. Longfellow wrote predominantly lyric poems, known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Wadsworth_Longfellow)

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Employee of the Quarter, Q3 – Justen Douglas

Justen Douglas is the Employee of the Quarter for Q3-2014. Justen has been with TSP since February 25, 2013 and is an Associate Storage Engineer who works in our Shared Solutions business unit which services one of TSP’s largest customers, NetApp.

Some comments about Justen’s service include…

“Justen has consistently been showing his metal by volunteering for work, being very flexible schedule wise, and learning very quickly.  Most recently, he was requested by name to do a new piece of work for a client he had worked with in the past.  Having a client so pleased that they ask for an engineer by name is proof positive of his professionalism and dedication.”  

And Justen’s team work…

“Thomson Reuters had a major issue spanning 3 nights, and there were many jobs outside of their usual tasks.  The team’s coordination and flexibility with each other is a fantastic example of what TSP is all about.”

Justen will receive a $250.00 award along with a certificate and he will be recognized on digital signage in the TSP Corporate Office.

An Interview With Co-Founder, Rick Skaggs

By:  Tiffany Thomas, HR Generalist

Many people sit back and let things happen to them while others go out and happen to things. Founder and CEO of TSP, Rick Skaggs never thought he would own a business. His original plan was to retire at Honeywell where he worked for 25 years. As fate would have it, he and co-founder, Frank Gonzalez realized that they could offer solutions that are hard to find in the industry of information technology, and TSP was born.

Rick understood that maintaining a small overhead cost without diminishing the quality of service would set TSP apart from its competitors. This way of doing business has helped to make TSP an award-winning company and Rick has no plans of slowing down.

On what makes a company successful, Rick said, “Being dedicated to hard work and believing in yourself,” are what inevitably yield a rewarding harvest. He recognizes that hiring people of quality builds a company of quality.

“You can’t train good character,” he said.

He considers TSP’s clients as partners more than customers and enjoys listening to their problems and challenges. Understanding that business is not always simple, however, encourages Rick to keep TSP’s standards high.

When asked what he likes least about business, he said, “Business should be open and honest. I don’t like lip service and a lack of understanding of what partnership is.”

Rick knows that technology is always changing and strives to maintain a work environment that adapts well to change. He also believes that difficult times reveal one’s character and counts the many experiences throughout his career as valuable lessons that he believes will propel TSP to even greater heights in 2015.

Maintaining a company that cares about its employees, their families, and the community are core values he has developed not just to create a successful company, but successful lives.

Rick’s not all about work as some might assume. He enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and traveling with his wife, Penny. It’s his wish that one day, long after he is gone, TSP will continue to be a company that puts people first.

How to Boost Employee Satisfaction

Too many people are stuck in their jobs, miserable and unable to switch gears. They don’t feel valued, appreciated, or relevant. When we founded TSP in 2002, we wanted to make sure our employees would never feel that way.

TSP proudly employs more than 500 employees throughout the United States and Canada. We invest in every employee because our product is our service, which means our product is our people. Because attitude is obvious in everything we do, it’s crucial to our business success to employ people who love what they do and are happy at work!

Making people feel good about where they spend their working hours isn’t impossible, but so many companies fail. These strategies have helped us build a happy employee family, and we believe they can work for any business.

Empower your workforce.
People tend to be miserable when they have no control. No one wants to be a meaningless cog in a massive, unfeeling machine, so we empower every employee to identify issues and suggest creative solutions. If you trust your employees to come up with great ideas, guess what? They will!

Welcome real conversations.
The next step to groundbreaking problem solving is… Prepare yourself with a drumroll, because this idea is revolutionary to many: Listen to what employees want to tell you. Lots of employers pretend to listen, but they don’t take the time to really consider what people are saying. Communication goes two ways, which means you can’t dominate every conversation. Employees are the ones who interact with more clients than any manager ever could, which makes them the best source for helpful feedback. When they have something to say, offer space to speak and pay attention.

Encourage diversity.
TSP is a proud certified minority-owned business, and we put a high value on maintaining a diverse workplace. Different perspectives, backgrounds, talents, and strengths make us a stronger team, which is why we take extra steps to hire people who have diverse lives. Embracing diversity is about recognizing each person who works at your business as a whole person, not just another worker. People have unique interests, hopes, stories, family and friends, and for most of them, work is a way to better enjoy those things. Learn to view employees as real individuals instead of means to an end.

Provide opportunity.
When someone works for a great company with zero room for growth, eventually they’ll start to consider moving on. If you take the time to find and hire the best people for job openings but then lose them in a few years because there is no growth potential, you’ve still wasted tons of time and resources. Smart businesses not only hire well the first time, but also continue engaging employees who will enjoy new opportunities and flex their talent with fresh challenges. Don’t let a fantastic workforce grow stagnant and dive overboard because they’re too bored. Give people the tools they need to solve problems and continue growing with your business.

What are some ways you’ve boosted employee satisfaction as an employer or, as an employee, would like to see satisfaction boosted? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

How to Bring Your Motto into the Everyday Workplace

Lots of businesses have slogans or mission statements that sound great, but a catchy motto doesn’t necessarily apply to the way a business operates in the real world. How do company owners and managers translate an ideal statement for their company’s culture and mission into a working ideology that applies to the everyday?

TSP’s motto recently changed from “Tailored solutions that fit your business” to “People. Technology. Solutions.”

We specialize in maintenance, managed, consulting and project services, and we’re not the only player on the market. However, we work with plenty of Fortune 500 companies today, because from day one we distinguished ourselves with an approach that has never been one-size-fits-all. We’ve created tailored solutions from the beginning—but that’s not what makes us so unique. Our new motto better represents who are at the core and what makes our business run at its best every single day.

As a certified minority-owned business, we believe in the unique traits that make us diverse because those characteristics make us strong. We didn’t conform to create our business; we built something using what made us special, and now we put together special solutions for clients using our knowledge and resources, our custom services, and of course, our very talented people.

Our new motto applies to our everyday work ethic because we empower every employee to be his or her best. We emphasize integrity, which means not only demonstrating ethical behavior at the senior level but giving every person in our business a voice and the freedom to keep promises and do what’s right for the client, for themselves and for TSP. Having a voice and knowing you’ll be backed when you make good choices allows us to communicate well with one another, which extends to open, trustworthy communication with customers. Our communication styles aren’t just diplomatic, they’re constructive and productive.

Our custom solutions aren’t possible without respect for everyone—fellow employees, clients, and everyone we interact with on the job. Being a trusted partner means honoring the worth and dignity of all people, not just a handful of them. This attitude of courtesy and fairness makes our company a pleasant place to work, fostering a strong team that’s earnestly dedicated to doing their best.

Attitude, ethics, communication, and respect combine to give us a cohesive culture that builds teamwork. Each of these elements enables us to bring the elements of our motto to life every day.

How do you make your motto apply to daily business?

TI Recognizes 12 Suppliers with Annual Excellence Award

TI_logo_transparent_originalTexas Instruments today announced 12 of the company’s more than 12,000 suppliers will receive its annual Supplier Excellence Award (SEA) for delivering outstanding products, service and support.