When planning engagements, proposals, and services to clients, it is undoubtedly helpful to take a holistic approach to understanding the client organization. One of the many areas that social media has permeated our society is by providing open, semi-anonymous or anonymous forums for employees to voice their opinions regarding their employers. One such social media platform, Glassdoor, has enjoyed increased popularity lately. It is one of the many tools that allows for folks outside of an organization to get a feel for its culture, mission, and challenges. It provides insight that can help a services organization to proactively shape its proposals and ensure that its manner of engagement is congruent with the prevailing culture and norms within the client organization. From a more higher level, it affords services organizations to track trends in how organizations manage its resources, schedules, business strategies, and in turn, shape and evolve its services catalog accordingly.
Since the US Thanksgiving holiday is to be celebrated this week, followed by “Black Friday” and the countdown to Christmas, I feel that it is apropos to write about what seems to be an emerging trend among major corporations during the holiday season. Over the past few years, we have noticed that many larger organizations have elected to incorporate a shutdown of all but essential business functions during the time period spanning Christmas and the New Year. In reading through Glassdoor reviews for several of these organizations and speaking with folks on the inside, we have found a variety of reasons for doing so. While such reasoning is largely varied between industry verticals, there is one that seems to be universal among the companies that share this practice: The opportunity cost of shutting down revenue-generating activities between Christmas and the New Year is often much less than struggling with the costs and burdens of reconciling holiday schedules, paying overtime, paying holiday pay, and overall reduced productivity. This approach to dealing with the year-end holidays is also very popular with most employees, who are afforded the ability to enjoy the holidays with little interruption from their employers.
Technology, on the other hand, does not enjoy these holidays. Technology never sleeps, never takes a day off, and certainly does not celebrate Christmas. Although the reasoning behind these year-end shutdowns is sound, it is important to continue to keep an eye on the organization’s technology assets to ensure that any limited production may continue to proceed and to avoid having the New Year await with unwelcome surprises. This is one of many areas where having a trusted technology partner can be invaluable. QTR’s Managed Services offering brings flexible terms – multiple years, a single year, multiple months, or even just to give your staff a well-deserved break.