How Do You Know If You Need an HR Software Solution?

Before you “take the plunge” and purchase an HR software solution it is best to determine if you need the system, and if you do, what exactly will best meet your needs. It is imperative to be brutal in your assessment. Take the time to define your organization’s goals, such as reducing administrative time spent on filling out paperwork and filing the papers, keeping more complete records, securing confidential data, being able to quickly run reports, or saving a back-up of personnel information for disaster planning purposes.There are many other things to consider prior to purchasing an HR software solution for your organization. These include:
The need to streamline processes to devote more time to strategic level objectives
Increasing the communication across all management levels
Don’t have the physical space for all the paperwork
Storing historical data for both current and former employees
Recording performance evaluations with performance management goals, as well as historical wage rate and salary information
Keeping track of training, benefits, disciplinary warnings, and workplace accidents
Calculating time-off accruals for vacation, sick, or PTO timeHR Software solutions programs also have the capability to have multiple user-licenses, which allows for users to have specific access to the program, such as access to employee performance reviews or time-off records, for example. More specifically, the HR manager or business owner could have full access to all employees’ information, while a manager could have access to his or her employees in their department.This capability is efficient and convenient for both the manager and payroll, such as if an employee calls in sick, the manager can just go into the system and make that notation, rather than trying to remember to relay that information to payroll. Under the performance management access, the manager can write the annual review where it will be stored and backed-up without worrying if the review was saved or not.Implementing an HR software solution into your organization is a great investment for streamlining processes and freeing up managers and HR staff to perform more strategic goals of the organization. The system doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to be functional.

Health Anxiety and Solutions

It’s always important to take care of oneself using all the principles of good health. Regular check-ups, proper nutrition and healthful living all enable one to keep on top of their health in a careful yet reasonable way. Often one becomes overly concerned with health issues and caught up in a cycle of health worries. One health issue is reconciled when another immediately pops up to take its place. These worries become all encompassing and exhausting after a while.Eventually, the individual realizes that this cycle of health anxieties has intruded upon the quality of their life. A dark cloud, always hovering over daily living, this intrusive form of anxiety has to be addressed. One begins by determining why this is occurring, what purpose does it serve and how to interrupt this behavior.Reason for Health AnxietyHealth worries actually serve a purpose and this purpose is not difficult to detect if one looks deep enough into this pattern of behavior. Often this pattern involves the brain distracting from specific emotions which the individual finds difficult to address.Many emotions are so overwhelming, such as anger, grief or fear, that the brain looks for ways to distract. Health worries fit the bill because when one worries intensely about their health, there is little room to address an upsetting emotion.Health worries blanket every other thought and this WORKS. This is the perfect distraction from unsettling emotions. When one worry is reconciled, another takes it place to veil the unaddressed emotion. Each health worry has a strong purpose, as it masks the true upsetting emotion, which is much more difficult to face in the long run.Solution- Recognition and acknowledgment of the Health Anxiety habit, one worry quickly following another in a noticeable loop that never ends. Awareness of this cycle is always the first step to reconciliation of the issue.- Determining if this health worry is a true physical problem by visiting one’s primary physician and ruling out a definite physical cause for the difficulty. Always rule out a physical cause before assuming it is merely health anxiety.- Noticing that these health worries settle down when you become intensely interested in another topic or swept into a new relationship, job or cause.- Identify your patterns. Do you experience twinges of symptoms that often jump from one area of the body to another? Do you find yourself overestimating physical intrusions and instantly jump to the conclusion that they signify danger or warrant the attention of an alert?- Find interests that involve your entire being. Lose yourself in things that allow you little time for inward thinking. True illness does not surface through boredom as do these behaviors. True health problems do not generally follow the same time table as health anxieties do. Health worries are stronger during times of boredom and when one lacks interests. An intelligent mind requires challenges and goals.- Activity is an important therapeutic tool against health worries. Exercise and movement invigorate and stimulate the mind and body in a positive way. Endorphins are released and Serotonin levels are boosted naturally when activity is a part of a daily routine. Moderate walking, jogging, tennis, swimming and dancing are all helpful activities that bring forth positive results.- Nutrition is also essential to good health which in itself helps eliminate the strong habit of negative thinking, often concerning health worries. When eating properly, Serotonin levels are naturally boosted and blood sugar levels remain stable. This helps settle down an over-reactive mind, leading to a lessening in health anxieties.- Talk back to the brain by firmly telling it to stop when health worries enter the mind. Shift into a more positive mode of thinking because you always have a choice in what you think about.The mind will respond by quieting down as negative thoughts subside. The brain, caught red handed in this behavior is instantly embarrassed causing it to suspend this cycle of negative thought. This is comparative to a child being caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Embarrassment at being caught, stops this intrusive behavior.- Be aware of “what if” thinking. If the majority of sentences you think begin with “what if” then this is proof of a strong health anxiety habit. Change “what if” thinking to “so what” and watch the cycle break.Most of all, understand that worry solves nothing. Health worries, in particular will only serve to exhaust and deplete both mind and body. Consciously make a concerted effort to change the way you think and you will succeed in changing your life. You will go from self victimization to freedom from the intrusive habit of fearful worry.You always have a choice. Life can be wonderful and fulfilling when you learn to alter your perspective and chose a more positive point of view. You always have a choice. Never define yourself by your habit of worried thinking. Do not be victimized by health anxiety and fear. With a few simple corrections, especially in thinking, you will find your life changes from being difficult and upsetting to becoming easier and much more fulfilling on a daily basis.

Tips for Focusing Your Photographic Efforts on Your Garden

Why Take Garden Photos?Record Keeping
Taking pictures of your flower and vegetable gardens can help you keep records of what you grew and where you grew it. Many gardeners practice some form of crop rotation, being especially careful not to plant the same vegetables in the same location year after year. A photo or two can be a big help in keeping track of where you planted your tomatoes the previous season. Digital photos are especially helpful, since you can store them on your computer, label them, and click on the photo’s “properties” to see exactly when the photo was taken. A photo might also be a good reminder next year if you planted some things too close together this year.ID that Bug or Disease
The old cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words is certainly true when it comes to identifying pests, damage from pests, or disease symptoms in the garden. One or two good photos can be compared to photos online to identify the pest or disease.Send Photos to Friends
Serious gardeners enjoy sharing their garden experiences with their gardening friends and extended family. Today’s digital technology makes it easy to capture the wonder and beauty of your garden and email or text it to a special friend.Garden Photographs as Art
Photos help us preserve the beauty of our gardens. Roses will fade, sunflowers will wither, and the visiting monarch butterfly will fly away… but great photos from the garden can last a lifetime. Digital photography enables us to take lots of pictures, edit and crop them, and print them on our computers or have them printed by professionals… at a fraction of the cost than we used to spend when all cameras had film!Garden Photographs as Gifts
A great photo from your garden or from a friend’s garden can make a wonderful gift, too. Online companies can help you turn a photo into a wonderful print for framing, or your shot can be used to decorate a tee shirt or a coffee mug. With a little help from online companies, a collection of garden photos can be used to make a very personalized calendar. Personal computer software also makes it possible for you to make your own greeting cards from garden photos.Digital Slide Shows
If you’ve had the opportunity to visit one of the great public gardens in the USA, you probably took a lot of pictures. You can post them on one of the photo-sharing websites and invite others to see them, or you can make your own digital slide show by loading the images onto your personal computer, tablet, or onto a digital picture frame. With additional equipment, like Apple TV, you can play the slide show through your TV.How to Take Better Garden PhotosEquipment
By far, the two most convenient types of cameras for garden photography are compact digital cameras and smartphone cameras. They’re easy to have on hand for that spontaneous opportunity, and you can take multiple shots without worrying about wasting film. Digital photos are also relatively easy to edit and crop, and they’re very easy – and affordable – to share.If you have a digital camera with interchangeable lenses, you can be even more creative and can expand your garden photo opportunities considerably. Telephoto lenses allow you to get close-up photos of birds and bees without scaring them away. And, telephoto lenses will allow you to narrow the depth of field of your photograph so that a single bloom or piece of fruit will more clearly be highlighted.Composition
By far, composition is the most important consideration when taking a photograph for any artistic use. Composition – the design of your photo – determines how the subject is framed and how other elements can be reduced or eliminated to avoid any distraction. Many of us can improve the composition of our photos by merely moving in closer to the central subject.With a little practice, you can learn to compose interesting photos by focusing on smaller elements or interesting patterns that you may have overlooked in the past. Many people claim that a developing interest in photography has helped them see the world in different ways.Distractions
As mentioned above, good photo composition enables us to eliminate distractions that would otherwise make a photo less attractive. If the objective is to highlight the beauty of a single rose bloom, try to avoid including any foliage that might have black spots or insect damage that could distract from the beauty of the bloom.Similarly, background buildings, tools, and people can distract from the intended focus of your photo.Light
All photographers become more aware of light, and its effect on their photos, as they develop their skills. Almost all garden photos are taken outdoors, with natural light as the source. Early morning and early evening light tends to be a little warmer and softer, while a bright afternoon sun might be a little harsh. But, any light condition can be used to make interesting photos, so long as you are aware of the effect of the light on your subject.With experience, photographers see what the camera sees… good shadows or bad shadows, depending on the desired effect. Backlighting a photo, where the subject is between you and light source, can also create dramatic and lovely photos. And, certain lighting conditions can allow you to photograph a garden element as a silhouette, purposefully focusing on the shape rather than color or depth of the subject.Depth of Field
Depth of field is simply how much of the photograph is sharply focused, and it is determined by the size of the aperture (or opening) of the lens. Most automatic cameras will strive for as much depth as possible; but, you can override the camera’s settings to reduce the depth of field in order to create more artistic results. While your eyes may be focused on a single bloom, remember that the camera may very well see all of the surrounding foliage as equally important. Get to know your camera’s settings and options to create more interesting photos.Focus
While slightly blurry or “soft” images may be very artistic (especially when photographing people), most photographers usually strive for well focused central subjects. Great in-focus shots are achieved by having as fast a shutter speed as possible, and holding the camera still when shooting. If possible, it will help to have something to lean on, or against, to reduce your body’s movement when pressing the shutter. Professionals will often use tripods or other tools to help keep the camera steady while shooting.Tip:
Instead of pressing or “punching” the shoot button, hold the button down for a second or two, focus on the subject, and then release the button. Your smartphone photos will be sharper and perhaps better composed as well.Where to Get Help to Become an Even Better PhotographerOf course you can take online courses, or enroll in an adult education program. You may be motivated to subscribe to a photo magazine for a while to learn more about techniques and equipment. A simple Google search on “photographing your garden” will lead to hundreds of suggestions for books or articles to read online.If you are interested in buying a book or two to add to your library, Photographing Your Garden by David Bjurstrom is a beautifully written and lavishly illustrated book that will help you become a better garden photographer.Garden photography, like gardening itself, is a wonderful lifelong journey, with lessons and surprises, frustrations and delights, and opportunities to learn and improve. Enjoy the journey.