Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

May 10 2016

Michelle Branigan

Last month I spoke about stress from the perspective of the individual, and practical steps that can be taken to help manage your stress levels in order to live longer, healthier and happier.

This month I’d like to look at some of the things employers can do to help reduce stress in the workplace. This should be a business priority for two reasons:

• It positions you as an employer who cares about their workforce. After all, if employees are an organization’s greatest strength, shouldn’t they feel as if they matter?   
• It impacts employee morale, loyalty, customer service, productivity, health care costs and profitability, and can lead to increased turnover.

Why are my employees stressed?

There are so many factors that can impact an individual’s stress levels on the job. In today’s economic environment employees are under more and more pressure, with companies in some cases having to reduce staffing levels, or ask existing employees to do more…… and more. Perhaps the work environment is tense, or there is a conflict between coworkers. Or the organization is changing—and the employee fears how this will impact his or her role in the company.

On a personal level, some employees may be taking care of aging parents, or having to deal with childcare or financial issues.

As reported by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, we are all familiar with the need to protect physical health and safety in the workplace. But a new realization has dawned: the protection of workers also includes attending to their psychological (mental) health and safety (PH&S) in the workplace (1).

What Can I Do? 4 ideas to Help Support Your Staff

  • Communicate and Listen: This one of the most discussed topics within organizations at a senior management level and yet so often it is executed poorly. Good communications play an integral role in developing and maintaining a positive work culture. Keep your employees up to date on what is happening in the company, good or bad. Not only do they feel respected they may have ideas on what can be done to support the organization. Listen to your employees. This is a skill, and needs to be practised. Managers may need to be trained or coached to learn to acknowledge and respond to what they hear, be that responding to topics such as work overload, illness, conflict, etc.
  • Celebrate Achievement: Notice when your employees go beyond what is expected of them, be it staying an hour later to get that last email out, or creating a new system or process that will help the entire department. When people don’t get recognition for their efforts resentment builds, which can quickly lead to feeling undervalued, demotivated and, subsequently, stressed.
  • Health and Wellness Initiatives: Many companies may see these initiatives as costly to set up and time consuming to manage. But research has shown that for many companies they actually save money, and depending on the companies they can be scaled up or down. While some companies will be able to install a gym and bring in smoking cessation programs, others can launch simpler initiatives, such as offering an aerobics class every Friday, or ensuring that that there are healthy eating options available in the cafeteria and at all meetings.  The best way to develop a wellness program is to survey your employees for ideas and what matters the most to them, while acknowledging the resources you have available to actually implement those ideas.
  • Work life Balance: According to the Government of Canada’s Work-Life Balance in Canadian Workplaces “Work-life balance is a self-defined, self-determined state of well-being that a person can reach, or can set as a goal, that allows them to manage effectively multiple responsibilities at work, at home, and in their community; it supports physical, emotional, family, and community health, and does so without grief, stress or negative impact”. Work-life balance initiatives need to be based on your employees’ needs, so find out what initiatives would enhance their sense of work-life balance. One example here is respecting time off and limiting technology use. Don’t email your employees at 11 pm. Even if you don’t expect a response that individual is now worrying that you do, or going to bed thinking about work. Respect your employee’s time and encourage them to maintain a healthy balance between home and work.

(1) Mental Health Commission f Canada: January 2012, Psychological Health and Safety—An Action Guide for Employers


Michelle Branigan is CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada; http://electricityhr.ca.

More from Michelle Branigan:
- Michelle Branigan: Profile
- It’s Not Just the Technical Stuff That’s Important
- Call for Mentors to Support Recruitment and Retention of Women in the Electricity Industry
- Retention: You’ve Hired. Now What Are You Doing to Keep Your Staff?
- What are the Benefits of Effective Coaching?
- Multigenerational Workforces
- Mentoring

- I’m Stressed Out!!!!

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ABB RoboticsABB Robotics is driving automation in the construction industry with new robotic automation solutions to address key challenges, including the need for more affordable and environmentally friendly housing and to reduce the environmental impact of construction, amidst a labor and skills shortage.

Robotic automation offers huge potential to enhance productivity, efficiency and manufacturing flexibility throughout the construction industry, including automating the fabrication of modular homes and building components off-site, robotic welding and material handling on building sites and robot 3D printing of houses and customized structures. 



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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

Smart GridHarnessing Canada’s immense clean energy resources requires transformational investments to modernize our electricity grid. The Government of Canada is investing in renewable energy and upgrading the electricity grid to make clean, affordable electricity options more accessible in communities across Canada.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today launched a $964-million program to support smart renewable energy and grid modernization projects that will lower emissions by investing in clean energy technologies, like wind, solar, storage, hydro, geothermal and tidal.

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It also has a strong focus on innovation and efficiency — as demonstrated by decisions such as the one it made in 2017 to use beet juice to help combat icy winter roads, allowing the City to reduce the amount of salt it was using, thereby saving money and decreasing the impact on the environment. 

 

 

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In the early 2000s, my family and I were living in a mainly rural (at least by city dweller standards) valley in south central British Columbia.  The West Kootenay region is known for its diverse outdoor recreation activities and as a great place to raise a family.  It has a proud industrial history, evidenced through the longstanding pulp mill, a massive lead zinc smelter a few miles away and several hydroelectric dams, all of it within spitting distance of the mighty Columbia River. 

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Product News

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The grips feature a slip guard handle design for added protection at the front-end and raised rear-finger steps for easy opening at the back-end. Wiha Insulated SoftFinish® Cushion Grip Pliers and Cutters consist of premium quality tool steel for strength and durability and induction hardened cutting edges and jaws for superior sharpness and longevity. 

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House of Electrical SuppliesFrom small construction to sophisticated industrial projects, House of Electrical Supplies has been servicing clients in the industrial, OEM, entertainment, and construction markets across the Greater Toronto Area for just over 40 years. The company has earned a reputation for providing a high-quality customer experience.

As per President Austin Brennan, their experienced and knowledgeable team can be depended upon in any situation to deliver quick and efficient service. On top of their product solutions — ranging from electrical, automation, safety, lighting and portable power distribution — 

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