Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Feb 14, 2019

Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan


The war for talent is fierce across all sectors of our economy, and it’s no secret that things are heating up as the next big wave in technology — AI — is displacing jobs and creating new ones.

Some of the largest and most prestigious employers, (particularly in the technology space) are getting creative when looking for ways to attract and retain top talent — and it’s not all about salary. On-site bars, free lunches, entertainment, housecleaning services, and the infamous Google slide are just some of the perks that tech giants offer to stand out from the rest. So how do you compete if you’re a small start-up with no pool table or classy cocktail lounge? You don’t. You’ve got something better. Something money can’t buy.

Compassion. Empathy. Respect.

Monumental or traumatic life events affect everyone — top performer or not. Instead of dwelling on the budget breaking perks you can’t afford, focus on creating a workplace culture that promotes employees’ well-being and diminishes the strict line between life and work. We don’t leave work at work and we don’t leave home at home. Employers who foster a sense of community at work and support staff during major life events — births, deaths, illnesses (mental or physical) — are more likely to develop loyal and productive employees. There will always be a cooler office out there.


So during a life event, whether it’s a new baby or an adoption, or a death in the family, there are a few cost-effective things employers can do to help alleviate stress at home during tumultuous times.

    1. Hire a cleaning service for your staff for a few weeks while they go through the big change like Mopify. Cleaning at home takes a lot of time and having someone to do it for you while you’re dealing with big psychological changes really takes a load off, and it doesn’t cost much.


    2. Have prepared foods delivered from a healthy local establishment like Red Apron. Shopping for food and preparing meals takes time. Why not pay for a week of nutritious food delivery? It’s a big time saver and again, a mental break from thinking about feeding hungry people.


    3. Is it winter? Consider a snow removal service if your staff has a driveway or walkway that needs to be cleared. Is it summer? Consider a lawn care service for a couple of weeks.


    4. Does your employee have children? Consider offering to comp their chosen childcare provider or having a background checked nanny available to them from a nanny service like CanadianNanny.ca.


    5. Does your staff member need to travel to help a loved one? Consider opening a business account with Uber or Lyft to offset travel costs wherever they are going. Perhaps even AirBnB or maybe you have a hotel rate with a given hotels group you could offer them. An airline voucher can go a long way too.


Set a budget for life events and select services aligned to the needs of your people in the moment they need them most. Don’t just rely on your employee assistance program.

By supporting staff in their hours of greatest need in areas outside of work we demonstrate that we care. The old axiom that actions speak louder than words is never truer. Don’t send sympathies or cards or flowers. Send a service that actually helps. Build a culture that cares.


What have you done to truly help someone as they deal with their own major life event?


Michelle Branigan is CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada.

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Electrician Forum Brought to you by Schneider Electric

As industry experts you know the products you use everyday better than anyone and should have input on what information you receive about products and what could improve them.

Therefore, we want your insight on the biggest challenges or issues you face when installing loadcentres, breakers (CAFI, GFI's…) and other surge protection devices. We ask that you do not provide product specific details but rather your general issues and concerns or any questions that have come to mind while working with these product types. Provide us with your valued expert insight into the issues you have faced so manufacturers can better inform you about the installation and use of these products. Lets generate some discussion that will help guide the Industry.

Make your comments  HERE

 

ESA Powerline SafetyThe invisible impact of powerlines should never be underestimated. In the past decade alone, 19 people in Ontario have lost their lives from overhead powerline contact. May 13 to 19 is Powerline Safety Week, which is meant to inform people across the province to stay vigilant of powerlines when doing work at home or on the job.

"Our work in raising awareness of powerline safety won't be finished until there are zero injuries or lives lost from contact," says Dr. Joel Moody, Chief Public Safety Officer, Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). "All it takes is a misstep or careless error to change the life of you, your colleagues or family."



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ABB Eco FactoryABB has an extensive portfolio of eco-efficient solutions and services that can help decouple economic growth from environmental impacts. In fact, over half of ABB's worldwide revenues are generated by technologies that combat the causes of climate change. The company’s goal is to increase this contribution from 57 percent in 2018 to 60 percent by 2020.

The company’s commitment to combatting climate change includes limiting the environmental impact of its own operations. ABB’s current target for climate action is to reduce its own GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from a 2013 baseline.



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Codes and Regulations Brought to You by the CSA Group

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Wind Energy

Canada’s wind energy industry further expanded its installed capacity in 2018, while solidifying its status as the lowest-cost source of new electricity generation. Newly commissioned projects brought total national wind energy capacity to close to 13,000 megawatts (MW). Meanwhile, competitive auction results in Saskatchewan and Alberta confirmed the wind industry’s ability to continue to deliver record-low prices.

The six wind energy projects that were powered up in 2018 added 566 MW of installed capacity — a continuation of steady growth that contributed to an average annual growth rate of 20% per year since 2008.

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Solar Cell

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The power supply is vital to the safety of wearable electronics. Perovskite solar cell (PSC) has been widely used to manufacture flexible batteries because it is highly efficient, cheap, and easy to use. Perovskite is a material with the same type of crystal structure as calcium titanium oxide.

The flexible substrate is the key factor to determine the performance of PSCs.

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With its built-in flashlight and CAT IV safety rating, the FLIR VP40 is a must-have for preliminary job site checks for live wiring. The durable, pen-sized tester quickly identifies the presence of AC voltage without contacting wires, even in the latest safety outlets.


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NP DRMSExpanding on its extensive product line for motion control applications, Sensata Technologies recently released the Crydom DRMS Series hybrid motor starters.

These new hybrid starters integrate the benefits of both solid state and electromechanical relay technologies to produce a compact device that can control electrical power delivery to motors as large as 4kW. Suitable applications range from access control, packaging equipment, lifts and escalators to industrial process control and machine tooling systems.

 


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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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