Strategies to Overcoming Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

Unconscious bias is hitting the news. From Bay Street to Main Street to Starbucks the impact of unspoken bias is real and harmful to the workplace. Bias stands in the way of making correct decisions in hiring and promoting. It also has a vital impact on your staff and the workplace in general. Let’s explore how we can become aware of our own bias and stop it in the workplace?

 

First, let’s define it. “Unconscious bias refers to a bias that we are unaware of, and which happens outside of our control. It is a bias that happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences. (ECU: 2013 Unconscious bias in higher education) 

 

We all have a bias. The question is, do we identify it and then what do we do about it? In addressing one of the most crucial training issues facing the workplace today, unconscious bias, employers can assist in creating an inclusive, civil and respectful workplace. 

 

Research indicates that unconscious biases are prejudices we have, yet are uninformed of. They are “mental shortcuts based on social norms and stereotypes.” (Guynn, 2015). Biases can be based on skin colour, gender, age, height, weight, introversion versus extroversion, marital and parental status, disability status (for example, the use of a wheelchair or a cane), foreign accents, where someone went to college, and more (Wilkie, 2014). If you can name it, there is probably an unconscious bias for it.

 

Hence if we think we are unbiased, we may have unconscious adverse thoughts about people who are outside our own group. If we spend more time with people from other groups, we are less likely to feel prejudice against them.

 

This universal tendency toward unconscious bias exists because bias is rooted in our brain. Research shows that our brain has evolved to mentally put things together to make sense to us. The brain sorts all the information it is blasted with and labels that information with universal descriptions that it may rapidly access. When we categorize these labels as either good or bad, we tend to apply the rationale to the whole group. Many of the conclusions are taken from previous experiences and learnings.  

In an article, “The Real Effects of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace”, a few of the known unconscious biases that directly impact the workplace include:

  • Affinity bias is the tendency to warm up to people like ourselves.
  • Halo effect is the tendency to think everything about a person is good because you like that person.
  • Perception bias which is the inclination to form stereotypes and assumptions about specific groups that make it awkward to make an objective judgement about members of those groups. 
  • Confirmation bias is the openness for us to pursue evidence that sanctions our pre-existing beliefs or experiences. 
  • Group think is a bias which occurs when people attempt to fit into a specific crowd by mirroring others or holding back opinions and views. This results in individuals losing part of their characteristics and causes workplaces to miss out on originality and creativity.

Horace McCormick’s research found more than 150 identified unconscious biases, making the task of rooting them out and addressing them daunting. For many organizations, however, identifying as many as possible and eliminating them has become a high priority.  

 

You can address discrimination issues by increasing your awareness of your unconscious biases, and by developing strategies that make the most of the talents and abilities of your team members. 

Unconscious behaviour is not just individual; it influences organizational culture as well. This explains why so often our best attempts at creating corporate culture change with diversity efforts seem to fall frustratingly short; to not deliver on the promise they intended.

 

What you can do: 

  • Be aware consciously of your bias 
  • Focus more on the people, on their strengths
  • Increase Exposure to Biases
  • Make small changes 
  • Be pragmatic 
  • Challenge stereotypes and counter-stereotypical information 
  • Use context to explain a situation 
  • Change your perception and relationship with out-group members 
  • Be an active bystander 
  • Improve processes, policies & procedures  

Also, managers can play a crucial role in unearthing these hidden biases by declaring their intentions to be non-biased. They can also provide transparent performance appraisals that emphasis on the employee’s exceptional abilities and skills, and grow a stronger mindfulness of their own unconscious principles.

 

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Dealing with Escalated Situations in Your Workplace

Resolving workplace conflict is an expected part of the job managers and Human Resource Practitioners. Whether you work in education, healthcare, human services, business, or any field, you might deal with angry, hostile, or noncompliant behaviour every day. Your response to the defensive reaction is often the key to avoiding a physical confrontation with someone who has lost control of their behaviour.

These ten De-Escalation Tips will help you respond to challenging behaviour in the safest, most efficient way possible.

  1. Be empathetic and non-judgmental
  2. Respect personal space
  3. Use non-threatening nonverbal communication
  4. Avoid overacting
  5. Focus on feelings
  6. Ignore challenging questions
  7. Set limits
  8. Choose wisely what you insist upon
  9. Allow silence for reflection
  10. Allow time for decisions

 

 To help you towards more efficient conflict de-escalation and resolution, the following basic steps can be followed:

  • Obtain the name of the person with whom you are speaking: People respond favourably to their own name. It also makes the conversation more personal. Ask for the person’s name early in the piece and use it throughout the discussion.
  • Use Active Listening: Clarifying, paraphrasing and using open-ended questions ensure that the individual you are speaking with knows you are aware of their situation and frustrations. Resaying a person’s own words back to them demonstrates that you have understood entirely what they were trying to say.       
  • Show support and suspend judgement: Empathy needs to be shown during conflict situations. Respecting the other person’s point of view even if you do not agree entirely will be the first step to resolving the conflict. 
  • Get them to agree and say yes: Having the person agree with you on general factual points leads the conversation towards a more favourable outcome. If you can show that you have understood their point of view by making clarifying statements you generate a state where the other person must reply with an affirmative response. The sooner you can get the person to say yes then sooner the conflict will de-escalate. It always works.
  • Avoid clichés: The worst of these being “Calm Down”. Did you ever notice how people who tell you to calm down are the ones who got you mad in the first place? Saying those words during a verbal conflict usually gets the classic retort “I AM CALM” very loudly usually with an animated hand gestures as well.       
  • Show empathy: You need to show compassion and understanding and give the conflict your full attention. Do not make impulsive decisions. Take the time to work through the problem.
  • Consistency in Courtesy: The person you are dealing with first thing in the morning deserves the same level of respect, civility and patience as the individual you are dealing with at 2 in the afternoon. They warrant the same high level of service and professionalism as the first person you spoke to. You need to maintain that position of positive brand ambassador and an excellent professional service.

There are many physical aspects of being mindful of in conflict situations. It is important always to be aware of features of conflict such as your body language, your emotions, your judgement, and your initial thoughts. Keeping these in mind is essential when trying to de-escalate a problematic situation.

Monika B. Jensen is the principal of the Aviary Group, consulting company that address workplace discord.  For more information, visit www.aviarygroup.ca

 

 

 

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Private Security Trends and the Need for more Trained Private Security Resources

The Canadian Occupation Projection System (COPS) predicts that by 2018, there will be a significant shortage of Private Investigation and Private Security professionals for the projected number of job openings in Canada.

 

This is due to a large number of impending retirements and the increasing demand for trained professionals in the Private Investigation and Security field. The current security climate in Canada, the privatization of public security functions and the gaps in accessible knowledge and streamlined training in the private security field, including the gaps between private and public security, are all indications that there is an imminent and urgent need to provide professional and comprehensive private investigative and security services to Canadians. This not only increases individual safety and security within municipalities but also ensure the Canada as a whole maintains its credibility and reputation as one of the safest Countries in the World.

 

In 2002, the Law Reform Commission of Canada opened a dialogue on the trend in the growth of private security in Canada. A continued rise in law enforcement expenditures, combined with economic downturns, have contributed to pressure being placed on police services around the world to become more effective and efficient. This has resulted in a growing trend of privatizing some functions traditionally performed by public policing to the private security industry as well as the growing cooperative efforts between public and private security. Private security plays an increasingly important role in community safety and addressing issues of crime and social disorder.

 

It is often assumed that privatizing and outsourcing traditional law enforcement tasks will result in reductions in the numbers of sworn police officers. This is very far from the truth, on the contrary, public and private security collaboration may in fact result in innovative initiatives that previously did not exist, and with the growing need for security actions in communities, may in fact provide law enforcement with extra resources and partners to undertake more actions without being overworked and understaffed while utilizing various community expertise.

 

There is a growing need for more security trained private resources and more collaboration between all security facets in Canada.  In Ontario, Private Investigators as well as Security Guards are licenced and regulated by the Ministry Of Correctional Services and Community Safety.

 

Anyone that acts in these rolls must have a licence. To obtain a licence, you must meet some requirements, one of them is completion of a Ministry-approved course provided by a registered provider such as Focus Investigations. A minimum 50 hour course for Private Investigator and a 40 hour course for Security Guards is mandatory.

 

These courses can be completed online making it easy for students to complete at the curriculum at their own pace. The process is as follows:

 

1. Complete Ministry training course and receive a “Completion Number”

 

2. Book a written exam at a SERCO Canada location that provides these tests. 

 

3. Upon successful completion of the exam, a candidate may now apply to the Ministry for their license. 

* For Security Guards, Emergency level first aid training is also required.

 

More information can be found on the licensing and industry here:

https://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/PSIS/FAQs/FAQs-Licences/PSIS_faqs_licences.html

 

Additional training that is useful for security professionals as well as anyone working in a security related field such as:

 

Notetaking:

 

Knowing how to take notes is important for the following reasons:

 

  • Notes are referenced for several reasons and potentially by several people.
  • Supervisors might want a rundown of the events you encountered the night before, clients may want to know about incidents that affected their businesses, and law enforcement may need these notes to help with an investigation which could conclude in a court case in which the notes will be used to prove or disprove an allegation.
  • It is vital that security personnel know how to take proper notes so that the facts are covered and there is no confusion that renders the reports useless.

 

Crisis Intervention

 

A crisis occurs when someone loses control over their behaviour. These moments are often preceded by warning signs that tells you someone’s behaviour is starting to escalate.  Security officials and any employee having to interact with the public may be faced with a situation where they are called upon to defuse a situation. By following the tips in a crisis intervention course, they often prevent a situation from becoming critical and dangerous and they are prepared and confident in any crisis they may face.

 

 For more information or to enrol in one of these courses, visit us at http://www.focusinvestigation.net

 

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Managing Gossip in Your Workplace

By: Monika B. Jensen

Gossip is widespread in the workplace. At times, it appears as if employees have nothing better to do than gossip about each other. They chat about their organization, their coworkers, and their bosses. They often take a half truth and flip it into an entire hypothetical reality. Speculating on the team’s future, who will let go, who is seeing who and what employees are doing in their personal lives.
Employees are capable about gossiping about everything, and they do in a workplace that fails to bring about a stop to the chatting employees.

A certain amount of gossip is likely to occur in any place of work; employees are curious to know what is going on and like to chat about work matters. The essential point is to determine when the gossip is inappropriate. In which case, if it is not addressed, it may lead to low employee morale or a toxic work environment.

As a manager, the need to stop the gossiping occurs when it becomes disrupting to the workplace and the business of work, it is hurting employees’ feelings, it is damaging interpersonal relationships, or injuring employee motivation and morale.
Since research shows that gossip is disruptive in the workplace, what can we do to address it? Let us look at a few different approaches as a team and as an individual to addressing gossiping in the workplace.

When you deal with gossip as a team considers putting a ban on gossiping. Some workplaces have adopted an official ban on workplace gossip by having employees sign a pledge. Although extreme it may be effective. To discourage gossiping encourage employees to speak to each other about issues that are causing them problems before they bring it to their supervisors or other parties’ attention.

In the age of social media, it becomes easier to spread rumours and gossip about others. This can cause tremendous harm to the culture of the workplace. Organizations, today need to deal with social media and keep an eye on emails, personal blogs and Facebook discussions among employees. Finally confront rumours promptly. Providing factual information about layoffs, problematic situations or surplus of employees serve them better than to leave them speculating on their own. It is important to discuss the impact that gossip may have in the workplace. Talking openly the differences between active communication and gossip. In today’s workplace, verbal harassment has legal ramifications. Employers have a duty to take action against verbal harassment when they become aware of it.

So in dealing with gossip as an individual, always share information.

Be generous with the non-confidential material. This has proven to put a check on the gossip mill. Interestingly closed doors can set off alarms even if the intent is innocent.

Let people know that you may be interrupted at any time unless in a private meeting. Be sensitive about appearances.

Often rumours and gossip form around cliques in the workplace. Try to avoid forming groups and reach out to new people to keep the loop open. If all else fails, walk away. Gossip loses its momentum when there is no audience.

Find a way to tactfully suggest a more efficient channel for complaining or remove yourself from the discussion. If you start to focus on the positive qualities of your colleagues, you will automatically have nice things to say about each other.

Workplaces that have the highest levels of gossip seem to be the ones where employees are not engaging in work duties. Stay busy. If your day is full of tasks which you find thought-provoking and rewarding you will be less likely to get distracted by trivial activities.

We spend long hours at our job, make a point of cultivating relationships and activities outside your workplace. Having strong relationships outside the office provides sources of emotional support and objective advice often.

Unfortunately lurking at the extreme end of the gossip spectrum is workplace bullying. What may seem harmless rumors to some, may amount to intimidation and harassment for the targeted employees. Complications of physical and meth health issues arise and need to be addressed in the proper forum.

Finally become a role model. Do not indulge in any gossip yourself. Become a leader in this area. Do not feel the need to chat to feel connected, liked or to be informed about your team. Taking a stand to prevent random gossiping creates a better workplace for everyone.

Monika B. Jensen

Principal, Aviary Group

905-683-9953

mjensen@aviarygroup.ca

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Content is Still King for Getting Attention for your Business

As you know, keeping your business top of mind with your ideal customer will help you be their first choice when they’re in the market for what you offer.

But cutting through the noise to reach your ideal customers and grabbing their attention is getting tougher than ever. The ways consumers find information have changed.

Enter the Power of Content

What type of content you produce and where you distribute it will be uniquely specific to your brand. You can’t just put a piece of content up on your website and hope people will find it.

Writing articles through the use of a blog is one of the most common and powerful types of content marketing – and having the ability to publish articles to a community blog focussed directly on your target audience is even better!

Doing so helps you build visibility with your customers and potential customers while at the same time engaging them and strengthening the reputability of your brand.

Your content gives you the power to become an influencer and the voice of authority in your field of expertise.

If you’re like me though, because the heavy traffic on the social media channels available for content marketing is constantly growing, I’m finding that my content posted on various social media sites, is like publishing into the abyss. You might get some “likes” and “comments” but it’s hard for most of us who are “technologically impaired” to determine if it actually reached our target audience.

To make content marketing work best, not only does it need to be good and relevant to your customers, you must also consider effective distribution of it and getting it in the right places.

“The most essential issue in Content Marketing, as cited by more than half of in-house respondents, is “Effective Distribution and Getting Content in the Right Places.” [1]

Getting Started

  • Identify your core audience (i.e. for our professional members, it’s the municipalities)
  • Determine their pain points and write custom content that helps – tell stories from your experience, provide information that prompts them to ask questions and contact you.
  • Then publish it where they will see it – “in the right places” (i.e – our “muniBLOG”)

Remember – one article alone won’t be the primary source of conversions so you’ll want to think creatively about what types of content you need to produce. Keep your articles closely related or neatly categorized so, as people start connecting with your content, they’re inclined to read more and more.

Content No-No’s:

  • Too much self-promotion – a bit is ok but your articles can’t be a sales pitch. Keep it mostly educational or informational and follow the 80/20 rule. (80% information/20% promotion)
  • Misspellings & Poor Grammar – if you’re not comfortable writing your own content consider getting someone to write your content for you
  • Not including a strong call to action – if someone is reading your blog, they need to be able to reach out to you – otherwise, what’s the point. Tell them what you want them to do next and provide your contact information.

Now here’s my 20% Rule in action.

Are you leveraging muniSERV’s Content Marketing potential?

According to the Incite Group’s 2017 Marketing Trends, “Personalization” is the next big thing.

muniSERV is ahead of its time and we already offer our members a component of personalization, in that we take your content and target it directly to municipalities for you.

As a muniSERV member, did you know your content on our blog has the potential to reach every Canadian municipality and it will be delivered directly to the inboxes of our 750 subscribed municipal decision-members?

So be sure you’re taking advantage of the power of publishing your content to our muniBLOG so you can leverage the strength of our subscribed municipal members. I cannot stress enough, the power in getting the right content to the right people at the right time.

Finally, if content writing is just not your thing and you need help – contact me. We can help you with that too.

By the way – we’re working hard on taking “personalization” to the next level for our members by developing personalization that will provide segmented targeting to help you reach exactly who you want to reach – so stay tuned!

Susan Shannon, Founder & Principal

muniSERV.ca

sshannon@muniserv.ca

855.477.5095

[1] Incite Group – 2017 Digital Marketing Trends

 

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What does Bill 132 (Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act) mean to you and your workplace?

One in four women and one in ten men say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace. Of the reported cases of workplace sexual harassment, 55% were committed by co-workers; 39% of which involved a supervisor or manager. 8% of those who are sexually harassed at work report the harassment.

Recently there have been some changes made to Bill 168 – Violence in the Workplace, which gives employers’ statutory obligations. Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, which received royal assent on March 8, 2016, requires all employers to have policies and programs including an investigation procedure. The essential changes brought by Bill 132 include: an employer is required to create a workplace harassment program; the program must include reporting and investigating tools for incidents of workplace harassment and violence; the employers must ensure that all complaints are investigated, and investigations are completed in a timely fashion and a new power to the Ministry of Labour (MOL) to order an independent workplace harassment investigation at the employer’s expense.

September 8, 2016, now looms for companies as the date for compliance with Bill 132. The amendments stand to change dramatically how workplace harassment is addressed in Ontario. The new OHSA obligations and expectations have been set and are accompanied by expanded government oversight. Harassment in the workplace is already a challenging issue that could engage multiple forums, with complaints possibly being advanced through a grievance, civil claim, complaint under the Human Rights Code, and, depending on the severity of the conduct, the criminal justice system.

Also, and particularly, the Bill amends the OHSA to require an employer to conduct an investigation of a workplace harassment complaint that is “appropriate in the circumstances.” The phrase “appropriate in the circumstances” is not defined. Further, the Ministry of Labour has not published any guidance material to communicate what factors will be considered by inspectors when determining whether an investigation meets this standard. Assuming that the inspectors could be evaluating investigations against expected best practices which would include such things as an impartial investigator, a collection of all relevant information, and procedural fairness to the alleged harasser could create challenges for employers as the appropriateness of an investigation may be evaluated in hindsight.

Consequences of flawed investigations would impair or prejudice the employer’s ability to establish just cause for termination or discipline. There would also be an issue of due diligence under the OHSA and Human Rights Code. Consequences would include aggravated, punitive or Code damages; penalties from the Ministry of Labour under the OHSA and reinstatement in unionized workplaces. Some of the critical mistakes some employers are making include: failing to act at all; taking the complaint seriously; failure to train investigators; inability to plan, improper or inadequate files; and retention of evidence.

Many situations happening in the workplace may prompt the necessity for an investigation, such as allegations of discrimination or harassment, workplace bullying, inappropriate use of the internet or social media, policy breaches, or statutory violations. Often, employers attempt to resolve minor issues informally through discussions with the employees involved. When the allegations are more serious, employers may depend on managers to conduct internal investigations. However, in many situations, having an organization deal directly with the problem is not necessarily the best approach – informal discussions may rapidly collapse, and basic investigative steps may be overlooked by inexperienced managers, making matters worse. A vital skill for any employer is identifying when a formal investigation by an external investigator is appropriate.

Note: meeting the requirements of Bill 132 could lead to mistakes that can be costly to your organization.

Be prepared. Be proactive.

Contact Monika Jensen, Principal Aviary Group at mjensen@aviarygroup.ca  or (905) 683-9953 if you need a complaint investigated or mediated.

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Embracing Civility for a More Satisfying WorkPlace

Complaints of harassment, discrimination, bullying and now violence and disrespectful workplaces have become a standard concern for managers and Human Resources specialist. As we cope with the many arising situations, I have found the word incivility is becoming frequently used. So what does incivility mean? To define it, let’s look at how the Institute of Civility describes it. Civility is about more than merely being polite. Civility requires a profound self-awareness being characterized by true respect for others. Civility involves the tremendous hard work of remaining present even with those with whom we have inherent and perhaps fierce differences. It is about continuously being open to hearing, to learning, to teaching and to changing. It pursues mutual ground as a start point for discussions when differences may occur, while at the same time be aware that differences are heartening. It is persistence, grace, and strength of character.

Recently research has expanded our practical understanding of incivility by identifying behaviours which employees have deemed disrespectful. The most frequently occurring forms include: neglecting to turn off cell phones; talking behind someone’s back; doubting someone’s judgement, using demeaning or disparaging language, gestures or behaviours; communicating with the intent to belittle or degrade, eye rolling, giving the silent treatment and using sarcasm; gossip and slander; paying no attention or ignoring someone; taking credit for someone else’s work or ideas; intimidation by intentionally using fear to manipulate others. It may also include yelling, invading personal space, throwing things, slamming things and losing one’s temper; and sabotaging by setting someone up to fail or intentionally creating a situation to make another person look foolish or incompetent. Also may include hate-ism by deliberately pointing at a victim based on age, gender, race or sexual orientation are instances of profiling because of an “ism.”

Many examples include blaming others rather than accepting responsibility; checking email or texting during a meeting; using email to send a difficult message to avoid facing the person, which may be misunderstood and misinterpreted; not saying “please” or “thank you”; not listening and talking over or down to someone.
The cost of incivility is high. It is not only about money! There is research to support impacts on performance through lost time and absenteeism, lack of creativity, less helpfulness and less likely to assist another employee. The impact of teams is on the level of energy, emotional engagement, and performance. The conduct reaches into our physical health; impacts our customers and commitment to the organization and willingness of employees to stay with their companies. All affecting the bottom line of productivity.
So how do we address these issues? I would like to explore some recommendations for your consideration. It starts with us as individuals. Managing ourselves. How? If you throw a ball at the wall…it comes back. It works with people too. If you are, mean…it comes back! People will be mean to you.

How can you be kind and patient all the time when life is so stressful—and just plain hard? You do it by embracing civility! Civility requires self-awareness.

With self-awareness you can:
 Control your attitude
 Manage your moods
 Choose behaviours that do not negatively impact your life or disrupt those around you

Can you…
 Feel and express annoyance, irritation or frustration without hurting others— and then let it go?
 Accept and even appreciate that other people have needs and opinions which are different from your own?
 Encourage and enjoy the successes of others?
 Recognize when someone else feels irritated, upset or frustrated and keep yourself from reacting impulsively in response?

As leaders, we need to model. The Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy wrote: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.” Employees look to leaders for guidance and someone to aspire too. What are they seeing? Watch your language and put away your smartphones when engaging with your staff. Be mindful of the perils of emails and other electronic communication. Pick up the phone or set up a face to face meeting instead. Take immediate and corrective action when warranted. Rude and disrespectful behaviours emerge quickly and sometimes without warning. As the leader, you need to respond at the moment. By delaying a reaction or action, it sends out mixed messages to the offender as well as the entire team. Take all complaints seriously, realizing that coming forward by the individual is difficult, and they need to know they are supported.

We attend seminars and workshop on harassment prevention, Creating Respectful Workplace and Violence in the Workplace. I have put together a workshop on “How Embracing Civility can Create More Satisfying Work Environments”. The agenda is:
• Why Civility Matters
• It Starts with You!
• Do What You Say and Say What You Mean
• Good Fences Make Great Neighbours
• Working in the Salad Bowl
• Eliminate Gossip and Bullying
• You Can’t Always Get What You Want
• Taking It to the Extreme
• Paving the Path to Civility

Contact Monika Jensen, Principal, Aviary Group, at mjensen@aviarygroup.ca  if you are interested.

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Announcing muniSERV’s New Look – Great News for Both our Municipal & Professional Members!

Announcing the Launch of our Newly Redesigned muniSERV.ca

MORE PARTNERSHIPS!

New “Find a CAO” database in Partnership with OMAA – connects municipalities looking for CAOs to the CAOs looking for interim or long-term CAO work

New RFP, Bids and Tenders Partnership with “bids&tenders” – provides our members with access to hundreds of opportunities daily

 

MORE FEATURES FOR MUNICIPALITIES!

Free suite of tools to quickly & easily find the consultants, CAOs and services you need in one convenient location.

Municipalities JOIN FOR FREE and in less than a minute have access to the full suite of tools.
Find & Sell Surplus Equipment
Post RFPs & CAO Job Ads
muniBLOG
Events Calendar
Municipal Innovations
And More!

JOIN NOW

 

MORE BENEFITS FOR CONSULTANTS!

Boost your visibility – Search Engine Optimized (SEO) profile for online visibility Access to exclusive new marketing opportunities Extend your reach nationally – muniSERV is a 100% Canadian owned & operated company Access to hundreds of RFPs daily Special benefits & discounts to OMAA Sponsors/Associate Business Partners 

JOIN NOW

 

NEW CAO JOB SEEKER DATABASE!

Exclusive opportunity to showcase your expertise directly to municipal decision-makers

For as little as $9.99/month, get found by Canadian municipalities & find work

Extend your reach nationally – muniSERV helps you find CAO work

Special benefits & discounts for OMAA members

JOIN NOW

See our full muniSERV newsletter 

 

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Consultant Newsletter – April 2015

 
April 2, 2015 – In This Issue:

WORKING SMART – THE ART OF DELEGATION
We all tend to take on too much ourselves – we’re human.  But sometimes the best way to work smart is to determine the things we’re good at and delegate those we’re not so good at.  See the five (5) phases of delegation that will get you working smart!

 

CONFUSED ABOUT CONTENT MARKETING & SEO?
Connecting the Words – Content Marketing & Search Engine Optimization

 

Content Marketing is gaining in popularity and those that once said, “I don’t have time”, are now weighing the time commitment against the benefits.  All for good reason, Content Marketing works, but you need to start with an organized foundation.
 
This brings us back to the overly discussed and often misunderstood, Search Engine Optimization, more specifically, keyword optimization.  See the full article
 
Thanks to our Premium member, Home Cooked Website Solutions Inc., for publishing this great article on muniSERV, for our members!

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR MEMBERS
Innovations are Here! Special Introductory Offer.

 

You’ve got a great new and innovative service, product or tool for municipalities but how do you introduce it to them? Or, perhaps you know someone who has had real difficulty getting the attention of municipal decision makers to showcase their solution. We’re pleased to announce that we have just designed a unique new Innovations section on muniSERV, in response to your needs.

 

How does it work?

Our Innovations package on muniSERV provides you with a number of key ways to get the attention your innovation deserves.

  • Featured Homepage Innovations Articleprime homepage space introducing your innovation to our members. The homepage space will then include a link to an editorial page where you can even include a video to demonstrate your innovation. Your editorial page stays on the site indefinitely or until you ask us to take it down. What this means to you is that any municipal staff member in Canada (or anyone for that matter), can see your innovation, now and in the future

  • Innovations Article Published to our Municipal Newsletter – this means information about your innovation is delivered directly to the inboxes of our municipal members – municipal decision makers.

  • Premium Homepage Ad Space your ad appears in our premium ad space and rotates on the homepage with our Premium members for one month

  • Newsletter Ad Spacewe will include your ad in one of our 2 available ad spaces in one of our Municipal Newsletters. Again, these are delivered directly to the inboxes of our municipal members – municipal decision makers. More eyes, more sales.

  • Social Media PostWe will announce your new innovation on all our social media channels. We have over 2100 followers on LinkedIn alone.  


 

**To see PDF version, click here.

 

Our package is of course the best value, but should you be a Premium member receiving some of these features already, or if you would just like to purchase one or some of the features separately, contact us and we can create a custom package to suit your specific needs.

 

So, What’s the Special Introductory Offer?

Because we’re heading out to municipal trade shows in April & May, and we want to demonstrate this new section face-to-face with municipal decision-makers as they visit the booth, we are looking for the first innovations to showcase on the site. Let us attend those trade-shows for you and showcase your services. We know the people and how to get your message to them!.

  

Our need to showcase this new feature to municipal clients is a great opportunity for you!

So, if you’re one of the first two requests we receive, you will get the complete package for $500 plus applicable taxes!

 

Now is the time to act for the best price, (it won’t be offered again), and the best exposure!

 

Contact us right away so we can ensure you’re up and running in time for the municipal trade shows. info@muniserv.ca

 

PUBLISH ONLINE
Share important industry, company and municipal information on muniSERV!

Did you know MuniSERV is an online publishing platform? This feature, previously only available to Premium accounts, is now offered to all members. Publish important industry, company or product news directly to the muniSERV website. We may even choose your article to feature in our monthly municipal newsletter. 

 
Why is this good for you? Three reasons. The first, muniSERV works hard to target municipalities and we continue to grow in popularity. Every time a municipality is on the site, it’s a chance for your article to be spotted.  
 
Secondly, you are free to link your article back to your website.  With our online reputation growing, this link will help to build yours as well. This encourages growth in your online search engine rankings. 
 
Lastly, posting reputable, educational and municipal targeted content on the muniSERV website helps us all. The growth of content on the muniSERV website will help push us up in rankings which will help to make us more easily found by municipalities when they are searching for any kind of municipal consultant. Maybe their search results will have them landing on your article! 
 
This feature, still included in Premium packages, is now available to all members for $25/article. Articles will remain on the site indefinitely. Post an Article Now!
Publish your articles soon.  We’ll be showcasing the site and all it’s functions at our upcoming round of municipal trade shows and conferences. Make sure your articles get seen!
 
If you have questions about this feature or find it difficult to use and need assistance, please contact us.
 

Publish Your Article in our Newsletters Too

If you want additional exposure for your great article, our muniSERV Newsletters are for you. We publish two separate newsletters so you can select the audience you want to reach – one for our professional members and one for our municipal members. Your article is delivered directly to the inboxes of your audience. The cost is $120 + applicable taxes. Just send us your article – info@muniserv.ca, and we’ll take care of the rest.

CURRENT RFPs
A listing of Current Request for Proposals from Municipalities
 
Transportation Master Plan
Town of Penetanguishene
Due by: April 3, 2015
Engineering Design & Contract Administration Services
Town of Penetanguishene
Due by: April 8, 2015
Municipality of Brockton
Due by: April 10, 2015
Susan Shannon
1-855-477-5095

We’re always working to improve muniSERV.ca. Please share with us any comments you may have. 

Know someone you think might enjoy our newsletters?  Feel free to forward to a friend.
Gray
 

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Consultant Newsletters – January 2015

 
January 30, 2015 – In This Issue:

6 YRS AND COUNTING FOR ACCESSIBLE WEBSITES!
While there are 10 years before a fully accessible Ontario, there are less that 6 years for websites to be compliant.  Will you and your website be ready? 
 

THE FIRST OF OUR SPONSORED WEBINARS FOR CONSULTANTS IS HERE
Are you interested in working with municipal clients to improve organizational performance? 
 

If so, you are invited to attend a one hour information session that will provide an overview of a turn-key and cost effective consulting toolkit that provides a unique assessment, training, and development program.

 

The program is based on leading global excellence models that have been validated by 25 years of research and uses a leading edge technological platform that helps to identify business leads, save time and money on assignments, and provides big data for knowledge leadership. This toolkit can be delivered at your own per diem rate and can be customized for your clients.

 

Preliminary information on the toolkit may be found on the Organizational Excellence Specialists Website and there is an opportunity to try the technological platform on the home page of the website. The teaser assessment allows the respondent to self-assess their organization against the nine principles common to high performing organizations and delivers a complimentary report to their inbox within minutes.

 

Date:                    February 19, 2015

Time:                   10:00 – 11:00 am (Pacific Time, Canada) 1:00 – 2:00 (Eastern Standard Time)

Registration:       Click here to Register (limited to 25 participants)

 

Presenter – Since 1984, Dawn Ringrose has consulted to management in areas that positively contribute to organizational performance. She has worked across the public, private, and non-profit sectors with small, medium, and large organizations, with particular expertise in the service sector.

 

Dawn is author of the Organizational Excellence Framework publication and consulting toolkit. She has worked with clients to earn the prestigious Canada Awards of Excellence and is the representative for Canada on the Organizational Excellence Technical Committee and the Global Benchmarking Network.

 

Her academic and professional credentials include: Bachelor of Science Specialization, Master of Business Administration, Assessor of Quality Systems, Registered ISO 9000 Specialist, Fellow Certified Management Consultant, Certified Excellence Professional, and Certified Organizational Excellence Specialist.

INNOVATIONS WELCOME

Do you have a new innovative product or service but you’re having  difficulty getting it in front of the key municipal decision makers you need to reach?

 

muniSERV has heard from a number of you who have expressed that you are experiencing this very problem. We have listened to your requests and we are busy developing a unique new program to help you.  Watch for more information in our next newsletter but in the meantime, if you would like more information, contact sshannon@muniserv.ca for more details.

ANOTHER GREAT TESTIMONIAL
We’re always delighted to hear from our members!
 
Here’s what Robert Walker, Principal, People Strategies and Performance Inc. has to say about muniSERV:
 
“This is a fantastic resource for both suppliers and consumers. Rich information, easy to navigate and especially useful in identifying potential collaboration opportunities with other consultants locally, across regions and nationally. Very helpful to independents like me who are just starting out.”

 

Thanks Robert! 

CURRENT RFPs
A listing of Current Request for Proposals from Municipalities
Quote Due: Jan 30, 2015

Location: Otonabee-South Monaghan, Township of 

 
Quote Due: Jan 31, 2015

Location: Puslinch, Township of 

 
Quote Due: Feb 12, 2015

 

Quote Due: Feb 13, 2015

Location:  Penetanguishene, Town of 

                                                    

Quote Due: Feb 19, 2015

 

Tender- Supply of one 2015 New Diesel Power Detachable Snow Blower

Quote Due: Jun 12, 2015

Location: Penetanguishene, Town of 

 

Feel free to pass these along to your professional colleagues!

Like us Facebook, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and join the discussion in our muniSERV LinkedIn Group.
 
Susan Shannon
1-855-477-5095

We’re always working to improve muniSERV.ca. Please share with us any comments you may have. 

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