Are you a Winner or a Learner?

It seems to me that most of us are happy to just be agreeable when it comes to our perspective about how the world works. As individuals we find some sense of mental peace knowing that we think like the rest of a group.  

But I’ve always looked at things differently.  Sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong.  And when I am wrong, I’m never afraid to admit it.  I forgive myself and accept it as a learning experience.

As Lionel Ritchie recently told a contestant on American Idol, “When you win, you win.  When you lose, you learn.” 

It’s one thing to allow yourself this flexibility, but as a Manager or Leader do you extend this same flexibility to your team’s innovative ideas?   And, perhaps more importantly, if an idea fails, do you offer the same “forgiveness” for your team as you would for yourself?

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$31 million Canada Healthy Community Initiative – open for proposals

The Government of Canada announced that the Community Foundations of Canada with the Canadian Urban Institute are open to receive and review your proposal for access to $31 million under the Healthy Communities Initiative.

https://youtu.be/1smdTfZF-zE

 

I attended the Canada Healthy Community Initiative launch webinar February 9 and reviewed the applicant guide which is focused on the increased recognition of social and digital infrastructure that contributes to healthy community outcomes. The applicant guide makes it easy to understand if your organization can apply.

 

The projects eligible for funding need to serve the public or a community disproportionately impacted by Covid19 and fall within three healthy community initiative themes, one of them being community projects that use innovative data and technology solutions to connect people and support healthy communities. Community projects that use digital technologies and solutions to encourage citizen engagement, use open data, online platforms or physical digital devices for public benefit.

All budget items must be project related and expenses occur between April 1 2020 and June 30 2022. Details on how anticipated expenses are outlined in the budget are included in the applicant guide.

You need to demonstrate community engagement. Planned continued engagement with the community to receive feedback on the project may also demonstrate the role of the community in delivering the project. Your team can also elaborate on your equity approach and principles for the project and how it relates to community outreach and feedback.

All projects focusing on the theme of digital solutions and any project that handles public data should demonstrate best practices of digital design and responsible data management. The good news for you and your organization is that Athena Software meets the needs for inclusive design and data management.

 

Athena can provide details on data management considerations including:

Collection – who can collect the data

Access – who can access the data

Use – Who can use the data

Openness – What data is attributed to an individual

Compliance – PIPEDA

Minimum funding is $5000. Maximum funding is $250,000

 

All budget items must be project related and incurred April 1 2020 to June 30 2022. The government provided a budget template in excel. We created a proposal for the Canada Healthy Community Initiative and integrated it with the budget template to help give you a head start on filling out the form. Let me know if you are interested in the proposal and excel budget template and we will send you the forms to begin the process.

 

The first round of funding opened February 9 2021 and will close March 9 2021 5 PM PST. Review committees begin making decisions March 10. All applicants will receive results by April 30 2021.

The second round of funding opens May 14 2021 9:00 AM AST and closes June 25 2021 at 5 PM PST. Applicants that did not receive funding in round one can apply for funding in round two. Review committees begin making decisions June 26. All applicants will receive results by August 13 2021.

 

You will need to check which region your project is in before you apply with the link to the map in the application guide. You will also identify the amount you are applying for. Any project over $100,000 will be reviewed at the national level.

 

Your application will be evaluated with many others in each community. Your application must meet the basic eligibility criteria including project rationale, community engagement, outcomes, project implementation and readiness fulfilling all of the following criteria:

 

  • Submitted by an eligible organization, and provides documentation
  • Responds to needs arising from COVID-19
  • Creates or adapts public spaces, or programming or services for public spaces in the public interest
  • Demonstrates consideration of and connections within the community
  • Serves the general public or a community disproportionately impacted by COVID-19
  • Falls within the Healthy Communities Initiative theme(s)
  • Submitted with a complete budget
  • Is requesting between $5,000 and $250,000
  • Incurs expenses between April 1 2020 to June 30 2022

Please join me March 5 at 1 PM EST for a hands-on webinar as we share ideas from communities that use Penelope to assist those most affected by Covid 19 and review proposals for new and current agencies using Penelope. You can find the registration page on our Athena web site. Hope to see you there. If you have questions before then call or email. Until then stay safe. We will see you soon.

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The Management Trilogy

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, managers have been hard-pressed to pivot to a virtual style of leading their teams. Even where the work of their teams does not lend itself to ‘work at home’ strategies, nevertheless a greater reliance on the use of virtual tools has emerged. So how are you doing with that?

Managers have to provide leadership for their teams across three domains. We call this The Management Trilogy, consisting of three overlapping areas:

Daily Management is a set of management processes whereby you and your team control and improve your mission-critical processes and cultivate your team values. This is where you, as a manager, LEAD WITH VALUES.

Crisis Management is a set of management processes whereby you and your team plan for, deal with and manage the aftermath of disruptive and unexpected events. These events threaten to harm the organization, its staff, customers and stakeholders, and the communities it serves. This is where you, as a manager, LEAD WITH VALOR.

Strategic Management is a set of management processes whereby you and your team plan for, move towards, and create your future. This is where you, as a manager, LEAD WITH VISION.

Of course, it’s rarely as simple as that. Whilst engaging in Daily Management, you can be hit with a crisis or indeed crises, such as Covid-19 and more. And at the same time, your team’s vision of a desirable future gets shelved until things ‘get back to normal’, whatever that is! And you have to manage all of this virtually!

It’s simple, but not easy. Here are a few tips to help you navigate these challenges:

TIP #!: Know yourself – in the intersection of these three domains, you will experience many different emotions. Managing your emotions will be key, as will leading with values. Knowing your personal and professional values will create a strong foundation for helping others understand their emotions and values.

Tip #2: Know your team members – Understanding what motivates your team members, and how they deal with the pressures and conflicts that arise between you, they and other team members will be crucial to maintaining a balanced and cohesive team.

Tip #3: Know your manager – Understanding your manager and their stressors will go a long way towards creating a strong working relationship between the two of you, which will stand you in good stead when you need your manager’s support.

If you would like to learn more about The Management Trilogy and the tools and techniques you can utilize virtually to achieve success, contact me at [email protected] or by calling 1-877-432-8182 (local in Edmonton 780-432-8182).

Brian Ward,

CEO, Affinity Consulting and Training

Edmonton

 

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Feedback is the key to Engagement

We live and work in an age where feedback is necessary to secure employee engagement.  Study after study demonstrate up to 68% of the American workforce is disengaged.  Approximately 50% are unengaged and an incredible 17% are actively disengaged.[1]   Yikes.

Disengagement means lower levels of productivity, less revenue and higher incidents of weaker culture.  As noted by Gallup: Organizations with higher rates of “…engagement realize substantially better customer engagement, higher productivity, better retention, fewer accidents, and 21% higher profitability.”[2]

Disengagement is an illness that spreads rapidly when tolerated or left unaddressed. 

Why?  Several reasons:

1.   People that “pick up the slack” and generate the work product compensating for the lack of production by the disengaged feel underappreciated.  These employees are, essentially, punished for others being disengaged.  Employees who make up for the productivity of their disengaged colleagues eventually get frustrated and, not altogether unsurprisingly, tend to leave their employer.  Losing disengaged people is one thing, losing hard-working, go-getters is unacceptable for any organization;

2.   Disengaged employees are permitted to continue such disengagement – thus, repeating a vicious cycle where such behavior is encouraged if not altogether promoted.  Obviously, no organization wants to see this happen and yet it does. (As discussed above, such behavior requires the engaged workforce to over-work and drives up rates of attrition); and

3.   Management and ownership experience increasing levels of frustration, anxiety and concern over lower productivity, less revenue and higher levels of attrition.  81% of companies report turnover is a “costly problem” and 63% say retaining employees is actually more difficult than hiring people.[3]

How can ownership stem the tide?  How does an organization encourage and develop engagement?

One, simple word.

Feedback.  Gather feedback.  Analyze feedback.  Appreciate feedback.  Employ feedback to make more effective and objective decisions.

Feedback falls into three general categories – positive, negative and somewhere in between (often referred to as “constructive criticism”).  Management and ownership might not like all the feedback (especially the negative) received, but the process of gathering, analyzing and utilizing feedback helps strengthen culture within the workplace and improve rates of engagement.

A word of caution – if an organization is going through the valuable exercise of gathering meaningful feedback from their people, the organization must use it.  It is also important to gather enough feedback to make it statistically relevant (no need to act immediately after first gathering feedback).  When trends are identified in a given employee’s conduct and interaction with, or net impact on, others on a team or organization-wide level, action must be taken by management.

For an organization to preach the importance of feedback, stress participation in gathering feedback and then do nothing with the data collected can be more damaging than not caring about feedback at all.

Gathering and using feedback effectively can change the face of any organization.  Ripple Analytics Inc. is a cloud-based platform that empowers companies to gather and analyze feedback from their people.  Check us out at www.ripplecrew.com.  Give us a try!

 

Why we are qualified to write the blog:   Noah L. Pusey – [email protected] – is the President & CEO of Ripple Analytics Inc.   For over twenty (20) years, Noah has been building teams and developing employees at various companies.  As a result, he has participated in corporate America’s flawed annual review process and has set out to fix it.  He knows what works, what doesn’t and why.  See more about Ripple at www.ripplecrew.com.

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Covid-19 Increases HungerCount

 

The Covid-19 economy has reduced quality of life for many impacted by the pandemic. Individuals struggling with food security and mental health will increase. Innovative digital solutions can help collect data and apply data science to provide guidance on how best to manage the crisis with the resources in your community using proactive strategies that cost less and deliver better outcomes.

The Institute for Smarter Government can show you how.

Food Banks Canada monitors hunger across Canada each year with data collected from 4,934 organizations. There were over 1 million visits to Canadian foodbanks in 2019 delivering over 5.5 million meals. This was an increase of 47% over 2018. The pandemic will accelerate visits to the foodbank in 2020 and 2021 with an increase in mental health concerns at the same time.

In 2019, 57% of those requiring help with food were on social assistance, 48% came from a single adult household. One in eight were unemployed.

When Food Banks Canada annual survey HungerCount 2019 asked agencies what their clients’ main reason was for accessing a food bank, clients shared that their social assistance or benefits were too low. They had low or delayed wages. Some had lost their job and were unemployed or did not have enough hours. These four areas of concern accounted for 80% of those individuals requiring assistance from a food bank.

That was in 2019. With Covid in 2020 and now 2021, the economy will hit those living on the edge the hardest. Many families and single adults have less household income. Unemployment and reduced hours with lower pay will greatly accelerate the number of single adults and families arriving at the food bank in 2020/2021.

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Foodbanks HungerCount 2019

There are over 1.1 million Canadians receiving welfare and over 2 million if you include those with disabilities and mental health issues. The Canada Community Health Survey shows food insecurity has a statistically significant relationship with mental health variables.

The connection between food insecurity and mental health is greater with single person households now accounting for 48% of all households served. One in three of the single adults lives in poverty. Since 2016, seniors over 65 mostly with fixed incomes requiring an expansive array of expensive medications have increased visits to the food bank by nearly 30%.

Close to one in five single adults experiences food insecurity and many of those need support from a food bank to make ends meet. Many within this group have mental health issues that are exacerbated by poverty and low income. Many have mental health issues that go untreated for lack of supports available to them, are stuck in a cycle of inadequate social assistance or disability-related supports, or have lost a job and have nowhere to turn for new training and education programs to re-enter the workforce.

When the rent and wage subsidies transition back to the pre-covid economy, the need for food bank support will increase. Mental health and a range of other human service issues will surge.

Food Banks Canada will conduct research March 2021, across the nation to collect data from each community. Short term solutions will help address the immediate need for food while longer term solutions will focus on policy and try to address the question why. #BellLetsTalk offers some great Covid 19 resources to help everyone get through this together.

Canada is now seeing over 8,000 new case of the coronavirus each day. This is four times the rate when the pandemic started in 2020. Vaccines will help reduce transmission. This will take time.

Each community needs to understand how best to serve their population with the resources at hand. Innovative digital solutions can help begin collecting data in a client centric manner that makes it easier to apply analytics and create prescriptive programs that deliver better outcomes for less.

The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative makes it possible for every community to apply for Infrastructure Canada funding starting January 2021.

Be smart and get ahead of the Covid crisis. #Buildbackbetter Find out how to submit your proposal for funding at February webinar. Details will be posted shortly.

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How Will You Deliver Effective Training in 2021?

What is the most important HR training topic for 2021?

If you are an HR Leader or CAO, how will you invest your Learning and Development budget to get the maximum benefit for your team? Read on to see how over 1000 HR and L/D professionals answered this question. Their answers may surprise you.

graph on training topics for 2021

 

These topics are crucial to the well being of organizations and their staff. There is an underlying challenge that many HR professionals face. This is, in part, due to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and the various restrictions and changes brought about by the pandemic.

The Blanchard survey found a number of themes emerging among HR Professionals. These are:          

  • Successfully making the shift to virtual and online learning
  • Helping a workforce struggling emotionally with implications of COVID-19 and working remotely
  • Concerns about their L&D jobs

Do you agree with these, and the ranking order?

In many ways, these challenges can create a ‘Perfect Storm”. Many organizations were unprepared to make the shift to online learning, and as a result, the effectiveness of this mode of Learning and Development is suspect. In fact, the respondents indicated that while 53% of their training is now done virtually, many felt that it was less effective than in-person training.

How do you feel about the effectiveness of your transition to online training?

Given the constraints and challenges many smaller Municipal HR Departments face, it raises the question of how to effectively provide the training necessary. Many HR Departments are already facing the challenge of providing basic training, without the added challenge of having to pivot this online. Over 60% of the respondents said that a lack of the resources, and proficiency in developing eLearning resources, would be major constraints.

How will you pivot your training, and ensure that you continue to provide the best results?

One solution is to look to support professionals who have the training material and are equipped to provide high-quality online resources to help meet your targets for 2021.

If you would like more information, feel free to contact me to see how we can help you deliver top-quality training during this challenging season.

Email me at [email protected]

*Statistics and other information taken from The Ken Blanchard Company’s Report 2021 Trends: Learning and Development in a COVID World

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A Municipality’s Culture: Performance-Values Management

This cloud-based Human Resources Information System (HRIS) platform is two dimensional.  Specifically, the municipality’s Performance Expectations and also the municipality’s Cultural, Behavioural, and Values Expectations.

This HRIS platform measures and focuses on an employee and/or manager successfully achieving the municipality’s performance expectations and also their alignment with the culture, values, behavior expectations of the organization.

This, information-rich HRIS provides a centralized, user friendly, comprehensive system of employee information to provide managers and employees with several dimensions of support and develop progress information such as their individual action plan and goal management; 360 degree feedback; individual modifications required; recognition and celebration of their achievements; and several other key performance indicators (KPI) critical to achieving one’s fullest potential in the organization as an employee and/or manager during their employment journey or during onboarding.

The result is to achieve continuous feedback to facilitate clarity of purpose, understanding, and the integration of a plan of action between a manager and an employee; inspiring staff since they feel engaged, supported, and coached on becoming more successful; employees feeling that their viewpoints are respected during a development and coaching process; increases employee workplace satisfaction; increases retention of high performers; identification of areas where an employees needs support to become more successful within the organization; and provides a “Performance-Values Matrix” diagram showing an employee and their manager where the employee is positioned on achieving the performance expectations and the cultural/values/behavioural expectations of the municipality.

 

 

If you would like more information, feel free to contact me or visit the Cultural Tools tab of our website https://crossculturalconnecting.com where additional information is provided as well as a link to a demonstration video.

Bill Dennis, B.Com., MBA, CSP(Distinction)

President & CEO, Cultural & Generational Training                                                         

Burlington, Ontario     

[email protected]    https://crossculturalconnecting.com   

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Municipalities Build Back Better With Whole Person Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a lot of talk about a Build Back Better approach in our communities during the Covid 19 pandemic.  One strategy that helps address those in need is a Whole Person Care approach using a digital platform to collect and measure outcomes for wrap around programs which can be fully funded under the new Canada Healthy Communities Initiative.

With the arrival of Covid 19, the amount spent on healthcare is increasing in every community. While the amount invested in healthcare is increasing, municipalities are spending up to 25% of their healthcare costs to support non-value add aspects in their healthcare system. Value-based care models help optimize what is spent to get the best outcomes. How do communities do more with less as Covid 19 increases health and economic risk? In the short term we will need to work together with what we have and find ways to get better outcomes for less.

We know that Covid 19 is accelerating value-based healthcare approach in communities. Whole-person care is not far behind.

Whole person care describes a wrap around approach that addresses complete physical health, behavioral health and social wellbeing. Communities that work together as a team to provide care for individuals with poorly managed conditions including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and COPD are better equipped to improve health outcomes for less. Helping to manage care for this population most at risk relies on seamless information exchange, tele-health, care co-ordination and consumer engagement. All of these conditions are closely related to the social determinants of health.

Post acute care including home health, hospice and senior living facilities and human service including community mental health centers, addiction treatment centers and social service agencies in every community need to have the technology and skills to work as equal partners. Every community now has a chance to build back better with whole person care. 

Whole person care gets even better when amplified with data science and analytics that are driven with a prescriptive approach to patient care. To prepare our communities to deliver better outcomes during the pandemic, municipalities need to look at systems that offer interoperability – a framework that supports bidirectional exchange of data across systems and providers of care, a network to network bridge, policy agreements, discrete data and support for client consent and sharing that consent with others.

Consumer engagement with a patient portal makes it easier for hospitals and physicians to work with clients. Automated referrals, tele-health and patient information integration create a public care eco-system that serves the public in Covid 19 times. Building Back Better with the help of funding from the Canada Healthy Community Initiative makes it possible to accelerate the care you need in every community. Let us know if you need help with your digital transformation as you build back better in your community.

 

Learn more: Contact Athena Software

 

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What is Virtual “Just-in-Time Learning”?

Virtual “Just-in-Time Learning “Training

Virtual Just-in-Time Learning is a new, timely training approach – especially during these challenging COVID-19 times.

Whether an employee is working on the road, at home, or at the office, each municipal employee can access “Just-in-Time” Learning training from a computer or their smart phone whenever they feel compelled to acquire the training.

This training approach provides municipal employees on-demand, flexible, agile training that enables them to acquire need-related training exactly when they need that training’s information.

It is a virtual training approach which closely aligns with today’s knowledge-driven, speed-oriented world where people want “just in time” information quickly.

Since there is no one right time to provide a group of municipal employees training on a topic, the resourcefulness of virtual Just-in-Time Learning will be appreciated by municipal employees since it provide them in-the-moment, relevant, real-time training exactly when they need that training.

Also, having experienced a need for that real-time training, they will likely retain the training longer.

The topics of this training approach are delivered in modules. Not only can employees initially learn the module’s training, they can also revisit a module, or a section of a module, time and time again, for tips, solutions, and training reinforcement.

Virtual Just-in-Time Learning also enhances a municipal employee’s productivity by providing them real-time performance support when they are experiencing a situation calling for that municipal support.

If you have questions or would like to learn more, please check out my profile and/or contact me:

Bill Dennis, 

CEO and President,                                                                                                                      

Cultural & Generational Training                                                                                            https://crossculturalconnecting.com

 

 

 

 

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COVID and Communication Challenges

two girls talking - facial expressions

Watch what you don’t say.

 

I have heard people talk about ‘finding their voice.” But, what do you do if you can’t use words?

 

It was 2 a.m. and we had just arrived at the Bangkok, Thailand airport. We needed to find a cab to our hotel. We discovered how dependent we were on words to communicate. At the same time, we realized the power of gestures and facial expressions. While words are an important part of communication, there is great value in understanding how rich our communication systems are.

 

We generally think of communication in two categories -verbal and nonverbal. We are very aware of verbal communication, but did you know that there are at least nine distinct categories of nonverbal communication? We try to choose our words carefully, but might be unaware of our nonverbal signals, and yet, these speak loudly to our listeners.

 

Each one plays a major role in your presentations, speeches, and general communication. This is an important part of Emotional Wisdom and becomes a powerful part of communication.

 

In a series of upcoming posts, we will look at these categories in more detail. Here is the first

category and some comments on how this might help or hinder your communication:

 

Facial Expressions

This is probably the most easily recognized of the nonverbal communication categories. Within this category are over twenty distinct expressions. It is also helpful to know that many facial expressions are universal in nature. This makes it possible to understand across linguistic boundaries. Facial expressions are responsible for a large part of nonverbal communication. The look on a person’s face is often the first thing we see, even before we hear what they have to say.

 

The challenge with wearing masks is that we lose about 50% of what is being communicated through facial expressions. Due to the design of the human eye, we can easily identify precisely where people are looking.

 

Watch an audience as you are being introduced. The eyes of the audience will shift. They are watching you before you arrive at the podium. Your facial expressions, body language, and general posture are already communicating to the audience before you speak a word.

 

Watch what you don’t say.

 

By the way, we did arrive at our hotel…eventually.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about how to increase your effectiveness as a communicator,

presenter or public speaker let us know.  We are here to help you succeed.

 

Learn more about Enrich Services

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