You’re Invited: Everything DiSC Showcase!

Today, organizational culture cannot be an afterthought. It must be focused on—intentionally and continually—to ensure recovery and results. That’s where Everything DiSC® on Catalyst™ comes in. Sign up for the Everything DiSC on Catalyst Showcase to learn about how DiSC can benefit your business.

In this 60-minute interactive, virtual event, participants will:

  • Discover the value of strong organizational culture and its connection to success
  • Explore the Everything DiSC on Catalyst learning experience
  • View a live demo of the Catalyst platform
  • Participate in a live Q&A with the showcase presenters

 

Everything DiSC on Catalyst helps people:

  • Better understand themselves
  • Appreciate and value difference in perspective and approach
  • Readily and consistently adapt to the unique needs of each person or situation they encounter

 

The Everything DiSC showcase will be on June 7th, 2022 at noon EST. Sign up here: https://forms.gle/jv3uK3E3nzCRdZECA

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Considerations for Employees who are Working Remotely – Part 2

cartoon of people on a zoom call

Part 2 – Clearly outline when the employee is considered to be in the physical work environment and when they are not.

In our last article we noted that Covid-19 changed the way many organizations do business and organizations have had to learn how to navigate the many challenges of remote work: lack of face-to-face supervision, keeping employees engaged and motivated and managing the work environment are just some of the challenges with remote work. During the pandemic, many employers shifted to a full or hybrid remote work arrangement, but with COVID restrictions being lifted and life slowly returning to the pre-pandemic norm, what was just a temporary measure necessitated by the COVID pandemic is becoming a more permanent arrangement by choice.

Whether you choose to adapt to a fully remote workforce or a hybrid remote work arrangement, employee’s activities while working remotely should be subject to the same standards that are applied at the organization’s offices regarding confidentiality, security, quality, and access to business documents just to name a few. In addition, an employer must continue to comply with applicable employment legislation and continue to ensure the health and safety of employees to minimize the risks of workplace injuries while working remotely. To help minimize liabilities, employers who are considering implementing a permanent remote work arrangement should ensure that they establish and implement a clear remote work policy along with a well drafted remote work agreement between the employer and the employees.

In Part 1 we talked about these key areas to consider when creating a remote work policy; Availability and Hours of Work, Physical Environment & Security.  Here are some additional areas to consider when creating a remote work policy. 

Client Confidentiality

Some employer’s client information may be particularly sensitive. Customers have a right (both legal and moral) to expect their confidential information to be protected. Employees who are working remotely should be reminded of their obligation to take appropriate precautions to ensure that confidential information not be exposed to third parties, including family members, visitors or any other persons residing, working or simply present at the remote work location.

Health and Safety

The remote work location is an extension of the physical office. While the Ontario Health and Safety Act appears explicitly to not apply to work performed by the owner or occupant in or about a private residence, the employer should practice due diligence and it would still be considered best practice to direct employees to observe all applicable health and safety policies when working remotely.

Remote work may also be conducted in locations other than the employee’s home. This could be highlighted in the policy and employees reminded that they could consult with their health and safety representative (if applicable) in respect of best practices in setting up a remote-work location. Employers continue to be responsible to take every reasonable precaution to protect the well-being of their employees. And in the context of a “distributed workplace” employers should be clear about the employer’s and employee’s shared responsibility to ensure a safe workplace.

Injuries sustained at the employees’ homes would be treated as a workplace-related injury, so it is imperative that organizations continue to manage health and safety for employees who are working from home. To minimize the health and safety risks associated with working from home employers should ensure that the remote-work policy covers the following:

  • Define the workplace. Where does the workplace extend to and how does the workplace extend into the employee’s home?
  • Clearly outline when the employee is considered to be in the physical work environment and when they are not.
  • Be clear about break times and ensure that employees understand that breaks are time away from work.
  • Employees should be made aware that just as they are expected to maintain a safe work area free of safety hazards while in the office environment, they are required to do the same in their home workspace.

Confusion of expectations and disconnections between employees and employers from not having a clear remote work policy can result in undue risk to both parties. An effective remote work policy should establish the guidelines and expectations for performance while working remotely, along with providing a framework for monitoring and addressing situations of non-compliance. By doing so the employer may enjoy a competitive edge, even during trying and difficult times, as they provide employees the opportunity to continue to contribute to the organization’s ongoing success in an evolving understanding of how work gets done.

By Adrian Johnson, ASSOCIUM Consultants

Through our collaborative approaches, innovative HR products and customized advisory solutions we impact four leadership priorities: managing risk, driving productivity, strengthening talent capabilities and supporting your bottom line.

Let’s connect to find out how ASSOCIUM Consultants can help your organization.

 

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Considerations for Employees who are Working Remotely – Part 1

Office items on a desk

Part 1 – Your remote work policy should outline the importance of protecting confidential information in remote work settings.

Covid-19 changed the way many organizations do business and organizations have had to learn how to navigate the many challenges of remote work: lack of face-to-face supervision, keeping employees engaged and motivated and managing the work environment are just some of the challenges with remote work. During the pandemic, many employers shifted to a full or hybrid remote work arrangement, but with COVID restrictions being lifted and life slowly returning to the pre-pandemic norm, what was just a temporary measure necessitated by the COVID pandemic is becoming a more permanent arrangement by choice.

Whether you choose to adapt to a fully remote workforce or a hybrid remote work arrangement, employee’s activities while working remotely should be subject to the same standards that are applied at the organization’s offices regarding confidentiality, security, quality, and access to business documents just to name a few. In addition, an employer must continue to comply with applicable employment legislation and continue to ensure the health and safety of employees to minimize the risks of workplace injuries while working remotely. To help minimize liabilities, employers who are considering implementing a permanent remote work arrangement should ensure that they establish and implement a clear remote work policy along with a well drafted remote work agreement between the employer and the employees.

Below are some key areas to consider when creating a remote work policy:

Availability and Hours of Work

A remote work policy should clearly outline availability expectations. One of the disadvantages of working remotely is that employees are in various locations. This sometimes makes it difficult to have spontaneous meetings or pop by someone’s desk for a quick meeting or chat about business. A solution for this may be to incorporate schedule requirements including structured, periodic check-in times with employees. While there has been much written recently about the value of flexibility for employees who can have greater control over their schedules while working remotely, it may still be necessary to set parameters for hours of work and set rules for overtime. So, regardless of the flexibility of work schedules, the employer may want to set expectations for employees to be accessible during particular hours and to be available to respond promptly to any time-sensitive calls, emails, or other communications from the organization’s clients or other third parties critical to the organization’s purposes.

Physical Environment

If there is a preference for a physical working environment for your employees, outline these expectations in your policy. Ensure your employees know what the requirements are for a physical working environment whether it be in the employee’s home or alternative location. If necessary, the employer may require employees to provide addresses and locations from which they are working remotely and update these when necessary. Employers may wish to establish expectations for dependent care arrangements and personal responsibilities to ensure that employees are able to meet their job responsibilities without interruption or distraction.

Security

Security is a big concern with remote work. Your remote work policy should outline the importance of protecting confidential information in remote work settings. Your policy should set guidelines for working remotely to secure records and prevent unauthorized disclosure of confidential business information.

Employers should consider the processes for storing business documents, especially sensitive and/or highly confidential files, on the organization’s secure servers and not on the employee’s remote hard drives.

Your organization might consider specific policies mandating secure internet connections or virtual private networks with a strict exclusion of public wi-fi. And there should be a policy and process for reporting a security breach if the employee has any reason to believe that business information has been accessed by any unauthorized person(s).

And, of course, if budgets permit, it may be prudent to provide remote-work employees with secure computers and other hardware, owned by the organization. Related policies could then restrict the processing or storage of any of the organization’s information on the employee’s personal equipment.

This is a two-part conversation, so watch next week for Part 2 of our article, where we’ll cover, Client Confidentiality and Health & Safety considerations. 

————-

Through our collaborative approaches, innovative HR products and customized advisory solutions we impact four leadership priorities: managing risk, driving productivity, strengthening talent capabilities and supporting your bottom line.

By Adrian Johnson, ASSOCIUM Consultants

Let’s connect to find out how ASSOCIUM Consultants can help your organization.

 

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Find your Dream Employee in 2022

Your next hire, on us.

Find your Dream Employee in 2022 with The Predictive Index® – New Talent Optimization Software from Predictive Success

See the power of predictive analytics in hiring a perfect fit. Your all star candidate is in the driver’s seat. Seize the opportunity by offering them the perfect job fit, backed by scientific data.

This Complementary Offer is Valid for muniSERV Members: One free job model and five free PI Behavioural Assessments® for your top candidates. 

To redeem: Contact Mitch LePage, your Managing Principal with Predictive Success at [email protected] or (905) 430-9788 x110

See the full brochure on this special offer: MuniSERV Offer – Your Next Hire on Us with Predictive Success

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Tips to Run a Successful In-Person Meeting

Over the last two years, many of us had to learn how to connect differently than we were used to. Instead of putting on our best suit, we’re still in our jammies from the waist down. Instead of shaking hands we’re pushing unmute.

Slowly but surely, the world is beginning to open back up. Where it’s safe to do so, many meetings are returning to an in-person format. Since we’ve all become accustomed to doing things virtually, it may take a little time and effort to get back into the swing of the face-to-face meetings. Here are a few tips to help make your meetings run as smoothly as possible.

Set the Agenda:

Municipalities know this, but meetings always run more efficiently when there is an agenda to follow. Having a clear agenda helps set the expectations. If the conversation starts going off track, you can always point back to the agenda items to steer things in the right direction. Setting out estimated times each agenda item should take for discussion, will also help provide direction and keep folks on track.

Start on Time. End on Time.

While it may seem polite to wait for some late arrivals to join, there’s a bigger downside to holding off until everyone is in the room. First and foremost, this sets a bad precedent. Accommodating the latecomers shows the others that arrival times are lax. This can spiral out of control quickly. Secondly, the attendees who’ve prioritized arriving on time are now feeling frustrated that their time isn’t being seen as valuable.

Set Ground Rules:

Having a few basic ground rules around meeting etiquette can help provide great flow in your meeting. Some solid rules, or expectations, can be something simple like; participate, get focus, maintain momentum, and reach closure. If you list these rules at the top of your agenda, both new and returning attendees will understand the direction of the meeting.

End with an Action Plan:

We’ve all been in meetings where the conversation seems to go around in circles without resolving anything. It’s important to establish a plan of action for the agenda items that need follow-up. Assigning certain people to particular tasks and plotting out a course of accountability will ensure that your meetings have purpose and value to all of those involved. We’ve conducted meetings by video teleconference for so long, (and honestly, we’ve become pretty good at them), it will be an adjustment for everyone to start attending again in person. But a well-organized meeting, and Chairperson with good leadership skills, will get us all back
in the swing of things soon.

Oh, and one more thing – dig out that suit again. Things may have changed over the last couple of years, but it’s still not considered socially acceptable to wear pajama bottoms to an in-person meeting.

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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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Five Driving Needs (Part 4): An Expanded Understanding

Happy man in front of his laptop

De-complexify the mysteries of organizational life.

This fourth article in the series further explores the what, why, and how of the Five Driving Needs framework.

Belonging. Security. Freedom. Significance. Meaning.

These needs are universal and personal.

Nature hard wires us with innate needs like belonging and security. They’re vital to the well-being of every person born regardless of their ethnicity, era or postal code. In this way, our needs are universal – hardwired.

But our nurture imprints each of us with a unique need mix. That is, we each prize certain needs far more than others. This happens in two ways:

a) Some needs are thwarted. Example? If our need for belonging went unmet in our home environment, it became disproportionately important to us as adults. Job #1 in any situation became, “How do I get accepted here? What do I have to do to be included in this tribe?”

b) Some needs are pre-eminently valued. Consider. If the need for security was given the highest priority by our parents or our culture, it can overrule the others for the rest of our life – driving us to avoid ambiguity and seek out predictability and clarity in every situation.

All humanity is hardwired for all five needs but some people need certain ones more than anything else, because their environment deprived them of it or prized it above all else. So, when you think of needs, think universal and individual, nature and nurture.

These needs are constant and dynamic.

Read the rest of the article by Brady Wilson

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Plain Language Report Writing for Municipal Council & Community

LIVE WEBINAR

November 4, 2020  12pm – 1pm (EST)

Literacy has significantly changed over this past decade and its meaning has expanded far beyond basic reading and writing skills. In Canada, we have a 99% literacy rate, however, literacy also encompasses the ability to use; language, numbers, images, and technology. 

Plain language as we know it, (aka plain English) is a way of writing or presenting information so that readers can understand quickly and easily. Plain language should be easy to read, easy to understand and easy to use. The more concise your messaging, the more likely you will connect with your audience and they will relate and appreciate what you say.

Today, it is more important than ever, that we communicate in plain language. In this webinar we will discuss:

  • Writing Styles
  • Why it is important to leave the jargon behind
  • Boosting writing speeds & shedding bad habits
  • Tools & Techniques so you don’t kill your content
  • Understanding rules you should break & rules you shouldn’t
  • Utilizing report templates to increase time management
  • Joint Authorship
  • Understanding Council Expectations
  • Grammar Tips & Tricks and what to avoid
  • How mind mapping can get you going & help organize the thought process
  • Computer Tools: readability stats, fonts & features (ODOA Compliance)
  • Design Tips 

Learn More & Register 

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Free Webinar – Leadership Ask Me Anything

Leadership Ask Me Anything

Friday, June 12; 2-3pm ET
Price: FREE!
Register Here

Leadership Ask Me Anything
Free advice from an expert for your business or personal leadership challenges!

What leadership problems are you facing RIGHT NOW?
Bring them to this interactive discussion and get solutions.

LevellingUp Sage in Residence: Jean Parker (Leadership Coach, CFO, Educator, BBA, BEd., ACC) will offer her advice and insights.

What is LevellingUp?
Many of us feel abandoned or alone in our leadership roles, and we’re looking people who can join us on our journey. By combining interactive coaching & collaborative community, LevellingUp offers a unique, powerful, and affordable way for growing professionals to secure success and experience joy.

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Strategic Leadership for Men

Strategic Leadership for Men

Thursdays, 5-6pm ET
Starts June 11
Price: $430 for 8 interactive sessions

Register Here

Strategic Leadership for Men
Led by Jenn Lofgren (Master Certified Coach, Forbes Coaches Council, Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, Dare to LeadTM Certified Facilitator, CPHR & SHRM-SCP)

The role as a leader can be a challenging and isolating journey for everyone and especially for men. Today, there are few venues or communities for men to explore their leadership challenges and development with other men. For many men, this leads to feelings of loneliness, overwhelm, doubt, anxiety and much more.

As leaders, the first step to creating results through others is to develop yourself first. I believe the journey of leadership development requires courage, connection and perspective with a safe group of peers.

This accelerator group will create a support space with other men in leadership to connect with your peers and to learn key strategies to expand your strategic leadership. You will create weekly action plans to put your learning into practice and strengthen your authentic leadership.

NOTE: This Accelerator Group is for men only, and recommended for mid-level leaders holding titles like: Manager, Director and VP

You will LEARN:
• Understand how your reactive tendencies create limited leadership success
• Explore the role risk, fear and toxic expectations play in triggering your reactive
• Learn the three reactive tendencies and which one you default to the most
• How to develop by leveraging tendencies and which one you default to most
• How to develop by leveraging your strengths, not your weaknesses
• The role of vulnerability and mindset in developing strategic leadership
• Strategies to respond vs react in challenge and crisis

You will ACHIEVE:
• Clarity on your path to leadership effectiveness remaining true to who you are
• A two-page leadership development plan to advance your leadership over 6-12 months
• Understanding of the gifts of your leadership style and how to adapt in leading others
• Relationships and community with other men in leadership
• Skills to expand your leadership community with other me

What is LevellingUp?
Many of us feel abandoned or alone in our leadership roles, and we’re looking people who can join us on our journey. By combining interactive coaching & collaborative community, LevellingUp offers a unique, powerful, and affordable way for growing professionals to secure success and experience joy.

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