2021 is going to be busy!

Some of you may be too young to remember this but back in 1985 the Coca-Cola company introduced “New Coke”


But the only thing new about it was the label, everything else was the same


So just 77 days after losing millions of dollars and being called a national disaster, they brought back Coca Cola Classic


Well, a few weeks in and 2021 is starting to feeling a lot like 2020 Classic…with a new label


But no one really expected the pandemic to disappear, businesses to open back up and everything else to go back to normal with the flip of a calendar page


So my bold prediction…2021 is going to be crazy busy


There’s a lot of work to do to fully re-open and adapt our businesses for the new normal…remote working, document digitization and up-skilling for the new economy


To that end, we’ve launched a couple of great courses on Strategic Sourcing and Negotiations


And we got a nice little shout out from our friends at Argentus:


So please check it out and let us know how we can help with your Procurement Training needs



Mohammed Naseer Faridy

Chief Executive Officer, OneView 


Customer Service Excellence – Maximizing Efficiency and Improving Customer Service

AccessE11 Citizen Issue ManagementMunicipal 311 Software Designed for Local Government

Is your municipality looking for ways to improve your complaint and service request management? Do you want to better understand the issues citizens are bringing to your municipality? Would you like valuable reports for your department heads and council? How about collaborating with staff on the issues they are managing? Want to streamline services requests and effectively manage them?

AccessE11 is a cloud-based, easy-to-use software solution to assist municipalities in better managing, tracking and reporting citizen inquiries, issues and complaints impacting your community.

Register for our January Webinar to learn about all of this and more!

January 19th 12pm – 1pm EST

Presented in Partnership with The Ontario Municipal Leadership Institute


Code Enforcement with AccessE11

The mandate of municipal government is to provide access to civic amenities and to ensure that residents follow the local laws and ordinances adopted by City Council.

In general, there are operating processes in place to monitor and enforce these municipal codes. However, it is often the residents themselves that witness and report code violations, at which point the municipality’s responsibility is to initiate an investigation and resolve the situation. When this occurs, there are additional complexities involved, with many municipalities struggling to track and meet their service targets to address citizen-initiated complaints. Any departments responsible for code enforcement must triage citizen complaints across a diverse range of property maintenance, parking, noise, nuisance and other issues. Then, activities must be coordinated with officers in the field, all actions tracked, and any documents consolidated until compliance is reached.

Using the AccessE11 service request management platform, multiple municipalities have streamlined and automated their code enforcement approach, making it effortless for staff to capture citizen complaints, assign the right team, resolve the underlying issues, institute centralized tracking and record keeping, and easily report on issues individually or on an aggregated basis.

Capturing Code Issues

Increasingly, residents expect to be able to interact with their municipality in the same way they do private-sector organizations via multiple channels, and this applies equally to code enforcement.

In light of this, AccessE11 has created a platform that allows citizens to report their concerns online, by email, and using integrated mobile apps. Categorization of each violation by category (permit issue, graffiti, trash & debris, noise etc.) is completely flexible, and geolocation of the issue and inclusion of pictures/other details is simple.

Once reported, the software automatically creates a case to track the issue, acknowledges receipt to the citizen, sets follow-up and due dates, and routes the case to a specific staff member. Moreover, it immediately makes the information available in configurable dashboards, embedded maps and reports to provide a centralized, cohesive view of all past and ongoing code enforcement activities.

Processing Citizen Issues

Inspections are an integral part of the resolution process and, to that end, code enforcement officers are provided with an up to date and prioritized view of the complaints they need to follow-up with the AccessE11 mobile app for staff. Depending on whether or not a violation is observed, an officer on location can close the case immediately, or further document it with corrective actions and a date for a follow-up inspection if required.

Some municipalities also use code sweeps within delimited geographical areas as a proactive means of enhancing the safety, cleanliness and conditions of a neighbourhood. In this scenario, officers can create cases for tracking purposes directly using the mobile app. All relevant information is seamlessly and centrally logged with no need for the officer to visit the municipal office simply to enter data.

From the time an issue is reported through to closure, departmental managers, assigned staff and, to an appropriate extent, the reporting citizen are kept informed with automated, real-time notifications. Code enforcement teams are able to work seamlessly and avoid crossed wires. The reporting citizen can also get updates on their concern at any time by visiting AccessE11’s citizen-facing portal.

Operational Effectiveness

Citizens demand services from municipalities, but they also expect them to use tax dollars wisely. Authorities have a duty to avoid waste wherever possible and act in the public interest.

To that end, they need systems that allow them to make informed decisions and measure the success of their activities. AccessE11’s platform allows code enforcement departments to visualize and report on valuable data, letting them make evidence-based decisions. Managers can prioritize tasks, collect data on current and historic trends, measure against service targets, and gauge the effectiveness of the municipality’s response to issues. This data-driven approach enables managers to get a better handle on the overall efficacy of their teams, as well as the productivity of individual members.


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


Physical Security Risk: know how to assess it


Many small to medium sized business (and even large enterprise businesses)  and government, have limited budgets, let alone spending a lot on risk and security.

Before you do go and spend a lot of capital on risk and security mitigation measures (aka security cameras, access control, bars and locks, lighting, training, fencing, etc.), you need to know what you’re buying for.

That is, you need to know what risks you are addressing.

Risk dial

Having a Risk Assessment completed on your municipality narrows the focus of your spending and aligns your purchasing with the specific types of risk and security mitigation measures you need.

To get a little technical…Risk assessment is the overall process of risk identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation. It involves the process of identifying internal and external threats and vulnerabilities, identifying the probability and impact of an event arising from such threats or vulnerabilities, defining critical functions necessary to continue the organization’s operations, defining the controls in place necessary to reduce exposure and evaluating the cost of such controls.

That is a mouthful. Let us break this down a bit.

If you have a threat, but there is no vulnerability, then there is no risk.

If you have a vulnerability but no threat, no risk.

Perhaps something many can relate to, you went online and purchased some products, and they are set to be delivered to your home. And no, we are not going to discuss online security…a topic for another day perhaps.

The packages are delivered to your home. But because of your daily routine, errands, off to the office, or shop, you are not always home. The shiny object is the packages just delivered. The vulnerability or sometimes referred to as a gap, is you are not home, and the packages now sit on your front step unattended. The threat, someone will take those packages right from your front step.

So, going back to the assessment. The key is once you know what your largest threats are (and yes you need to be able to determine that), it is important that you take action (implement risk and security mitigation measures) to lower your vulnerability.

Why not eliminate the vulnerability?

Great question, thanks for asking.

Eliminating the vulnerability may not always be possible.

Some business sectors and industries simply have built-in threats. But, if we focus on lowering the vulnerability, we lower the risk of a loss.

The assessment is complete, and we have identified risks. The next important step is finding the risk and security measures that are going to be the most effective in mitigating the identified risk. These measures come in all different shapes and sizes, video surveillance, locks and safes, lighting, security focused training, etc.

Where in doubt, reach out to us or find your trusted Independent Risk and Security consultant.

Yes, we highlighted Independent. That is definitely a topic for another day.

It all starts with a conversation.

We can Help.

Plan the Work. Work the Plan.

Should your Municipality need assistance, contact Michael White Group today, and we will be happy to answer your questions or provide quotations.



Getting Ahead of COVID-19 with Data and Analytics – Are You Ready?

smiling woman working on her computer

Communities across Canada were excited to hear the news that shipments of vaccine arrived and front-line workers and seniors were first in line to receive the vaccinations that will eventually make its way across Canada to every citizen in a very large country. Logistical issues aside, the Canadian Armed Forces will ensure that delivery of this life saving miracle arrives safely in each community.


It will take months before everyone is vaccinated. Projections suggest it may take until September 2021 before the largest vaccination program in Canada’s history is complete. Each municipality has a responsibility to care for those most impacted during this time. Our immediate attention turns to the hospital and front-line workers as communities slide into the red zone with lockdowns and governments asking each hospital to have an additional 10-15% surge capacity on standby for the expected increase in Covid-19 cases arriving at emergency centers.


The impact of Covid-19 will extend beyond the visible health issues and arrive in your community with an increase in demand at the food bank. Hunger is the canary in the coal mine acting as a lead indicator of social health or social determinants of health (SDoH). Social health will play an active role in who shows up in the medical or justice system in the coming months. You only have to ask your local food bank if demand is increasing and they will describe not only demand but location and demographics of those in need. Families without a job, a place to call home, food, medical assistance, family support, domestic violence, increased substance use and a host of other issues all increase and play a significant role in how whole person care is applied.


When social services and medical services work independently, the cost per patient increases and the path to better outcomes extended. Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Honourable Bardish Chagger who is a science graduate and a believer in using outcomes to help improve programs, participated in our webinar last weekSee the link in this blog.  As discussed in the recent webinar, the federal government is looking for ways to help communities do more with less using an evidence based approach. Data science is one of the keys to delivering better outcomes for less.


Data and analytics will help communities across Canada better understand the problem and work together to discover the best approach using the resources at hand. 


Infrastructure Canada is offering communities $31 million over the next two years to develop innovative digital platforms that will help those most impacted by Covid-19. Over 200 communities attended last weeks webinar. That is 200 communities ready to create a proposal and submit for approval January 2021.


Each community has been somewhat sheltered from the next wave of Covid-19 economic, health and social collateral damage with generous but temporary federal assistance. The economy in many communities has shifted and in some cases permanently to a different business model. 


Not everyone will find it easy to pick up where they left off. As Canada begins to build back better, all 3200 communities should be thinking of how they use data to create proactive strategies and shield their constituents from the continuing Covid-19 collateral damage.


Let me know if you want to discuss your digital transformation as we build back better with funding using innovative digital solutions. Project submission starts January 2021.    


Contact Athena Software for more information!


Are You In the Zone?

Interpreting the Province’s Covid-19 Safety Zones

Everyone is becoming more familiar with the Ontario government’s colour-coded system to illustrate the level of restrictions being implemented in each region’s public health unit to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The province and public health units are doing a great job providing guidance, communication, and online resources to understand these requirements. However, it can still be confusing to navigate as each health unit independently moves its region through different restriction levels and in some cases adds additional requirements beyond the baseline measures established at the provincial level.  This is creating a changing landscape of restrictions which will vary based upon industry and/or location. 

In the case of municipalities with community centres, recreation facilities and arenas, additional distancing, safety plan and hygiene measures are required. And in some instances, a regional health unit may issue additional ‘recommendations’ that are not otherwise required in equivalent safety zones but are urged to promote safety.  For example, some health units are now recommending that municipalities introduce measures to prevent attendance by organizations and persons from areas with higher rates of COVID-19 transmission than their own region.  For example, the Peterborough Public Health unit (currently a Yellow Zone) has issued such an advisory to municipalities in its region urging such a restriction on organizations booking facilities from outside their Zone (this would cover anyone looking to book a facility who is coming from a Zone currently designated by public Health authorities as Orange, Red or Grey).

A common requirement for employers in Yellow or higher levels of restriction is the implementation of a “Safety Plan”. While it is only required if your organization fits into a specific category (namely, restaurants, bars and food or drink establishments, sports and recreational facilities, meeting and event spaces, retail businesses located in malls, personal care services, gaming establishments, cinemas and performing arts facilities), we have already seen this requirement expanded in some regions.

For example, if your organization isn’t within one of the above categories, a Safety Plan is not strictly required, however some public health units (such as Durham Region) have required Safety Plans for all retailers in their Red Zone, not just those within shopping malls.  This is a higher standard than the provincial baseline but one that employers must remain informed about.  Of course if your region enters a Grey (Lockdown) Zone you must have a Safety Plan in place regardless of sector.

For these reasons, you may want to draft a Safety Plan even if your organization does not require one at this point in time.  While health authorities always try to give advance warning, sometimes the rapid development of a region’s transmission rate or transmission pattern requires action with very little notice. A downloadable Safety Plan template is available here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/develop-your-covid-19-workplace-safety-plan.

While the recent arrival of vaccines brings hope, the road to safe recovery still remains long.  In the meantime, we are all well advised to follow the Scout’s motto.  Be prepared.

Not sure if your Municipality is Protected?

We look after your Policy Manual, Employment Agreements, government-mandated compliance training and more.  We have you covered – we are Your HR Department.  SHRP provides full-service Human Resources support including Job Evaluation and Pay Equity planning in addition to best-in-class HR solutions and management consulting services on a project, or ongoing basis.

Contact us anytime.

Matthew Savino, B.A., LL.B., C.H.R.E.

Managing Partner & Senior Consultant


925-550 Skyway Drive (Airport Road)

Peterborough,  Ontario  K9J 0E7


[email protected]

www.savinohrp.ca | www.hrlive.ca



Free Webinar – Federal Technology Fund Addresses Covid-19 Community Challenge

Webinar – Federal Technology Fund Addresses Covid-19 Community Challenge

COVID-19 is forcing over 3200 communities across Canada to find new ways to address the immediate and ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic. Infrastructure Canada created the Healthy Canada Communities Initiative to help municipalities identify and deliver innovative digital projects that address changing community needs through the use of data and connected technologies.

The agency responsible for coordinating the procurement of all proposals under the $31 million fund will be announced shortly.

In the interim, communities especially the smaller ones, are encouraged to develop innovative project ideas that address immediate and ongoing needs arising from Covid-19. To help you with that, we invited the federal government, technology leaders and social service organizations to share ideas that will help build successful innovative digital projects that is inclusive and recognizes Canada’s proud history of diversity and youth. Our panel of experts will share how digital solutions can respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 as municipalities build back better using good tech as tech for good.

The diverse panel of experts include Minister Bardish Chagger MP for Waterloo, Iain Klugman of Communitech, Tracy Elop from Carizon, John Neufeld from House of Friendship, and Dana Fox from Athena Software.

Kick start your conversation and discover innovative digital projects that address your changing community needs through the use of data and connected technologies.

Your build back better plan starts December 11 at 2 PM EST with ideas, planning and funding. It’s all here.

Click here to register.  

We look forward to seeing you there!




Part 3 – How much Space is enough?

girls with masks beside each other

How much Space is enough?

It was hot and humid day in Bujumbura, Burundi.

The mini-bus was loaded and we were ready to drive to our destination in Ijenda. 

To our surprise the bus stopped to pick up some more passengers even before we left the city. The air in the bus got warmer as we crowded together.

We continued our trip upcountry.

Over the next few hours the bus made multiple stops. More people got on, but nobody stepped off.

We were amazed how many passengers managed to squeeze into that bus before we arrived at our destination. The bus was way beyond fully loaded. The closeness cramped our North American sense of personal space.

Growing up, we all learn about appropriate physical space.

COVID-19 has expanded our personal space even more.  Two meters is the new normal. This brings new challenges.

With Social Distancing policies in public areas we have lost what is called Personal Distance Space.  Generally, the North American sense of space suggests the following rules apply:

    Intimate Distance (touching to 45cm)

    Personal Distance (45cm to 1.2m)

    Social Distance (1.2m to 3.6m)

    Public Distance (3.7m to 4.5m)

Previously we would have conversations in public within the Personal Distance Space.There are some key reasons this is such a vital space. Here we can better hear the other person, pick up expressions and notice their eye movements in more detail. The use of handshaking was a way of appropriately entering into this Personal Distance Space in order to initiate a more personal connection.

Here are two key concerns to be aware of in the present reality:

Without the handshake we need to establish a connection without entering the Personal Distance Space.

Increased distance and masks are making it difficult to pick up the nuances of what the other person is communicating. This means we will need to ask more questions.

Listening has become more important with the loss of the visual cues.

Since public speakers are even further removed from their audiences they need to adjust in a number of ways. It may be necessary to adapt some of these techniques in order to communicate across the gap. For example:

            – our gestures may need to be more pronounced

            – be aware that our words don’t have the supporting facial expressions

            – speak more clearly, watch our tone and increase volume

            – appropriate eye contact is going to be essential

            – be more patient with each other, as we are learning to communicate in a new way

By the way, we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The atmosphere on the bus was positive and people were enjoying themselves.

This is a reminder that it is possible to adjust to new spaces and still communicate effectively if we have the right attitude and skills.

Is your team being challenged by social distancing?

If you want to improve your communication and presentation skills, let’s talk.

We offer great team building workshops to improve your communication.

Eduardo Heinrichs

[email protected]





Innovation In A Box Virtual Training

Join us for Virtual Innovation Training!

Our online virtual training delivers a structured process with practical tools that will help you enable innovation within your team or organization. In order to innovate successfully, companies need to create a culture of innovation where staff are encouraged to generate and develop ideas.


Attendees will receive:

  • Online Tools: Access to specialized online resources to support the process

Session Dates:

This Beyond Engagement program is delivered in two 3-hour virtually facilitated sessions:

Session 1: Tuesday November 24th, 2020
8:45am – 9:00am EST: Login & Orientation
9:00am – 12:00pm EST: Beyond Engagement Training

Session 2: Tuesday December 1st, 2020
8:45am – 9:00am EST: Login & Orientation
9:00am – 12:00pm EST: Beyond Engagement Training

The new virtual training delivers exactly what we have come to expect from the Juice Team – engaging and informative! The virtual training provided a new set of tools that I have been able to implement immediately!”

Learn More and Register Here