People First HR Services

Employee expertise and engagement is the backbone of a growing company

John McFerran

Ted Northam is running on a full tank.

And that’s a good thing, because as president and CEO of Polywest Ltd., the largest Canadian distributor of durable liquid-handling products for agriculture and industrial use, he needs a lot of energy to oversee the rapid growth his company is experiencing in its 16th year.

Polywest is highly regarded in agriculture circles for its above-ground polyethylene tanks, fiberglass fertilizer storage tanks, septic tanks, pumps and hoses, but as Northam points out, his 30-employee strong company is growing beyond the farm because of other current issues.

Leading team different from managing individuals

Colleen Coates

There are some vital differences in managing a team as compared to managing individuals. The art of creating, managing and nurturing a team — whether assembled for a specific construction project, pulled together to solve a business challenge, or to serve in an ongoing multidisciplinary effort such as a football team — can be a challenge, but one that offers great rewards for the entire organization.

Some managers may believe their only role in building a successful work team is to put together the right people, then stand back and let them do their thing until the task is completed. Not so.

Office celebrations aren’t always a piece of cake

Colleen Coates

There is a classic episode of Seinfeld featuring Elaine as the lone voice of dissension against non-stop celebrations in the office.

Fed up with all the sugary cake and forced socializing, she even resorts to faking illness (“I had to take a sick day, I’m so sick of those people!”) But when she returns to work, her co-workers present her with a cake to celebrate her return to work. Yes, when it comes to office celebrations, you can run, but you can’t hide.

Social media now a requirement for employers, hopeful candidates

Colleen Coates

We’ve all heard about the need to use social media and networking websites as a way to market skills and strengths. But in today’s tech-savvy world, exactly how important is it for hopeful employees — and prospective employers — to maintain an online presence?

In my opinion, it’s extremely important. At the beginning of this year, it was reported that on average there were at least 4.5 solid applicants for every available job opening. With strong competition, it is essential for job seekers to use all the tools at their disposal in order to have the edge. At the same time, employers who want access to the best talent available need to proactively go where the best people are — and right now, that’s online.