February 15, 2012
Find help with your staffing challenges at www.horttrades.com/HRToolkit.
Find help with your staffing challenges at www.horttrades.com/HRToolkit.
By Sally Harvey CLT, CLP
Manager Education and Labour Development

Sally HarveyWithout a doubt we just completed my favourite Congress since I joined LO as a staff member.

I have always enjoyed Congress, as I mentioned in last month’s article, however this one was particularly inspiring. The trade show floor was buzzing with relevant suppliers and partners who serve the industry offering sincere thanks to the incredible commitment and energy of the trade show department and the show committee.

The education program, coordinated by Kristen McIntyre, presented even more industry relevance this year. The new format was a success and well received. The speakers, moderators and panel members were excellent, sharing expert information and experience that will help us to succeed in 2012.

Volunteers are greatly appreciated. Their work helped to ensure a positive conference experience. To volunteer next year, keep an eye out for information on the “Give a Day, Get a Day” program. 

Thank you all for your continued support and trust in your association. We appreciate your feedback submitted in the surveys that were collected. We do take that seriously, however, I also welcome you to contact me at sharvey@landscapeontario.com with any post-Congress 2012 thoughts, compliments and opportunities for improvement for next year.

With over 1,000 students in attendance this year, our future is bright with engaged youth. We thank our educators and students for their continued participation as garden builders, show attendees and supporters of Landscape Ontario, as we strive to connect the dots between education and industry in order to better solve the skilled labour gap.

Professional development

As we prepare for the coming season, may I remind you of the winter seminars and other professional development events throughout the province made available to you by your Prosperity Partners, Landscape Ontario. Don’t forget that many of our suppliers offer sessions to promote their product, but to also teach us how to use new products and technologies. I encourage you to plan out the development map for you and your staff now. No time like the present!

In a challenging economy, where we must do more with less, the real value of training and development emerges as we must strive to improve on our systems and processes. An engaged, trained, loyal and committed employee is as good as money in the bank. Progressive employers, who aspire to be high performance businesses, recognize that sustainable growth in any business depends on cultivating and maintaining employee engagement.

Landscape Ontario is just wrapping up a project that will provide a new human resource tool for employers who are interested in engaging their staff. The Labour Market Partnership project, funded by Employment Ontario by the Province of Ontario, is now completed. One of the products of the project is the HR toolkit, available at: www.horttrades.com/HRtoolkit.

The tool kit includes a policy and procedure guide, along with a recruitment and retention tool to help employers more effectively manage their human resources.  A sample employee handbook is available. All documents are available at no cost to industry members, industry partners and stakeholders, and can be downloaded as a complete document, or in sections as indicated on the menu. I know that this toolkit will be a time saver for employers, a great teaching tool for educators and will impress employees when they commit to a company who has a clear direction and established policies and procedures that they can operate within.

This toolkit, combined with our training and development seminars, are here to help our industry employers become leaders that prosper by building a happy, engaged workforce that helps you to develop customers for life through operational excellence, thereby increasing sales success to generate a solid foundation of financial health. Sounds like the Prosperity Partner five pillars? Well you are right! I suggest that if you have not already taken advantage of the Building Your Prosperity seminar as an owner or senior manager, then please register today for the next seminar at http://bit.ly/prospartners.

I can assure you that it will lead you to a better understanding of your business, where it is, and a strategy that helps you to identify what components are in need of attention and improvement to take your business to that next level.

I encourage you to invest in your human resource asset this year by training and developing you and your staff and by putting systems and processes in place that include the implementation of the HR Toolkit. Should you require any guidance in developing a development or training map, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am happy to provide assistance.

With the energy and inspiration from Congress 2012, and the availability of the vast number of training and development opportunities, I am feeling very optimistic about 2012!
Contact Sally Harvey at sharvey@landscapeontario.com