Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Sept 11, 2020

Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan

During any regular year, September marks a period of transition. We experience changing routines as kids go back to school, the days get shorter, and everyone’s routines change pace as fall ramps up.

This year, of course, we’re feeling these transitions more acutely than ever before. COVID-19 has impacted the way we work and live, and many people are experiencing increased stress and anxiety. It’s important that employers consider the many layers of change that their employees may have on their plates right now, especially if your workplace is simultaneously transitioning back to a workplace environment.

An IPSOS poll from earlier this summer reported that 59% of Canadians feel their mental health has been negatively affected by the pandemic. Because symptoms of stress or anxiety aren’t always visible, working remotely can allow these mental health challenges to go undetected by colleagues who may usually reach out to offer support. Remember, even though a co-worker may appear put together on a half hour Zoom call, they may be struggling behind the scenes with increased demands on their time and energy.

While we all adjust to the new routines (and the added complexity to our social bubbles) of back-to-school and returning to the workplace, employers should be alert to signs that employees are struggling. This could take the form of health issues, low morale or presenteeism.

Presenteeism is the phenomenon of employees showing up for work when their productivity levels are low because of distraction, worry, illness, or other factors. Besides posing a safety risk, which is a critical issue in our sector, presenteeism can translate into lower productivity and reduced customer service as more and more employees feel stressed or even burnt out, and sick leave levels increase. Not only is it bad for the bottom line, it’s bad for morale as others then need to pick up the slack, creating a vicious circle.

So what should employers be doing? Reviewing the mental health programs and supports, and flexible working options your company offers is a good place to start. In our recent survey on remote work in the electricity sector, respondents listed “flexible work hours” and “mental health supports” among the top five things that managers or employers could be providing to support their employees during the pandemic.

But merely offering these options is not enough. Some employees may feel hesitant to make use of flexible work options out of concern that they will be penalized or seen in a negative light. Frank conversations about mental health with executives at your company, and having managers lead by example are good first steps in creating a work culture that removes shame from asking for reasonable accommodations. Managers may need to be trained or coached to learn to acknowledge and respond to what they hear, be that responding to topics such as work overload, illness, childcare, etc. At the same time, it is also important to periodically check in with managers — they may need support too.

Good communications play an integral role in developing and maintaining a positive work culture, and during the pandemic it is even more important to keep your employees up to date on what is happening in the company, good or bad. Not only will they feel more respected, they may have ideas on what can be done to support the organization — and each other — during these strange days.

September brings changes, and we’ll likely see many more to come as the year continues. Let’s remember to treat our co-workers with empathy and understanding, and help each other through this time.

Michelle Branigan is CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada.

Economy EmploymentAs a result of widespread measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Canadian economy contracted 11.6% in April, following a 7.5% drop in March. By the end of May, many businesses had begun to adapt to the new reality by shifting to teleworking, reducing hours, laying off staff, applying for government funding or seeking rent relief.

As pandemic-related restrictions were gradually lifted throughout the summer, the business climate began to improve slightly. For example, real gross domestic product grew 1.2% in August, the fourth consecutive monthly increase, which continued to offset the steepest drops in Canadian economic activity on record that were observed in March and April. 

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Swati Vora-PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

“As a distributor, we need to build capabilities around experiences, data and the technologies that are driving change… It’s important that we listen, experiment and help lead our customers forward.” Chief Marketing Officer, Distributor — from the book Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change Series

Mapping your company’s digital transformation begins with an outside-in approach. 

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COVID AirBy Angela Jamieson and Marc Laplante

The importance of clean air has been thrust into the spotlight with the emergence of COVID-19 and the rapidly spreading infections related to it. Examples have emerged around the world showing how aerosols may be playing a role in transmission; the choir practise in Washington State where over 80% of their members were infected (primary or secondary)1 after their final practice before shutting down for COVID restrictions, or the restaurant in Guangzhou, China where COVID-19 was theorized to have spread according to the air movement from an air conditioning system2. 

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Carol McGloganBy Carol McGlogan


When it comes to marketing and customers, some things never change, while some things are always evolving! The parts that never change for marketers are that we need to be where our customers are, when they need us, and with the right information. The parts that are in constant flux are our customers’ buying behaviours and the technologies available to intervene and influence the customer experience.

COVID-19 has forced us all into new habits both personally and in business. For instance, social isolation has caused us to rely more heavily on technology to fill in the gaps. 

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Changing Scene

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Schneider Electric announced today the promotion of Adrian Thomas to country ...
The Zigbee Alliance, an organization of hundreds of companies creating, maintaining, and ...
ETIM North America (NA) is pleased to announce that the National Electrical Manufacturers ...
Strong rebound in Q3 2020;Revenue up +1.3% organic - Full Year 2020 targets upgraded...   ...
Power management company Eaton Corporation plc announced that earnings per share were $1.11 for the ...
 We may not be able to celebrate in person this year, but EFC would like to invite you to ...
Since 1945 the Stamm family has proudly owned Powrmatic of Canada. Despite this 75 yearlong history ...
The Stelpro Group, owner of Stelpro, the NorthThe Stelpro Group, owner of Stelpro, the ...
IMARK Canada is pleased to announce that Concord Electric Supply, Concord, ON is a member of IMARK ...
E.B. Horsman & Son is excited to announce EMPOWER, their Employee Share Ownership Plan ...
 

 

Zigbee AllianceThe Zigbee Alliance, an organization of hundreds of companies creating, maintaining, and delivering open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced an important movement within the Project Connected Home over IP initiative, forming a team dedicated to the development and promotion of the standard for commercial markets.

This move is in alignment with the overall vision for the initiative, which is to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard, simplifying development for manufacturers and increasing compatibility for customers and consumers.

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EatonPower management company Eaton Corporation plc announced that earnings per share were $1.11 for the third quarter of 2020. Excluding charges of $0.05 per share related to acquisitions and divestitures and $0.02 per share related to a multi-year restructuring program, adjusted earnings per share were $1.18.

Sales in the third quarter of 2020 were $4.5 billion. Organic sales were down 9 percent, and the divestitures of the Lighting and Automotive Fluid Conveyance businesses reduced sales by 8 percent, partially offset by 2 percent growth from acquisitions.

 

 

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CEW Stelpro flextherm 400The Stelpro Group, owner of Stelpro, is pleased to announce that it has acquired Flextherm, the electric floor heating industry. Flextherm was founded in 1991 by Philippe Charron, who brought a new vision to the market. Sustained work with the standard-setting bodies made it possible to revolutionize the industry by certifying heating cable installations directly on plywood, making the technology accessible to a greater number of people.

Many other innovations, including a complete range of heating cable products and controls and focus on quality and service helped build a strong brand over the years and raised the company to the enviable status it has today. 

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Adrian Thomas and Annette ClaytonSchneider Electric announced today the promotion of Adrian Thomas to country president, Canada, effective January 1, 2021. Mr. Thomas succeeds Susan Uthayakumar, who held the role of country president for the past three years. Mr. Thomas will report to North American CEO & President, Annette Clayton.

Susan Uthayakumar, has been appointed as the global leader for Schneider Electric's Sustainability Business Division, reporting to Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer, Olivier Blum. 

 

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EFC 2020 Industry Awards

EFC 2020 Industry AwardsWe may not be able to celebrate in person this year, but EFC would like to invite you to their premier Industry Awards in a new and exciting virtual format. 

This year’s Electro-Federation Canada's 2020 Industry Awards will recognize member recipients through a virtual presentation honouring their strong leadership and commitment to contributing to the health of the industry. EFC's National Advisory Council chairman, Steve Branscombe, Independent Electric Supply, will emcee the Awards on Thursday, December 10th, 2020 at 4:30 pm EST.

 

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Peers & Profiles

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Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, ...
“Never forget to look at the big picture.” These words of advice are from the father of Jason ...
Electrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the ...
In July, Eaton announced that Vice President, Channel – Electrical Sector, Matt Cleary would be ...
Tim King, Southwire Canada’s new President and first Canadian to assume the role, has taken the ...
Bogdan Botoi is Division Manager for Automation and Control with E.B. Horsman out of British ...
Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran ...

ElectrimatElectrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the distribution of electrical and lighting products. The company is headquartered in Brossard, Quebec and has four branches on the south shore and north shore of Montreal and Montérégie. It serves the industrial, commercial, institutional, residential, and public service sectors.

Christian Grenier and Mathieu Legris have been leading Electrimat for 10 years. Two friends in life who complement each other at work, and whose company regularly finds itself in the business sections of daily newspapers highlighting their exceptional performance. 

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MercuryBy Blake Marchand

Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, multi-residential/commercial property management, energy service companies (ESCO), and auto dealerships.

“From design to specifications, we offer turn-key services that go beyond the typical distributor model,” explained Mercury Lighting Vice President, Eric Tordjman. Their value-added approach leverages well-established supplier relations to help clients find a lighting solution that suits their needs.

 

 

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Jason PrevostBy Line Goyette

“Never forget to look at the big picture.” These words of advice are from the father of Jason Prevost, his first mentor, who worked as a marketing specialist. Jason has repeated them often over the past two years during what might have been the hardest personal crisis of his life.

At a time when he was forced to reassess his professional future, his wife and the mother of his two teenage children was diagnosed with a virulent cancer.

 

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