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Pandemic lessons: How Edon has adapted to the new normal

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

Like businesses everywhere, Edon has had to adapt to an ever-changing workplace amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize the challenges that this once-in-100-year health crisis has created for our nearly 500 employees and clients.

It’s hard to believe it’s been eight months since our world was turned upside down. But Edon’s work re-entry and workplace protocols have proven we can surmount the seemingly insurmountable and succeed. Our philosophy – even before the pandemic – can be summed up in what NBA star Michael Jordan stands by: “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

And who would know better than some of our very own directors, along with their team members? They have had to adapt to new provincial guidelines, support new client requests, communicate in new ways with clients and employees, help staff navigate workplace protocols and offer support to individuals and team members when someone has to take time off work for potential exposure to COVID.

Here are some observations and tips for working in the pandemic from five of Edon’s managers and directors.

Tony Kuruvilla, Regional Director of Operations, South
Understanding clients’ needs and adapting
Our clients are in the same boat as us. Don’t forget that our customers have faced or are facing increased challenges to conduct their business, just like us. In some of our contracts, we can see the client is turning to us for guidance and support, such as disinfecting spaces through electrostatic spraying. It’s our job to support our clients, and it is an opportunity to fulfil Edon’s purpose of a worry-free solution. As our clients’ priorities shift, we need to ensure we’re changing with them and providing support.

We are now in the new normal. Things have changed and we have to conduct the same business in a different way. For example, we’ve adapted to using new meeting technology such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. As well, our client’s site layouts have changed to accommodate physical distancing while allowing us to still interact with others.

Pro tip: Always take your laptop (or critical business tool) home with you every night.

Randy Hodl, VP, Corporate Services
Fostering a sense of security for employees
During times of unrest, companies must develop a sense of security for employees to continue to function. To bolster that sense of security we made numerous changes within the office environment, changing office protocols, such as traffic flow, meeting room protocols, identification of six-foot boundaries and a lot of communication.

Decision-making
Limited information and an overwhelming amount of inconsistent information can challenge decision-making at all levels of the company. The always-shifting government directives on COVID is one of the challenges. Another is how other companies made their changes, creating opportunities to determine new best practices.

Pro tip: Recognize that each team member requires varying levels of support and each must be individually managed. This is not the time to use “broad brush” policy and procedure.

Mike Kulak, Sr. Property Manager
Following protocols
The big lesson learned is how important it is to follow COVID guidelines. We encountered a positive COVID case and following Alberta Health Services contact tracing guidelines, self-isolation protocols were enacted. Thankfully, all of the test results have come back negative. This is a testament to the effectiveness of Edon’s protocols as we always use hand sanitizer, practice social distancing, wear masks when inside offices, and frequently sanitize common touch points, among other guidelines.

Pro tip: Remember to stay home if you’re sick.

Daniel Tower, Operations Manager
Empathy and a positive attitude
One key lesson is to be understanding with all of our team members as we live and work through these troublesome times. A potential COVID exposure requires team members to isolate from their place of work, their family, and friends. Some might feel shame at being potentially exposed, some regret they are not able to perform their duties, and some might be depressed about being isolated. Our team is a close-knit group and we all keep each other positive, especially when one of our team returns from a difficult quarantine period. There are no easy COVID scares but, with a little teamwork and a positive attitude, our Edon team is successfully living through, learning, and growing in this new world.

Pro tip: It remains vital to follow the proper protocols, especially when it comes to PPE (masks, gloves) as well as hand hygiene. We have all learned how to properly wash our hands to prevent the spread. It seems so simple but it makes such a big difference.

Tanya Shantz, Director of Asset Management
Timely & Open Communication
Whether it be communicating changes in building services, facilitating government financial assistance programs, addressing tenant requests or launching new pandemic related protocol, timely responses have never been so critical. This is especially true when considering health and safety as well as the long-term viability of the businesses located within the buildings we manage.

Adaptability
Change can and will happen even when you don’t expect it! It’s how you react and embrace change that will determine the outcome. With the shift from the workplace to remote work scenarios, people and businesses alike have had to adapt quickly. Whether it is the use of new technology, online etiquette, varying remote environments, modified service levels, mandatory personal protective equipment or physical distancing, our teams’ willingness to accept these changes and move forward together has resulted in a positive outcome and stronger team overall.

Pro tip: Since we are all in this together, transparency and open communication enables us to work more effectively as a team, lean on each other when in need and ultimately, provide better support to our customers and business partners alike.

New to Edon? We’ll Help You Become Part of Our Team and Grow

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

The interviews have been done, your background checks are complete, and the job offer has been accepted and signed. It’s your first day on the job at Edon Management. You might be feeling a range of emotions: nervous, excited, or maybe relieved to have finally landed employment.

Now what?

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been hired as a cleaner, an operator, a building supervisor, an office administrator, or a director – no one gets thrown into their position without support.

Edon, with just under 500 employees, has hired 83 people in the past 12 months across Alberta. It’s a testament to its growth and success, and a good time to talk about the company’s onboarding process.

It is Edon’s goal to make sure each employee understands what the company does – providing worry-free building solutions to clients – but also learning its workplace culture, code of conduct and ethics. And of course, we’ll also fill you in on what you’ll be doing in your new role.

Day 1 – Orientation

On Day 1, new employees will be greeted by a Human Resources representative and given an orientation session. New hires will learn about the services Edon provides to clients, through a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation. There is an overview of Edon’s commitment to its many clients, the wide variety of properties the company works with, and the major programs and services offered, including safety and quality management. The training helps new hires understand the steps Edon takes to achieve a high quality of service through all levels of the operation.

From there, every new hire receives an internal safety orientation and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training, the national safety standard for any workplace that deals with hazardous materials. WHMIS training takes about an hour to complete and is followed by a short quiz that earns you a signed certificate of completion.

The next 90 days

Once orientation is completed, training becomes aligned specifically to your individual role. Each position has a 90-day training document, detailing all of the information related to the job. This is a tailored training checklist for each role, and the document helps support both the manager and the new employee, so that nothing is missed. When the 90 days is completed, every employee should have a solid understanding of what the expectations are in their role.

Work-life balance

We are all busy people and Edon recognizes that our lives extend beyond the workplace. Supporting that idea, the company offers flexible work hours for a host of positions. For example, an employee, because of a particular home situation, may need to work earlier or later in the day, and the company makes every effort to accommodate these requests. When it comes to vacation time, Edon offers three weeks’ holidays for most positions, as well as paid personal time. The basic entitlement in many Canadian workplaces is two weeks.

Growing with the company

Edon is also committed to helping employees who want to further develop their skills and advance their careers. Managers are encouraged to have ongoing conversations with their staff regarding employment goals and objectives. For anyone wishing to pursue career development, this process can happen during the twice-a-year Performance Assessment and Training (PAT) review, a good time to set career goals, objectives, action plans and outcomes, with regular check-ins and follow-ups.

If an employee wishes to earn a certificate or diploma that dovetails with their career aspirations, Edon offers a tuition reimbursement program–as long as the course is related to their current role.

For example, if an Edon building operator wants to get a 4th Class Power Engineer Certificate, they can work out with their manager how to accommodate school hours. Once the certificate is complete, the employee will be reimbursed 50 per cent of the cost. The remaining 50 per cent is paid once the employee has completed two years in that role. The same would apply to a property administrator, for example, who wanted to work towards their property management designation (RPA, FMA, or CPM). These types of advancements apply to many roles within the company.

Edon is willing to support employees who may want to move into different roles or take on more duties, such as a building operator who would like to transition into a supervisory position.

“We do support a lot of people with career growth, taking on more responsibility,” says Nichola Belsheim, Human Resource and Payroll Manager. “If people have the potential, we want to support that. It’s good for them, it’s good for us and that helps with employee retention.”

Edon’s Centres of Excellence keeps us working as ‘One Team’

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

In a large, multi-faceted organization like Edon Management, we rely on our Centres of Excellence (COE) to ensure we deliver optimum value to our clients. Our COEs enable us to offer consistent quality throughout our operations, remain nimble, drive innovation and respond quickly to change – all vital to our clients and tenants and ultimately to our own business and employees.

Why does Edon have Centres of Excellence?

This is not just a passing corporate fad, but rather a shared philosophy that ensures all the moving parts of our business work together as “One Team.” Over three decades, Edon’s COEs have grown to 12 units, collectively called EPlus, responding to the changing needs of our clients, tenants and employees. Edon’s Corporate Support Team is the glue that binds the entire team.

But that doesn’t mean there will always be only 12 competency centres. Our clients can be assured that, like any good organization, we are always evolving as our work changes, such as taking on new contracts or pivoting to unforeseen external factors. Each of the excellence centres works with the integrated whole to minimize challenges and get the job done to everyone’s satisfaction.

Every ship has a good captain and crew

Our integrated network reduces silos between groups and offers a consistent quality and communication process in our day-to-day business operations so that everyone can succeed in their workplaces and fulfill their responsibilities.

You can think of our EPlus COEs as a bit like a ship’s captain and crew. Every person on board needs to understand and agree on how the ship should operate, and on the most efficient and safe route to the destination. Each unit in our excellence centres makes sure everyone involved has the right tools for the job and the resources to navigate the most effective route. Yes, there might be some bumps along the way, but our unified approach makes the journey smoother.

Here are a few examples of our newer COEs that illustrate our responsiveness in the workplace:

  • Our Pandemic Recovery Program (EPReP) was established to ensure a safe return to the workplace during the coronavirus and maintain the health of our clients, tenants and the public.
  • Our Building Security program (ESecure) was created to respond to new contracts that require asset and building occupant protection through security guard services.
  • Our Sustainability program (EGreen) is in response to a need for a safe, efficient and cost-effective environment that optimizes performance and reduces energy consumption.

How do our clients benefit?

Our “One Team” philosophy tells our clients that we have a strong support system in place, ensuring that all contracts run smoothly, ultimately fulfilling our clients’ and tenants’ needs. You’ll know that each of the centres are consistently monitoring and meeting KPIs and taking proactive measures to implement improvements and efficiencies, not just at the contract level, but also centrally at the corporate level.

Each of our COEs have qualified experts in fields such as Project Management, Quality Management, Human Resources, Safety, Sustainability, Caretaking, Grounds Care, Security and Facility Operations who develop best practices, train resources, and regularly audit to ensure compliance.

Accountability is another positive outcome of our COEs. Why? Because it allows not only managers, but also field level resources, to be accountable to our high operating standards – irrespective of contract or location.

The Edon promise

Our success is your success. That’s why when we obtain a new contract the COEs make sure a high level of service is established right from the start. Our business improvement philosophy is that the people we work with are integrated into our practices. This philosophy aligns with Edon’s process and culture, whether it’s an employee, client, subcontractor, supplier or any other interested party.

We want you to know that we pride ourselves on a customer-focused business approach. Our EPlus Centres of Excellence are a large part of what makes Edon the thriving business that it is today.

Electrostatic Disinfection Helps Fight the Spread of COVID-19

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many processes at Edon Management, from meeting protocols to interacting with co-workers to how we clean our offices and work spaces.

As we thought about re-entering work spaces in the spring, Edon decided to invest in electrostatic cleaning systems, not only for our own facilities but also to be available for our clients’ properties. Our goal was to set a new standard in work space disinfection – especially in high-traffic and high-touch areas, so that everyone could have more confidence about coming back to work.

This is where the use of electrostatic disinfection comes in.

You might be wondering: “What is electrostatic cleaning and how is it different or better than conventional cleaning methods?”

Time-Saving and Effective for Hard-to-Reach Surfaces

Even with the most thorough cleaning, it is very difficult and time-consuming to fully disinfect hard-to-reach or larger areas with conventional cleaning methods. Electrostatic cleaning is the process of spraying an electrostatically charged mist onto surfaces and objects. A specialized solution is combined with air and atomized by an electrode inside the sprayer. The positively charged mist clings to and coats any surface it is aimed at.

Using electrostatic spraying ensures every surface in the room can be fully disinfected and in less time. This is so important in facilities where disinfection is vital, such as hospitals and schools. The spraying method also offers promise in controlling foodborne illnesses in restaurant or food-processing facilities.

­­‘Set-and-Forget’ Application

Once the disinfectant is sprayed on a surface, it remains wet for 5-10 minutes, the recommended time to effectively kill germs. Then it is simply left to air dry. In conventional spray-and-wipe disinfecting, a surface is sprayed and immediately wiped, not allowing the required time for a disinfectant to work.

Electrostatic disinfecting is a time-saver because it is a “set-and-forget” application. For example, in a restroom, the entire room can be sprayed with disinfectant and left to air dry – allowing the disinfectant to fully work.

Efficiency and Less Downtime

Here are some ways that electrostatic cleaning is superior to conventional cleaning in an 18,000-square-foot building:

  • The electrostatic sprayer system can cover up to 18,000 square feet per hour, compared to around 3,100 square feet with conventional cleaning.
  • Surface coverage is up to five times faster with electrostatic disinfection.
  • 65% less disinfecting product is used, compared to traditional trigger sprays.
  • Disinfecting a building that size takes around five hours less time, or about 40%.

What Else Should you Know About Electrostatic Disinfecting?

  • It is safe to use around standard office equipment, such as laptops, desktops, keyboard and monitors, but should NOT be applied to sensitive electronics. Office workers are asked to clear their desks of personal belongings to allow for a thorough cleaning.
  • Once electrostatic cleaning has been completed, the room can be used immediately.
  • Electrostatic disinfection does not create a protective barrier. It disinfects, or kills, unwanted pathogens from every targeted surface, but won’t protect those surfaces from becoming contaminated once the area has been used again.
  • Here are some examples of where electrostatic cleaning is beneficial: Health-care spaces for terminal patients; classrooms, fitness equipment, wrestling mats, bathrooms, lunchrooms and buses; food service (sanitizing equipment and surfaces); odour counteraction in bathrooms and other enclosed spaces.

To learn more about electrostatic cleaning contact Yassin Zamani, Edon’s Custodial Services Business Manager, at yassin.zamani@edonmgmt.com or call Office: (403) 245-1941 ext.533

Edon is Your Go-To Partner for Workplace Safety

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

The safety of your employees, guests, tenants and the public are paramount as you prepare to reopen your offices. Edon Management has the expertise, equipment and commitment to ensure these workplaces stay as safe as possible from COVID-19 and other pathogens.

Edon’s full-service solutions, through its Pandemic Recovery Program (EPReP), provides clients peace of mind that comes from knowing your concerns are at the forefront. Edon has state-of-the-art cleaning and disinfecting equipment, an extensive pool of personnel with expertise in building systems, and 24/7 on-call availability to respond to urgent needs. Here is what we can do for you:

Refit Your Office

We can help you fit your office to meet government guidelines for safe physical distancing. Health authorities say that social distancing of two metres – about the length of a hockey stick – handwashing and other strategies of good hygiene are key components of a safe workplace strategy. We’re adding sterilizing stations in prominent locations to ensure frequent disinfecting. Other changes include mapping out and signing traffic flow to avoid physical contact, establishing protocols for staff, providing equipment and guidelines to optimize hygiene, and providing protocols for employee fitness for work.

Enhance Cleaning

Thorough deep cleaning is the new normal in our workplaces. Edon will help maintain the integrity of your space by increasing the frequency of cleaning, and by using new technology to disinfect your work surfaces and office equipment. At the core is our new electrostatic cleaning service – the most effective way to quickly, affordably and continuously disinfect your office, workshops or any surface your employees or clients might come into contact with. Our equipment eliminates pathogens, provides more complete and consistent coverage, penetrates deeply into hard-to-reach areas, and allows you to use your disinfected room or device right away.

Optimize Mechanical Systems

Viruses such as COVID-19 are known to spread through infectious aerosols – that is, droplets flying through the air. The risk of spread can be reduced by improved filtration and adjusting airflow patterns in your building’s heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Modern buildings have complex and sophisticated HVAC systems that require a high level of expertise to adjust and maintain. Edon Management will adjust your systems to increase air quality, and we can also manage mechanical system upgrades if your system is not up to par.

A review of evidence-based literature on risk assessment of HVAC systems shows that the following procedures should be considered:

  • Enhanced filtration, using filters that exceed the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating in areas with dense occupancy or are otherwise judged to be high risk spaces.
  • Careful control of temperature and humidity.
  • The addition of local exhaust ventilation for source control.
  • Portable, free-standing high-efficiency particulate filters.
  • Ultraviolet radiation to kill germs.

Working with you as a partner committed to safety, Edon has the knowledge, equipment and devoted staff. Our full-service solutions will ensure your buildings and workspaces comply with all relevant government recommendations and regulations. We deliver peace of mind – for your employees, guests, tenants and members of the public who visit or use your facilities.

Edon’s Hiring Process

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

What Does Edon’s Hiring Process Look Like?

Application Tips & Tricks to Land an Interview

Application

If one of the job postings on our website catches your eye, make sure you apply! Our current application process is simple: create your resume/cover letter and submit it to the careers email listed in the job posting, stating the position ID in the subject line.

Keep in mind a single job posting can generate hundreds of applications, so here are a few tips to help you stand out.

  • Be Honest
    Ensure your employment history, qualifications, and previous job responsibilities are accurate. While you may want to “pad” your resume with additional details, this will not help you. Anything on your resume is up for discussion during the interview process and embellishments will come out.
  • Keep it Simple
    Layout your resume in a format that is easy for the reader to understand; an overcrowded resume can be a turnoff. Separate your resume into sections such as skills, education and work experience to keep things organized and use generic, easy to read fonts like Calibri or Times New Roman.
  • Check your Application for Accuracy
    Review your resume and cover letter for accuracy and spelling before submitting your application.
  • Be Concise
    Highlight three to five key tasks you were responsible for in your previous positions.
  • Tailor it to the Job Posting
    Link your previous job responsibilities to the job posting. This will demonstrate that you are capable of performing the tasks associated with the position, but are looking to take on more responsibility or a new challenge.
  • Cater Your Application to the Company
    Demonstrate that you know a bit about Edon Management and express why you want to work for us.

Interviews
The hiring manager will review applications and create an interview shortlist. If you’ve used the tips outlined above it may give you a better chance of being selected for an interview. Please be advised that only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Depending on the position, you may be asked to come in for a second interview with some different members of our team. This will help determine if you are the right fit for the company and the position.

Completing the Checks
Following the interview, you may be asked to provide information so we can begin to do checks. These checks include reference checks, background checks and, depending on the position, a DISC Assessment (behavioural assessment tool).

Offer
Should you be the selected candidate, an offer of employment will be presented. It is now up to you to determine if Edon is the right fit. Upon offer acceptance, an orientation will be set up for your first day.

5 Ways to Describe Edon’s Culture

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

Workplace culture can make or break a company when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. At Edon, we strive to create an environment where people excel and feel comfortable coming into work each day. Below are five ways we define our company culture.

Team Based

It may be a cliché because every organization states that they are team-based, however, at Edon this actually reigns true. While a lot of the work we do may be on an individual basis, you can always count on the fact that your team members are there to support and assist you should you have questions or need help completing a project.

Fast-Paced

If you are someone who likes to stay busy, Edon is the right fit for you. Working at Edon, you will never have to worry about what to do next as there are always new projects or programs in development. At the odd time when things slow, it is encouraged to learn different facets of the company to expand your knowledge about what others are doing in the organization.

Innovative

Continuous improvement is at the forefront of the company and an integral part of Edon’s quality management system. Whether you have an idea that will help streamline daily work, or improve a process, Edon wants to hear them. That’s why we created our Emagination program, to funnel innovative ideas and recognize team members.

Growth Oriented

At Edon, there is plenty of opportunities to grow in your career (it’s one of our core values). Edon has a strong leadership team available to mentor and support your career plans. Each year employees assist in the development of their personal objectives, so if there is something you are passionate about exploring, make sure you discuss it with your manager. Courses that would help you progress in your career, can apply towards Edon’s tuition reimbursement program to help offset financial costs.

Diverse

Edon is built on diversity. Our team members come from various backgrounds, offer different skillsets and experience, and range in age from those coming out of school to those nearing retirement. While there are differences that set us apart, we all work effectively as one team to put forth our best work. We also bring diversity into our business by offering our clients a broad range of services to help meet their needs.