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People and Culture

Automating Commercial Property Management

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture No Comments

Automation in commercial property management is transforming the way property managers handle daily tasks, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and support overall operations. Innovations in smart building technologies and software in areas such as lighting, HVAC, and security reduce the hours property staff need to dedicate to daily tasks, while digital document storage and online reporting tools eliminate the need for bulky storage cabinets and file rooms.

Beyond that, however, it is becoming increasingly evident that automation in clerical, financial, quality management, and other organizational functions is essential for companies to stay competitive while providing high-quality service. We realized that making a digital shift and minimizing the time spent on redundant administration would create capacity for more meaningful work, enhancing the overall experience for our tenants, clients, and staff.

Our Automation Team works diligently to drive innovation, creating apps and workflows that have changed the way we interact and how we approach our daily tasks. As the apps and workflows are created in-house, we can build in features for data collection and reporting, and customize in ways that align with our values which has many benefits.

We are now able to centralize administration and have transitioned many of our Administrators into other roles, such as Business Analysts or Process Analysts. The data collected through the use of the apps and workflows offers real-time insights that allow us to spot trends and move forward quickly. We can commit capital, modify building processes, adjust staffing levels, examine new services we can offer, or investigate new revenue streams.

We own our data, so we can control who can access it and how it is stored, shared, and utilized. We can easily move it between different platforms and services, and we can manage how we choose to view, filter, and sort it. This allows us to customize reporting for our tenants/clients and make changes quickly.

We can also customize to fit the needs of our Team Members. Our Team is diverse, and we want them to feel confident when entering information that would affect their personal lives. With this in mind, we’ve created the apps for expense reports, mileage, and time entry to be available in several different languages:

By implementing automation, we can turn our focus from daily tasks to strategic decision-making, forge stronger connections with tenants, clients and staff, and make informed decisions that drive our company’s success.

Waste Diversion

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture, Sustainability No Comments

Diverting waste materials away from landfills through recycling, composting, and other waste management measures helps us minimize the environmental impact of our daily operations.

We’ve engaged Recycle Track Systems to handle our waste removal, a partnership which gives us a unique insight into the makeup and handling of waste at our properties. By reviewing the quarterly diversion rates provided by Recycle Track Systems, we can see where we’re doing well, where we may need to improve our processes and procedures, and tailor our building communications. We can draft messages to tenants, occupants, and our building staff on source reduction, for example, or promote responsible consumption practices. We can also incentivize by forwarding reminders on  how we use sensors our waste bins to measure fullness and trigger pickups rather than following a predetermined schedule – fewer pickups equals more money saved.

Our overall diversion rate for 2023 was 51.58%. In other words, a little over half of the waste produced at our properties stayed out of landfills. By continuing to promote responsible waste management and leading by example in our business strategies, we can push that number higher to create a more sustainable and resilient future.

 

Edon’s 2023 Total Tonnage = 321.58
  • Garbage                         155.70 tons               48%
  • Cardboard                       35.58 tons                11%
  • Mixed Recycling             61.18 tons                19%
  • Paper                                  0.62 tons                  1%
  • Organics                           68.50 tons                21%

 

Fostering Growth Through Education

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

We believe learning is a shared responsibility. By offering tuition assistance and apprenticeship support, we give our Team Members the tools they need to upgrade their education and advance their careers. Empowering our Team to acquire new skills and stay abreast of industry developments is an investment in their future and ours. 

Financial support is provided for anyone attending part-time studies at colleges, universities, or other institutions providing employer-related skills. In 2023, 119 Team Members took advantage of tuition assistance for such training and education as:

  • Safety certifications
  • Credential renewals
  • Technology courses on artificial intelligence and power queries
  • Power Engineering designations
  • RPA, a professional designation for commercial property managers
  • FMA, a professional designation for facilities management.

For those enrolled in courses through Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training programs, we provide financial assistance as well as ensuring they have the appropriate paid employment to complete their apprenticeship. We also pair them with a certified Journeyperson to make sure they have effective mentorship to integrate classroom knowledge with on-the-job experience.

A well-educated workforce is better equipped to tackle challenges, embrace technological advancements, and drive positive change within the company. Moreover, investing in employee education demonstrates a commitment to the well-being of the workforce, fostering a positive organizational culture that attracts and retains top talent.

Speaking of talent, we’re always on the hunt for top-tier Team Members; check out our job listings today.

A Year of Giving Back

By Edon's Picks, Office, People and Culture

Tuesday, November 28th will be the tenth anniversary of Giving Tuesday, a global movement of giving and generosity. In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, we thought we would look back at our moments of giving over the last year.

In December 2022, we launched our Notes of Thanks program as a way for our Team Members to recognize and thank one another. For every note awarded, $1 is donated to a local charity at the end of the month.

  • The first organization to receive such a donation was The Calgary Food Bank, who we are also lucky enough to count as one of our tenants.
  • Staff from the Calgary Head Office volunteered at the warehouse that month, sorting and bagging fresh produce.
  • Also in December, our Asset Management Department gathered over 350 pounds of non-perishable donations through the generosity of our tenants.

For the first part of 2023, we turned our focus to Indigenous organizations in keeping with our Indigenous Relations Policy. Through our Notes of Thanks program, donations were made to the following:

  • January – Spirit North, an organization that uses sport and play to promote health and wellness and to help develop essential life skills for Indigenous youth.
    • Also in January, we arranged for 2 scholarships of $1,000 each at NorQuest College for Indigenous students.
  • February – Indspire, a registered charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people for the benefit of themselves, their families, and their communities.
  • March – Native Counseling Services of Alberta. With services for Indigenous people by Indigenous people, NCSA has evolved to meet the needs of Indigenous people who often feel alienated by legal/court procedures.

We next wanted to focus on our tenants listed as registered charities. Again, through Notes of Thanks, we made donations to:

  • April – Momentum, a change-making organization focused on strategies that reduce poverty, such as financial literacy, skills training, and financial empowerment.
    • Also in April, we donated to the Fort McMurray Fire Department Charities Association in conjunction with their annual rooftop campout. Six firefighters climbed a fire truck ladder to the roof of Tim Hortons, (a tenant of ours at our Eagle Ridge development), where they spent 100 hours exposed to the elements, camping out to raise money for local charities.
  • May – Inclusion Alberta, a family-based non-profit advocating on behalf of those with developmental disabilities
  • July – Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society, providing protection and support against family violence and all forms of abuse.

The balance of our donations this year were made to organizations addressing current social or urgent causes:

  • June – Egale Canada, Canada’s leading organization for 2SLGBTQI issues. This donation was made in keeping with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion principles and in conjunction with the start of Pride month.
    • Also in June, we arranged for 2 scholarships of $1,000 each at NAIT. These scholarship were open to Indigenous students in the Power Engineering and Skilled Trades programs.
  • August – We couldn’t ignore the wildfires that ravaged Alberta this year. These fires touched almost all of the 85+ communities in which we operate, so we made August’s donation to the Disaster Aid Canada Alberta Wildfire Emergency Support fund.
  • September – With kids heading back to school, Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids was our organization of choice for September. BB4CK works to ensure no student goes hungry.
  • October – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In recognition of this, we donated to Wings of Hope, and organization that provides funding for essentials such as rent, groceries, utilities, medications and transportation for anyone receiving treatment from the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary.
    • Also in October, we made an additional donation to Indspire in conjunction with Orange Shirt Day / National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We ran a two-part campaign where 1) we donated $5 for every orange shirt our Team Members purchased through 49 Dzine, and 2) we donated $1 for every like, share, comment, or repost our Orange Shirt Day post received on Social Media.
  • November – We’ve been focusing our efforts in fundraising for Movember this month. Movember is a global campaign  focused on men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancers as well as mental health and suicide prevention. Edon put together a Movember team and we are well on our way to achieving our fundraising goal. We will also be making a donation to this worthy cause at the end of the month.
    • Also in November, staff from our Calgary Head Office once again volunteered at the Calgary Food Bank.

Upcoming for December 2023:

  • We will again be making a donation to the Calgary Food Bank through our Notes of Thanks program.
  • As well, our Asset Management Department will also be making a donation to the Calgary Food Bank on behalf of their tenants this holiday season.

We sincerely thank everyone who has participated in our Notes of Thanks program this year, as well as our Food Bank volunteers, those who participated in our Orange Shirt campaign, our Movember Team and supporters, and everyone who contributed to such a wonderful year. We look forward to another great year of giving in 2024.

All Hail the Queens

By Edon's Picks, Office, People and Culture

Our Alvéole beekeeper, Preston, recently shared some photos of our beautiful queen bees. We’ve pointed them out in the photos; look for the long ladies near the centre of each.

Preston returned to the hives last week for one final inspection before the honey harvest begins. The bees will be left with as much honey as they need for the winter, while the surplus will be jarred, branded, and shared with Tenants in the Asset Management portfolio.

You can check in on our hives at any time using the links below. Much of the information is similar – they are located in the same area after all – but the photos are all charmingly different, as are the size and statistics of each colony. 

Giddy Up and Yahoo!

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

Our Stampede Breakfasts were bigger and better than ever this year, with an estimated 1,700 guests attending over the three days.

There was some drizzle, some sun, and even some smoke, but regardless of the weather everyone had a great time.

We welcomed back Glen Brown & Headin’ West as our musical entertainment this year, and were also excited to bring in three-time World Hoop Dance Champion Dallas Arcand, who wowed everyone with his dancing and storytellig.

We want to thank everyone who attended, and those who volunteered to help make this year’s events so successful. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Providing Opportunities for Indigenous Students

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

As part of the path to reconciliation, we’ve taken steps to put our Indigenous Relations Policy into practice. We’ve partnered with two post-secondary institutions in Alberta, arranging for grants and scholarships available to Indigenous students to help their reach their education and career goals.

Earlier this year, we announced our partnership with NorQuest College, where we arranged for two scholarships of $1,000.00 each to any NorQuest credit program. Successful applicants will be those with Indigenous Heritage (First Nation status or non-status, Metis, or Inuit), with an academic standing of 75% or higher, and who have supplied a personal letter describing their education and career goals. These scholarships are now open for application

We’re also partnering with NAIT, and will be offering an additional two $1,000 grants for the 2023/2024 disbursement year. The first grant will be made available to Indigenous students enrolled in the Power Engineering Program, while the second will be available to those in the skilled trades, enrolled in the Electrician, Plumber or Carpentry programs. These grants will be open for application soon, so those who are eligible and interested should keep an eye out for them HERE. Again, the successful applicants will be Canadian citizens with First Nations status or non-status, Metis, or Inuit heritage.

We are very excited to be able to announce these grants in conjunction with National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day for highlighting and celebrating the history and heritage of Canada’s First Nations Peoples.

We wish all applicants the best of luck and hope our contributions help you reach your goals.

Unleashing Innovation with In-House App Development

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

Technological solutions have become essential for companies looking to stay competitive in today’s digital landscape, and Edon is no exception. We now have an in-house team dedicated to adapting the latest technologies for practical applications within our services; Property Management, Asset Management, Facilities Management, and Project Management have all benefitted from their efforts and from the latest in technological advancements.

Through of series of apps and other tools developed by our team, we’ve succeeded in creating capacity for all departments, allowing more time for tenant/client focused activities and value-added work. Artificial intelligence can now read and process invoices, speeding up vendor payments. Staff in the field can easily schedule work, report incidents, and even submit purchase order requests on their phones through our app launcher, cutting down the time it takes to complete projects. Log entries can be updated digitally, reducing the need for paper records and providing better access to those who use them.

By developing these tools in-house, we’re able to design them to suit our business and our staff. We recognize that the communities in which we operate have diverse cultures, which may lead to language barriers if left unaddressed. One way we’re overcoming language barriers is to build in translation options; our Team Members can feel more confident when entering mileage, expense reports, or timesheets, for example, using their native languages. Our apps can be translated into Spanish, French, Filipino, Italian, Polish, and Portuguese, just to name a few.

Providing our Team with the digital tools they need to excel will continue to be a focus as technologies expand. Leveraging the power of apps and advanced technology will allow us to continue to deliver exceptional tenant and client experiences.

Home is Where the Hive is

By Edon's Picks, Office, People and Culture

Alberta is home to over 200 bee species, and our office rooftops are home to one of them. 

A few years ago, we partnered with Alvéole, an urban beekeeping company which aims to promote the importance of bees in the urban environment. Hives were first installed on the roof of two of our Calgary office buildings, Airstate Centre and Atrium I, and a third hive was later installed at Atrium II. These hives are registered with the Ministry of Agriculture and tended by a dedicated Alvéole beekeeper to ensure the ongoing health of the colony.

Rooftop hive at Atrium I

The bees are singularly focused on maintaining hive development by bringing nectar, pollen resin and water to the colony, and only sting when they feel their colony is threatened. As their colonies are located well away from our tenants and clients, there is little chance of the bees encountering the type of aggression that would see them resort to stinging. As well, Alvéole works with a special breed of Italian bees known for their mild temperament and docility – keepers wear little to no protection. 

Over the past couple of years, the tenants have been given opportunities to learn more during online seminars, as well as being invited up onto the roofs (following all safety protocols) to interact with the beehives through clinics run by our Alvéole beekeeper. The honey produced from these hives is given back to our tenants as holiday gifts, new tenant welcome gifts, and as swag at events, further enhancing their apian experience. These types of interactions are allow us to offer something unique and meaningful to our tenants while encouraging bees to flourish in an urban environment.

Honeybees from the colony at Atrium I

The hives have been wrapped up tight for the winter, but the bees are starting to emerge. You can check in on them by visiting the blogs for each hive: 

Airstate Centre

Atrium I

Atrium II

Pandemic Interview Tips

By Edon's Picks, People and Culture

Despite challenges of the on-going pandemic, recruitment at Edon is still going strong.  Like many workplaces, Edon is taking necessary precautions to protect team members throughout this time, including utilizing virtual interviews to assist in the recruitment process. Check out our tips for conducting virtual interviews, including key tasks to do before, during, and post interview.

Be prepared to ace your next virtual interview with these helpful tips.

  1. Device Check

We’ve all run into technology issues during the past year as teams adapted to new applications. Prior to the interview, ensure your device is up and running properly. We recommend downloading the software being used for the interview beforehand, such as Microsoft Teams. If possible, conduct a test meeting with family or friends to verify your microphone, audio, and video settings. A strong internet connection is also key for a successful interview.

  1. Location, Location, Location

We know it is impossible to eliminate every possible distraction at home or work during an interview; however, try to find a space that will allow for as few interruptions as possible. A quiet space away from others who may be living with you, whether family members, roommates, or pets, will help eliminate outside noise. It’s also a good idea to find a space with a neutral background to prevent visual distractions during the interview (this could be your home office or simply a blank wall in one of your rooms). Refrain from using virtual background options as these can be distorted by your movements. 

  1. Camera Ready

As with in-person interviews, you want to put your best foot forward, even virtually.  Dress in business casual attire from top to bottom… as you may need to deal with an unexpected interruption during the call. Don’t give the interviewers a reason to focus on anything other than what you’re saying. Dressing like you would for an in-person interview is also a way to set you in a business frame of mind.

  1. Eyes Up Here

Connecting with interviewers virtually may be difficult; however, in order to maintain eye contact be sure to look directly at the camera when asking or responding to questions. If you’re looking at the screen or off to the side, it can appear that you aren’t interested in the discussion. Also try to remember the camera can pick up everything, so sit with your feet firmly planted on the ground and avoid continual movements like adjusting in your chair.

  1. Ready for Anything

As with any technology, things can go wrong no matter how much you try to prevent it.  At the start of the interview request a phone number from the interviewers just in case you get disconnected. Also be ready to handle unexpected interruptions such as noise or the possibility of something or someone dropping into camera view.  If required, briefly apologize for the interruption and request a moment to deal with the situation.  Remember to mute your microphone or turn off your camera before leaving!

  1. Follow up

While it may be customary to thank your interviewers at the end of the meeting, a follow up email further expressing your thanks and interest in the position is a great idea.  Not only will this reinforce your interest in the role, it also leaves a great impression on the interview team.