Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

October 12, 2016 

By Michelle Branigan

We’ve all done it. Spent considerable time working on a key document or spreadsheet only to forget where we saved it, and had to start again. Or gone to ask for advice from a subject matter expert in the company only to realize he /she has retired — along with the 30 years of tacit knowledge in their head that’s not all captured “in the files.”

The demographics and changing dynamics of the Canadian workforce pose both opportunity and risk for organizations. Risk comes in the form of the loss of knowledge that is unique to the business — legacy systems, innovations, trouble shooting, etc. — the loss of which could have significant implications for business competitiveness, productivity, and even health and safety.

This highlights more than ever the need for companies to look at how they manage the knowledge in their organization. Knowledge management (KM) is essentially the ability of a business to create, share and use the collective knowledge of its products, processes and people to increase workplace productivity and reduce activities that reinvent the wheel.

A knowledge management strategy is simply a plan that describes how an organization will manage its knowledge better for the benefit of that organization and its stakeholders.

Knowledge and information can leak in all sorts of ways and at all sorts of times. To make sure that essential knowledge is retained by an organization requires a range of techniques (from traditional information management tools such as shared drives, to more modern techniques such as company blogs), that can be employed to ensure that knowledge is not only stored but transferred.

Many of these tools are simple and trying them out requires nothing more than the desire to try something new. Undertaking them effectively requires effective — sometimes advanced — facilitation and communication skills. Other tools are more complex, and call for significant planning and resources if they are to be delivered effectively.

Strategies and actions to ensure that knowledge is transferred and retention efforts are a more integral aspect of workforce planning and management activities include:

  • engaging strong commitment to oversee knowledge transfer and retention activities and to develop incentive structures that promote knowledge sharing within and across work teams
  • opening up hierarchical frameworks and bureaucratic divisions and boundaries to promote horizontal knowledge and information sharing
  • creating specific opportunities for younger workers to enter into coaching, shadowing or on-the-job mentoring programs with experienced older employees and/or take on projects that stretch capabilities and transfer critical organizational knowledge
  • valuing and rewarding knowledge transfer in planned work outcomes and performance appraisals
  • using job redesign to create “special skill and knowledge transfer” roles that call on particularly skilled employees to undertake special organizational knowledge, history and skill development projects or training, mentoring or coaching based activities
  • using team based approaches to managing long term projects and good recordkeeping practices to ensure effective transfer of knowledge between existing and exiting employees

Below are four steps to implement a people-based KM/KT strategy.

1. Prioritize positions where knowledge needs to be preserved

This involves identifying positions where the knowledge held is of high strategic importance and the expected rate of attrition is high. A common gauge of importance is that a particular person or group’s absence from the workplace would be quickly noticed. Other factors that make a person or a group valuable include their understanding of organization critical procedures and methods; the holding of expert knowledge of key equipment or key business tools; their relationships with key stakeholders; their role as a facilitator of knowledge exchange already within the organization, and their specific experience of local conditions and other options.

2. Identify critical at-risk knowledge for each position

Once you have identified the positions, people or groups on which to focus knowledge retention efforts, consider the specific types of knowledge these individuals possess and what the impact will be if these are taken away (e.g., ability to perform all tasks related to management of budget, relationships with major clients, knowledge of system shortcuts, expert ability to research new information, and so on).

3. Prioritize techniques for transferring and managing knowledge

A knowledge management strategy may encompass a range of specific activities such as the coordinated development of codification based systems such as databases, internets, intranets and expert software and process mapping. More importantly for workforce managers, the strategy could include people-based activities such as mentoring, training, job shadowing, succession planning, inclusion of knowledge sharing commitments in performance agreements, establishing communities of practice, conducting social network analysis, and developing knowledge maps.

4. Build a plan of action for each potential initiative

For each knowledge transfer and retention activity identified, establish a business case or statement of organizational need that examines the cost of doing nothing and identifies a means of measuring the results for those projects that are to proceed.

Research by Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) has shown that over a third of the industry does not have knowledge transfer tools and processes in place. Don’t wait until your corporate memory is lost. Identify the needs within your organization, find a champion to lead change, establish performance indicators, and ensure that you measure the effectiveness of the implementation plan so that you can perform any necessary corrective measures through continuous monitoring and improvement.

To read EHRC’s Knowledge Management & Transfer Report visit:

Michelle Branigan is CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada;


Changing Scene

  • Prev
The Ontario government is introducing new measures to help tradespeople get their certification ...
This ECAA Annual Training Day & AGM hybrid event will take place May 27th – May 29th. ...
Technical Safety BC has reviewed the 2021 Canadian Electrical Code (CE Code) to assess the impacts ...
The Government of Canada is providing close to $5 million, over five years, to the National ...
Applications are now open online for the Increased Employment Incentive (IEI), which ...
As a non-profit organization, Skills Ontario relies on the support of partners to continue ...
Ideal Supply is proud to announce that as of January 1, 2021 they have appointed a new Sales ...
The energy storage ecosystem and the regulatory environment in which it operates are evolving ...
It's April, which means it's time for you to ignite your competitive spark with the a new challenge ...
MP Scott Duvall has introduced an amendment to the Income Tax Act regarding travel expenses for ...






Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion



Ideal's Stay Wired to WinIt's April, which means it's time for you to ignite your competitive spark with the a new challenge from IDEAL Nationals Canada. This month, IDEAL is asking you to show off your electrical knowledge with the most correct answers.

Five professionals and five apprentice winners will each take home a $100 VISA gift card and forged wire stripper from IDEAL.





Read More


William (Bill) BurrBy William (Bill) Burr

Section 32 – Fire Alarm Systems, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms, and Fire Pumps, as outlined in Rule 32-000 Scope, is a supplementary or amendatory section of the code and provides additional and specific requirements for the location, installation, wiring, and protection, of

• local fire alarm systems

• permanently connected smoke and carbon monoxide alarms...

Read More


LumenpulseBy Matthew Payette

A lighting programming and control narrative is a document that is essential to coordinate the design/construction process with a fully realized final architectural product. It defines how lighting will integrate into the space and ultimately how humans will interact with that same space.

Sometimes there is a gap between the initial visions of the designers and the final product. Other times, the final product and operation of the lighting systems is achieved but after much project management distress...

Read More


Product News

  • Prev
MaxLite introduces the next generation of WallMax Open Face LED Wall Packs with field-selectable ...
Gotham has released its Incito™ 4” Direct-Indirect Wall Mount Cylinder luminaire. The new cylinder ...
Arlington's low cot MC cable fittings in a variety of sizes, are super convenient and ...
The Boca Flasher’s NanoLume has a streamline profile. It is a line voltage fixture perfect for Cove ...
120V AC Model, 24V DC Model, Model LB4R, cULus Listed. Type IC Rated – Approved for Direct Contact ...
 Available in Visual Comfort or Discrete optics configurations. Lumen packages from 1,600 to ...
For direct wire applications only. Consult factory for junction box sold separately. Aluminum cast ...
INFINA® DL-AC-FLEX2 is the next generation of high lumen output, specification grade, a flexible ...
Traditional in appearance, not in innovation. From below the ceiling, the Juno Podz take ...
The SLM is an ultra-slim, modern LED panel featuring edge-lit design for impressive visual comfort ...


11 Piece Insulated TorqueVario-S and SlimLine Blade Set• Individually tested to 10,000 volts AC and rated to 1,000 volts AC for safety and peace of mind.

• Meets VDE testing standards for protection against arc flash explosion.

• Torque accuracy of +/- 6% for confidence in precise tolerances.

• 33% narrower blade shafts for reaching deep set terminal block fasteners.

• Direct-molded insulation for protection against electrical shock and arc flash explosion.

Read More



FLIR TZ20 Dual Thermal Camera Drone PayloadPlug-and-Play Gimbal System for the DJI Matrice 200 Series and Matrice 300 Offers High-Definition FLIR Thermal Imaging with Zoom Capabilities to Improve Situational Awareness.

The FLIR Vue® TZ20, the first high resolution, dual thermal sensor gimbal purpose-built for the DJI®Matrice 200 Series and Matrice 300 airframes is now available in Canada. Featuring both a narrow-field-of-view and a wide-field-of-view 640x512 resolution FLIR Boson®thermal camera module, the Vue TZ20 offers greater situational awareness with a 20-times digital thermal zoom capability to complete public safety and industrial inspection missions both near and far. 

Read More



Autodesk TakeoffAutodesk, Inc. has announced the worldwide availability of Autodesk Takeoff, a new product that empowers estimators to perform 2D and 3D quantification workflows from a common data environment to increase collaboration, speed and accuracy during the estimation process.

Originally announced at Autodesk University in November 2020, Autodesk Takeoff will join Autodesk Build and Autodesk BIM Collaborate as part of the Autodesk Construction Cloud unified platform. The announcement comes one month after Autodesk Build and Autodesk BIM Collaborate were made available globally for Autodesk Construction Cloud customers. 

Read More


Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Kyle Manfredi is the owner of ARK Electrical alongside his wife, Shannon. Operating out of ...
Like most major events over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic put serious restrictions on the ...
This past December Jennifer Green was honoured with Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award for ...
“It was quite surprising,” said Stephanie Smith of being named EHRC’s Leader of the Year. ...
As an advanced networked lighting controls company serving the industrial and large commercial ...
Trilliant, an international provider of utility solutions for advanced metering and smart grid ...
For more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support ...
Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned ...
Energy Efficient Lighting is a LED lighting manufacturer with nearly 30 years of industry ...
Dee Durant is an industrial electrician apprentice attending Conestoga College and an Ambassador ...

EIN Green 100 400

By Blake Marchand

This past December Jennifer Green was honoured with Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award for the Skilled Trades category by WXN (Women’s Executive Network).

“It is truly an honour to be recognized by WXN and to be among this group of amazing women,” said Green of earning the distinction. “Throughout my career, I’ve worked with many great mentors and team members – to them, I say thank you for always inspiring me. I am absolutely thrilled.” Green is an industrial mechanic millwright by trade and works with Skills Ontario as Director of Competitions and Young Women’s Initiatives. 

Read More


Jo Istanbul Four Seasons ABy Owen Hurst

Recently, Electrical Industry Canada has developed a relationship with Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), a non-for-profit group developing resources and networking potential for women and all working or planning to work within the renewable energy sector. Aside from being the WiRE President & CEO, Joanna Osawe is the Global Business Development Manager of Major Projects for DMC Power Inc.

EIN sat down with Osawe to learn more about WiRE and the substantial benefits it provides. Joanna is very personable and open regarding her career and her ambition, as well as the opportunities she is developing for women nationally and globally. 

Read More


Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil