January 15, 2012
By Sally Harvey CLT, CLP
Manager Education and Labour Development

Sally HarveyIt is the time of year that many of us take time to reflect on the good, the bad and the not-so-good within our business over the past year. This helps with plans to make improvements for the coming year.

Often improvement requires that we embark on professional development to guide us in the right direction and to help prevent repetition of the not-so-good.  As we prepare for 2012 within the framework of our businesses, may I suggest that you kick-start your year by attending Congress 2012.

As a business owner, and now your staff, Congress has always and continues to inspire and motivate me in the annual planning process. The trade show, the networking and the conference seminars have provided me with a steady foundation to get going after the holidays. Congress always energizes me about the possibilities:
  • New products, tools and equipment that can help us to perform work smarter and safer.
  • The environment of the show allows me to re-connect with many friends and colleagues who I do not see or hear from regularly, as the life of a business owner can at times be isolated.
  • Colleagues and peers spark my attention toward improvement after listening to their stories of success and challenges over the past year.
  • Conference seminars fill gaps and help me and my staff pack more tools in the business tool box for the coming year.
  • And oh, do not forget, the Awards of Excellence ceremony! This event has been another educational opportunity for me for many years. I am always amazed at the skill and expertise demonstrated by our industry at the awards night. Learn from the great photos of the amazing projects that depict the many and growing talents of this industry. Awards won are also a great marketing tool.
My suggestion is to check out Congress Jan. 9 pre-trade show events: IPM Symposium, Landscape Designers Conference, and CLP Study Group, and of course the trade show and Conference seminars presented on Tues. to Thurs., Jan. 10-12.

New this year is the morning professional development sessions aimed at all audiences. Attendees will be able to use their time effectively by attending professional development and the trade show all in one day. Conference attendees have the advantage of networking lunches, entitled Life Lessons, which are included in their package. This raises the value of learning for you.

You will notice concentrated professional development in the mornings, some Owners-Only seminars, followed by Life Lesson or networking lunches. Then feel free to head to the trade show, or stay around in the afternoon for any of the free sessions listed. Free sessions are available to all trade show and conference badge holders. Sessions focus on introducing attendees to various programs and development opportunities available to industry and youth, with focus on general content and benefits. They include:
  • Prosperity Journey with Jacki Hart will allow you to understand the benefits of the one-day Building your Prosperity seminar offered at LO home office.
  • Human Resources for the Future makes the SHSM in horticulture and landscape program work for employers, industry parents, students and educators of all levels. Find out how you can benefit from the secondary school industry-related training programs.
  • Landscape Industry Executive Program allows participants to take the LIEP to business excellence. Understand the advantages of this amazing program developed for our industry and achieve better results with recognized processes that you will learn to apply to your own business.
  • On the Job Trainer Primer Session will introduce supervisors and those involved in training to better, quicker, more effective methods to train staff in the industry.


As of Jan. 1, 2012, all employers in Ontario who provide goods and services are required to be compliant with Accessibility Standards for Customer Service issued under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Employers have a legislated obligation to accommodate customers with disabilities. The province has a website http://bit.ly/vdAhk3 explaining the new rules.

There is a new human resource tool for employers, the Labour Market Partnership project, funded by Employment Ontario by the Province of Ontario. One of the products of the project is the Employer HR tool kit. This is available free for industry employers at www.horttrades.com/HRtoolkit.  

The tool kit includes a policy and procedure guide, along with a recruitment and retention tool to help employers manage human resources more effectively.  A sample employee handbook will be available as well.

All documents will be free to industry and can be downloaded in entirety, or in sections based on individual need.
Contact Sally Harvey at sharvey@landscapeontario.com