Category Archives: Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Avoiding Issues with Seasonal Employment: Layoffs Versus Termination

By Chelsea Gibson, BA, LLB and Kevin Thompson, B.Sc.

There is less of a distinction than one might think between a layoff (typically seen as more temporary) and a termination (typically perceived as a permanent break from an employer). Although generally an employee is on temporary layoff when an employer cuts back or stops the employee’s work without ending his/her employment (e.g. when there is not enough work to do), an employer may put an employee on a temporary layoff without specifying a date when the employee will be recalled to work. The confusion over terminology likely arose, in part, from employers (and their lawyers) using the term ‘layoff’ too casually when they were actually permanently terminating the employment. Today, the term ‘temporary layoff’ is used to make the distinction more clear.

Read the full article: Avoiding Issues with Seasonal Employment

Avoiding Issues with Seasonal Employment

By Chelsea Gibson, BA, LLB and Kevin Thompson, B.Sc.

It has been a long, cold winter, but spring is finally in the air. That also means it is the time when many companies start hiring or re-hiring their seasonal workers. Seasonal employment for anyone working outdoors in the turf industry is a reality in a country where winter seems to last six months. Understanding the basics of employment law at the outset of an employment contract can help avoid problems when the snow starts to fall.

Read the full article: Avoiding Issues with Seasonal Employment

How To Get On The First Page Of Google

Google search results page comprises three or four main sections: Paid advertisers (yellow box); Map/local listings (green box); Organic/unpaid listings (purple box); and additional paid advertisements (orange box). Image courtesy WSI Milton

By Denise Gervais

In an industry as competitive as landscaping or lawn care, being visible on the first page of a Google search can make the difference between having enough customers to work year-round or only being busy when competitors are booked solid through the spring and summer months.

Before getting into the process of how companies can increase the likelihood of their websites appearing on the first page of a Google search, it is important to understand the makeup of search results.

For instance, a Google search results page comprises three or four main sections (see Figure 1):
1. Paid advertisers (approximately one to three) appear at the top of the page (yellow box).
2. Map/local listings (not always, but often for a location-based store or service like lawn care or landscaping (green box).
3. Organic/unpaid listings (the largest block) located in the middle and bottom of the page (purple box).
4. Additional paid advertisements (right-hand column of the page) (orange box).

Therefore, it is possible for one company to appear on the first page of Google in each of these different positions. However, of the four spots, the organic listing position is the most difficult to secure as they are determined by Google. There is no way to guarantee a spot on the first page of organic search results.

Read the full article: How To Get On The First Page Of Google

Improving Expectations Of Snow And Ice Management Services: Preventing Problems

MSU must ensure snow is cleared in time for morning classes during the winter for 49,000 students and 11,000 faculty and staff. Photo courtesy Phil Hardwood

By Phil Harwood, MBA

The snow business can be very unforgiving. Mistakes may result in slip-and-fall accidents, property damage, or damaged reputations. Getting a handle on capacity, cycle time, and client expectations will go a long way to prevent problems and the associated blame game. At the end of the day, and at the end of the season, everyone wants to be rated as excellent by both the customers and accountants.

Read the full article: Improving Expectations Of Snow And Ice Management

Improving Expectations Of Snow And Ice Management Services: Reducing Risk

By Phil Harwood, MBA

One of the ways to reduce risk is to have some extra capacity. How much extra capacity is enough? What is optimal? Some extra capacity is desirable, but not too much.

The Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) Cleveland Indians provide a good example of too much unused capacity. With only 45.6 per cent of the capacity of Progressive Field used in 2012, the Indians have the lowest attendance in MLB based on capacity use. (There were, however, two teams actually over 100 per cent capacity use for the entire 2012 season: the Philadelphia Phillies at 100.8 per cent and the Boston Red Sox at 101.4 per cent.)

Read the full article: Improving Expectations Of Snow And Ice Management