Beware Of This Gmail Phishing Technique Used By Hackers

Word fence’s Mark Maunder’s Security blog is a timely warning on an effective technique being used by hackers to obtain your information.

Maybe time to change your password?

Check if your email address has been hacked in any major data breach, including LinkedIn’s of May, 2016. See: to check your status.


Here’s How To Check For Your Criminal Record In Canada:

A gavel and a law book - Canada

It’s competitive enough out there for good positions, without finding yourself blindsided by an incident from your younger or not-so-younger years, focusing an employer’s attention in the wrong areas.

It happens. A youthful indiscretion from long ago can sit on your record for decades until it is picked up in a criminal background check by a potential employer. You may have forgotten all about it, and reasonably think what could it matter, it was so long ago.

Yet, we have seen hiring situations delayed and in some cases derailed when these matters come under closer scrutiny. The CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre) retains items for decades if steps aren’t taken to remove them through applying for a pardon.

See this non-profit site for answers relating to obtaining pardons:

With stricter security measures associated with Canada Customs bonded warehouses, among other security concerns, it is well worth the effort to see what’s on your file.

It’s a lot easier to do this beforehand, online for an economical cost and fast turnaround time. You can also apply for a copy of your record at your local police station, although it can take up to one week to get results back.

Many employers have you sign a consent form to permit them to use an established background checking firm for criminal and other records, depending on the scope of the job responsibilities. Offers made are then conditional on successfully passing a criminal background check.

Here’s what you can do to find out where you stand online: has a self serve option as does Triton. Both indicate about a 24 hour turnaround time, and charge a similar fee.

These are two RCMP accredited firms. Accreditation is important as the checks are run by actual police departments.

One advantage Backcheck offers is ID verification both online or at Canada Post.

See their respective sites for details.

Please note that we do not receive any fee for suggesting these firms. There are other companies, but these are two that we have used and they do what they claim to.

Take the few minutes to get your ducks in a row and save yourself the negative surprise factor when it comes to pursuing the job you want.

Keeping Good People – Part 3: Mentors

Standing out from the crowd

Relationships, plus clearly defined goals, and a sense of shared vision and commitment are the bonds that keep a team pulling in the same direction. The best managers are inclusive, and create a stimulating and positive working environment.

Internal mentors are a powerful resource for developing staff, for their personal growth and the company’s future development.

7 Traits Of A Good Mentor:

  • Cares about colleagues having the tools and knowledge to be successful
  • Leads through hands-on examples and real time problem solving
  • Encourages feedback and the input of employee ideas to solve problems
  • Shares experience and knowledge, and builds the competence and confidence of coworkers
  • Follows up on employee progress, offering positive and constructive observations
  • Respects colleagues and is in turn respected throughout the company
  • Values continuous improvement and learning and promotes industry education

The best mentors take an interest in other people and seldom have hidden agendas, giving freely of their time and attention, guiding, counselling, and discussing decisions and scenarios that arise in the course of daily business.

They awaken the desire to grow by challenging the people that they mentor to stretch themselves, and move beyond their comfort zones. They ask the right questions and practice active instead of passive listening. They are able distill complex subjects and communicate with confidence and authority.

They not only impart knowledge, they inspire and lead the mentee towards discovering their inner potential. They see the talent and ability in others and encourage the fullest expression of it.

Mentors follow the career progress of those employees that they were involved with as these people set out on career paths outside the company. They are consulted for feedback and advice.

Mentors are missed when they leave their employer and their shoes are not easily filled.

Employers who give respect and recognition to the mentors in their midst gain their loyalty in return.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Keeping Good People – Part 2 – Provide Challenge And Growth Opportunities

Thinking Outside The Box Concept

Challenge–or the lack of it–is a powerful motivator to stay or to leave. Employees who find their jobs becoming routine tend to lose interest in their work. The desire to learn and grow, to push into uncharted waters, and be excited about one’s work again is a positive force for an employer to harness. When people feel that they have reached the limits of career growth, and there is no more challenge where they are, it is natural to seek change,

and the stimulation of new experiences.

The most successful companies identify the potential of their people, and develop that potential, to achieve corporate goals. Employers often leave good people in static positions because they have shown themselves to be highly effective in those roles. Meanwhile, other talents and skills are untapped, so these people seek to stretch themselves and their abilities, to see what they can handle.

On countless occasions I have good people registering because they feel they’ve reached the end of the road where they are. Much time and expense is invested by their companies, only to see them strike out for those greener pastures. When employees begin to feel that their job is routine, boredom sets in, then they are ripe for making career changes.

Employees who want more challenges:

  • Seek out unusual assignments, volunteering for riskier projects
  • Are self-motivated and high energy individuals
  • Don’t see themselves going backwards, or staying put; they need to be moving forward and growing, to feel successful
  • Want to improve themselves and are rarely satisfied with their performance
  • Establish new benchmarks and raise the bar on their efforts, striving to exceed personal and corporate expectations
  • View problems through a different paradigm, looking for the solution and opportunity for change

Good people want promotion; to aim higher and advance in life. They are noted for their obvious energy, commitment, focus, and devotion. Companies benefit greatly from having them on board. Through their need to aim higher and advance in their careers, these employees contribute significantly to whichever employer they decide to join forces with.

Astute companies provide them with challenge and growth opportunities, channelling their energies to serving their customers, and strengthening their operations.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

Keeping Good People: Part 1 – Recognize An Employee’s Contributions And Success.

Thinking Outside The Box Concept

The competition for experienced, qualified, and well connected people is intense.

How do you improve the odds of keeping good people and why do they leave?

This series of blog posts explores some of the main issues that prompt people to seek greener pastures, and what companies can do to prevent this exodus of talented and experienced people.

Employer time and money is invested in the training and development of staff, the development of managers, and the hiring of qualified people.

One of the major frustrations of any hiring manager is finding that a good employee is leaving. There are ways to stop the departure of good people from your organization. We often see the results of frustration with the status quo, boredom, broken relationships, misplaced trust, and the realization that conditions aren’t going to improve. The areas of concern to the majority of employees fall into one of four main categories:


The lack of recognition from superiors for a job well done is one of the most avoidable reasons to lose a good employee. The desire to contribute and to create value is a basic human motivation at any level of responsibility. To feel that your efforts are recognized and appreciated strengthens the bond of loyalty to the employer.

Regular performance reviews are an inexpensive opportunity to provide that recognition. When people feel as though their contribution is meaningless or being taken for granted, they begin to consider their options. People want to think that their work makes a difference. A simple gesture such as taking staff out for a friendly lunch occasionally, or having coffee together to acknowledge a person’s contribution, can do much to build trust and loyalty.

Employees want the recognition of people they look up to. Stop and acknowledge a job well done with authentic praise and you help validate an employee’s efforts. When people feel they are on the right track, they want to achieve more.

Ultimately, the company’s customers benefit by having engaged and dedicated people solving problems and going that extra mile to ensure their satisfaction. This helps forge bonds of trust between the company and its customers—a win-win situation.

What are some of the ways that you have found work well to provide recognition for quality results?

“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.”― Sir Richard Branson

Build Trust As A New Supervisor.

New partner

When people work with each other, you sometimes get a clash of agendas and different motivations which affect the team’s synergy and output. If not handled with tact and diplomacy, positions and points of view become entrenched and people construct walls and defenses.

An inexperienced supervisor in this situation often overreacts and tries to force change and this can backfire.

Trying to influence someone who doesn’t see your point and refuses to accept your reasoning is like trying to make a stream flow uphill. The stronger their defensive posture is, and resistance to change becomes, the more you exhaust yourself through frustration and resentment when repeated attempts to push change fail.

This has the effect of draining your energy, narrowing your range of tolerance, and prompting emotional reactions to every wrong move that the person makes.

Some points to consider when you are faced with this scenario:

Remove your emotions from the equation and look at the problem strategically by looking beyond surface appearances.

  • Why is this person uncooperative?
  • What is making them resentful or defensive?
  • What are they possibly afraid of?

With a new supervisor, established employees may feel the need to test their boundaries, to see how strong or weak their new leader is. More experienced staff members who have seen supervisors come and go may test, probe or challenge to see if the new supervisor deserves their respect.

Finding common ground

  • Solicit their input as to how things could be done better or more productively within the bounds of established corporate guidelines.
  • Ask for their ideas about how you can help make their job easier and what tools they need.
  • Establish the human connection through asking them about their own plans for career growth and what they see as the next step forward.
  • Bring a specific operational problem to their attention and ask them how they would solve it.

Engaging these employees and showing that you value their experience, input and ideas is one way to gain willing cooperation. People have opinions and frequently have great ideas to contribute. Their former supervisor may have had a more autocratic leadership style, and as a consequence, they learned to avoid the risk of saying what they thought.

A significant part of the learning curve of new supervisors and managers is practicing the skills of active listening, soliciting feedback and seeking first to understand, then to be understood. This builds trust, and with trust more open communication becomes possible.

“I don’t like that man, I must get to know him better.” – Abraham Lincoln