Mohawk College

September 2016
Message from the President & CEO
Organizations have been debating the "why's" and the "how-to's" of empowering their employees for decades. Way back in 1988, William Byham and Jeff Cox wrote a book called Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment: How to Improve Productivity, Quality, and Employee Satisfaction. Their work brought the concept of empowerment to mainstream management circles in North America and set off the debate.
Over time, various levels of empowerment have been used in organizations to bring out the best employees have to offer. However, many managers have difficulty letting go of the reigns. They often feel no one can do the task as well as they can. They feel they must monitor every step of the work process to ensure that nothing goes wrong. In this context, many companies still run as top-down organizations. The majority of decisions come from the higher ups; executives and managers. This leaves little room for input from what I call the frontline - the eyes and ears of every organization.
Empowerment The best practice to encourage employee creativity and innovation at work is to empower them. This means that the frontline staff has the authority to make decisions that impact their work and are able to carry out their jobs without checking in with a manager at every step.
The basis for true empowerment is trust. As a manager, you must ask yourself the question: "Do you trust them and do they trust you?" If the answer is "Yes" to both parts, you are in a position to empower your staff.
Building trust with your team, as we talked about last month, is the same as building trust in any relationship. If you are consistent in your approach and response, treat mistakes or poor results as learning opportunities and not punishable offenses, and if your team members believe that you are always acting in their best interests, they will trust you and will offer their best ideas and innovations.
Mutual accountability is the key to building trusting relationships with those who work for you. Give and solicit feedback often for continuous improvement, hold them accountable for solving their own problems (offering the support they need) and ask them to hold you accountable for your responsibilities.
The question today should not be "Should we empower employees?" but instead, "How can we ensure that all employees feel empowered to offer their best, every day, to realize the organization's vision?"
This is the key to success. 


Audie McCarthy
President & CEO, Mohawk College Enterprise
P.S. Keep reading for tips on Empowering Employees 
MCE  Announcements  and  Events

Chamber Networks Tradeshow
MCE's Kris Michailow will be attending the Chamber Networks Tradeshow on October 18, 2016. Stop by and visit Kris at booth #58. See below for more details.
Chamber Tradeshow

MCE Open House 2016
MCE will be hosting an Open House on October 4, 2016 in partnership with the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce, the City of Hamilton's Global Hamilton Initiative and Global Hamilton Connect. To register, please follow the link below

OMHRA Fall Conference 2016
We hope to see our municipal partners at OMHRA! Please stop by and see Dianne Jones at the MCE booth and enter into a draw to win a gift certificate that will help you continue your leadership journey! We also hope that you will attend the Evolution from Administration to Business Partner Session on Thursday morning where Anouschka Van den Bosch, one of our Future Ready Leadership graduates, is participating as a panelist. Congratulations Anouschka!

Doug Daniels on Working with MCE
Check out this video of one of our trainers, Doug Daniels, speaking about working with MCE!


"The time is now to ensure the City of Hamilton is taking proactive steps to develop our future leaders. The Future Ready Leadership program provided effective leadership development for the Planning & Economic Development Department. MCE worked with us to create a truly unique program which allowed the integration of Soft Skills Leadership development and Project Management training and consulting which culminated in participants working and closing out real City projects. This unique program combined two major developmental needs and blended them to achieve maximum success for both participants and their management teams. The facilitators were second to none and the team at MCE always went above and beyond to make this program the best fit for us."

- Marty Hazel, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives, Planning and Economic Development, City of Hamilton

Upcoming Courses and Programs

Excel 2016:

5 Sessions Totaling 11 Hours of Interactive Online Training

If you are looking to start a career in business or finance, having a working knowledge of Microsoft's Excel 2016 is a must. Our new and exciting course taught by LearnKey Senior Instructor Jason Manibog will teach you how to reveal insights hidden in your data with the help of new features such as the "Tell Me" feature, chart options, and more!

  • Gain the skills and confidence required to successfully obtain your Microsoft Office Excel 2016 certification
  • Test prep questions that meet all Excel 2016 exam objectives
  • View your online courseware anytime, anywhere
To register, contact Lorraine MacDonald at 905 575 2534 or

Date & Location 
For more information contact:

Students who successfully complete this program will receive three point five (3.5) Ministry of the Environment, Director-Approved, Continuing Education Units.
Prepare to write the American Water Works Association (OWWA) "Cross Connection Control Specialist" certification exam (administered at the end of the course).
October 31 - November 4 

Location: Mohawk College, Stoney Creek Campus

Lorraine MacDonald
905 575 2534

A 2 day course to recertify you as a "Backflow/Cross Connection Control Tester".
November 10 & 11, 2016

Location: Mohawk College, Stoney Creek Campus

Lorraine MacDonald
905 575 2534
MMP program provides training and accreditation
to those aspiring to, or already in, maintenance management or supervisory positions. Certified
MMPs are qualified to provide cost effective management of a business's physical assets.
MMP03: September 24 & October 1, 15, 22, 2016
MMP02: October 29 & November 5, 12, 19, 2016
MMP07: November 26 & December 3, 10, 17, 2016

Location: Mohawk College, Stoney Creek Campus
Lorraine MacDonald
905 575 2534

This program helps prepare new or existing leaders in the private and public sectors for the future. We focus on essential leadership skills that will help advance participants in their career, as well as move your organization forward. 

One day a month for 8 months
Starting October 13, 2016

Location: Mohawk College, Stoney Creek Campus
Lorraine MacDonald
905 575 2534

This program takes your FRL Level 1 graduates to the next level of leadership  learning.  
Offered by cohort only, not open seat.
Ask us for a detailed course outline.
Like Future Ready Leadership Level 1, this program is fully customizable. 

Lorraine MacDonald
905 575 2534
Keep up with industry demands in an ever changing and competitive market by providing your employees with this high- impact, customized welding program. 

Quickstart Welding Program
Quickstart Welding Program

Lorraine MacDonald
905 575 2534

Tips on Empowering Employees

Failure Teaches Success  

Before empowering employees, consider their skill, knowledge, ability and attitude. Then, together, decide on the level of empowerment that is appropriate. 

  1. Conduct open and honest performance reviews. Discuss empowerment. What job functions can they run with, without your involvement, and what decisions do you feel you need to continue to be a part of? 
  2. Embrace failure. Most employees tend to be risk adverse - mostly from fear of punishment! They don't want to make a mistake so they don't try anything outside of the norm. Neither your employee nor your organization will grow if you don't let them make mistakes.
  3. Show appreciation for their suggestions. Encourage discussion around what the organization can do differently.  
  4. Create a culture of "It's My Business". If employees feel ownership for the company they work for they will do what they can to ensure its success.
  5. Get out of the way!
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