By Mary Christidis, Customer Service Operations Manager

 A heartfelt thank you to the entire OSR team for always reflecting the true spirit of Customer Service through teamwork, dedication and resilience.

Success is a Reflection of Our Attitude

By Garinder Grewal, Operations Manager- TPIA Security

Start Each Day with Exercise

  • One of the most important things that you can do for your brain and your overall well-being is to start every day with exercise. Simply getting the blood flowing for 20 minutes will sufficiently spark your mind and help you develop stronger focus throughout the day.

Eliminate Pointless Distractions

  • Too much stuff within arms’ reach or on your desk can prove to be really distracting. To stay focused at work, only have the things you need neatly organized on your desk — put the rest away properly. Put your phone on silent mode and keep it out of sight at work.

Get Enough Sleep

  • Nothing will ruin your focus more than consistent sleep deprivation. To be in top form during your working hours, get at least seven hours of sleep every night, but be careful to not overdo it. If you sleep too much, you may start to have trouble falling asleep at night, which can disrupt your healthy sleep cycle. The best way to get enough sleep on a regular basis is to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Once you do this for a while and your body gets into the routine, it will be easy for you to fall asleep and wake up naturally without using an alarm clock because your mind will be used to the regimen.

Stay Hydrated

  • Your concentration tends to dwindle when you’re dehydrated. Increase your daily water intake to stay alert and healthy. Your brain depends on sufficient hydration to function at its best. Your brain cells need to have a delicate balance of water and other elements to work well, and when you don’t have enough water, the balance becomes disrupted and your brain cells lose the ability to work efficiently. Start your day with a big glass of water and continue to drink while you’re working at your post.
focus

Be More Positive in the Workplace

If you make your work more positive, you will be able to give more focus on your tasks. Before you start a task, think about why you are doing it. This will encourage you to think about the output that you want from your work, and it will add value to whatever you’re doing. Find positive ways for your tasks to become fun, such as incorporating some imagination or creativity into the process. If you keep yourself open to fun ideas, you will be bringing a new, positive vibe to your workplace. Games are inherently fun and engaging. Stay on your toes by making work a game.


By Angus Wilson, Director of Aviation Services

What a year we have had already! I would like to start by thanking every employee for their hard work and dedication as we traverse our way through these uncertain times.

I am not going to talk about COVID-19 and the impact it has on the operation, as we all know the effect it has caused and how we are working through each changing day. What I am going to highlight is some of the excellent work that has happened over the last three months.

Collective Bargaining Agreement

Firstly, we would like to welcome UFCW 401 as the union representation to our employees. As you are aware, the Collective Bargaining Agreement has been signed and is in effect.

Collective Bargaining Agreement

What does this mean? A collective agreement is a written agreement between a trade union and an employer. It is a contract setting out the terms and conditions of employment for each employee covered by the agreement. It is binding on all employees covered. The parties can put into a collective agreement any language that they agree on, specifying the terms and conditions of employment.

For example, that language otherwise known as provisions, may deal with wages, vacations, hours of work, seniority and promotions, layoffs and recall or benefit plans. A necessary provision contained in most collective agreements relates to the employee’s relationship to the union. All collective agreements need a grievance and arbitration provision that allows disputes about the meaning and operation of the agreement to be settled without a work stoppage. A union is not required to arbitrate all grievances; many are resolved through discussion. However, a union has a duty to represent employees fairly in matters arising out of the collective agreement.

STOP Program

We held a Townhall introducing an employee reward and recognition program called the STOP program. The Security Threat Observation Program (STOP) is comprised of training and an incentive program to recognize the individuals who identify the most security threats during a monthly period.

STOP Program

We encourage you to continue to work on the program and, by doing so, enhance the service delivery we are offering to the Calgary Airport Authority.

We have held a workshop with the following attendees: Angus Wilson, Elizabeth Warwick, Daniel McCormack, Ron Greenberg, Dan Watkins, Shannon Jacobson, Ronnie Dias, Shaun Devaux and Laraib Khan. We discussed the potential of improving security procedures and improving our service delivery through access points.

Several excellent suggestions were brought forward, which we are currently working on to not only improve the service delivery to our client, but to provide more significant support and assistance to our employees at these locations.

Shift Bid

Finally, we held a shift bid to realign all the shifts as per the request of many security guards and to be compliant with the CBA. This went without any hiccups – thank you to you and the team for working through this process. In addition to this, we have also realigned the shift supervisors back into teams. By doing this, it will create a better structure for the operation and create a better team spirit.

In closing, we have had a very active first quarter of the year. If anything is evident, it shows how well we as a team, adapt to the ever-changing environment that is working at an airport. I would like to reiterate my appreciation to the whole A.S.P. team for their incredible efforts and support in making this operation the best it can be.


By Elizabeth Warwick, Operations Manager

The first few months of 2020 have brought some exciting changes to the type of technology used by the Calgary team. These new systems and devices make our lives easier and our work more efficient and effective.

InTime App

InTime App

The IVR system used by employees to punch in and out has been discontinued and replaced with the InTime app. We have also installed tablets around the terminal and at NPS-V North and NPS-V South to allow employees who do not have access to the app to punch in and out. So far, we have already seen an improvement in the experience employees have punching in and out on time.

Sonim

The Sonim devices used by our Terminal Patrollers, Airside Patrollers and Supervisors to track their patrols and daily activities received an upgrade to the new XP8 model. The improved version is more reliable, durable, has a larger screen and can recharge faster than the former devices.

Standardized Incident Reports

Standardized Incident Reports

Another great addition to the technology used at YYC is the tool created by SOC Operator Durand Short. Each day, our SOC operators take many calls and are responsible for tracking incidents and events in the Calgary Airport Incident Reporting System (CAIRS).

Durand realized that many of the CAIRS reports they completed each day were very similar, with only the times and names of the individuals involved changing. As a result, he created an Excel spreadsheet that can automatically create a CAIRS report with the click of a few buttons. This saves valuable time for our SOC operators and ensures that all reports are accurate, consistent, and professional. Thank you, Durand!

Tracking Training and Credentials

We are also in the process of implementing a new way of tracking training and credentials in SharePoint, which will make it easier for us to ensure that all employees receive notification well in advance of their license and training expiration dates.

Although we have had small challenges to overcome with transitioning to the new technology used in Calgary, the team has adapted well to the changes and has become better as a result. We will continue to look for new ways that we can support the team with better technology in the days to come and are always open to suggestions. If you have a suggestion, please reach out to your supervisor or manager.


By Noah Thompson, Senior Manager, Projects and Information Systems

Although it’s unclear where the origin of the rich history that is Canine Partner Trading Cards began, it is rumoured that it started in 1959 with the Launch of Sputnik 2.

When the famous Satellite launched it had a furry friend onboard dubbed “The Sputnik Dog” with the intent of testing the effects on a living organism in space. A cigarette company issued the famous Sputnik Dog trading card shortly after the launch. The trend “took off” and since then Trading Cards with our four-legged partners have been produced by Military, Police Forces, Security Teams and Therapy Dogs Companies around the world.

A.S.P. carried on this tradition with the first edition cards in 2015 with a Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card inspired design featuring the signature A.S.P. red and white. A true Canadian take on the long-lived tradition.

A.S.P. is proud to announce that our cards are getting an overhaul. We have recently completed a photo shoot with our K9 Team and will be going to print with the new designs soon.

Ask your local A.S.P. K9 Handler for their canine partners trading card in mid-summer 2020!!

Canine Trading Cards Get an Overhaul

From Jim Catney, Vice President, Aviation and Transportation

Some of you may know that I made the decision to retire earlier this year, prior to the change in the world that we are currently experiencing.  And some may think that it’s an even easier decision to retire now as we deal with the complexities of our changing environment day to day.  I have to honestly say that this is not the case.

For the last 2 months, I have been leading the A.S.P. Incident Command team and I have witnessed how a crisis can really bring people together.  I have been so impressed with the A.S.P. team, from the front-line OSRs and security personnel, to our staff behind the scenes in departments like Human Resources, Resource Planning and Finance.  There have been some extremely difficult decisions made and we know that they are impacting people’s lives, and yet at every corner I see examples of resilience, grace and loyalty amongst our team of employees.  

When I started with A.S.P. 9 years ago as an Operations Manager, I can remember being apprehensive; I was used to working in larger organizations and I wasn’t sure if A.S.P. was going to be interesting or challenging enough.  I could never have imagined then how life-changing this opportunity would be.  Besides being a part of making this company a national presence and bringing in new types of jobs and contracts (and dogs!), I have met people who have changed the way I think and lead and made life-long friends.  

Farewell and Thank You

It was and continues to be a difficult choice for me to leave this company that I am so proud to be a part of.  Nevertheless, I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends, seeing more of the world and exploring new hobbies.  I can do this with confidence because I know I am leaving A.S.P. with a dedicated group who care as much about the business, as I always will.

It has been my pleasure to work with all of you.  Thank you.  I hope to have the opportunity to see many of you before I take my final leave in July. Stay safe and be well.


By David Ramlagan, Training Coordinator, Aviation Security

E-Learning is Coming!

Although e-learning has existed for several years as an alternative to classroom learning, it is quickly becoming the new normal. For A.S.P., it is uncertain when classroom training will resume while social distancing considerations remain in place.

For large classes, it is likely that recertification programs will take place in a virtual classroom.  Many will welcome this change, due to the convenience of a more comfortable learning environment of your choice.  However, there is a misconception that online courses are an easier way to learn rather than a more convenient one.

You must dedicate your attendance, time, and concentration just as you would for a regular in-class course.  Security professionals are highly self-disciplined, and must be able to carry that quality into any environment they choose to learn in.

For those that are not tech-savvy, we can assist with connecting to an e-learning session or provide alternative learning methods. When learning in a virtual classroom, it is important that you have reliable internet access.  Connection issues during a live session means missing out on important content that you may be tested on.  It is also important to have a dedicated study space that is quiet and distraction-free.  Your attention to the instructor should be given just as much as it would be in the classroom.

We will keep you informed of updates regarding the development of our e-learning plan.  Keep safe and we’ll see you online!


By Noman Butt, Client Support Manager

The GTAA will be starting a construction project on May 4th to replace concrete slabs on Taxiway H. Originally, the project was supposed to start on April 20th, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This project requires 4 D AVOPs, 2 DA AVOPs and one Airside Access Control guard.

A.S.P. will be providing the Access Control guard for this particular project.  As the project unfolds, more guards might be required.  This project is a 24/7 operation; however, the majority of the work will be completed overnight. A vehicle will be provided to the guard if there is no booth available at the construction sites.

The guard will be responsible to provide access to the GTAA’s subcontractors according to post orders. GTAA is looking into prioritizing this project, which will subsequently lead to more Taxiway/Runway work this summer.  The work has been planned in three phases and could last until September.  In order to make this project successful, we would require the help of our Airside Access Control guards and our supervisors.


By Alyssa Rizzo, RES/CIC Recruiter

A first impression can affect the course of any relationship. As a member of our HR recruiting team, we understand the importance of every first impression during the candidate interview process. After-all, it is not just the interviewee that bears the weight of making a good first impression, but rather the interviewer as well.

While hiring is our primary job function, being an ambassador for the company is an important element of our day. First impressions eventually become lasting impressions, and we want each candidate to get a sample of what life at A.S.P is like. We believe that these positive interactions will help improve our reputation and attract more talented and skilled candidates to join our team.

first impression
hiring tips

We’ve compiled a few tips that we use to help create a fantastic first impression:

  1. Expert customer service skills: It’s the underlying skill to any conversation.
  2. Tell a great story about our culture: We love mentioning our employee success stories to new candidates, and explain to them that everyone has an opportunity for growth at A.S.P.
  3. Be open and honest: By starting with transparency and honesty, this helps to build trust and foster a positive relationship.

Each and every day, we interview dozens of candidates collectively to fill our open positions. Using a variety of skills, stories, and underlying ethics, we try to create these positive interactions because we’re focused on our brand and how we’re perceived by the public. If we make a good first impression with everyone, this can help the company to grow and attract top talent.


By Josh Holowatenko, RES/CIC Recruiter

The world right now is almost unrecognisable from what it was nearly two months ago. Instead of crowded streets and traffic-filled commutes to work, we have empty highways and online meetings. Instead of sameness and routine, we have change and uncertainty. It is like we are in a constant state of culture shock.

Society is so focused on physical health, symptoms, staying safe and healthy. Although it has been mentioned a bit, I feel there needs to be a priority on mental health. As a team, we need to check in on one another. Everyone is handling this unprecedented time differently and although we may not all be showing it, this is taking a toll on each and every one of us.

From the outside looking in, a girl very close to me is very successful. She is the lead of a team at her company, making a difference in the lives of children with autism. She has just been accepted into a Master’s program at Western university, and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this girl is determined, driven, and passionate about what she does.

Mental health awareness

However, what was unclear from the rest of the world, was the anxiety, inner demons, and fear of failure, that drove her success. When her world of routine and sameness changed so fast; it was easy for her to fall into a world she no longer recognised, a world of fear and anxiety. In this world, things got so bad that she could no longer separate thought from fact. Her body was trying to justify the physiological feelings of anxiety by convincing her that things were real, when in fact they weren’t. She couldn’t trust her own thoughts; she was scared to talk to anyone in case those conversations triggered another attack. All she wanted to do was sleep and escape reality because that’s where her own thoughts couldn’t haunt her there.

Now this is one of the strongest girls I know, so she wasn’t going to let this beat her, as hard as it was. She talked to me, she talked to her family, and most importantly, she talked to her doctor and got the help she needed. Days aren’t always perfect for her; she’s tired all of the time and needs to force herself to trust her thoughts again, but she’s got the relief that she needs, and the relief that so many other people may be desperately needing as well.

Team

Now more than ever, it is so important for us to check in on each other. Even the strongest and most successful people can be secretly struggling.

We are a team and we owe it to each other to check in, reach out, say hi, give a smile, ask how our teammates are doing, and mean it. We owe it to each other to make sure we are doing the best we possibly can. Together.