HRdownloads Blog

Foresight Is 20/20: Future-Proofing Your HR Strategy

Posted by HRdownloads on Dec 12, 2019 2:30:00 PM

It doesn’t take 20/20 vision to see that the year 2020 is almost upon us, and HR professionals and business owners alike have a lot to think about. There’s legislation to comply with, health and safety protocols to implement and follow up with, and payroll to process, not to mention urgent day-to-day issues that inevitably arise. While it is essential to take care of the tasks requiring immediate attention, it is equally important for HR professionals and business owners to devote attention to the future of human resources at their organization. Where is the company heading? What is its mission and what does it aim to accomplish? How will the organization get from where it is now to where it wants to be a year, two years, five years from now? These are questions you need to address so that your organization can grow and thrive.

Strategic HR planning is how you tackle these concerns. Strategic planning links HR management directly to the direction of an organization. It’s how you set priorities, focus energy and resources, and get employees and other stakeholders working towards a common goal. It’s using what you know now to predict what you can about the future. Strategic planning incorporates a company’s mission statement, vision, and values.

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Topics: HR Plan

Employees on Their Worst Behaviour: How to Tackle Five Annoying Office Habits

Posted by HRdownloads on Dec 5, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Every workplace includes people from different backgrounds with unique personalities. It’s no surprise that from time to time the behaviour of some employees may irritate their peers. When this happens, it’s not necessarily a problem, but it could be.

Whether it’s rolling their eyes when their boss is speaking or playing music without headphones, there are plenty of things employees can do to annoy their co-workers, and although these seem like minor issues, they can harm productivity if left to fester. When those annoying little things start affecting work, you need to address them, no matter how small.

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Topics: HR Challenges

Watch Your Step! Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Workplace

Posted by HRdownloads on Nov 28, 2019 2:47:00 PM

We have all been there at some point. An awkward stumble, an untimely fall, or embarrassingly tripping in front of co-workers. And while for some of us taking a tumble in the workplace might only lead to embarrassment, for many others it leads to serious injury. Slips, trips, and falls in the workplace are more common than you may think, so common in fact that, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, they are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, with over 42,000 workers hurt annually in Canada. Falling from heights might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about falls in the workplace, but in reality, the statistics indicate that workers are more likely to experience an injury from a fall at ground level than from a fall at heights.

The cost of slips, trips, and falls in the workplace is substantial to employers and employees. Injuries resulting from slips, trips, and falls contribute to nearly 20 percent of time-loss injury claims for employers. Workers’ compensation claims cost an employer an average of $11,000 per incident; however, the estimated actual cost can come close to $60,000 when you consider any productivity and business loss, and the cost of replacing an injured worker.

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Topics: Health and Safety

The $64,000 Question: Is Pay Transparency Worth It?

Posted by HRdownloads on Nov 21, 2019 2:30:00 PM

How much do you make? For many working Canadians, it’s hard to imagine a more uncomfortable question, and employers likewise tend to feel discomfort when employees raise questions about compensation. Still, concerns about fair and equal pay are everywhere. Money never seems to go as far anymore, and that $64,000 game show jackpot that would have felt so lucrative in the ’50s sounds far less impressive today.

The gender pay gap remains stubbornly large, as do disparities for persons with disabilities, and racialized and LGBTQ persons. So too have concerns grown about pay ratios between executives and the average worker, along with vocal debate about minimum wage rates. Across the country, people worry about earning enough money to take care of their basic needs, and still finding savings for emergencies and long-term goals like retirement.

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Topics: Compensation, HR Challenges

Terms and Conditions Apply: Understanding Averaging Agreements

Posted by HRdownloads on Nov 14, 2019 2:45:00 PM

Working nine to five, five days a week, is not a schedule that all industries can adopt, because many jobs experience high and low periods that cannot be supported by a steady schedule. This is the case for many of the nearly 25% of the North American workforce whose jobs require shiftwork (according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety), as well as many seasonal workers in various industries.

Managing these types of schedules can be complicated, which is why averaging agreements exist to help better manage the pay that results from irregular hours of work. A common misconception about averaging agreements is that they are like flexible work schedules or even flex time, which is not the case.

Averaging agreements are legislatively governed agreements that an employer may enter into with an employee or a group of employees that average hours over two or more weeks rather than the standard single week for the purpose of determining overtime pay. The averaging agreement comes in response to irregular hours of work, but does not establish those hours. The primary benefit employers stand to gain from using averaging agreements is limiting the amount of overtime that is paid out.

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Topics: Compensation, HR Challenges

Take Care of Skeletons in the Closet with Workplace Inspections

Posted by HRdownloads on Nov 7, 2019 2:30:00 PM

With the chaos of the summer months behind us, it’s time to get back into the usual rhythm of work and take a fresh look at your workplace inspections program. Inspections are vital to preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace and should be used as an opportunity to make the workplace better, not just an item to check off on a list of requirements.

Health and safety inspections are governed by minimum standards defined in occupational health and safety legislation that employers must meet to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. These standards vary by jurisdiction but following best practices and going beyond the minimum requirements proves employers have done their due diligence while creating a culture of safety.

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Topics: Health and Safety

Money (That’s What They Want): Evaluating Your Pay System

Posted by HRdownloads on Oct 31, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Getting compensation right is important for every business. Employers know this and work hard to provide fair compensation to their employees, but a compensation strategy should encompass more than just the amounts you pay. There are other practical concerns that can interest employees and should be considered in addition to the raw figures.

When was the last time you looked at how you pay your employees—instead of just how much? What about how often you pay your employees? What about when? Many employers figure out their payroll system once and then only address it again if they have to, whether because of some catastrophic failure or somebody new coming in and asking important questions. Yet there’s no reason why employers should wait; the best time to examine payroll is before a problem arises.

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Topics: Compensation

Working Nine-ish to Five-ish: Helping Employees Make the Most of Flexible Work Arrangements

Posted by HRdownloads on Oct 24, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Employers today are likelier than ever to offer flex-work, or flexible working arrangements, like variable schedules, telecommuting, or core hours. In a recent survey by the Conference Board of Canada, more than 85% of employers said they offer some form of flex-work to their employees.

Despite this generosity, uptake from employees often falls short—the same survey found that less than 40% of employees actually use the flex-work options their employer offers. And yet flexible working arrangements are a consistent draw for candidates, with a flexible schedule consistently ranking high in desirable features for a job—often just behind competitive pay and good culture. So if lots of employers offer it, and lots of employees want it, why don’t more employees actually use flex-work?

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Topics: Workplace Culture, Employee Management

Don’t Bring Me Down! Responding to Bad Online Reviews

Posted by HRdownloads on Oct 17, 2019 2:30:00 PM

In today’s digital age, information is shared globally with ease, for good or bad. Employers may feel particularly vulnerable to online reviews from current or former employees. Having a bad online review can embarrass a company or tarnish their reputation. Worst of all, a bad review can hurt employee morale, recruitment efforts, investor relations, and public perception.

Learning how to respond to these negative reviews is an important skill to learn so you can recover, restore, and improve your organization’s reputation as an employer of choice. Responding to an online review may provide closure to the person who wrote it. Even if they don’t see the response, writing it is not a waste of time! Others will read the response, including current employees, potential candidates, customers, business affiliates, and investors.

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Topics: HR Challenges

Effective Performance Improvement Plan Guide

Posted by HRdownloads on Oct 10, 2019 2:30:00 PM

The very mention of the words “performance improvement plan” in many workplaces can cause the theme from Jaws to play in employees’ heads. That’s because performance improvement plans (PIPs for short) have been cast in a primarily negative light due their frequent use strictly as a way to document poor performance before terminating an employee, rather than as a coaching tool to help improve employee performance and maintain the employment relationship. However, when used correctly, a PIP can be an effective way to help an employee who is underperforming in the workplace, and PIPs shouldn’t just be used as the first step in a termination process.

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Topics: Performance Management, HR Challenges

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