HRdownloads Blog

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

Back to Basics: An Introduction to HR for Business Owners

Posted by HRdownloads on Oct 3, 2019, 2:30:00 PM

Owning a business has a lot of perks, but those perks are accompanied by many responsibilities. For most business owners, growing your business and making a profit are top priorities, but to get there, you’ll probably need help from others.

Besides handling the typical tasks of recruiting, managing day-to-day issues, and dealing with terminations, business owners also need to be concerned about areas like diversity in employment, legislative compliance, assessing performance, and providing employees with appropriate compensation. But who is responsible for those tasks?

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Topics: Small Business, HR Challenges

Statutes and Legislation: Understanding How Laws Are Made

Posted by HRdownloads on Sep 26, 2019, 2:30:00 PM

Much like the beloved childhood game snakes and ladders, the legislative process can be a difficult uphill climb that leaves you uncertain of where you stand. A lot of work goes into creating and passing acts, and both the process and the language describing it can be complicated and confusing.

As an employer, compliance with the laws that apply to your organization should be a top priority. Understanding how legislation works will help you keep informed of your responsibilities and avoid making mistakes that could get your business in trouble. As an employer, you have lots to do and limited time to do it.

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Topics: Legislative Changes

We Are Living in a Digital World: Do Your Employees Have the Right Digital Skills?

Posted by HRdownloads on Sep 19, 2019, 2:30:00 PM

We are in the midst of a digital revolution, and it’s no longer possible to experience the world without technology. We have gone digital with how we communicate and socialize, how we shop and pay bills, and naturally how we work, too.

Organizations face the challenges of these dramatic shifts when it comes to keeping their workforce up to speed. It can seem like everyone is well-adapted to tech in the workplace, but there is still a major experience gap when it comes to the amount of technological experience, knowledge, and understanding that employees have—their level of digital literacy.

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Topics: Technology

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