First impressions count, especially for workplaces. A new hire will determine within their first few months of starting a new job whether they will stay with that employer for the long term. Starting an employment relationship off on the right foot is critical if you want to retain talent, and it starts with ensuring that day one leaves a positive impression. A survey by Glassdoor found that employees who had a highly effective onboarding experience were 18 times more likely to feel committed to their organization. Effective orientation is necessary to set up employees for success in their new role, welcome them to the team, and ease their first-day jitters.
Having clear processes in place for human resources is essential for organizations to operate efficiently. Formal processes should be in place that outline how the company will handle human resources functions and how to go about them. Building these processes lets the employer create human resources goals that align with company goals. It also does the important work of establishing a standard for acceptable practice and creating consistency for routine tasks.
A major part of human resources is documenting and keeping records of all things related to employees. Anything that happens with health and safety, compensation and benefits, recruitment, training and development, employee relations, strategy, and so on must be tracked. There is legislation that applies to many of these areas. The legislation dictates how and what needs to be recorded for employers to remain compliant. Having a history of this information readily available is necessary for organizations to not only follow the law but also make better informed decisions. Documentation is necessary to support HR functions, and having accurate records will prove to be a reliable source of knowledge.
Topics: HR Plan
Health and safety are essential in all workplaces, and everyone from the owner of the company to middle management to frontline employees plays an important role. Since the topic of workplace health and safety is broad, there are many different aspects to focus on, and implementing it can get confusing. So what exactly do we mean by health and safety? What do they entail from a human resources or management perspective?
Topics: Health and Safety
The holiday season brings with it many feelings: joy for some, stress for others, and a little of both for most. People bustle around preparing for gatherings, and many businesses prepare for an influx of demands and deadlines. An increase in requirements and rush on projects can have some negative effects on employee well-being. Being too busy can lead to fatigue, sleep problems, and other physical detriments that hurt productivity and increase the risk of injuries at work.
Topics: HR Challenges
How much money can you afford to throw away? Most business owners would emphatically answer, “Zero!” Yet Canadian businesses lose about 2.4% of payroll—$16.6 billion in 2011, according to Statistics Canada—to sick days, not including indirect costs like finding replacement workers or delays to projects. It might seem surprising, then, that the best way to reduce the cost related to illness is to encourage employees to take sick days.
Research published in the American Journal for Public Health shows that providing even just one or two paid sick days to employees reduces the spread of infections in workplaces by 25 to 39%. Intuitively, this makes sense; if an employee stays home, they don’t share their germs, which means they reduce the number of sick days their colleagues have to take. One employee taking two sick days is far less costly than five or six employees taking one each. And the risk is real. Contagions spread rapidly in workplaces: being cooped up with a sick person for a long time, with everyone using the same equipment, the same recirculated air—not to mention that some people don’t cover their coughs and sneezes—it’s small wonder people talk about colds making the rounds at work, as if being sick were just another job duty being re-assigned every week. When a sick worker spreads their sickness, they multiply the harm they do in the workplace. So if a sick worker stays home, they actually reduce the number of sick days their colleagues have to take—a net benefit to employers.
Employees come and go, but are you prepared for when they come back? In the movie Back to the Future, Marty McFly goes on an adventure through time, returning to a profoundly changed present. Employees who return from a prolonged leave of absence can feel like they, too, have travelled through time, uncertain of exactly where they are, what’s different, or what they should do next.
It’s easy to presume that when employees return to the workplace they will pick up right where they left off. But if an employee has been gone a long time, getting back into the daily flow of their job could be difficult. Your company might have grown, workspaces been rearranged, colleagues left and been replaced by new faces, and processes been altered. Even slow, small changes you don’t notice from day to day can be overwhelming for an employee who encounters them all at once after an absence.
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.
Topics: HR Plan
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.
Topics: HR Challenges
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.
Topics: Health and Safety
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.