When we talk about an employee’s “fitness” for an organization, we’re not talking about how fast they can run or how much they can bench-press; however, failing to be a “good fit” at work can sometimes make an employee feel like the last kid picked in gym class. Instead of pull-ups, cultural fitness measures the alignment of personality and values between the employee and their organization. Research has found that when values and personalities are aligned between the worker and their employer, productivity soars and employee engagement and retention increase.
Topics: HR Management
“Recognition is the greatest motivator.” —Gerald C. Eakerdale
Most employers understand the importance of employee recognition programs. Increased engagement, productivity, and overall satisfaction in the workplace are just a few of the benefits of embracing employee recognition. Studies have shown that 69% of employees would work harder if they were better appreciated. So why doesn’t every employee recognition program dramatically increase morale? Why hasn’t productivity increased after you’ve handed out awards to your employees?
Monday, May 7, 2018 marked the kick-off of Mental Health Week in Canada, and the numbers tell a clear story: one in five Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. This costs the economy over $50 million per year in health claims, and employers more than $6 billion in lost productivity due to absenteeism, presenteeism, and turnover related to mental health illnesses. And yet nearly four out of ten workers revealed that they would not tell their manager if they had a mental health problem. The overwhelming reason for this was that they were afraid that disclosing this information would have a negative effect on their careers.
Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay, it will be double
So come on and let me know
—The Clash, “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
Although they’re singing about the pain of an on-again, off-again romance, the Clash reveals how ending any relationship—including the employment relationship—is never easy. Of course, not ending that problematic relationship can bring double the trouble, as Mick Jones sings. But how do you know when it’s time to cut ties with an employee who is just getting by?
When it comes to employees who ‘clash’ with the company, the worst offenders are easy to identify and discipline. Termination may be an obvious consequence for an employee who physically strikes another employee, or one who commits a major theft from the company. Other problem employees may be much harder to pick out.
The introduction of Ontario’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (formerly Bill 148) has left many employers trying to understand and apply the legislatively required changes to their workplaces. One change causing considerable confusion is the revised vacation provision for long-tenured employees under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the ESA). Formerly, all employees were entitled to a minimum of two weeks’ vacation (with some caveats and conditions) and four percent vacation pay; effective January 1, 2018, the ESA requires that employees with five years or more service with a company receive three weeks of vacation and six percent vacation pay. Many employers are full of questions, though: When exactly can employees begin taking that extra week? When do they earn it? How does the third week change vacation pay?
As Canadians, we’ve come a long way from the days when we defined “family” as a mother, father, 2.5 kids, and a dog named Spot. While workplaces are making progress towards becoming more inclusive of the diverse relationships that make up today’s families, one demographic continues to be neglected: singles. Conversations about work–life balance typically revolve around employees balancing family responsibilities, such as childcare and eldercare, alongside their careers. Too often, we assume single employees are completely free of familial or other personal obligations, making them the obvious candidates to work the late shift or pick up the slack on weekends.
Topics: treating single employees fairly
We are living in a watershed moment of history. Ever since the first articles in the New Yorker and the New York Times broke the scandal of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged pattern of sexual harassment, every week there seem to be new allegations of other abuses by powerful men in every industry. More astonishing still is how many of these accused men are stepping down or being terminated by their employers. Even a couple of years ago, such widespread accountability would have seemed unthinkable, but now workplaces are openly reckoning with what was long suspected but never said: sexual harassment is a pervasive problem in our society.
Topics: sexual harassment at work
The first time someone becomes a supervisor, they’re likely to be overwhelmed by how different a supervisory position is from their former job. While other kinds of promotion can require workers to pick up new skills, generally within the same field as before, becoming a supervisor often means largely giving up the work one used to do, and suddenly encountering many new responsibilities. Without appropriate preparation, many new supervisors struggle to maintain their accustomed level of achievement. This can lead to serious feelings of frustration if they haven’t been properly prepared for the new role, or if they feel unsupported in and unsuited for the job.
If you’ve ever seen Project Runway, the fashion design reality show, then you’re likely familiar with judge Tim Gunn’s favourite clothing advice: “Make it work.” As an employer or manager, you probably spend more time asking employees to “Make it work-appropriate” instead. While workplaces have become increasingly casual regarding dress codes, the informality has actually increased confusion about what counts as work-appropriate clothing. Now more than ever, employees are asking themselves, “What can I wear?”
Among the many changes brought on by Ontario’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (formerly Bill 148), perhaps the most confusing section is the expansion of the equal pay for equal work provisions, which come into force April 1, 2018. The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) has long prohibited pay discrimination based on sex, but substantial additions to the part now further prohibit pay discrimination based on employment status.