HRdownloads Blog

Retire Stereotypes: How to Create an Age-Friendly Workplace

Posted by HRdownloads on Apr 18, 2019 2:30:00 PM

In Canada, there are now more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 15. The 2015 census found that one Canadian in five over the age of 65 still works—nearly 1.1 million seniors. People are staying in the workforce longer for many reasons: longer life expectancy, financial security, or simply a desire to continue working. Older workers want to be engaged and productive, but ageism is still a barrier for them.

Employment and Social Development Canada defines ageism as “prejudice and discrimination based on age that often results from myths and stereotypes that do not reflect the reality of aging and older individuals. It prevents people from recognizing the valuable contributions of older individuals and limits the choices and opportunities for older individuals to actively participate in society.” Like other types of discrimination, ageism takes several forms. It can be subtle and implicit or overt and direct. In any form, discrimination damages its victims and its perpetrators.

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Topics: Workplace Culture, HR Challenges

The Gender Pay Gap: What You Can Do

Posted by HRdownloads on Apr 11, 2019 2:30:00 PM

The gender pay gap has been a big topic of conversation lately, and this prominence is likely to continue. Despite increased awareness and changing legislation, the gender wage gap persists in every province across all sectors. In the Global Gender Gap Report 2018 conducted by the World Economic Forum, Canada ranked twenty-seventh in economic participation and opportunity, with a distance to parity of 0.31 for wage equality for similar work. This means Canadian women typically earn 69 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. This figure is shocking, especially because a gender difference in educational attainment is not taken into consideration when doing these comparisons.

It’s important for employers to be aware of the gender wage gap, as well as actions they can take to reduce it. Women are half of the population. Not surprisingly, female participation in the workforce can significantly influence growth, competitiveness, and future economies. Similarly, women make up a large portion of the consumer market. It is estimated that an additional $150 billion in GDP growth could result in 2026 if the wage gap was closed and female workforce participation was boosted. Excluding women from equal participation in the labour force harms individuals, families, employers, and the economy at large.

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Topics: HR Challenges

Pulling Back on Perks: Reducing Employee Benefits

Posted by HRdownloads on Apr 4, 2019 2:30:00 PM

For recruitment, staff retention, or simply creating a positive work culture, employers often provide employees with benefits or perks that exceed employment standard minimums. This may include offering employees sick days that not only exceed statutory minimums but are also paid, or vacation benefits for new hires greater than the standard two weeks.

It is a great feeling for employers to know they can provide valuable perks to their employees and stand out from the competition. But demands for a business’s services can fluctuate—a decrease resulting in reduced profits, or a rapid increase requiring additional staff that increases the costs of perks. There are many situations that may force an employer to review the benefits they provide to their employees, and the conclusion might be to reduce benefits for the business to succeed. Is that even possible, though?

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Topics: Employee Benefits

But We Can Still Be Friends: Effective Offboarding

Posted by HRdownloads on Mar 28, 2019 2:30:00 PM

When a valued employee leaves your company, it can affect multiple people and areas within the organization. There are many moving pieces that follow an employee departure, which can cause additional stress for the manager and other employees. Using a formal offboarding process helps not only the departing employee, but their manager, their team, and the overall company culture.

Just as your onboarding program addresses all aspects of an employee joining your organization, an offboarding program addresses everything to do with employee departures—whether due to termination, resignation, layoff, or otherwise. An effective offboarding program should be a positive experience for everyone it affects, and like an onboarding program, should be formal, consistent, and supported with adequate resources.

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Topics: Employee Management

HR Professional or Personal Counsellor? Maintaining Appropriate Workplace Boundaries

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

Employees sometimes look to their organization’s HR department for support when their personal and professional lives collide. Given the nature of the role, it’s understandable that employees become comfortable seeking advice from HR—many HR professionals enter the field because they are ‘people’ people. They care about the well-being of others and want to help employees navigate their professional and personal lives. They want employees to feel comfortable coming forward when they’re experiencing problems, but sometimes it can feel like the employee expects a personal counsellor.

Although HR is often an expansive role, encompassing many different functions (and might not even be your only or primary responsibility in your organization), personal counsellor is not part of HR’s prerogative. This can be a problem when you must have a frank conversation with an employee who has confided personal details and now sees you as more of a confidant than an HR professional.

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Topics: HR Challenges

Get Organized, or Don’t: How to Manage Different Organizational Styles

Posted by HRdownloads on Mar 14, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Organization looks different for different people. You might be known around the office for your tidy desk and orderly desktop, while another employee’s workstation overflows with scraps, notes, toys, and plants. Your system makes sure that there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place—whereas you can’t help but wonder how your colleagues get anything done with their desks in such disarray. If your team appears to be in chaos, it may be time to encourage your version of organization among your company and staff.

Before you try to organize your organization, take a step back to really think about it. We know that arranging and regulating processes and spaces can be beneficial, creating more efficient procedures and decreasing overall stress. In fact, when asked how people felt when they organized their workspace, they typically felt accomplished (71%), in control (68%), confident (54%), and motivated (52%). Everyone is different, though, so being organized might look different for everyone.

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Topics: Workplace Organization

Making a Difference: Creating a Successful Workplace Diversity Program

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

The world is diverse, and our workplaces should be, too. A diverse workforce can help your organization develop fresh approaches and solutions to problems, and can open up new and untapped customer bases. Achieving diversity is about making a sincere commitment to recognizing that people of different backgrounds and experiences bring value because of those differences, not in spite of them.

Many organizations recognize the value of hiring from historically marginalized groups and already have diversity programs in place to broaden their talent pipelines. Yet many of these same companies may find their diversity programs are not working out the way they had hoped. Maybe it’s because the employees don’t seem to be staying as long with the company, or don’t seem to be advancing. This may be especially frustrating for organizations that have actively tried to recruit from a diverse background. When these organizations step back, they may realize that although they have a strong diversity program, particularly when it comes to recruitment, they have missed the mark on inclusion.

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Topics: Organizational Culture, Workplace Inclusion

Here’s My Number, So Call Me Maybe: How to Get Real with References

Posted by HRdownloads on Feb 28, 2019 2:30:00 PM

You’ve found your superstar candidate: they have the skills and experience you need, and the interview went well. With a great candidate right at your fingertips, you might be tempted to jump the gun and offer this person a job on the spot. After all, how important is a reference check, anyway? Experts estimate that approximately 20% to 50% of candidates lie on a résumé to embellish their credentials, so checking references isn’t a step to neglect. Reference checking not only allows you to confirm facts, it acts as a figurative crystal ball allowing you a glimpse at the past and an idea of what the future might hold.

You want to know whether this person is too good to be true and get a better sense of how they might fare at your company. A quick conference with a couple people can make a world of difference. Gaining independent insight about a candidate’s previous on-the-job performance is a key feature of the reference check. It verifies the information provided by the candidate on their résumé and during the interview.

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Topics: Employee References

Talent Is More Than Skin-Deep: Appearance-Based Biases in the Workplace

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

Some people seem to have all the luck. But is it really luck, or just looks? How much influence do appearances have on success? We all know appearances can be deceiving, but if we believe that “clothes make the person,” then maybe things aren’t so simple, and maybe sometimes we really do make decisions based on nothing more than how someone looks.

Human resources practices are more inclusive than ever, and workplace cultures tend to be open, progressive, and accepting of people in their infinite variety. Yet biases continue to exist, sneaking into our judgements and decisions more than we might want to admit. These unconscious biases might be invisible to ourselves but have real and significant effects on our workplaces.

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Topics: Recruitment, HR Challenges

The Growing Pains of HR: How to Successfully Foster HR in Your Organization

Posted by HRdownloads on Feb 14, 2019 2:30:00 PM

The HR function has evolved over time and continues to grow in response to the fast-paced and dynamic world of employment. Organizational leaders and HR professionals have a greater number of responsibilities today than in the past, and they face a variety of challenges. These challenges include ensuring policies and practices comply with changing legislation, recruiting and retaining talent in competitive labour markets, ensuring administrative tasks are complete, and keeping up to date with relevant technology and best practices.

Adding to the increasing responsibilities of HR professionals is a push for equality, diversity, and transparency in employment practices, which further influences the role of HR. Human resources professionals are deeply connected to questions of hiring, retention, compensation, and communication between management and staff. Therefore, it’s important they work to stay up to date with evolving trends. But how?

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Topics: HR Trends

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