HRdownloads Blog

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

Above and Beyond, or the Bare Minimum? Recognize and Manage Employee Engagement at Every Level

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

Many organizations place a high priority on employee engagement, but how many can say their workforce is fully engaged? To know whether your employees are engaged, it’s important to understand what engagement means. You can interpret employee engagement in many ways, which is why sometimes addressing it and learning how to improve it is extremely difficult.

Engagement doesn’t necessarily mean happiness or a measurable amount of work, but it can be identified through actions that reflect the emotional commitment employees have to a company. When employees lack that commitment, they become disengaged, and basically disconnect themselves emotionally from the organization and its goals. While most disengaged employees will leave their job eventually, not everyone quits. Disengaged employees who stay with an employer can have a severe negative effect on the company. They tend to be less productive, produce lower quality of work, can cost time, money, and clients, and drag other employees down with them. This is why it’s important to recognize and tackle disengagement on every level before it becomes a burden on the organization.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

Don’t Get That Summertime Sadness: How to End Summer Contracts

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

The end of warmer weather may be fast approaching, but don’t let the end-of-summer blues distract you from sending off your seasonal employees with a bang. Many employers know that summertime and seasonal contracts are the perfect way to meet business deadlines and ensure coverage for permanent employees’ vacation time during peak seasons.

Despite how important these employees are to organizations, they are often forgotten or their efforts are neglected, and they are rushed out the door as fast as they were brought in. Failing to recognize these temporary employees before they leave is a mistake many organizations make that could be costing you time and resources.

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Topics: Employee Management

Recruiting New Board Directors: What Not-for-Profits Need to Know

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 29, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Your mission is important; the nature of a not-for-profit organization is helping a worthy cause. You likely got started because you had a passion for something that lit a fire in your life. Everything you do, you do for a purpose. But your least favourite part about the job is probably when someone leaves.

One of the hardest positions to fill is a spot on the board of directors. Many not-for-profits have a board of directors that serves as an agent and overseer for the organization. The board is crucial for maintaining long-term sustainability and vision fulfilment. Over time, however, the board will experience turnover as long-serving directors complete their terms, retire, or relocate. Finding replacement directors is a task that all board-based not-for-profits must face sooner or later. But how do you even begin your search?

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Topics: Recruitment

Quickly Measure Employee Engagement: One Effective (and Super-Easy) Method

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 22, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Picture this scenario: the HR manager of Widgets, Inc., suspects that employee engagement is low after observing certain behaviours in the workplace. Some staffers are routinely showing up late or calling in sick more often than historical averages, while others have begun to openly grumble about things they don’t like. The HR manager knows that something is wrong, but isn’t quite sure how to gauge the true extent of the problem.

There is a vast body of literature, advice, and clinical studies on the subject of employee engagement. Many organizations try to tackle this all-important issue only to see their efforts fall completely flat, or at least fail to gain any noticeable traction. As the business saying goes, “what gets measured, gets managed.” And as any decent carpenter will tell you, “measure twice, cut once.” Proper measurement, therefore, is the first step in truly assessing employee engagement across the organization. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) has been used effectively for over 15 years as a reliable and repeatable methodology for this very purpose. So where do you start?

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Topics: Employee Engagement

Modernizing the Canada Labour Code: Changes in Effect September 1, 2019

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 15, 2019 2:30:00 PM

All businesses operate within a certain jurisdiction, or maybe in more than one. For any federally regulated organizations, such as businesses in banking, telecommunications, and transportation, it’s likely you’ve heard about the major changes coming your way.

It’s a common misconception that if an organization receives federal funding, they are federally regulated. This isn’t always the case; refer to the government of Canada’s infographic “Federal labour standards that apply to you” if you aren’t sure whether you’re federally regulated. As for the significant changes to federal legislation, some have already come into force, and others have no set date for coming into force. There are, however, a substantial number of requirements which will come into force as of September 1, 2019. Are you prepared?

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Topics: Legislative Changes

Don’t ‘Leave’ Them in the Lurch: Helping an Employee Return from Leave

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 8, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Sometimes life gets in the way, and employees have to step away from work to devote their time to an illness, a family member, or something else. Whatever your jurisdiction, legislation offers protected leaves for a variety of needs so that employees can tend to their lives without sacrificing their jobs. These leaves generally include maternity or parental leave, various kinds of sick leave, bereavement leave, depending on the jurisdiction.

Not only are leaves legislatively required, they can also offer many benefits for your organization. Allowing employees time off can reduce unplanned absences and improve morale, which boosts retention rates. Productivity is another major benefit, with 89% of companies allowing paid time off reporting a positive effect in overall productivity as reported by A study by Business Wire found that 58% of workers want paid family leave from their employers, outranking the demand for other popular perks.

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Topics: HR Challenges, Employee Management

Shh! Why Your Workplace Needs a Quiet Room

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 1, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Workplaces can be loud and chaotic, sometimes too much so. Quiet rooms are a rising trend employers are implementing to help alleviate some of this chaos and give employees a reprieve from their noisy surroundings. These are different than boardrooms, which offer space for more collaborative work. Quiet rooms can be used for a number of reasons and can help employees take a moment to refresh when a busy day gets to be too overwhelming.

The concept of providing a quiet room in the workplace may seem simple, but there is some confusion surrounding the topic because there is no single definition of what a quiet room is or the purpose that it serves. This ambiguity is something of the point, though: a quiet room can be flexible and may be adapted to meet the needs of your organization. It is also important to know that quiet rooms are easy to implement and likely have little to no cost to the company; all you really need is a designated space or room.

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Topics: Workplace Culture, Workplace Accommodation

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