HRdownloads Blog

Guess Flu: Preparing for Seasonal Flu During COVID-19

Posted by HRdownloads on Sep 16, 2020 2:42:00 PM

“Are you exhibiting any flu-like symptoms?” Our primary COVID-19 screening question is about to become a lot more complicated as we enter the annual flu season. We know little at this point about how these viruses will interact, but health officials do know that coinfection is possible.

Until more is uncovered about these potential consequences, it is possible that we will see continued or further restrictions to mitigate the predicted double burden on our healthcare system, availability of personal protective equipment, and potential surge in cases. Employers and HR professionals should be prepared as we head into flu season to answer difficult questions from employees and continue to prioritize health and safety.

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Topics: Health and Safety

Tell It Slant: Best Practices for Communicating Unthinkable News

Posted by HRdownloads on Sep 11, 2020 3:25:00 PM

In a time of great uncertainty, people crave information. With so many unanswerable questions, any sign of sure knowledge is welcome. That said, some of those answers people clamour for are difficult, even dangerous. The information is frightening or complex or incomplete, all of which can lead to greater uncertainty rather than relief. Consequently, it might seem better simply not to provide those difficult answers at all, but this is neither a realistic nor a wise solution. As Emily Dickinson urges, you should be forthright and honest about the reality of a difficult situation, but there are methods that work for telling unthinkable truths, and methods that don’t.

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Topics: Communication

Happy Holidays: Understanding the Basics of Paid Holidays

Posted by HRdownloads on Sep 4, 2020 2:38:00 PM

For employees, a paid holiday is a welcome treat, but for employers, coordinating all the details can be a headache. It’s easier if you’re closed for the day, but many businesses, especially small ones, can’t close completely and therefore have to worry about substitute days off and calculating pay for working on a holiday.

The rules are intricate and varied, and the issues can be uncommon enough that employers don’t have the knowledge of habit to guide them. Unfortunately, employers have to master these rules; failing to pay an employee what they’re entitled to, or failing to give them the legislated time off, can land employers in serious legal trouble.

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Topics: Small Business, Holidays, Canadian Businesses

How is COVID-19 affecting other businesses’ compensation plans?

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 25, 2020 2:32:00 PM

In May 2020, we surveyed our clients to learn whether employers are having any compensation challenges and whether their priorities have shifted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada. We we’re happy to have received over 550 completed surveys, giving us (and now you!) great insights into how businesses are doing across the county.

From the results, we uncovered important information and surprising data, which helped us shape the content and support we create for our clients. We were interested to learn that approximately 38% of respondents had applied for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), designed to help organizations keep their team employed. A good thing to hear was that almost 64% of respondents did not have to reduce or freeze wages. But there is so much more we can all learn from how other businesses dealt with the effects of COVID-19.

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Topics: Small Business, Canadian Businesses

Masks 101: What You Should Know About Wearing Masks in the Workplace

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 19, 2020 3:45:00 PM

We’ve all done it, gone to the store, taken off our masks and shoved them into our pocket or purse before heading home. Wearing a mask in public places and the workplace is new to many of us and it’s important to consider sanitary measures when putting on and removing masks to ensure they are effective.

With many workplaces now requiring employees to wear masks, employees might be asking, “What is the difference between the types of masks?” “Is there a certain way to put it on?” or “Do I have to clean it?” And if they aren’t asking these questions, they’re definitely thinking about them. We have answers and an infographic you can share with your team to help them safely and effectively use their masks.

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Topics: Health and Safety, Canadian Businesses

Homeschool or Work? Maybe You Don’t Have to Choose

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 14, 2020 2:33:00 PM

Provincial governments have announced that schools will resume in September, introducing another hurdle in the pandemic recovery that employers might not have expected. Parents are concerned, and employers may see employees exiting who prefer to homeschool if they don’t feel their children will be safe. According to a study conducted by Statistics Canada, 74% of parents were very or extremely concerned about balancing childcare, school, and work. Under the circumstances, some employees might think they can’t do everything, and employers might not know how to assist them.

To help you and your employees out, here are some common questions you might have to answer about accommodating parents when school resumes.

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Topics: Health and Safety, Canadian Businesses

Paying the Price: Justifying HR Costs When Resources Are Tight

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 12, 2020 2:15:00 PM

For many organizations, budgets are tight. Some have lost major revenue sources, others had to rapidly spend money on new health and safety measures, and some might have made major capital investments to develop new products and services or modify existing offerings. All of these changes to budgets mean most organizations are looking for ways to cut costs, and if your HR function still has an internal reputation as a ‘cost centre’, it can swiftly find itself a target for reductions in staff, programs, services, and tools. But while HR can look like an easy place to save money, many organizations are discovering they need HR now more than ever.

During a crisis, long-term thinking becomes tougher. The present demands our attention, and short-term solutions begin to make sense, while their long-term consequences go undiscussed and unconsidered. It’s a mistake, though, to focus on the immediate crisis at the expense of future stability. As endless as this pandemic has felt, it will be over eventually, and when it is, organizations that gave thought to their post-pandemic strategies will be better positioned to recover quickly.

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Topics: Digital HR Solutions

Rules Aren't Meant to Be Broken: When Customers (or Other People) Ignore Safety Measures

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 6, 2020 2:47:00 PM

Reopening is firmly here, but so is the pandemic still, meaning businesses must take precautions to prevent exposing employees and the public to infection. Many stores are limiting occupancy, reducing hours, requiring masks, among other measures—usually taking multiple simultaneous precautions.

If employees fail to follow your new health and safety guidelines, your course is pretty clear: unless they have a reasonable objection like requiring an accommodation, employees must follow safety protocols or face appropriate progressive discipline. What’s less clear is an employer’s option when the reluctant party isn’t an employee. What happens when a customer refuses to wear a mask, for example? Or a supplier, vendor, or visitor?

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Topics: Health and Safety, Canadian Businesses

No Org Is an Island: External Factors Affecting Your Reopening Plans

Posted by HRdownloads on Jul 29, 2020 2:26:00 PM

You’re ready to reopen: you’ve talked to your employees about their concerns, and you’ve addressed all of them. The people who need accommodations will get them, there will be safety measures in place, PPE is available, everyone’s done their training. What’s left? Quite a lot, maybe. Even though your organization is about to reopen, other employers might not be so prepared, or might have restrictions still that make reopening a trickier issue. You might think other businesses are none of your business, but no organization exists independently, and this doesn’t just apply to obvious supplier and vendor relationships or other business-to-business transactions.

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Topics: Health and Safety, Canadian Businesses

How Are Other Businesses Doing? COVID-19: Immediate Responses and Impact

Posted by HRdownloads on Jul 22, 2020 2:49:00 PM

In April 2020, HRdownloads conducted a survey to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting HR and business leaders in the areas of business operations, workforce management, and customer relations.

With an amazing 1,228 survey responses, this information provides the closest look yet at how small and medium businesses (SMB) have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada.

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Topics: HR Challenges

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