HRdownloads Blog

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

What Is a Volunteer, Exactly? Avoiding the Perils of Worker Misclassification

Posted by HRdownloads on Jul 25, 2019 2:30:00 PM

No matter what type of company, no matter what industry, how you categorize the people who work for you matters a lot. Each jurisdiction has strict rules about employers’ responsibilities towards workers, but these responsibilities change depending on just what kind of worker we’re talking about. For example, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour outlines a six-part test to determine whether someone is an intern or an employee, but what about a volunteer?

Generally speaking, neither an intern nor a volunteer is paid for their efforts, neither receives employee benefits, there’s no understanding of a job at the end of the relationship between the organization and the individual, and only a negligible material benefit to the company. So, what exactly is the difference, and why does it matter? The easy part to answer is that it matters because misclassifying workers is one of the commonest mistakes employers make, one that government regulators regularly watch for, and one that can have significant legal consequences for noncompliant organizations. As regulators crack down on exploitative and misleading ‘internships’ across the country, it’s more important than ever to make sure that all categories of workers are appropriately classified.

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Topics: Volunteers, Employee Management

The Password Is ‘Password’: Steps Everyone Should Take for Cybersecurity

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

Most jobs involve computers or other electronics in some way. Even jobs that just a few years ago were strictly analogue have been digitized. It is nearly impossible to go an entire day in any workplace without using the Internet, smartphones, and computers. This means that just about everyone is at risk of a cyberattack that could cripple their business, and in some cases lead to significant legal penalties.

Because everyone is at risk, everyone is also responsible for information security, also known as cybersecurity. Maintaining perfect security is never possible, but every organization and every employee can take some basic steps to eliminate the most common vulnerabilities. Attacks are usually based on perceived ease of access, so the harder you make it to attack you, the less likely someone is to try.

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Topics: Technology, Risk Management

Accessibility for All: The Benefits of Creating an Accessible Workplace

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

Statistics Canada estimates that one in every five working-age Canadians lives with some form of disability. The most common types of disabilities are related to mobility, pain, and mental health. Most people living with these conditions can work and do seek meaningful employment, yet nearly 40 percent of working adults with disabilities are currently unemployed. Those living with disabilities could enter the labour market, actively participate in the workforce, and contribute to the economy if organizations made improvements to workplace accessibility. This is why it is important for all organizations to promote accessibility in their workplace, both for employees and customers, even if they are not specifically required to do so by legislation.

Businesses that work to identify and reduce barriers and improve accessibility for job seekers, employees, and customers can see considerable economic gains. So why isn’t everyone creating an accessible workplace?

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Topics: Accessibility, Employee Management

It’s Time to Up Your Training Game: Getting Employees Engaged in Training

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

Have you ever been involved in workplace training with a group of employees and felt the energy in the room slowly decrease? The trainees’ eyes glaze over, their attention shifts elsewhere, and soon the room might as well be empty for all the good the training is doing. It’s a situation that most of us have experienced, whether from the perspective of the trainer or the trainee.

The memory of sitting in a room listening to a monotonous presenter might come to mind, or images of PowerPoint presentations filled with outdated clip art and big, boring blocks of text. The trainee might manage to pick up a few facts, but are they really learning? The good news is, training doesn’t have to be this way anymore!

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Topics: Employee Management

A Balanced Approach to Unbalanced Pay: How to Provide Individual Raises

Posted by HRdownloads on Jun 27, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Everyone wants and deserves to be compensated fairly for their work, and employers bear responsibility for meeting that need. Unfortunately, 46% of professionals feel they are underpaid at their jobs.

You might be thinking, “If my employee is unhappy and money is the problem, I’ll just give them a raise!” But it is important to consider more than just the wants and needs of the employee who receives the raise. What about that employee’s colleagues? How will they react when they are not given comparable raises? Unexplained differences in pay only stand to cause greater unhappiness and other negative effects on the workplace.

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Topics: HR Challenges, Employee Management

Hiring Outside Your Comfort Zone: Advice for Small Business Owners

Posted by HRdownloads on Jun 20, 2019 2:30:00 PM

For so many small businesses, the owners wear multiple hats and take care of tasks that they may not be traditionally trained in. But as the company grows, business owners often find that their business needs have exceeded their knowledge or capacity.

As a business owner, you may know a lot of things, and may have even built your business from nothing, but as a business grows, processes change, which can include developing more specialized areas to adapt to that growth. At some point, you will need to hire someone for a specific role or function that is outside of your area of expertise. But where do you start?

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Topics: Hiring, Employee Management

Did You Do Your Due Diligence? Implementing Proactive Health and Safety Practices

Posted by HRdownloads on Jun 13, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Unforeseen health and safety incidents can happen in any work environment. It doesn’t matter whether you work in an office, a retail store, or a warehouse—every worker is at risk of injuries in the workplace. Many times, however, we don’t think about reviewing or making changes to the health and safety program until after an incident happens.

As an employer, it’s your duty to protect your workers from workplace injuries and provide a safe environment, no matter what the job, and that begins with taking the steps to prevent incidents and proactively manage health and safety hazards. You may have heard the term “due diligence” used about health and safety in the workplace, but what does it actually mean?

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Topics: Health and Safety, Employee Management

Ontario’s ESA Has Changed Again: What Employers Need to Know About Bill 66

Posted by HRdownloads on Jun 6, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Ontario’s provincial government recently passed Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019. The law amends a vast array of legislation, including the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA). And while not as sweeping as Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, Bill 66 still makes significant and important changes to Ontario workplaces. As with many of the changes from previous employment legislation under the Ford government, Bill 66 primarily removes obligations from employers.

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Topics: Legislative Changes

Friends in High Places: Is After-Work Socializing Influencing Promotions?

Posted by HRdownloads on May 30, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Have you ever stopped to look at who is moving up in your organization? Is there a trend that employees in the same social circle typically move up the corporate ladder quicker than everyone else? If so, this may not be a coincidence.

While it may not be intentional, employees who participate in activities together, whether at work or outside of the office, can sometimes have a greater opportunity for advancements than others. Take for example a summer softball league for work, or employees who have a daily lunch ritual of grabbing a coffee together. These situations build those ‘getting to know you’ relationships that can uncover information about hobbies, life events, even career goals. If these interactions are around people of power in the organization, they may also provide additional ‘face time’ with the bosses, where work is likely to come up. The effect of these relationships can be completely harmless, but may unconsciously influence decisions when it’s time for promotions in the workplace.

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Topics: Employee Management

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