HRdownloads Blog

Communication Is Key: Four Difficult HR Conversations

Posted by HRdownloads on Dec 6, 2018 2:30:33 PM

Having difficult, and sometimes awkward, conversations with employees is part of a manager’s role. Often these conversations are about sensitive matters and are uncomfortable for both parties. Good leaders address sensitive issues rather than avoiding them. But how an issue is communicated to an employee can greatly affect the outcome of the situation.

Part of the challenge with having these conversations is getting over the fear or discomfort with having to do it. Some of the hardest conversations can be those regarding personal hygiene, performance issues, or very specific situations relating to a person’s habits. While these conversations can be difficult, they have to happen in order for the issue to be corrected.

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Topics: HR Management

Guess Who? Identifying and Managing Challenging Employees

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 30, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Do you remember the board game Guess Who? Players race against each other to identify their opponent’s character by considering physical characteristics like clothing, glasses, and hairstyles. Surveying your work team for the difficult employee who may be causing turmoil behind the scenes can make you feel like you’re playing a grown-up version of Guess Who?, but instead of the obvious signs, employers often have to rely on behavioural clues.

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Topics: HR Challenges, HR Management, managing employees

Leave It to Us: A How-To Guide for Protected Leaves

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 23, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Understanding protected leaves is an important part of the human resources function, but it can be complex. With more leaves coming into effect, such as domestic or sexual violence leave in many jurisdictions, employees have more options to take care of their personal affairs while having their job status protected. However, additions or changes to leaves can add to an employer’s confusion.

Employers have an obligation to understand and properly implement protected leaves. However, managing employees on protected leaves can be an overwhelming task. Employees can easily slip between the cracks, and there is a lot of paperwork and documentation to coordinate to properly prepare an employee for their leave, maintain communication during their leave, and transition the employee back into the workplace afterwards.

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Topics: PEL, HR Management

“You Know What Else Bugs Me…?” Managing Chronic Complainers

Posted by HRdownloads on Jun 21, 2018 2:30:00 PM

It’s a rainy Monday morning and you’ve missed your train, and now you’re late to your first meeting. In a rush, you spill coffee on your jacket just before getting onto the elevator with—who else?—your boss, and she reminds you about that report you didn’t submit on Friday afternoon. All this and it’s not even 10 a.m. yet.

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Topics: HR Management, managing employees

Don’t Let Your Workplace Go Up in Smoke: Preparing for Legalized Marijuana

Posted by HRdownloads on Jun 7, 2018 2:30:00 PM

The Canadian government has announced its intention to legalize non-medical (or recreational) marijuana in the summer of 2018, and many employers have concerns about how legalization will affect the workplace. The regulation of medical marijuana has already forced employers to adapt and create policies concerning marijuana, including marijuana being brought into the workplace, impairment, and accommodations. But marijuana consumption has a decades-old stigma, and since stigmas go hand in hand with misinformation and confusion, it is important for employers to understand the legislation and clearly communicate workplace expectations, responsibilities, and policies to their staff.

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Topics: HR Management, Recreational Marijuana

Misfit Employee or Missed Opportunity? Learning from the Outliers

Posted by HRdownloads on May 24, 2018 2:30:00 PM

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.

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Topics: HR Management

Pitfalls and Overhauls: Avoiding Mistakes in Recognition Programs

Posted by HRdownloads on May 17, 2018 2:30:00 PM

“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?

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Topics: HR Management, employee recognition

Mental Health in the Canadian Workplace

Posted by HRdownloads on May 10, 2018 2:30:00 PM

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.

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Topics: HR Management, Mental Health

Giving Compassion: Mental Health at the Holidays

Posted by HRdownloads on Dec 21, 2017 2:30:00 PM

It’s coming on Christmas
They’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

—Joni Mitchell, “River”

Although Joni Mitchell’s “River” often plays on the radio in December, the song strikes a decidedly different note when compared to the typically upbeat string of pop tunes and carols heard this time of year. From the appropriately titled album Blue, Mitchell’s song reminds us that not everyone’s holidays are merry and bright. While many employees will eagerly decorate the office, bake treats for co-workers, and look forward to the annual holiday party, other employees may be much less enthusiastic about festivities in the workplace.

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Topics: Holiday Season, Holidays, HR Management

Ontario’s Proposed Domestic Violence Leave: A First Step Forward

Posted by HRdownloads on Oct 19, 2017 2:30:00 PM

Imagine you come to work one morning and receive a voicemail from a distraught employee: they are the victim of an act of domestic violence. Suppose further that your company does not offer sick leave, or that the employee used up what they had the last time this happened. Even so, they need time to find a place to stay—maybe call the police and a lawyer—and they need time to process what happened. How would you support this employee?

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Topics: HR Management, domestic violence

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