HRdownloads Blog

Lessons from Past Pandemics, Part 3: Acting with Purpose

Posted by HRdownloads on Apr 23, 2020 3:25:00 PM

Big or small, your contributions are important. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have done amazing things to help. From making masks to transitioning employees to working remotely for the first time, everything Canadian business can do to help each other matters.

So you may be asking right now, what can my organization do to help others during this pandemic?

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Topics: HR Challenges, Leadership

Lessons from Past Pandemics, Part 2: Finding Perspective

Posted by HRdownloads on Apr 21, 2020 2:32:00 PM

Many employees are suddenly working from home while essential workers continue to go into the workplace, leading to profound disruption of normal routines. Consequently, mental health and wellness are important topics many employers should be thinking about.

Employees working at home are dealing with taking care of children and family members, financial struggles, technical challenges, and may even be starting to feel like the walls are closing in. This not only puts a strain on their ability to do their job, but also adds to mental health illness and decreases mental well-being. Essential and frontline workers are dealing with additional wellness issues that may be beyond our ability to explain. There are no perfect solutions, but as the pandemic continues, could a little perspective help us cope?

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Topics: HR Challenges, Leadership

Lessons from Past Pandemics, Part 1: Preparing for a False Start

Posted by HRdownloads on Apr 17, 2020 1:35:00 PM

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a month since the WHO declared a pandemic, and almost as long since provinces began declaring states of emergency. While we settle into what the prime minister is calling our “new normal,” it’s important to look at what we’ve done so far and what we can still do to prepare.

But with so much uncertainty about the coming weeks and months, how can we know what to do? We start by looking to the past to prepare for the future.

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Topics: HR Challenges, Leadership

The Business Case for Diversity: Why It Pays to Have Women at the Top

Posted by HRdownloads on Mar 8, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Women have long faced barriers to their success, and this is commonly reflected in the proportion of women in leadership roles. Although women make up nearly half the Canadian labour force, they’re still underrepresented in management and senior leadership positions.

In 2019, Statistics Canada reported less than one fifth of all leadership roles in Canada were held by women, and out of the 532 C-level executives among Canada’s 100 largest publicly traded corporations, only 10% are women.

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Topics: Leadership

The Hard Facts About Soft Skills: What They Are and How You Can Foster Them

Posted by HRdownloads on May 23, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Imagine you’re looking at a job in your organization and reflecting on the tasks the person occupying the position has to carry out: to do the job, the candidate needs to be able to run diagnostic tests, set up online employee profiles, and install new technology. Sounds like some basic tasks a technology professional, for example, might have to do, right? Sure, these are some of the hard skills—specific, teachable, and easily defined and measured—but hard skills aren’t the whole picture. Other parts of the job that may be overlooked, like communicating with co-workers or being able to work under pressure, are equally important.

Enter soft skills. Soft skills are the attributes, traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities needed for success in a job. They can include communication, creative thinking, decision-making, time management, problem-solving, and critical thinking, among others.

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Topics: Leadership, Employee Management

People Skills: How to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

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

Every job involves some degree of human interaction, whether with managers, colleagues, direct reports, or external stakeholders like clients, customers, or partners. All of these human interactions have emotional dimensions, so that no matter how technical the topic of discussion, the psychological states of the people involved are critical to success. Because of how central emotion is to all professional activities, developing emotional intelligence (EI) is imperative. But what is emotional intelligence, and how can it be developed?

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to recognize, control, and express our own emotions, as well as the ability to recognize others’ emotions and manage interpersonal relationships with empathy. It influences every human interaction and is an essential skill to be an effective leader. One study found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance and that 90 percent of high performers in the workplace possess high emotional intelligence. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report indicates that social skills, including emotional intelligence, will be in high demand across industries by 2020. Put simply, having high EI can significantly improve your professional success, especially as a manager.

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Topics: Leadership

Mind Your Manners: Improving Your Leadership Etiquette

Posted by HRdownloads on Oct 25, 2018 2:30:00 PM

While workplace etiquette should be common sense, in today’s modern work environment a casual work culture might promote a casual management style. How people interact with each other seems less formal than it used to be, which can lull people into forgetting etiquette altogether. As a manager, you may be able to bend the rules some of the time, like showing up to a meeting a few minutes late, or answering a text during a meeting. But how would you like it if your employees did the same things? What if it was reversed and an employee decided to step out mid-meeting to grab a drink or refill their coffee?

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Topics: manager employee relations, Leadership

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