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THE HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION OTTAWA CHAPTER PUBLICATION

HR

UPDATE

CATCHING ‘FREE AGENTS’ Recruiting top talent through non-traditional employment arrangements PAGE 8 PLUS

PRACTICAL STRATEGIES TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN INDIGENOUS WORKERS PAGE 7

OTTAWA BUSINESS JOURNAL

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 03 • MAY 2019


Welcome

to the spring 2019 issue of HR Update, a joint publication of the Ottawa Business Journal and the HRPA Ottawa Chapter. This publication can also be accessed as a virtual edition at www.obj.ca and www.hrpaottawa.ca. If you have any questions about this publication, please contact us via email at updatemagazine@hrpaottawa.ca.

For individuals interested in contributing, articles must be submitted via email to updatemagazine@hrpaottawa.ca by no later than Aug. 1, 2019 to be considered for the next edition.

HRPA OTTAWA hosted Capital HR Ideas – an interactive exchange earlier this

spring that elicited positive and innovative ideas to inspire and educate human resources professionals to become future leaders. Photos by Mark Holleron

SAVE THE DATE A selection of upcoming HRPA Ottawa events. For more information, visit hrpa.ca/ottawa.

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MAY 7 LET’S PLAY! STRATEGIC HR: MOVING FROM EXPERT TO TRUSTED ADVISOR (annual business meeting and dinner) Collab Space (70 Bongard Ave.) Come eat and play Lego! This dinner will feature opening remarks from HRPA chief executive Louise Taylor Green as well as insights into Lego Serious Play – a facilitated thinking and communications technique. Plus, Ad Mare Seafood and Angry Dragonz food trucks.

MAY 30 HOW TO FIRE UP YOUR CULTURE, SPARK YOUR EMPLOYEES’ PASSION AND IGNITE YOUR PURPOSE (breakfast) Brookstreet Hotel (525 Legget Dr.) Speaker Carol Ring will lead attendees in an exploration of purpose, passion and productivity.

JUNE 19 LAW WORKSHOP: CROSS-BORDER BUSINESS CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS (full day) Ottawa Conference and Event Centre (200 Coventry Rd.) A full-day workshop aimed at helping Canadian HR practitioners spot critical differences between Canadian and U.S. employment, corporate and immigration law.


CHAIRPERSON’S MESSAGE 2018-2019 OTTAWA BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIR CHERYL BANKS PAST-CHAIR MELISSA BELLOCCHI-HULL TREASURER ERIN TAILLEFER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT BRENDA KIRKWOOD MENTORING MACKENZIE SMITH COMMUNICATIONS JACQUELINE BOUDREAU STUDENT LIAISON MAURICE LE MAIRE REGULATORY LIAISON ANTHONY LAWLEY

HRPA OTTAWA CHAPTER GENERAL INQUIRIES PHONE: 613-224-6477 E-MAIL: infohr@hrpaottawa.ca WEBSITE: www.hrpa.ca/Ottawa MEMBERSHIP CHANGES 150 Bloor Street West, Suite 200, Toronto, ON, M5S 2X9 PHONE: 416-923-2324 TOLL-FREE: 1-800-387-1311 FAX: 416-923-7264 EMAIL: membership@hrpa.ca WEBSITE: www.hrpa.ca/Ottawa Join the HRPA Ottawa Chapter Group on LinkedIn @OttawaHRPA PUBLICATIONS LEAD: CANDACE MACLACHLAN COMMITTEE MEMBER: LARISSA LAW OBJ HEAD OF CONTENT: PETER KOVESSY

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We will be saying our goodbyes at the ABM to past-chair Melissa Bellocchi-Hull as well as Brenda Kirkwood (professional development/networking) and Anthony Lawley (regulatory). I would like to thank them for their time and dedication to the HRPA Ottawa Chapter. Joining the board will be incoming chair Carol Ann Samhaber as well as Sarah Eaton (professional development/networking) and Karley Bureau (regulatory). I would like to welcome these new board members. I am confident they all are going to do a terrific job. On June 19, the chapter will be holding a law workshop titled Bridging the gap: Cross-border business challenges and solutions. This is a full-day workshop that will focus on what to look for when your Canadian company is growing into or doing business in the U.S., and will cover topics including employment, immigration, corporate and tax/accounting. HPRA Ottawa members have indicated in all of our surveys that they are looking ell it looks like spring is here! It for more training opportunities. In is hard to believe that it has been response to this request, the Ottawa more than six months since we chapter, in collaboration with HRPA, will be had our annual HRPA Ottawa Chapter hosting an investigations workshop in the September kickoff. fall of 2019. This training program has been This year we had speakers who covered highly recommended by other chapters. a wide range of topics and provided us In addition to planning and hosting with great insights and practical tips to take professional development, networking back to our workplaces. and student events, the HRPA chapter Some of the highlights included our volunteers are also involved in managing health and wellness event with Dr. Raj the mentoring program, collaborating with Bhatla, chapter appreciation with comedian HRPA and other chapters on regulatory Judy Coon, gender from a case law requirements and working with HRPA perspective with Melanie Polowin and the finance to keep within our budget new Capital HR Ideas event featuring Erin guidelines. The communications team Kelly, Ian Keith, Sarah Eaton, Nancy Morris, works together to publish HR Update in Laura Mindorff and Tosha Rhodenizer. collaboration with the Ottawa Business Our student, mentoring and regulatory Journal as well as managing our social team hosted a fantastic student event media channels. featuring Julie Blaise-Comeau, who The Ottawa chapter board committees delivered a presentation on business have more than 30 volunteers who all etiquette. work behind the scenes to keep everything On May 7, we will be holding our annual running. If you are interested, we are business meeting. We have invited HRPA always looking for members to join the chief executive Louise Taylor Green to team. We have lots of fun! Plus, it’s a great bring greetings from HRPA and provide an learning environment that helps with CPLD overview of HRPA’s strategic plan. We have credit requirements. engaged Sébastien Giroux, who is a certified I know the time commitment that each Lego Serious Play trainer, to facilitate a fun one of the volunteers make, and I would learning session. Participants will play, learn personally like to thank them for all of their and experience this innovative hands-on dedication and commitment to the HRPA methodology, which has been designed Ottawa Chapter. to improve group genius. Dinner will be provided by two delicious food trucks: Ad Cheryl Banks is the chair of HRPA Ottawa Mare Seafood and Angry DragonZ. and the manager of FlexResources at PwC.


JOSÉE LP, THE HR ICU

FOUNDER & CEO 613-266-7448 Email: josee@thehricu.com joseelp

Insights into the best practices of the World’s Most Admired Companies and Best Companies for Leadership

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Most businesses currently have four different generations in the workplace. Knowing what is important to each generation can be a daunting task. Q: How can a business train and develop such a diverse workforce? A: Remember that we all learn in different ways. Retention methods also vary. Rotate your training and development practices by hosting one-on-one sessions as well as group classes, in addition to posting material online. Q: What are some options? A: LinkedIn offers many development courses as part of its premium package. You could assign one course per month to your staff and host a lunch-and-learn debrief to assess the course and apply what is relevant to your business. If you are looking for something tailored more specifically to your business, you can hire a consultant such as myself to help create, facilitate and implement your course. Q: How can I respect different generations? A: Baby Boomers usually prefer faceto-face communication with hard copies to take home and review at a later date. Gen Z, Y and X generally prefer communication and training to be quick and easy. They also generally dislike having to carry and store paper booklets. Training and developing your teams is meant to be fun and interactive. Finding creative ways to develop your employees will keep them engaged and increase morale, turning staff into brand ambassadors for your company.

WWW.THEHRICU.COM

Psychological and lifestyle resilience for HR professionals A Q&A WITH THE ROYAL OTTAWA’S DR. RAJ BHATLA


There is a significant overlap in symptoms, such as difficulty focusing. There are two lessons to learn from this: You need help even if you have a lesser issue that you are combating, such as compassion fatigue; and if things are prolonged and severe, then it could be depression. The boundaries overlap.

HR

professionals play a unique role within organizations, helping to support their colleagues and assist their peers with complex personnel issues. But sometimes, the nature of an HR professional’s work can take a toll on their own mental health. Dr. Raj Bhatla, the psychiatrist-in-chief and chief of staff at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, tackled this topic earlier this year in a seminar titled “Psychological and lifestyle resilience for HR professionals.” Following his presentation, he spoke to HRPA Ottawa’s Candace MacLachlan about the risks facing HR professionals, as well as strategies for overcoming these challenges. Q: HOW IS THE RISK OF MENTAL ILLNESS DIFFERENT FOR HR PROFESSIONALS THAN OTHER WHITE-COLLAR WORKERS? A: When I was looking at the literature and the broad category of “helping professions,” I realized that HR professionals fall into this category. This category also includes professions such as health practitioners, therapists, nurses and physicians. HR professionals deal with individuals and the wellness of an organization. There are many challenges such as terminations, downsizing and workplace harassment cases. They hear about a lot of difficult situations and are in that category of helpers. The profession is challenging because they must continually “do more with less.” This makes HR professionals especially prone to stress and burnout. Similar to

Q: HOW DOES MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS ASSIST HR PROFESSIONALS? A: More places are integrating yoga, meditation (and) walking groups into their workplaces. At The Royal, there is a knitting group – an activity that’s been proven to be very therapeutic. It’s important to create a culture where employees can make these initiatives happen as it should be the employees who facilitate it. It needs to be built from the ground up.

KEY TAKEAWAY It’s important to unburden people of the stresses in the workplace. We’re still at a stage of optimizing our use of newer technology such as email. It would be helpful to focus on small steps such as not emailing excessively, especially at night. There’s a tone set with this type of behaviour. We need to focus on helping organizations and the people within them.

HR Technology Consultant eric.st-jean@cleahrstrat.ca

Insights into the best practices of the World’s Most Admired Companies and Best Companies for Leadership

Drowning in spreadsheets – next steps? Many HR professionals have felt the pain of managing multiple spreadsheets. In some companies that may be all that’s available, and in other companies it may be caused by missing functionality in your current HR system. Either way, eventually you will hit a breaking point and need to mature your system. Q: How do I know I need an HR system? A: As your company grows or experiences significant change, you may find yourself spending a lot of time managing spreadsheets, keeping the data accurate, rekeying data, and responding to data requests from the business. Other signs you need an HR system include requests from managers and employees for self-service access, lost or outdated information, and limited resources to maintain accurate data. Where do I start? If you are at the point where an HR system is needed, I would start by developing a business case. Your organizational governance may/ may not require one, yet the benefits of working through the details of a business case helps you with validating your needs. Then, you are ready to investigate solutions based on your current needs that also includes approximate costs, timelines and ROI for your organization. What goes in a business case? If your company has a business case template, I would start there. If not, consider the following points: • Keep it simple • Provide an overview of the need for the new HR system • Articulate how this initiative supports corporate/departmental goals, now and in the future • Include information about current costs and estimated future costs if known • Identify the benefits for all stakeholders • Highlight key issues by staying with status quo • Clearly state the recommendation

WWW.CLEAHRSTRAT.CA

SPRING 2019 HR UPDATE 5

Q: WHY ARE HR PROFESSIONALS AT A HIGHER RISK? A: There are various terms that are applicable to the HR profession such as “burnout” and “stress.” “Compassion fatigue” is another applicable term, which is seen in many nurses and social work professions. In a clinical sense, anxiety and depression share a lot of the same characteristics as these issues, and many issues such as stress can lead to clinical depression.

DR. RAJ BHATLA IS THE PSYCHIATRIST-IN-CHIEF AND CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE ROYAL OTTAWA MENTAL HEALTH CENTRE. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

CLEAHRSTRAT CONSULTING

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psychiatry, they have to deal with strict confidentiality, which can be difficult – it’s the burden of knowing things that you can’t share.

Q: HOW CAN HR PROFESSIONALS BE MORE RESILIENT IN MITIGATING THE RISK OF MENTAL ILLNESS? A: We’re growing in awareness – it’s not just about creating individual resilience. It is especially important for HR professionals to recognize resilience is responsive to a specific environment. Some situations can lead to burnout and are just too difficult. It’s important to reshape the environment you are working in. That’s one piece. HR professionals are not dissimilar to other workers in that you need to focus on three fundamentals to stay healthy: sleep, diet and exercise. There are many tools available to monitor these, such as smart watches. There are also tools to input data as it relates to nutrition, which encourages people to monitor themselves. Another important piece is psychological – communication and selfawareness. Know where you can make gains, and understand one’s personality, emotions, thoughts, motivations and behaviours. We’re very hard on ourselves. One of the propagations of this is Facebook, which in essence is a highlight reel that shows other people’s top experiences, such as going on vacation. We can become self-judgmental, which is not a good place to be as it leads to black-and-white thinking and other issues. Self-compassion is a very important remedy for this judgment. It’s important for one to accept both their strengths and weaknesses. It’s also important to take part in effective exercises such as yoga, which helps the individual focus on breathing effectively and encourages mental and spiritual well-being. You have to do what’s right and fits in well with your lifestyle and values.

ERIC ST-JEAN,


@OttawaHRPA THE HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION OTTAWA CHAPTER PUBLICATION •

6 HR UPDATE SPRING 2019

HRPA membership and CHRP, CHRL and CHRE designations tells everyone that you are committed to the highest standards of professional HR practice — just as the HRPA is. Be part of an association that champions competent and ethical HR practice. Choose professional excellence with the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), Leader (CHRL) and Executive (CHRE) designations. HRPA offers designations for every stage of your career. Learn more at hrpa.ca


4. SHARE YOUR SUCCESS STORIES It’s not enough to simply provide a good wage and benefits package. Indigenous peoples want to know they will be treated with respect within your workplace. Sharing your diversity and inclusion success stories helps attract and retain peoples from all under-represented groups. This includes showcasing opportunities for career advancement, training, coaching, mentoring and stretch assignments. 5. CREATE AND SUPPORT EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS Indigenous is the term An Indigenous used by the United employee resource Nations, and increasingly group (ERG) is an in Canada, to refer to incredibly powerful the descendants of the recruitment and original inhabitants of a retention tool. country. The Canadian Constitution recognizes This shows a three groups: Indians commitment (First Nations), Métis to creating a and Inuit. Each group truly inclusive of peoples has unique workplace. heritages, languages, Employers should cultural practices allow team and spiritual beliefs. members time Indigenous peoples are to participate in NOT a collective. It is an ERG during entirely appropriate to use the terms First work hours, fund Nations, Métis and the ERG and Inuit. When addressing provide a method Indigenous peoples, for requesting either as individuals or as funding for special communities, it is best to events. ERGs can use the name by which help share your they refer to themselves. levels. In a perfect organization’s If you don’t know, ask. world, all employees success stories, would receive skillsidentify systemic based training in barriers and intercultural competency. develop respectful relationships with Indigenous organizations, 3. ROOT OUT YOUR ORGANIZATION’S communities and individuals. ERGs SYSTEMIC BARRIERS can also help your organization Many employers have unintended systemic retain Indigenous team members by barriers embedded within their hiring providing networking opportunities, processes and HR policies. One example mentoring and career advice. is using online recruiting platforms. A Inclusion is a process – not an significant proportion of Indigenous event. A genuine adoption of these peoples do not have regular access to strategies that’s sustained over time broadband internet, which can make it can help make Indigenous inclusion difficult to apply for jobs online. Solutions in your workplace a reality. can include accepting applications through e-mail, fax or mail, as well as working with a partner such as Indigenous Link, Chantal Fraser is the which shares job posting information with president and founder of Indigenous communities, organizations Empowered Path Inc. and peoples through various methods.

A NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY

PRACTICAL STRATEGIES FOR EMPLOYERS TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN INDIGENOUS WORKERS

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1. LEARN ABOUT INDIGENOUS PEOPLES Learning about the people with whom

you wish to work is an important first step when striving for inclusion. There are opportunities that range from one-day awareness workshops to post-secondary Indigenous studies programs. A good (and free) place to start is by reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. Several calls to action address specific professions. All employers should pay particular attention to No. 92, which focuses on businesses and reconciliation. 2. COMBAT STEREOTYPES AND DISCRIMINATION One way to combat stereotypes and discrimination is to consciously invest in skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism for your organization – especially for your HR team, supervisors and managers at all

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ndigenous peoples are the fastestgrowing and youngest demographic of potential employees. We are educators, healthcare providers, entrepreneurs, legal professionals and more. We are your neighbours and your colleagues. While we are in a time of reconciliation, our shared history has created many reasons for Indigenous peoples to be wary of non-Indigenous employers. Many Indigenous people still face discrimination and stereotypes in the workplace. It takes time to build relationships based on trust and respect. In addition to working with Indigenous HR consultants, there are several practical strategies for employers to recruit and retain Indigenous workers:

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Making Indigenous inclusion in the workplace a reality


COVER STORY

Why HR needs to recognize the free agent economy’s potential APPEAL OF FREELANCE CONTRACTS GROWING AMONG MANY SKILLED WORKERS

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hen music superstar Taylor Swift’s record label contract ended in 2018, she became, for a month or so, one of her industry’s rarest of commodities: a free agent at the top of her game. Swift capably wielded her newfound free agency hammer to pick and choose her label, ultimately negotiating a historic record deal with plenty of concessions from her new label. Somewhat similarly, actors in Hollywood now largely work on a free agent model – as opposed to the more rigid studio model of years past – where they are free to take assignments from multiple studios based on their talents and preferences, instead of being locked down. Most of us don’t have the leverage to negotiate multimillion-dollar contracts for ourselves. But the Swift and Hollywood examples are vivid displays of the power of free agency, both for workers and organizations increasingly confronted with a growing cadre of professional talent not willing to be tied to just one entity. These workers know they can earn the same or more money while picking and choosing their assignments. And it’s projected that by 2027, most U.S. workers will be contractors – a great many of them by choice, according to a survey by freelance platform Upwork. Free agency pressure isn’t just coming from workers. In today’s turbulent and disruptive business environment, many organizations are also facing atypical business needs requiring more flexible ways of acquiring and using the right talent with the right skills at the right time.

BEYOND THE GIG ECONOMY At this point, we’ve all heard of the growing importance of the gig economy. It typically springs to mind images of lower-paid workers selling their services on digital gig platforms

such as Uber, Lyft or Fiverr. But there’s also a higher end to this economy – call it the “free agent economy” – comprised of well-qualified, specialized and experienced professionals attracted to being independents rather than a traditional employee. This free agency economy is powerful and growing. According to numbers from asset management firm T. Rowe Price, there are now twice as many free agents earning in excess of $250,000 than traditional employees. The numbers are at 50-50 for the $150,000-to$250,000 segment. This means that to engage top talent, organizations must be increasingly willing to colour outside the lines and be more open to non-traditional employment arrangements.

To engage top talent, organizations must be increasingly willing to colour outside the lines and be more open to non-traditional employment arrangements. But here’s the thing: When organizations currently engage free agents, HR is rarely involved. Free agency arrangements with many organizations typically shake out as a one-on-one arrangement between free agent and hiring manager. And when HR is involved, it’s rarely to help the hiring manager find top free agent talent – usually it’s to ensure the required paperwork gets signed off. And that’s not an accident. The current HR toolkit is almost entirely based on the concept of a predictable, plannable work environment

where work changes slowly – if at all. It’s hard to think of a single HR-based policy, process or procedure that doesn’t add rigidity to an organization. And that rigidity is anathema to the flexibility required for dealing with free agents. As free agency grows in importance both for organizations and for the overall economy, and as organizations look for the best talent for the right project at the right time, HR must begin to adapt its policies and thinking. Ottawa’s economy has always been relatively consultant-heavy, and may have a

leg up compared to other jurisdictions in this regard. Because even the federal government – not exactly known as an organization able to pivot on a dime – has begun embracing the free agent model with its Canada’s Free Agents program, launched in 2016. It gives public servants the chance to pick and choose work that suits them on an ongoing basis. And while the participants of Canada’s Free Agents make up a relatively small group compared with the 100,000-plus total public servants in this town, it shows the government is at least aware, listening and preparing for the coming shift. So why aren’t you and your organization? Jim Donnelly is a former journalist and technology company director turned content and digital marketing free agent. Tim Ragan is a long-standing free agent who wears various hats as a consultant, facilitator, coach, researcher, business owner, investor, educator and toolkit builder.


Mopify engages army of independent cleaning contractors

OTTAWA STARTUP BLENDS TECH TOOLS WITH HUMAN TOUCH TO MANAGE MOBILE WORKFORCE By Rosa Saba

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ith companies such as Uber and Airbnb making headlines as they navigate the tricky world of managing contractors, Ottawa-based startup Mopify is focused on finding the right balance between technology and human interaction as it begins scaling up across Canada. Alex Hébert and Patrick Leclerc founded Mopify to capture what they saw as an untapped, underserved market: independent cleaning contractors. Hébert says around 80 per cent of the house cleaning market is served by contractors, many of whom use platforms such as Kijiji or Facebook to find and

manage customers. Mopify provides a platform to connect these contractors with clients and manage their relationships, bookings and payments more securely. “At its core, it’s more of a technology company than anything else,” says Hébert, adding that the key to making Mopify work is in the balance between automation and personal customer service. It may be a technology company, but Mopify is dealing with people – something that can’t always be automated. In addition to its 15 employees, Mopify deals with more than 400 cleaning contractors across Canada. There are a lot of differences between the two, says Hébert, most notably the fact that Mopify can’t train its contractors or inspect their

@OttawaHRPA • THE HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION OTTAWA CHAPTER PUBLICATION

ALEX HÉBERT IS THE COFOUNDER OF MOPIFY. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

automated review of their application and a background check followed by a series of interviews (with real people). With this kind of model, Hébert says the company doesn’t want every decision to be up to the software, especially since the relationship between Mopify and its contractors is essential to the success of both parties. “Being super responsive and helpful is really a key piece to maintaining that relationship,” he says. While many of the customer service communications are handled automatically – common concerns such as a contractor notifying their customer of a late arrival – other more complicated concerns are handled by people. As well, the company keeps close tabs on how its contractors are doing, and how their clients are responding to the service. “At a high level, every contractor has an internal score” that’s a combination of quality and reliability, explains Hébert. “People with higher scores get offered jobs first.” The score is for Mopify’s eyes only; customers see only comments, since “everybody we have is going to be maintaining a certain standard,” says Hébert. Clients are matched with contractors with the understanding that they will be a repeat customer until further notice. Bad reviews, complaints or dipping scores are flagged for the Mopify team, who look for trends. Anomalous reviews are often dismissed, but patterns are taken very seriously. Contractors receive a monthlyreport showing how they are doing in relation to all of Mopify’s contractors – the closest thing to an employee review a contractor can get. “We watch (the scores) like a hawk, and if there’s anything that’s actionable, we get in touch,” says Hébert. “You’re not going to work. Therefore, a lot of effort goes into the make everybody happy.” process of approving contractors to make He says one of the most important ways sure that clients are only working with Mopify can avoid customer-contractor reliable, experienced people. issues is by providing mechanisms for them “When you have independent to set expectations at the beginning. For contractors, there’s all kinds of things example, the customer can either choose to you can and can’t do because there’s have the cleaner bring supplies, or to supply this delineation between employees and their own; but if they choose the latter, independent contractors,” says Hébert. “We Mopify reminds them of what should be can’t technically train people. So that really available so that the cleaner doesn’t show up changes our approach to recruiting.” to find inadequate supplies to do their job. The process is always under review as For companies like Mopify that deal the company grows and responds to its primarily with contractors (much like Uber users, explains Hébert: “We’re constantly or Airbnb), Hébert says it’s all about finding going back and looking at data.” the balance between automation and personal service. PROVIDING FEEDBACK “You don’t want to lose that human Contractors are vetted first through an touch,” he says.


SPONSORED CONTENT

Closing the employment gap by being inclusive Local business can find the talent they need by becoming more inclusive

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recently launched awareness campaign called #AbleTo is encouraging local employers to tackle one of their biggest challenges — recruiting talented staff — by becoming more inclusive. According to the Ottawa Board of Trade, 63 percent of Ottawa employers see recruitment and retention as one of the top issues facing their company.

THE BUSINESS CASE FOR INCLUSION Research from the Ontario Disability Employment Network illustrates the benefits to an organization of employing individuals with disabilities: RETENTION RATES are 72 per cent higher among people who have a disability. ATTENDANCE: 86 per cent of employees who have a disability have average or above-average attendance records. CUSTOMER ATTRACTION: 78 per cent of Canadians are more likely to buy a product or service from a business that hires people with disabilities.

As it turns out, business owners are able to find a solution by considering an untapped pool of qualified candidates — students and graduates with disabilities — of which there are over 10,000 in Ottawa alone. That’s what the #AbleTo campaign is all about — closing the employment gap between students and graduates with disabilities and their nondisabled peers, helping everyone find meaningful work while strengthening local businesses. #AbleTo comes from the David C. Onley Initiative (DCOI) for Employment and Enterprise Development, a collaboration between Algonquin College, University of Ottawa, College La Cité and led by Carleton University. “People with disabilities bring an additional set of skills,” says Tara Connolly, DCOI’s assistant director for research and development. “People with disabilities are creative problem solvers and out-of-the-box thinkers.” The AbleTo campaign encourages employers to consider what they are able to do to help close the employment gap, such as writing inclusive job descriptions or building accessible workplaces. The campaign also asks everyone making an effort to share their #AbleTo pledge on social media and discuss what they are able to do to close the gap.

For DCOI, one of its early efforts involved being #AbleTo help students with disabilities connect with employers through Accessible Employer Showcase events. These events feature groups of students sitting down in small groups for roundtable discussions with individual employers, avoiding the need to compete in a traditional career fair environment. At the events, companies and organizations are also encouraged to invite their existing employees with disabilities to speak about their work experience. “That way students can easily see themselves in the environment instead of thinking, ‘What do I need to do to fit into this place?’” Connolly says.

ACCESSIBLE WORKSPACES To learn how to make their workplaces more accessible and find untapped talent, employers are invited to register to attend Enable Ottawa 2019 on May 22, a one-day summit that will bring together organizations that are active in the development of innovative solutions to accessibility. It will also be an opportunity for employers to share success stories of hiring people with disabilities. “We need to make sure employers understand their own work setting,” says Connolly. “Is your workplace truly accessible?” To learn more about how your company can find untapped talent and be part of the movement, visit the #AbleTo website at AbleTo.ca.


The adventures of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock WHY WE SOMETIMES ACT OUT OF CHARACTER – AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

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STONEWOOD GROUP EXECUTIVE SEARCH

Partner, Stonewood Group lclare@stonewood groupottawa.com 613.592.4145 ext. 221

Insights into the best practices of the World’s Most Admired Companies and Best Companies for Leadership

Q. When should a company use a retained executive search? A. Retained executive search is about value. Employers use us when a search is important enough to warrant the investment. Q. How do you know if the executive you need is worth the investment? A. That’s easy. Every executive is worth the investment. Our clients need winners with track records of success. Identifying good leaders takes time and effort and our clients are focused on running the business while we are focused on finding winners.

AUTHOR AND EXECUTIVE COACH CRAIG DOWDEN. PHOTO SUPPLIED

focus on how we would feel in the situation and how those feelings may influence our course of action. Acknowledging our likely emotional reaction allows us to better

This article is an excerpt from Do Good to Lead Well – The Science and Practice of Positive Leadership (ForbesBooks, 2019) by Craig Dowden, an executive coach, keynote speaker and chief leadership officer of Keynote Search.

Q. Why is culture so important? A. Cultural fit is a critical component in selecting the successful candidate. While many candidates sourced will have the requisite technical skills, the key differentiator will be the ability to integrate into the prevailing culture. Q. And why is Stonewood a leader in understanding your client’s business and culture? A. The Stonewood Partners are not career search professionals. We’ve spent decades working in similar industries and organizations to our customers gaining firsthand knowledge of key business functions, including operations, sales, marketing, finance, legal and human resources.

WWW.STONEWOODGROUP.COM

SPRING 2019 HR UPDATE 11

orient ourselves when these situations occur, making us aware of the triggers and pressures we may feel so that we can manage them accordingly. Another valuable exercise is to identify specific situations or people that may trigger our Kirk Brain. Reflecting on past experiences where we acted out of character may be invaluable to discovering this information. Do we have problems with Lisa in accounting? Are we caught offguard during our team meetings? Being aware of contextual cues that can lead us astray empowers us to better prepare for these circumstances.

Q. What should a company look for in an executive search firm? A. Firstly, finding the candidates is no longer the challenge. There are so many tools available these days that most search firms should be able to search through similar talent pools. The true value comes from working with a firm that understands your business, your industry and just as importantly, your culture.

@OttawaHRPA • THE HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION OTTAWA CHAPTER PUBLICATION

o matter how we plan to act in any given situation – being patient when someone is angry at us, for instance, or calm in the face of chaos – we can act out of character when the actual event takes place, despite our best intentions. This occurs because of an interesting mental dichotomy that I often refer to as “Spock Brain” versus “Kirk Brain.” The Spock Brain is our more rational self. It assesses situations from a cold, analytical standpoint and states, “This is how I will behave in X situation.” However, when we are in that situation, the Kirk Brain – our emotional self – emerges and overrides that analysis, often provoking us to react on emotion rather than logic. Here’s a quick example. Say you were to observe one team member openly berating another in the break room. How would you react in this situation? When I ask audiences this question, the vast majority say something to the effect of, “I would step in and stand up for the person being yelled at.” Yet, when I ask the audience how often this actually happens, very few – if any – people can come up with an example. Even though Spock predicts we are going to behave one way, Kirk shows up and ultimately derails our noble intentions. It is also important to note that the process does not stop there. Because we have just acted out of character, we feel considerable conflict. This necessitates a different interpretation. So when we leave the situation, Spock re-emerges to rationalize the choice that we made so we can continue to think of ourselves in an idealistic way. Statements such as “There was no point in stepping in – it wouldn’t have made a difference,” or, “I’ll just talk with them later, after they’ve calmed down” provide justification to ourselves. Given this ethical blind spot, what can we do? Rather than trying to think through what we would do, we need to instead

LUKE W. CLARE


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12 HR UPDATE SPRING 2019

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Tribunal backs employer in medical marijuana case

T

The employee filed a human rights complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging discrimination on the basis that he suffered from a disability and that he was using medically prescribed marijuana at the time of his termination. The employee suffered from a degenerative disc disease that caused chronic pain in both his back and neck. As a result, he received a prescription for medical marijuana in March 2015. In June 2015, the employee was caught smoking marijuana while working on a

Cannabis in the workplace: What to include in a drug and alcohol policy •

• • •

including medically authorized cannabis; Rules stipulating how soon before reporting to work an employee may consume impairing substances and still be deemed fit to perform their duties; Consequences of noncompliance; Rules relating to return to work following a positive test result; and An accommodation procedure for employees who have a drug- or alcohol-related disability, or who require the use of a potentially impairing drug for medical reasons.

While employers will continue to be required to abide by their obligations under human rights legislation, companies are not expected to tolerate impaired employees – especially when dealing with safety. Larissa Volinets Schieven and Lauren Jamieson are associates at Emond Harnden LLP.

Employers should scrutinize prescriptions that are provided by employees for medical marijuana. Reasonable inquiries about the scope and impact of marijuana use on the employee’s ability to perform their duties in a safe manner may be necessary. A prescription for medical marijuana does not provide an employee with an absolute right to use marijuana in the workplace, especially if health and safety is compromised.

ground on the exterior of a building). The doctor admitted that he assumed that by “painter,” the employee was an interior house painter. When confronted on cross-examination about the employee’s work, the doctor said he would never have authorized the applicant to medicate while at work in those circumstances. Russell MacCrimmon is a partner at Ottawa law firm Bird Richard.

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SPRING 2019 HR UPDATE 13

Some employers believe recreational cannabis can be handled in the same way that drinking is treated under existing drug and alcohol policies. While this is true to a certain extent, the legitimate medicinal properties of cannabis – as well as the limits of current testing devices – put recreational cannabis into its own category. An effective drug and alcohol policy should generally include the following: • Definitions, including which positions (if any) are considered safety-sensitive; • The duties of the company, management, supervisors and employees with respect to ensuring compliance; • Prohibitions on reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs; • The circumstances in which an employee may be required to submit to a drug or alcohol test; • The duty to report the use of medically-authorized drugs that have the potential to impair the employee,

KEY TAKEAWAY

@OttawaHRPA • THE HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION OTTAWA CHAPTER PUBLICATION

he Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has provided employers with guidance regarding zero-tolerance policies concerning workplace drug use and medically prescribed marijuana. The case, Aitchison v L&L Painting and Decorating Ltd., involved a commercial subcontractor that restored high-rise buildings. The employee had been employed as a painter for four seasons before he was terminated for smoking marijuana at work in contravention of a zero-tolerance policy.

swing stage suspended on the exterior of the building, 37 storeys above the ground. The employee admitted that he was smoking marijuana at work. When confronted by the employer before the termination, the employee stated that it was his right to smoke medical marijuana at work because he had a prescription. The tribunal rejected the employee’s claims that he had been discriminated against. Ultimately, the employee was terminated because of the health and safety risk that he created when he intentionally disregarded a zero-tolerance policy. The tribunal held that the termination had nothing to do with his disability and that the termination was not discriminatory. An interesting aspect of the case is the testimony provided by the doctor who prescribed the marijuana. The doctor testified that he had a standard conversation with the employee that he was not to operate heavy machinery or be involved in any activity that required quick reaction time while he was consuming the marijuana. The evidence revealed that there was no discussion between the doctor and employee about whether the marijuana could be used at work or about the true nature of the work that the employee was engaged in (namely, working in a dangerous position 37 storeys above the


Stop focusing on employee engagement

14 HR UPDATE SPRING 2019

THE HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION OTTAWA CHAPTER PUBLICATION •

@OttawaHRPA

A

re you struggling to move the needle on your employee engagement numbers? Well, just stop. Yes, that’s right – I’m telling you to stop focusing on employee engagement. That work is passé. Working on employee engagement is like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg. The only thing engagement is telling us is that our employees have run out of steam. Many of us are familiar with the research that indicates only 30 per cent of our people are passionate partners in our workplace. In the middle, there’s the 40 per cent that are just passively going through the motions. Then we have the culture vultures – the remaining 30 per cent who disrupt and interrupt our productivity. As partners to other leaders in our organizations, HR professionals have a unique opportunity to forge new ways of working to energize our people and improve business results.

Here are three tips to energize your organization: REPLACE ENGAGEMENT SURVEYS WITH CULTURE ASSESSMENTS There are several tools that can measure culture and demystify what’s really going on in your organization. My favourites are the globally recognized culture assessment tools offered by the Barrett Values Centre. They were created by Richard Barrett, author of Liberating the Corporate Soul. Getting a benchmark on where you are today is invaluable when putting together an action plan to transform your culture. Uncovering barriers that prevent your people from doing their very best work ensures you’re addressing the root causes of your productivity pipeline leaks. Leaders look to their HR partners to present strategies to keep their organization competitive. Culture is becoming a company’s greatest asset – or liability.

SUBSTITUTE YOUR MISSION AND VISION STATEMENTS WITH A DECLARATION OF PURPOSE One of the most powerful exercises I ever went through during a strategic planning session involved defining the purpose of our telecommunications business unit. We drilled down over and over again, asking ourselves why our particular organization existed. In the end we came up with, “We open the windows to the world.” Those windows could be telephone conversations, television programming or global access via the internet. Another good example comes from the Kellogg food company: “Nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive.” Writing in Fast Company, Sherry Hakimi – the CEO of Sparktures, an organizational development firm – argues: “An organization without purpose manages people and resources, while an organization with purpose mobilizes people and resources.” HR leaders can influence their organizations to grow past the standard mission and vision and embrace a heartfelt purpose. If you have to, start with the purpose of your own business unit.

If she works for you …we should too!

www.LawyersForEmployers.com

RAISE YOUR LEADERSHIP CAPABILITIES TO NEW HEIGHTS Leadership has become a technical skill. Scan a bookshelf of business books and you may see titles such as: • • •

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership; Leadership: the Top 100 Ways to be a Great Leader; and Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practices for Leading and Living with Purpose

This demand for this knowledge is an acknowledgment that command-andcontrol leadership styles have long lost their effectiveness. Leaders are moving to a motivational leadership model. The definition of “motivate” is to provide a motive and to induce, initiate or influence. It’s about lighting a fire underneath our people. Here are two questions to ask yourself: What will it take to raise your personal consciousness to become an inspirational leader? And what can you do to help others grow into this new management style that will increase our employees’ passion for their work? Carol Ring is the president and founder of The Culture Connection.


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THE LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW EXPERTS Emond Harnden is trusted, not simply as advisors, but as an integrated member of our clients’ HR departments and senior management teams. We are devoted exclusively to advising management on labour relations and employment matters. It’s a forward-thinking approach to labour law.

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HR Update Spring 2019  

HR Update is the joint publication by OBJ and HRPA Ottawa, providing valuable news and information for human resources professionals across...

HR Update Spring 2019  

HR Update is the joint publication by OBJ and HRPA Ottawa, providing valuable news and information for human resources professionals across...