Canadian HR Reporter

June 2019 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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CANADIAN HR REPORTER JUNE 2019 2 NEWS Focus on work-life balance with new certification in Quebec Seal of recognition 'simpler' than standard launched in 2010 BY SARAH DOBSON QUEBEC'S LABOUR shortages have become well-recognized, as the province struggles to find skilled and semi-skilled workers for a variety of sectors while im- migration levels are lowered. But a new initiative launch- ing in September may help some companies when it comes to re- cruiting and retaining sought-af- ter employees. e Réseau pour un Québec Famille (Network for a Quebec Family) will be granting seals of recognition to employers that adopt best practices in work- life balance. e network's mandate is to propose public policies that sup- port families, and this initiative is about best practices, and mov- ing forward with the social norm around work-life balance, said Mathieu Gagné, adviser in com- munications, production and strategy at the Réseau. Two years ago, the Ministère de la Famille surveyed 8,000 com- panies, and 90 per cent said they offered work-life balance meas- ures to employees, he said. "We were kind of surprised to see this number because all around us, and every time we hear families talking, it's always a big concern, a big problem, a big issue, so we felt there was a dis- crepancy between what was told by the families, and what busi- nesspeople actually told us about the measures they put in place." But a second survey of 3,006 workers with children in 2018 by Leger also found 82 per cent said they had access to work-life bal- ance measures at their employer, said Gagné. "Another finding from this sur- vey was that almost half of them actually never use those meas- ures. And one of the main reasons for that was because they either weren't aware of what measures were offered or what they could get, and when and how, or they felt that they should try as much as possible to avoid (asking for it) and, instead of that, use people in their surroundings or find other solutions on their own before eventually asking for the company to accommodate." As a result, the network decided to launch the new seal. And while the initiative is similar to a stan- dard introduced by the Bureau de Normalisation du Québec (BNQ) in 2010 — with only a handful of companies since then actually pursuing the qualification — this one is different, he said. "We tried to come up with something that would be more useful, more manageable for com- panies, easier to put in place, but still be effective in terms of having them move on and try things and do things with employees — start the discussion." The pre v iou s st and ard launched by the government has proved too complicated, said Yves-omas Dorval, president and CEO of the Quebec Employ- ers Council. "It's costly, it is less flexible than what is now tabled by this organization... but, that being said, it's good, everything is good, because… we don't want to have exactly the same things, one with the other. But (employers) need to get an outside acknowledgement about the effort you do, you make to your employees in order to of- fer them better conditions, better balance between work and family." The network's new certifica- tions also makes sense if recent survey results are to be believed. Ninety per cent of parents said they would be encouraged to ap- ply for or stay longer with a com- pany holding such a seal, accord- ing to a 2019 survey by Leger of 1,026 people, including 276 par- ents with children under 18. And 55 per cent of Quebec- ers said they would be willing to change their jobs while 57 per cent would be willing to take a re- duction in salary in exchange for better measures around "la con- ciliation famille-travail" (work-life balance), according to the 2018 survey by Leger. A couple of years ago, work-life balance was largely about flexibil- ity, and now it's probably the num- ber 1 criteria with candidates, said Danielle Bragge, co-founder and president of the Headhunters Re- cruitment in Edmonton. "We've actually got candidates saying, 'I'm willing to take a drop in salary if I can get an extra week of vacation or if I can work on a flex- ible schedule or if I can work from my house from time to time.'" When millennials came into the workforce, they were looking for different things, she said. "ey work to play, whereas your gen X and boomers, we were a generation who just had to do what we had to, to get to where we needed to go. So, we look at ca- reers as a ladder, where the mil- lennials and the new generation coming in, they look at careers al- most like a jungle gym. So, it's re- ally much more as to 'What does my life dictate right now? Where do I need to go? Could it be a lat- eral move?' And a lot depends on their lifestyle, and what they need at that time." Millennials brought up the is- sue of flexibility, and employers had to start thinking differently, said Bragge. "at started to rub off on your mid-level managers which, at the time, were your gen-Xers and, slowly but surely, even the boom- ers are starting to look at it differ- ently," she said. "I'm not measuring presence anymore, I'm managing productivity." But overall, these kinds of work- life balance changes could take some getting used to, she said. "If employers are willing to look at redesigning how they work, and looking at 'I'm going to manage an individual by tasks,' it takes a completely different manager and completely different management style to be trusting enough to say to the employee 'I don't need you hear from nine to five, but I need you to finish (your work).' at's hard for an old-school manager... but I think from a retention standpoint, you're going to see a much, much higher level of output, you're going to have very different retention. And people feel valued, they'll see value for the work they did, not for the hours that they put in." Requirements To obtain the seal of recognition in Quebec, companies will first have to consult with employ- ees, and then develop a series of measures that address their Benefits for all? Employee benefits help with attraction and retention, but what's the deal for contractors and freelancers? We talk to Karam Tawfiq of Sun Life Financial and Rafael Gomez of the University of Toronto on this topic Mixed messaging Do wellness programs really make sense if employees are offered pizza every week? Pierced ears raise issues Refusing an order to work may not be considered insubordination if it is unreasonable e downsides to a longer maternity leave Women's careers can suffer without employer support Complexity of statutory holiday pay challenges employers 'It's one of the top 5 non- compliance issues in Canada' Six months later, is cannabis still a workplace concern? Issues remain, but much of pre-legalization hype was overblown: Experts BLOGS BRIEFS NEWS VIDEO BLOGS BRIEFS NEWS VIDEO BLOGS BRIEFS NEWS VIDEO Recent videos, stories and blogs posted on www.hrreporter.com. Check the website daily for updates from Canada and around the world. Montreal employers should benefit from a new seal of recognition for work-life balance in Quebec. Credit: mat277 (Shutterstock) THE > pg. 20

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