Canadian HR Reporter

July 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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 43

CANADIAN HR REPORTER JULY 2019 42 INSIGHT Reaping rewards of relationships O ver my many years of work (I still can't believe it's been this long), I've managed to make a few really good friends. It's never planned, it's never a purposeful endeavour, but some- how, just through doing my work, these small working relationships have blossomed to become true friendships. And they've always been im- portant relationships in my life, because these people know bet- ter than most of my other friends or family exactly what's going at work — whether it's major chang- es, politics, foibles and fails, suc- cesses and secrets. It's a comfort to catch up with them and go over the latest developments. I had a co-worker back at Rog- ers Communications who used to smoke, so she'd urge me to join her on breaks and she soon be- came one of my best friends. On the job, we supported each other, groaning about bosses or com- plaining about workload, while outside of work, we had plenty of laughs and tears over the years as life threw us the good and the bad. Sadly, that particular friend died just a few months ago, and I still can't quite believe she's gone. We hadn't worked together for years and she had moved out of town, but we often messaged each other or talked on the phone. And right up to the end, there were still discussions about work. But work life can be funny (fun- ny strange) because people come and go more easily — voluntarily or involuntarily. at's a tough transition to take — to lose a good friend in the workplace — but I've found my true friends are those still important to me despite our changed workplaces. All that to say I certainly sup- port the fi ndings of the three- year study by Myers-Briggs cited by Marcel Vander Wier in his sto- ry on pg. 6. It found relationships ranked as the highest contribut- ing aspect of workplace well- being, at 7.85 out of 10, followed by meaning (7.69), accomplish- ments (7.66), engagement (7.43) and positive emotions (7.19). "If you're in a workplace that's got a lot of bitter, unhappy, poor relationships… then you're not going to have a constructive, profi table or productive work- place," said Paul Krismer, chief happiness offi cer and founder of the Happiness Experts Company in Victoria. The numbers make sense. Meaningful work and accomplish- ment are defi nitely important, but having a strong connection with someone at work — having that constant support, reassurance and familiarity — can make such a diff erence to a job. I've dabbled in photography for years and always wondered if I should have pursued that as a career. If I had been success- ful, there would be my meaning and accomplishment. But if it also meant a lot of solitary hours working in a photo lab (way back when) or doing digital work in my studio, I know I'd miss the human interactions. It's the same when it comes to working from home. While I always appreciate the change of environment — being able to sit at the dining-room table with the window open while I do my work — and going for a quick run at lunch — it's also pretty isolating and I always look forward to re- turning to the offi ce. e relationships don't even have to be that close. It could be a colleague I catch up with once or twice a month, or someone I cross paths with in the kitchen at work each morning. Even those brief encounters can make a diff erence. I think most employers appre- ciate that. I think they know that when people are chatting at a cu- bicle or grabbing a quick coff ee, they're reinvigorating themselves by connecting with others. I think employers know it's not productive to have employ- ees constantly sitting at their desks like robots, churning out the work with no people connections. Whether employers appreciate how much of a priority relation- ships are for employee well-being is another matter. Here's hoping they do, because if automation and artifi cial intel- ligence take over the workplace like it's been predicted, those hu- man interactions will be all the more relevant. And while there's been plenty of coverage around the importance of a harassment-free workplace, with new legislation and require- ments appearing monthly, these seem to be more focused on combatting or reacting to negative relationships, instead of trying to foster positive ones. Sure, there may be team- building events or open-concept offi ces, but often these are about improving communication and collaboration among colleagues versus enriching those con- nections to improve employee well-being. Sadly, with the #MeToo move- ment, we've heard some men are reluctant to provide mentor- ships, or at least to be alone with female colleagues, for fear of being accused of inappropriate behaviour. While this could mean a lot of women will not receive much- needed support and guidance to move up in their careers, it also means many people — men and women — are missing out on positive relationships that can lead to happier times at work. FASHION FAUX PAS TOKYO — In Alberta, women recently won the right not to be forced to wear high heels in the workplace but in Japan, the op- posite might be true. Takumi Nemoto, the country's labour minister, said it was "necessary and appropriate" for some em- ployers to force women to wear heels at work, reported Agence France-Presse. Nemoto was re- sponding to an 18,000-signature petition that called for a ban on the practice. Calling it "socially ac- cepted," Nemoto rejected the #Ku- Too petition, which is a reference to the #MeToo campaign and the Japanese words "kutsu" and "kut- suu" which mean shoes and pain, respectively. It's been labelled a modern version of foot binding by those against the requirement for women to wear such shoes during the interview process. ROBOT JANITOR GONE WILD MARIETTA, GA. — A Walmart worker who fell asleep while rid- ing on top of a robotic janitor — labelled "Freddy" by employees at a Georgia store — was just one of many hiccups brought by the self- propelled floor scrubber which recently went into operation. e machine should have come to a stop if anybody or anything inter- fered with it, according to Walmart management. But employees said the fi nicky machine would "swing toward groceries, just cleaning away" and "someone had to pull (the sleeping man) off ," said store employee Evan Tanner, according to the Washington Post. Employ- ees also reported that the robotic machine suff ered multiple break- downs and had to be retrained after taking the wrong turns on its cleaning routes. COMPLETE COINCIDENCE? PHOENIX — After a penis- shaped cloud contrail was spot- ted in the air near Phoenix, Air Force offi cials quickly debunked the viral internet sensation. " ere was no nefarious or inappropri- ate behaviour during the train- ing fl ight," said Becky Heyse, 56th Fighter Wing spokesperson for the Arizona Republic. e pilots were on a training session simu- lating a typical dogfi ght, accord- ing to Heyse, and the depiction of male genitalia was completely ac- cidental and not meant to be any kind of a joke. is isn't the fi rst time such a sight was seen in the skies around an air base. A phallic sky drawing was reported above Germany last year, while another one was viewed above Washing- ton state in 2017. In that case, the American navy disciplined two pilots for the naughty manoeuvre. BAD ACTING PORDENONE, ITALY — A sick note was not enough to save an Italian actress from possible jailtime after photographs sur- faced showing she may have been stretching the truth. Ornella Muti was seen laughing it up at a table with Russian president Vladimir Putin even though she was sched- uled to appear at a 2010 event in Pordenone, Italy, at the same time. She bowed out of the recital by claiming sickness. Muti was charged with attempted fraud in a case that has dragged through the Italian courts for years, according to the Telegraph. She received a six-month suspended sentence and was ordered to pay a fi ne. e actress, who previously told the court she couldn't pay another fi ne, may face jailtime if she does not. HOT MESS LYNNFIELD, MASS. — After a 40-year career, a fi refi ghter was placed on leave after police say he walked into a convenience store in his birthday suit. John Walsh, of Lynnfi eld, Mass., allegedly walked into a 7-Eleven store in Rhode Is- land, after his girlfriend dared him to do so. Apparently, she told him it was legal to be nude in public in the tiny state. e man, adorned only with a "smile on his face," purchased a drink and left in a car before he was pulled over by local police after a complaint, accord- ing to the Associated Press. BEER BREAK OVER BRUSSELS — A group of Belgian monks will be soon getting back to doing what they are most famous for — brewing beer. e residents of the Grimbergen abbey, north of Brussels, will reopen beer- making operations after taking more than 200 years off . "Brewing and religious life always came together," said Father Karel Stautemas about the fi ve to six new employees who will be brewing the suds, according to Reuters. e abbey had been making beer since the 13 th century, but a sacking by French soldiers in 1795 derailed the business. e facility expects to produce 10,000 hectolitres per year of limited- edition brews. Grimbergen is already the moniker of a brand brewed by Heineken in Belgium, and Carlsberg in France. Credit: populustremula (Shutterstock) W EIRD ORKPLACE THE Vol. 32 No. 6 – June 2019 PUBLISHED BY HAB Press, a subsidiary of Key Media 312 Adelaide Street West Suite 800 Toronto, ON M5V 1R2 ©Copyright 2019 by HAB Press Ltd. All rights reserved. CANADIAN HR REPORTER is published 12 times a year. Publications Mail – Agreement # 41261516 Registration # 9496 – ISSN 0838-228X President: Tim Duce EDITORIAL Editor/Supervisor: Sarah Dobson - (416) 649-7896 News Editor Marcel Vander Wier - (416) 649-7837 Employment Law Editor: Jeffrey R. Smith - (416) 649-7881 Labour Relations News Editor: John Dujay - (416) 298-5129 Web/IT Co-ordinator: Mina Patel - (416) 649-7879 ADVERTISING Sales Manager: Paul Burton - (416) 649-9928 MARKETING AND CIRCULATION Marketing Co-ordinator: Keith Fulford - (416) 649-9585 PRODUCTION Art Director: Steve Maver SUBSCRIPTIONS Annual subscription: $175 (plus tax) GST/HST#: 70318 4911 RT0001 To subscribe, visit Address changes and returns: Send changes and undeliverable Canadian addresses to: SUBSCRIBER SERVICES Canadian HR Reporter One Corporate Plaza 2075 Kennedy Rd. Toronto, ON M1T 3V4 CUSTOMER SERVICE Call: (416) 609-3800 (Toronto) (800) 387-5164 (outside Toronto) Fax: (416) 298-5082 (Toronto) (877) 750-9041 (outside Toronto) Email: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CHRR reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. Sarah Dobson EDITOR'S NOTES

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian HR Reporter - July 2019 CAN