Canadian HR Reporter

April 2020 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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Page 16 of 31 17 WE AS KE D, YO U AN SWE R E D. . . "How do you bring mindfulness to life at work?" Susan Kleinschmidt, cphr CEO, Good Insights Strategy Victoria, BC I start each morning with a 10-minute guided meditation from the CALM app. This is a great way to start the morning and to check in with myself before the day begins. I read the "Morning Smile" for some good news and I make sure to eat my breakfast. In my day-to-day work, I make sure to take a break at least every 90 minutes. I start this break by making sure my feet are placed solidly on the ground and then take three deep breaths. Then I will stretch and go get a glass of water. I make sure that I take time to check in with myself throughout the day and have learned the impor tance of slowing down rather than just driving through the day. I am prac ticing mindfulness each day to really connec t with myself and others, focusing on being less of a human doing and more of a human being. Joanie Clary, cphr Advisor, Learning and Development, City of Vernon Vernon, BC Mindfulness is being present. Mindfulness can be practiced at any time, wherever we are, whoever we are with, and whatever we are doing, by showing up and being fully engaged in the here and now. Moving through my working day in the present moment places me in a zone of aliveness. I am neither preoccupied with the past or anxious about the future. I am attending to what needs my attention right here and now. I now understand this to be a zone of high performance. More is done with less, and stress drops away. By being in this zone at work, you can actually access the power in this space, which brings about inspira- tion because you are making the decision to consciously focus on things that will enhance your experi- ence, instead of taking away from it. The City of Vernon is currently working on a research project that involves mindfulness as a dimension of building resilience. Pamela Robinson, cphr Senior Labour Relations Officer, BC Nurses Union Vancouver, BC Many believe that mindfulness is meditation, however, there are many other prac tices. I find the simple ac t of reflec tion helps me immensely in staying curious and open minded. When presented with an idea contrar y to my own— or when I have no idea what the other person is talking about or where they are coming from— I pause. I take a deep breath. This breath gives me time to ponder other points of view. During this breath, I relax and engage my curiosity. I remind myself of what I am tr ying to achieve and then I invite the other person (people) to share more about what they want. Self reflec tion is key. Approaching conflic t resolution in a mindful way allows me to increase my understanding of the situation and clarif y what all par ties want; and improves the ability to come to a resolution in a respec tful manner. Sarah Bijl, cphr HR Manager, Interior Community Services Kelowna, BC In 2019, one of my goals has been to revitalize our wellness program. This has led our organization to join the Canadian Mental Health Associ- ation's "Not Myself Today" program which focuses on "self care" and mental health in the workplace. This program has spurred us to incorporate 'mindfulness' in several ways. Each Monday morning a "weekly wellness wisdom" email is sent out to all staff — tidbits of wisdom aimed to encourage mind- fulness before starting the week. We have made wellness webinars available and provided staff oppor- tunities to experience 20 minutes of guided meditation. It is common to go at full speed the whole day, sometimes barely taking a quiet break to eat. As HR profes- sionals we need to encourage a shift in the mindset that equates busy and no breaks with productivity — as it is rarely sustainable. Imagine instead having a chance to close your eyes, take a deep breath and be present — perhaps even returning to work more focused, grounded and productive. Continued from previous page MAKING THE INVESTIGATION PROCESS PSYCHOLOGICALLY SAFE Once the investigation is underway, it's common as HR leaders that we find ourselves distancing from the parties involved in efforts to remain neutral and unbiased. Unfortunately, this often means that participants involved are left with lower levels of support. With this in mind, a practical tip is to appoint a support person for participants to go to for emotional support and to answer any questions they may have. Now, as much it seems ideal for business to remain as usual during the investigation, this is often not possible. Depending on the nature of the investigation, it may be deemed psychologically or physically unsafe for the complainant(s) and respondent(s) to work together. As such, participants may wish to, or be required to, take time off work, or work in alternate loca- tions or shift times. Time off should be offered to complainants who have suffered a traumatic incident, as a means of providing them with access to sick leave benefits and medical health professionals. CAVEATS AND CAUTIONS However, investigators should keep in mind that mandatory time away from work may also result in feelings of prejudgment and guilt, particularly for respondents. You don't want investigation participants to feel as if they are not allowed to talk to anyone at work and become socially isolated. While it is imperative to ask employees to limit their discussions involving the investigation as to not compromise confidentiality, any limitations should not comprise their ability to maintain working relationships. Once investigation meetings commence, investigators should preface the meetings by acknowledging that the process may be difficult and emotional. Ask participants if there is anything that they need prior to getting started, make it clear that a break can be called at any time, and ensure they are advised the meeting can be stopped and resumed at a later date if it is too emotionally taxing to deal with at one time. Room set-up is important too — some participants report feeling trapped and claustrophobic. Ask participants where they would like to sit in the room for maximum comfort and feelings of security. Participants may also be invited to bring a support person with them to the meeting. However, it is advised that this be an external support person due to the confidential matters that will be discussed. Should participants elect to have a support person in the meeting, it is advised that he/she sign a confidentiality document. A MINDFUL SENSE OF SAFET Y Ultimately, psychological safety in the investigation process is about providing a safe space for employees to disclose and discuss their concerns freely and without fear of reprisal. If you create this sense of safety, you can expect to see fewer extended leaves and reduced rates of turnover as a result of workplace investigations, and most importantly, an enhanced level of trust and engagement from all participants. Robin Turnill, CPHR is founder and CEO and Mia McCannel is an HR consultant at Pivot HR Services.

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