Canadian HR Reporter

October 20, 2014

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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PM40065782 RO9496 October 20, 2014 Vapour-free workplaces Enthusiast Brandy Tseu uses an electronic cigarette at the Vapor Spot vapour bar in Los Angeles. The city has banned the use of such devices from restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other public spaces. In Canada, the Heart and Stroke foundation is urging the federal government to regulate e-cigarettes the same way as tobacco products, including banning them in public places and workplaces and restricting where they can be bought. INSIDE THE PERFECT POUR Labatt didn't discriminate against workers on LTD with voluntary retirement incentive that paid them less Role reversal Transgender employees have unique insights into workplace page 2 Executive Series Employee engagement is way past the tipping point page 9 It's crunch time Finance is increasingly looking for ROI from HR page 11 page 5 e undercover employee Pressure to 'cover' can have negative impacts By Liz Bernier Julie Chen was just beginning her TV journalism career when her boss told her she'd never have an on-air anchor job because she looked "too Chinese." So Chen underwent cosmetic surgery to change the appearance of her eyelids. She is now a well- known news anchor on CBS. Chen's experience is just one example of the pressure to "cover" or downplay certain aspects of an identity in the workplace, accord- ing to Kenji Yoshino, a law profes- sor at New York University in New York City. "Covering is downplaying a known identity, usually because the identity is an outsider identity or a stigmatized identity," said Yo- shino, who released a survey and white paper on the subject in part- nership with Deloitte. "e identity — in (Chen's) case, being an Asian — is known but the idea is you can't look 'too Asian' and be able to play in the biggest sandbox." ere's no shortage of high-pro- file examples — Barack Obama, for instance, was told he couldn't have two "weird names" and win the presidency, said Yoshino. And it's certainly not a new phe- nomenon — even Franklin Delano Roosevelt used covering to down- play his disability. "(He) used to always make sure he was seated behind a table be- fore his cabinet entered… His cab- inet knew he had a motor function disability. But he was covering in that he wanted to project his more conventional presidential quali- ties: 'I'm male, I'm white' were in the foreground, and his disability was in the background." The Roosevelt example illus- trates another facet of Yoshino's research: Almost every demo- graphic — even straight, white males — engages in covering. "Many people across cultural differences cover in one way or another because they feel pres- sure to fit in," said Ritu Bhasin, diversity specialist and founder of Bhasin Consulting in Toronto. "People from these underrepre- sented groups will often disasso- ciate or detach from the layers of cultural identity that they feel are stigmatized in order to conform." e concept of covering is ad- vancing the conversation around workplace diversity in a new way, said Alex Johnston, executive director of Catalyst Canada in Toronto. "It isn't simply about your num- bers," she said. "You can bring in lots of different (diverse) people but to actually grow and develop them effectively in the organiza- tion requires much more than just getting them in the door." e pressure to cover can come from both implicit and explicit sources, said Yoshino — it can come directly from leaders in the organization or it can simply be a part of the culture, found the De- loitte survey of 3,129 respondents. But Yoshino was surprised at how often respondents said a leader ex- pected them to cover. "Fifty-three per cent said their leaders asked them to cover and 48 per cent said that it was organi- zational culture," he said. People cover along four Delving into hR's DnA What does it take to become vice-president of human resources? By Sarah DoBSon BeComing a vice-president of HR requires a robust background in all areas of HR, along with a solid understanding of the opera- tional side of the business. Once a strong foundation is established, it's about building leadership skills through effective commu- nication, people management and change implementation, and then creating links between hu- man capital and business strategy. at's according to the report DNA of a VP of Human Resources from recruiting firm Hays, based on a survey of more than 100 Ca- nadian HR leaders and a review of 100 resumés. ese executives have had a more difficult road proving their value as strategic business lead- ers, according to Rowan O'Grady, president of Hays Canada. "Where obvious technical abil- ity and qualifications set mini- mum vocation standards for oth- er department leads, the VP of HR has had to demonstrate how... her work positively impacts business growth. ere are less tangible qualifications that can be high- lighted to demonstrate business acumen. Instead, having a broad range of professional experiences 'Free desking' gains ground Altered workspaces are meant to appeal to millennials, boost collaboration, say employers By Sarah DoBSon RememBeR loCkeRs and lunch tables at school? Grabbing your stuff and finding a seat with friends? at's not just for high school anymore — several large employers are rolling out the con- cept in offices across the country. Known as free desking, hot desking, shared space — a broad variety of names — the approach involves a mixture of long tables with unassigned seating, fewer of- fices, limited booths or cubicles, more collaborative areas and meeting rooms of various sizes. Deloitte, for one, is embracing the concept, offering 14 different types of workspaces in various of- fices across Canada, according to Jason Winkler, managing partner of talent at Deloitte in Vancouver. "It's recognizing the reality that we have a multi-generational work- force, more so than any other time in our history. We have a national footprint with very high client ser- vice-oriented people, so our people are already working multiple ways — whether that is at home, at the local Starbucks, in the offices, trains, planes, automobiles — so the workplace strategies are really about how do we actually have the physical embodiment of our own spaces really reflect the flexibil- ity of working the way you need, when you need, and getting away from the traditional hierarchical (approach)." If needed, people can reserve a working space ahead of time at the phone-free, wireless desks, he said. AUTHENTICITY > pg. 6 EvErYbodY's > pg. 10 fINANCE > pg. 6

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