Canadian HR Reporter

August 10, 2015

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 August 10, 2015 2 NEWS Recent stories posted on Check the website daily for quick news hits from across Canada and around the world. WEB O N T H E ACROSS CANADA Federal government giving $900,000 to improve business climate in Nova Scotia Business development, internships in high-demand fields among plans File breach at electronic spy agency prompts mandatory privacy training Incident 'combination of technical, human errors' AROUND THE WORLD Job insecurities mar Spain's labour rebound Short-term contracts chip away at 22.4 per cent unemployment rate ousands of new mothers in Britain forced out of jobs each year, survey finds More than 1 in 10 new mothers said they were dismissed, made redundant or treated poorly Risks and rewards of social media employment screening Lyndsay Wasser, co-chair of the privacy group at McMillan, sat down with Canadian HR Reporter to discuss the pitfalls and benefits of using social media to conduct background checks during the recruitment process. Liz Foster reports. FEATURED VIDEO 190 Reasons Membership with the Canadian Payroll Association is essential. Canada's 1.5 million employers count on payroll professionals to annually pay $865 billion in wages and taxable benefits, $290 billion in statutory remittances, and $163 billion in benefits - all while complying with 190 regulatory requirements. Start enjoying your membership today at Member Benefits Include: ✔ Unlimited access to the Association's #1 service, Payroll InfoLine This member service answers over 38,000 inquiries per year. ✔ Member pricing for Professional Development Seminars and Webinars Over 20 topics covered in seminars across Canada. ✔ Payroll Resources at and printed publications l Legislative Compliance Rates Sheet l Payroll Best Practice Guidelines & Checklists l Timely legislative updates via electronic e-Source TM 90 of Canada's top 100 companies count on the Canadian Payroll Association membership for their payroll compliance knowledge Full-time | Part-time | Online Give your HR practice the added advantage. Immigration Consultant Diploma Program FOR INFORMATION & APPLICATION: 604.449.4788 or 1.866.609.0936 Qualifying as a regulated immigration consultant allows you to assist and represent foreign talent in the immigration process. project's done, it's over, said Jamieson. "So that's the kind of thing that is acute stress — it's kind of in-the- moment-type stress. And with that, there's lots of different kinds of responses that we can make to the situation," he said. "Generally speaking, there's two general types of acute stress responses… they differ a lot in terms of what is going on in the body. So we call them 'challenge' and 'threat.'" When people get into an acute stress situation, they appraise whether they have the ability to cope with it — whether they have the training, time or resources needed to deal with this acute stressor, said Jamieson. "If we appraise that we can, (our body responds by) helping us deal with it. So it dilates the vasculature, blood flows out to the periphery, to our major muscle groups and our brain; more blood in our brain means more oxygen, which means better cognitive performance. at's why you see performance increases under that kind of stress, because it's actually increasing car- diac efficiency," he said. "All these things are designed to get us to approach the stressor. It's all about approach motiva- tion — basically, taking care of it and actively coping. And a lot of the emotional states associated with those kinds of responses are things like excitement, challenge." e other side of the coin is threat, said Jamieson. When peo- ple face a stressful situation they appraise and feel they don't have the ability to manage, they think, "OK, I don't have the ability to do this — I don't have enough time, I don't have enough training, I don't have whatever it is,'" said Ja- mieson. "What you're telling your body essentially is that 'I can't cope with this,'" he said. "All the stress architecture that we have in our system — all of the biological stress (responses) that we have — it's all originally designed to deal with physical stressors. So, our bodies are opti- mized to deal with stuff from our evolutionary past, 20,000 years ago. It's not optimized for social systems. But social stress has the same kinds of responses that physical stress does." During a negative or "threat" stress response, the body actually responds by anticipating physical damage and trying to minimize it — centering blood in the chest cavity so a person won't bleed out as easily, and releasing the hor- mone cortisol to cope with in- flammation, said Jamieson. "These things are tied to impaired cognitive performance, impaired memory systems. So what we're seeing there is that things that were adaptive in the past are not so adaptive in mod- ern society." Positive effects of stress But when the positive or "chal- lenge" stress response takes place, it's a very different story, said Ja- mieson. It can actually have very positive, adaptive impacts, par- ticularly for performance. ere have been studies done by Alison Wood Brooks, an assis- tant professor at Harvard Business School in Boston, that compared people who were excited, people who were dead calm and people who were threatened, he said. "e people who are excited (perform) much better than the people who were calm. You don't want be calm going into an active performance situation," he said. "'Keep calm and carry on' — that's not such good advice going into acute stress situations." But gaining that performance boost has a lot to do with how a person interprets his stress re- sponse, said McGonigal in her TED talk. When someone expe- riences stress, his heart rate may speed up, he might break into a sweat and he might be breathing faster, she said. "Normally, we interpret these physical changes as anxiety or signs that we aren't coping very well with the pressure. But what if you viewed them instead as signs that your body is energized, is preparing you to meet this challenge?" A negative or threat stress response leads blood vessels to constrict, said McGonigal — which is linked to cardiovascu- lar issues. But when people view their stress response as helpful, it can actually change their biologi- cal response — their blood ves- sels actually do not constrict like someone who is in threat stress mode, she said. "Over a lifetime of stressful experiences, this one biological change could be the difference between a stress-induced heart attack at age 50 and living well into your 90s." It may sound a bit out-there but changing your perceptions of stress really can change your physiological reactions, said Jamieson. "People hear about all of these things like 'changing your mind- set' and perceptions of things, and it sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. But, really, the only way your stressors get information is through your perception. You tell your body what to do — it has no idea what's happening out in the world," he said. More employee resources So if an employer gives employ- ees more resources — more training, more time, whatever those resources may be — their stress response will improve, he said. Even teaching people more about the stress response can be enough to help improve stress re- sponses, said Achor. "We have tested a three-step process to change our mindset about stress. First, see it. Ac- knowledge you're stressed and why. Second, own it. Embedded in every stress is meaning, other- wise you wouldn't feel stress. For example, an inbox full of spam is not stressful, but one full of leads is," he said. "ird, use it. Utilize the emo- tional response to that meaning by channeling it toward a single concrete action to improve that situation." People view stress as just auto- matically negative, said Jamieson. "ey feel stressed, and they think that's bad… but, really, stress can be very good. It can help opti- mize performance. As long as it's not too much of it for a prolonged period of time, it can be a very, very adaptive thing." Change perceptions to change reactions STRESS < pg. 1 "We interpret these physical changes as anxiety. But what if we viewed them as signs that our body is energized, is preparing us to meet this challenge?"

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