Canadian HR Reporter

May 29, 2017

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 May 29, 2017 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 First day of drug and alcohol testing at TTC produces 2 positive tests Company won right to randomly test employees in safety-sensitive positions in April Mixed reaction to Toronto eatery's surcharge for employee health benefits Restaurant unveils optional customer surcharge to fund employee benefits Bombardier executive chairman steps down after pay controversy Pressure had mounted ahead of Pierre Beaudoin's re-election Yukon passes legislation to make National Aboriginal Day paid holiday June 21 will be territory-wide day off, honouring indigenous culture Second Cup CEO departs suddenly, will be replaced by recent addition to board Alix Box quits two days before annual general meeting Caring for aging parents costs Canadians $33 billion a year in expenses and lost income: Study Finds one-third of workers sacrifice 450 working hours per year for care Paid coffee breaks for employees eliminated at two Tim Hortons outlets in Quebec Owner says breaks pose threat to business profitability AROUND THE WORLD Businesses can give interns a chance to shine or whine Summer is internship season for many U.S. companies Earnings gap over U.S. workers grows for S&P 500 CEOs: Report Typical CEO makes 347 times more than average worker Punching in past 65: Older worker rate highest since 1962 Reasons for working longer include enjoyment, engagement, living costs Appeals court to weigh challenge to revised Trump travel ban Administration says order motivated by national security, not religion Robot army In an effort to get ahead, Chinese shipping firm Shentong Express is employing robots to sort 18,000 packages per hour FEATURED VIDEO CCing boss can create 'erosion of trust': U.K. study Be judicious when deciding who to include in email, say experts BY JOHN DUJAY LOOPING a supervisor into an email is the digital equivalent of pointing an accusatory fin- ger at a colleague, according to new research from the Univer- sity of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. When a supervisor is "always" included by carbon copy (CC), it makes the recipient of the email feel trusted significantly less than those who are randomly allocated to the "sometimes" or "almost nev- er" condition, according to David De Cremer, KPMG professor of management studies at the Judge Business School at the university. De Cremer and his collabo- rators conducted a series of six studies, using a combination of experiments and surveys. In the experimental studies, 594 work- ing adults participated, while 345 were included in the surveys. "To make matters worse, my findings indicated that when the supervisor was copied in often, employees felt less trusted, and this feeling automatically led them to infer that the organizational culture must be low in trust over- all, fostering a culture of fear and low psychological safety," said De Cremer, in an article in the Har- vard Business Review. Some people do it in good faith, he said. "ey believe the benefits of transparency and collaboration outweigh the costs of excess emails. What they may not real- ize is how all this surplus commu- nication is eroding the very goals they seek to support through their excess collaboration." Creating mistrust However, when employees imag- ined sending emails that always copied the supervisor, they indi- cated they knew this would re- duce the level of trust felt by the recipient much more than when the supervisor was copied in sometimes or almost never, wrote De Cremer. "This finding suggests that when your co-workers copy your supervisor very often, they may be doing so strategically, as they consciously know what the effect will be on you. From that point of view, our finding that employees receiving emails with the supervi- sor always CCed reported feeling trusted less by their co-worker may very well carry some truth in it." CCing the boss would send the message "I don't think that you will do what I want you to do with- out notifying your boss that I am asking you to do it," said Melissa Gratias, a productivity psycholo- gist based in Savannah, Ga. "It can communicate and create an atmo- sphere of mistrust." It also creates defensiveness and a feeling employees are being watched, said Janet Salopek, pres- ident of Calgary-based HR con- sulting firm Salopek & Associates. People may question why their boss is being CCed, said Rosalinda Randall, a business etiquette ex- pert in San Francisco. "If I am receiving an email from a co-worker and their boss or a client, and their boss is CCed, I would initially wonder why." Openness pros and cons Full disclosure can be a laudable goal, but it is not the "Holy Grail that every organization has been waiting for to promote efficien- cy and collaboration," wrote De Cremer. "Such a perception makes em- ployees suspicious that what they say or do can be used against them, especially when supervi- sors and higher authorities are included." Letting everyone know what is going on is the essence of corpo- rate transparency, but that doesn't necessarily mean companies need to inform every supervisor or manager of what's happening minute-by-minute. "We're putting too much on our leaders to have them follow these granular conversations, when they probably just need to be in- formed of the decision that was made," said Gratias. "We don't need that degree of transparency." Transparency is critical for trust in senior leadership and management, but using email is a bit lazy, said Bill Howatt, chief research and development officer, workforce productivity, at Mor- neau Shepell in Toronto. "e challenge is email is very task-oriented and if you have a long, great big piece of informa- tion, many people just delete it." An inbox can make a worker feels like she is part of an assembly line when most people just want to get rid of the constant buildup of messages, he said. "What we end up doing — be- cause we think we need to be a team — we often include every- body and nothing gets done," said Howatt. "Email was supposed to be a mechanism to facilitate and ex- pedite communication; it's not supposed to be communication." Too much of a good thing can be overwhelming and annoy- ing, said Randall. "Not everyone needs to be informed or included on everything." And if you're copying some- body new on a long email, that means they have to scroll all the way down to the bottom, start reading all the way back to the top, and infer what it is you want them to pay attention to, said Gratias. "e benefits of transparency are often outweighed by the cost of the email overload that over- CCing can cause." Waste of time Most white-collar workers deal with multiple and never-ending emails, which consumes precious time sifting through what is rel- evant and what is not needed. "Just managing all that email in your inbox, it's stressful," said Salopek. "A CC can be good for transpar- ency but, again, you need to ask yourself 'Who needs to know? Who do I need to be transparent to?' You have to spend the time to read through it all to make sure you're not missing anything and that takes time." is can have a negative effect on the morale of some who are feeling overwhelmed. "For some teams, it can be dis- engaging because they have to read through all this material — it's not relevant, it's wasting their time, they get frustrated," said Salopek. Some employees who are re- ally conscientious will read a lot of these emails, so the CCs create extra work, said Howatt. "CCing people is often a waste of time because... (people) get en- gaged in conversations they don't really need to be in." Email overload can generate frustration and "feelings of help- lessness" after people receive hundreds of messages each day. Employees end up "only skim- ming them because they simply don't have the time to process it all," said Gratias. Best practices of CCing But CCing isn't all bad, accord- ing to Salopek. It can be a "pretty powerful" tool as a "shout-out" to a worker. "Let's says somebody does a really good job and you want to congratulate them — CCing their manager or supervisor is exactly the right thing to do," she said. "We coach our people to think about CCing that manager or su- pervisor because that thank you just goes that much further." Keeping colleagues up-to-date can be accomplished with a well- placed CC in an email, according to Gratias. "e positive of CCing is when someone has specifically asked to be kept in the loop on something." It is important to let everyone included know why they are being included. "I recommend that for whom- ever you have on the CC line, that you reference them by name in the body of the email so they know what information you specifically wanted them to pay attention to," said Gratias. Instead of sending messages all the time, a best practice for em- ployers might be to combine them in a different format. "We can still be transparent and keep people in the loop by sending a summary report at the end of the day or the end of the week saying, 'ese are all the things that hap- pened,"' said Gratias. "You can deal with five issues in that one sitting, rather than copy- ing them on 15 different emails." It is sensible to have a daily or weekly status report email that "We can still be transparent and keep people in the loop by sending a summary report at the end of the day or the end of the week." EMAIL > pg. 10

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