Canadian HR Reporter

June 12, 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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 31

CANADIAN HR REPORTER June 12, 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 Nova Scotia school staff faced 1,800 violent incidents last year: Government Union points to lack of resources, vague disciplinary system One-third of Ontario's 6.6 million workers vulnerable: Report 'Low income, lack of control, benefits create uncertainty': Changing Workplaces Review Ontario looking to loosen solvency requirements for DB pensions Province to introduce changes via legislation in fall Google for Jobs to be introduced over next few weeks Will recognize job search query, return set of open jobs that match Long health-care wait times cost Canadians $1.7 billion in 2016 Breaks down to $1,759 per person in lost wages and time More North American CEOs being turfed for 'ethical lapses': Study Increased use of email, text, social media; public's declining trust; new zero-tolerance rules to blame Quebec lumber workers among first to feel pain of duty-inspired layoffs Resolute Forest Products cutting shifts at seven sawmills, delaying operations AROUND THE WORLD What's your past salary? U.S. lawmakers want to ban the question State legislation an attempt to close gender wage gap CEO says changing VW culture proving tougher than expected Managers stuck in pre-dieselgate mindset, says Mueller U.S. president's 2018 budget to include paid family leave Six weeks of paid leave a departure from Republican orthodoxy Zurich Insurance starts using robots to decide personal injury claims Move saves 40,000 work hours, speeds up processing times to five seconds Motivating employees Ed Gardiner, behavioural design lead at England's Warwick Business School, recommends using behavioural science FEATURED VIDEO Every two weeks Canadian HR Reporter hits the desks of HR management decision-makers across Canada. By providing real-world solutions to perplexing HR situations, we give you the tools and information to make more calculated decisions. STAY CURRENT. GET AHEAD. STAY AHEAD. To order your subscription call 1.800.387.5164 | 416.609.3800 Subscribe today for only $175 Order No. 20610-17 PM40065782 RO9496 September 5, 2016 INSIDE FIGHTING FRAUD Insurance fraud prevention requires a joint approach between plan sponsors and insurers CCHRA partners up Agreements with SHRM, CERC formalize relationships page 2 Pink hair Starbucks' relaxed dress code part of growing trend page 3 Mental health More integrated approach needed to help people page 13 page 15 ENFORCEMENT > pg. 8 Pokemon GO presents challenges for employers But risks can be managed eff ectively: Experts BY LIZ BERNIER POKEMON GO, the mobile game that's sweeping smartphones of the nation, has seen a meteoric rise in popularity. And just as the game has blurred boundaries be- tween public and private space, it has also blurred boundaries be- tween work and play. Many employees are taking the mobile game — among oth- ers — to work with them, and that has the potential to create issues for employers, according to Erin Kuzz, founding member of law fi rm Sherrard Kuzz in Toronto. Chief among the risks are safety and security concerns, and pro- ductivity challenges, he said. "When I turn my mind to the workplace issues that are raised by Pokemon Go and some of these related apps and games, two things are particularly glaring," said Kuzz. "Number one is the security is- sues where people are download- ing any kind of app or external game onto their phone, and that could be a phone that is used for work purposes — whether it's an employer-owned device or a BYOD (bring-your-own device) that's been approved for use in the workplace — it creates security issues." With Pokemon Go, there are counterfeit or non-genuine ver- sions that have been found to con- tain malware, she said. "When you have employees po- tentially exposing the employer's system to malware… it's an issue," she said. "Employers have to think about how they want to tackle this very quickly. "My advice would be to prohibit use of anything like that on a work device — because you just can't control what happens if someone downloads malware." Many of the risks are around cyber security, said Leah Fochuk, consulting services manager at HR consulting fi rm Salopek & Associ- ates in Calgary. "Because you sign up through Google, the app is really capturing a lot of sensitive data," she said. Companies that use BYOD of- ten deal in sensitive or confi dential information and defi nitely need to be aware of those risks. "Even when you're downloading it, if people are downloading the app not from offi cial vendors, the risk of introducing malware could potentially aff ect your entire net- work," said Fochuk. "On the IT side, there are some pretty big risks that would need to be managed." Also, there are potential safety hazards when it comes to distrac- tion or trespassing. "Players are practising distract- ed walking: eir heads are down, they're not necessarily seeing where they're going," said Fochuk. "As a company, you would hate to have something happen on your Ontario looking to make changes to labour laws Card-based certifi cation, precarious work, better enforcement among concerns BY JOHN DUJAY IN a massive undertaking, the On- tario government is looking to up- date not one but two labour laws with its Changing Workplaces Review. First proposed in 2015, the re- view would see the province's 1995 Labour Relations Act and 2000 Em- ployment Standards Act updated. "It's important our laws refl ect the realities of the modern econ- omy, and that's why we're consult- ing with people in communities across the province and reviewing our legislation," said Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn. Led by lawyer Michael Mitchell and former justice of the Ontario Superior Court John Murray, the review received more than 300 written submissions and met with various labour and employer groups. e co-chairs released an interim report in July. e 312-page report touches on a variety of issues relevant to em- ployers and labour groups. e Ontario Federation of La- bour (OFL) has been waiting quite some time for the changes, said OFL president Chris Buckley. "It's a springboard for a once-in- a-generation opportunity to bring sweeping changes to Ontario's employment laws and to make it fair for every worker across the province." If the exercise was to poke at as many of the issues as possible, it's achieved that goal, said labour and employment lawyer Craig Rix at Hicks Morley in Toronto. "What I see mostly in the re- port is a longstanding list of like- to-have proposals that have largely come from organized labour." Slap on the wrist for TTC's social media account Greater care needed: Arbitrator BY SARAH DOBSON THE Toronto Transit Commis- sion (TTC) found itself in hot water recently when an arbitrator ruled one of its Twitter accounts contributed to the harassment of employees and needed to be changed — but not shut down. In his decision, arbitrator Rob- ert Howe said social media sites operated by the TTC could be considered to constitute part of the workplace. And a number of the tweets on @TTChelps consti- tute harassment. "It is clear from the totality of the evidence that the TTC has failed to take all reasonable and practical measures to protect bar- gaining unit employees from that type of harassment by members of FIXED > pg. 6 INAPPROPRIATE > pg. 10 Pavlo Farmakidis (left), recruitment co-ordinator at Woodbine Entertainment Group in Toronto, and Mark Diker, senior manager of recruitment and talent planning, ran a job fair using Pokemon Go that attracted about 500 candidates. See page 18. Subscribe Today! CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-387-5164 ONLINE AT Emplo y ment Law Today Canad a ian LeNoury Law Proactive Advice to Management Employment Lawyer of The Year James LeNoury B.A. (Hons) M.A. LL.B 416-926-1107 • Toll Free 1-877-926-1107 • Mad boss also a sad boss: Study 'Power-induced abuse actually harms the abuser, too, ' says professor BY MARCEL VANDER WIER WHEN a manager abuses a sub- ordinate at work, it isn't just the staffer who feels the hurt — the leader does too, according to a new U.S. study. "Conventional wisdom says that when people feel powerful, they treat others poorly. When we think of abuse, we typically consider the target as the only victim. What we show here is that the abuser suffers too," said Trevor Foulk, a University of Florida as- sistant professor and co-author of the study Heavy is the Head at Wears the Crown: An Actor- Centric Approach to Daily Psy- chological Power, Abusive Leader Behavior, and Perceived Incivility. e study "flips the script" on the effect of abuse within work- place relationships, he said. By researching the effects of psy- chological power on the abuser, it reveals "power-induced abuse actually harms the abuser, too." When workplace leaders feel powerful, they are more likely to perceive incivility from their col- leagues and act in an abusive man- ner, found the researchers. But the after-effects render leaders unable to relax at home and feeling poor- ly about themselves. "There are consequences to feeling powerful," said Foulk. "is is interesting because most of us want power and seek it in- discriminately. is view should be tempered, and we should con- sider both the costs and benefits of power." e study surveyed 116 work- place leaders for 10 consecutive days, using experience-based sampling and power manipulation methods. It looked at how power- ful leaders feel — a changing status throughout the workday. Effect on the workplace e study's findings should alter the way abusive relationships in the workplace are viewed, said Foulk. "At the very least, it could cause the victims of power-induced negative behaviours to have some empathy." Even very minor cues associ- ated with power can cause mana- gerial power trips, meaning such acts are "not so much fully deliber- ated conscious acts on the part of someone who just wants to torture others, but rather the outcome of a very subtle psychological process," said Foulk. "We are all subject to this process, so while you might be the victim in one case, you should consider that you may very well be the abuser in another." Victims can now consider that the abuser is suffering, too. "In this way, powerholders who abuse are not unaffected jerks, but rather they suffer as a result of their own bad behaviour, too," he said. Employees facing the brunt of explosive behaviour are not re- sponsible for the bullying man- ager's well-being, but summon- ing empathy could help, said Lea Brovedani, a leadership expert and author based in Philadelphia, Pa. "It's not their responsibility but if that's the reality, there's a differ- ence between fair and reality," she said. "Sometimes it's not fair, but if you're working for this person and if you want to keep the job be- cause aspects of it are really good, then you keep the job." Poor interpersonal skills and poor stress tolerance in a leader is the basic bully profile, she said. "It's always really helpful if someone can navigate their own emotions by having a better un- derstanding of the other person," said Brovedani. "Regardless of how this bully boss is reacting, if you're able to navigate your own emotions and recognize they're acting out, and maybe understand so you know what their triggers are and respond effectively, then it definitely helps." Finding good leaders is is the tip of a bigger iceberg in that we do not properly develop and prepare people for leadership roles, said Ravi Tangri, a strategy and leadership expert based in Halifax. "We'll often promote whoever's the best performer… which, hon- estly, to me, is kind of brain-dead, because it's a different skill set to manage," he said. "A lot of people are put into these situations. ey don't know how to interact with people, so they will often go into poor patterns such as getting upset at people… because they haven't learned how to lead." e findings may result in a process change in terms of how leaders are selected, said Tangri. Currently, an employee's tenure spurs her ascent into a leading role, rather than leadership ability. In a shifting workplace where generational differences are wide- ranging, employee engagement is critical, with millennials wanting to work for coaches rather than domineering managers, he said. "at's where the real leader- ship is required. Companies that have this sort of abusive leader- ship are not going to have any- body because they will drive all the younger workers away," said Tangri. "Leadership is about be- haviours and it can be changed, but you have to take it from being this warm and fuzzy abstract stuff to concretizing." Old-school leaders who prefer autocratic command-and-control management will need to change their ways for organizations to have success, he said. "If you want people to change their behaviours, you have to hold them accountable. Most organizations don't do that," said Tangri. "So we are still stuck with the same behaviours everyone's grown up doing because that's what you know. ey don't know how to do differently. ey don't like to do it, but they don't know how else to behave." Agreeableness is a beneficial leadership trait, as it diffuses the link between power and abusive behaviour, found the study. Optimism and strong stress tolerance also help, as managers need to withstand problem situa- tions with emotional intelligence and integrity, said Brovedani. A strong leader will admit his mis- takes, disclose bad news and give hope for the future. "If you have leaders who hide and deny all of their own mis- takes, then you're perpetuating a culture where people are afraid to disclose their mistakes, and that just causes huge problems," she said. "e best leaders are people who are trustworthy." Practical advice for HR e study offers a variety of prac- tical applications for leaders and organizations alike, said Foulk. It reveals that a sense of psycho- logical power can be activated by minor encounters with stimuli, and power can interfere with a leader's ability to relax at home. To combat those risks, HR should encourage regular meet- ings between leaders and their superiors to ensure account- ability and honest feedback on behaviour, he said. Additionally, relaxation opportunities such as mid-day breaks or, at the very least, moments of disengagement and mindfulness, should be of- fered at work. "By knowing what is happen- ing, it is possible that organiza- tions and individuals can temper its effects," he said. "It may be prudent for organizations to have structures in place to give leaders and managers honest feedback about their behaviour to help them keep from abusing others." But HR can only help if given the authority, and that is gained by collecting data such as exit inter- view commentary and turnover rates, said Brovedani. "From an HR perspective, you have to have the facts to back it up, because if you have someone who's saying, 'Well, he's a bully and he's scaring people away,' that's an opinion. It may be true but, a lot of times, what is going to make a difference is the actual facts," she said. "I would say, 'Don't put these people in charge…' If you have a manager, even if he is a high per- former, you have to look at the damage that they're doing in the rest of the company." "In this way, powerholders who abuse are not unaffected jerks."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian HR Reporter - June 12, 2017