Canadian HR Reporter

November 13, 2017 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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CANADIAN HR REPORTER November 13, 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 Sears liquidation puts pressure on feds to protect pensions Government to consider legislation for bankruptcies Ontario bill seeks to ban mandatory high heels as part of uniforms Would amend Occupational Health and Safety Act Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee Says he's been targeted for comments on Moncton shooting AROUND THE WORLD Will Harvey Weinstein's fall mean the end of bullying bosses? Hollywood under pressure to make workplaces more safe Women the mystery ingredient in Australia's jobs feast Female participation in workforce at record high Back to work, dad: Switzerland opposes paternity leave Issue will come down to national vote, after campaigners force referendum Virtual reality New technology could allow factory workers of the future to operate robots remotely FEATURED VIDEO Enterprise social media gains traction with Facebook launch Companies tout benefits of new employee communications tool BY JOHN DUJAY AS a Canadian company with many locations "in the middle of nowhere," Grieg Seafood BC decided Workplace by Facebook was an ideal solution for isolated workers. e salmon farming company plans to launch the full platform (it is currently in a pilot-testing phase) for about 700 employees worldwide later this month to co- incide with its 25th anniversary, according to Alina Constantin, HR manager in Vancouver. "Our company has a lot of re- mote locations, especially here in Canada," she said. "We have a lot of farms on the east coast and west coast of Vancouver Island, so it's quite challenging to keep in touch, so we are hoping that the platform will make it easier for us to reach out to these locations." In doing so, Grieg Seafood hopes to reduce unnecessary email and provide workers with real-time access to information, said Constantin. "We have an internal portal, but not a lot of people were using it because not everyone had access to it. Now, with Workplace by Facebook, we are hoping every- one is going to be able to read the news, more like in real-time," she said. "It's not rocket science, it's very easy, it's very intuitive, and if you have used Facebook before, it shouldn't be a problem." Workplace also offers a translate feature, which helps Grieg Seafood manage its diverse workforce. "It's not the perfect translation, but at least you can understand what people are saying," said Constantin. Breaking down barriers Workplace has been on the mar- ket for about a year and Facebook is banking on it transforming the way businesses communicate and collaborate. "Workplace is familiar to any- one who uses Facebook," said Simon Cross, product manager for Workplace by Facebook in London, U.K. "People just know how to use it straight away be- cause nearly two billion people use Facebook." e enterprise social network- ing (ESN) tool was first launched as a standalone concept in 2014 and the official launch came in October 2016 with about 1,000 initial corporate users, according to Cross. "Every organization is trying to break down barriers and silos, ev- ery organization is trying to make quicker, better decisions, and so these companies were saying to us 'Could we have that? Could you build that for us?'" Companies can use Workplace to connect people inside a com- pany across buildings, functions and locations, he said. "Typically, companies create groups for all the kinds of things they want to discuss, and teams inside those companies create groups, and very quickly Work- place becomes the command cen- tre for an employee's day." To date, about 30,000 organiza- tions are using the tool, including Walmart, Heineken, Spotify, Lyft and Reliance Group, and about one million groups are active in- side the platform, said Facebook. Workplace costs US$3 per user for the first 1,000 active users, US$2 per user for the next 9,000 and US$1 per user thereafter. Sun Life experience Sun Life Financial began using the tool in August 2016, and about 11,000 employees are now signed up, according to Emily Schur, se- nior vice-president of global tal- ent, who works out of the com- pany's Wellesley Hills, Mass., and Toronto offices. "As a global company, we work across different boundaries — some are geographic, some are time zones, some are just physi- cal offices — and so this technol- ogy just helps to bring employees together," she said. "Workplace essentially enables that platform for us to help con- tinue conversations, or even begin conversations, among employ- ees, and we see people building connections." As a cross-border executive who commutes between two lo- cations in two different countries, Schur sees the advantage. "I can't be in two places at once, but I can stay connected as a user of Workplace to either team in both those locations and can con- tinue those conversations." Sun Life is also making use of Workplace's video capabilities to live-stream events and offer video playback for employees who are not available when it runs live. And the adoption has been seamless, she said. "We thought there was a pretty good chance that when our employees came onto this Workplace, they would have had, in all likelihood, prior experience with Facebook." Sun Life has a claim rate of 80 per cent activated accounts, which means 80 per cent of work- ers immediately begin to use the tool, according to Schur. Enterprise social media Of course, Workplace is not the only product in the ESN mar- ketplace. Other products such as Yammer (parent company Microsoft), Chatter (owned by Salesforce) and Jive have been employed by companies to boost communication and collaboration. But Facebook's stature means it will grow and learn how to achieve success in the market, according to Peter Carr, director and author of the Social Media for Business Performance Program at the Uni- versity of Waterloo in Ontario. "ey are big, they have lots of money and they have an es- tablished technology that people understand and know how to use. ey've got the resources to gain market share." e thing that really differen- tiates Workplace is it's a familiar environment to most people in the workplace, said Tony Byrne, founder of Real Story Group, a technology-analyst firm in PRIVACY > pg. 30

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