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Posts from the ‘Employers’ Category

Including Inclusion

By: Megan Wickens

It’s easy to say that there’s a difference between diversity and inclusion, but drawing out the differences between these two goals is not as easy. In this guest post, Megan Wickens, head of our Alberta trades division and member of our Canadian Diversity and Inclusion Committee, looks at how inclusion policies are the next frontier in the corporate world.

There’s no doubt that we need to focus on building a culture of inclusion in the workplace and in the world.

What is diversity in the workplace? The dictionary defines diversity as the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety. And when we talk about diversity in the workplace, we’re usually referring to these 4 elements: ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and age.

While diversity is buried in the corporate policy of most companies, I would argue that it’s worth so much more than that. Our goal should be to create a culture of diverse talent. Instead of thinking of it as an obligation to meet diversity targets, to check off an item on a checklist, we need to reframe diversity so that it considers the inclusion of diverse viewpoints.

It doesn’t have to be hard. We do it all the time in business: diversifying portfolios and product mixes to stay ahead of the curve. Now apply the same to people – why wouldn’t we want to include diverse viewpoints from people who add value to our business and our lives? Inclusive policies can help us get there!

A little bit about me

I am on the Canadian Diversity & Inclusion Committee with the largest HR staffing company in the world and I head up the trades division in Alberta for our engineering brand (an industry that is predominantly male). I am married and do not have kids (none on two legs anyways #dogmom). I am considered a millennial, but I’ve spent almost a decade in the technical recruitment industry and another handful of years in the customer service industry.

I bring these things up because I want you to know where I’m coming from. In my career, I have not felt that my age (or lack of age) played a role in my ability to be hired. I have not felt that I was asked to do more work because I don’t have kids that depend on me. I have not felt that my opinion wasn’t valued or that I wasn’t being included. I’ve been lucky.

The truth is that many people do feel this way. And it can be hard to accept that we aren’t all inclusive leaders. So, thinking about the way that we are (and are not) inclusive can be a valuable exercise for all of us.

Focus on inclusion

My husband sent me a video created by Accenture that emphasizes the sometimes unconscious exclusion of people that can happen even when diversity targets have been met. The video highlights the ways that our differences can inform how we interact with each other, which can sometimes create uncomfortable (or even untenable) work experiences that prevent us from reaching our full potential.

The video raises questions about the ways that we treat our colleagues: what informs our expectations? How do we articulate these expectations? It ends with a call to recognize these biases and embrace change for the better – change that comes from refocusing on inclusion.

I urge you to watch the video at the end of this blog, sit back, think hard and decide — am I an inclusive leader? As leaders, we constantly need to be self-aware and empathetic; understanding our audience and showing emotional intelligence is an important part of the job. So, it’s important that we ask ourselves these important questions: Do we really know our teams? How can we know them better? How can we get the best out of everyone and not just from those who rise to the top out of sheer determination?

On our teams, everyone should be a top performer. Everyone should be valued and recognized for adding value. It’s clear that we’re better off when our diverse teams are able to contribute to our success, so let’s focus on building a culture of inclusion in the workplace and the world.


To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.

Why an Internship Program?

Internships are more than a mandatory student requirement and experience on a resume. A well-managed internship program can bring significant benefits to an organization.  Here’s how your organization can reap the rewards.

  1. Fresh Perspectives

Student interns bring with them fresh ideas and perspectives that can have a great impact on a business. Recent grads are generally tech savvy and fluent with social media platforms — positioning them well to impact marketing strategies! To tap into your intern’s ideas and creativity, create an environment in which they feel comfortable so they are at ease to participate in meetings and brainstorm sessions.

  1. Brand Recognition

Good news travels fast.  Internship programs show potential job seekers and existing employees that your company believes in employee development.  These programs also shed light on positive corporate values to existing and new clients.  Adopting such a program and making it a positive experience, means that people will talk about your company to their network — setting your brand apart from other companies competing for similar talent and clients.

  1. Increased Productivity

Internship programs are a cost-effective solution to providing extra support staff members sometimes need. Interns lend great support with administrative tasks and other entry level projects, allowing employees to focus on higher level business tasks. This prevents existing employees from becoming over burdened with a high workload — while ultimately increasing productivity.

  1. Recruitment Tool

Internships are a great way to evaluate a potential candidate without the commitment of hiring them permanently. This year-round recruitment tool creates larger pools of talent to pull from, with workforce ready candidates. Should you decide to hire an intern, the result is a new employee who is fully trained and understands your business — allowing you to save costs on recruitment and training!

  1. Giving back to the community

Developing a well-managed internship is a great way to give back to the community and demonstrate that you value their support of your business. Not to mention, internship programs increase employment levels, enhance the local workforce and economy, and, assist graduates in developing professional skills. What better way to solidify a positive corporate culture that encapsulates social responsibility?

Need help implementing an internship program for your company? Contact Adecco Canada for resources and assistance, and start reaping the benefits of a well-managed internship today!


To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.

Can I do more?

By:  Camillo Zacchia, Ph.D. – Psychologist

In this guest post, clinical psychologist Dr. Camillo Zacchia looks at the tendency to question whether we’re doing enough. He looks at the personality types that can get derailed by these feelings of inadequacy and offers a way forward when confronted by the sense that you’re not doing enough. Read on for Dr. Zacchia’s article on the art of good enough.

Can I do more? This question is a trap if I ever heard one.

Can I do more to help my parents? Can I do a better job on this assignment? Can I eat better? These types of questions are endless and the only answer to them is yes. The simple fact is we can always do more or do better. This means that in order to stop working on something, we have to accept this fact and just “be OK” with it. In other words, we have to accept that good enough is good enough.

But what happens to people who can’t be satisfied with good enough? Those who are unable to accept this option are going to be in trouble. The question of “can I do more?” will leave them with only two other options. The first is to be disappointed with not doing their best and the second is to try harder and keep going. But if they try harder, they are still left with the question of “can I do more?” and they’re right back to the same two options of trying harder or being disappointed. There is no alternative. For them, all roads eventually lead to disappointment.

Of course, this isn’t a big issue for most of us. The majority of people can live with good enough. They acknowledge that they can do better — after all, nobody’s perfect — but can nevertheless be satisfied with what they’ve done. No disappointment for these people. But there are others who have a much harder time letting go, and for them the question of “can I do more?” will cause significant problems and often lead to feelings of burnout. There are two groups of people who have particular difficulty letting things stand.

The perfectionists
Some people just can’t seem to be happy until things are just right: a job that seems well done still needs refining, a good meal still needs a little something, nothing feels quite good enough. These people can sometimes be seen as perfectionists, or as picky. There is no denying the fact that their work is generally very high quality. The only problem is that they are rarely satisfied with it, even if everyone else around them is.

The guilt-ridden
There is another group of individuals who are governed by excessive guilt. They are generally seen as people pleasers and are constantly doing for others. This can include trying to please bosses, coworkers, friends or members of the family. Many of them may have grown up in a home with a parent who was difficult to please or who was needy, dependent and required lots of attention and help. Since everyone around them always has needs, the guilt-ridden can’t stop. To do so would mean to disappoint others and it just isn’t in their nature to let others down.

For the perfectionist and guilt-ridden people, the question of “can I do more?” is a trap. The answer will always be yes. As a result, they will keep pushing for more and will almost always overdo things, potentially leading to burnout or complete avoidance of people or responsibilities. It’s just too much work, so they often run away and simply stop trying.

This is the self-fulfilling prophecy we often see in such people. Even though they always do very well in both quantity and quality, at some point they know it won’t be good enough so they just give up. Ironically, it confirms their belief that they aren’t “good enough” because now they really are getting nothing done.

For those who aren’t very good at letting go, the only way around this bottomless pit of disappointment is to be aware of the trap that comes with the question “can I do more?” A far more functional question is “did I do a lot?” Just look at how your raw performance numbers or indicators stack up to others in your position. Do you treat as many dossiers as your co-workers? Do you do as much for your parents as your siblings? The answer to “did I do a lot?’ is usually also yes. But at least answering yes to this question does not require you to do more.

When we know in our logical minds that we did a lot — probably more than most others would — then we have to force ourselves to stop. This may make us uncomfortable at first but like all emotions, they fade over time. If we give in to these feelings, they will strengthen. If we don’t act on them, and allow them to dissipate naturally, they will get weaker and weaker over time.

The idea of things being good but not quite good enough may make you feel uncomfortable at first but by not giving in to your urges to do more, you will eventually feel that things really are just that…good enough.

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employment resources page on our website.


Dr. Zacchia[1] is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression and interpersonal problems. He blogs at Psychospeak with Dr. Z[2] and the Huffington Post Canada: The Ilk of Humankind[3].

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this post appeared on Psychospeak with Dr. Z.[4] It has been updated to provide additional details.

Stay tuned for more from Dr. Zacchia as he looks at mental health in the workplace.

[1] www.drzacchia.com

[2] http://blog.douglas.qc.ca/psychospeak/

[3] https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/author/camillo-zacchia-phd/

[4] http://blog.douglas.qc.ca/psychospeak/2015/07/07/can-i-do-more/

North American Occupational Safety and Health Week

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

With North American Occupational Safety and Health week upon us, it’s time to reflect on the measures we have in place to prevent injury and illness in the workplace, at home and in our community. By starting with strong health and safety practices at home, we can make safety a habit that will translate into a safer work environment for all employees.

In the staffing industry, it is said that people are our greatest asset. To ensure this, The Adecco Group believes in forming proper safety habits that translate both on and off the job. Whether you’re an associate, colleague, client or partner, the goal of NAOSH week is focusing on the importance of prevention and keeping you safe at home and in the workplace. 

– Jason Berman, The Adecco Group National Manager, Workers Compensation, Safety & Compliance –

A safe work environment is a right, not a privilege. To support this right, we should be careful not to take safety for granted, even when it’s regulated in the workplace. Forming good habits can help prevent workplace accidents and injuries, creating a safer workplace for all. Whether it’s physical, chemical or ergonomic safety, developing good habits in our personal lives will help make safety a priority in our professional lives.

Safety

From a young age, we are taught to look both ways before crossing the road, make sure our shoelaces are tied to avoid tripping, never leave a hot element unattended, etc. These same principles apply to the work environment. By practicing general safety at home, you are ensuring these preventative measures become second nature, helping you avoid these hazards on the work site.

Physical

Physical injury can be caused by improper lifting techniques, repetitive motions and unsafe machine handling. Away from work, we avoid these injuries and hazards by stretching before exercising, wearing supportive/proper footwear and taking breaks from repetitive tasks. At work, the same safety practices apply. Wearing proper PPE can help you avoid hazards, while proper lifting techniques and small breaks from repetitive motions will help prevent injuries.

Chemical

Depending on the industry, chemicals in the workplace can include cleaning supplies, and flammable and combustible substances. At home, we ensure cleaning supplies are properly labelled, stored separately from consumable items and kept out of reach of children. These same tactics apply in the work environment. In addition, employers should ensure all staff complete WHMIS and MSDS training.

Stress

Since work is acknowledged as the main source of stress for 62% of Canadian workers, learning to prevent stressors at work is a good practice for all of us.[i] One way to do this is by utilizing the same tactics we use in our personal lives — whether it’s paying bills or doing household chores, we can use organization, task prioritization and responsibility delegation to deal with our stress. If that fails, talk it through with a colleague or manager. They may have additional ideas about how to address your concerns, plus the conversation itself may be just the cure.

Ergonomic

Ergonomic injuries are common for office workers due to the sedentary nature of their jobs. Away from work, we have greater control over ergonomic injuries, with the ability to limit our time standing, looking at television or computer screens, and performing other repetitive motions. With nearly 2 million Canadians suffering from RSI (repetitive strain injuries)[ii], ergonomic controls should be a priority. Workers are entitled to ergonomic mats for standing, as well as ergonomic chairs, keyboards and even standing desks.

Although safety at home can translate into good safety practices at work, there are additional considerations both employees and employers should keep in mind to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.

How employees can maintain safety habits at work:

  • Be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Follow set safety rules and procedures.
  • Always wear recommended or required PPE.
  • Take breaks to avoid strain.
  • Report any unsafe work conditions.

How employers can maintain safety habits at work:

  • Promote NAOSH Week within your company.
  • Revise and/or launch new safety programs.
  • Provide incentives for reporting potential safety hazards.
  • Build a Joint Health and Safety Committee and hold regular meetings.
  • Maintain proper injury reporting.

Regardless of the size of your company or the nature of your business, workplace safety must always be a priority. By implementing safety practices at home, we are creating positive habits that will translate into better workplace safety, instilling practices that will benefit the health and safety of colleagues, management and customers alike.

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.


[i] http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-627-m/contest/finalists-finalistes_2-eng.htm

[ii] https://www.mun.ca/safetynet/library/OHandS/SafetyNetOfficeErgonomics.pdf

 

Cannabis and the Impact on Employee Health

With legislation set to pass and legalize cannabis, the intricacies of its usage may change. To keep health and safety at the forefront in the workplace, employers will need to set clear boundaries regarding its use.

Although consumption of cannabis during work hours for medical purposes is not a new phenomenon, recreational use has the potential to affect an employee’s health, and, the health and safety of a company’s workforce.

Use in the workplace

The Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) extends to allow disabled workers the use of medical cannabis when prescribed. Although under this act, employers must accommodate these workers, this code does not permit the worker to be impaired at work or endanger their safety or the safety of others.[i] Should a worker show signs of marijuana impairment, an employer must assign the individual tasks considered safe. For recreational users, employers still hold the right to set rules for the non-medical use of marijuana in the same manner they set alcohol consumption restrictions. Increasingly, employers will need to prioritize their workplace policies and clearly outline and communicate their policy regarding the recreational use of cannabis during work hours.

Employee health and safety

Similar to alcohol, the effects of cannabis will vary from person to person. The THC in marijuana can affect coordination, reaction time, focus, decision making abilities and perception.[ii] This means that there may be potential effects on an employee’s body, brain and overall mental state. For that reason, cannabis consumption in the workplace can be particularly dangerous for employees in fields like construction and manufacturing — or any position requiring the operation of a vehicle or heavy machinery. To prepare for its changing legal status, employers should revisit drug workplace policies to identify whether a change is required to reflect the change in legislation, in addition to outlining disciplinary action for substance abuse in the workplace.

Benefit plans

With more recognizable medical benefits and the normalization of cannabis as a treatment option for symptoms ranging from arthritis to cancer, the number of medical marijuana patients across Canada nearly doubled by the end of September 2017; reaching more than 235,000.[iii] As this number continues to grow, so does the pressure on benefit providers to include cannabis coverage in their health plans. Sun Life is the first provider to accommodate, providing members with the option to add medical cannabis coverage only for set conditions and symptoms. With the pending legalization, it is only a matter of time before other benefit providers follow suit and normalize cannabis coverage options.

The changing legal status of recreational cannabis use will undoubtedly impact the workplace in its early stages. With clear boundaries and rules in place surrounding the recreational use of cannabis, employers can mitigate any potential issues and maintain a happy, healthy workforce.

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.


[i] https://www.pshsa.ca/cannabis-in-the-workplace/

[ii] https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/documents/services/campaigns/27-16-1808-Factsheet-Health-Effects-eng-web.pdf

[iii] http://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/sun-life-financial-to-add-medical-pot-option-to-group-benefits-plans

 

The Evolution of the Administrative Professional

The Administrative professional role has evolved to mirror changing times. Expanded responsibilities and skill sets has given this vital role a new meaning and organizational impact.

 


The early days

Started by the Industrial Revolution, administrative assistants were first referred to as secretaries. As the industrial expansion caused office businesses to face a large amount of paperwork, the role of the “secretary” was introduced to resolve this influx of work.[i] The term itself had the eventual connotation of something private or confidential, as with the English word secret. A secretarius was a person, therefore, overseeing business confidentially, usually for a powerful individual. Initially, men held this prominent position, however, the introduction of women into the workforce allowed companies to hire females in these roles at lower wages[ii] Often designated as “personal” or “private” secretaries, the role was popular amongst women seeking a professional status.  At that time, secretaries were required to possess strong typography and communication skills in order to support such tasks as answering and dispatching calls, and, redacting documents on their typewriters. Although undervalued, secretaries played an essential role in the overall performance of the office.

Present day

Often referred to as Administrative Professional, Office Coordinator or Executive Assistant — gone are the days of a singular title to categorize this pivotal role. An evolving society and the introduction of technology has clearly changed all facets of the administrative professional role. Today, administrative professionals manage the day-to-day functions of an office and many even have the added tasks of managing budgets, bookkeeping, maintaining websites, travel arrangements and managing meetings. Many organizations seek administrative professionals with a varying skill set —  from typing at high speeds using technical or foreign languages, accounting to strong communication skills to interact with the public.

This profession has gone from being male dominated and entry level to a female dominated field offering full-time careers with competitive salaries and a potential for career growth. For every call you answer, document you prepare, spreadsheet you manage and of course the many other tasks you complete every day, thank you and happy Administrative Professionals day!

Looking to start your next administrative career? Look no further! With thousands of online training courses in applications such as Microsoft Office, we have all the tools you need to snag the admin job of your dreams!

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employment resources page on our website.


[i] http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/31/news/economy/secretary-women-jobs/index.html

[ii] http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/31/news/economy/secretary-women-jobs/index.html