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A Positive Approach to Performance Management

Human Resources
  In my past experience, performance management strategies have increasingly been dreaded and criticized for being too complicated. Often I’ve heard people say “there are too many forms to fill in” or “this is so much work and there are too many issues to address.”  One of the common misperceptions is that an entire year of an employee’s progress and challenges has to be crammed into one meeting at performance review time. However, successful performance management is about tracking development, working towards goals continually, and addressing things as they come along throughout the entire year. Managing one’s performance should be on-going, throughout the year. Here are some suggestions...

Managing Employee Vacation Time

Human Resources
Vacation time is an entitlement to employees across all provinces in Canada. Apart from being an entitlement, it is also considered to be a benefit in attracting and retaining employees.  Each provincial employment standards set a minimum vacation time to be provided to employees – most of which outline a minimum of two weeks’ vacation per year to start. However, 62% of employers in Canada offer more than the minimum requirements to new employees[1]. New executives may be offered a minimum of four weeks of vacation time[2]. The amount of vacation a company chooses to offer will often be considered as part of the total compensation plan. Once...

Managing Absenteeism

Human Resources
Absenteeism costs Canadian employers over $16.6 billion per year. Add into this, productivity losses and other indirect costs, and that number actually increases to $37 billion.* Employee absenteeism is a costly and disruptive problem to any organization. To ensure that a company is successful, it relies on its employees to be punctual, present and actively engaged. Employees should be held accountable for their attendance habits; however the employer does have an obligation to determine culpable and non-culpable absenteeism, and to deal with each type appropriately, providing accommodation for non-culpable absences where applicable. What is the difference? A culpable absence is an absence that occurs as a result of...

The HR Paradigm Shift: Creating a Positive Environment

Human Resources
As Human Resources professionals we have all been subjected to the stigma that HR = “The Grim Reaper”, has been kept around to deliver the bad or worst news.  In order to challenge the status quo and have a paradigm shift in the thought process of our client groups, it is important to provide our services without the negative connotation and have a more positive and strategic approach. It is imperative that we, as HR, build our relationships with our client groups, internal or external, with professionalism, credibility, and trust. Get to know your client groups and determine what makes them tick, both positively and negatively. What are...

Retaining Employees and Avoiding Claims

Human Resources
Layoff becomes a default answer for companies to address economic recession or tough financial times. This means cost cuts and temporary lay-off while the salary of the remaining employees stay relatively high. With Western Canada, specifically Calgary, Alberta feeling the effects of the change in the oil and gas market, many companies have been faced with layoffs. Reduction in salary can be seen as an alternative to layoffs as the employers may be able to retain their best talent in bad times while they wait for the market to change once again in their favour. While companies are happy to raise prices and employees are happy to receive...