February 28th, 2013 marks Pope Benedict XVI's last day on the job, as he becomes the first Roman Catholic pontiff to resign his post in nearly 600 years (and the first to do so voluntarily since Pope Celestine V in 1294). The 85-year-old Benedict (born Joseph Ratzinger) announced his resignation on February 11th because of a "lack of strength of mind and body."
The unexpected resignation has created a number of unique challenges for the Church leadership. Some of these are specific to the Vatican, but many could also apply to the hiring processes of organizations of any size including making speedy hiring decisions, properly vetting new candidates, and creating succession plans in advance.
The mantra "Hire Slow and Fire Quickly" has been a favourite of business writers for years. However, an increasing number of thinkers are disagreeing with its sentiment. Danny Boce from Fast Company recently wrote "that catchphrase isn't just dumb, it's counterproductive," particularly for start-ups.
If your doctor gave you six months to live unless you got a liver transplant, would you hold out until you found the PERFECT liver? Or would you find the best liver available this very second and figure out how to make it work?
John Rossheim at Monster.com states that many businesses take much too long to decide on a new hire:
It’s a hallmark of the dysfunctional organization: A requisition is opened for a new line-manager position, but it takes 4 months to make a hire. By which time thousands of dollars have been spent on misguided recruitment efforts, six figures of revenue have been lost, and the HR department and the hiring manager are barely speaking to each other. Make no mistake about it: a prolonged time-to-hire means opportunities lost and resources wasted.
Some tips that Rossheim shares include:
Within a day of concluding interviews, summon the decision-makers to an end-of-day meeting and promise each other not to adjourn until you’ve agreed on the winner.
2. Vet Your Candidates Properly
The election of the new pope will be the result of a two-thirds majority of the voting Cardinals. The new pope will come from amongst their ranks and should be well-known to all of them. The serious candidates, including Canada's Marc Ouellet, will have their champions working to persuade their fellow Cardinals on the benefits of selecting them.
Here are some tips around the hiring process:
3. Succession Planning Is a Must
Although most people were surprised by Pope Benedict's announcement, observers now recognize signs that the Pope was nearing a decision to step down due to increasing health issues. Regardless, the fact that the pontiff is 85-years-old and in declining health should have signaled Church officials that the need to choose a successor would be soon in coming.
Unlike the position of Pope, most employees and managers do not plan to remain in their current roles until death (or incapacity). In fact, Forbes.com reports that "job hopping" is the new normal, especially for younger workers:
The average worker today stays at each of his or her jobs for 4.4 years, according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics [USA], but the expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees is about half that. 91% of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than 3 years.
No business today should be surprised when an employee or manager decides to move on. In fact, there are numerous advantages for those who "job hop" including gaining a wider degree of experience and the ability to leverage for higher compensation. Check out this article from the folks at GoodCall.com for more details on the pros and cons of "job hopping."
But for companies that wish to retain certain employees for the longer-term, they should take steps in plan in advance for a potential departure. Some tips include:
We wish the departing pontiff (soon to be known as the Pope Emeritus) well in his retirement and look forward to seeing what developments the upcoming papal conclave brings.
Note: This post was updated on August 18, 2016.
Need help establishing effective hiring policies or succession plans? Clear Path can help. Visit our website to find out more. Contact us at (519) 624-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In a country that should be used to extreme weather conditions, it’s surprising how much a freak snowstorm, like last Friday, can catch us by surprise. For some companies, a snow day may make business as usual a difficult proposition especially if your employees can’t make it into the office because the snow plow has not arrived in their part of the neighborhood. However for some companies, like Boston Pizza, they took the opportunity to use the snow day to advertise their business and ensure that their customers knew the restaurant was open for business on Friday.
Boston Pizza sent out an email at 9:00 a.m. on Friday to their customers informing them that, minus the blizzard outside, their restaurant would indeed be open. The email read “there’s a flurry of activity at Boston Pizza”. This was a fantastic initiative for a company that’s customer-focused. Sending out an announcement in the morning immediately eliminates any questions about whether someone’s favourite pizza and pasta joint is open or not. It also serves as an advertisement for those who were thinking about going out to lunch but couldn’t decide where to go. This was contingency planning at its best.
With climate changes being as unexpected as they are, what has your company done to plan for situations such as Friday’s snow day, because if you are like most of us, you may simply not be able to afford to close up shop for the day. Having a contingency plan in place for extreme weather conditions or other situations like this, that is developed prior to when you need it, is critical.
So what's your company policy if you wake up to a winter wonderland outside?
The first place to start is by clearly defining your contingency policy. It seems amazing that while every school board in the province has a clear policy for snow days, most businesses don’t know where to begin. It’s important not to wait until a day like Friday to decide what your policy will be. Make sure the policy is in place before the snow starts falling. This will remove any doubt of what to do when a snowstorm or similar situation occurs and it will ensure that employees know what is expected of them.
That being said, some employees travel 10 minutes to get to work, others travel up to an hour to get to work so you may have some employees that are going to make it in to the office regardless. Your policy should take into account the different circumstances for each employee. For example, it may be unreasonable to expect someone who commutes four an hour on the Greyhound bus to make it into work on a day like Friday, compared to a colleague who lives a 10-minute walk from work. Can your employees work from home through intranet or collaborative systems like WebEx or Google Docs? This is a good option to have so that you don’t lose productivity by shutting the office down for a day.
Once the employee policy is in place, you need to make sure you have a plan in place for your customers. You need to evaluate how well you’ll be able to serve your customers, if at all. The reality of Canadian weather is that it affects everyone. Just as you might not be able to make it into work, your customers will likely be in the same scenario as you. Do what you can, but know that with the 24-hour news telling us all how poor the weather conditions are, customers will be understanding.
What are the important things to do in case of a snow day?
There are some quick things that you can do to ensure that you’re prepared for a snow day:
The important thing to do is to make sure there are no questions from staff or customers surrounding your workplace operations when a snowstorm has hit. Ensure that your policy is in writing and communicated to encourage employee compliance.
Need help writing your policy? Clear Path can help. We offer services to help you develop individual policies or a full employee policy manual. Visit our website to find out more. www.clearpathemployer.com
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The Canadian Standards Association, the Bureau de normalisation du Québec and the Mental Health Commission of Canada have released a new National Standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace (currently available for free download). The Standard was developed to help organizations create and sustain psychologically healthy and safe workplaces.
Although the Standard is completely voluntary right now it does provide a framework for organizations to create and/or improve a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.
What do you think about when you hear Workplace Wellness? Companies across the globe are learning that simple programs such as health education and off-hours sporting events are getting staff moving and improving overall workplace well-being. For example, today Bell was promoting their initiative to donate five cents to mental health initiatives across Canada. More often we are seeing companies of all sizes taking action towards promoting the well-being of employees in the workplace – and not all of these programs need to be costly initiatives.
Wellness initiatives can take whatever form works best for your company. The place to start is to identify the needs and interests of your staff in order to develop a program that people will actually participate in. For example, maybe an after work pick-up hockey game would work well for your staff rather than a lunch-time nutrition seminar. Developing a program that brings health and wellness into your workplace that your employees are interested in, can have many impacts on your company:
There is a definite link to employee well-being and productivity in the workplace, making wellness initiatives essential rather than “nice-to-have.” Not only will wellness programs increase productivity and employee morale, but they will also attract and retain a strong workforce. Your wellness program could become your competitive advantage that attracts the best people to come work for your company. Reducing absenteeism and injury claims can have a serious affect on your company’s bottom line in a positive way. Increasing employee morale creates an environment where people want to come to work and take pride in what they’re doing. If a wellness program is one step towards this, then why not take action?
What exactly does “well-being” mean?
In the workplace, employee well-being can be broken up into three areas. In order for employees to achieve positive morale and workplace well-being, all three must be met in their own unique way.
When deciding what wellness programs to implement in your workplace, take into consideration what your program will target. For example, creating after work pick-up hockey targets physical health and social health as it’s a fast-paced team-oriented game. It could also serve as a means for employees to blow off stress which means this program essentially targets each point.
What kind of programs could you implement?
To get you started, here is a list of a few ideas of programs you could implement in your workplace:
Some of these programs will work well for your organization, others you might need to mould into something that will better suit your workplace. Whatever you chose, keep in mind that the affects can be extremely positive – and cost effective – for your organization.
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As of January 2013, Canada is now the first country in the world to adopt a National Standard for mental health in the workplace. The Canadian Labour Code already addresses bullying and sexual harassment, but this new standard now gives employers and employees support to make their workplaces psychologically safe and healthy. Although there are many factors that can impact mental health, the Standard addresses aspects that are within control of the workplace and can have an affect on the workforce.
A good point was made by Karla Thorpe, Associate Director of Compensation and Industrial Relations at the Conference Board of Canada, when she said:
“Mental health is a significant business issue that requires the attention of organizations. People who experience mental health issues face incredible challenges in the workplace. Many are misunderstood, shunned and underutilized. In a world where shortages of critical skills are top of mind for many organizations, employers cannot afford to allow this situation to continue.”
There are four main areas of consideration that an employer should look at in order to see the business value of psychological health and safety in the workplace:
According to the mental health commission, mental illness is the fastest-growing reason for STD and LTD claims, accounting for about 30 per cent in Canada and costing business $6 billion in lost productivity and absenteeism in 2011. Although the standard is currently voluntary for most business, knowing these statistics and knowing that mental health can affect everyone – directly or indirectly – it seems beneficial to adopt the Standard of promoting a safe and healthy workplace. Workplaces that chose to have a proactive approach to psychological health and safety will be better able to:
The implementation of this Standard is not a “yes or no” response. It will be a continual process of improvement for employers and employees. Employers should address the needs and gaps in psychological safety in their workplace, and then integrate the Standard into the existing organizational policies and processes. The Standard will help employers continuously improve their approach to promoting mental health and prevention for all employees – whether they have a mental illness or not.
Creating and maintaining a "culture of safety" at your business is critical for protecting the well-being of your employees and for creating a productive, effective working environment and that includes mental health.
Clear Path has experienced professionals who are well versed in Health & Safety legislation and who understand the realities of today's workplaces. We offer Health and Safety solutions for your company including:
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