Resources

Supportive Work Environment – Management Practices

Reconsider Your Workplace Wellness Approach

It is tempting to consider workplace wellness from the perspective of what your employees can do themselves to improve their health…from eating better to getting more exercise and sleep.  The research is clear, however, that to make a lasting impact on a workplace’s bottom line, employers need to look at the environment they are creating [...]

Understand What Motivates Employees

There are several researchers who look at what motivates employees.  Many people have read Daniel Pink’s book Drive but have you listened to what Dan Ariely has to say?  In a 20 minute TED talk, behavioral economist, Dan Ariely addresses the question, “What makes us feel good about our work?”  Employees are not just motivated [...]

Encourage Managers to Enhance Their Team-Building Skills

So much work today is done in teams that it is essential for managers to understand how the dynamics of their teams will have an impact on productivity, creativity, employee engagement, and job satisfaction.  Dr. Liane Davey gave a great talk on Building Healthy Teams in November 2015 for the Ontario Workplace Health Coalition.  Her [...]

How Returning to Work is Good for Your Health

The Institute for Work and Health underwent a systematic review of research looking at the impact of returning to work after an illness or injury.  The research leans towards better health outcomes when employees return to work–and the earlier the better.  The challenge is finding the right balance.  To learn more about this study, click [...]

Explore the Feasibility of Telecommuting (a.k.a Telework)

With technology comes opportunities to do our work differently.  Some workplaces are moving toward having their employees work from home.  Depending on what line of business your workplace is in, think about the pros and cons of telecommuting (a.k.a. telework).  To start the “pro” list, check out the list below taken from an article in [...]

“Supporting Employee Success” – Accommodation Planning

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has produced a resource to support workplaces in creating supportive accommodations for employees with mental health issues.  Here is the free document, Supporting Employee Success: A Tool to Plan Accommodations that Support Success at Work. The Commission’s workplace webinar in May 2015 featured this resource. Click here to listen [...]

Learn How to Create Accessible Meetings

There are many requirements under the Accessibility of Ontario with Disabilities Act (AODA).  For general details regarding those requirements and timelines, visit the AODA site.  To learn more about making your meetings accessible, check out this guide: Guide to Conducting Accessible Meetings. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Consider the Needs of Transgendered Workers

The needs of transgendered employees are protected under human rights.  It is important to learn more about ways in which employers can create work environments that are inclusive and accommodating.  To get you started in thinking about this, here is a blog post from The BLOG of Canadian Lawyer and Law Times: Employers urged to develop [...]

Learn more about Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Bill 168 in Ontario was introduced a few years ago and it requires all workplaces to address the issues of violence and harassment.  An impetus for this bill was the death of a nurse in Windsor at the hands of her former intimate partner.   It is important, as an employer, to be aware of [...]

The Law and Return to Work Plans: Supporting Employees with Mental Illness

On November 6, about 100 workplace representatives attended a session hosted by the Peterborough Health at Work Committee and the Peterborough Chapter of HRPA.  Dr. Martin Shain provided a good background on the legal issues around mental health in the workplace.  With seven areas of law influencing a workplace’s duty to provide a psychologically safe [...]

Working Life: A Documentary Tool Kit about Mental Health in the Workplace

Sky Works Charitable Foundation, based in Toronto, has created a tool kit for workplaces to use that addresses mental health in the workplace.  The kit includes a 37 minute documentary video featuring individuals who have lived with a family member’s mental illness and, for some, their own.  Their stories highlight the different ways that workplaces choose to deal with mental [...]

Dealing with Mental Health in the Workplace: Are you ready?

Only one in four employees feel their supervisor handles mental health issues well and only 56% of managers say they have received any training on mental health.    These are only two of the interesting findings you can find in a report produced by the Conference Board of Canada. In June 2011, they released the [...]

Managing Emotions in the Workplace

As a manager, HR professional, union steward, and/or workplace wellness champion, you have likely encountered a colleague or employee who is experiencing strong emotions.  Whether they are angry, overwhelmed, sad, or frustrated, it is important to know how to interact with the employee in an empathetic way.  The research is clear that managers who show empathy, benefit [...]

Health and Management Leadership

Although the health and well-being of your employees can be tackled through lifestyle messaging around eating well, being active, quitting smoking, and so on, the greatest impact you can have on workplace health is managing your employees well.  The Canadian Centre for Management Development’s Roundtable on Workplace Well-Being produced a document that contains practical information and assessment tools.  One tool helps managers to [...]

Tuning Into Workplace Culture: A Practical Guide for Employers

The Health at Work Committee of Peterborough recently published a resource for employers that addresses organizational culture.  The following is the Table of Contents for the Guide: INTRODUCTION SECTION 1:  Comprehensive Workplace Wellness SECTION 2:  Organizational Culture Basics SECTION 3:  Assessing Culture SECTION 4:  Assessment Tools SECTION 5:  Taking Action: Next Steps SECTION 6:  Strategies [...]

Discuss Improvements to Workplace Health Programs

Small group discussions or informal meetings between employees, management, and union representatives provide opportunities to discuss wellness concerns and share ideas for improving workplace wellness initiatives.  Individuals who coordinate these discussion groups should take steps to ensure an open, non-threatening atmosphere and the confidentiality of all participants’ statements.   Source:  County of Lambton Community Health Services [...]

Offer Conflict Resolution Training

A major source of stress at work can be due to the conflicts we experience with a co-worker or boss.  Offer a session on conflict resolution so that employees can learn strategies for working with colleagues in a respectful, stress-free environment.  Ensure that managers have obtained advanced training in this area so they can assist in mediating conflicts. [...]

Supportive Managers Promote Workplace Wellness

Managers who take time out from their day to attend workplace wellness committee meetings and participate in health-oriented programming clearly demonstrate their support for employee wellness.  Similarly, managers who offer financial and technical support for wellness initiatives contribute to a positive organizational climate.   Staff members who coordinate wellness committees and programming should consider including management in [...]

Communication Training for Supervisors and Managers

Managers—and, indirectly, the employees they supervise—stand to benefit from training that emphasizes effective, sensitive communication strategies.  Some of the topics that these training sessions address may include how supervisors should offer employees rewards and appreciation appropriately and how to effectively and sensibly assess employees’ workloads.   Source:  County of Lambton Community Health Services Department

Seek Feedback from Employees

Listen carefully to employees’ concerns regarding tense, uncomfortable, or hostile relationships at work.  This input may help supervisors, human resources personnel, or EAP staff diffuse the situation before it becomes critical.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Communication is Key

Keep employees informed and in the loop when it comes to workplace goals, plans, and decisions.  That way, employees know what to expect at work.  They feel a greater source of control over their work environment, and this can help reduce stress.  Plus, communication and transparency on the part of management often inspires similar behaviour [...]

Allow Everyone to Have a Say in Important Decisions

When employees have a say in decisions that affect them, they feel that they have some control over their work environment.  The outcomes of decisions are more likely to reflect employee preferences, which makes for a more supportive work environment and less stress.  Routinely invite employees to participate in making decisions that influence their workplace [...]

Include Breaks and Rotations in Workplace Regulations

For employees who perform repetitive or forceful tasks, breaks and rotations may prevent strains, injuries, and illnesses that result from work.  Consider creating job rotation or exercise programs for employees in these types of positions.  Be sure to include guidelines for breaks and rotations in workplace policies.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Create Financial Incentives and Other Awards for Supportive, Creative Managers

Research shows that employees who have social supports at work are better equipped to cope with stress.  Managers can provide front-line support to those who need it most, helping them manage their stress and reduce workplace stressors.  Creating incentives for managers who creatively support employees will encourage other managers to follow suit.   Source:  Brant [...]

Prohibit Excessive Overtime

Excessive or mandatory overtime may only worsen the potentially negative effects of working late into the night or evening.  Make sure that your workplace policies don’t inadvertently urge employees to work during times at which they aren’t scheduled to do so. Source:  Brant  County Health Unit

Place a Limit on Employees’ “Homework”

If your employees regularly take work-related assignments home in the evening to complete during their time off, chances are they’re taking time away from other activities and family time that make up a balanced life.  Considering feedback from employees, create a policy that establishes guidelines for the amount of time that employees should spend on [...]

Create Financial Incentives and Other Awards for Supportive, Creative Managers

Research shows that employees who have social supports at work are better equipped to cope with stress.  Managers can provide front-line support to those who need it most, helping them manage their stress and reduce workplace stressors.  Creating incentives for managers who creatively support employees will encourage other managers to follow suit. Source: Brant County [...]

Happy Holidays

Consider the suggestions and needs of employees when creating holiday work schedules.  This will ensure that everyone enjoys a happy holiday, while minimizing the demands and stresses of work.   Source: Brant County Health Unit