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Letters

Letter to the President & CEO of Walmart Canada

12 June 2019

Lee Tappenden, President & CEO

Wal-Mart Canada Corp.

1940 Argentia Road

Mississauga, ON L5N 1P9

Dear Mr. Tappenden,

Recently, it came to our attention Walmart Canada made policy changes greatly affecting your employees, disabled customers, and First Nations customers.

I was visiting your South Barrie store the other day when I discovered it no longer had express checkouts. Instead, I had the option to use the job-stealing self-checkouts or wait in line at one of the beer-toting checkouts. Either had me behind other customers with carts full of stuff vs my three items I was purchasing.

The problem, Mr. Tappenden, is that I have a hidden disability. Waiting in line can actually be unsafe for me, especially as of late due to tiring quickly, there is no where I can wait while the three to ten people in front of me take more than ten minutes each to pay for their purchases.

I further worry for your First Nations and People of Colour customers who may not feel safe in your stores. Who may only come in for two or three things and then quickly leave, now, your new policy forces them to stay longer with no visible security present. Your staff is inadequately trained for this. A First Nations youth shoved into the shelf of an over-crowded aisle might be seen as an “accident” instead of the assault that was intended by the perpetrator.

Your South Barrie store was difficult to navigate as your normally wide primary aisles were crowded in the middle with stock or other items making it difficult to get around.

As a result of this situation, we would like:

  1. The restoration of (at a minimum 3) express checkouts at all Walmart stores in Canada.
  2. Your aisles clear so as to minimize safety issues for your customers.
  3. All staff trained in First Aid, CPR, and AED.
  4. All Walmart stores in Canada equipped with an AED.
    1. All staff informed of its location.
  5. Assistance for customers with disabilities, visible or hidden.

Regards,

 

Peter V. Tretter

President & CEO

Journey to Diversity Workplaces

Categories
Library

A Canadian federal employee’s guide to PIPEDA

A Canadian federal employee’s guide to PIPEDA

First, let’s quickly overview PIPEA: What is it?

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, also known as PIPEDA, is a law passed by the Parliament of Canada respecting privacy for the private sector and applies to personal information collected during the course of commercial activities. (Wikipedia contributors, 2018)

What employers have to work within PIPEDA??

Any employer who falls under federal jurisdiction in the Constitution of Canada.

Those areas being:

  • banks (but not provincial credit unions).
  • marine shipping, ferry and port services.
  • air transportation, including airports, aerodromes and airlines.
  • railway and road transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders.
  • canals, pipelines, tunnels and bridges (crossing provincial borders).
  • telephone, telegraph, and cable systems.
  • radio and television broadcasting.
  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills.
  • uranium mining and processing.
  • businesses dealing with the protection of fisheries as a natural resource.
  • many First Nation activities.
  • most federal Crown corporations.
  • private businesses necessary to the operation of a federal act. (Government of Canada, 2018)

Specific employers include but are not limited to:

Government of Canada and most federal Crown corporations such as Canada Post, Banks (Bank of Montreal, RBC, Scotiabank, Tangerine), Airlines (Air Canada, Porter, Westjet), and Phone and cable companies (Bell Canada, Rogers, Telus), for examples.

What are federal employers’ obligations under PIPEDA?

  • obtain consent when they collect, use, or disclose their personal information;
  • supply an individual with a product or a service even if they refuse consent for the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information unless that information is essential to the transaction;
  • collect information by fair and lawful means; and
  • have personal information policies that are clear, understandable and readily available. (Wikipedia contributors, 2018)

What are federal employees’ rights under PIPEDA?

PIPEDA gives employees the right to:

  • know why an organization collects, uses or discloses their personal information;
  • expect an organization to collect, use or disclose their personal information reasonably and appropriately, and not use the information for any purpose other than that to which they have consented;
  • know who in the organization is responsible for protecting their personal information;
  • expect an organization to protect their personal information by taking appropriate security measures;
  • expect the personal information an organization holds about them to be accurate, complete and up-to-date;
  • obtain access to their personal information and ask for corrections if necessary; and
  • complain about how an organization handles their personal information if they feel their privacy rights have not been respected. (Wikipedia contributors, 2018)

As a federal employee, how can I access my private human resources file?

Ask! Or send a written letter to your organization’s Chief Privacy Officer or whichever officer is in charge of the company’s privacy policy. Details on who that person is will be available from your employer.

“Ordinarily, it should cost you little or nothing to gain access to your personal information. The law requires an organization to respond to your request at minimal or no cost to you.” (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, 2016)

References

Government of Canada. (2018, November 9). Federally Regulated Businesses and Industries. Retrieved 29 March 2019, from https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/employment-equity/regulated-industries.html.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. (2016, September 12). Accessing your personal information. Retrieved 29 March 2019, from https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/access-to-personal-information/accessing-your-personal-information/.

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, November 13). Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 29 March 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Personal_Information_Protection_and_Electronic_Documents_Act&oldid=868668286.

This article was written by J2DW CEO Peter V. Tretter

Categories
News

Top 5 articles of 2018!

We are fortunate to see an increase in visits to our website in 2018 with lots of help from our active volunteers! Now we present the top 5 articles visitors read on our website in 2018.

5. How to deal with religious accommodations in the Workplace

Freedom of religion, in Canada, is a constitutionally protected right that allows religious believers the freedom to assemble and worship without limitation or interference. Religious discrimination is treating individuals differently in their employment because of their religion, their religious beliefs and practices, denying their reasonable request for accommodation or a change in a workplace rule or policy that denies employees equal opportunities due to their religious beliefs or practices. Canadian employers are required to accommodate the reasonable needs of religious employees in the workplace.

4. Women in the Workplace: The Hidden Battle

Throughout our history, women have adopted new roles from working as a housewife to entering the workplace and providing for their family or oneself. As women entered the workplace, we saw issues of sexual harassment, unequal pay and opportunity starting to emerge. These issues are still seen and frequently voiced today as women are continuously taking a stand for their rights. Unfortunately, there are many issues that go unnoticed that need to be addressed. Every day women have to prove that they are just as good or better than their counterparts and when they fail to do so they are labeled as weak, incompetent or just plain lazy.

3. Lack of Diversity in the Workplace Can Cause Stress Among Employees

The success of an organization in today’s competitive world depends upon how well it embraces the challenges of diversity and realizes its benefits. Employees from different backgrounds, ages and ethnicities bring their own set of experiences and world views, and are better able to provide a wider range of solutions to developing problems. Most of all, a lack of diversity has been linked to increased discrimination which in turn leads to elevated stress levels among employees. The National Center for Biotechnology Information note that discrimination due to immigrant status, legal status, skin tone or language can contribute to increased stress in individuals.

2. The Pros and Cons of Hiring Older Employees vs. Younger Employees

Ever thought you would one day be in a position where you would have the decision on your hands to make or break someone’s career? Well if you are, here is something that you might come across depending on the nature of your job. This article aims to analyze some of the main factors to consider while picking the right person for the job. At the very outset, I must make it clear that I am referring to older as in more experienced professionals and not just being ageist.

1. Workplace Issues and Solutions

There are a variety of workplace issues that both employers and employees encounter. Some of these issues are minor while other workplace issues are more significant and require frequent attention from employees for the workplace to function properly. While it is the responsibility of management to take steps to develop strategies to combat workplace issues, employees also have a responsibility to speak up when they recognize issues that contribute to or may eventually lead to problems.

This article was mostly contributed to and edited by J2DW volunteers!

Categories
Founder's Blog

Why you should keep Doug Ford and workers separate

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government had announced a large scale rollback to Ontario’s Labour Standards Act, which promised to freeze minimum wage at $14 an hour and repealing Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Doug Ford, The Premier of Ontario had stated some of the proposed legislation changes that we would see such as the removal of paid sick days and the exemption for a sick note if you are sick for less than three days a year.

There is some evidence from other provinces in the country such as Alberta that shows the increase in minimum wage would only help boost the economy.

Small-sized business owners had a hard time swallowing some of the Premier’s changes, as many were quite costly to their business that caused them to have to cut staff and raise prices. The Ontario government could have perhaps introduced grants to help bridge the gap for small-sized businesses struggling to adapt to the changes. We are seeing an almost whole-scale rollback of the Labour Standards Act, which makes it extremely difficult for those small-sized businesses to survive.

With the repeal of Bill 148, this could be seen as a politically motivated move as we are seeing Ford favouring rich business owners while the lesser are suffering.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Doctor’s notes are a tax on the poor because neither the Ontario Health Insurance Plan or the employer pay for them.[/perfectpullquote]

Most of labour law changes affect poor workers. Doctor’s notes are paid out of pocket and not reimbursed. Unpaid sick days mean those who are sick and would have previously stayed home will continue going to work and risk passing on their virus to their coworkers and those they come into contact with.

However, employers cannot make large changes in their workplaces to rollback the increases without possible large scale litigation along with potential claims of discrimination and constructive dismissal.

If Premier Doug Ford wanted to make genuine changes to the Labour Standards Act and the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 then he would have started by consulting with minimum wage earners, workers in blue collar positions and small-sized business owners.

For Ontario deserves more.

Categories
Voices of our Nation

Diversity for Productivity

According to the University of Florida, people are living longer and the world’s globalization will require further interaction from people who are more diversified and come from an array of backgrounds. Typically, they work in diverse and varied environments and this raises questions about tracking this trend and adapting to it. Companies want to perform better in the business world and many would like to advance diversity as well.

The importance of a diverse work and business environment is to be able to maximize and capitalize on workplace productivity and effective management. This places a lot of responsibility on supervisors and managers. We see that the workplace environment is continuing to evolve with the times and that the culture and workplace will follow suit. Based on the report, Diversity in the Workplace from the University of Florida, companies looking to embrace diversity and have inclusive organizational structures will likely gain greater productivity and competitive advantages. Thus, those workplaces that do not choose to evolve will potentially lose productivity.

There are some questions that arise from companies planning or thinking about evolving. How do you do it? What forms will it take? To do it is simply to build a structure from which to onboard people from diverse backgrounds. The forms that it will take will be much more diverse and inclusive from the managerial side all the way down to interns. Of course, as noted in the research, “there is no single recipe for success.” The manager’s ability to be able to understand teamwork and the dynamics of the team in the workplace is very important. A manager or supervisor wants to look into things such as equal employment opportunities in order to capitalize on the larger talent pool, especially when looking at a broader base of the variables for potential employees.

In addition, the manager or supervisor may want to look into the means through which those throughout the hierarchy of the organization can find advancement. If an intern, they can potentially be promoted to part-time or full-time employment. If a full-time employee, they may be able to be promoted to some sub-managerial or supervisory role. As the article summarizes, a diverse set of teams can bring a higher value to organizations in addition to respecting individual differences that can provide an organization or business with a “competitive edge” and increase in “work productivity.”

Many workplaces in the modern era have diverse backgrounds, people, educational experiences and certifications, and so on. If this comes into play, then it will eventually result in a higher productivity of the organization as a whole towards its stated mission, mandate, and goals.

References
Green, K. et al. (2002, June). Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools. Retrieved from https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/HR/HR02200.pdf.

This article was written by volunteer blogger Scott Jacobsen and edited by volunteer editor Erin Murphy.

Categories
Voices of our Nation

Our Co-op Experience

Our Co-op Experience

Ishita Malhan, B.B.A & M.B.A, Social Media Analyst
Patrick MacIntyre, B.A & B.Ed, Social Media Analyst

My colleague and I were employed as Volunteer Social Media Analysts for a not-for-profit organization known as Journey to Diversity Workplaces (J2DW) from October 2017 to mid-December of the same year. We are so thankful to have had this co-op opportunity available to us through our Research Analyst program at Georgian College. J2DW first caught our attention because it provided us with the ability to work from home and communicate with one another using different types of multimedia tools. We were motivated to work with an organization that we found so inspiring and shared similar perspectives on business ethics as we do.

The time we spent working for J2DW has granted us the opportunity to build and enhance our skill set that we will utilize throughout our career. There was no designated team lead within our social media analyst team, therefore, we approached each assignment with a very democratic perspective. Communication was a crucial factor to our success, as each member would offer his or her thoughts and opinions on the best approach to each task. Through this method, we were able to understand the importance of clarity on tasks at hand, allowing everyone to focus towards the same goal. Each member of the team had specialties and was able to provide a unique perspective on how to best approach each task. We held one another and ourselves accountable for assigned sections that enabled us to further develop our teamwork and communication skills.

After completing our co-op, we can honestly say that we have learned and developed new skill sets. Some of our assignments required collective work and at times it was challenging because we were not in the same city. Setting a plan, sticking to it and holding one another accountable while working remotely was not an easy task. My colleague and I had the privilege of working together prior to this experience, which was a great asset to the team. We had the opportunity to complete diverse tasks, learn new programs, problem solve and overcome challenges.

Below are examples of the tasks we assisted with during our co-op with the J2DW organization:

• Conduct User Analysis
• Social Media Platform Comparison and Trend Analysis
• Key Word Analysis
• Crowdfunding Analysis
• Post on various Social Media Platforms
• Conduct Research on various topics for the organization
• Google AdWords’ Marketing Campaigns
• MailChimp Marketing Campaigns
• Google Forms Survey Development, Distribution, and Analysis
• Drafting Policy Guidelines
• Blog Post

J2DW is an organization bent on setting the standard for diversity in the workplace and has been spreading its message and gathering new followers every day. By focusing on issues that influence the Canadian workforce, it is relatable knowledge that both employers and employees should be aware of. Subjects such as labour, education, and equality are things that are becoming more readily spoken about in public and J2DW is a resource bent on ensuring that employees know their rights. J2DW wants to set a workplace standard for equal treatment that will spread to other businesses, illustrating that equality is attainable.

This post was written by volunteer co-op students Ishita Malhan and Patrick MacIntyre. It was edited by volunteer editor Erin Murphy.

Categories
Voices of our Nation

Communication and Other Workplace Barriers

Communication in the workplace is affected by a number of factors, some of which are recognizable to the worker while other are more complex and require a closer look. For example, there is a co-worker that you feel is unapproachable and as a result, you might prefer to procrastinate and not ask them questions or notify them of certain information. It could be any numerous of reasons that you feel this way, they looked at you funny, said a rude remark or cut you off in a meeting. However, without cutting to the chase of the problem and approaching them, you unconsciously created that barrier that made it difficult for you to approach them.

Over time, if there is no effective communication, it does weaken the bonds between the employers, employees and the organization as a whole. For example, a newly recruited employee is unsure if their work is up to par and if they completed it correctly, but they are intimidated by their senior. They may choose to go to a co-worker or other senior who may or may not be able to guide them as effectively and could consequently cause the work to suffer along with the credibility of the employee.

We underestimate the power of communication at a workplace such as sending quick emails, texts, phone calls, memos and of course the coffee breaks. Misunderstanding and miscommunications are common, hence it is important to overcome these barriers to build a healthy working environment.

Some common communication barriers are:

1) Distractions – getting distracted during a presentation or meeting and wanting to save face and not admit to these distractions, you don’t ask a colleague on what was said while your mind wandered (we do have an attention span of only 20 mins). Therefore you choose to input whatever you thought they said, which can lead to confusion and mistakes.

2) Shyness and Discomfort – these are real things that do hinder a conversation at a workplace. You have a great idea that you want to contribute but every time you are about to speak, the thought of having ‘all eyes on you’ and actually articulating this idea is too much and uncomfortable. Being too shy and uncomfortable in a workplace doesn’t allow for the worker to show what they are capable of doing and hinders the production of work overall.

3) Trivial Doubts – you might be thinking to yourself ‘why must I ask my senior such a trivial doubt such as rounding off one digit in a transaction’ and end up costing the firm thousands of dollars. Prevention is better than cure. It is a good idea to ask co-workers or management even a trivial doubt question (it may be a big deal and you’ll be grateful you asked) to prevent any further issues.

4) Body Language – I cannot stress enough how non-verbal body language speaks louder than words. Mixed signals (are they listening or not, should I repeat myself, how much have they understood) all cause confusion and work may suffer because of it. It is important to make sure (as my teacher used to tell us in class) that you are there both in body and mind. If you miss something because you got distracted for a few minutes, make sure you catch up either with a colleague or just ask them directly. They might appreciate the honesty (no one can pay attention 24/7 and the mind is bound to wander).

Some other barriers that one may face are:

5) Cultural Barriers – how people think, react and see the world can vary widely because of culture. This might give rise to stereotypes and other preconceived notions and sometimes make the person feel uncomfortable. For example, telling a person of Asian origin to handle the finances just because they are known to be good at math, is a gross violation of an employee’s personal merit.

6) Multitasking – with access to technology at work, employees feel that it’s necessary to check e-mail, answer customer calls and send text messages at the same time. Multitasking is a barrier to productivity because it can prohibit an employee from remembering important information and not being able to perform their job satisfactorily.

7) Stress – the amount of stress an employee feels when faced with many uncompleted duties prevents one from actually completing said tasks or opening up to a superior about it for fear of repercussions. Please speak up if you think your plate is too full. It is not healthy with regard to mental fatigue and physical health.

8) Physical Barriers – the closed doors and cubicles can be a subtle hindrance to communication. People in open rooms tend to talk more and walk about more freely.

These are just some of many different barriers that arise every day at one’s workplace. At the end of the day, open and effective communication between employers and employees goes a long way in solving issues and prevents new ones from cropping up.

This article was written by volunteer blogger Riya Prem Raaj and edited by volunteer editor Erin Murphy.

Categories
Voices of our Nation

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Older Employees vs. Younger Employees

Ever thought you would one day be in a position where you would have the decision on your hands to make or break someone’s career? Well if you are, here is something that you might come across depending on the nature of your job. This article aims to analyze some of the main factors to consider while picking the right person for the job. At the very outset, I must make it clear that I am referring to older as in more experienced professionals and not just being ageist.

What are the things one could consider? We have tried to lay down factors that could influence one’s decision below in a concise format. Hope it helps you come to a conclusion about your Sophie’s choice.

I have tried to first evaluate the pros of hiring older employees as opposed to younger employees before proceeding to the cons.

1) Experience – for certain jobs, job experience is a huge factor. Experienced employees bridge the gap from teaching from scratch to jumping right into the thick of things.

2) Less supervision – they definitely do not need as much supervision as a just out of college hire.

3) Fewer chances of mistakes – they have made their mistakes and hopefully learned from them.

4) Takes lead – having probably worked at other places before, they feel confident enough to take charge and lead the team.

5) Mentorship – older employees are able (and willing) to mentor younger, less-experienced employees.

6) Clients – older employees might just have a list of contacts and networking that will be useful in the growth of the firm.

7) Patience – apart from the odd temper tantrum, they display more patience to teach and to communicate with the team.

8) Loyalty – it comes with the package.

9) Punctuality – this is one of those old tradition school things but punctuality is common and important to their generation.

The pros of hiring younger employees as opposed to older employees can be listed as follows:

1) Adept at technology – younger employees have grown up in the lap of technology and are therefore much more proficient at it than the older generation.

2) More risk-taking – they just might be more open to the idea of risks (this might not necessarily go down well for the company but they at least had the courage to take that chance. Older employees are more cautious and less open to something and who knows, the risks might pay off).

3) Dynamic – I do know of 60-year-old CEO’s who have been nothing but dynamic all their lives and that is why they are at the top. But younger blood with more ideas, fresh out of college and enthusiastic might be just what is needed to revitalize the company.

4) Flexibility – older employees tend to have their own set of ideas and notions and cannot adapt easily to the changing mindset. Younger employees generally have a flexible attitude because they are more adept at changing (it’s a millennial thing maybe) and can pick up on such changes sooner (without grumbling).

5) Expectation of Salary – the older employees come with some experience and want to be compensated for the fact that their previous skill has saved some training of the employers and therefore they must be compensated for the same. Younger employees are more than happy that they are being paid as the job is a place where they start off and learn (they know that their salary is not going to be through the roof).

6) Physical attribute – though it sounds ageist, it is true that older employees do face certain physical drawbacks as compared to younger employees and the strenuous work can take a toll on their health.

Several more pros and cons could be listed. However, the important take away from this article is that at the end of the day, the circumstance, the company and the post being recruited for is what will ultimately decide as to who stays and who does not.

This article was written by volunteer blogger Riya Prem Raaj and edited by volunteer editor Shan Simpson.

Categories
Library

The facts about incentive pay

In the following essay, I am going to analyze incentives for workers to perform tasks, and thus come up with a conclusion as to what makes the most sense for employers to incentivize their employees with. I will back up my analysis with the mention of two research papers.

The exchange of money for the completion of tasks, the labour market, is arguably one of the most important transactions for the ongoing of our economy. If it did not exist, we would not be able to progress further into developing our world into a better home for the generations to come. And with this importance, comes a concept just as important, keeping employees just as motivated to continue working.

Human nature is such that motivation within us does not last forever, and thus refilling ourselves on a constant dose of motivational fuel is pivotal in the success of our tasks.

There are in general, two types of incentive pay, which are merit pay and bonus pay. Merit pay can be defined as the permanent increase related to performance against a standard that reflection evidence of permanently increased productivity. The term bonus can also be defined similarly as a single period additional pay related to performance that may not be reproducible in the next period without sufficient additional effort. We will examine the advantages and disadvantages of both these pay structures.

Under the umbrella of merit pay is the piece rate, where workers are paid on the basis of the output they produce. Piece rates hold the benefits of workers are motivated to produce more output because of the fact that their wages are directly proportional to their pay, it is a system that attracts good workers due to the fact that more skilled labour will want to join the company because of such a pay structure, and there exist savings of monitoring workers and keeping track of their productivity.

Seeing how effective such a piece rate method of payment is, I am going to support my argument with supporting research. Edward Lazear wrote a paper titled “Performance Pay and Productivity” where he examined how effective the incentive pay of piece rate was in inducing workers to produce more output. His examination of personnel economics uses data from a company called Safelite Glass Corporation, which is an auto glass company. His use of this data derives from the fact that in 1994 and 1995, management in the company changed the compensation from hourly wages to piece rates. This provided the necessary data to analyze how effective the new piece rate was in inducing more output.

His findings can be summarized into the following points:

1. A switch to piece-rate pay has a significant effect on average levels of output per worker. This is in the range of a 44-percent gain.

2. The gain can be attributed to two components. Approximately half of the gain in productivity resulted from the ability of the company to hire a more able workforce.

3. The change to piece rate resulted in both gains in productivity for the firm and benefits for the employees. Employees on average earned 10% higher due to the change.

4. Switching to a piece rate increases the variance in output. More ambitious workers have less incentive to differentiate themselves when hourly wages are paid than when piece-rate pay is used.

Even though these findings are specific to one firm, they provide useful insights into how piece rates can affect employees and firms.

In a different research paper titled “Pay Enough or Don’t Pay At All” by Gneezy and Rustichini, the researchers find that some employees react negatively to the piece rate offered if the wages are not substantial enough.

The researchers set out to figure out whether the default economic theory that incentives should induce performance is realistic in the complex world we live in. The researchers conducted an experiment in a lab where students were asked to answer a few IQ test questions and were told that they would be paid a piece rate related to the number of answers they got correct. They got a base pay for showing up for the test and then the subjects were divided into three groups that were randomly assigned a piece rate.

What the researchers found is that the test subjects perceived the piece rate as follows. The test subjects just offered the base pay and nothing more did the job more effectively than subjects that were offered a small piece rate plus base pay. This is because offering a small piece rate changes the perception of the contract as explained below.

If a zero piece rate is offered, subjects tend to perceive the ‘contract’ as follows: “The experimenter has offered me 60 cents to do a job. Now I know what that job is –answering questions—and it is my job to do it satisfactorily.” Putting this in a different way—subjects interpret this as a gift exchange contract.

If a positive piece rate is offered, subjects tend to perceive the contract more as follows: “The experimenter has offered me 60 cents to show up. I’ve done that. Now he is offering me 10 cents per question to answer questions.

The question of incentive pay is an important question labour economists have been trying to answer for years and we need to strive as a society in figuring out what the most effective way of motivating our employees is. In the above analysis, I briefly touched upon piece rate with some evidence from research, but there are a variety of incentive pay schemes the labour market can take advantage of.

Piece rates can be effectively put to use to induce productivity if used correctly. In the case of the first research paper, the nature of the work determined the success of the piece rate. In the second research case, a high piece rate was effective in inducing higher productivity. The piece rate, if implemented wisely, can be a very important determinant in a company’s labour output.

References
1. Gneezy, Uri, and Aldo Rustichini. “Pay Enough or Don’t Pay at All*.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 115, no. 3, 2000, pp. 791–810., doi:10.1162/003355300554917.
2. Lazear, Edward. “Performance Pay and Productivity.” 1996, doi:10.3386/w5672.

Categories
Voices of our Nation

Developing a Positive Workplace Culture

A workplace’s culture is composed of the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that the employees share, and use frequently, within the workplace. The workplace culture determines how employees describe where they work, how the employees understand the workplace, and how the employees see themselves as an essential part of a productive workplace. The workplace culture is what makes the workplace unique. This culture is very important, because the workplace culture can either strengthen or weaken the objectives and goals that the workplace is trying to achieve.

Every workplace has a unique style which contributes to developing a workplace culture. The beliefs, principles, and values of individual workplaces form the workplace culture. A positive workplace culture encourages the employees to stay motivated and loyal to their employees and also committed to the goals of the workplace. The culture of the workplace controls how employers and employees behave within the workplace as well as managing behaviours in regards to interactions with people that an organization may do business with outside of the workplace. A positive workplace culture encourages employees to behave in responsible, ethical ways, resulting in higher workplace morale, employee collaboration, and empowerment.

A positive workplace culture allows individual employees to be clear about his or her role and responsibilities in the workplace. A positive workplace culture can increase productivity and improve employee satisfaction. A workplace culture should be established where employees are treated equally. Every employee should be made to feel valued and respected within the workplace. Workplace policies can help to develop a positive workplace culture as these policies assist to guide the employees’ conduct. Policies also give employees a sense of direction at their workplace. A positive workplace environment can lead to significant benefits for employers and employees as the workplace is more likely to be successful when a positive workplace environment is established.

A negative workplace culture can decrease productivity and also reduce employee satisfaction. Employees can become uninterested or disengaged, in their job, which will cause significant workplace issues. Workplace stress has been linked to serious health problems and absenteeism which can be costly for workplaces. Workplaces can improve their culture by addressing negative issues promptly and effectively. Workplaces should make it clear what types of positive behaviours are expected to reduce the impact of a negative workplace culture.

Changing the workplace culture might seem like a quick and easy process. However, changing a negative workplace culture can be challenging when negative workplace habits have been allowed to continue over a significant amount of time. Adjusting the workplace culture will require setting policies with clear boundaries and consequences. The long term goal will be to change the negative workplace culture, but this process usually requires changes in the behaviour of individual employers and employees before there can be a noticeable difference in all aspects of the workplace culture. Improving the workplace culture may require letting go of disengaged or unproductive employers and employees which could present temporary challenges, such as an increased employee turnover before workplaces will benefit from a more positive workplace culture. Developing a positive workplace culture will typically require patience and also a commitment from to employees and employers to improve their workplace habits.

A positive workplace culture can be achieved by encouraging good communication, employee input, cooperation, participation, and trust. Better productivity is accomplished through increasing employee satisfaction along with paying attention to the physical and emotional needs of individual employees. Policies should be implemented that will promote the success of workplace. These policies should be evaluated and adjusted to ensure that workplace policies can remain effective in the future. The development of a positive culture leads to greater workplace effectiveness, which positively affects financial workplace performance, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and also an overall improvement in workplace productivity. When employers and employees are willing to cooperatively to create a positive workplace culture there is a better chance of ensuring that workplaces will be successful.

Sources:
Challenges to Promoting a Positive Workplace Culture
Importance of the Workplace Culture
Statistics Canada
The Impact of a Positive or Negative Workplace Culture

This article was written by volunteer blogger Shan Simpson.