Creating an Attractive Compensation Package: Offer Benefits, Tipping, and More – The Quarterly Poor Winter 2019

The following article was originally published in The Quarterly Pour magazine, Winter 2019 Edition. See it online at: The human resources concept of total compensation is that all compensation—not just wages—should be included in the calculation of what employees make. Following this concept, total compensation includes wages, benefits, retirement plans, vacation and paid leave days, and work-life benefits (aka perks). The entire employment package should be designed to attract, retain, reward, and motivate your employees’ commitment and performance. The concept applies across any industry, but in hospitality, you also have to factor in how tips contribute to your compensation package. In the current economic conditions, most managers and owners are acutely aware of wages. Minimum wages are a topic across … Read More

Election Day Is Coming – What Employers Need to Know

Election Day Employer Obligations

It would be impossible NOT to notice that we have an election coming up in Canada. However, we are not inundated with the actual date like other political messages, so as a reminder for those who have election fatigue, Election Day is just around the corner: Monday October 21, 2019. Employer Obligations Regarding Election Day in Canada Employees have certain rights, and employers have certain obligations with regards to federal elections (our federation means that the rights and obligations change for provincial and municipal elections). For federal elections, the Canada Elections Act governs what employers should (and should not) be doing. On my computer, the section of the Act that employers need to be knowledgeable about fits onto one screen … Read More

Keeping Your Staff: Retention Strategies that Work – InnFocus Summer 2018

The following article was originally published in InnFocus magazine, Summer 2018 Edition. See it online at: William Kahn, a professor of Organizational Behavior at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, wrote “Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work” in 1990. He found that for an employee to feel engaged, they had to: Employees thrive on the opportunity to not just work for the business, but also contribute to its success. It’s always important to get together and celebrate teamwork. As part of this celebration you could arrange a night of wine and spirit tasting. Suppliers may offer to help you with the location, supplies, or even facilitating a knowledge session. Your employees get out for a night of … Read More

Tips to Recruit & Retain Staff: Create a Great Employee Experience – The Publican Summer 2018

The following article was originally published in The Publican magazine, Summer 2018 Edition. See it online at: Recruiting and retaining good employees is challenging and will likely become more difficult as the workforce ages and is replaced by younger employees with different outlooks on work. This new outlook is often referred to as “employee experience”. For years businesses have been focusing on creating the right customer experience and now need to spend an equal amount of time developing the employee experience. Simply put, this means focusing on the employee touchpoints at work, and how those affect the employee’s thinking and attitudes and lead them to behave in specific ways. Many organizations are now putting the employee first with a belief … Read More

Improving Health and Safety in the Workplace – The Publican Spring 2018

The following article was originally published in The Publican magazine, Spring 2018 Edition. See it online at: A safe workplace is a great workplace—the adage is enduring for a reason. Creating and maintaining strong health and safety programs shouldn’t just be about compliance with governing bodies; employers should strive to be leaders in the protection of their employees. When done right, these programs offer a wide range of benefits to the employer such as preventing injury and disease, controlling and identifying hazards, limiting the financial losses resulting from injury and disease, and much more. Most importantly, it indicates to employees that you care about them. The easiest way to stay accountable in promoting a safe workplace is to create a … Read More

The Art of Deduction: An Employer’s Guide to Deductions – The Publican Winter 2017

The following article was originally published in The Publican magazine, Winter 2017 Edition. See it online at: Employers often feel the pressure to recoup business costs when things happen that are out of their control: theft, damage, breakage, poor quality of work, etc. To protect themselves, many employers institute policies that are funded by their employees. These can take many forms, but are most commonly things like dine and dash funds, breakage, uniform rentals, and administration fees. As tempting as these are, they are illegal. The Employment Standards Act is clear that “employers cannot require that an employee pay for any portion of an employer’s business cost”. Theft, damage, uniforms, and dining and dashing are all considered a cost of … Read More

Path to Promoting From Within – InnFocus Fall 2017

Many organizations make internal promotions a business strategy. The large hotel brands I have proudly represented throughout my career made developing talent from within a business priority. Internal promotions are something this industry does extremely well. If you ask most General Managers, they will happily tell you they “grew up” in the business. Investing in people as though they are your greatest asset is what will truly set your operation and your career apart.that consists of possible next steps (sometimes even 2 or 3 steps); (3) write a development plan that develops, mentors, invests in them; and (4) execute your plan … Read More

5 Lessons Learned About Employee Defamation Claims

In most circumstances, acting as a reference for past employees is a simple, straightforward process. There are, however, some situations where complications can arise that may put the employer in an awkward position. For example, if an employee leaves on negative terms, they may still seek a reference from you to aid in their search for new employment. In these situations, employers should tread carefully to avoid potential defamation claims. Take the case of  Papp v. Stokes as an example: Adam Papp commenced employment with Stokes Economic Consulting Inc. as a staff economist in March, 2011. His employment was terminated without cause in December, 2013. Following his termination, Mr. Papp asked Dr. Ernest Stokes (the president of the company) whether … Read More

5 Lessons Learned About Employee Probations

There is always a temptation to second guess what’s in the news. Almost everyone will tell you they could do better than, say, the current US President. Retrospect, and a court decision that doesn’t go an employer’s way begs us to not second guess. Take the case of Ly v. Interior Health as an example: Phuc Van Ly was hired by Interior Health in September 2014 to manage a team of nurses in Kamloops. He was fully qualified for the position and interviewed well for the position. Upon being hired, Ly was placed on a 6 month probationary period where his success in the job would be monitored. During his employ others complained about Ly behind his back, his supervisor … Read More

6 Human Resources Lessons We Can All Use

The “regular” news can be devoid of headlines related to human resources for days on end. Other times, HR makes headlines (and front pages) more than it should. It was a busy week for HR in the news last week. Consider these three headlines from just three days (February 14 to 16): Lots of lessons for employers (and employees) behind the headlines: Following up on headlines about work can be a fun way to follow trends in employment and labour law – unless you are the employer in the headline. You can take the steps to avoid putting your company in the headlines by using some common sense, keeping policies up-to-date, and following up with potential concerns for both you … Read More