National Indigenous Peoples Day

Sunday, June 21, 2020 is summer solstice where we all welcome the longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer. It is also National Indigenous Peoples Day where we can recognize and celebrate the rich and diverse heritage, culture and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Pictured above are the Stó:lō welcome figures at the Chilliwack Visitors Centre. The two figures, one man and one woman, stand with their hands raised in a gesture of welcome. There are many First Nations welcome centres and museums in our country that I have visited and a long list of ones that I have yet to see. This year I planned on joining one of the many events … Read More

National Volunteer Week – April 19-25, 2020

I became an active volunteer largely because of the influence of great business leaders and mentors who were significant supporters and advocates for making a difference in the communities in which they operated. The more I engaged in a volunteer capacity the more perspective I developed regarding those less fortunate in society, and the personal value, personal growth and often immediate results that can be achieved from helping where needed. From an organizational perspective encouraging employees and providing support systems for employees to engage in volunteerism, is a great way to build community within employee groups, and with the community at large. I have heard many employees speak proudly of their employer who allowed them to follow their heart and … Read More

The New Frontier in Performance Reviews & Development

The traditional annual performance review is increasingly under attack. School systems have long since moved away from letter grades, and Daniel Pink tells us that what we traditionally thought motivates people is all wrong. Furthermore, Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall’s “Nine Lies About Work” attacks key fundamental elements that have underscored traditional performance reviews and how to motivate and develop people. More and more managers and (just as importantly) employees are pushing back on the traditional annual evaluation and looking for new ways to ensure that employees are performing, excelling and acquiring what they and the organization need for the future. I have been working with several organizations to simplify their annual performance appraisal system to be more responsive to … Read More

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

The following article was originally published in The Quarterly Pour magazine, Winter 2019 Edition. See it online at: by Kevin Woolliams 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 … 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: by Veronica Lyver 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: Feel that their work was meaningful and made a difference Feel valued, trusted, and respected Feel secure and self-confident In other words, the more an employee feels part of a community, the more likely it is that they are engaged with what they do. It seems quite simple, but it’s surprisingly easy and common to overlook these factors. The changes to the job … 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: by Heather Johnson 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 … 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: by Dorothy McEwan 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. Planning The easiest way to stay accountable in promoting a safe workplace … 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: by Dorothy McEwan 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 … 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