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August 2018 Newsletter
In This Issue
  • Thanks for Joining Us!
  • Four Critical Purposes of Anti-Harassment Training
  • Why Should Employers Provide Health and Safety Training?
  • New Changes to Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • How Can Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs Help Your Organization?
  • Quick Reference: How Can Communications Skills Training Help Your Workforce?
  • Quick Reference: Seven Reasons to Offer Diversity Training in  Your Organization
  • Quick Reference: Critical Takeaways from Respectful Workplace Training
  • Quick Reference: Time Management
  • Quick Reference: Project Management Skills Carry Success Across the Organization
  • Coach's Corner: Understand the Impact by Understanding the Terms
August 2018
Volume 5, Number 8

Thanks for Joining Us!

How can it be August already?! Sizzling hot days, warm nights and plenty of sunshine have all made for an incredible summer. If you're like us here at Wendy Ellen Inc., you never want this season to end.

Speaking about things that should never end, this month we're focusing on responsible corporate training and those aspects that we consider imperative for all organizations to offer. Any company that invests in employee development is investing in their own success. By training your employees, you are creating a workplace that is adaptive, flexible, and ready for change.While there are many training programs available, a few core courses are essential to your employees' success at work as well as in their personal lives. Responsible corporate training needs to become a part of your annual cycle to keep in the forefront of your employees' minds and to foster a culture of a safe,  inclusive and efficient workforce.

Keep reading for more learning!

Four Critical Purposes of Anti-Harassment Training

There are lots of reasons to host training on diversity, inclusion, and anti-harassment.  The primary one is that if your organization has a diverse, inclusive, and harassment-free environment, it is more likely to be successful.  Here are 4 more reasons to have anti-harassment training:

1. Highlight How to Be More Inclusive: A good anti-harassment training should include the benefits of both having a diverse workforce and also how to foster an inclusive work environment for that workforce. Inclusion is a delicate balance of assimilating employees into your culture while also embracing each employeeís unique perspectives. The difference between diversity and inclusion is that diversity is what an organization has and inclusion is what an organization does. An anti-harassment training can provide more ideas about what your organization can do to gain the benefits of inclusivity.

2. Prevention: Even if you donít think your organization has a harassment problem, that doesnít mean one might not pop up in the future. Prevention is the best medicine, and preparing your employees with additional knowledge about all the gray areas inherent in harassment can continue to yield a harassment-free workplace. For example, you never know what kind of training (if any) new employees have had, so itís best to make sure each new employee gets trained when they hire on with your organization.

3. Learn from Past Mistakes: Itís hard to keep up with everything that could be considered harassment, and mistakes in judgment happen. If your organization ends up with a complaint of harassment, see this as an opportunity to learn and have a larger conversation about harassment.

4. Create an Affirmative Defense: If a harassment complaint turns into a legal issue, by hosting regular trainings every year, training new employees, and handling each report of harassment with care and objectivity, your organization is creating an environment in which it shows that it exercised reasonable care to prevent harassment. This kind of affirmative defense can help protect your organization in the event of legal action.

By training all current employees regularly, providing new employees with the same information, and having well-thought out reporting procedures and anti-harassment policies, your organization will set a good foundation for a harassment-free workplace.
Source: Catherine Schmidt, Purple Ink

Why Should Employers Provide Health and Safety Training?

No matter how small or large a company is, workers in all fields of industry face workplace dangers that can threaten their health and safety. In some industries, such as in the mining and oil industries, the dangers can be evident: exposure to harmful chemicals, fires, explosions and breakdown of machinery are just some of the health risks that workers in these fields face every single working day. For other fields of business, however, the dangers may not be as obvious: working in an office or a restaurant may seem harmless, but poor ergonomics, food contamination and psychological stress can also cause health problems that can hamper productivity. Because hazards are present in all types of industries, itís essential for companies to provide health and safety training for their workers and to update this knowledge on a regular basis.

Educating workers on the basics of occupational health and safety can help reduce workplace accidents and injuries, saving companies from costly legal battles with employees and lifelong support for their families. In addition, prioritizing the safety of your personnel can keep them from leaving the job because of work-related illness, keeping financial losses secondary to lack of skilled workers at a minimum.

New Changes to Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Act

An improved OHS system to better protect workers and ensure they have the same rights as other Canadians came into effect on June 1, 2018.

As of June 1, 2018 workers have three basic rights:
  • the right to refuse dangerous work
  • the right to know
  • the right to participate
In addition, 
  • Employers with 20 or more workers at a work site must have a written health and safety program. The program must have 10 mandated elements and be reviewed every 3 years.
  • Employers with less than 20 employees at a work site must involve workers in hazard assessment and control.
  • Larger employers (20 or more workers at a work site) must have a joint work site health and safety committee for work lasting 90 days or more
  • Smaller employers (5-19 workers at a work site) must have a health and safety representative for work lasting 90 days or more
  • An employer can use an alternative approach to meeting these requirements with approval from an OHS director.
And finally,
  • Harassment and violence in all forms, including domestic and sexual violence, are now defined as workplace hazards in Alberta's updated OHS Act. Under the new rules, employers must develop workplace harassment and violence prevention plans and address incidents when they do occur.
To learn more and gain a thorough understanding of your responsibilities as an employer, please visit the Government of Alberta's OHS website.

How Can Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs Help Your Organization?

The Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA) is the Canadian legislation implementing its obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption. The CFPOA applies to persons and companies and makes it a criminal offence for persons or companies to bribe foreign public officials to obtain or retain a business advantage. 

Without a compliance program, organizations are vulnerable to corruption due to other organizational cultures or players in the value chain that accept or ignore signs of bribery, corruption, and fraud. An effective Anti-Corruption Compliance Program will significantly reduce the chances of your company violating the COFPA.

Training employees and key business partners worldwide is an essential part of any successful anti-corruption program. A good training program provides appropriate education and guidance on:
  • The risks and damages which can result from bribery
  • The circumstances in which bribery can occur
  • Your specific risks and the applicable laws
  • Regulations and internal policies required by international regulations
Training allows you to work on the mindsets and behaviours of your people and representatives worldwide, driving change throughout your organization. Effective training allows them to:
  • Identify a bribe and a facilitation payment.
  • Know how to resist bribery solicitations, most notably facilitation payments.
  • Understand what constitutes acceptable gifts and hospitality.
  • How to prevent bribery by third parties.
  • Know the penalties for non-compliance, and whom to contact for help if you need it.

Coach's Corner: Understand the Impact by Understanding the Terms

With understanding comes the first step in creating a diverse, inclusive, respectful, and equal workplace. Below are terms and concepts pertaining to diversity that all managers (and employees) should learn and understand,

Source: NL Association for New Canadians

Quick Reference: How Can Communication Skills Training Help Your Workforce?

Ineffective communication can often lead to negative work relationships and can affect your companyís bottom line. Whether itís a face-to-face meeting or an e-mail thread, every employee should have an understanding of the basics of communication. A communication course will help your team develop the essential skills they need to communicate both verbally and in writing, internally and externally. It also helps with:

Better listening skills
Communication skills training will help your colleagues to have open and useful exchanges, where each contributorís point of view is expressed and heard.

A greater sense of empathy
In order to be a member of a team, workers need to be able to put themselves in their colleaguesí shoes and understand where they are coming from.

The ability to speak precisely
Learn how best to communicate effectively in a wide range of situations, and how to be direct in order to get the most out of your dealings with others.

A better rapport with customers
Customers desire nothing more than to be understood by a company and they wish to feel like they are being heard and listened to; training ensures they are given the level of attention they deserve
Quick Reference: Seven Reasons to Offer Diversity Training in Your Organization
1. An inclusive workplace increases employee engagement.

2. An inclusive workplace leads to greater employee retention.

3. An inclusive workplace levels the playing field and brings helpful change.

4. Diversity training provides the opportunity to learn the appropriate skill sets needed to manage diversity effectively, including communication, conflict management, cross-cultural competency, and problem-solving.

5. Those in the workplace without an understanding of diversity - who hold ingrained biases and beliefs  -  arenít going to understand and change without some training.

6. More diverse workplaces are more profitable, according to studies.

7. Diversity training protects businesses from liability, in that it helps workplace leaders to understand  their responsibilities and to effect change in the organization.

Quick Reference: Critical Takeaways from Respectful Workplace Training

With a myriad of training options on a growing variety of respectful work place issues, what are reasonable expectations for learning in workshops and seminars?
Bullying and Toxic Behaviours in the Workplace
- Exploration of the legal developments demanding civil and respectful workplaces that are free from bullying, which is also known as personal or psychological harassment.
- What is personal harassment (a.k.a. bullying or psychological harassment) and how does it affect targets and the working climate?
- What are key criteria for determining when offensive conduct crosses the line into personal harassment?
- What steps can someone take if they feel they are being bullied or personally harassed?
Dealing With Micro-Aggressions in the Workplace

- What is the definition of micro-aggression?
- What are examples and scenarios of micro-aggressions?
-Why do micro-aggressions matter?
- Why are micro-aggressions so pervasive and difficulty to respond to?
- What are some strategies for stopping micro-aggressions and promoting inclusion?
The Respectful Workplace 

- What constitutes sexual and other kinds of harassment?
- What are the kinds of behaviour that contribute to a positive and productive workplace?
- What services and resources are available and how are they accessed?

Quick Reference: Time Management

For every organization, time is a valuable but limited resource. It is a key to success, yet many employees lack the skillset required to manage their time effectively. This results in stress, missed deadlines, and poor work quality. Time management training provides techniques and tools that will help your employees stay organized, focused, and be more productive every day. Below are 10 areas all employees can benefit from:

1. Plan and set goals
2. Prioritize
3. Organize
4. Streamline
5. Delegate
6. Dedicate time for less pleasant work
7. Manage communications
8. Avoid interruptions
9. Schedule tasks for peak performance
10. Ensure proper balance in one's life

Quick Reference: Project Management Skills Carry Success Across the Organization

We now live in a world where most tasks are projects and every team requires at least one project manager. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI) ďorganizations that offer training in project management are more efficient and better equipped for the challenges of the constantly evolving business environment.Ē Project management is a skill needed at every level of an organization and should be a part of each employeeís career path, and provides:
  • Confidence in the employee(s)
  • Capability of the organization to deliver projects
  • Capacity of the organization to deliver more complex projects
  • Continuity of approach
  • Consistency of delivery approach
  • Culture of project success

Determining the best training programs for your organization requires understanding, know-how, and ability.

Contact Wendy Ellen Inc. for assistance today!
About Wendy Ellen Inc.
Wendy Ellen Inc. specializes in providing human resource and benefits management skills to small to mid-sized companies on an as-needed basis. From recruitment, Human Resource policy development and legislative compliance, employee retention and engagement, individual advisor/coaching, succession planning to employee development and performance, Wendy Ellen Inc. will help you protect your most valuable resource, your people.
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