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E-News – October 2015

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October 2015    





Managing Under the Microscope: The Next Tsunami of Environmental Disasters in the Workplace
Diane Wiesenthal, FCHRP, Corporate People Responsibility® Ltd, 2015

 The Next Tsunami of Environmental Disasters in the WorkplaceThere is a new wave of environmental disasters that are just beginning to splash onto our daily news feeds. Workplace cultures are the next targets that will be publicly examined and debated in excruciating detail – just ask the CBC, Amazon, or the Lance Armstrong “company machine.” All the dirty laundry of inappropriate behaviours and unacceptable people practices are flooding out in the wash, and every detail is being hung out on the public line to view. However, that’s just the trickle before the tsunami wave that will expose these environmental toxins that currently live in some form or another in vast numbers of organizations.

The human toll is difficult to tabulate, as the toxic waste manifests itself in polluted work environments and it lives and breeds where inefficient business practices, ineffective managers and bad employee attitudes are allowed to roam and run free. Where these toxins live and breed is a force to be reckoned with and containing or eliminating the poison is tricky business. However, not addressing this in a proactive manner has now become very risky business. Like the killer-force of the tsunami, it can destroy carefully crafted and nurtured company brands and can stop business dead in its wake.

Under the Microscope – Macro Management
Perhaps it’s the anti-bullying campaign that is bringing these issues to light, or we are finally connecting the dots to the skyrocketing claims of workplace stress. Unfortunately these toxins don’t just end in the workplace, they continue to multiply and seep into our homes, families, and communities. The result is a reactionary health care cost of monumental proportions that none of us can afford to pay.

>> Read Article


Creating a Mentoring Culture for Organizational Success:
A Guideline for Successful Mentoring Programs

Alice Kubicek, MBA, CHRE, CMC, Managing Director, akpsGlobal, 2015

 A Guideline for Successful Mentoring Programs Mentoring is a management practice that can assist organizations in building a desired corporate culture, while enabling the careers of those who are already motivated to pursue one. It is an efficient and effective method of shortening the learning curve of new executives and providing more knowledgeable employees with broader perspectives. New executives with a mentor have a sounding board, as well as the benefit of their mentor’s experience as they navigate through situations that may be unfamiliar to them. Based upon a foundation of trust, the relationship of mentees with experienced executives can offer a safe place to try out ideas, skills, and roles with minimal risk, while focusing on their individual development needs.

In this article, I will discuss the impact a mentoring culture can make in an organization, how mentoring differs from coaching, the value of a structured approach to mentoring and the steps to set up a mentoring program.

Successful Mentorships
Mentoring is defined as a professional and confidential relationship between two individuals that assists one of them in developing “business strategies” and acquiring new “technical” knowledge and skills. One mentee concluded, after a year-long mentoring relationship in a structured program I designed for a large public sector organization,(1) that: “It is an evolutionary process, where mentors become a resource for someone enabling an exchange of ideas and experiences. Avoid matching of those who have known each other a long time… the forging of the relationship is a valuable part of the process.”

>> Read Article


Professional Commitment Guilt and the 24 Hour a Day Workplace
Blaine Donais, President and Founder, Workplace Fairness Institute, and Joel R. K. Moody, Director, Safety Risk, Policy and Innovation, Electrical Safety Authority, 2015

Professional Commitment Guilt and the 24 Hour a Day WorkplaceTwenty years ago we used to call him or her a “workaholic.” This is someone who compulsively works long and hard hours, not being able to leave the work at work, but instead fixates over uncompleted tasks throughout the evening. Today it would be difficult to find a professional that does not fit into this category. Some might blame technology for this world pandemic of workaholism. Our work is simply a click away – waiting for us – tempting us to answer that one last email, or complete that one last task.

However, increased access to the workplace from home is only part of underlying cause. Just as important is the culture of professionalism that has developed in the last 50 years. This culture places expectations upon people who act in a professional capacity to put their best foot forward at work.(1) This has led to many positive work dynamics such as proactive decision-making, and team-based approaches that focus on taking responsibility for outcomes and upholding corporate values.

Despite all of its positive attributes, professional commitment, also contains a dark side – something we call “professional commitment guilt.” We define professional commitment guilt as “negative self-identification resulting from increasingly unrealistic work demands associated with modern workplaces that impact upon work-life balance.”

This phenomenon is most clearly visible in workplaces where professionals are unionized. These professionals often have formally defined hours of work – in some cases even lighter formal workloads than the average workplaces in Canada. Many of these professionals are entitled to a 35 – 37.5 hour work week.

>> Read Article





Latest News


2015 W. D. Wood Lecture to be Delivered by Peter Edwards

We are pleased to announce that this year’s W.D. Wood lecturer will be Mr. Peter Edwards, Vice-President Human Resources and Labour Relations at Canadian Pacific. Peter holds an MIR from Queen's, and he is also a speaker at the Queen’s IRC Labour Relations Foundations program.

The W. D. Wood Lecture Series was designed to bring to Queen's University distinguished individuals who have made an important contribution to industrial relations in Canada or other countries. It was established by friends of Dr. W. Donald Wood to honour his outstanding contribution to Canadian industrial relations.

Dr. Wood was the director of Queen's Industrial Relations Centre from 1960 to 1985, and the first director of the School of Industrial Relations, established in 1983.

We hope you will mark your calendar for Nov 6, 2015 and save this date. This lecture is sponsored by Queen’s IRC and the MIR program at Queen’s University.

>> More information

>> View list of previous Don Wood Lecturers


Peter Edwards Image

W.D. Wood Lecture
Delivered by:
Peter Edwards
VP HR and Labour Relations at Canadian Pacific

Nov. 6th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
Wallace Hall, Queen’s University, Kingston



Upcoming Conference and Trade Shows

Queen’s IRC BoothThis fall, Queen’s IRC will attend a number of conferences and trade shows. These include:

  • Top Employers Summit on November 16-17
  • HR Leaders Summit on November 18-19
  • The Institute for Performance and Learning (formerly CSTD) Conference and Trade Show on November 18-20


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Upcoming Programs


Register for an Upcoming Program:

For an overview of our professional development training, from the perspective of our participants and speakers, please check out our Queen’s IRC Video.

For more program information, download our Program Planner, visit us online at irc.queensu.ca or call 1-888-858-7838.





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