Queen's University IRC

Research Briefs – November 2017

Queen's University IRC - Research Briefs

   Bringing Practitioner-Focused Research to People Management Practitioners

Nov 2017   

 

 
 

In This Issue…

  1. The Golden Years: The Aging Workforce and Human Rights Matters
  2. What's Your Story? Helping The Next Generation Imagine Their Career Identities Through Narrative Career Coaching
  3. Flashback Feature:
    Employee Performance and Discipline Problems: A New Approach
  Queen's University Campus 
 

The Golden Years: The Aging Workforce and Human Rights Matters
Deborah Hudson, Lawyer, Turnpenney Milne LLP, 2017

As the Canadian population ages, so does our workforce. Mandatory retirement programs have generally been outlawed (with few exemptions), and many Canadians now choose to work into their 60s and 70s for various reasons including: fulfillment, financial gains, longer life spans, lack of savings and failed pension plans.

Employers can significantly benefit by retaining and hiring older employees who may offer considerable knowledge, experience and insight, along with dedication and work ethic. All of these benefits are accompanied by a unique set of human rights considerations related to our aging workforce, including age discrimination and age related disability. With respect to age discrimination, employees may experience ageism within an ongoing employment relationship, or when trying to secure a new job later in life. Older employees may feel like they are being forced to retire or may be passed up for deserved promotions on the unverified assumptions they will not be working too much longer. Older employees may also be targeted for termination, when they had intended to work for several years more. Persons seeking new jobs later in life may experience age discrimination during the recruitment process.

With respect to age-related disability, older employees may experience medical issues, and employers must accommodate age-related health issues in the exact same way that any other disability is accommodated. Some disabilities are far easier to accommodate than others. A defined physical limitation may be readily accommodated on a permeant basis by using an assistive device, whereas an invisible disability and/or cyclical disability may require a more flexible accommodation approach. For instance, an employee experiencing certain forms of arthritis may feel significant pain and require time off during flare-ups; however, the cyclical and sporadic nature of the required accommodation could present scheduling challenges. Far more challenging is understanding and accommodating a brain disorder (such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia). In such situations the employee may not even be aware of their own health issues, and the employer will be tasked with determining if any medical conditions even exist and if so, if such can be accommodated.

The aging population may also result in increased requests for family status accommodations, when children or relatives request time off to assist in the caregiving needs of their elders.

This article will explore some key human rights considerations and interesting case-law related to our aging workforce.

>> Download Article

 

What's Your Story?
Helping The Next Generation Imagine Their Career Identities Through Narrative Career Coaching
Nick Nissley, Ed.D., Dean of Business Technologies, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, 2014

Figuring out who we are in terms of our career identity is something that everyone engages in at some point in their work life. Most of the time this begins as a challenge – feeling stuck in the "old me" (the present career identity). What we must do is get unstuck – imagine the "new me" (the career identity we're growing into). At the heart of this practice of narrative career coaching is the need to confront our limiting story and taken for granted beliefs – our "problem story. " The narrative career coach serves as a helper – helping one let go of the old story and get unstuck; and, ultimately transform the problem story. Finding a new story and living into that story is the full-circle of narrative career coaching.

The following case offers an example of how the narrative frameworks of rescription and re-membering were used in a community college career coaching context – affording students the opportunity to practice with story-based approaches to career transition and change. In the broader perspective, the case offers a view into the human resource development practice of narrative career coaching – helping the next generation workforce imagine their career identities.

>> Download Article

 

Flashback Feature:
Employee Performance and Discipline Problems: A New Approach
Mark Alexander, 2000

Over the past two decades innovative high-performance work systems have produced substantial improvements in the quality of working life and organizational effectiveness. But while the organization development literature is full of analyses of these initiatives, it does not deal in detail with the problem of managing employee performance and disciplinary problems within the context of the new high-performance systems. This study helps to fill the gap by providing a detailed guide for developing a new approach to diagnosing and resolving performance and discipline problems, an approach that avoids the vicious adversarial cycle of traditional punitive methods and encourages management and labour to collaborate in finding responsible solutions for their mutual benefit.

>> Download Article

 

  

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