Queen's University IRC

Research Briefs – October 2020

Queen's University IRC - Research Briefs

   Bringing Practitioner-Focused Research to People Management Practitioners

Oct 2020   



In This Issue…

  1. What We Can Learn from the “Wall of Moms” Movement to Improve our Workplaces
  2. Evidence Collection: Practical Tips for Workplace Investigations
  3. Reminder: Participate in our Labour Relations Survey Before Oct 15
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What We Can Learn from the “Wall of Moms” Movement to Improve our Workplaces
8 Ways to Reinforce Community, Values and Common Purpose in Working Relationships
Dawn McDermott, Queen’s IRC Facilitator, 2020

I work as a conflict resolution practitioner and “workplace conflict capacity-builder”. I am a strong advocate of workplace community building and I consider myself and to be a multi-partial (rather than impartial) support to all members of my institution. I am also a leader in a department of gifted and diverse human beings. I know that when tough issues arise, a foundation of community will support sustainable resolutions and lasting collaborations.

In our current political and pandemic culture, I have been thinking about how our workplace communities can be compromised because of distance and differences. In response, I have been seeking alternative ways to engage with my colleagues in order to reinforce our sense of workplace community and common purpose. This July in Portland Oregon, amidst the violent encounters between protesters and police, there appeared a “Wall of Moms”. This Wall of Moms initiative and the impact that these Mom-identifying persons have had in response to anti-black racism, has me wondering how individuals can be mobilized to build community despite distance and differences. I am inspired by the momentum, commitment and organic unity of these Moms and believe we can learn elemental lessons from this “Mom movement”.

I have heard many comments like, “If we all just did what our mothers taught us, we would have a better workplace”. I have also heard colleagues point to the poster, “All I really need to know, I learned in Kindergarten” as a way of demonstrating the core values of respect and civility that sometimes get lost or go missing along the way, in our work days. I have agreed with these comments with varying degrees of enthusiasm depending upon my mood.

>> Download Article


Evidence Collection: Practical Tips for Workplace Investigations
Deborah Hudson, Queen’s IRC Facilitator, 2020

Workplace investigations have become commonplace across Canada. Many Canadian jurisdictions require that employers implement workplace harassment and discrimination policies, which often include mandatory investigation provisions. Whether or not investigations are legally mandated, it is sound practice for an employer to conduct an investigation when there may be potential workplace harassment, human rights violations, breach of company policy, criminal activity, security breaches, legal action, or media scrutiny.

A fair and reasonable investigation can provide a defense for employers to assist in future litigation and/or human rights complaints. Beyond legalities, investigations can also assist employers in identifying and resolving workplace issues, helping them to create a more productive and healthy working environment. For all of these reasons, workplace investigations provide an important function in today’s workplace. However, an investigation will only be useful if it is conducted in a fair and reasonable way.

>> Download Article


Reminder: Participate in our Labour Relations Survey Before Oct 15

Queen’s IRC is currently conducting a survey on the State of Labour Relations in Canada. We invite anyone who works in a labour relations role (union or management) to share your insights with us before October 15, 2020.

The survey asks demographic questions to understand the varied roles and responsibilities of people working in labour relations roles, as well as your perspectives on labour relations in Canada in 2020. For your participation, you’ll have a chance to win a $50 coffee card (ie: Tim Hortons or Starbucks).

Questions? Please contact our research team at IRCresearch@QueensU.ca.

>> Take the Survey and Enter to Win a $50 Gift Card



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New Collective Bargaining During a Pandemic
Oct 22, 2020*
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Oct 26-29, 2020
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Linking HR Strategy to Business Strategy
Oct 26-29, 2020
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Change Management
Nov 2-6, 2020
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OD Foundations
Nov 3-6, 2020
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Managing Unionized Environments
Nov 16-19, 2020
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Nov 23-26, 2020
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Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation
Nov 30-Dec 4, 2020 (partial days)

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Dec 7-11, 2020
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