Queen's University IRC

Employee Engagement

Building Trust and Increasing Employee Engagement in the Workplace

Building Trust and Increasing Employee Engagement in the Workplace

Ben was concerned. Emma, a manager new to his group, had just received her employee engagement scores. They were not good. Emma had been a rock star in her previous individual contributor role. She was seen as talent for the future in the organization. As her HR Business Partner, Ben had watched her struggle as a first-time manager. Now, it appeared that her employee team was willing to put those struggles on paper in the form of not so good engagement scores.

4 Steps to Fix a Toxic Workplace

4 Steps to Fix a Toxic Workplace

How do you fix a hostile workplace after a strike, merger or other polarizing event? How do you create a healthy workplace after a harassment or grievance investigation? It can be difficult to rebuild the trust that has been lost between members of a team or in leadership, or both. But, according to Anne Grant, you have to bring people back to a joint vision of what the workplace should be.

Participation or Pseudo-Participation? Change Agent Challenges in Implementing Organizational Change

Participation or Pseudo-Participation? Change Agent Challenges in Implementing Organizational Change

Creating energy, engagement, and commitment to change initiatives is one of many challenges we face as change agents. Increasingly, organizations, managers, and change practitioners espouse a belief that involving people in the change initiative is important. Many of us would agree in principle with this philosophy: Participation is essential to successful change implementation. However, the practical dimension of how to actually accomplish employee participation in change initiatives poses a challenge to change implementers.

The Critical Role Of Orientation For New Employees To Your Organization’s Culture

The Critical Role of Orientation for New Employees to Your Organization’s Culture

First impressions count.  However in the workplace, organizations often fail to realize that this truism is a two way street.  As much as we form first impressions about the people we interview, hire and welcome into our organizations, the employee is on a parallel journey.  How did we interview them?  How did we invite them to join our organization and how did we welcome them when they arrived?

Managing Emotional Reactions to Organizational Change

Managing Emotional Reactions to Organizational Change

Can you recall a time when you experienced a major change in your organization?  Perhaps like others around you, you experienced a roller coaster of emotions: excitement that at long last something was going to happen to change the status quo, confusion about the specifics of the intended changes, and anxiety about what it could mean for you, your team, and even your family.  Change can be disruptive, both professionally and personally. 

Communicating During an Organizational Change

Communicating During an Organizational Change

Most experts would agree that communication is a vital ingredient in successful change initiatives, and there is much research to support this assertion. My own research revealed a very high correlation between change success and communications efforts (Pearson correlation r = 0.567, significant at the 0.01 level). Furthermore, it has also been shown that ineffective internal communication is a major contributor to the failure of change initiatives.

HR Secrets of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies

HR Secrets of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies

We surveyed the Profit 500, an annual listing of the 500 fastest growing companies in Canada, to find out about their HR practices. We asked questions surrounding their strategic capabilities, organizational development activities, change management processes, training opportunities, performance management systems, leadership development programs, and the use of HR technology. Overall, the top HR challenges faced by the Profit 500 include (1) finding key talent, (2) managing and feeding talent pipelines, (3) appropriately leveraging HR metrics to inform decision making, and (4) choosing and incorporating the right HR technology.

34 Behaviours That Affect Levels of Trust in Business Environments

Talking Trust in Trinidad

I recently had the opportunity to work with a group of HR professionals in Trinidad, through Queen’s IRC’s partnership with the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business within the University of the West Indies. As part of our discussion about building trust in the workplace, we discussed behaviours that lowered trust and those that raised trust. It did not take long for the participants to generate lists of behaviours through table discussion.

Clark MacFarlane, Executive Director, CMHA – Cochrane-Timiskaming Branch

Exploring Senior Leadership in the Canadian Mental Health Association

Clark MacFarlane has over twenty years of experience in the health care sector, and is currently the executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Cochrane-Timiskaming Branch, in northern Ontario. CMHA branches provide direct service to people who are experiencing mental illness, and to their families. They are in the process of implementing a new service delivery model, which shifts from traditional treatment methods to a recovery approach.

Building Trust in the Workplace

Top 5 Queen’s IRC Articles from 2014

Here are the most popular articles Queen's IRC released in 2014. 1. 5 Steps to Build Trust and Change the Culture in an Organization; 2. Building Trust in the Workplace Recognizing Employee Engagement in the Workplace; 3. Building Trust in the Workplace The Head-Down Theory: How Unfairness Affects Employee Engagement; 4. The Need for Lean HR: Reinvent or RIP HR; 5. Strategic Grievance Management in Today’s Unionized Environment

Recognizing Employee Engagement in the Workplace

Recognizing Employee Engagement in the Workplace

There's a lot of talk about employee engagement these days, but how do we recognize these engaged employees and show appreciation for the things they do to support the company? It's not always easy to distinguish what exactly engagement in the workplace is, and it can be demonstrated differently depending on a person's role and the function of their company. When I think of engagement, I consider it to be those behaviours and actions that warm the heart. I can picture specific employees I've worked with over the years and the behaviours I've witnessed that have touched me.

Zones of Engagement

The Head-Down Theory: How Unfairness Affects Employee Engagement

Modern HR practice suggests that the difference between successful and struggling companies can be found in employee engagement. Those companies who engage employees to actively participate in the success of an organization report greater productivity, morale, innovation and health. Most companies offer rewards as a way of promoting employee engagement. Yet very few have analyzed the reasons why employees are not engaged.

Lessons for Leaders in Engaging Employees

Employee engagement is a top HR priority for the Ontario Public Service (OPS), says Richard McKinnell, a senior OPS manager and the 2006 Amethyst Fellow at the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies. Richard – former Assistant Deputy Minister in Corporate Services Division, and a Director of Communications for several ministries, including the Centre for …

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Layoffs and Survivors’ Career Motivation

Hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers have been laid off during the organizational restructuring of the past decade. Although the laid-off worker has been extensively studied, until recently there has been very little research on the effects of layoffs on those who remain in the downsized organization—the survivors. This study helps to close that gap in the research by identifying the factors that help to determine the career motivation of survivors.

Employee Involvement, Strategic Management & Human Resources: Exploring the Linkages

There has been very little research addressing the relationship between human resource practices and organizational strategy and culture. Among the questions that frequently arise are: what practices have other organizations implemented?, what HRM practices and organizational strategies distinguish successful and unsuccessful organizations?, and what is the impact of strategy and culture on the success of HRM practices and organizational behaviour? The present study is aimed at addressing these questions.

Work Re-organization in Canada: An Overview of Developments

The current restructuring of the Canadian economy is leading to a number of workplace changes, designed both to increase the productivity and competitiveness performance of firms and improve the work environment for employees.  This paper provides a comprehensive overview of work organization through increased employee participation in decision-making. As well, other aspects of workplace change will at times be referred to given the close interrelationships between the different aspects of workplace change.

 

Worker Cooperation and Technical Change

This paper explores the relationship between worker cooperation with technical change and international competitiveness. It outlines the reasons why worker cooperation is important, how it is (and is not) obtained, and assesses the likelihood that Canadian companies can achieve it. The conclusions are not entirely pessimistic. While it is often very hard to create a cooperative attitude where there was none before, there have been some remarkable success stories.
 

Who Gains from Worker Participation?

There is a growing interest in participative management as a way to overcome rigidities in labour-management relations. This implies a higher degree of self-supervision, flatter hierarchies and blurring of the lines dividing workers and managers. In other words, participative management entails a restructuring of the power relation between labour and management. This paper addresses this issue.

An Evaluation of Employee Involvement Initiatives in Canada

This paper examines employee involvement initiatives in order to determine what firm-level factors have contributed to the slow development of such programs in Canada. Six cases studies were analyzed and several hypotheses were formulated about the conditions necessary for employee involvement programs to succeed. An examination of the factors which influence the firm-level players revealed that several obstacles exist which may prevent these conditions from being realized.

Unions and Contemporary Innovations in Work Organization, Compensation, and Employee Participation

The 1980s have been a decade of experimentation in work organization, compensation systems, and labor-management relations. These experiments represent efforts to increase productivity and improve firm financial performance. Many of these innovations seek to tap worker knowledge and energy in the service of these goals. It is the purpose of this paper to describe the nature of these efforts, and to document their growth and significance in both the union and nonunion sectors.

Employee Ownership: How Do You Spell Success?

In this paper the authors look at the evidence of increased employee ownership in Canada. Employee ownership of a company may involve a 100 percent buyout to avoid closure, a transfer of ownership to employees (e.g., at the retirement of the owner), or the establishment of a company stock purchase plan. The paper looks at case studies of seven employee-owned firms in Canada. The studies show that employee ownership has meant survival, a return to profitability, and in many situations continued growth for these companies.

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