Queen's University IRC

Workplace Restoration

Addressing a Toxic Workplace to Rebuild Relationships and Productivity.




How do workplaces become toxic? These damaging environments often develop following a significant negative event, or because of a series of issues that slowly erode morale over time.  The results can be devastating for an organization, leading to conflicts, a loss of talented team members, and a steady decline in productivity.

The Workplace Restoration program uses role-playing exercises, case studies and facilitated discussions to help you identify, monitor and address these situations. This program is critical for organizations experiencing disruption in workplace relations, such as prolonged conflict or bullying, increasing harassment or grievance claims, leadership issues, strikes, investigations, mergers and acquisitions, terminations or significant organizational changes.


Jul 11 - Jul 13, 2023 Victoria Laurel Point Inn Jul 06 $3,895
Nov 07 - Nov 09, 2023 Kingston Holiday Inn Kingston-Waterfront Nov 03 $3,895
Mar 04 - Mar 08, 2024 Virtual Zoom Link will be provided after registration Mar 01 $3,395
Jul 09 - Jul 11, 2024 Toronto Old Mill Toronto Jul 05 $3,895


Managers, supervisors, union officials, LR and HR professionals responsible for employee relations and teams working to re-build workplace trust after a significant event.



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A poisoned workplace is one in which the behaviours of people negatively affect communication and productivity. This hostile environment has a substantial impact on trust, morale, employee retention and your bottom line. Learn how to identify the root causes and restore a healthy, respectful and productive work environment.

a) Do you know what’s really happening in your workplace?

You’ll learn how to recognize the activities, events and issues that contribute to a toxic work environment, and how to use screening tools to better understand the signs and symptoms of conflict. We’ll explore ways to communicate the assessment process and discuss methods for working with employees to get at the root of the problem.

b) Using evidenced –based data for real analysis

Using simulations and proven methodologies, you’ll have the opportunity to learn new data collection techniques to support your analysis of your workplace and identify specific causes. You’ll learn how to create surveys and reports that clearly describe problems and provide direction for a rebuilding plan.

c) Developing a collaborative action plan

Stakeholder buy-in is a critical component of your planning process. We’ll help you develop a strategy that is transparent, collaborative and builds trust. You’ll learn how to communicate the results of your assessment and the situations that are negatively impacting your organization, while providing a safe space for honest discussions that pave the way towards workplace restoration.

d) Creating your healthy workplace

Once your restoration strategy is developed, we’ll show you how to effectively implement it. You’ll learn techniques and tools for building trust and coaching champions across the organization, which will in turn increase confidence and productivity.

e) Staying the course

Ensure that your action plan is sustainable with monitoring and ongoing assessment of your work environment. We’ll provide you with measurement tools to track potential recurrences, and practice strategies for addressing resistance to change.


Kenda Murphy

Lead Facilitator

Dawn McDermott

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Kenda Murphy


Kenda Murphy’s legal career has involved work in the public sector, para-public sector and private sector. Kenda has represented employer clients in collective bargaining negotiations and labour arbitrations while also providing day to day human resources and labour relations advice. Conducting workplace and institutional investigations in both large and small organizations, Kenda has enquired into a wide range of issues including Human Rights Code based harassment and discrimination; workplace harassment; sexual violence and sexual harassment; poisoned work environment; and ethics or codes of conduct breaches. Kenda’s practice background affords her the unique opportunity to bring multilayered understanding to complex workplace interactions and incidents of conflict that arise within those interactions. Kenda is the accredited creator of the testbank questions and powerpoint slide decks for Fiona McQuarrie’s Industrial Relations in Canada, 2nd, 3rd and 4th editions.

Dawn McDermott

Dawn McDermott, Senior Advisor of Dispute Resolution and Support for Wilfrid Laurier University, has a 25-year history of working with people and organizations in crisis, implementing community programs and developing institutional supports for people experiencing marginalization, victimization, harassment and discrimination.

During her tenure as the Executive Director of Windsor and Essex County, Dawn was a member of the Sexual Assault Advisory Committee, and a team member appointed to conduct the Domestic Violence Safety audit of the Windsor police service. She co-created and implemented a group treatment program for female political torture survivors. She initiated the creation of a multicultural liaison coordinator position in partnership with the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County to support individuals with immigrant and refugee status that were at high risk of experiencing violent crime.

She was a founding member of the Human Trafficking committee for Essex County and co-lead the implementation of the Neighbours Friends and Family program.

In 2009, Dawn accepted the position of Safe Workplace Advocate at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital following an inquest into a murder/suicide that had occurred in the workplace. In this position, Dawn acquired basic and advanced mediation training from Harvard University. Over a period of 2 years Dawn was involved in the research and creation of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario Best Practice Guideline on Managing Conflict in Health Care Groups.

Currently Dawn is responsible for managing interpersonal disputes between individuals and within groups at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is very involved in the Threat Assessment Team and the gendered violence prevention initiative, and is creating an on-line course for domestic violence in policing.

Dawn is a mediator, a Crucial Conversations “train the trainer” and a Mental Health First Aid trainer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in communication studies and sociology from the University of Windsor. Most recently, Dawn completed her LLM through Osgoode PD at York University.