The New Norm
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So with all the experts and education, why are some people still allowed to get away with inappropriate behaviours at work? It seems to me that most employees have had some education about bullying and harassment, or what we often call “respectful workplace” training. Yet the questions still need exploring: Why can one person poison an entire workplace? Why can a bully be promoted into a managerial role where she can wreak havoc on even more employees? Why does a bullying boss get a promotion, thereby indicating that the organization rewards bad behaviour? And why can people blow the whistle on bad behaviour and yet they end up with discipline, or worse, they get fired?
When you add up the years I’ve been in a supervisory role in labour and employee relations, law and working with employers and unions across Canada, it’s more than three decades (yikes!). In this book, I’ve put together a number of examples of the Old Norm and then made suggestions for the New Norm (or Norma! It’s not just men). I deliberately play on the word Norm to suggest it’s not just an action (behaviour that is normal) but also a person. It’s us. I hope that after some reading and discussing of some or all of these examples in your workplace, you will become the New Norm and Norma and assist others to do the same.
This book will help anyone in a leadership position, or anyone aspiring to become a workplace leader, whether in management or a union. But I also believe this book will work for anyone at any level of the workplace because everyone has the chance to work toward the New Norm.
Stephen’s book is a brilliant reminder of workplace situations that are disturbing, yet slip by unaddressed by so many in both the private and public sector. When these behaviours are unaddressed, they become the norm because we allow them to be. Just like his first book, Stephen is insightful, his writing is moving and he inspires his readers to take immediate action to disapprove of, and address harassment and other inappropriate behaviour every time we see it, feel it and hear about it. In a concise format, he gives us a series of snapshots of old vs. new, acceptable vs. unacceptable, right vs. wrong, in a way that is understandable. If workplace leaders take just some of Stephen’s practical advice, they will go a long way to rid their workplace of unacceptable behaviours such as harassment, discrimination and bullying. It’s clear that to create Stephen’s “New Norm,” we need to ACT NOW! We can’t wait any longer.
Tatjana Zatezalo, Manager, Organizational Development
Halifax Regional Municipality
When I got up early this morning and headed for my computer here at home, I told myself, “Just skim read a few sections of Stephen’s book and get a note back to him.” I couldn’t do that, Stephen. I read it all – every word. You have taken too long to write this book – employees and employers in Canada need to read this.
Stephen will capture your attention in highlighting up to date and interesting headlines which we all have an opportunity to learn from. If you believe you can simply skim read this book, think again! The mesmerizing case studies will leave you yearning to learn the conclusion as any great author should do for their readers. Sincere attention to the messages here can only result in best practices within Canadian workplaces.
Melinda Heidsma, Executive Director AiMHi
Prince George Association for Community Living
With Stephen’s newest book he continues to demonstrate his thorough and introspective knowledge of the dysfunctional personnel dynamics that occur far too frequently in many modern Canadian workplaces. Utilizing appropriate examples from significant past issues as well as newsworthy current events he is able to provide a lucid and thought provoking read on the concerns related to inappropriate workplace behaviours. Within each short chapter you will be able to identify with his clear goals; to inform you, encourage reflection and finally stimulate appropriate actions by those of us in the workforce that are entrusted with the responsibilities of supervising and managing personnel in a safe, supportive and respectful manner.
Richard Craibbe, Chief Training Officer
Oakville Fire Department
Wow, your book came at a great time for me. Initially I thought I was going to learn about what I could do about other people in my life. Instead, what I found was a tonne of material to challenge myself to look at my own behaviours and interactions. The chapters are short, use contemporary examples, provide lots of food for thought and the suggestions for the new Norm are totally achievable. I plan to incorporate this book into my practice and share with my co-workers. Like your previous work, I expect the messages to resonate even years later.
My favourite was chapter 30. "The New Norm doesn’t jump to conclusions" certainly resonated for me. Sometime when we are busy it may be tempting to take a shortcut thinking we already know the outcome so why bother with details? The cost may be pretty high, not only in dollars but in our own credibility.
I read the book while sitting in the living room with my husband. The poor man is dying to read it as soon as it's available. I must have gasped a lot.”
Deb Stewart, Registered Nurse
Stephen Hammond’s book, “The New Norm” is easy to follow and full of common sense. I loved the real case examples, older ones that stand the test of time and new ones that are relevant in the ever-changing landscape of the work environment. He categorizes behaviour as it was and as it should be - what every employer should strive for.
Human Rights and Conflict Management Officer
University of Manitoba
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