Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.
WHEN A PERSON IS CALLED ON THEIR COMMENTS OR JOKES,
THEIR RESPONSE IS "IT'S ONLY A JOKE" OR “CAN'T YOU TAKE A JOKE?”
A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED WORKPLACE GETS LESS THAN KIND
COMMENTS FROM THE GUYS AND WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT QUIETLY,
SHE SAYS IT DOESN'T BOTHER HER, OR SHE CAN TAKE IT
ASKING A PERSON WHO IS CONSIDERED A "MINORITY"
TO DO TASKS OTHERS ARE REQUIRED TO DO, YET THEY CRY FOUL
EMPLOYEES WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT MANAGEMENT AND MANAGERS WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT UNIONS, GENERALLY
WHEN SEVERAL EMPLOYEES MAKE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT
ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, WHO IS NOT PRESENT, AND OUTSIDE OF WORK
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A JOKE, MOST PEOPLE LAUGH, BUT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY FOR ONE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, BUT NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING
WHEN EMPLOYEES DON'T WANT TO PICK UP THE SLACK BECAUSE A CHRISTIAN EMPLOYEE NEEDS TIME OFF FOR MASS AND WON'T WORK ON SUNDAYS
WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TAKES PART IN REPUGNANT, BUT NOT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS A WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP, OUTSIDE OF WORK
YET NEVER SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING AT WORK
WHEN TWO EMPLOYEES WERE VERY GOOD FRIENDS, BUT HAD A PHYSICAL FIGHT OUTSIDE WORK AND NOW ONE OF THEM WON'T WORK WITH THE OTHER
OVER SOME OPEN FORM OF COMMUNICATION (RADIO OR GROUP EMAIL) AN EMPLOYEE STATES ABOUT ONE OF THE GUYS, "IT MUST BE THAT TIME OF THE MONTH" BECAUSE THIS FELLOW WAS BEING TOO EMOTIONAL
WHEN A WOMAN CAN’T DO THE SAME PHYSICAL WORK
A MALE CO-WORKER CAN DO, BUT IT’S ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE JOB
WHEN A PERSON APPEARS ALMOST RUDE IN EMAILS, BUT IN PERSON THEY COME ACROSS DIFFERENTLY – CONSIDERATE
WHEN SOMEONE WON’T TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER – THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL APPEALS AND PEOPLE DON’T SEE IT HIS WAY
WHEN SOMEONE IS AFRAID TO SAY ANYTHING TO SOMEONE WHO IS “DIFFERENT” FOR FEAR OF A COMPLAINT OR INSULTING THESE PEOPLE
PERSONS LOWER THEIR VOICES WHEN TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS (WHISPER) “BLACK”
It has been a long time since a “majority” in Canada was the majority of anything, unless we mean the colour of their skin being white. Canadians have come from all over the world and while Christianity is the religion of most Canadians, there are many denominations. Today Canadians are from everywhere, with various colours of skin and many languages. Immigrants make up 21% of our population with most immigrants having darker skin. To add to that, Aboriginal Canadians are the fastest growing and youngest population group in Canada.
In other words, the “pool” for talented people at work is going to include many people who are dark-skinned, Aboriginal, non-Christian, gay and lesbian, having a disability and/or having a first language other than English (or French in Quebec). Yet some employees will insist that a quota has to be filled and their colleague only got the job to fill the quota and they’re not as qualified as the person complaining, or as a friend or colleague they think should have got the job.
If you do have a quota (very, very rare in Canada) it does not mean you are obligated to hire incompetent people. But for our purposes, let’s assume you don’t have a quota. You’re just hiring logically from the population base you are drawing from. You may want to encourage everyone (or certain people) to apply, but you’re still looking for the best candidates. This could apply to women as well if your workplace has traditionally been male-dominated.
Discuss the issue with any person who holds onto this view. If you think it’s more wide-spread, then you might want to have a meeting to address it with everyone. You won’t be able to have this kind of meeting if one employee is going to feel attacked. You’ll want to convey the truth about your hiring practices and make sure they realize people who look like them aren’t the only competent people for various jobs.
“I’m very happy with the people we have working here. No one’s perfect, and if I have to address a problem, I do. However I feel everyone at our workplace can do a very good job – just like you can. I need you to stop saying people are here because of a quota, or that they aren’t capable.”
“There was a time in the past when someone who looks like you and me got the job because of who we knew, or what church we went to, or because we were white. That didn’t mean the best person was hired for the job. Now, for good business practices, we want the best people and those people will reflect Canada. Thank goodness things have changed so that we’re hiring people for their skills – just like you were.”
“Don’t you think it’s a bit insulting to think only people who look like me, or you, are the best person for the job? We will actively recruit people from various backgrounds to make sure we’re getting the best person. We want everyone to feel they are welcomed and I need you to make sure everyone feels welcomed.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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