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Marwa ElMorsy

maintain mental health at the workplace

6 Ways You Can Maintain Mental Health In The Workplace & Why It’s Important

By Employer

Maintaining mental health in the workplace is an essential component of business success. Employees with sound mental health tend to be more productive, focused, and engaged in their work.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five adults experiences a mental health diagnosis each year. A variety of factors, including trauma, stress and anxiety, can cause this.

While mental health is a topic often overlooked in the workplace, businesses need to understand how to recognize signs of mental health problems in their employees and provide support when needed. By doing so, companies can ensure that their employees remain healthy and productive while contributing to a positive work environment.

Benefits Of A Mentally Healthy Workforce

Employees with poor mental health often have difficulty completing tasks in the workplace. They may be less productive and exhibit diminished interest in their work. Workplace injuries and accidents caused by the inability to focus due to stress can also grow in numbers because of stress and mental health issues. 

Promoting mental health in the workplace can be beneficial for both employers and employees. It makes economic sense because it can result in the following:

  1. Increased productivity rates
  2. Lower rates of absenteeism
  3. higher-quality work and creativity
  4. Improved employee engagement
  5. Better relationships between employees and leadership
  6. Improved relationships with the clients 
  7. Increased inclusiveness

How To Promote Mental Health In The Workplace

A healthy work environment should give employees the resources they need to feel supported, such as access to mental health professionals, flexible hours, and clear communication channels. It should also promote an open dialogue between employers and employees, allowing them to discuss issues openly without fear of retribution or judgment. 

By implementing these activities, companies can help employees manage stress, build resilience, and create a workplace culture of support and understanding. This will enable employees to be more productive and engaged while improving overall job satisfaction.

1. Create Health and Safety Workplace Guidelines 

Developing a healthy workplace environment is a multi-step process that begins with establishing and enforcing policies and practices that prevent, identify, support and rehabilitate employees who experience distress, burnout, substance abuse or other mental health concerns.

 2. Make Mental Health Services Accessible

The World Health Organization has found that every dollar invested in mental health treatment returns $4 in improved health and productivity. That means that investing in your employees’ mental health can have a significant return on investment.

You are responsible for your employees’ mental health as a business owner.

It’s about more than just providing access to the proper care and support—it’s also about making sure that they know how important it is to take care of themselves.

Your team will be more productive if they feel healthy and well-rested, so it makes sense that investing in their mental health can help you make more money!

3. Encourage Employees to Take Time Off

Taking days off can be more difficult for some jobs/organizations than others. Encouraging employees to take days off and making the process easier will prevent burnout.

For example, consider adding mental health days or letting employees know that sick time can be used when they are “sick.” If your policies demand a doctor’s note for an absence. For example, that could create additional challenges for employees who may be fearful of the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

4. Build a Positive Work Environment

Creating a positive work environment is a great way to improve mental health in the workplace. Here are ways you can implement to improve the workplace environment.

  • Conducting regular check-ins
  • Prioritizing onboarding new hires
  • Developing a solid workplace culture
  • Understanding that every employee has different accommodations and needs. For example, some employees would require a different work environment to focus
  • Encouraging team collaboration and team-building activities
  • Normalizing conversations about mental health within the workplace
  • Creating a work environment that encourages open and honest communication
  • Understanding how to identify and prevent potential workplace-related emotional triggers
  • Promoting work-life balance by implementing flexible schedules and work-from-home opportunities

5. Take Steps to Support Diverse Employee Groups

People from minority or diverse groups are statistically shown to experience mental health symptoms at higher rates and face more barriers when seeking mental health. 

Taking steps to acknowledge diverse groups and support them in the workplace is essential to achieve mental health equity for the overall mental health of the workplace.

6. Offer Flexibility

Rigidity can have a negative impact on mental health at work by increasing stress on your team. Finding ways to make employment more flexible can significantly improve workplace mental health. Some opportunities to make working for your organization more flexible include:

  • Offering virtual or hybrid is the new normal
  • Making project deadlines more flexible
  • Adopting the right to disconnect policy
  • Instituting days with no meetings
  • Checking in with employees about their preferred working style and accommodating positions to suit them

Employers should make sure that they are providing resources and support for their employees when it comes to mental health. Some ways to promote it include giving access to counselling services, offering flexible working hours, or simply creating an open dialogue where employees feel comfortable discussing their struggles. Taking these steps will benefit not only the individual but also the organization as a whole.

This is a part of #BellLetsTalkDay, an initiative launched by BELL, one of Career Edge’s partners. For more mental health resources, visit this website.

Why Career Edge is so important to me? By Saradha Swaminathan

By Success Story

Over the coming months, hear stories right from our very own staff about why Career Edge and the work that they do is so important to them.

Saradha Swaminathan

Talent Specialist

I hail from a small city in the southern part of India. I completed my bachelor’s in computer technology and master’s in Human Resources. I began my career as a management trainee with one of the largest IT conglomerates in India and was working there for 8 years in different roles like talent acquisition, onboarding, resource management & workforce planning, talent management, talent engagement, academic interface program, etc. I took a break for two years for childcare from 2019 to 2021. In 2021, I moved to Canada. I started searching for jobs. I came to know about Career Edge from one of my HR friends in a WhatsApp group.  I applied for a couple of job postings on Career Edge website. Within a week, I noticed that there was a Talent Specialist opening in Career Edge itself. This grabbed my attention. I have already tried the corporate route, and this time I want to make a move in a more fulfilling direction. I made an online application and received a call in two weeks. I had two rounds of interviews – the first round of panel interviews with a team of IT, Marketing, and Talent specialists from Career Edge, followed by an interview with our Executive Director and Vice President, Finance & Operations. The entire process was so smooth, and I thoroughly enjoyed my interviews. It was truly inspiring to hear from Jeff & Kyle about Career Edge’s vision and future plans. Our conversation made me even more excited to join Career Edge. What interested me, in particular, was how sharply our efforts are focused on creating a positive difference in someone else’s life. Being a new immigrant myself, I was more than happy to join Career Edge family.

 

Every day is a happy day for me as I have an opportunity to help someone launch their career in Canada, and this makes my own career more meaningful and joyful.

I can proudly say that Career Edge is certainly a special place to work. I am blessed to work with such an amazing, hardworking, and passionate team of individuals who are part of a transformational journey.

5 Ways to Improve your Hybrid Company Culture

By Employer

The recent shift to remote work has fundamentally changed how many companies operate. While working from home has its benefits, it can also create challenges when it comes to maintaining a positive and productive hybrid company culture. Here are some ways to maintain a positive hybrid work culture.

Read more: What is Company Culture and How to Implement it

1- Prioritize clear and consistent communication

To improve culture in a hybrid work environment, is to prioritize clear and consistent communication. This means making sure that all employees, whether they are working in the office or from home, are kept up-to-date on important information and have access to the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. This can be achieved through regular check-ins, company-wide updates, and open lines of communication.

2- Encourage collaboration and teamwork

Another key aspect of maintaining a strong company culture in a hybrid environment is fostering a sense of belonging and connection among employees. This can be achieved through regular team-building activities and opportunities for collaboration, both online and in-person.

Provide opportunities for employees to work together on projects and initiatives, even if they are not in the same physical location. This can be done through virtual team-building activities, online collaboration tools, and regular group meetings.

3- Support employee well-being

Hybrid work can be challenging and isolating. It can impact employees’ mental and physical health. Offer support to employees through employee assistance programs, mental health resources, and regular check-ins with managers and colleagues.

In addition, it’s essential to provide employees with the support they need to thrive in a hybrid work environment. This may include offering training on remote work tools and technologies, as well as creating policies and guidelines that help employees manage their work-life balance.

4- Recognize and reward employee contributions

Just because employees are not physically present in the office doesn’t mean their contributions should go unnoticed. Provide regular recognition and rewards for a job well done, such as through employee recognition programs or bonus opportunities.

5- Create a virtual community

Encourage employees to connect and engage with each other outside of work tasks through virtual social events, online forums, and other digital platforms. This can help foster a sense of belonging and connection among remote workers.

Ultimately, maintaining a strong and positive company culture in a hybrid environment requires a commitment from leadership and all employees to prioritize communication, connection, and support. By taking these steps, companies can create a collaborative and productive work environment that drives business success.

Why Career Edge is so important to me? By Laurin Lambert

By Success Story

Over the coming months, hear stories right from our very own staff about why Career Edge and the work that they do is so important to them.

Laurin Lambert

Talent Specialist

Growing up, I was always told that my goal should be going to school and getting a job that could support me in life. The plan was grade school, post-secondary, and work – this was ingrained in me. It was a good plan, a great plan even, but when the time came for me to start working after graduating, I was stuck. My plan didn’t prepare as to how to get a job in my field. I had professors, mentors, and people within my network tell me 101 ways to get hired, but none of it seemed to be working for me. I applied to countless HR jobs that I was remotely qualified for on every job board I knew of. I reached out to professionals whose careers I had admired. I personalized every resume, cover letter, and email, making sure that I represented the best version of myself. Yet, I never heard from anyone – not for a rejection letter, not for an interview. Like many recent graduates, getting hired in your own field seemed impossible.

That was until I found out about Career Edge. I heard about Career Edge through a friend. It was a passing conversation where I had briefly thought I would check the website when I got a chance when I did some research on Career Edge and learnt about how Career Edge has launched thousands of careers for recent graduates, skilled newcomers to Canada, and people with disability. Career Edge sounded wonderful – a little too wonderful, and I immediately became skeptical, thinking this program seemed too good to be true. As a recent graduate who was desperately searching for a job, I registered on the Career Edge website. Within a couple of weeks of registering, I got in touch with a Talent Specialist and was set up with an interview. The process was unlike any other job application that I had experienced. The Talent Specialist team was kind and accommodating with any needs that I had, and most importantly, Career Edge made me feel like a person and not just a resume. Soon after, I got hired in my field, and with Career Edge, no less as a Talent Specialist.

Starting my career had been a difficult and isolating journey, but Career Edge changed that for me. Career Edge has provided me with a meaningful job where I have room to learn and grow and express my thoughts and have my voice heard. What makes Career Edge unique is that it embraces everyone from every walk of life. Everyone on the Career Edge team and all the registrants and interns have a different story that is different from one another, which is understood widely throughout the organization. This understanding allows Career Edge to help everyone individually, and I say this as someone who was a Career Edge registrant.

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity that Career Edge has given me because Career Edge is not just an organization but a community where people like you and I can be given a voice and a fair opportunity to achieve our goals.

Why Career Edge is so important to me? By Fauziyyah Randera

By Success Story

Over the coming months, hear stories right from our very own staff about why Career Edge and the work that they do is so important to them.

 

Fauziyyah Randera

Payroll & Accounting Intern

I was born in India and moved to South Africa when I was about ten years old. I completed high school in South Africa. I was in 10th grade when I got engaged and got married in 12th grade. At 19, I was the only married female in my class. In June 2018, I moved to Canada.

I always dreamed of becoming an accountant and wanted to continue my studies. However, this is not common for women in my culture and background… although my husband didn’t mind. He supported me and made sure my dream came true. I attended Centennial College for Business Administration Accounting Program for 3 years and completed the Advanced Diploma. It took me 4 years to finish my degree because I got pregnant with a boy while in college during COVID pandemic.

I have worked in the restaurant since I moved to Canada, but after finishing my maternity leave and completing my studies, I was determined to follow my passion and work in accounting.

I submitted about 100 (if not 1000) of job applications with no response. I was looking for a remote job opportunity where I can take care of my child. I did not want to miss my son’s first word and wanted to keep him safe, but it was not a piece of cake to find such an opportunity.

Finally, Career Edge came into my life. I met them at a career event at Centennial College. It was the first and only event I attended. Only the Word “Career Edge” caught my attention. I started accepting and applying for internship opportunities. Shortly after, I received a call from a talent expert saying that I had been selected to interview for a payroll and accounting internship at Career Edge. I was nervous at first because it was my first professional interview.

I was interviewed by a talent expert and an IT expert. I have to say that the impression I got was amazing. I had a second interview with an accountant and a payroll specialist and it went excellent. I got accepted for the opportunity which I always dreamed of.

When I joined the team, I didn’t feel like a new member of the organization. I was sincerely warmly welcomed. I am happy to say that if anyone in the world wants to see a great team, the Career Edge team is the perfect example of the most successful, hardworking, and friendliest team. It’s everyone’s dream team.

Whenever someone asks me what Career Edge does, I always say, it changes lives. As a woman, working from home with a child, I can attest to that.

I thank all the team members for supporting me and being patient with me throughout my learning process. I am grateful to Career Edge for changing my life through this incredible opportunity. If it was not for you, I would have been a housewife with no career goals, putting my studies down the drain. I appreciate the positive environment and the attitude of the team, which gives me a sense of belonging. My goal now is to be an alumnus at Career Edge. I am proud to say that I am part of Career Edge and help change the lives of others.

Why Career Edge is so important to me? By Marwa ElMorsy

By Success Story

Over the coming months, hear stories right from our very own staff about why Career Edge and the work that they do is so important to them.

Marwa ElMorsy

Marketing Specialist

I came to Canada with my husband in 2019 with many hopes and dreams – like many newcomers. Before arriving, we heard so many stories about how difficult things are for newcomers. We were prepared to start from scratch and were determined to make it work as our new home. 

We initially landed in New Brunswick, one small province in Atlantic Canada, where the government realized how important it is to bring immigrants in because of the aging population. While New Brunswick was so rich in nature – it had us breathe a sigh of fresh air after coming from the hustle and bustle of Cairo – it didn’t exactly welcome us as newcomers.

In my trials to pursue a career, I was treated like I didn’t exist. I faced many rejections and even explicit discrimination. I started to notice the pattern and see the lack of diversity in the workforce of people of colour (and especially veiled women like myself).

When I talked to locals, no one believed I had ambition or passion for what I do; they were even shocked that “I could speak English that well.” It wasn’t just for the lack of “Canadian Experience.” It was also about the colour of my skin and the way I dress. Many people decided I wasn’t an equal just by looking at me. That assumption hurt!

I started to get furious, so I pointed my passion toward volunteering, networking, and even joining political caucuses to speak up about immigrants’ problems and ways to solve them. At one point, I wished I had the power to change something instead of just talking about it.

But then, a couple of years later, my husband and I decided to end this, restart our lives all over again and move to Ontario in the hopes of finding a better life for ourselves.

I started my job search journey again, but this time I remembered a friend mentioning Career Edge and how they helped her start her career with RBC. And even though I was frustrated, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to apply for jobs on Career Edge’s job board.

I promptly got a call from one of the Talent team members (hello there Saradha) telling me that she thinks I’m a good fit for one of the jobs. Long story short, the employer didn’t end up hiring me. I was disappointed, but it wasn’t something I didn’t see before, so I moved on.

But then, when I least expected it, I got a few messages from Career Edge again. They said they were looking to hire a marketing person internally this time. I was so excited, but I didn’t want to get disappointed one more time.

This time I hit the jackpot. Someone took me seriously for the first time in 3 years since I moved to Canada. They respected my experience and believed I could add value (eyes on you, Jeff and Jumana).

After I got the job, it started to sit in. Nothing would have worked better for me. Haven’t gone through that experience, I wouldn’t have been so passionate about helping others who face the same challenges.

Today, I’m so grateful for where I am, where I have to see and interact with people like me – I get to do something I’m genuinely passionate about (I could be a bit annoying sometimes). I get to help people of colour and newcomers to Canada and witness their lives change for the better.

I’m truly thankful every day for being where I am today as Career Edge grows to be part of who I am as a person.

recruiting diverse candidates

7 Strategies for Hiring Diverse Candidates

By Diversity and Inclusion

Many companies strive to hire diverse candidates. It’s more than just a trend or a nice thing to have. It’s a must-have if you’re looking to represent Canadian society. Diversity also has a lot of benefits for companies, it increases creativity, profitability, and employee retention.

The first step in building a diverse workforce is to hire more diverse candidates. But where do you start?  

 If you’re wondering how to achieve the diversity goals, we’ll give you a few tools and strategies to get you started. 

But before we do that, let’s talk about diversity hiring and its essential.

What is Diversity Hiring?

Diversity recruiting is a merit-based recruitment process that is free from unconscious biases for or against individuals or groups of candidates.

The process should be structured to reduce biases related to candidates’ race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, or any other personal characteristics unrelated to their job performance and give them an equal opportunity.

While in the United States, many organizations follow the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines, in Canada, we don’t have similar guidelines. 

Here are proven strategies that will help you hire more diverse candidates 

1- Attract the Right Candidates with the Job Description

Start with auditing your past job ads. Notice if you’re only attracting specific candidates. 

Studies have found that the language you use in your job description helps to attract or deter candidates from applying to the role. But there are a few things you can do.

  • Find ways to be more inclusive in your language to appeal to candidates from different backgrounds. Remove discriminatory language from job descriptions — many job descriptions often contain unintentional bias.
  • Avoid including the long list of nice haves in your job requirement. Studies also indicate that women may not apply for a job unless they are 100% qualified
  • Go beyond the typical “equal employer” phrase. Don’t be afraid to write a job description with specific demographics to boost your diversity recruiting strategy. 

2- Encourage Diverse Referrals 

A great way to ensure a diverse talent pool is to be creative when sourcing your candidates. Don’t rely on the same sources repeatedly when seeking out diverse candidates. 

Creating a diverse candidate referral program is a wonderful tool to boost your diversity recruitment and showcase that your company values different backgrounds, which is fantastic for team morale and engagement. Here is how you can do it.

  • Leverage the network of your existing diverse employees by asking them for referrals from their network or community. 
  • Offer innovative referral bonuses to your employees who recommend candidates from underrepresented groups.
  • Encourage employees to share your job ads with their network and give them the tools they need to promote the company for you. 

3- Advertise your Open Jobs through Different Channels

To hire diverse candidates, you must get out of your comfort zone and proactively source candidates from diverse backgrounds.

If you’re doing the same thing — going to the same job fairs, posting jobs on the same platforms, then you need to shake things up a bit to find diverse candidates where they look for jobs.

We at Career Edge have many underrepresented and diverse candidates — from new grads (including many international students), newcomers to Canada, and people with disabilities. We help you find and hire an underrepresented candidate through the low-risk hiring solution, paid internships.

Contact us if you want to source diverse candidates, and we’ll help you.

4- Improve Candidate Screening Process

Screening candidates can be tricky. It often depends on many factors such as schools, previous jobs, and people they know — it can often decrease the diversity of the candidate pipeline. If your existing hiring process shows a misstep in candidate screening, there are a few ideas you can try.

Rethink Screening Factors 

Take some time to review what you value most in candidates and why, and honestly ask yourself if you’re inclined towards specific types of people. 

Ask your colleagues to get another perspective. If you are hiring based on bias, consider changing your screening methods.

Leverage ATS in Shortlisting

Use ATS to find candidates with the most potential and best skills for the job.

This tip removes personal opinions and only focuses on the job requirements. This will provide an impartial shortlist, free from bias and help you move towards improving diversity.

Bind Resumes

Another popular technique recruiters use to remove bias screening is blinding any personal information on resumes. Blinding information like names, schools, or locations can help reduce any unconscious bias.

5- Design an Interview Process to Work

The interview process is the hardest part of the diversity recruiting process. 

Many interviewers make their decision within seconds by relying on our gut feelings just by looking at the candidate. Interview the right way by giving all candidates the same opportunity. Here is how.

Use Blind Interviews

Blind interviews use the same principle as blinding out resumes. You can do that by sending candidates questionnaires through your recruitment process. When candidates answer these questions, you will know about their skills before getting into the interview bias-free.

Introduce Diverse Interview Panels

Include a selection of your employees from different backgrounds to collaborate in hiring and avoid unconscious biases. 

Hire and Train recruiters to Focus on Diversity

Train your recruiters on how to avoid bias in recruitment. You can also hire trained recruiters to hire diverse candidates or a specialized company that can do that for you. 

6- Evaluate your Diversity Hiring Metrics

Assess the diversity of your hiring process and identify any potential roadblocks. The easiest way to improve your diversity hiring is by picking one metric to track.

For example, you can decide to increase the percentage of qualified visible minority employees by 10% within the next six months.

Track and evaluate your diversity efforts by asking these questions.

  • Did you hit your diversity goal?
  • Which strategies were effective and which ones weren’t? 
  • Where are your best diverse candidates coming from?

7- Create Policies Reinforcing Diversity and Inclusion 

It’s one thing to value diversity but another to live up to those values.

The best way to boost diversity in your workplace is to proactively implement company policies and a brand that values people and ideas from all backgrounds. 

Creating a diverse workplace doesn’t just stop with hiring. Here are some things you can do to reinforce diversity values in the workplace.

  • Be flexible with your time off and consider more religious holidays for different communities.
  • Promote flexible work hours that will allow different candidates to continue work while having the life they choose. 
  • Encourage employees to open up and have a dialogue to ensure everyone feels welcome and heard.
  • Manage internal campaigns and educate employees to make diversity an inherent part of your culture. 

If you want to keep attracting and hiring underrepresented candidates, your brand should reflect that. Diverse candidates will seek out companies who put in the effort to support those values.

hybrid work team

7 Challenges of Hybrid Work and How to Overcome Them

By Employer

Many organizations are switching to a hybrid model with no sign of returning to the good old 9-5, five days/week, any time soon. While the hybrid model has many benefits for the employee and the business. But it’s important to recognize hybrid work challenges, too, to be able to find a better structure and make it work. 

Below, we highlight the benefits and challenges of hybrid working and why it is set to become the norm for the future.

Benefits of Adopting a Hybrid Working Model 

Many organizations apply the hybrid working model since it provides a mix and match approach that offers multiple benefits. Every organization has their own reasons for adopting hybrid working, such as…

Focusing on Employee Well-being

Working from home, whether full or part-time, has become the norm. Many staff members have prioritized their well-being and family as a major perk. Employers have noticed a reduction in sick days and a boost in morale overall.

Reduced Overhead

Many companies have moved the office to smaller units, paying much less rent than previous larger office spaces.

For employees, a reduction in travel time and costs is a huge bonus, especially for those who spend half their working hours at home. 

Deliverables as a KPI

The older work model measured performance by assessing who sits most at their desks. But remote working removes the physical element. 

Performance KPIs can be measured now by delivery times and results. Hybrid work means that productivity is based on outcomes rather than behaviours, providing managers with a much clearer output.

Bigger Talent Pool

Hybrid work models opened the hiring criteria to be more inclusive than before. Job openings can now attract talented employees from far and wide, which wouldn’t be possible without the hybrid model. 

It also opened roles to candidates who require flexibility, due to childcare or other reasons. Companies can now hire the best talent with the chance to make their own working hours – which can also boost staff retention

Hybrid Work Challenges

Hybrid work can differ by team, department, or organization. Different roles come with varying levels of expectation for an on-site presence. 

Here are some of the most common hybrid work challenges and ways to address them to ensure that hybrid work becomes easier for everyone.

1- Employee Burnout 

Working from home can positively impact employees. Many feel more productive and refreshed without having to commute. 

In an office, taking breaks for a chat and enjoying the hour lunch break is part of the day. Meanwhile, At home, working through breaks or eating lunch in front of the computer is tempting. Overworking is a reality many faces as it can be hard to switch off at the end of the day, and the boundaries between work and home slowly disappear. 

A recent study on employee engagement found that 80% of leaders reported that a hybrid working environment was exhausting for employees – and employees said that hybrid was more demanding than either full-time remote or full-time in-office.

Solution

  • Managers and leaders must create opportunities for team members to discuss their health and well-being. This could be during one-on-one check-ins, virtual team coffee breaks, or even sessions with external wellness experts. 
  • Organizations must ensure managers have the skills to identify and support individuals struggling with mental health. Managers should not feel responsible for their team’s mental health (that’s for individual team members), but managers must know how to spot issues and what to say.
  • One of the core benefits of hybrid working is allowing employees to work wherever best suits their needs by promoting flexibility.

2- Office Space and Overhead

Handling employee costs and expenses with hybrid work isn’t quite as straightforward as fully in-house employees. For instance, keeping a dedicated office with all its perks could waste resources. 

Solution: 

Hybrid organizations must ensure that whatever office space they retain gives them the greatest ROI.

One of your best options is sharing an office space with another company. If you want to keep your offices, you can look into becoming more distributed with several smaller local offices instead of a big central office.

Deloitte is an example of companies that reduced its office space after Covid.

3- Employee Inequality 

There could be inequality in the hybrid workplace due to different reasons.

Home Office

Not everyone can work remotely. It can be not easy working from home if you don’t have a dedicated space or home office, so companies can’t ensure equality.

Recognition

Hybrid work can create an uneven playing field, where employees in the office more than others are more likely to get recognition and promotions. Otherwise, employees who spend most of their time working remotely could feel isolated from conversations and decisions because they’re not physically in the office. 

The problem of proximity bias is real and can cause other hybrid work challenges that can cause burnout, frustration, and resentment. 

According to recent statistics, people working from home were 38% less likely to receive a bonus than those working in the office.

Solution

  • Managers must ensure equality between remote and in-person performance. Without equality, the hybrid model will start to fail as employees recognize the link between being in the office and their professional success.
  • Opportunities for growth and recognition must be available to everyone, regardless of how they work. Organizations need to balance the experience for all workers and remember to offer everyone a choice. 
  • It’s vital that all employees feel included at work. Plan company events with hybrid top of mind, potentially combining more significant in-person get-togethers.

4- Communication Glitches

Poor communication slows workflow, leaving workers confused or missing out on important information. But achieving effective communication across distances can be a challenge. 

A lack of open communication hurts employee morale. Communication challenges in the hybrid workplace usually exist when there isn’t an agreed-upon policy or communication style.

Solution

  • Hybrid businesses must establish new communication channels to ensure important information is received and understood by those who need it. When the right channels and structures are found, communication is never disruptive. 
  • All formal communication should be delivered in person, written, and recorded so employees can receive the messages.
  • A few events require employees to attend in person. Creating an open connection between office-based and remote workers is essential for events. 
  • Find creative solutions to encourage team communication, such as brainstorming solutions together. Looping employees into the brainstorming process shows that you value input and collaboration. 

  5- Lack of Defined Hybrid Work Policies

A hybrid work is not a one-size-fits-all. It could be choosing which days of the week to work from home: Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. This means weekly meetings and client presentations can be scheduled for those days. 

It can mean lots of things, creating room for miscommunication and frustration. Organizations need clear communication on hybrid policies.

Solution

For a hybrid model to work, you need a strong policy. This can vary for different companies, but generally, it involves re-onboarding your entire team. Setting clear expectations and investing in emotional connection as soon as possible is crucial. 

Including employees in developing your hybrid policy will ensure their retention. As their feedback, so the organization would know what works for them.

6- Losing Culture 

Organizational culture happens when employees enjoy the perks of working, communicating and attending in-person events. But as your organization moves to hybrid, you must build and maintain a remote-compatible culture by retaining a positive workplace culture and keeping teams connected, whether at home or in the office.   

Almost 66% of workers say that having friends in the workplace makes their job more enjoyable. A lack of personal relationships can also manifest in feelings of isolation and loneliness.

According to McKinsey, having small moments of engagement among your team is key to creating a positive work culture. Workers who have the opportunity to make connections through teamwork, mentorship, and brainstorming form deeper relationships with their colleagues and achieve higher productivity levels.

Solution

  • Companies that want to continue attracting and retaining top talent must work harder to maintain remote-compatible cultures. This will improve productivity and drive stronger business outcomes.
  • Introduce regular social interactions, both on-site and virtual. For existing employees, encourage interacting through Slack or Teams channels. Groups discussing work-related topics or interests outside work like hobbies or sports to better get to know one another lay the foundation for lasting friendships.
  • Plan a virtual meet-and-greet for new employees. Plan an easier and seamless onboarding process by assigning a work buddy to provide introductions and teach them how to log into different systems or use work tools and techniques.
  • Evaluate your strategies by asking employers for feedback. Check-in with employees continually to determine what’s working and isn’t.

7- Management and Collaboration

To successfully navigate the challenges of hybrid work, leaders need to have an agile mindset. 

Managing a Hybrid Team

Managing teams in different locations can be challenging, especially ensuring employees have the same opportunities. 

Management of hybrid employees can get tricky, both from the point of view of managers and employees. It can be tough for managers to properly do their job without in-person interaction and provide accurate feedback, collaboration, and work satisfaction.

If not executed carefully, hybrid working can lead to a misalignment between employees working in the office and those working remotely. 

Solution

  • One of the main appeals of a hybrid model is the balance between autonomy and collaboration. Promoting a culture of trust is essential to managing hybrid employees.
  • Frequent communication through well-established channels is also key. It greatly helps if you have well-thought-out management tools. 

Traditional Workplace Bias

A hybrid work environment might not be a preference (or even ridiculed) by managers and employees soaked in traditional office culture.

Remote employees can pick up on these resentment feelings, adding to the sense of isolation and lack of connection with the on-site team.

While many studies show that the average remote employee worked 1.4 more days every month (16.8 more days annually) than those working in the office, some managers still question the validity of hybrid work. 

Solution

  • Team leaders and managers must have regular check-ins and catch-ups with their employees. Not only to connect on work progress but also to guide professional development and understand employees’ stress levels.
  • For the successful execution and normalization of hybrid work, those misconceptions must end. Leaders must accept the value of their hybrid workforce and its contribution. Managers must learn to value everyone’s contributions equally. 

Establishing Collaboration and Connection

Collaboration is key to a quality and successful hybrid team. Leaders must find a way to re-establish a sense of collaboration across a distance.

Solution

One way to foster deep connections is through events and activities. Those can create memorable moments and reinforce employee bonds away from their usual working location and schedule.

Want to hire remote or hybrid candidates, start today!

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8 Proven Employee Retention Strategies

By Employer

Picture this; your top employee quits out of the blue. You try to keep them, but they got an unmatched offer. 

Now, you have to rely on the remaining staff to take on more responsibility while searching for a replacement. The rest of the team feels overwhelmed, their morale is not the best, and they probably think about leaving.

The good news is that almost two-thirds of employee departures are preventable. 

So before losing another top performer, it’s time to revisit your employee retention strategies to ensure your business provides job satisfaction and employee retention. 

76% of workers want to look for a new job. In 2021, Visier’s research reported that the turnover rate was 25%.

You might be asking, what makes employees stay?

Employee retention should always be a priority—having comprehensive employee retention strategies can play an important role in attracting and retaining employees and reducing turnover and all its costs. Here are some of the ways to do that…

1. Create Professional Development Opportunities

Losing employees due to no or minimal learning or development opportunities is one of the worst kinds of employee turnover.

Because the best employees want to advance in their careers, they are motivated by challenging work and the potential of promotions. Employees who remain stagnant for an extended period are more likely to leave an organization.

94% of employees surveyed by LinkedIn said they’d stay longer at a company if it invested in their professional development. 

Here is how to develop effective learning and growth strategies:

  • Understand the learning preferences of your employees
  • Provide tuition assistance: support your employees by subsidizing their education when possible.
  • Support employees build upon their skills through stretch assignments, cross-training, and seminars.
  • Mentor employees to help them reach their full potential.

2. Ensure that Employees are Appreciated and Recognized

According to one Gallup poll, 66% of employees say they would quit their job if they felt unappreciated. Only 49% of exiting employees said they felt valued by their leaders.

Some managers don’t show gratitude, which leaves employees feeling underappreciated. In fact, employees are more than twice as likely to experience burnout when they feel unappreciated. 

Some managers would make common mistakes when trying to improve recognition, including:

  • Going around at the end of each day to thank everyone on the team one by one
  • Going from never thanking anyone to suddenly thanking everyone for everything
  • Delivering thank-yous followed by a negative comment

Tips to improve employee appreciation

  • Build a culture of recognition by celebrating and rewarding behaviours and going above and beyond.
  • Present the recognition publicly during events or on internal networks that allow you to broadcast a coworker’s accomplishments.
  • Create annual awards where recognized employees are honoured by their peers and senior management.
  • Show recognition and appreciation to employees in other ways (such as bonuses, promotions, more time off, etc.) to demonstrate your respect and appreciation for hard-working team members.

3. Prevent Burnout

A study from Morneau Shepell reported that 40% of managers and 34% of employees suffer from “extreme stress.” Researchers from Harvard and Stanford found that working for long hours increases life expectancy by roughly 20%. 

Burnout from work is experienced by 74% of employees. But overworking employees is a short-term strategy that doesn’t have a lot of long-term gains. Research shows that after a certain point, productivity declines every additional hour. Moreover, overworked employees tend to fall ill more and make expensive mistakes. Not to mention that it hurts job satisfaction over time and affects the company’s recruitment and retention costs.

Actionable strategies to prevent employee burnout

  • Facilitate an open manager-direct dialogue for workers to freely speak about their workload and request the support they need it
  • Encourage workers to take time off
  • Increase headcount or radically prioritize tasks

4. Create Flexible Working Arrangements

After Covid and having to work remotely, employees realized that they could eliminate one of the biggest pain points of the job—commuting into the office, especially when people are working from home, has proven to be as productive as those who remain at the office. 

Employees who are given ample growth and flexibility are 4x less likely to become a retention risk. Employee turnover statistics: 23% of workers have left their job due to a bad commute.

A few actionable strategies to provide flexibility in the workplace include:

  • Provide remote and hybrid options; business leaders should promote remote working and flexible hours, especially if your teamwork in terms of deliverables.
  • Consider conditional flexibility. This means the option to work from the office one to two days a week. Flexible hours allow workers to create a schedule that works for them. 
  • Offer flexibility in how employees work, by giving your team autonomy and eliminating micromanagement.

5. Offer a Fair Compensation

If your employees are putting in the full effort but feel like their pay is not fair or not consistent with the industry benchmarks, they’re likely to entertain offers from another employer who is happy to pay them more.  

A recent Glassdoor investigation found that 45% of employees who resign have done so as they were not satisfied with their salaries.

Competitive pay is more than just the paycheck; it also includes the benefits offered to employees that contribute to their total compensation—bonuses, healthcare coverage, paid parental leave, life/disability insurance, paid time off, and retirement benefits. 

Great benefits make employees feel valued, supported, cared for, and less likely to look elsewhere. 

6. Prioritize EDI 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have become an expectation in the modern workplace. Managers should always think of ways to make the workplace more inclusive by eliminating bias and barriers to diversity. Leaders need to consider each employee individually and create a work environment that supports everyone’s unique needs. As employees feel seen and included, they’ll have more initiative to stay. In addition to the retention benefits, your business will also reap many other EDI benefits.

7. Communicate Openly 

Create a culture where employees can talk and feel connected enough to do their jobs well. Managers should regularly check in with employees to address issues, answer questions, and discuss future career goals. 

Employees’ insights can also provide you with the tools to take strategic, evidence-based action and improve the employee experience and retention. 

An actionable employee communication plan includes

  • Employee surveys to understand the employee experience, perception, and feedback. 
  • Creating a safe space for your team to share their honest opinion. 
  • Exit interviews and surveys to help leaders understand why employees leave
  • Having two-way feedback where managers can uncover areas of improvement for themselves and grow in their role
  • Getting insights from consultants and coaches to assess the work environment.

8. Enhance the Onboarding Process

Imagine going through an expensive recruiting of a new talent only to lose them within the first two months.

Losing a new employee potentially points to a poor onboarding process. An HR research found that 76% of workplaces aren’t onboarding their new hires properly, while only 47% believed their onboarding program effectively retained new employees.

Actionable tips to improve onboarding

Create a program that’s about integrating new hires into the company culture. Your onboarding process should: 

  • Clarify job expectations
  • Set employees up for success
  • Explain the company’s policies and procedures
  • Outline company culture
  • Introduce the new hire to their team and other teams
  • Give the new employee a chance to ask questions when they arise. 

This process can take up to a year to ensure your employees are fully immersed and comfortable with the organization. A strong onboarding plan can help employees feel connected faster, decreasing their likelihood of second-guessing their decision to join your organization. 

 

While money can retain people, it’s not the only way to retain employees. There is more to keeping employees than just paying more; in many cases, you just may need to pay attention.

Keeping your current employees happy and improving job satisfaction is the smartest employee retention strategy.

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6 Benefits of Diversity Hiring That You May Not Know About

By Diversity and Inclusion

Hiring a diverse workforce has become a priority for so many companies worldwide. While it’s still optional for many employers in Canada, some governments worldwide are starting to regulate it.

Some businesses want to attract a diverse group of people to reflect the community, but that’s not the only advantage. Diversity in the workplace has many more benefits than just ticking a box. 

What is EDI or Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Workplace?

Diversity and inclusion hiring provide opportunities for underrepresented groups that wouldn’t otherwise be considered because of biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any characteristics unrelated to their job performance.

There is a common misconception that EDI hiring aims to increase workplace diversity for the sake of diversity. The objective of diversity hiring is to identify and reduce potential unconscious biases in screening, shortlisting, and hiring qualified candidates. The long-term goal for EDI hiring is to create a culture of inclusivity and diversity in the workplace to reflect society.

Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity recruitment isn’t only the right thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do. When a business recruits and retains a diverse pool of people, it benefits the company and its employees. 

Here are some of the benefits that employment diversity could improve your business in the short and long run.

1. Improving Sales 

Diverse companies are more profitable and more likely to achieve long-term growth as an entity when compared to less-diverse counterparts. 

Forbes research has identified that workforce diversity and inclusion create a better performance for product development and new markets, while companies with diverse top management reap the benefits of higher earnings and returns on equity.

According to McKinsey’s research, for every 1% increase in diversity, the company should predict a 3% to 9% increase in sales revenue.

2. Decreasing Turnover 

Companies that recruit and retain a diverse workforce have a competitive advantage. 

Many employees prefer companies with diverse workforces because this shows that the company is open, accepting, and free of discrimination. This leads to happier employees who feel loyal to their company and are more likely to stay there for years. 

Decreased turnover rates can also save time and money, improve recruiting efforts and help you get the brightest available talent through your doors.

3. Increasing Creativity

Growing up, living, and working in a different country often gives immigrants to Canada a unique perspective that can enrich your company’s decision-making processes. When you have a wide variety of minds working together to solve a problem or help your company achieve some goals, you get unique and out-of-the-box solutions.

Professors Hong and Page from the University of Michigan showed that groups of diverse problem solvers could outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers.

4. Cultivating a Resilient Workforce 

In today’s ever-changing market, the ability to adapt to sudden and unforeseen events can make or break your business.

Luckily for you, diverse groups of immigrants come with a proven ability to stand in the face of any change. They’ve left their countries, families, and lives as they know them, hustled, and settled in Canada. 

If you want to increase your company’s resilience, these are the kinds of employees you should be hiring.

5. Better Access to Local and International Markets

The Canadian market is so diverse right now, with one in five Canadians identifying as an immigrant. 

Hiring diverse immigrant groups is only natural because it reflects the community. Companies with a diverse staff are better positioned to meet the needs of diverse customer bases. They can also help a company tailor its messages and approach and better connect with different groups in the market.

It doesn’t just work locally; immigrants can be an invaluable asset if your company wants to expand internationally. They can often offer up insights and contacts in their home country and save their employers time and money.

6. Enhancing Corporate Reputation

Inclusive companies that hire a diverse workforce are more likely to be viewed positively in their industry.

Being recognized as an inclusive organization can help your company receive good press and develop a strong employer brand, which will help you improve your reputation. 

Career Edge partners such as RBC, Scotia Bank, TD Bank, Manulife, TTC, and the City of Toronto have been receiving Canada’s Best Diversity Employers award for years. This program recognizes employers across Canada with exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs.

Want to hire a more diverse workforce? Get in touch with Career Edge today!