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National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Employers Need to Do Better for People with Disabilities

By Diversity and Inclusion

National Disability Employment Awareness Month is upon us, a time for reflection and action.

People living with disabilities are hugely under-represented in corporate leadership. A rule change on corporate diversity disclosures in Canada could help change that. But only if the right path is chosen.

At Career Edge, we’re on a mission to promote inclusivity in the workforce. In this article, we’ll share key statistics and actionable steps to encourage employers to hire more people with disabilities.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

While income disparities continue to exist, with lower educational attainment for individuals with disabilities, in this National Disability Employment Awareness Month, here are a few reminders for employers to aim to achieve.

  • Aspiring to diversify the talent pool.
  • Driving cultural change within businesses.
  • Supporting disabled employees to succeed in the hiring and onboarding process.
  • Providing the needed support and accommodations to perform their jobs. 

Understanding the Status Quo

While the number of people with disabilities in Canada is significant, their participation in the labour market lags behind that of people without disabilities. The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is consistently higher, making National Disability Employment Awareness Month a crucial opportunity to address this disparity.

To grasp the importance of this mission, let’s delve into the numbers:

  • In 2022, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was 6.9%, nearly double that of those without disabilities, 3.8% (Statistics Canada, 2022)
  • The median hourly wages for those with disabilities were 5.5% lower than those without disabilities. (Statistics Canada 2022)
  • In 2022, among those with disabilities who were employed, one in five 20.3% worked part-time (not by choice), compared with 16.2% among those without disabilities. 
  • Nearly 59% of working-age adults with disabilities are employed, compared to around 80% of those without disabilities (Statistics Canada, 2017).
  • 1.6 million Canadians with disabilities couldn’t afford the necessary aids, devices, or meds.
  • Disability isn’t always obvious. As of 2023, approximately 2.3 million Canadians aged 15 and over are living with severe disabilities that limit their daily activities, according to Statistics Canada. 

How Can Employers Help?

Disabilities still represent a barrier for many Canadians in terms of acquiring and maintaining meaningful employment. Recently, the legal and policy landscape has changed in Canada on matters related to disability and inclusion. These policies, such as the Accessible Canada Act and the Disability Benefit Act, are meant to remove barriers and enable more equitable access to employment for those with disabilities.

Overcoming barriers is vital to fostering inclusivity. Here are a few things you can do as an employer when hiring people with disabilities. 

Despite limited opportunities, BMO’s 2013 survey found that 77% of employers reported positive results with disabled hires.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month encourages individuals, businesses, and organizations to promote inclusivity and raise awareness about the potential and capabilities of individuals with disabilities. It serves as a reminder that disability shouldn’t be a barrier to pursuing a fulfilling career. 

It’s vital to raise awareness about hidden disabilities to promote understanding and empathy within the workplace. 

How to be Inclusive of Employees with Disabilities

Accommodations aren’t always met. Statistics Canada’s 2017 survey revealed that workplace accommodations such as flexible work arrangements, workstation modifications, and human or technical support were frequently required. However, the likelihood of meeting those decreased as the number of required accommodations increased. Only 75% of employees with disabilities requiring one accommodation had their needs met, while 36% of those requiring three or more had their needs met. 

Embracing accommodations goes beyond ethics; it’s an investment in your organization’s growth and success. To create an inclusive workplace, organizations should consider various strategies:

  1. Accessible Workspaces: Make physical accommodations like ramps, accessible restrooms, and elevators to ensure everyone can navigate the workspace comfortably. Ensure physical accommodations like ramps, accessible restrooms, and elevators are in place for a comfortable work environment.
  2. Flexibility: Implementing flexible policies that cater to various needs, such as flexible hours and remote work options.
  3. Training and Sensitivity Workshops: Educate employees about disabilities, fostering empathy and understanding among colleagues. Training: Offering training on recognizing and accommodating hidden disabilities. The Ontario Human Rights Commission provides resources for employers in this regard.
  4. Recruitment and Retention Programs: Actively recruit individuals with disabilities and establish mentorship programs to support their career development.
  5. Mental Health Support: Recognize that disabilities include both visible and invisible conditions. 
  6. Open Communication: Foster open communication within the workplace, where employees feel comfortable discussing their needs and challenges.
  7. Flexibility and Training: Offer flexible work arrangements and provide training on recognizing and accommodating hidden disabilities.
  8. Recruitment and Mental Health Support: Actively recruit individuals with disabilities and provide mental health support to all employees.

Resources for Employers 

Canada provides numerous resources for building an inclusive workforce, such as 

  1. Career Edge: Connect with us, and we’ll help you find many incredible talents with disabilities and help you navigate the hiring and onboarding process.
  2.  Job Accommodation Service (JAS): JAS, offered by Employment and Social Development Canada, provides valuable resources and financial assistance to help employers make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
  3. Provincial Accessibility Legislation: Many provinces, including Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba, have introduced accessibility legislation that mandates accessibility standards for businesses and public institutions.

By promoting inclusivity and empowering employees with disabilities to contribute their unique skills and perspectives, you’ll foster a more diverse, creative, and resilient workforce. So, let’s work together to create a Canada where everyone, regardless of their abilities, is celebrated for their contributions and can thrive in the workplace.

Positive Company Culture

6 Ways To Create A Positive Company Culture

By Workplace Culture

Contrary to the common belief, a positive company culture is not pizza, ping pong tables, or company swag. Corporate culture is more than that.

A Glassdoor survey suggests that 77% of prospective employees consider company culture before applying. Leadership is critical in shaping and maintaining a positive workplace culture through actions, policies, and communication. 

So, what is a positive company culture? 

A positive company culture is a positive attitude that creates an environment within an organization that cultivates collaboration, productivity, and satisfaction among its employees. 

The term “company culture” refers to a shared set of beliefs, values, attitudes, standards, purposes and behaviours that prevail in a workplace. It includes explicit and implicit rules that guide the actions and decisions made by people within an organization. Your company’s culture is the total of what you and your colleagues think, say, and do as you work together. It is an essential aspect of the workplace that shapes the behaviours and attitudes of everyone involved.

Benefits of a positive company culture 

A positive workplace culture has numerous benefits, including higher employee morale, increased productivity, lower turnover rates, enhanced creativity and innovation, and a better ability to attract and retain top talent.  

 Creating a positive company culture is crucial to attract and retain top talent. Here are six ways to cultivate such a culture: 

1. Define and Communicate Your Company Values

Company values are the foundation of your culture. They define the principles and beliefs that guide your organization’s actions and decisions. Start by identifying the core values that resonate with your company’s mission and vision. These values should reflect what your organization stands for and how it operates. 

Once you’ve defined your values, communicate them clearly and consistently throughout your organization. This can be done through employee handbooks, internal training, and regular reminders in company meetings. Ensure that your values are not just words on paper but are actively integrated into your daily operations. 

For example, if one of your core values is “innovation,” encourage employees to develop creative solutions to problems, reward innovative ideas, and invest in research and development projects. 

2. Foster Inclusivity and Diversity

In today’s diverse and globalized workforce, inclusivity and diversity are essential components of a positive company culture. Foster an inclusive environment by valuing and respecting individuals of all backgrounds. Prioritize diversity in your hiring processes and promote equal career growth and development opportunities. 

Implement diversity and inclusion training programs to educate employees on their importance. Encourage open conversations about diversity-related issues and actively seek input from underrepresented groups in decision-making processes. 

 By fostering inclusivity and diversity, you attract a wider pool of top talent and benefit from a range of perspectives that can drive innovation and creativity within your organization. 

3. Prioritize Employee Well-being 

Employee well-being is a critical factor in attracting and retaining top talent. A workplace culture that prioritizes the physical and mental well-being of its employees demonstrates a genuine concern for their welfare. Consider implementing the following strategies to prioritize well-being: 

  • Offer wellness programs: Provide resources for physical fitness, stress management, and mental health support. 
  • Flexible work arrangements: Allow employees to balance work and personal life by offering flexible scheduling and remote work options.
  • Encourage breaks: Promote regular breaks during the workday to reduce burnout and increase productivity.
  • Recognize and address burnout: Monitor employee workloads and provide support when necessary to prevent burnout.

Employees who feel cared for and supported in their well-being will likely remain loyal to your organization and perform at their best. 

 4. Promote Professional Growth 

Top talent seeks opportunities for growth and development within their careers. Create a culture that invests in employees’ professional development by offering training, mentorship programs, and career advancement opportunities. 

Regular feedback and coaching help employees improve. They identify areas to excel and provide support to succeed. Together, they help achieve potential and contribute to success.  

Encourage a culture of continuous learning and innovation by rewarding employees for acquiring new skills or certifications. 

By investing in your employees’ growth, you attract top talent and ensure they remain engaged and motivated to contribute their best to your organization. 

5. Recognize and Reward Achievements 

Implement a rewards and recognition program that acknowledges individual and team achievements to show appreciation for hard work and contributions from employees. This can include; 

  • Monetary incentives 
  • Promotions 
  • Public recognition or other tangible rewards. 

However, recognition doesn’t always have to be extravagant. Simple gestures like saying “thank you” or giving personalized feedback can go a long way in making employees feel valued. Regularly celebrate milestones, work anniversaries, and project successes to reinforce a culture of appreciation. 

 When employees know their efforts are appreciated, and their contributions are making a difference, they are more likely to remain committed to their job.  

6. Foster Open Communication 

Effective communication is the backbone of a positive company culture. Encourage employees to share their ideas, concerns, and feedback openly. Actively listen to employee input and take action to address their suggestions. 

 Hold regular team meetings, one-on-one check-ins, and anonymous suggestion boxes to gather input from employees at all levels of the organization. Use surveys and feedback mechanisms to assess employee satisfaction and make improvements based on their responses. 

 Transparent communication builds trust, empowers employees, and creates a sense of ownership in the organization. It also helps identify and address issues before they become major problems. 

In today’s highly competitive job market, a positive company culture can be a decisive factor in attracting and retaining top talent. It is an investment that pays off in the form of a stronger, more resilient, and more successful organization. As companies continue to evolve, adapt, and grow, nurturing and sustaining a positive culture will remain a cornerstone of their long-term success. 

Why Career Edge is so important to me? By Bavneen Anand

By Success Story

Read Bavneen’s story, from her journey as an International student to a Career Edge employee!

Bavneen Anand

Marketing Coordinator

 

My journey began in 2022 when I, along with my two suitcases, landed in Canada. A land that welcomes newcomers like me with open arms. I moved here from India to kickstart a new life. Like so many people, I had heard horror stories about how difficult times here can be. Nevertheless, I had a whole year of post-graduation to pull through.   

 

One year passed quickly for me at York University. I was studying there, exploring the city, and trying to fit in culturally. A mistake I made and told students I meet now not to is to start looking for jobs way before the course ends. Because I had three years of experience in my field of Digital Marketing, I was a bit laid back and believed finding a job in Canada would be easy. So, I started applying in December of 2022, with a lack of knowledge on resumes that fit well here or even the type of jobs I should be applying for.  

 

And to my surprise, I did not hear back from too many companies for 2 months, which left me disappointed. On speaking to some friends that I knew here, I realized my resume was not catered to the Canadian market, and there were chances that recruiters and hiring managers were not receiving my application. While I was fixing that, I decided to start working part-time, simply because the free time was adding to my stress. This is when my job search journey began. I was applying for a minimum of four hours a day three months straight, and working part time, a routine that we are not used to back home. Three months of continuous applications and some interview calls later. I got a call from the talent team at Career Edge. Somewhere in those multiple LinkedIn applications, I had also applied for a Marketing Coordinator position. Even though my wait period was three months, much shorter than the stories and wait periods of other newcomers, three months felt like three years.  

 

My first call was a screening call with the talent team, where I was told that they were looking to hire a Marketing Coordinator through an internship program. While I was happy about the opportunity and the job description fit what I was looking for, I was hesitant about the word “internship”. I decided to go ahead still and interview with the team. Two rounds of interviews happened in less than a week, and soon after, Career Edge offered me the position. Of course, I accepted, still hoping that the word internship would merely be a word. Someone finally saw the potential in me and took a risk by hiring a newcomer.  

 

I still remember the nerves I was experiencing on my first day of the job, not so long in April of this year. During my first week, I met with our small but extremely warm team. Everyone was welcoming and so enthusiastic about the different roles they play in the organization. It could not have worked better than this for me. I started working with a Marketing Specialist, Marwa, who was and is so patient with me throughout the process of learning. The fear of internship slowly started diminishing as I was doing all the full-time work, meeting clients as well as gaining freedom in every aspect of content creation. Strangely, this opportunity has helped me feel less alone in a new country, where it can be so easy to get lost.  

 

Today, I completed 4 months with Career Edge. What started as a 3-month contract has now been extended for further partnership while I continue to work with them happily. Not only am I grateful to Career Edge for giving me the first push into the job market, but also thankful for setting high leadership and teamwork standards. Career Edge is letting me grow professionally and as a person.  

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.

what is hrpa and how does it work

What is HRPA and How Does It Work?

By Professional Development

So you want to take your existing HR experience to the next level? And HRPA is the first thing that comes to your head. Great!

You might be asking, where should I start?

In this article, we will guide you step by step to acquiring HRPA.

What is HRPA?

The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is a crucial resource for HR professionals in Canada. Primarily focused on Ontario, HRPA regulates the HR profession by issuing HR designations representing the national standard for excellence in human resources management.

When you register with HRPA you join a community of HR professionals committed to learning, ethical HR practice, and advancing their career forward. Each member or student registered with HRPA is listed on HRPA’s Public Register.

Why do you need HRPA?

Joining the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) can be beneficial for HR professionals for several reasons:

  1. Professional credibility: HRPA designations signify high expertise and knowledge in the HR field. These designations can enhance your professional credibility and make you more attractive to potential employers.
  2. Networking opportunities: HRPA offers a platform for HR professionals to connect, network, and share experiences with peers. This can help you build valuable relationships within the industry and facilitate learning from others.
  3. Continuous learning: HRPA provides access to various resources, workshops, conferences, and seminars that can help you stay updated with the latest trends, best practices, and legal requirements in human resources management. This supports continuous learning and professional development.
  4. Regulatory compliance: In Ontario, HRPA regulates the HR profession, ensuring its members adhere to a code of ethics and maintain professional standards. Joining HRPA demonstrates your commitment to ethical and responsible HR practices.
  5. Advocacy: HRPA actively represents the interests of its members to government bodies and other stakeholders. By being part of HRPA, you contribute to a collective voice that can influence policy and legislation affecting the HR profession.

How to Register

Ready to register with HRPA?

You can apply through an online application. Click “Apply Now” to create an account and launch the application. To complete the application, you’ll need to choose one of the three registration classes for new members.

HRPA Registration Classes

The three registration classes for new applicants are:

Practitioner, Student, and Allied Professional.

Each has different eligibility requirements:

The three registration classes for new applicants are Practitioner, Student, and Allied Professional. Each has different eligibility requirements:

  • Practitioner is the main registration class for new applicants. You should apply as a Practitioner if you are not eligible for the Student or Allied Professional Classes. You don’t have to be currently working in HR to apply as a Practitioner.
  • Student registration is open to individuals currently enrolled in a full-time HR program who are not working full-time. Supporting documentation, such as a copy of your course registration, an unofficial transcript, or a letter from your educational institution confirming your program and course load, is required to be uploaded as part of the online application process. Recent graduates are not eligible for Student registration.
  • Allied Professional applies to individuals who are members of another self-regulated profession in Ontario. Check the complete list of allied occupations here.

HRPA For Internationally Educated Professionals (IEP)

HRPA offers a discount on initial registration dues to individuals who are new to Canada within the last two years through the Internationally Educated Professionals (IEP) Program. To apply as an IEP, and to review the eligibility requirements.

When to Register

HRPA’s registration year starts on June 1st to May 31st.

You may join at any point in the registration year, and your registration fees will be prorated to reflect the number of months remaining until the end of the year.

Regardless of when you first join, you will be required to renew your registration by the following May 31st.

The only exception is students – students who register in March, April or May exclusively benefit from 15, 14 or 13 months of registration and will only need to renew the following year.

Registration Fees

Your initial registration fees are calculated based on three things:

  • The number of months remaining in our registration year at the time you join
  • Your registration class
  • Whether you are In the Province or Out of the Province

Check the breakdown of initial registration fees here.

Good Character Questions

Now as you’re ready to apply for HRPA, you fill out your application, and you’ll come across 13 intriguing “Good Character” questions. Don’t worry. These questions are a standard part of the process for regulatory associations like HRPA!

Answering “yes” to one or more questions doesn’t spell doom for your HRPA dreams. In fact, if you say “yes” to any of them, you’ll receive a friendly call from a staff member who’s eager to learn more. The Registrar will carefully review your responses and might give your application a thumbs up or pass it along to the Registration Committee for a final verdict.

Hold onto your hats because you can expect a decision from the Registration Committee in just two to four weeks! They’ll also share the rationale behind their decision, keeping you in the loop every step of the way. Remember, the “Good Character” questions are just a stepping stone to your thrilling HR adventure!

Application Timeline

The processing of new applications typically takes between 5 to 10 business days. You’ll receive a welcome email once it’s processed, so hang tight!

Designations

Registrants of HRPA may pursue one of the three designations that HRPA offers: the CHRP, CHRL, and CHRE. Each designation has a different set of requirements that they must meet to obtain the designation. Learn more about each of the different HRPA designations.

If you’re looking for an HR job, you can always look at our open opportunities with Career Edge.

Article by Saradha Swaminathan

Quiz – What is Your Leadership Style? For Leaders and Team Members

By Employer, Succeed in your Job

Leading a team isn’t always easy; some team members are naturally “easier” to work with than others. But there is a reason behind this. This could be due to the disconnect between your leadership style and your team members’ personalities and preferred styles.

While leadership can be a fluid concept, many leaders adapt their leadership styles to suit their teams. This is especially true the more experience they get, as they learn to be lenient with what their team needs.

To become a successful leader, you must understand your current leadership style to recognize and improve your skills. Learning about different leadership styles can be the key to unlocking your team’s potential.

What is Your Leadership Style?

Understanding your leadership style can determine your compatibility with your team members and leaders, whether you’re a leader or a team member. Instead of wasting time trying to understand each other, take the following quizzes to help you and your team members know your style and find ways to work together.

Leadership Style Quiz for Leaders

Understanding your leadership style can aid in effective communication and successful collaboration with your team.

Take this quiz to determine your leadership style. 

Leadership Style Quiz for Team Members

Knowing your preferred leadership style helps you communicate effectively and work well with your team’s leaders.

Take this quiz to determine your preferred leadership style.

So what are the different Leadership Styles?

This guide explores various leadership styles, helps you identify your preferred style, and offers quizzes for both leaders and team members. Let’s dive in!

Authoritative Leadership

An authoritative leader has a clear vision and confidently communicates it to their team. They inspire and motivate team members to reach their full potential.

An Authoritative leader is likely to:

  • Have a clear vision for their team and effectively communicate it.
  • Set high standards and expectations for the team’s performance.
  • Recognize and celebrate the achievements and successes of team members.
  • Regularly analyze team performance and identify areas for improvement.

You would work best with team members who perform best when they have clear expectations and appreciate a leader who regularly evaluates the team’s performance.

Examples of Authoritative leaders

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A remarkable leader who successfully rallied a nation toward a common vision with his strong leadership.

Democratic Leadership

Democratic leaders value collaboration and teamwork, often seeking input from team members before making decisions. This fosters a sense of ownership and promotes a positive work environment.

A Democratic leader is likely to:

  • Value and incorporate input from team members in decision-making processes.
  • Actively seek feedback from team members to improve leadership skills.
  • Welcome open communication and create a safe environment for ideas and concerns.
  • Encourage calculated risks and support innovative ideas from team members.

You would work best with a team that appreciates being involved in decision-making processes and enjoy working in a collaborative environment.

Examples of Democratic Leadership

Indra Nooyi. The ex-CEO of PepsiCo who had a collaborative approach. She listened and encouraged her team to share their thoughts and concerns.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders focus on driving change and innovation. They challenge their team members to think creatively and push the boundaries of what’s possible.

A Transformational leader is likely to:

  • Challenge and encourage team members to think creatively and embrace change.
  • Delegate responsibilities and provide necessary resources to empower team members.
  • Address conflicts within the team proactively and constructively.
  • Foster a sense of shared purpose and align individual goals with organizational objectives.

You would work best with team members who are likely to thrive when the leader challenges them to be creative and fosters a sense of shared purpose.

Examples of Transformational Leadership

Jeff Bezos. Amazon’s success is due to Bezos’ innovative leadership style, which motivates employees to explore new products and opportunities.

Laissez-faire Leadership

Laissez-faire leaders give their team members high autonomy, trusting them to make decisions and solve problems independently. This style works best with experienced and self-motivated teams.

A Laissez-faire leader is likely to:

  • Trust and empower team members to make independent decisions.
  • Build strong relationships based on trust and loyalty with team members.
  • Mentor and coach team members to support their professional growth.
  • Embrace new ideas and encourage innovation within the team.

You would work best with team members who prefer working independently and making their own decisions without constant supervision.

Examples of Laissez-faire Leadership

Warren Buffet. The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and is also known for his hands-off approach to managing his company’s subsidiaries.

Servant Leadership

Servant leaders prioritize the needs of their team members, focusing on their growth and development. They foster a supportive environment where everyone can thrive. Example: Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks, who emphasized employee well-being and development throughout his tenure.

A Servant leader is likely to:

  • Prioritize the well-being and professional growth of team members.
  • Adaptable and adjust leadership style to meet the team’s needs and situation.
  • Lead by example, demonstrating the values and behaviours expected from the team.
  • Remain calm under pressure, guiding the team through challenges.

You would work best with team members who appreciate an empathetic leader who listens and encourage the well-being of the team.

Examples of Servant Leadership

Mahatma Gandhi. He led and empowered the Indian people without seeking power or status. His focus was serving their needs.

Matching Leadership Styles with Team Members

So now that you know your style and your team’s preferred leadership style, what do you do with this information?

Understanding your unique leadership style and the preferences of your team members can significantly impact team success. Here is what you can do next…

Assess Team Preferences

Once team members have identified their preferred leadership styles, openly discussing these preferences within the team is essential. This can lead to more effective collaboration and better overall team dynamics.

Adapt Leadership Approaches

No one-size-fits-all approach to leadership exists. Effective leaders must be able to adapt their style to suit the needs and preferences of their team members. Leaders can create an inclusive and supportive work environment by understanding and valuing different preferences.

Ongoing Development

Regularly reassessing leadership styles and team preferences can help leaders and team members grow and evolve. As individuals and teams develop, their preferences and needs may change, so it’s essential to maintain open communication and adapt accordingly.

By exploring various leadership styles and engaging in open conversations about preferences, you can create an environment where everyone feels supported and empowered to reach their full potential. Remember, leadership development is an ongoing process – be open to learning, adapting, and growing as a leader and team member.