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How can you reduce employee financial stress? By introducing a financial wellness program

April 20, 2018

Finances are one of the top causes of stress among Canadians. And unfortunately, this stress follows many people into the workplace. When employees are stressed, it can cause anxiety and depression. These consequences can leave employees unable to focus on their work, unlikely to have the energy to take care of themselves (such as going to the gym), lower resiliency and make them more susceptible to illness. This one stress — money — can lead to reduced productivity at work, a decrease in overall workplace performance and higher employee health benefit claims.

This is not an issue that affects just a small number of Canadians. A national survey found that 42 per cent of Canadians rank money as their greatest…

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Addressing Employee Survey Fatigue

April 20, 2018

Survey fatigue is becoming a real concern. Employee’s are tired of repeatedly taking surveys. This is an issue because survey fatigue can drastically reduce survey response rates as well the quality of responses. How can we tackle these issues though?

Provide an Incentive
Although they aren’t a requirement, incentives can add a lot of fun and increase employee engagement. Consider having a raffle for those that participate; perhaps giving a new piece of technology or tickets to a hockey game. Incentives are an effective way to motivate and engage employees.

Don’t Waste Time
Don’t ask questions that aren’t of any value. Beforehand, ensure that the question will allow employees to provide information that is beneficial. Even as an icebreaker, questions that are goofy or irrelevant…

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Business Continuity: A Study of Current Practices

March 15, 2018

Who in your organization is responsible for Business Continuity Planning? Business Continuity is defined as “a plan that enables critical services to be continually delivered to clients after a disruptive event”

According to a recent survey conducted by Ellington Real Estate Ltd., 55% of Business Continuity Plan sponsors are in the Information Technology Department with 33% in Finance and 22% in Human Resources, with some organizations having more than one department sharing responsibility.

Ellington asked for responses to other key questions such as; Does your Organization have a Business Continuity Plan, Who was involved in designing the Plan and If asked, would your employees know how to implement the Plan?

For the full survey…

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Is OHIP+ blazing the trail for a national pharmacare solution?

March 15, 2018

 

Last month’s federal budget came with an announcement of the formation of an advisory panel tasked with studying the feasibility of a national pharmacare plan while also studying the patchwork of systems currently available in some provinces.

 

Led by former Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins, the panel will also examine international models in an attempt to create broader access to prescription medication across the country. The panel will have until the end of 2019 to complete its study.

 

Why is this relevant? Because by now, it’s pretty well known that Ontario is one of the provinces with a patchwork system and covers the cost of more than 4,400 drug products for children…

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How many recruiters should I engage on a search?

March 14, 2018

 

By Steve Rosen, PTC Recruiting

You have a role to fill; and you realize the value of outside help.  How many recruiters should you call?

When a role needs to be filled, a recruiter should provide an efficient, valuable service; one for which you feel you are receiving value for money.  Just like any other ‘agency’ or intermediary service – real estate, travel, etc.  – a recruiting firm should be a solution to your problem.

Clients sometimes feel that having multiple contingency-based recruiting firms providing candidates for their role is the way to go.  Why not?  You are only going to pay the one that you end up engaging; the others have all worked for…

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Can I Please See the Bill? Understanding Broker Commissions

February 16, 2018

Imagine, as a business owner, you’re meeting a consultant for the first time. At this meeting you make friendly chit chat about the weather, your kids’ most recent hockey games or your weekend plans before getting down to business. A proposal is discussed, a plan is put in place, and then you shake hands and part ways.

Sound familiar? Probably, but there’s one major discussion point missing from this picture — and that’s the important part that revolves around cost. How much is this consultant charging to provide his or her services? Few people order off a menu in a restaurant without at least glancing at the cost, fewer people still buy a car or a house without care or…

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Legalization of Marijuana and the Workplace

February 16, 2018

July 1, 2018 is the date that recreational marijuana will become legal across Canada. At one point this may have seemed so far away, but we are now in 2018 and only four months away.

The obligation to accommodate the use of medical marijuana arises under the Ontario Human Rights Code, which protects individuals in the workplace from discrimination on the basis of disability. As with other types of prescription medication, this includes accommodating a disabled employee’s prescribed medical marijuana use. This obligation does not extend to employees who use marijuana for recreational purposes.

An employer’s duty to accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana must be considered alongside to its obligation to maintain a safe workplace under Occupational Health and…

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Inside the Mind of a Recruiter

February 16, 2018

What are your top three recommendations to have a great job application?

Taking the time to tailor your resume to match as much of the job description as possible. Many applicants tend to send out many resumes without properly reviewing the job details. In a market where jobs are in demand, candidates will make the mistake of applying to as many roles as possible without proper consideration of the duties and must haves. If you take the time to revise the resume to reflect as much as the requirements as possible, the response rate will increase.

An effective cover letter goes a long way. When applicants apply directly to a job posting, they don’t have the luxury of a recruiting consultant…

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Modified Alternative Workplace Model

January 16, 2018

We find our clients want to explore more open and collaborative work environments.

For example, the Alternative Workplace (“AWP”) model. AWP is characterized by mostly open concept and an abundance of common areas commonly referred to as collaboration spaces. One of the cornerstones of AWP is that the traditional 1:1 ratio of office space to employees is closer to 1:1.3 or in some cases, ratios as aggressive as 1:2.

In short, employees show up at work and are assigned an available workstation. Typically, the employee is provided with a secure fi le cabinet or pedestal on casters for their personal work fi les that can be taken to their assigned workstation for that day. Since not all employees spend the entire day…

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When Do Your Employees Have Time to Exercise?

January 16, 2018

Wellness benefits in the workplace means much more than simply ‘checking off that box.’ Wellness in the workplace means introducing employee benefits programs that truly increase health, mental wellbeing, engagement and morale.

One effective initiative is to give employees time for weekday workouts. Yet, this concept is frequently overlooked and pushed aside in favour of deadlines, important meetings and a general sense of too much work in too few hours.

Here at Thorpe Benefits, we don’t believe that deadlines and workloads trump employee wellness programs. Two years ago, we introduced Tracksuit Tuesday. We did so to support exercise and wellness in the workplace but Tracksuit Tuesday is so much more than that.  Because we’re not just promoting a 30-minute…

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Do You Add Telemedicine Services to Your Employee Benefit Plan?

January 16, 2018

Virtual medical services are gaining traction in Canada leading to questions as to whether such services should be considered as an additional perk in employee benefits packages.

These services, also known as telemedicine, are the latest trend in healthcare offerings and allow patients to connect with nurses and family doctors across the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Practitioners can complete a consultation, make a diagnosis, write a prescription (where appropriate) and email it to the patient’s pharmacy of choice (and if that pharmacy provides home delivery then the medication is delivered directly to the patient’s door). Doctors will only consult on a list of common ailments — such as earaches, pinkeye and urinary tract infections…

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When should you shop your rates?

December 11, 2017

Shopping around to find the best price is what most of us do every day. Whether we’re buying groceries for the family or buying a new car, our budget-conscious selves are almost always looking for the best value for our money.

But when it comes to your employee group benefits plan, is shopping your rates the most effective way to pay less?

The answer isn’t a straightforward yes or no. Shopping your plan has its advantages, but only if you do so for the right reasons. Changing carriers is a labour-intensive process and an administrative burden, so it’s only advantageous when it’s done at the right time.

Review renewal offer carefully

Before considering switching carriers, review your current benefits plan and renewal offer…

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Addressing Harassment in the Workplace

December 11, 2017

We live in a time where “company culture” is a factor millennials weigh heavily when ultimately deciding between company A and company B. In light of recent events, stumbling upon the topic of sexual harassment doesn’t fall too far from the topic of workplace culture. Is it happening here? Where? Is something being done about it?

The rippling effect of the Ghomeshi case and Weinstein allegations, has drawn the attention of millions towards the magnitude of a long, ongoing problem. As people look for answers, the Canadian Federal Government has introduced legislation that aims to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace, Bill C-65.

What is Bill C-65?

This legislation is drawn from Bill 132, The Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act,…

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Holiday Season “Slow Down”

December 11, 2017

It is conventional wisdom that the job market slows down in the summer and December holiday season.  But like most conventional wisdom, be careful who you listen to!

It may be true that actual hiring decisions and offers slow down, as decision makers are away, often at different times.  But the activity around a job search – specifically, meeting and networking – does not have to slow down, and may in fact get easier.

Those people who are working through the holidays likely have fewer of their regularly-scheduled meetings happening.  With colleagues away, there are less demands on their time.  So they might just be in the mood for a relaxed conversation!  How will you know if you don’t ask?

So now…

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Tell Me What You Really Think! An Honest Reference, Even if Negative, is Not Defamation

December 11, 2017

A prudent employer will use a reference check as a key component to any job competition process.  Unfortunately, an employer often receives unhelpful or misleading information as a result of the referee`s fear of being sued for providing a negative reference.

However, as two recent decisions from Ontario’s Superior Court have shown, a former employer will not be liable for a negative reference if the content is true and made without malice.

In Papp v Stokes, 2017 ONSC 2357, after interviewing Adam Papp, the Yukon government called Ernest Stokes, Papp’s former employer, for a reference.  Stokes said Papp was let go because “he was not needed anymore and had a performance and attitude issue”.  Stokes also said there was “no way”…

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