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    • Small businesses not immune in a digital world
      One email or social media post. That’s all it takes to bring years of hard work crashing to the ground for a business. Not even small businesses are immune from unacceptable actions of an employee, manager or owner that spill into a public space. The recent incident involving Valbella Meats in Canmore — which has… Read more
    • Empathy: a crucial part of the investigation equation
      If you are a victim of harassment, bullying or abuse at the workplace, sitting down with a total stranger to recount the details of what happened is not easy. It’s even more difficult when that person has an agenda, a timetable to keep and is determined to work through their checklist and move on.  Investigators need… Read more
    • Developing your skills to conduct a workplace investigation
      You may work in Human Resources or you’ve risen through the ranks to be a director or manager. And while you’ve gained important experience along the way, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have the skills to conduct a proper workplace investigation.  Training matters. Skill development is important. Anyone assigned to carry out an internal investigation… Read more
    • Record general damages award in Alberta harassment decision
      The latest cautionary tale for Alberta employers can be found in the decision of Yaschuk v. Emerson Electric Canada Limited, 2022 AHRC 62, out of the Human Rights Tribunal of Alberta. The case involved a female employee who was found to have been sexually harassed by her direct supervisor, the Human Resources Manager. The Director… Read more
    • The art of interviewing during a workplace investigation
      A key element of a proper workplace investigation is giving everyone the opportunity to share their side of the story in detail, without being pushed or prompted to one direction or another.  As investigators, that means asking the right questions to draw out the information from the individual being interviewed. That complete perspective will help… Read more
    • Inclusion: having Pride in your workplace
      Your workplace is a reflection of what is happening in society. From social issues to the political landscape, those emotions, perspectives and feelings don’t stay outside your office doors. Instead, they play out in your day-to-day operations within your team.  Pride is being celebrated across the country in June, both in communities and offices. And… Read more
    • Workplace challenges at the municipal level
      We see municipal crews out around our cities each and every day. They are picking up garbage and recycling, repairing roads, maintaining sewers and landscaping our parks.  What we don’t see every day are the workplace issues many public sector employees are dealing with. Whether it’s an internal cultural issue or a taxpayer complaint that… Read more
    • The legal impact of a flawed workplace investigation
      A healthy workplace is built on trust.  Employees give their time and effort to support the productivity of an organization and, in return, they are given the space and confidence to offer concerns and know they will be dealt with appropriately. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Or it should be.  So what happens to that trust… Read more
    • Dealing with bias in a workplace investigation
      What are you biased about? Everyone has at least one thing they are partial to, if not more. Before a workplace investigation can happen, an investigator needs to ask themselves what their bias is to question themselves appropriately if they can balance it. If not, it might be best if someone else was carrying out… Read more
    • Identifying toxicity in the workplace
      It’s 5 pm on a Wednesday; time to head home after another long day at work.   Once again, the day seemed longer than it should have. There was anxiety around doing routine things. The phone would ring, and you would groan or let out a deep sigh. You received six emails from a co-worker about… Read more
    • Equipping teams with workplace investigation training
      Toxicity is a word that is commonly thrown around the workplace. In some cases, maybe a little too much. So how can management properly determine if there is actually a toxic atmosphere, and if so, what the cause is? It comes down to a proper investigation being done, which is harder to do than it… Read more
    • Harassment: what does it really look like?
      It’s not about intent; it’s about impact. We sometimes struggle to know precisely what harassment in the workplace looks like. Can you identify what counts as harassment and what doesn’t? For a long time, we have heard: “We should treat people the way we would want to be treated.” But what might bother someone may… Read more
    • Words matter: keep the focus on the investigation
      How many times have you walked away from a “tough conversation” and wished you had worded things differently? Your choice of words in any given moment can be the difference between a constructive discussion and one that gets out of hand in a hurry. Word choice matters even more when discussing workplace investigations with employees,… Read more
    • Bullying in the workplace: how to stop it
      Have you experienced bullying at work? If so, it’s important to know you’re not alone. In fact, 60 per cent of Canadians have reportedly experienced harassment at the office. Every worker in Canada is entitled to a harassment-free workplace. It is written in provincial legislation in every province and federally. It is outlined in the… Read more
    • Investigations to maintain safe work environments
      Maintaining a healthy work environment where your employees are excited to come to work and can feel safe and appreciated is paramount. Which is why it is important that when workplace issues arise, they are not taken lightly. Whether it is a case of investigating reports of sexual harassment and misconduct, health and safety violations… Read more

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