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Category: Workplace Culture ​

Golden handcuffs – when is it worth taking them off?

August 24, 2019
Sometimes a job is a poor fit, but we stay because of the value of the golden handcuffs - the pay, benefits, security, etc. In this article, Dr. Helen helps...

Are you a workaholic … or is your job just too demanding?

August 11, 2019
These days, many of us work a lot of hours. It can be hard to know if we're overworked or a workaholic. There's a difference and it can affect our...

Scapegoats and the Glass Cliff: When Careers Get Derailed

June 8, 2019
Scapegoating and the glass cliff may sound like something made up or exaggerated. In this article, I’ll break down what these terms mean, who they affect and why.

The Times, They Are a Changing … But is Our Time Management?

June 2, 2019
The modern workplace has changed a lot - because of technology, globalization, diversity, and #MeToo. But, has our approach to time management kept up? Some modern time management suggestions are...

Where Human Rights Meets Human Resources (Part 2)

May 25, 2019
In part two of this guest blog, Employment and Human Rights Lawyer Alayna Miller with Mann Lawyers uses current news stories and headlines to explain employers' human rights and human...

Where Human Rights Meets Human Resources (Part 1)

May 18, 2019
In part one of this two-part Q&A, Employment and Human Rights Lawyer Alayna Miller with Mann Lawyers uses current news stories and headlines to explain how human rights and human...

Earth, wind, fire, & water – how they can affect our workplace culture

May 11, 2019
With life-threatening and life-altering weather changes becoming more frequent, it’s clear that there are implications for our personal lives and the workplace. Considerations for employers and co-workers are discussed.

The Realities of Modern Work – Blurred Lines and Workplace Boundaries

April 13, 2019
Many of us use mobile devices and/or work from home. Both of these habits blur the line between work and home. This versatility around how and where we work has...

Death by 1000 papercuts … how this happens at work

March 23, 2019
When examining a person’s decline in personal wellness and productivity while on the job, rarely is it one catastrophic act that makes them feel almost sick at the thought going...

The Superwoman Syndrome, Even Harder than it Looks …

March 9, 2019
Recently, I was asked to speak at an International Women’s Day event that was being organized by Sigma Beta Phi Sorority (University of Ottawa). I was intrigued, I have not...

The Power of a Growth Mindset

February 16, 2019
In this blog post, Dr. Helen explains the fixed vs growth mindset. She then explains the potential implications for success at work and fostering positive and productive workplaces.

Ghosting an employer … it can professionally haunt you and … others

February 2, 2019
In this blog, which is part two of a series, I address the professional consequences of ghosting, and how it affects colleagues. Are the ease and possible pleasure of ghosting...

Ghosting … the real hauntings that go on at work

January 26, 2019
Ghosting started in the personal realm but has now crossed over into the professional realm of work. What does ‘being ghosted’ or having someone ghost you look like … or...

It’s a new day at work – why employee fulfillment will matter more

January 19, 2019
Currently, and in the recent past, the information or knowledge economy was the focus, and employees were the source of wealth creation. In the emerging purpose economy, a sense of...

The complexities of modern holidays …

December 15, 2018
In theory, modern holidays are lovely, often more inclusive occasions. But they can still be complicated for employers and employees alike. Most workplaces shut down for a few days, which...

Outplacement … what you need to know.

December 8, 2018
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the challenges that many people in Oshawa (in the Greater Toronto Area, GTA) and in Alberta are currently facing. Then there's the ripple...

Working from home – five ways it may work against you.

December 1, 2018
Last week I wrote about some of the advantages of working from home. But, is it for everyone? In this blog post, the second in a two-part series, I look...

Working from home … alone

November 24, 2018
In today’s world, we can do almost everything without leaving the comforts of our home.  There’s online shopping, therapy, advice and expertise, dining in courtesy of Uber Eats or Skip...

Positivity is your best action … take it to work

November 11, 2018
As an HR Consultant, Career Coach, and parent I try hard to make the best out of challenging situations. With that said, I agree that some things are hard to...

Covering at Work – The Pros and Cons of Being Ourselves at Work

October 27, 2018
According to a report published by Deloitte, a surprisingly high number of people actively cover up aspects of their identities in the workplace that they believe are unwelcome and/or stigmatized.

Weeding out cannabis concerns in the workplace

October 20, 2018
Regardless of how we feel about it, cannabis is now legal in Canada. Employers and employees need to know their rights and responsibilities. Learn the basics about CBD, THC, concerns...

The Relevance and Absence of the Reference Check in the #MeToo Era

October 5, 2018
If anyone is looking for evidence that background and reference checks are still worthwhile, look no further than the current headlines around the ongoing Supreme Court nomination process in the US....

Working Through the Fallout of Climate Change

September 29, 2018
From what I know about employee engagement and workplace culture, I understand that not treating your employees and co-workers well during delicate or challenging times will erode and undermine relationships...

The Queen Bee Syndrome – Not Sweet Like Honey …

September 22, 2018
Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of attention paid to the topic of bad behaviour in the modern workplace. Often, it’s taken the form of sexual harassment...

Have you ever called in “sad?”

August 11, 2018
Mental illness linked to workplace problems is a leading cause of short and long-term disability in Canada. Given the costs associated with these types of claims, I propose a different...

Leaving a Toxic Job

August 4, 2018
A job is so much more than just “a job.” Most of us spend most of our waking hours at work. In a good scenario, colleagues become friends as well,...

Five Ways to Spot a Bad Workplace During the Hiring Process

July 21, 2018
Often, when we are looking for a new job we really want to make sure that we’re chosen by the potential employer. We may be motivated by a deep desire...

Are you a workplace dad? Do you know a workplace dad?

June 16, 2018
Most of us have known a kind-hearted woman who people would say was “like a mom to everyone.” The expression “work spouse” has become a popular way of describing significant-yet-completely-platonic...

Racism … Is it at your place of work?

June 2, 2018
So, here’s the question in my mind: even if well-intentioned, does one day of sensitivity or anti-bias training change the racial discrimination that will ultimately exist in organizations? The short...

Mental Health – Making it Work in the Workplace

May 26, 2018
Mental health is an issue that deserves more than four weeks of awareness. It warrants everyday sensitivity and acknowledgment in the places where we work. Without paying attention to this under-discussed...

Corporate scapegoats and sacrificial lambs … what to do if you become one.

May 12, 2018
In this blog post, I will discuss corporate scapegoats or sacrificial lambs that sometimes fall victim to corporate psychopaths (or are just very unlucky) ... and more importantly how they...

Mothers Take Many Forms

May 5, 2018
Regardless of our stage of life or our gender, most of us need to build resilient careers so that they will provide a livelihood that helps us take care of...

How to be a fox when interviewing a wolf (Part 2)

April 28, 2018
In this blog, Dr. Helen continues to discuss corporate psychopaths who often become successful and powerful by using exploitation and manipulation to get ahead. She lists a few ways that...

Corporate Psychopaths – wolves in the workplace (Part 1)

April 21, 2018
To borrow from the animal narrative, I would argue that corporate psychopaths don't always slink and slither throughout certain organizations as they are portrayed on the cover of ‘Snakes and...

Favouritism never works in the workplace

April 7, 2018
Some of my readers may know that I have one child. This makes it OK for me to call him my favourite son.  However, in many families, schools, and workplaces,...

Is work supposed to make you happy?

March 31, 2018
You may have heard the saying that the average person changes jobs 7 times in their lifetime? What if I told you that in today’s world job changes are even...

Visible Disabilities … the unseen problems in the workplace

March 24, 2018
In the past, I've written about the experience of silently struggling with invisible disabilities. In this article, I address the challenges that people with visible disabilities face, and how often...

How men AND women have enabled workplace bullying and sexual harassment

December 2, 2017
So, in the interest of gender equality, it’s time for men and women to consider doing more to create safe, respectful and inclusive organizations and organizational cultures. Men aren’t the...

Sexual harassment on the job … how it touches everyone in the workplace (Part 2)

October 28, 2017
As a female I/O Psychologist who deals with HR issues, including the fallout from sexual harassment, I believe it's important to tackle this matter head-on by discussing the financial consequences...

Sexual Harassment … how does it keep working in the workplace?

October 22, 2017
As with other loaded topics, like politics and religion, many people in the workplace prefer to say nothing despite the undeniably tense and divisive climate that many victims of sexual...

Body language … 3 ways it might be working against you in the workplace

October 14, 2017
While recalling the infamous Trump - Trudeau handshake, a client described a similar incident at work that made me wonder how many people may be unaware that their body language...

The marks of domestic violence in the workplace (Part 2)

September 16, 2017
I'm addressing the sensitive topic domestic violence here because I've been asked for advice about it by someone who works in an organization that has a Human Resources (HR) department...

Domestic violence doesn’t stay home … what you need to know about it in the workplace (Part 1)

September 9, 2017
Although the prevalence of domestic violence is well-documented, it isn’t something that is openly discussed, especially in formal or semi-formal settings such as your place of work. I had to...

Recruiting the Right Employee Ambassadors

September 2, 2017
Most organizations think carefully about their approach to recruiting and hiring employees. How many organizations consider how they will recruit employees as communication ambassadors during times of organizational change?

It’s Impolite to Discuss Politics at Work – But What About Values?

August 19, 2017
We’re all entitled to our political and religious beliefs, and we’re entitled to keep those private. With that said, when it comes to values, our silence speaks volumes.

Secrets on the Job – My Experience with Discretion

August 5, 2017
When I have revealed the ways in which my work involves ‘covert assignments’ I’m usually met with a surprised response of “Wow … I didn’t realize the scope of what...

Divorce … Does it Have to go to Work With You?

July 29, 2017
Divorce often negatively impacts people’s day-to-day functioning. As a result, not only do you suffer from short-term diminished work productivity, but the actual business/organization you work for will too. There's...

Coded Language and Dog Whistle Expressions

May 12, 2017
A while back, a business associate reached out to me with an urgent and problematic situation. She was stumped by a situation and she knew I’d have some ideas. The...

Not your Mother’s Workplace, Not Her Idea of Balance

May 5, 2017
“All mothers are working moms.” The representation of a mother’s “work” is frequently inaccurate and it can be divisive. Both stay at home mothers and mothers who work outside the...

Nepotism – Does all in the family include the workplace?

February 19, 2017
There's no doubt that some of us have very capable family and friends who we'd love to work with because of their abilities and their loyalty. Before going ahead and...

Dressing the Part … Does this Include Body Art?

February 6, 2017
Many people express their identity through the clothes and accessories they wear. These days, this often includes piercings and tattoos. But, does that mean social stigmas cease to continue for...

The Interviewee with the Dragon Tattoo

January 30, 2017
You are discouraged after a long day of interviewing potential employees all of whom lacked the necessary experience in this particular field. Then, in walks your final candidate with a...

Toxic Workplace – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

January 3, 2017
So what do you do if your job feels like a monotonous trap … or worse, like an abusive relationship? This is an environment you spend most of your adult...

Silent Suffering – The Struggle of Invisible Disabilities

December 28, 2016
All your life you’ve been viewed as an ‘able-bodied’ person. So far you’ve been fortunate right? This may not be entirely accurate. Disability isn’t always visible; in fact, it can...

Right Placement – An Alternative to Outplacement

September 10, 2016
The magical thing about "Right-Placement" is that these employees moved on without being terminated and without triggering an expensive severance package. Basically, I’ve created a cheaper, happier alternative to firing...

Desirable Options When an Employee Isn’t Working Out …

July 21, 2016
Instead of waiting until a negative, costly firing process is necessary, local businesses are using Dr. Helen's RightPlacement process.

The Relevance of Women’s Issues to HR and Careers

June 24, 2016
In my role as a Human Resources (HR) Consultant and a Career Coach I see where women's issues intersect with my professional responsibilities. This post explores the themes of HR,...

Career and Return to Work Ideas For Moms

February 13, 2016
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the challenges that moms face while planning to return to work following time at home raising their kids. Intuitively, we all know that...

Boost employee engagement through behaviours and technology

January 12, 2016
So many organizations are still scrambling to catch up and implement modern web technology practices internally. We've all seen the power of social media, social networking, and user-generated content on...

Calling in Sad (or Sick) to Avoid Workplace Problems?

December 8, 2015
Mental illness is a leading cause of short and long-term disability in Canada (and the US). Given the costs associated with these types of claims, I propose a different approach....

Workplace Bullying – A Hidden Problem

November 13, 2015
Bullying on the school yard has been deemed unacceptable. Many schools and school boards have implemented zero tolerance policies. It’s great that someone’s now looking out for the kids, but...

A Tale of Two Universities

March 30, 2015
In my mind, the link between these two trips is not the obvious fact that both locations are university campuses. What made these two trips similar is that both institutions...

When Hiring, Think about the “Bring vs. Learn Concept”

June 5, 2014
When I work with hiring managers and business owners, I ask them what their next employee must “bring” into the job from day one - and also what things the...

Something Isn’t Right at Work … Is it the Venue or the Vocation?

November 22, 2013
A good starting point is to identify what exactly is contributing to your sense of unhappiness or dissatisfaction at work. Are you experiencing too much friction and conflict with your...