Office cats, income strains, & cybersecurity threats: May HR Roundup

May’s edition of our Top HR Trends Roundup,  a curated list of exciting content & news relevant to employers and HR professionals. 

Is it just me, or did this feel like a long month? Not really complaining though, it was a great one! Lots of interesting content and news affecting the HR world came out this May. This roundup includes a wide range of topics from serious to heart-warming. Something for everything, I hope! 🙂

This tear-jerking Jimmy Kimmel monologue is a powerful reminder to be honest at work

Unless you live under a rock, you saw the viral, emotional clip of Jimmy Kimmel’s newborn’s first few days. That video circulated early May, and even if you aren’t a parent it likely still pulled at your heartstrings. The Muse was right on top of it with this insightful post, suggesting Kimmel’s honesty and vulnerability with his audience (and workplace) provides a career/life takeaway for us all.

One-half of employers suspected workers under influence of drugs, alcohol: Survey

I read a startling report published mid-April, based on a workplace impairment study by the law firm Fasken Martineau. According to their results, about half of [Canadian] employers are concerned about workers being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They also suggested that supervisors weren’t equipped with proper training to address this issue. It was then somewhat confirming (and alarming) to read that on the first day of randomly testing TTC employees; two tests were positive. Read more in HR Reporter.

Why mothering makes us better at work

In honour of Mother’s Day, here’s a Pulse article I liked by Amy Henderson. She shares her personal story of being a mother, as well as provides a compelling argument for how mothering can make you more successful in your career.

Caring for aging parents costs Canadians $33 billion a year

Anyone surprised by this statistic? You shouldn’t be. As the aging population continues to grow, employers and HR professionals need to start thinking about how to best support their employees. Food for thought: How should employee policies and benefit/perk plans be created or adapted to better suit new or changing family demands?

Prevent burnout by making compassion a habit

Why do some people never seem to experience burnout? In this article for Harvard Business Review, Annie McKee and Kandi Wien address the link between stress and empathy at work. They offer strategies for self-compassion as well as supporting others. Some great stuff in here for leaders looking to improve and balance their workplace relationships.

In the millennial job market, a Bachelor’s Degree isn’t enough

Those of us in this demographic have seen it coming. Some are already living it. Jessica Robinson’s article for MacLean’s references recent Conference Board of Canada findings and points out some of the serious effects of these workforce and income disconnects. With underemployment, debt, aging populations, and a rise in unstable or short-term jobs, how can employers emphasize and lean in to support the emerging workforce? Read more here.

Your open office is broken. Here’s what to do about it.

The open office concept is failing a lot of employees. Loss of focus and productivity caused by an over-stimulating environment can lead to additional stress as well as many other consequences. This article by Bestselling Productivity & Leadership Author Dave Crenshaw explains how this modern workplace may affect employees negatively. He also offers some great solutions for those who can’t switch back.

Fighting CyberCrime: Teaching Staff to Combat attacks

HR Grapevine’s May ezine includes some tips for educating employees on this growing threat. (Flip to the second page). Rianna Fulham provides some super relevant insights, given increasing number of cyber attacks individuals and companies are facing. For more on why malware attacks like WannaCry should be a big concern for smaller organizations, check out this piece by Judy Trinth for CBC.

The Silent Crisis of Retail Employment

Derek Thompson writes of the impacts of what he terms “retail bloodletting” on the workforce, comparing them to other industries such as mining and manufacturing. It’s a related topic to a piece I shared last month, an article by Benjamin Wallace-Wells for the New Yorker on the devaluing of experience.

Some questions to consider: How could declining recruitment demands affect the number of HR positions needed? And what about work shortages in other industries? Are there options for re-training new hires that could accommodate both employers and these job seekers? What types of transferable skills should be identified?

Firm Hires Office Cats To Reduce Workplace Stress

Some of us (including me) will cringe and might threaten to quit on this one. You’ve heard of pet-friendly offices, but this company is Japan has an actual ‘Office Cat Policy’. And, on a heart-warming note, they offer “ $45 bonuses for any employee who adopts a rescue cat”. Here’s hoping my feline-obsessed coworker Vero doesn’t see this…

Hope you enjoyed this curated list of interesting HR news and articles for May. Let us know what you found most relevant for your HR practices!