Manitoba Start offers a wide range of Diversity and Intercultural training for Manitoba businesses and organizations. As the leading provider of career services for newcomers to Manitoba, they address employers’ recruitment needs by matching the unique skill sets of qualified, job-ready newcomers with employers’ specific job requirements.
They offer customized diversity training for management to frontline staff to meet workplace needs and support organizations in building cultural competence. As a starting point for building cultural awareness, they offer 4 signature courses that build on diversity competency objectives.
Level 1: Defining and Achieving Workplace Cultural Awareness: This foundational course helps participants to become aware of cultural values that affect all workplace interactions. By explaining in detail the dynamics of culture and diversity and specific cultural aspects that affect the workplace, the course helps participants gain useful strategies that can be applied immediately in the workplace.
Level 2: Workplace Communication: The Impact of Culture
Taking the foundational knowledge about culture and diversity to the next level, this course explores the impacts of cultural filters to the process of communication. Barriers to effective Intercultural Communications are identified and strategies for overcoming them explored, allowing participants to start applying them to their own workplace situation thus improving their communication with colleagues, clients, and customers.
Level 3: Recognizing Cross-Cultural Conflict in the Workplace
This course focuses on learning to recognize conflicts that may arise within a culturally diverse environment. Building on the diversity awareness and communication skills courses, this session helps participants to recognize their own cultural ways of dealing with conflict and to examine cultural norms that affect how others see and deal with conflict. It provides take away strategies and tools that can be applied in the workplace.
Level 4: Engaging your Diverse Work Team (Supervisory)
Specifically designed for managers, team leaders and supervisory staff, this workshop provides essential tools to assist in supervising diverse employees. This course explores ways in which cultural values and perceptions affect the process of managing and overseeing employees, and strategies to lead a diverse talented workforce.
We also offer three free one-hour sessions on three different topics:
These free courses can be delivered at meetings or incorporated into ‘lunch-and-learn’ sessions.
To request a free session at your workplace or explore Manitoba Start's signature training programs, check out their Diversity and Intercultural Training website or contact Jaime Chinchilla (Coordinator, Diversity and Intercultural Training) at 204-944-8833 x 165 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Winnipeg Chamber: What is "Return to Work" and why is it important?
Chris Poot: Return to Work, simply put, is when a worker goes back to work (or stays at work) following a workplace injury or illness.
The more complex answer is all of the effort and work behind the scenes by workers, employers, medical providers, unions and the Workers Compensation Board to ensure that Return to Work is safe, respectful and effective.
A workplace injury can have a significant impact to a worker - physical, financial, social and psychological. And that extends outwards to the worker's family, friends, co-workers and the employer. So it's critically important to do our best to keep that impact to a minimum and to help make the transition back to work as seamless and predictable as possible.
WC: The Return to Work Program Services Team is a relatively new department at the WCB. What are you offering to employers?
CP: While we've always supported Return to Work, our department was formed to create a focus on the Return to Work needs of large and medium-sized employers.
We offer employers training (Return to Work Basics and WCB Basics) designed to teach how the WCB claims system works, how their premium is calculated and, most importantly, how to build or improve their Return to Work Program. For larger companies with complex Return to Work issues, we also provide customized consulting services where we help develop or improve a company's Return to Work program. This includes a comprehensive assessment of current practices and processes as well as implementation assistance and on-site training. Both training and consulting services are offered at no charge. You can find more information on our website at www.wcb.mb.ca.
WC: What's surprised you the most in talking to businesses about Return to Work?
CP: I was surprised (and pleased) to learn that for the majority of employers, this isn't just about the money. I think it's safe to say that most employers just want to run a productive and profitable business and at the same time "do right" for their employees. And while most business owners have some basic understanding that Return to Work is good for business, they are surprised and happy to learn that Return to Work is also good for recovery. It's interesting to watch a company's HR person exchange looks with the Finance person when they realize a "win-win solution" is within reach - the kind of solution that management teams can support because it includes each of their areas of focus.
WC: What's the biggest misconception about Return to Work?
CP: There are still people out there who think that Return to Work is somehow punitive to injured workers, or that it is better to rest at home until they're fully recovered. But we know that Return to Work results in a faster and better recovery, helps avoid isolation, reconnects social networks and helps ease financial worries. I spend a lot of time speaking to employers, unions and other groups about how Return to Work is good for recovery AND it's good for business AND it's good for unions AND it's good for workers and their families. Medical professionals believe that Return to Work is a healthy and invaluable part of an injured worker's recovery as there is substantial evidence to support the positive link between work and physical, mental and social health - as you'll see in our upcoming awareness campaign.
WC: What one thing should a company do to get started with Return to Work?
CP: Take the WCB Basics and Return to Work Basics one day courses. Not only will you learn "Why" you should have a Return to Work program in your business, you also learn "How, Where and When". Class participants consistently rate their satisfaction level at about 95% with regard to the information provided, the class discussions, the quality of the instructors and the opportunity to ask real world questions. It's the kind of useful continuing education that you can (and many do) recommend to colleagues and others in their work network. There are elements in the training that you can take back to work and start using right away. It's important to talk to staff about the value of Return to Work before an injury occurs and build that trust so that the worker is confident that a Return to Work program is created with their best interests in mind.
WC: Can you tell us about some of the early results you've seen with some of the companies that your team has worked with?
CP: I attended a conference in March 2017 that we arranged in partnership with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce on Return to Work. I was thrilled to listen and watch as Shawn MacLellan of Federated Co-op Limited talked about the recent Return to Work consultation session he had with our Return to Work Program team. He explained that in the year after implementing recommended changes to the Return to Work program at their warehouse, they had a drop in their days lost by almost 90%, and a drop in direct costs of more than 78%. Days lost and direct costs are two of the major influences on your premium for the next year.
In another example, I started working with a medium-sized company a couple of years ago. I gave them three simple things to implement to help with their Return to Work program. Today they are paying 41% of the premium they paid five years ago.
I'm enough of a realist to know that a 90% drop is an unreasonable expectation in all cases, but improvements by more than 50% are regular occurrences. And this does not even factor in the faster and better recovery by workers, the reduced productivity loss and the potential improvement in employee retention.
The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) is always striving to make sure its system is efficient and cost effective for employers as they deal with compensation matters. WCB has significantly streamlined its processes and as a result it's now easier for businesses to do business with the WCB.
While steps have been taken, WCB is committed to continuously enhance its service and ensure the system is user friendly and easy to navigate for users.
"It's important to tailor the services we provide employers and not paint everyone with the same brush. It's all about options, not every employer has the same needs and we adjusted our services to reflect that," said Renzo Borgesa, Vice-President, Assessments, Innovation and Technology with WCB.
"Employers can pay premiums online and pick a payment scale that works better for them. Some want to pay monthly, some quarterly and others want to just pay once. Sixty four per cent of employers reported their payroll online last year."
The majority of services employers need to regularly access are already available online for their convenience, such as:
The WCB will continue its efforts to make the navigation of our system and reporting information as easy as possible for employers.
Every company, from the large organization to the small family owned business, has its own workplace culture. You see it when you walk into the building, you hear it through the words employees speak, you feel its energy (or sometimes, lack of energy) and you experience it as an employee, customer, partner, etc. every time you interact. Much like a human fingerprint, every culture is unique.
In cities like Winnipeg, where everybody knows everybody, your company’s culture and reputation is being passed along via “the word on the street.” If you have a great company culture you will be able to attract and retain top talent.
If you have a less than desirable company culture it may be difficult to attract, motivate and retain the right people.
Great company cultures create the foundation to become a top revenue-driving organization. These types of organizations often share characteristics that are akin to a beehive of activity - excitement, collaborative problem solving, respect, and a fun, productive place to work. Less than desirable cultures are fraught with employee and management disagreements, high absenteeism and presenteeism (people show up but you don’t know exactly what they produce all day!).
Who defines culture?
Leaders or company owners are the ones who should set the vision for the workplace culture. If you don’t set the thermostat for the desired culture, you will likely not like the temperature! In absence of leadership in this area, the most predominant person(s) will set it for you. A few negative employees at the water cooler can do a significant amount of damage to your company’s culture if there is no direction or guidance from the top.
How to set or re-set your Culture.
Start by examining your:
How CPRinc® can help.
We have a great reputation for achieving results and have partnered with many leading companies, across all industries from small business to large international corporations, and have extensive experience working with and/or volunteering for non-profit organizations and Indigenous communities and organizations. For us, it’s about building the workplaces of tomorrow, today! Check us out at www.cprinc.ca
A busy summer stretch of federal engagement continued for The Winnipeg Chamber last week as we were part of the consultations held by The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship while he was in town.
Immigration has been a driving factor in Manitoba’s growth over the past several years. We currently welcome over 15,000 new immigrants each year. Nationwide, the current target is around 300,000 individuals a year. While that may seem like a lot, Canada’s immigration levels actually peaked over 100 years ago, right before the start of the first World War. In 1913, for example, Canada took in over 400,000 immigrants.
The Winnipeg Chamber is among the voices calling for higher levels of immigration. The Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth recently called for Canada to increase immigration levels to 450,000 a year by 2021. The focus is on the economic immigration stream, as we need more workers to keep our economy humming.
Over Canada’s history, our GDP growth has largely come from increases in employment growth, instead of increases in productivity. Our population growth is slowing down with the drop in birth rate and the baby boom moving into their retirement years. Without immigration, Statistics Canada figures Canada’s population growth will be close to zero in 20 years.
Other countries, on the other hand, are growing fast. Currently Canada is the 38th most populous country in the world, but if we maintain our current growth rates, some project we will slip to the 69th most populous country by the end of the century. The fear is not only will our economy be growing slower, but Canada could lose global clout and influence as other countries pass us population-wise.
It is encouraging to see the federal government take positive steps forward with their Global Skills Strategy which was announced in early June. A big part of the skills strategy is the new Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This new stream establishes for foreign high skilled workers a two week turnaround time for work permit applications. These changes should give employers faster access to skilled employees, which is critical as Manitoba is forecasted to have almost 170,000 job openings between 2016 and 2022, with over 60% of those jobs expected to require some post-secondary education. Our economy needs skilled workers to grow, and the faster we can get them the better.
The Winnipeg Chamber: What laws/rules exist in Manitoba around transgender employees?
Cynthia Lazar: The Manitoba Human Rights Act provides that employees cannot be discriminated against on the basis of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, unless there is a genuine occupational requirement which impacts on this. For example, when you are patted down as part of security clearance in the airport, people presenting as male are patted down by a male agent, and people presenting as female are patted down by a female agent. There is a genuine occupational requirement for that, so an employer can post an opening for a security agent position requiring a particular gender.
WC: Washrooms keep coming up in disputes around transgender rights. What advice do you have for your clients and business owners around gender-specific washrooms and access?
CL: The general rule is to allow transgender employees to define themselves. They should be called by the name or pronoun of their choice, be allowed to wear "gender specific" clothing of their choice, provided it is appropriate for the workplace, and be allowed to use the washroom of the gender with which they identify. I have been asked what to do with respect to other employees who feel uncomfortable with sharing a washroom with a transgender coworker. My advice has always been to tell them to get over it. They can close the stall door.
WC: What is essential for employers to understand – and have their teams understand – about transgender coworkers and customers?
CL: The main point is that individuals should be allowed the dignity of defining themselves, and the gender identity expressed by the individual should be respected. Employers also need to understand that employees' needs may change over time, particularly as they move through different steps of transition. Employers need to go with the flow.
WC: If you had lawmakers' ears, what rules would you ask for clarity on?
CL: There are a lot of issues with respect to official documents and workplace forms which require a gender designation. More thought has to be put into determining whether there is an actual purpose to this in each example. There may be, but if there isn't, then it shouldn't be asked.
WC: Are employee forms that use a binary "male/female" compliant with current laws?
CL: There are no laws which specify the use of binary (or non-binary) designations on employee forms. However, that is always subject to change depending on the results of any challenges taken before the Human Rights Commission, the courts or labour arbitration.
WC: What similarities and differences do you see between the legal journey for other groups and transgender people?
CL: Extending human rights legislation or equality rights to new groups is often met with resistance, regardless of the group. The problems and accommodation requirements often seem insurmountable until they are accomplished. Looking back in the rear view mirror often results in a shrug of the shoulders and the thought of "what was the big deal?". Hopefully, we will achieve the same shrug for trans rights soon.