Last week Ontario implemented the
right to disconnect
These regulatory changes are more than simply new policies, they signal societal and workplace shifts that, even if they do not apply in your jurisdiction, are worth considering. Taken together, these workplace policies impact your culture, your employees’ well-being and organizational performance.
Changing Culture Through Employment Policies
Gathering policies in an Employee Handbook is one of the foundational employment components we recommend to all clients. Most business owners understand the reasons why:
- Employment policies help formalize guidelines, expectations, and terms and conditions of employment.
- A current and well understood handbook provides a layer of protection against employee claims and lawsuits.
- Lastly, and quite literally most importantly, a well-done handbook communicates the company’s culture.
We regularly receive requests to help clients draft or update their policies when legislation changes.
However, we’ve noticed something different this past year.
Businesses are actively working towards being more progressive and more innovative as a means of attracting and retaining employees, responding to the new way of working triggered by the pandemic, and to address equity, diversity and inclusion. Here are some of the more common changes that we are seeing:
- Introduction of paid personal days to be used entirely at the employee’s discretion
- Adoption of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid holiday
- Paid employee volunteerism
- Promotion of healthy workplace practices and psychological safety
- The right to disconnect from work outside of business hours
- Promotion of an inclusive environment in which no employee is excluded, marginalized, or treated unfairly
- Formally communicating the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility
- Hybrid work allowing employees to work from a non-traditional location
- Flexibility to choose working hours
- Creative professional development opportunities
- Encouragement for employees to dress authentically
- Clarity on the types of workplace accommodations available
- Recognition of years of career service for vacation.
Successfully managing culture change can be challenging.