The Emotional impact of Job Loss

In various social media banter, I have noticed a discussion surrounding the ways in which employers are ‘terminating” employees.  Whether a terminated employee is walked out in front of their peers, being called into “meetings” unsuspectingly or being terminated without an opportunity to respond – the process has become too cold and too harsh.

Terminations or downsizing are a part of reality in today’s business world.   Every organization has the legal right to end employment.   However, every organization should be ending employment in a respectful manner.   For most of us, a job is the life line that enables us feed, clothe and provide shelter for our family.

The Supreme Court of Canada made mention about the value of work in the McKinley v. BC Tel case of 2001.  Says Justice Iacobucci:

“Work is one of the most fundamental aspects in a person’s life, providing the individual with a means of financial support and, as importantly, a contributory role in society. A person’s employment is an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self‑worth and emotional well‑being.”

Organizations must do a better job of realizing what a job is really worth.  It is not only about salary, benefits and perks, it is also about one’s emotional worth.   When an organization makes the decision to end one’s employment it should be done within the confines of the law and with compassion.

Yesterday’s news regarding the stabbing of four employees at an office in the 401/Yonge Street area has made many in Social Media circles revisit the issue surrounding the emotional/mental strain of job loss.

We certainly hope that the victims of this crime will have a full recovery.  And we hope that justice will be carried out swiftly to the perpetrator of this violent crime.  In one of my former roles, I worked with Ceridian Canada thus the news of this horrific act was more than a news story to me – it was personal.

While we do not know the complete circumstances of this case, the fact that the perpetrator of this crime was a former employee is troubling.  The investigation will provide us with further details into the mindset of the accused.   However, if we look at the larger picture – the discussion about the emotional impact of job loss must be discussed in greater detail across all sectors.

The Supreme Court alludes to this in the above mentioned case:

“not only is work itself fundamental to an individual’s identity, but “the manner in which employment can be terminated is equally important”.

Behind the statistics and reports there are real people who are impacted by job loss.   It is up to organizational leaders to deal with his matter with sensitivity and respect.

 

Blog post by Radcliffe Dockery

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The Left and the Right need to get out of their ideological comfort zones

Taken from the Toronto Star...

CCPAOntario has an economic problem, which is leading to great social problems due to financial stress.  And no amount of rhetoric from the left or the right will change this.  What is required is for all stakeholders in our economy from educators, unions, investors, entrepreneurs and politicians to get together and develop practical solutions.

First step, as a service driven economy our education system needs to staffed with educators who have real world experience.   This has to start in high school.  Teachers should be in more intense training or job placements for the subjects they teach whether it be arts, sciences, business and technology.  Our students use smartphones and the interest, they can see through BS quickly – thus our educators must be on prepared with real work knowledge.

Second, the private sector must start telling the truth about the skills shortage.  I know first hand what it is like when you are unemployed and have the skills/experience for 90% of the jobs in your field.  However, it seems as if many companies are posting jobs just to fill their databases with resumes.      Even worse, we often see that a company will post a job, reject all candidates then within 2 months re post the same job again – and continue the cycle over and over again.  We need to stop the hype about skills shortages and ensure that the the shortage is REAL.   Sadly, too many Canadians are spending money on training courses only to remain unemployed. Good for training schools, bad for families.

Third, Ontario has to embrace trade more aggressively.   Recently on The Agenda, there had a a great discussion about foreign markets.   BRICS (Brazil, Russia, Indian, China, South Africa) and MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey).    Lawyer Mark Warner made the key point on the show when he stated “When entering an emerging market, businesses have to be prepared for the unexpected… it won’t be smooth, but the opportunities are there”.   Companies, investors and academic thought leaders have to embrace emerging markets more aggressively.   Export Development Bank of Canada can provide lots of support for companies entering these markets.

Fourth, Ontario has to start investing in the RIGHT sectors.   Yes, the Auto Sector is important to the economy.   However, the attitude of Ford Canada and UNIFOR towards the South Korean Free Trade Agreement is a concern.   While Ford USA embraced the deal, Ford Canada did not.   UNIFOR compared imports/exports of cars between Canada and South Korea as proof of this being a bad deal for Canada.   The focus instead should be about how Ontario plants can 1) Attract more investment from VW, BMW, Audi etc into Canada  2)  making cars that foreign markets would want.

While Ontario continues to invest money in the Auto Sector, even when they don’t want it.    – The information technology, entertainment, logistics and infrastructure sectors do not get enough attention.   Ontario needs to focus more funds on industries that will lead to great exports for our companies.

In Ontario, we are no longer a manufacturing hot bed.  Tim Hudak has a plan however it sounds more rhetorical than practical.  Premier Wynne, speaks in platitudes and Andrea Horvarth doesn’t give us much detail.

The left and the right need to stop sitting in their ideological comfort zones and start focusing on practical solutions to our economic problems.   While both sides continue their rhetoric, way too many Ontario families continue to struggle.   Stop the noise and start getting to work!

blog post by Radcliffe Dockery

 

Black History Personality of the Day – The Hon. Senator Don Oliver

Senator Oliver was the First Black Male named to the Senate of Canada.

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On September 7, 1990, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney summoned him to the Senate of Canada. Since his arrival in the Senate, Senator Oliver has served as a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce; Chairman of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs; Chair of the Standing Committee on National Finance; Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry; Chair of the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications. Senator Oliver was Co-chair of the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on a Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians.  Learn more about Senator Oliver

Blog by Radcliffe Dockery

State of Black Canadians – Facts vs. Fiction!

The Black Community in Canada is vibrant and growing!    In 2013, a group of some of the best black minds in Canada came together to put gather statistics about Black Canada.   One of the most interesting statistics destroys the stereotypes that Blacks are “dependent” on Government.   Below are some highlights from the report.

T1888571_513005795481101_2089841211_nTaken from the Report Titled, “Toward a Vision for the Black Community”

M.I.N.T – the next frontier for Business & Policy Makers

As many small business owners still cannot wrap their heads around BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), here comes another frontier for business and investors – M.I.N.T.

BBC News has been paying attention to the M.I.N.T. Economies.    These M.I.N.T. nations include:

Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey

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 The term MINT was coined by Economist Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs.  Click here to view his comments.

These nations represent higher than normal risk however also demonstrate tremendous opportunity.   For Canadian and American businesses, it only makes sense to look at Mexico seriously.   There is some concern about Canada’s relationship with Mexico.   The need for Mexican’s to have Visa’s to enter Canada is one reason for this concern.   Canada has focused most of its activity within NAFTA on the USA.  However, we now see that Mexico is surpassing Canada in Auto Production.  And despite many internal issues the economy is showing signs of improvement.   Canada has no excuse not to increase it trade relationship with Mexico.

The biggest surprise here would be Nigeria.  While known for the various email scams, Nigeria is on the verge of becoming Africa’s largest economy.  Canada’s current trade with Nigeria.   Export Development Canada states:

Canada has a well established and growing trade relationship with Nigeria. The country represents an important trade partner for Canada in Sub-Saharan Africa. Trade is of high importance to the Nigerian economy which relies heavily upon the oil sector. A strong emphasis also exists on the infrastructure sector, which requires modernization.

This information may come as a shock to the average person, however an array of organizations in Oil Gas, Information Technology, Finance and Mining are paying more attention to Nigeria.

Indonesia has a population in the range of 250 Million with a fast growing middle class.  Turkey continues to be of high interest to many investors and businesses worldwide.

The focus on MINT nations in early 2014 should shift any small business owners Sales & Marketing strategy.  Or at a minimum, many small businesses should consider conducting some exploratory research in these markets.

Who within your organization is looking at the next emerging markets to tackle?   Are your suppliers able to adapt and move into new markets quickly?

Are policy makers in Canada providing enough support to help small businesses explore new markets?    Just a couple of questions we need to ask ourselves.

Opportunity is Everywhere, and it is time to look at M.I.N.T as potential new destinations.

Blog by Radcliffe Dockery

Chinese students love luxury cars, What about students in N. America?

(Photo: Clayton Cotterell | Bloomberg Businessweek)
(Photo: Clayton Cotterell | Bloomberg Businessweek)

Interesting article posted by Yahoo Business surrounding Chinese students and Luxury cars!  Where is North America there is concern about young people buying cars, we are seeing the opposite in China where luxury brands such as Audi, Mercedes Benz,BMW surge.

China’s economic growth over the past 10 years has certainly contributed to this.   This leaves us with some challenges in North America:

A)  How do we ensure auto sector demand among young people with such high rates of Youth Unemployment?

B)  How do we justify continued government backed loans, grants in a sector that is facing a generation that is not interested in cars?

C)  What can jurisdictions in North America do to attract more investment from luxury auto brands?

Quick Primer about what the auto sector means to the Province of Ontario, http://www.investinontario.com/en/Pages/OS_automotive.aspx