On September 30th and October 1st 2017, the Kiy HR Team attended the Franchise Expo in Edmonton. In addition to being an exhibitor at the expo, the leader of our team, Teresa Kiyawasew, held a seminar discussing myths surrounding the HR field entitled “HR Myths Debunked!”. In her seminar, Teresa defined myths, provided many examples of common HR myths, and provided alternative facts to debunk the falsehoods. Here are the key points from her seminar!

Myths are false ideas of beliefs that have a tendency to carry through generations as truth. In regards to the workplace, not everything you may hear is true, even if it comes from your supervisor or is common practice in your department.


Myth: It’s better not to give a reference at all than to give a good/bad reference.
Fact: You can be held liable for not giving a reference OR for not telling the truth.
  • As long as you are telling the truth about an individual, you will not be held liable for giving a good/bad reference.
  • Let the reference know this fact. Once they understand they can be held liable for a false reference, they will be more forthright in answering your questions.


Verbal Agreements

Myth: If you have a solid verbal agreement with a new employee, it can replace a written agreement.
Fact: Implied (verbal) agreements can leave an employer with a mess if the lines get blurred.
  • Even if the employer felt they were being fair during the hiring process and employment, a messy action against the employer could side with an employee.


Payroll Deductions

Myth: An employer can deduct anything from an employee’s pay.
Fact: The only deductions that can be deducted from an employee’s pay are government deductions or deductions that are agreed to by the employee within a reasonable time frame.
  • Any deduction that the employer does not have written permission by the employee, is not legally permitted!
  • If you received permission from an employee years prior to the actual deduction (such as in a case of termination), new permissions need to be requested.


Performance Reviews

Myth: Performance reviews are a waste of time and are not effective.
Fact: If a performance review or program is customized to suit the company and the entire organization is trained on the program, it will be very effective. It will also prevent issues when there is a termination.
  • They cannot work if no one is held accountable for completing reviews properly. They also cannot work if no one receives training on how to use the programs.
  • A solid performance management program will protect an organization when a dismissal is the only other alternative for an employee who performs poorly.


Employment Standards

Myth: Following the minimum Employment Standards is all an employer needs to do to prevent claims against the employer.
Fact: The Employment Standards Code is a minimum requirement. Common practices will further protect an employer.
  • When an employer follows minimum employment standards, they are doing just that…following the “minimum”.
  • With the absence of a strong employment agreement, a solid performance management program and a proper termination procedure, that employer could end up being on the hook for a lot more than the minimum employment standard.


Generation Gaps

Myth: Different generations cannot work cohesively together.
Fact: Similar to different personalities, different generations are able to work together and are manageable.
  • As employers we are responsible for learning about who works best with who, what strengths our employees have and creating great teams.


HR = Police

Myth: HR is transactional and robotic. They only ever side with the employer.
Fact: HR professionals are resourceful, information laden individuals that have a vast amount of experience in helping organizations find and keep their employees. This includes ensuring employees are happy in their workplace.
  • Our job is to attract and retain great employees.
  • The “policing” really doesn’t need to happen when an organization trusts their HR department.


If you would like to know anymore information on this topic or would like to receive a detailed copy of Teresa’s presentation, feel free to contact us at info@kiyhr.ca, or phone us at 780-801-5246.

The Kiy HR Perspective

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