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Attendees will be able to choose breakout sessions on the day of the conference.  More info on our session speakers can be found here.

Fireside Chat: Psychological Health and Safety - Where are we now?

Organizations in Alberta have been working hard to address psychological health and safety.  Changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act in 2018 to address psychological harm have created additional momentum and focus. Are we doing enough?   How are the impacts of unfairness, bullying, harassment, discrimination and incivility, showing up in our workplaces?  Panel members will share perspectives on where we are now and what Alberta organizations can do to meet legislated requirements and address these issues.

Panel members:

Dr. Pat Ferris – International Bullying/Harassment Expert, researcher and social worker focused on the treatment of bullying/harassment targets

Wayne McNeil – Co-founder Respect Group and Canadian Red Cross Caring Award Recipient

Cameron Mitchell – President Kasa Consulting , Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) representative, Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and certified COR auditor

Moderator – Blaine Donais, President and Founder of the Workplace Fairness Institute

Morning Breakout Session 1: How can we position our people and organization’s culture to always place RESPECT first in everything we do?

We all know that organizational cultures that are built on a foundation of Respect have higher productivity, lower turnover, a more positive reputation and fewer legal costs than those where harassment and bullying claims exist and trust, engagement and feeling appreciated for ones’ work is low. It can be challenging to create, and sustain, a culture of Respect amongst employees with differing views, cultures, age groups and overall expectations and understanding.

In this session, we will focus on preventive measures that can be taken to prevent Bullying, Abuse, Harassment and Discrimination or BAHD behaviors including:

  • Transforming senior leadership attitudes around accountability and role modeling
  • Engaging your entire workforce in making Respect a key part of their day to day interactions ongoing – and making it fun!
  • Developing a culture of transparency and open communication
  • Empowering bystanders – the key to transforming negativity
  • Staying aware of what your employees really think and feel about their work environment
  • Constantly improving upon the status of Respect in your organization

Participants will walk away with proactive exercises, tools, techniques and methods that can be easily be implemented in their own workplaces.

Facilitators: Brad Blaisdell, Danica Kelly – East & West Regional Directors – Respect Group – Respect in the Workplace Program

Morning Breakout Session 2: Developing a Roadmap to Create a Psychological Safe Workplace

The Psychological Health and Safety Standard has been adopted by organizations across the country. It is a robust standard that covers 13 psychosocial risk factors that will have an impact on the psychological health and safety of workplace participants.  However, many organizations have found it very difficult to implement the standard in a meaningful way.

In this seminar participants will explore the various tools that have been developed to assess the risk of psychological harm in the workplace.  These will include current available survey instruments and the challenges associated with them.  Outlining clear next steps and facilitating group discussion focused on implementation strategies will get your organization moving on a path toward improved psychological health and safety.

Facilitators: Blaine Donais & Michelle Phaneuf, Workplace Fairness Institute and Workplace Fairness West

Afternoon Session: ROI and Building the Business Case – Sharing Resources

Many organizational leaders see psychological health and safety as a “nice to have” rather than a “must have.”  And most leaders have to balance this “nice to have” with the numerous other demands upon the resources of their organization.  We want all businesses to recognize that psychological safety is AS important as physical safety.

This seminar offers some simple ROI tools that will help you make a formidable business case for action on psychological health and safety.  Participants will explore the financial cost of conflict and unfairness in the workplace. Over the last 10 years we have developed numerous simple tools that can be used to demonstrate the value of investment in psychological health and safety.  We will share these tools and other resources in this interactive seminar to help you make the case.

Facilitator: Blaine Donais, President & Founder of the Workplace Fairness Institute

Afternoon Breakout Session 1: Sharing the Journey to Psychological Health and Safety - The Calgary Drop-In Centre

Psychological Health and Safety for Employees supporting Vulnerable Populations – Learnings from a Homeless Shelter

The Calgary Drop In Centre provides a number of programs and services to those experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness. The agency has made many changes over the last two years and our own staff development and wellness has become a priority.

Why did Wellness become a focus for our Agency?

  • It’s the right thing to do
  • External pressures focused attention on employee needs
  • Wellness is a Value at the DI. What does that mean to us and how does that change?

The ultimate goal of our wellness platform is that through the effective integration of explicit and intrinsic tools, we have built a system of services for our employees to experience wellness, build their own well-being and be successful at the Agency and beyond in their careers.  Join us as we share our journey and experiences to develop a psychologically healthy workplace for those who are supporting vulnerable populations.


Facilitators:  Sandra Clarkson, Executive Director, Calgary Drop-In Centre

Jennifer Murray, Human Resources Director, Calgary Drop-In Centre

Afternoon Breakout Session 2: Sharing the Journey to Psychological Health and Safety - City of Lethbridge/City of Calgary

Implementing the Psychological Health and Safety Standard and addressing legislative changes to OH&S and WCB is an ongoing undertaking. Organizations are learning and getting better every day. Psychological health issues such as bullying/harassment normally fell under the purview of HR, but now OH&S departments are becoming more involved due to the new legislation.  How strong are your partnerships between these two departments and what do we need to learn from each other?

Facilitator: Marjorie Munroe – City of Calgary

Joining by Video: Barb Nekich, Senior Human Resources Consultant, City of Lethbridge

Afternoon Breakout Session 3: Sharing the Journey to Psychological Health and Safety - A Union's Perspective

The new OH&S regulations have forced a faster pace of change surrounding how psychological safety is perceived and addressed in workplaces. What used to be concerns that may not have been taken as seriously in years gone by have now been given priority.  This has created more opportunities for Management and Unions to collaborate regarding these and other safety matters.

There can sometimes be a gap between managements view and a unions view although both recognize the importance of a safe and psychologically healthy workplace.   Join us as we delve into these perspectives and start a dialogue on how the path is progressing and what needs to happen to create a fuller road map.

Facilitators:   Karen Stoshnof – International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 254

John Briegel – Business Manager International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 254

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