HRES 2101 Individual Reflection Assignment Essay

Question:

Assignment Sections:

  1. Select a change, preferably work related that you have experienced. Reflect on this change:
    1. Classify the type of change.
    2. Describe how you positively responded to the change.
    3. Explain the positive effect this change had on you.
    4. Describe the resistance you had to the change.
  1. Research the recently amended Occupational Health and Safety Act. There is one specific change you need to reference.
    1. Define the amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Committee structure in the workplace.
    2. Explain two advantages and disadvantages to this amended section from the perspective of a Human Resources Practitioner.
  1. As a Human Resources Practitioner, plan how you will integrate this amended change into a workplace.
    1. Discuss how the human resources team will gain knowledge on this topic.
    2. Create a strategy of how to implement this change. Reference specific sections of employment laws that will support the proposed change.
    3. Outline how you will present this change to senior management. This presentation must include at least two of the following software applications; Word, Excel or Powerpoint:
      1. Propose a timeline for implementation.
      2. Prepare a budget to implement the specific amended section of Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Identify the positive behaviours you will be observing in the employees to this change.
  1. Discuss how you will minimize the resistance to this change.
  2. Describe two metrics you will use to support the amended section of Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Answer:

Introduction

The main aim of this assignment is to discuss the recent amendment made in the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS] Act in Alberta. In other words, this paper research the amended Act and plan and how to implement this amendment in the workplace. In this context, personal experience of the author is used as the foundation in terms of thinking about how to integrate this amendment in the workplace in terms of receiving the positive response from their workers.

For this paper the chosen amendment which is effective from 1st June 2018 is the enshrining workers’ rights. This amendment includes three basic rights for the workers that are right to know, right to participate in workplace health and safety, right to refuse the dangerous work.

Reflect on this change

Type of change

OHS system is improved for giving the better protection to the workers and ensures they hold the same rights as the other Canadians of the country, as these changes came into effect from 1st June 2018. This change ensures the enhancement of the workers’ rights while working for the purpose of ensuring better protection of workers. In other words, some new rights are given to the workers of Alberta, and these rights includes the right to know, right to participate in workplace health and safety, right to refuse the dangerous work (Alberta, 2018a).

Positive response to change

This change is made for ensuring the better protection of the workers and stands them on the equal place as other Canadians. In terms of giving the positive response to this change, this change is acknowledged and all the relevant changes are made in the policy of the organization. In other words, current policies of the organization framed for the workers protections are amended by including these new rights of the workers. In this context, health and safety committees of the organization are also informed and necessary trainings are arranged for them.

Positive effect of the change

These changes in the OHS system enhance the responsibilities of the human resource practitioner, because now they are more obligated toward the workers protection. However, it has number of positive effects also such as it reduces the stress and anxiety in terms of the workers protection. This change helps in improving the attitude of the human resource practitioners, and it also made the positive impact on the attitude and morale of the employees in the human resource department of the organization. These new amendments ensure the changes in the human resource philosophy ensure the more relaxed environment in the organization such as training for the workers and their participation in the activities of community (Dibella, 2007).

Resistance to change

Following are the two types of resistance to change which are faced by the organization in terms of implementing this change-

  • Peer Pressure- Top management of organization and other member of the health and safety community feels pressure to implement these changes in the organization. These changes give the rights to the workers to participate in the functions of the health and safety communities and involved in the discussions with them. In this context, top management and other members of the community feels that interference of the workers will hamper their working and also affects the interest of other groups of stakeholders. In other words, the biggest fear they have is the sharing of power with the workers of the organization.
  • Enhancing cost- All these rights of workers enhance the cost of the organization because includes the obligation of the employers to inform the workers about the potential hazards and also the access to the basic information related to the health and safety on the working site. All these things required the training sessions for workers and this ultimately enhance the cost for the organizations. This is also the reason because of which top management resist this change (Todnem, 2005).

Amended Occupational Health and Safety Act

Amendment to the OHS Committee structure in the workplace-

Section 2(d of the OHS Act introduce this amendment for ensuring the more protection and safety of the workers in the workplace. As per this clause, following rights are given to the workers of the organization-

Right to Know- This right ensure the sufficient knowledge for the workers working in the organization related to the potential hazards and basic information related to health and safety n the site. In other words, it imposed obligation on employers to ensure that workers must be informed about the potential hazards and the methods through which these hazards can be eliminated, and also the access to the basic health and safety information on the site.

Right to participate in workplace health and safety- This right impose obligation on employers to ensure that all the workers of the organization must be involved in the discussions related to the health and safety of the workers which also includes the participation in the committee of health and safety. In other words, right to the required participation in the activities of health and safety related to their work and working site and it also includes the right to express their concerns about health and safety.

Right to refuse the dangerous work- Following are the important provisions of this right-

  • Workers hold the power to decline any task which is dangerous in nature, and in this context they are protected from any disciplinary action taken by organization for exercising their rights.
  • Workers must be paid during the time when the matter related to the work refusal is being investigated.
  • Other workers of the organization can only be assigned with the refused work if they are informed about the refusal and reason for it, and they must be made aware of their own right to refuse the work even after it is determined by the employer that no risk is involved in the work (Alberta, 2018b).

In the terms of amended provisions some required changes are made in the OHS committee structure of the organization. Some of these changes related to the committee structure are stated below-

  • It is necessary that chairperson of the committee must hold the expertise related to the management of the health and safety hazards of the workers, and also hold adequate knowledge related to the amendments made in the OHS Act of the organization.
  • Compulsory meeting must be held with the workers of the organization in every two months of the calendar year of the organization.
  • Minutes of the meetings must also be signed by the union leader of the workers.
  • Union leader of the workers must be included in the health and safety committee of the organization as the member of the committee, and leader must get the right to vote on the decisions taken by committee.

Advantages and Disadvantages

This section defines two advantages and two disadvantages of this change in the OHS Act from the point of view of the human resource practitioner of the organization. Following are the two advantages of this change-

  • It enhance the ability of the organization to protect its workers, because through this change workers itself involve in the activities related to the health and safety and clearly show their concerns in the meetings and discussions held with the communities. All these things automatically reduce the chances of accidents, which ultimately result in less compensation to workers for accidents and less legal consequences for the organization. In other words, these changes give cost advantage for the organizations and also prevent any disturbance occurred in the working because of these accidents.
  • Another advantage of this change is the less obligation of the human resource department and the top management, which means, workers through these rights itself involved in the decision process of the health and safety committee and they can advised the committee about the actions which can be involved by the committee in the framed policies. As this involvement of workers saves the time of the committee members in identifying the issues faced by the workers and they can use their potential in other productive things.

Following are the two disadvantages of the change-

  • This change enhances the obligations and responsibilities of the human resource department, health and safety committee, and also the top management by introducing number of duties for them such as they need to inform the workers about the potential hazards and the ways through which it can be minimized. This can be considered as big disadvantage of the organization because failure of these responsibilities will ultimately leads in the legal consequences.
  • Another disadvantage of this change is the direct refusal of workers, as because of this change worker of the organization holds the right to decline any work which involves risk, as this right directly affects the working of the organization.

Plan to integrate this change

It is necessary that other members of the human resource department must receive the adequate knowledge about these changes because it is not possible to ensure the effective implementation of these changes otherwise. Following are the important measures which can be used by the organization to inform the human resource department about these changes-

Direct communication- In this head of the human resource department must conduct communication sessions with their team members for the purpose of informing them about the changes occurred in the OHS Act and also the changes made by the management in the procedures and policies of the organization. This is considered as most effective method for giving the knowledge to members about these changes, because in this there is less chances of miss communication. Through this method, concerns of the employees can directly resolved by the manager and confusion of the members can also be cleared (Bartlett, 2001/ Joyce, 2012).

Training sessions- This is another method which can be used by the organization for ensuring the effective distribution of the information about the change to the members of the human resource department. In this, training session by the experts are arranged by the organization in which all the relevant information in this context are given to the employees with the help of the practical sessions or the theoretical frameworks (Blanchard and Thacker, 2003).

Strategy to implement change

Implementation of the change in the organization is the biggest responsibility of the human resource department, and in this context change must be driven by the senior management of the organization. In other words, change must be implemented in the leadership of the executives and top management, and in this context it is required that top management must show strong commitment related to the change. As section 2(d of the OHS Act also impose obligation on the employer of the organization to ensure that relevant information is given to the workers of the organization about the potential hazards and also about the ways through which these hazards can be mitigate. Following are the essential elements of this strategy-

  • Plan in this context must be framed, and such plan must involve the tools through which communication related to the workers protection and ways through which this change is implemented is made with the employees and workers.
  • Top management must ensure all the necessary information is given to the employees such as section 31 of part 4 of the OHS Act states that workers of the organization holds the right to refuse the work which involves risk and in this context no action disciplinary action can be taken by the organization.
  • Timeline must be framed by the management and required changes must be made in the order of their impact on the process and those employees who are responsible to manage these changes. This can be understood with the help of example, which states that training of investigation conducted under clause 3 of section 31 must be implemented after giving the particle training to the employees who are responsible to conduct this training.
  • Logical order must be issued by the management, because any implementation without the logical order will create frustration for the employees.

Presentation of this change to senior management

Proposed timeline for implementation- Implementation of the amendments made in the OHS Act required the time period of at least 3 months, because it involve number of operations such as effective communication of these changes to the employees and workers, training sessions for the change, education and information meetings for the workers about their rights, changes made in the structure of the health and safety committee.

Budget to implement the specific amended section- There are number of things in which budgeting is required to ensure effective implementation of change-

  • In context of training sessions of the employees and workers, at least 4-5% of the salary budget can be assigned.
  • In context of the changes made in structure of the committee, almost 7% of the risk management budget can be used by the organization (Owens, 2006).

Positive behaviours in the employees- There are number of traits of the employee’s behaviour which shows the positive behaviour of the employees towards this change-

  • Can do attitude of the employee clearly show the positivity of the employees towards the change, as they actively participates in the trainings sessions arranged by the management and clearly ask their concerns about the change.
  • Positive behaviours of the employees will also show through the deadlines they are meeting in terms of the given tasks related to these changes (Cooper, 2018).

Minimize the Resistance to change- Following are the ways through which resistance related to these changes is minimized-

  • The most important way in this context is the effective communication with the employees, which means, all the concerns of the employees are resolved through the direct communication or the training sessions. This help in reducing the fear of employees because of which they resist the change.
  • Another method through which resistance can be minimized is the involvement of top management in the changes. As these changes are implemented under the leadership of top management, which automatically encourage the employees to adopt the changes (Spacey, 2018).

Metrics for support the amendment- Following are the two metrics which can be used by the human resource department for supporting the amendments-

Reporting- this is the most important metric, as it involves the continuous reporting of the change implementation, which includes disclosures related to these changes.

Individual performance- In this performance of the employees is measured on individual basis with the help of different tools such as proficiency measures and compliance and adherence reports (prosci, no date).

Conclusion

After considering the above facts, it is clear that this change ensures effective work environment in the organization, and also ensure the more protection to the employees of the organization. As these changes are effected from 1st June 2018, and enhance the ability of the organization to protect its workers, because through these change workers itself involve in the activities related to the health and safety and clearly show their concerns in the meetings and discussions held with the communities.

References

Alberta, (2018a). Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act Highlights of changes effective June 1, 2018. Retrieved from

Alberta, (2018b). Occupational health and safety changes. Retrieved from

Bartlett, K. (2001). The relationship between training and organizational commitment: A study in the health care field, Human Resource Development Quarterly, 12(4), 335-352.

Blanchard, P. N. and Thacker, J. W. (2003). Effective training: Systems, strategies, and practices Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Cooper, M. (2018). Examples of Good Employee Behavior. Retrieved from

Dibella, A. (2007). Critical perceptions of organisational change. Journal of Change Management, 7(3), 231-42.

Joyce, C. (2012). The Impact Of Direct And Indirect Communication. Retrieved from

Occupational Health and Safety Act- Section 2

Occupational Health and Safety Act- Section 31

Owens, P. L. (2006). One more reason not to cut your training budget: The relationship between training and organizational outcomes, Public Personnel Management, 35(2), 163-171.

prosci, (no date). Metrics for Measuring Change Management. Retrieved from

Spacey, J. (2018). 11 Examples of Change Management Metrics. Retrieved from

Todnem, R. (2005). Organisational Change Management: A Critical Review, Journal of Change Management, 5(4), 369 – 380

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