Call Today: 780-428-LIFE (5433)

Posts Tagged ‘Psychologically healthy workplaces’


Go-Getters and the Online Impact. How Much is Too Much?

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Television Appearances

Statutory Holidays

abptstatholidaysI like the idea of flexibility, but having days off that coincide with many people does make it easier to get together with friends. (It is nice to see everyone off at the same time, but it’s also nice to go the pool, movies, or park without a crowd sometimes.) I’m in favor of continued Statutory Holidays with the option to trade with others or time in lieu (also overtime pay). This would especially be respectful to people with different cultures and religions. Like Alison McMahon says, we need to start looking and paying attention to the multiculturalism in our society and ask how we can accommodate other holidays, seeing as how many Statutory Holidays are religious, traditional, Christian holidays.

Distrust in the Workplace

I’m hoping our stats may be a bit more favourable than those in America, but I think the trend probably holds—this is a big problem. Productivity goes way up and turnover, lost time, and poor morale go way down when workers feel respected and appreciated by their workplace. Obviously, honesty and trust are part of that. I completely agree with Wendy Giuffre when she says one significant way of maintaining trust between managers and employees is communication. The point is that creating an emotionally and psychologically healthy workplace is good for the bottom line and the health, well-being, and satisfaction of employees and managers. Of course managers are trying to do what’s best for the business and its survival, but it is important to not lose sight of what is best for employees, says Alison. The Psychologists Association of Alberta actually has a “psychologically healthy workplace award” at the provincial level as well as at the national and North American level. The good news is that people and organizations are becoming more aware of these issues and are doing more innovative things to support health and work-life balance: daycares in the workplace (or close by), subsidies for active lifestyles (gym memberships, et cetera), flexible hours, appreciation or recognition programs, et cetera.

Social Media and Work

It used to be that people were actually concerned about their reputations and so they would abptsmtollrestrict themselves from behaviors that violated social or family norms. This was especially the case in small or close communities. These norms and the social consequences had their downsides of course (homophobia, racism, sexism were supported and entrenched to some extent by this fact), but they also served to help a civilization have structure, stability, and respect.
So we should all me mindful of how we act even when we’re off the clock, especially when you’re in a position of leadership. The other side of being in a position of power is also shouldering the responsibility that comes with it. Lots of organizations have codes of conduct (of course, these can also be abused and unfair), so you should be familiar with them and make sure you can live up to them if you work for the organization. Employers don’t have to disclose their reasons for not hiring you or letting you go, so always ask yourself who you look like online. As an employer, a list of set expectations can never hurt—even a list of items you may consider to be common sense, says Alison. Not sure how this emerging situation will ultimately play out in terms of what employers can actually do, but we should all be aware that what we do and how we come across can have lasting consequences.

Go-Getter Woes

It’s great to be the go-to person at work, but there is an imbalance when workload and compensation and recognition don’t reflect this. It can cause resentment by that person and foster lack of engagement in everyone else. This can lead to poor morale and team functioning, which can put more pressure on being the effective person as the manager tries to keep productivity up. It’s a vicious cycle. Managers can deal with this by being conscious of how work is assigned and making sure rewards and compensations follow good performance and poor performance is dealt with early and consistency. Another suggestion from Alison is to communicate with team members and set goals with them in order to ensure everyone is pulling their weight and roles are allocated properly.

Health, Love, Happiness, Success

Dr. Ganz Ferrance



You and Your Workplace

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog, Television Appearances

“On Demand” Work

ganzondemandThis is the way the workplace is moving. It has huge advantages to both workers and employers. Employers don’t have to maintain a workforce when times are slow, but they will want to hire only quality workers, as Tyler Waye says; employers only want employees who can be engaged and contribute to the culture of their workforce. They will also need to be realistic about paying well if they want to keep good producers available for their work. Wendy Giuffre says, the contract workforce is needed and very important, but they are typically also the first to go when times get tough. For these instances, contractors need to be prepared for the ebbs and flows, workload, and money. Workers can think of themselves as consultants who come in and focus on a project and then have time off. They can have more flexibility as well as autonomy/control over their time. They just have to manage their cash-flow variable and deal with the emotions around uncertainty of workflow (i.e. anxiety, fear, etc.) and ebbs and flows. I also think that technology makes it that much easier (for certain tasks) to work from different locations instead of having to physically be in the same spot for work every day. So success on both sides depends on seeing this trend in a positive light and figuring out what the ondemandemployeesopportunity is versus holding on to old patterns of workplace/worker—there is no winner or loser. This topic is a societal conversation because employer and employee need to consider what they owe each other.


Anyone in the professional world should be on LinkedIn—it is one of the first places employers will look to learn about you in order to decide whether or not they want to hire a person with your personality, says Giuffre. As with everything that you put online, understand that everyone has access to it. My philosophy is that I don’t put anything out there that I don’t feel comfortable owning or can’t back up. Everything online contributes to the representation of your story and context of who you are. In Waye’s words, you want to “post the truth…with a storyline”, so think about how you want to be represented. People also respond very well to authenticity (virtually and in the real world), so be your true self and don’t try to be something you’re not, or present yourself as perfect. We tend to see through that sort of thing and it can hurt your chances of connecting with the right employer. Skills can be taught and learned, but the same cannot necessarily be said about personality. In general, it’s good to remember that employers are also looking at all your other social media (or anything else that’s public) to get a sense of whom you are and if you’ll be a good fit. smyourcareer

Bad Boss

Bad bosses are the number one predictor of workplace injury. Your interaction with your superiors affects both your health and your performance. This can also bleed over into your other relationships as well. One study found that over 25% of people surveyed had experienced workplace bullying or a difficult relationship with their superior, and another 21% knew someone who had gone through this (US numbers). Of those who had experienced bullying, 80% of victims surveyed said they had debilitating anxiety, 49% had clinical depression, 30% had PTSD, and 29% had contemplated suicide. Clearly this is a huge issue. It also costs the employer in productivity, turnover, and low morale. If a boss crosses the line or abuse you in any way, go to HR—period. But if it is not to that extent, the way to deal with this is to first try to discuss concerns with your boss—have HR as plan B. You definitely don’t deserve to be bullied. Alberta Labour Standards is a good resource where workers can learn about their rights. You can always keep getting out as an idea, as well. The big thing is to stay calm and address things early—before you get so stressed that you react badly and make the situation worse. You can start looking for new jobs in or out of the organization, but you do not want the finger to be pointed back at you. Things like water cooler-talk and nasty emails will point the finger back at you, says Waye.

Here are some more things you should definitely not do:confrontboss

  • Don’t go head-to-head with your boss in defiance of your boss’ directives and goals.
  • Don’t go over the boss’ head to their supervisor or HR before talking to them directly.
  • Don’t speak negatively about your boss to colleagues.
  • Don’t post criticisms in emails or on social media.
  • Don’t keep complaining about the same problems to your boss.
  • Don’t give the boss vague feedback that emphasizes your dissatisfaction with their leadership skills.
At the end of the day, you need to remember that your job is to do what you were hired to do and to make the lives of your superiors easier (thus easier on you too)—for this, you get paid. If this arrangement is not satisfactory for you, then definitely look around. Stand up for your rights to be treated with respect, but also realize that your current job may not be the right situation for you. Remember that your biggest asset is you and your well-being—not the job.

Health, Love, Happiness, Success

Dr. Ganz Ferrance

Caring for Ourselves

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog

rear view mirror

How far do you have to get with your “tank of energy”?

How quickly would we burn out if we constantly had to push ourselves to the next destination without any fuel in our tanks?

Not caring for ourselves can affect us in so many negative ways. It can affect us physically, emotionally, and mentally. For example, if we don’t value our bodies, we will be more likely to get too busy, skip meals, sacrifice sleep, or ignore signals that our bodies are not functioning at their peak level. When we do this, we send the message that we believe what we are doing is more important than our own health and well-being. Unfortunately, our subconscious is more than willing to comply with this message and just go along with the status quo. In other words, it agrees with the belief that you as a person are less valuable than what you are doing or who you are doing it for. We need to refocus our intellect as well as our unconscious. Otherwise, we risk falling into the Pit of Burnout.

Real Tough

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog


Click to watch the 3 minute Real Tough CTV segment

With Remembrance Day coming up it tends to stir up a lot of emotions for people. This year especially so since we’ve seen attacks on our soldiers on our own soil and, lost two dear souls to these attacks. I have also seen more and more stories of people losing their battle with Depression, Anxiety and PTSD – ending in suicide. Members of our military, police forces, and other “first-responders”, unfortunately, are high on this list. In the news stories I hear over and over again the phrase, “He thought he had to be tough and be able to handle it alone.” I’m sick of hearing this and seeing these brave people being taken down (and the horror left behind) by a misunderstanding of what “real tough” is.