In: ConstructionNews
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The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) has released a best practice guide that features tips and strategies aimed to help build a more positive workplace culture on construction sites, as well as improve satisfaction of employees and boost productivity.

“Construction employers and other industry stakeholders have a moral obligation to cultivate a positive and collaborative workplace culture as well as a legal responsibility to safeguard workers from acts of racism, harassment and violence in the workplace,” said RESCON president Richard Lyall. “This best practice guide will help them understand why it is critical to have a corporate environment where teamwork, safety and efficiency are paramount, and how it can benefit them both from a safety perspective and financially.

“A positive workplace culture is not only crucial for the mental health and overall safety of employees on a construction worksite, but it is also a legal obligation that employers must fulfill. RESCON members are committed to safeguarding workers and fostering their well-being.”

The guide contains nine pages which outline the advantages of promoting a positive workplace culture and provides strategies for implementing change by cultivating conflict resolution skills, addressing contentious topics, creating buy-in and facilitating open communication spaces. It also offers tips for toolbox talks and what to do before, during and after a talk.

The guide also explains where employers can find tools and materials to help with the process. Some of those tools include the RESCON Care Committee, BuildForce online courses, IHSA toolbox talks, and the Canadian Construction Association call to action.

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code and Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), employers are legally required to have a policy that addresses workplace violence and harassment and conduct an annual review of the document.

In instances of workplace harassment at sites, work-related events, or within the workplace, employers, supervisors and workers can be held accountable under the OHSA and human rights code.

“This highlights the importance of having a plan to create and sustain a positive workplace culture that is free from discriminatory practices and fosters well-being and belonging,” said RESCON VP Andrew Pariser. “It is widely accepted and proven that diversity improves workplace culture, productivity and employee satisfaction. By focusing on what unites us as an industry and celebrating what brings us together, employers and the construction industry can address the looming labour shortage and build the residential units Ontarians need.”

Research has shown that investing in a positive workplace culture with a supportive and inclusive environment boosts employee morale and productivity and overall job satisfaction.

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