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Addressing Complex Employee Behaviours in the Workplace

Creating the healthy and safe workplace is everyone's business. This course examines the concepts of complex behaviours as they relate to the design and implementation of workplace safety and health initiatives. It is designed to assist Managers and Occupational Health and Safety professionals in dealing with a variety of factors which affect organizational health and relationships in the workplace. Participants will be challenged to create strategies targeted at the individual, group and organizational level to assist organizations to become more competent and effective in creating healthy, safe and productive working environments.

You Will Learn

Organizations and their culture

The factors influencing a workplace culture
How an organization's culture affects the success of OH&S programs
How motivation, leadership and power affects the success of OH&S programs

Alcohol and drugs in the workplace

The nature of drug effects on the body and the development of addiction
Effective use and compassionate strategies for dealing with drug abuse and addiction
Concept of impairment: impact on safety and on co-workers
Practical application of communication and performance management skills to impaired workers
Understanding the process of change as it relates to overcoming addiction and its consequences

Managing differences

Sources of conflict and styles of conflict management
Personal triggers and the effect of your behaviour on others
How to identify your personal style of conflict management
How to engage in meaningful dialogue to address differences


Absenteeism, presenteeism and the effect on culture, morale and the bottom line
Having the tough conservation and engaging in meaningful dialogue to explore absence
Developing effective strategies

The continuum to violence in the workplace

Bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, stalking and other harmful behaviour
Strategies to educate, prevent and investigate


Day 1 - registration/check-in will start at 8:00 a.m. with sessions to begin at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. Days 2-4 will commence at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. Day 5 will commence at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at noon. There will be 15 minute mid-morning and afternoon breaks. A light lunch is included except on the last day.

Course Outline

Organization and their culture

Thinking strategically about creating a positive healthy and safe workplace
How an organization's culture affects the success of OH&S programs
Understanding motivation, leadership, power and influence and their effect on the success of OH&S programs

Violence in the workplace

The Violence Continuum - Bullying, harassment and sexual harassment and violence - The legal framework - Education and prevention programs and strategies - Investigating workplace incidents

Impact of alcohol and drug use in the workplace

Practical ways of dealing with this issue in an efficient, effective and compassionate manner
Abuse categories
Nature of addiction, basic pharmacological principles, depressants, stimulants, mixed action
Concept of Impairment, Impact on Safety and the Workplace Strategies for managing the issues arising from drugs and alcohol at work

Managing differences

Effective communication in the workplace
Communication and conflict management - tips, tools and techniques
Interpersonal styles and their effect on others
Dealing with difficult issues at work - having the hard conversation

Absenteeism and putting it all together

Absenteeism, presenteeism and the effect on culture, morale and bottom line
Having the tough conversation and engaging in meaningful dialogue to explore absences
Developing effective strategies


Gail Boone is an Executive Coach and Leader in Organizational Development. Formerly she was a Director of Human Resources with the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission serving five different government departments/agencies. She also held management roles with the Workers' Compensation Board. For fourteen years she taught as a part-time faculty member of the School of Health Services Administration at Dalhousie University specializing in Human Resources Management. Gail holds an MPA, a CEC, PCC with the International Coaches Federation and CHRP.

Greg Johnstone, M.Sc., is a consultant in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Through his companies, PharmaTox Inc. and Integrated Health Services (IHS) Atlantic Inc., he is involved in a wide variety of duties relating to exposure to drugs and chemicals, ranging from accident investigation, hazard and exposure assessment, forensic toxicology, training and clinical assessment of toxic effects of chemicals.