Nancy Doucet
Manager | CRHA | Management consulting

The likely enactment of Bill C-45 on the legalization of cannabis will definitely impact human resource management.

There are numerous concerns:

  • Will productivity and absenteeism be impacted?
  • How can the legal framework be respected?
  • What recourses will be available to measure consumption?

These are important matters to consider and they confirm that Canadian businesses will need to adapt.

Managers’ concerns

A survey by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés reveals that some three-quarters of its members are concerned by the legalization of cannabis. Close to 40% of them also believe that drug use in the workplace is already a problem.

Managers need to start looking at how they will manage the impact of legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. They will need to strike a balance between the right to privacy and the obligation to provide a safe work environment for all. They need to manage this challenge proactively and be prepared when the time comes.

Screening, personal rights and disciplinary measures

When it comes to health and accident prevention, all employers have a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety, physical and psychological well-being of their employees.
They have a management right that allows them to implement a policy prohibiting the possession or consumption of drugs and/or alcohol in the workplace.

In order to justify the imposition of sanctions, they need to have a clear, unequivocal policy that employees are aware of and that will be strictly applied.

Consumption and addiction

The courts have recognized that drug addiction is a disabling dependency. Accordingly, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, an employer is obliged to accommodate an employee with an addiction, provided it does not result in undue hardship.

What does this mean? An employer cannot dismiss an employee with an addiction, i.e., an employee who is handicapped by an addiction to drugs or alcohol on the sole grounds that the employee is not able to perform the work effectively.

When is a policy required?

There are many factors supporting the importance of instituting a policy on the use of any substance that could impair a person’s faculties. For example, it could be a “zero tolerance” policy, with severe penalties, including dismissal, for anyone who breaks the rules.

How the new policy is implemented internally will be the key to its success. All of the employees must be aware of the new policy. It is recommended that a number of employees be an integral part of the process to ensure that the information is disseminated more quickly.

Talk to one of our experts to find out more about your rights and obligations and set a clear internal policy on drug and alcohol consumption.

14 May 2018  |  Written by :

Nancy Doucet is expert in management consulting at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. Contact her today!

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Annik Doiron
Senior Manager | LL.B., M. Fisc. | Tax

Did you know that you could be entitled to a partial GST and QST refund if you have substantial renovations done to your dwelling?

Renovations are considered substantial when all or substantially all (90% or more) of the existing building is removed or replaced, except for the foundations, outside walls, inside supporting walls, floors, roof and stairs.

Refund eligibility conditions

Your dwelling is eligible for a partial refund when all of the following conditions apply:

  • The housing is a single-unit residential complex (including a duplex) or a residential unit held in co-ownership.
  • You or one of your relations was the first to occupy the premises after the renovations had begun.
  • The housing is being renovated to serve as your or a relation’s primary place of residence.
  • For the GST rebate, when the renovation was substantially (90% or more) completed, the fair market value of the property was $450,000 or less.
  • For the QST rebate, when the renovation was substantially (90% or more) completed, the fair market value of the property was $300,000 or less.

Application deadline

The refund application must be submitted no later than two years after the first of the following:

  • The date on which the renovations were substantially (90% or more) completed;

OR

  • Two years after the date on which you or one of your relations began using the premises as a primary place of residence after the renovations had begun

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s tax advisors can guide you in filing and maximizing your claim. Contact our professionals for assistance with this process.

10 May 2018  |  Written by :

Annik Doiron is a canadian tax expert at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. Contact her today!

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Jocelyn Théoret
Senior Manager | Eng., MBA, PMP | Management consulting

Several businesses see digital transformation and the promises of Industry 4.0 as ways to improve their level of operational excellence. Did you know that operational excellence is also one of the key steps towards a successful digital transformation?

Seize the opportunities

For several years now, news has spread about the opportunities offered by digitization to improve an organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.

First, while computerization served to automate low value-added activities in an operational, administrative or manufacturing process, digitization pushes this concept even farther.

For example, with the digitization of processes and the inclusion of computer systems, today’s businesses generate colossal quantities of data. The data collected are often used for monitoring purposes, i.e. in scorecards or operational and financial reports.

Improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency

In the manufacturing field for example, innovative solutions born from artificial intelligence and advanced analytics can now help unlock the predictive potential of these data, accelerate decision-making when non-compliance or failures are detected, and as such, improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the production chain.

Even client experience improvement initiatives via digitization opportunities can result in unexpected efficiency gains. For example, processing client data using advanced analytics provides an unequalled level of understanding of clients.

In addition to improving the experience of these clients through greater tailoring of services, a better understanding of your clients provides sharper focus on investments and employee and manager work on current projects and activities that have true value for the client, and improves your efficiency at the same time.

Lastly, discovering trends in demand fluctuations allows businesses improve operational planning and reconcile sales with operations (break down the silos!) to enable the business to produce a good or deliver a service just in time and with the required quality.

The fact that all of this happens, more often than not, on the factory floor or at any other point where the company’s activities are carried out, is directly in line with the philosophy behind operational excellence, which sees “operators” as the main levers for the continuous improvement of a business.

The challenges of 4.0 and operational excellence solutions

Beyond the opportunities, the promises of Industry 4.0 also involve real challenges for businesses.

Management methods

The notion behind Industry 4.0 will force business culture to go from a hierarchical structure to one of accountability and move towards a learning culture. Furthermore, the increased sharing of data among a business’s divisions will result in changes in behaviour and paradigms. Silos will be removed, managers from different business units will no longer keep information from each other.

Labour

Corporate digitization will require implementing training programs to update the staff’s skills based on the company’s, clients’ or business partners’ new needs.

Investing in labour training is key since employees will have to deal with the digitization, connected devices and algorithms. With the support of these components, businesses will take operational decisions at an unparallelled level and pace.

Business models

Industry 4.0 offers the possibility of transforming all products into a single service platform.

Aligning the business strategy and vision

To ensure the longevity of the short-term gains of Industry 4.0 (e.g. automating a process or procedure), the company will have to ensure that its actions align with its business strategy and global vision.

Operational excellence, with its close management bases, already commits the business, its employees and first-line managers to a culture of accountability and sharing and ultimately, the decentralization and acceleration of decision-making (with a minimum of guides or parameters).

It makes it possible to settle inefficiencies before scaling them by automating part of your activities.

The world is changing; your challenges will too. Make sure you maintain your operational excellence. Get ready to act. Our experts can help.

07 May 2018  |  Written by :

Jocelyn Théoret is your expert in Customer experience (Management Consulting) for the Montréal...

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Jocelyn Théoret
Senior Manager | Eng., MBA, PMP | Management consulting

Now more than ever, technology can help you put your clients at the heart of your actions. So, offer them the unique experience they’re looking for.

In this digital age, some of yesterday’s practices have not been valid for some time. Nevertheless, one thing remains: there are still clients to listen to, understand, serve and that a business would like to foster unforgettable and positive interactions with that go beyond the everyday transaction.

The client experience: win-win for all

Today, business models are being transformed or created, product or service offerings are more modern and the delivery of the client experience is going digital. In this digital whirlwind, the client experience can still be defined as the result of all the interactions a client can have with a brand or business, what they perceived and especially, how they felt!

Basically, how your business can generate more perceived value for its clients who, in turn, through their loyalty or references, will generate more revenue, will help increase your profitability and enhance your brand image.

Digital opportunities

Process digitization and the use of powerful computer systems open the door to perfect opportunities for enhancing the client experience. Here are three examples.

1. Increasing knowledge of clients for a more in-depth experience

Let’s be honest here. How well do you truly know your clients? What are they looking for? Which positive emotions contribute the most to their experience? What creates value for your business?

Currently, advanced analytical methods and tools can be used to conduct more critical analyses of the structured and unstructured client data available (satisfaction surveys, record of complaints, feedback or comments on a blog, history of transactions with the business, etc.).

These analyses make it possible to see clients from a different angle and obtain an unparalleled level of understanding of their needs and expectations and the emotions they need to feel to create long-lasting relationships, knowing that the emotional impact is the most important vector of the decision to purchase.

Furthermore, sharing these new client data analyses throughout the company is a great motivator for breaking the internal organizational silos that often hamper a totally integrated, smooth client experience.

2. Personalizing the product and services offering, and complementary services

Traditionally, better knowledge and segmentation of clients resulted in a business adapting its product and services offering, thereby attaining a certain level of personalization. This rings true even more so today with in-depth knowledge of your clients, thanks to the advanced analysis of your client data.

However, more precise personalization was often hindered by the related costs. Today, with the opportunities offered through digitization, several steps of the offering development process can be automated, thereby significantly reducing costs and opening the door for investments to further personalize.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton - image
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton - image

3. Reducing clients’ efforts…and increasing speed of experience delivery

Do you feel it’s easy to do business with your company? What would your clients say?

Smart digitization of the client journey can result in major opportunities for decreasing the work required of clients and increasing the speed of the experience delivery, such as:

  • A true omnichannel client experience offering a choice of channels for the clients’ interactions with the business;
  • Clients who are automatically recognized, regardless of the different channels used;
  • Personalized recommendations based on their purchase or behaviour history, which makes buying decisions easier;
  • The possibility of completing part of their client journey at their own convenience, wherever they want, how they want;
  • The possibility of completing transactions 24/7.

You win too: the same digitization methods and tools can also help you become more agile and efficient when delivering this new age experience.

Avoid creeping featurism in your client experience!

Digitization offers many excellent opportunities to those who know when to seize them, but it also sets traps for businesses that, swept away by market trends, imitate their competitors without thinking about their own business challenges and strategic objectives.

Begin your thought process… with the client! You must first know your clients well and have a clear idea of the client experience you wish to offer.

Then, redesign your clients’ journey by imagining the ideal experience from start to finish, then pull out all the stops, especially, the digitization lever, that will enable you to deliver an unforgettable and positive experience.

This will make it possible to fully benefit from business opportunities resulting from digitization that will not only project an innovative image for your clients, but also, which is even more important, generate perceived value to each of your interactions with your clients, thereby yielding actual benefits for your business.

07 May 2018  |  Written by :

Jocelyn Théoret is your expert in Customer experience (Management Consulting) for the Montréal...

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