Reviewing employee reviews

The Globe and Mail drew upon the expertise of Monica Belcourt, a human resource management professor with York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, for a July 9 story about the value of employee reviews. In her book Managing Human Resources, Belcourt agrees that employee appraisals falter when the standards are unclear, reported the Globe. “A manager has to decide why the review is being done,” Belcourt said. “Is it for development purposes or for compensation? And both have to understand this.” According to Belcourt, the one-on-one interview is still the most popular, especially among smaller and medium-sized firms. “It is the universal performance review,” Belcourt said. “It is the simplest, the manager to employee. But the manager should know what the goals are.” With a 360-degree review, you get rated by those above you, below you and by your peers. It stops one person from making a unilateral decision, she says. But Belcourt warned that because of the levels and amounts of information 360-degree reviews generate, the data must be rated and interpreted by someone who understands how to assess it. “And there is the problem of response fatigue,” she added. “For every individual, there are usually four to six people rating them. People get tired of answering all these questions.”

Ottawa ‘boxed in’ to supplying medicinal pot

After years of delay, Ottawa was expected to announce a plan to use its marijuana grower in Manitoba to supply patients who have been given the right to use the drug for medical purposes, reported The Globe and Mail July 9. Alan Young, Osgoode Hall Law School professor and the lawyer who brought the case forcing the government’s plan, told the Globe he believes the government will move slowly in releasing the cannabis in the hopes of winning an appeal of an Ontario Superior Court ruling. “They’re doing this with their fingers crossed behind their backs,” he said. “They’ve been boxed in.” Young told CTV News July 9 that the supply plan “will be a blessing” for some Canadians, but that it may only be temporary because Ottawa is simply meeting a court-ordered deadline. Young said he assumed “what they are going to do is, probably as a test case, approve two or three different applicants, see how it goes and then hope the court overturns the judgment so they don’t have to do it anymore.”

Canada a nation of gamblers

In a July 9 feature about problem gambling, The Ottawa Citizen cited a 1995 York University survey that found 77 per cent of Canadians gambled at least once that year. The story hinged on a judge’s decision to let off a man who had stolen $100,000 from the Canadian Armed Forces to feed his gambling habit. The judge said governments must accept some responsibility for creating such “monsters.”