Managers should nurture worker bees

“The best way to take someone in the middle and make them a better performer is to give them work that uses their skills and stretches them in some way,” said Ronald Burke, professor of organizational behaviour at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in a Globe and Mail story July 11 on how managers waste time and energy on the wrong people. Burke said without feedback and encouragement, competent workers may feel – and even act – like underperformers. Burke said it’s important for bosses to understand each employee’s strengths and weaknesses. “Managers need good information on how their people are doing,” Burke said. “Then you need someone who is prepared to invest and help them do better.” Burke also warned that the onus shouldn’t just be on a boss to wake up to the potential or value of her stable of hard-working employees; it’s also on the workers themselves. “You can’t count on your employer to take care of you,” he said. “You have to be proactive. Know where you want to go.”

Federal government as drug dealer

“If the government wants to continue to criminalize marijuana they are going to have to be a drug trafficker,” Alan Young, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, told CTV News July 10. “And that’s sort of an ironic situation. They could give up on the law and then they don’t have to do anything on the medical side.” Young represents a group of people who have been given the right to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. A court deadline this week is forcing the federal government to supply government-grown pot to critically ill patients. “The government is going to make some money eventually…. So, eventually this will become a moneymaking venture for the government. And ultimately we will legalize cannabis solely because we’ll realize how much money we can make from it.”

York plays role in reviving butterfly

The tiny Karner blue butterfly is extinct in Canada, but Rick Beaver hopes to bring it to life again in Alderville First Nation’s Black Oak Savanna and Tallgrass Prairie preserve, reported the Northumberland Weekly July 11. In a cooperative study with York University, he is working to re-establish blue lupins – the necessary food supply for the delicate-looking, little insect – plus, researching the ant population to see if there are the varieties needed to tend the cocoon before the butterfly emerges.

On air

  • York grad Karen Hood Caddy discussed her career as a personal coach and author of three books on CBC Radio’s “Here and Now” July 10.