Building a foundation of respect - Part 20 | BuildForce Canada

Building a foundation of respect - Part 20

Welcome to the BuildForce blog on Respectful Workplaces! Here we explore issues and provide advice, research, tools, and checklists – everything our industry needs to create respectful and inclusive workplaces where everyone can succeed. Who will benefit? Leaders, managers, HR staff, and anyone who wants to understand how to create and support a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace. To meet the challenges of the 21st century, the Canadian construction and maintenance industry must be able to recruit and retain workers with a diversity of backgrounds such as Indigenous people, women, immigrants, and young workers. This means building respectful, safe and inclusive workplaces where all workers can succeed. Some of these challenges are: A quarter of a million skilled workers retiring over the next decade. Increased globalization demands more awareness of different cultures. The changing needs of a changing workforce. Increased demands for corporate social responsibility such as fairness and equity.


Does your organization ensure that all leaders/managers and supervisory staff are trained and are knowledgeable about respectful and inclusive workplaces?

Respect and inclusion is a multi-faceted topic; people have questions and complex situations arise in the workplace.

What can you do to ensure that leaders/managers and supervisors are knowledgeable and continue to learn?

  • Training only at the outset of an initiative will not ensure that attitudes and behaviours change.
  • Multiple training channels ensures that respect and inclusion is not a separate, isolated initiatve, but is part of how the organization operates.
  • Training can be formal and informal; e.g., principles and expectations should be clear in orientation manuals/training; tool box talks, lunch and learns; in classroom, online course and social media.
  • Training should be part of an ongoing strategy.

October 1, 2018 - International Day of Older Persons. On December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons. Almost 700 million people across the globe are now over the age of 60. By 2020, 2 billion people, over 20 percent of the world’s population, will be over 60. --- The construction industry faces challenges as many of its most experienced tradespeople retire over the next decade. However, employers will experience benefits by finding ways to retain and engage those older workers willing and able to stay in the workforce. BuildForce Canada recommends the following strategies for retaining older workers: • Blended crews: select crews specifically with both older and younger workers to harness the experience of older workers. • Mentoring and coaching programs: mentoring and coaching can be rewarding for both mentors and learners and give older workers a sense of purpose. • Intergenerational training: for workers it promotes a better understanding of other generations’ values and helps each generation to feel respected for their views, values and needs; for organizations it reduces conflict and promotes the value of diverse perspectives on problem solving. --- For the complete discussion of retention strategies for older workers, please see Strategies and Best Practices for the Recruitment, Retention and Employment of Older Workers in the Construction Industry at

OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: Does your organization demonstrate  support for respectful and inclusive principles that goes beyond  meeting the minimum legal requirements?

PREVIOUS INSTALLMENT: Eliminating barriers to advancement and leadership

Read from the beginning. Click here to start at Part 1.


What can an effective Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Program deliver? The BuildForce Canada Respectful Workplace Online Self-Assessment Tool ~ Release date - late 2018 ~ The Respectful Workplace Self-Assessment Tool allows organization leadership to assess their progress toward a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace and benchmark their progress confidentially against other construction organizations.Each month we will feature an  "Assessment question of the month."  So make sure to be a regular visitor! Watch for the release of the BuildForce Canada Online Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Toolkit, including The Respectful Workplace Online Self-Assessment Tool: to assist organization leadership in assessing their current situation and identifying where they may need to make changes; The Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Online Training Course: to train workers on how to create and support a respectful and inclusive workplace; and The Respectful Workplace Policy Framework and Implementation Guide: to assist organizations in creating and implementing a policy that supports a respectful and inclusive workplace.

Join the conversation: How can your organization ensure  that respectful and inclusive workplace training is effective?

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This project has been funded by Status of Women Canada.