Friday, December 23, 2011

Presenteeism and Workplace Well-being

Presenteeism — being at work when you shouldn't be, because although you are too tired or ill to be effective, you are too insecure about your job to stay away — is nearly as big a problem as absenteeism.

— Lisa O'Kelly, "Lonely life on the British treadmill," The Observer, July 31, 1994

What is presenteeism?

Some would argue that presenteeism can also be linked to compulsive overwork and workaholism, job security or rather job insecurity (concern about being replaced), and work devotion (organizational or company loyalty).

It may also be present in positions with heavy or increasing workloads and demands.

Whatever the cause, it affects both employee and organizational well-being and productivity.

Just as absenteeism has been a cause of concern for employers so too presenteeism is increasingly being recognized as an area requiring attention.

Wellness programs: What can they do?

Both public and private sector organizations should consider developing and implementing wellness programs for their employees which are aimed at increasing health and productivity, and reducing psychological distress and ill health.

Looking after your mental and physical health and achieving work-life balance can be difficult, and seemingly impossible at times.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Communicating When Stakes are High

Communication is easy when the risks are low but when the stakes are high, effective communication may be difficult and challenging.

What is high stakes communication?

We believe high stakes communication takes several forms. In a government context, it could involve communicating the benefits of a new policy that is viewed negatively by the public. It can also include the communication of a government position to the media in a crisis or high-profile situation, or it could mean having exchanges with stakeholders who are not pleased with a change in policies or procedures related to project funding. Whenever there is an issue that is difficult or the focus of attention, communication can involve high stakes both for organizations and for the individuals who work in them.

In many government departments and agencies, the workforce is experiencing rapid change, becoming even more diverse, experiencing a growing rate of retirements, and witnessing the quick movement of individuals into management positions.

In the context of strengthening and enabling leadership and of investing in the career development of employees, Y2CP believes that departments and agencies may wish to focus on talent management:

  • expanding and strengthening the competencies of their employees; and
  • facilitating the development and empowerment of the leaders of today and tomorrow.

We believe that the focus of high stakes communications training and development should be based on the following objective:

  • to allow employees to further develop and diversify their skills and knowledge through a well structured, competency-based development process — whether it is to assist them to reach more senior level positions or to become even more skilled at their substantive levels.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Career Development in the GOC

Why should I grow my career horizontally? Or more importantly... why not?

These days, when you open the newspaper or click through your favourite news site, it's becoming more common to see articles about looming public sector layoffs, with predictions of more to come in the next several years.

With layoffs on this scale, opportunities for advancement may dry up or become fewer. And for the public servants who remain, it may be harder to remain positive, productive, and motivated.

One approach is to focus on developing your career horizontally, rather than vertically, at least for now. Exploring your chances of moving on or ahead horizontally opens a whole new world of possibilities.

Taking the time, for example, to develop your professional skills/competencies is one way you can build for the future now &mdash by thinking and acting horizontally.

What are competencies and why should I develop them?

Competencies are the skills, attributes and knowledge you may want to acquire as your career develops. In broadening your professional competencies you will also better understand your strengths &mdash and weaknesses &mdash thereby helping plan what you need to learn as your career develops. A strong breadth and depth of skills also demonstrates the range of abilities you have developed, which helps when applying for jobs or making career decisions.

In other words, to effectively build competencies you not only need to increase your knowledge and broaden your skill set, but also beef up your understanding of how these competencies can be used, your skills in applying them, and the right attitude to maximize their effectiveness in your career.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Le mieux-être psychologique… une personne et une entreprise à la fois !

Les patrons injustes, les emplois subalternes, la colère, le travail par quarts et les heures supplémentaires peuvent tous faire augmenter les risques de maladies physiques ou psychologiques : c'est ce qu'on appelle le stress professionnel. Ce dernier se définit comme la réaction affective et physique nuisible survenant lorsque les exigences d'un emploi ne correspondent pas aux capacités, aux ressources et aux besoins du travailleur. Il rend les gens vulnérables à la détresse psychologique, à des accidents du travail et à d'autres problèmes de santé.

Nous savons qu'un certain niveau de stress peut être bénéfique : de courts épisodes de stress peuvent stimuler la production de substances chimiques qui améliorent la mémoire, augmentent le niveau d'énergie et favorisent la vigilance et la productivité. À l'opposé, lorsqu'un individu est exposé à un niveau de stress élevé et de longue durée, celui-ci est beaucoup plus à risque de vivre les conséquences néfastes du stress.

En 2002, les Drs. Yaniv Benzimra et Yannick Mailloux (tous deux psychologues) ont fondé la firme Psychologues Consultants Y2, et se sont donnés comme mandat d'aider les individus à mieux gérer votre stress, prévenir la détresse psychologique et améliorer votre mieux être !

Depuis son ouverture, Y2 s'est méritée la confiance de plusieurs milliers de clients dans la région de Gatineau/Ottawa et à travers le Canada. Ses bureaux sont situés dans le secteur Hull de la ville de Gatineau (125 Wellington), à deux pas des édifices gouvernementaux de la Promenade du Portage et des Terrasses de la Chaudière.

Avec plus d'une vingtaine de psychologues spécialisés et d'autres professionnels en santé mentale (neuropsychologues, sexologues, conseillers, coachs de vie, éducateurs, etc.), Y2 est devenue chef de file dans l'évaluation, le diagnostic et le traitement des troubles de santé mentale. Grâce à l'affectation optimale de ses ressources en fonction de la problématique du client et à l'utilisation d'approches thérapeutiques éprouvées (ex : thérapie cognitivo-comportementale à court et à moyen terme), Y2 aide ses clients (enfants, ados, adultes, couples et familles) à atteindre leurs objectifs thérapeutiques et à améliorer leur mieux-être psychologique. Aussi, afin d'alléger les longues listes d'attentes dans les cliniques médicales et pour offrir des services psychologiques d'urgence sans attente, Y2 est devenue la première clinique privée au Canada à offrir des services psychologiques d'urgence sans-rendez-vous !

Services en gestion des ressources humaines (GRH)

Avec son équipe d'une trentaine de spécialistes en GRH (psychologues-consultants, coachs, conseillers de carrière), Y2 est devenue un leader en solutions de GRH; et ce dans les secteurs privé et public. Y2 offre des solutions en personne ou en ligne pour des : 1. processus de sélection, 2. évaluations du leadership, de perfectionnement et de formation et 3. diagnostics du mieux-être organisationnel (conflits en milieu de travail, problèmes de performance, etc.)

Notre mission

« Offrir à nos clients des services professionnels de qualité afin de favoriser leur épanouissement personnel, professionnel et organisationnel. »

Yannick Mailloux, Ph.D.
Yaniv M. Benzimra, Ph.D.
Psychologues Consultants Y2

Si jamais vous avez des questions et/ou commentaires, n'hésitez surtout pas à nous en faire part. Merci !

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tips on Writing Government Exams (especially the electronic kind)

While not all government exams related to selection processes are the same, many are similar. So we have put together a number of tips for those of you who may be writing them. Some of these may seem obvious but based on our experience at Y2CP...

  1. Read the exam instructions first — from beginning to end.
  2. Follow the instructions. If there is a page limit, don't exceed it. Chances are that, if you produce a two page text and the maximum length in the instructions is 'one page', your second page will not be scored.
  3. Be as comprehensive as possible (in the allotted time and space).
  4. Do only what is asked in the instructions. If the question asks for five examples, providing a sixth is unnecessary.
  5. Manage your time. If you have three tasks, try to allot a certain amount of time to each depending on the level of difficulty/complexity. Often candidates run out of time answering their last question.
  6. Save your document(s) at regular intervals.
  7. Use plain language. Write clearly. Check your spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax.
  8. Use Internet sources to quickly research relevant background information for your responses — if the exam is sent electronically. But watch your time.
  9. Use your own words or quote your sources. Copying and pasting text from Web documents (on 'electronic exams') is normally a 'no, no'.
  10. Remember that content is more important than format.

And finally (or perhaps first thing), prep. Check out the Web site for the department/agency running the selection process, which usually contains the current Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP), the Departmental Progress Report (DPR), and other relevant documents on mandate, priorities, etc.

Leaman Long, B.A., B.Ed.
HRM Consultant
Y2 Consulting Psychologists

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Y2CP - Five Leadership Development Solutions

View our web version on

Cinq solutions de développement du Leadership

Voir notre version web sur

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Burnout : The Executive Challenge | Épuisement professionnel : Le défi des cadres supérieurs

Additional Resources (Burnout: The Executive Challenge) | Ressources additionnelles (Épuisement professionnel : Le défi des cadres supérieurs)

A Guide for Managing the Return to Work, Canadian Human Rights Commision, 2007
En ligne/Online:

Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace -- Manager’s Guide, Canada Revenue Agency,
En ligne/Online:

Mental Health Works (useful information on burnout – both for managers and employees)
Liens/Links: -

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Difficultés à gérer vos courriels ?

Gestion de la circulation des courriels : Dix conseils

1. Répondez à des moments prédéterminés
Identifiez deux à trois périodes de temps chaque jour que vous consacrerez à vérifier et à répondre à vos courriels.

2. Réglez-les
Une fois que vous avez ouvert un courriel, réglez-le.

3. Supprimez Supprimez Supprimez
Si les courriels ne sont pas importants.

4. Classez-les; archivez-les
Les courriels ne devraient pas demeurer dans votre boîte de réception pour de longues périodes. Classez-les en utilisant un système qui vous convient.

5. Fermez les notifications automatiques
Éliminez une des distractions de votre journée de travail.

Problems managing your emails?

10 tips on how to manage E-mail traffic:

1. Answer at set times
Identify two to three chunks time each day when you can focus on checking and responding to emails.

2. Deal with it
Once you open an e-mail, deal with it.

3. Delete Delete Delete
If e-mails are not important...

4. File it; archive it
E-mail shouldn't stay in your inbox for long periods of time. File it using a system that works for you.

5. Turn off auto notifiers
Eliminate one of the distractions in your work day.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Problems managing your energy?

10 tips on how to manage your energy:

1. Unlax
Unwind, relax, plan ahead

2. Shift your energy as required
Vary your energy patterns — shift up when your energy level is down and shift down when it is up.

3. Think and be positive
Both raise your energy level and help with stress management.

4. Keep cool
No, not you — when and where you are working or playing should be conducive to the activities you are undertaking.

5. Pace and space
Ensure that you have enough time to undertake/complete your tasks, that they are manageable, and that you have time to pursue restful activities in between tasks.

Difficultés à gérer votre énergie ?

10 conseils pour gérer votre énergie :

1. Délassez-vous
Détendez-vous, relaxez, planifiez à l'avance.

2. Modifiez votre énergie au besoin
Variez vos habitudes d'énergie — augmentez lorsque votre niveau d'énergie est bas et diminuez lorsque votre niveau est élevé.

3. Pensez et soyez positif
Les deux augmentent votre niveau d'énergie et aident à gérer le stress.

4. Gardez au frais
Non, pas vous — le moment et l'endroit où vous travaillez ou jouez doivent être propices aux activités que vous entreprenez.

5. Dosez et espacez
Faites en sorte d'avoir suffisamment de temps pour entreprendre / terminer vos tâches, qu'elles soient gérables, et que vous ayez le temps de vous reposer entre les tâches.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Difficultés de concentration au travail ?

10 moyens d'améliorer votre concentration au travail :

1. Protégez votre espace de travail
Placez une affiche à votre poste de travail ou bureau demandant de ne pas être dérangé lorsque vous travaillez à un projet.

2. Éliminez les distractions
Mettez des écouteurs. Transférez votre téléphone. Éteignez votre BlackBerry. Tournez votre chaise face à la fenêtre (si vous en avez une).

3. Buvez
Non, pas d'alcool. Lorsque vous travaillez, buvez beaucoup d'eau. Pourquoi? Même si vous n'êtes qu'un tout petit peu déshydraté, vous vous sentirez moins en mesure de vous concentrer.

4. Prenez des pauses
Faites une courte marche. Prenez une pause café ou thé.

5. Ne faites qu'une seule tâche
Concentrez-vous sur une chose à l'exclusion de tout le reste. Pour améliorer votre concentration, arrêtez d'essayer de faire plusieurs choses à la fois.

Losing your concentration or focus at work?

10 tips on how to improve your concentration at work:

1. Defend your workspace
Hang a sign at your workstation or office asking not to be disturbed while you are working on a project.

2. Eliminate distractions
Wear headphones. Transfer your phone. Turn off your BlackBerry. Turn your office chair to the window (if you have one).

3. Have a drink
No, nothing alcoholic. While you're working, drink plenty of water. Why? When you are even mildly dehydrated you can feel less able to concentrate.

4. Take breaks
Go for a short walk. Take a coffee or a tea break.

5. Uni-task
Focus on one thing to the exclusion of all else. To improve your concentration, stop trying to do several things at once.

Arrêtez de perdre votre temps !

10 Conseils pour bien gérer votre temps :

1. Organisez-vous
Organisez votre espace de travail, tenez à jour votre agenda, etc.

2. Planifiez-Ordonnancez
Déterminez combien de temps exigent les tâches, si elles peuvent être accomplies en totalité ou en partie, et déterminez/négociez les échéances.

3. Déterminez les priorités
Déterminez ce qui est vraiment important (autant au travail qu'à la maison).

4. N'essayez pas de jongler avec un trop grand nombre de tâches
Trouvez un équilibre entre le repos, la détente et les autres activités quotidiennes et les périodes de travail.

5. Établissez des méthodes de travail efficaces
Commencez avec les tâches les plus difficiles, organisez votre espace de travail, etc.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stop Wasting Your Time!

Best 10 Tips to better manage your time:

1. Organize yourself
Organize your work space; keep an up-to-date appointment calendar, etc.

2. Plan-Schedule
Ascertain how long tasks will take, if they can be accomplished in whole or in part, and determine/negotiate deadlines.

3. Set Priorities
Determine what's really important (both at work and at home)

4. Don't try to juggle too many tasks
Balance rest, relaxation and other everyday activities with periods of work

5. Establish effective work techniques
Start with the most difficult tasks; organize your work space, etc.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Think you can multitask?

Computers can. People can't — at least not the important stuff.

At Y2 Consulting Psychologists, we know that when people are asked to multi-task, they are — in reality — being asked to do the impossible. It's like suggesting that someone juggle several balls in the air, even though they have never done it before.

And people who claim that they can multi-task are doing no more than focusing their attention first on one task and then — in rapid succession — on another and another.

Simply put, when you try to do two (or more) things at once, chances are that you will do none of them very well.

And so while you can sing while you take a shower in the morning (something routine and familiar) or fold laundry (something routine and familiar) while you talk to the neighbor on your cell, other types of multitasking can be downright dangerous, such as texting while driving to work, or blow-drying your hair while taking a bath.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Daily Grind or Work-life Balance - It's Your Choice!

Daily our lives are filled with a variety of personal, family-related and professional responsibilities and obligations. Most people are successful in developing strategies to manage the repetitive aspects of their every day routines – or "the daily grind".

It's the unexpected events and/or last minute demands in our lives that seem to catch many of us off guard and that influence our ability to deal with them effectively.

There are a number of strategies that can help individuals better cope with the psychological and physical impacts of their life/work stressors. Preventative strategies, such as exercise, balanced diet, relaxation, deep breathing, and adequate sleep build our resilience to stress. In fact, it has been shown that adopting a healthier and more active lifestyle works.

Other coping strategies, including assuming a more positive and realistic outlook on life demands and seeking social support, have also proven to be beneficial in managing stress.

I believe that our ultimate goal is to lead a happier and more meaningful life. For many, this begins by tackling the numerous life stressors first and by attempting to achieve work-life balance.

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