Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

One of my executives hosted a large dinner party—in violation of pandemic-related public health guidelines. It wasn’t a work event, but other employees found out and are very angry. Is it none of my business, or should I discipline the individual?

Joe McKendry/The Globe and Mail

You can and should, says David J. Doorey, a professor of work law at York University. “This person is in a position of authority and is supposed to show leadership,” says Doorey. “At minimum, it demonstrates a significant lack of judgement.” The effects of the party could have been disastrous and deadly. That’s a good enough reason to take this infringement seriously. But don’t dismiss lingering consequences at the office, either. “If execs can ignore health and safety guidelines, then so can regular employees. And now, you can’t take action against employees without being a hypocrite and inflating even more anger.” Countless factors go into determining an appropriate punishment—up to and including firing. But at the very least, you should officially and publicly write them up for unbecoming conduct. Doorey suggests “a notice to employees saying the behaviour was unacceptable, disciplinary actions are being taken and health guidelines will be followed.” Ideally, that message includes a written apology from the offender.

I don’t have a succession plan to determine who will replace me as CEO of my family company. Who should create one?

Story continues below advertisement

Janine Guenther is the newly appointed president of Dixon Mitchell; Rob Mitchell is the investment firm’s founder, who graciously stepped aside. Years earlier, Mitchell had begun planning his departure, on his terms, hand-picking the new boss and integrating her into the company. But this ideal situation is rare, even in an industry that’s supposed to know better. “We often advise clients to have a succession plan in place—we’re on them all the time, actually—and still only six of 10 business owners do,” says Guenther. Like a will, it’s your responsibility. Yet also like a will, psychological barriers (family, legacy, mortality, conflict, uncertainty) can hold you back. “It’s so overwhelming that some people give up. They figure they’ll sell when they need to or let someone else deal with it when they die,” she says. But sudden death as a best-case scenario is likely worst-case for everyone else. Lots of responsibility comes with being a leader, but you don’t have to carry it alone; it’s okay and even preferable to involve your top people with the planning process. That ensures there are no surprises when the time comes. “Like everything else, if you plan for it, everything will probably be fine,” says Guenther. “When you don’t plan, the wheels come off.”

My employees have really embraced working from home. Should we downsize the corporate offices or wait to see how people feel post-pandemic?

Many companies have been pleasantly surprised about how happy and productive workers have been at home; no wonder some firms are keen to cut their rent payments. But don’t be hasty, says human resources consultant Janet Salopek. What may seem like a budgetary no-brainer is a major upheaval for your firm. “Going entirely virtual is a complete cultural shift, and for culture shifts to be well thought out, it takes time,” says the founder of Salopek & Associates. She suggests considering many scenarios: back-to-the-office, work-from-home and a few hybrids. “Explore other options rather than all-or-nothing,” she says. And solicit employees’ feedback via surveys and continuing communication (you’re doing that already, right?). “Remember that even if people say they love working at home, they might think totally differently in a year, so it’s wise to keep the door open,” Salopek says. Remind yourself of other savings you’re enjoying—overhead, utilities, supplies—and treat paying rent as an investment in future options.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

pencilscroller();
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies