Want to build a strong team at work? Hire your kid’s soccer coach or head of the parents’ association, according to a new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business. Researchers found people who are most active in their communities are the most trusting in their workplaces.
“Hiring managers often dismiss volunteer work or sports commitments as being irrelevant to a resumé or even a potential distraction, but really, people with busy evening and weekend schedules are exactly who should be getting hired,” said Professor Ilan Vertinsky, the Vinod Sood Professor in International Business at UBC Sauder.
Having employees who trust each other is beneficial, said Vertinsky, noting that trust in the workplace has been linked to improved performance, enhanced innovation, fewer conflicts and is a source of competitive advantage for a firm.
The authors found the most trusting colleagues are those with the most diverse community involvements. For example, dividing time between coaching soccer, taking art lessons and volunteering at a food bank has a bigger impact on workplace trust than logging hours with just one group.
“You learn the most by getting out of your comfort zone and having different experiences, rather than doing the same thing again and again,” said Vertinsky.
People build trust through community involvement, the researchers suggest, by learning to be vulnerable and trust people from completely different backgrounds, and by acquiring social skills that are valuable to interactions in the office.
The researchers surveyed 347 people at 80 organizations in Canada and China, and asked them how many associations they were involved in outside of work and how many ties they developed in each association. They then compared these results with their reported level of social trust in the workplace.
The study, “Trust in the Workplace: The Role of Social Interaction Diversity in the Community and in the Workplace,” by Victor Cui, Vertinsky, UBC Sauder Professor Sandra Robinson and Oana Branzei, is forthcoming in Business & Society. Both Cui and Branzei completed their PhDs at UBC Sauder.
Does your nonprofit send e-newsletters, online appeals (e.g., selling tickets to an event) and other email communications? If so, mark your calendars — the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will begin to take effect on July 1, 2014.
We’ve partnered with Maanit Zemel, a lawyer with extensive experience in CASL, to produce free resources to help your nonprofit get up to speed.
The CASL defines a commercial electronic message as a message that:
“…has as its purpose, or one of its purposes, to encourage participation in a commercial activity, including an electronic message that…
“Commercial activity” is further defined as:
“any particular transaction, act or conduct or any regular course of conduct that is of a commercial character, whether or not the person who carries it out does so in the expectation of profit.” (emphasis added)
Thus, messages to members (or potential members) “promoting” or “advertising” the services of —– that are available through membership would likely be considered commercial electronic messages. Unfortunately, as the CASL has not yet come into force, it is unclear whether such messages will fall within the definition of “commercial activity”. For now, it is perhaps best to err on the side of caution and assume that ——- does engage in sending CEMs.
Members’ Consent under the CASL
The CASL states that in order to send a CEM, the person receiving the message must have given either express or implied consent to the sender to receive such message. It is arguable that the members give —– express consent to receiving messages upon their application for membership (as the receipt of CEMs regarding services is, presumably, one of the main reasons individuals apply for membership). Owing to the fact that the CASL has not come into force, there has not been any guidance as to what level of disclosure on application forms regarding the use of the collected email address is sufficient in order to allow individuals to give express consent. The membership application forms may need to clearly state that applicant emails are being gathered for (among other things) the purposes of sending CEMs to members.
If consent is not express, it can still be implied. Implied consent can arise from certain types of relationships, including the relationship between a “club, association or voluntary organization” and its members. If a person has been “accepted as a member of a club, association or voluntary organization”, then the club, association or voluntary organization can send CEMs to that person without requiring express consent.
A club, association or voluntary organization is defined in the CASL Regulations as a:
“non-profit organization that is organized and operated exclusively for social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure or recreation or for any purpose other than personal profit, if no part of its income is payable to, or otherwise available for the personal benefit of, any proprietor, member or shareholder of that organization…”
— likely falls within this definition, and can thus still send messages to its members if the membership application form does not rise to the level of express consent.
Please note that even if consent has been expressed or implied, there is still a requirement to have an unsubscribe feature embedded in any CEM. While members may be messaged upon confirming express or implied consent, they still must have the ability to choose to unsubscribe from such messages.
Response to Queries
The CASL Regulations state that CEMs sent “in response to a request, inquiry or complaint or is otherwise solicited by the person to whom the message is sent” require neither consent nor an unsubscribe function. Any emails sent to members or potential members in response to a query would fall under such a category.
Existing Business Relationship
Messages between — and (i) other organizations and (ii) —– would be categorized based on their nature. If such messages do not fit within the definition of a CEM, then the messages are not subject to the CASL. If, on the other hand, such messages are within the definition of CEM, they may fit under the category of “existing business relationship”, which implies consent on the part of the recipient. “Existing business relationship” is defined in the CASL as:
“a business relationship between the person to whom the message is sent and…any person who sent or caused or permitted to be sent the message…arising from…
(a) the purchase or lease of a product, goods, a service…within the two-year period immediately before the day on which the message was sent, by the person to whom the message is sent from any of those other persons.”
As in the case with an existing non-business relationship, if consent is implied through an existing business relationship, the message must nevertheless contain an opportunity for the recipient to unsubscribe from future CEMs.
Going forward, it is important to remember that all commercial electronic messages (emails) the organization sends are potentially subject to the CASL.
This blog summarizes the key takeaways from our webinars with Maanit Zemel, an internet lawyer practicing in Ontario, on the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation: What Charities And Not-For Profits Need To Know Before July 1, 2014
CASL Webinar and Presentation by Maanit Zemel
Download and watch Maanit Zemel’s webinar and presentation on CASL.
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