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Survey: Canadian employees want innovation, daily tasks bog them down

October 19, 2017

Organizations may be their own worst enemy when it comes to innovation, research suggests. In a new survey by global staffing firm Robert Half, Canadian CFOs cited being bogged down by daily tasks and putting out fires (33%) and lack of new ideas (26%) and as the biggest barriers to innovation. These obstacles also have the potential to hinder hiring efforts. In a separate survey, 81% of workers said a company's reputation for being innovative is an important consideration when evaluating potential employers.



Survey: Canadian workers report being bored eight hours a week

October 19, 2017

If you've ever had a case of the blahs at work, you're not alone. According to a new survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam, Canadian professionals admit they're bored in the office an average of eight hours per week. That's a full day a week, or the equivalent of 52 days a year! Senior managers interviewed acknowledged the doldrums do exist but estimated their staff is likely disinterested about seven hours each week. And this is nothing to snooze at: Nearly two in five employees (39%) said it's likely they'd quit their job if they felt bored at work. Of all respondent groups, male workers and those ages 18 to 34 are bored the most per week (9 hours and 10 hours, respectively). Men (44%) and employees ages 18 to 34 (46%) are also most likely to leave their current position if bored. Nearly one-quarter of senior managers (23%) think the main reason boredom strikes is because employees don't find their work interesting. While 45% of professionals are equally bored throughout the year, another 31% said work is most tedious during the winter. In general, one in five senior managers (20%) believe staff have too much work to do in their jobs.



Canadian journalism award puts spotlight on workplace mental health

October 19, 2017

Journalists will compete for an award recognizing outstanding reporting this year on mental health issues in the workplace. The $1,000 prize is being offered by the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, in connection with its journalist-to-journalist guide, Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health. The Mindset Award for Workplace Mental Health Reporting will be open to Canadian journalists or media organizations working in any medium, in English or French. Submissions must have been published in Canada in the calendar year 2017. Self-published work is not eligible. In French, the award is styled le prix En Tête pour le reportage sur la santé mentale en milieu de travail.

The award, inaugurated last year, is sponsored by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. The award's rules define "work" and "workplace" broadly, to capture volunteer as well as paid work and include the wide variety of places in which work is carried. Last year the main prize was awarded to the team that wrote The Globe & Mail's Unremembered series exposing the extent of suicide among Afghanistan war veterans. Subsidiary prizes were awarded to work published in The Ottawa Citizen and The Tyee.

Applications will open on January 22 and close on March 2, 2018. Details of the free application process will be posted on the Mindset and En-Tête websites. The award or awards will be presented in May, 2018, at the national conference of the Canadian Association of Journalists in Toronto.



Canadian employers step forward on diversity, fall short on inclusion: RBC report

September 27, 2017

Canadian employers overwhelmingly agree on the benefits of having a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace, but only one in 10 strongly agree that they take advantage of those benefits, according to a new report published by the Royal Bank of Canada and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. Highlights from the survey include the following:

  • Employers are paying attention: 81% provide internal networks such as affinity groups to foster a diverse workforce, while 75% have initiatives in place to develop high-potential talent.
  • Every respondent either strongly agreed (87%) or agreed (13%) that inclusive teams make better decisions than teams that are not inclusive.
  • A majority either strongly disagreed (34%) or disagreed (34%) that diversity and inclusion can have drawbacks.
  • 82% of respondents strongly agree that inclusion is required to translate diversity into performance results such as innovation.
  • There was an overall consensus that organizations should do more to build a diverse workforce (46% strongly agreed and 48% agreed).
  • Only 55% of employers attempt to measure the impact of their diversity initiatives.
  • Organizations were most likely to say they lagged behind in diversity and inclusion with respect to Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities.



NonprofitCoach™ launches global leaders fellowship for new and emerging nonprofit executives

September 27, 2017

NonprofitCoach™ announced the launch of the Global Leaders Fellowship — an exclusive leadership development program for new and emerging nonprofit executives 25 to 35 years of age. Applications are being accepted through October 6, 2017 for enrollment in the 2018 class commencing in January. Ten newly-appointed or emerging nonprofit executives will be selected for the Global Leaders Fellowship 2018 inaugural class. Selection criteria include nonprofit leadership, age, diversity, participation, merit and financial need. There are no travel or residency requirements as the program is designed to allow fellows to develop within the context of their current organization and role. Nor is there any cost to fellowship recipients or their employers.

The Global Leaders Fellowship is a rigorous leadership coaching program that will blend monthly one-on-one coaching for each fellow with monthly group coaching for the entire class. Meetings will take place virtually—via voice and video conferences — twice a month between January and June 2018. This experiential approach will allow fellows to learn, practice, and master new leadership mindsets, skillsets and behaviors on their own, in community with their peers, and on the job. Interested candidates should click here to learn more and apply online by the October 6, 2017 deadline.



Survey shows HR managers suggest candidates check in after submitting a resume

September 20, 2017

Submitting application materials and waiting to hear back from a prospective employer can be just as nerve-wracking as the interview itself. But should job seekers follow up with hiring managers, and if so, when? According to a new survey from staffing firm Accountemps, all human resources managers interviewed said candidates should check back after submitting a resume. Nineteen percent said they should contact the hiring manager within a week, and 43% said between one and two weeks. Respondents also shared their preferred contact method, with email (46%) and phone (39%) topping the list. Human resources managers were asked, "How long should a job seeker wait to follow up with the hiring manager after submitting a resume?" Their responses:

  • Less than one week - 19%
  • One to less than two weeks - 43%
  • Two to less than three weeks - 30%
  • Three weeks or more - 8%



Fewer than 50% of executives believe their organizations clearly define diversity

September 20, 2017

Russell Reynolds Associates announced the findings and recommendations from their survey, Diversity and Inclusion Pulse: 2017 Leader's Guide. The study surveyed over 2,100 male and female executives around the world to understand how companies align around diversity and inclusion (D&I). The study examined how executives perceive their organization's D&I strategy and the barriers faced in executing it effectively. The study shows that the success of a D&I strategy is primarily dependent on committed leadership. The final results of the study provide actionable insights leaders can use to maximize the benefits a diverse workforce promises within their own organizations.

The study also reveals a need to elevate inclusion to the importance of diversity. Fewer than half (47%) of executives surveyed say that their organizations have a clear, holistic understanding of diversity, but the number drops even further when looking at inclusion. Just 24% of executives say they are aware of a definition of inclusion. Russell Reynolds Associates defines "inclusion" as the establishment of an environment that creates opportunities for all employees to realize their unique potential. An inclusive culture is what unleashes the power of diversity and instills a sense of belonging, which is the extent to which individuals feel they can be their authentic selves within the organization.



Nominations open for Rising Stars report, honouring human resources professionals

September 20, 2017

Nominations for HRD’s second annual Rising Stars report are now open to uncover the HR industry’s best up-and-coming HR professionals of the year. To be eligible for a place on the report, nominees must have worked in HR for 10 years or less and be experienced in executing progressive HR initiatives. Criteria to consider includes:

  • Demonstrated career progression and development in HR
  • Experience executing progressive HR initiatives
  • Worked in HR for 10 years or less
  • Never previously been profiled on HRD’s Rising Stars report

To submit a nomination for yourself or a colleague, please complete the nomination form - where possible, please provide qualitative and quantitative evidence to support your submission. Entries close Friday, October 13th.



Free registration now open for Wild Apricot’s Membership Growth Online Summit 2017

September 20, 2017

Free registration is open now for Wild Apricot’s Membership Growth Online Summit 2017. Space is limited, so register now if you want to attend. The Summit will be held during the week of Nov 13 and will feature a series of five one-hour webinars from industry experts. Each expert will explore different modern marketing strategies used by the top membership organizations to dramatically increase member growth. Some of the key things you will learn are:

  • The 3 keys for attracting younger members
  • How to turn your events into a membership growth engine
  • The blueprints to a digital marketing campaign that actually works
  • How and why digital learning is the glue that keeps your members coming back for more
  • The tech tools used by the fastest growing nonprofits to grow membership

All registrants will receive a copy of all the recordings, so sign up even if you are unable to attend. Sign up for free here.



Workplace culture and career progression outshine pay cheque in evolving Canadian workforce

September 12, 2017

According to a recent survey by Hays Canada, company culture has significantly moved up the list when evaluating work options and 74% of Canadians are willing to take a pay cut for their ideal job. The Hays What People Want Survey gathered insights from more than 4,000 employees across Canada, offering a snapshot of the shifting priorities of the Canadian workforce when it comes to salary, benefits, culture and career growth. Respondents were asked about what they considered to be most important in their current role and when weighing other opportunities.

Hays Canada first surveyed Canadians about their career preferences in 2013. The findings released today reveal that in the past four years, overall work satisfaction has declined by 19% and that 89.8% of Canadian employees would consider leaving their current job for something else, up from the 77.6% reported in 2013. While financial compensation continues to dominate career decisions, there has been an 11% drop in how salary is weighted, with Canadians placing increased importance on company culture, up 26% since 2013. In fact, the combination of career progression and workplace culture trump paycheque when it comes to making career decisions.



Nearly two-thirds of Canadian workers would connect with co-workers on Facebook

September 12, 2017

Do workers "like" the idea of office friendships crossing into social media? Nearly two-thirds of workers (62%) polled by staffing firm OfficeTeam said it's appropriate to connect with colleagues on Facebook. Slightly fewer feel it's OK to follow coworkers on Twitter (52%), Instagram (45%) and Snapchat (33%). In contrast, just over half of senior managers interviewed think it's fine to engage with fellow employees on Facebook (54%), followed by Twitter (34%), Instagram (34%) and Snapchat (29%). According to the worker survey, those ages 18 to 34 find it more acceptable to connect with coworkers on social media than their counterparts.



Survey finds about half of Canadian workers living pay cheque to pay cheque

September 6, 2017

Even though there have been some signs of economic improvement over the past year, most employed Canadians are no better off when it comes to their retirement prospects. According to the Canadian Payroll Association's ninth annual survey, released today, 47% of working Canadians report it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their pay cheque was delayed by even a single week. The numbers are even higher for millennials in their 30s (55% would have difficulty) and Gen Xs in their 40s (51%).

The survey also shows that 41% of employees spend all of or more than their net pay. The number-one reason given for increased spending is higher living costs. Forty-two percent of survey respondents said they save 5% or less of their earnings, below the 10% savings level generally recommended by financial planning experts. Illustrating just how strapped some employees are, 22% (nearly 1 in 4) say they could not come up with just $2,000 within a month for an emergency expense.



Statistics Canada reports rising tuition fees over 2016/2017

September 6, 2017

According to Statistics Canada, the tuition fees associated with postsecondary degree programs increased in 2017/2018. The actual cost that students pay, however, depends on their program of study, and the grants and assistance they may receive. Tuition for undergraduate programs for Canadian full-time students was, on average, $6,571 in 2017/2018, up 3.1% from the previous academic year. The average cost for graduate programs was $6,907, a 1.8% increase over 2016/2017.

While postsecondary institutions receive the majority of their revenue from government funding, according to the Financial Information of Universities and Colleges, and the Financial Information of Community Colleges and Vocational Schools surveys, tuition fees represent a growing source of revenue for universities and degree-granting colleges.

Across Canada, the increase in undergraduate average tuition fees for 2017/2018 ranged from 0.1% in Alberta to 5.5% in Nova Scotia. Tuition fees for Canadian graduate students were unchanged in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, and rose in the remaining provinces, with increases ranging from 0.8% in British Columbia to 2.8% in Nova Scotia.



Having a bad job can be worse for your health than being unemployed: Study

August 29, 2017

A new study by The University of Manchester has found that people employed in low-paying or highly stressful jobs may not actually enjoy better health than those who remain unemployed. The aim of the study was to examine the association of job transition with health and stress. The researchers were particularly interested in comparing the health of those who remained unemployed with those who transitioned to poor quality work, and examining whether the health impacts of good or poor quality jobs.

The study monitored over 1000 participants aged 35-75 who were unemployed during 2009-2010, following up with them during the next few years about their self-reported health and their levels of chronic stress as indicated by their hormones and other biomarkers related to stress. There was a clear pattern of the highest levels of chronic stress for adults who moved into poor quality work, higher than those adults who remained unemployed. Adults who found a good quality job had the lowest levels of biomarkers.

Working into any type of job (whether it was a good or poor quality job) was not associated with an improvement in physical health compared to those who remained unemployed. Good quality work was associated with an improvement in mental health scores compared to remaining unemployed, but there were no differences in mental health scores between those who transitioned into poor quality work and those who remained unemployed.

In summary, researchers found evidence that formerly unemployed adults who moved into poor quality jobs had elevated risks for a range of health problems, compared to adults who remained unemployed. They found little evidence that reemployment into poor quality jobs was associated with better health and lower adverse levels of biomarkers related to chronic stress compared to remaining unemployed - instead, the evidence suggested that it was associated with higher levels of chronic stress-related biomarkers.



Research finds the age of discontent at work starts at just 35

August 24, 2017

Research by Happiness Works on behalf of Robert Half UK has revealed that almost one fifth (17%) of people over the age of 55 are unhappy at work. Those in Generation X don’t fare much better with 16% of 35-54 year olds admitting they are also unhappy in their roles. This is double the number of Millennials that said the same. In stark contrast to the older generations, less than one in ten (8%) of those aged 18-34 claimed to be unhappy in their jobs.

The full report, It’s time we all work happy™: The secrets of the happiest companies and employees, looked at what influences employee happiness in the workplace and showed that older generations are more heavily affected by workplace stress. One third (34%) of those aged over 35 found their job stressful. This figure is significantly lower for 18-35 year olds where only a quarter (25%) said they suffered from stress. Complaints about work-life balance also come into play the older you are. In total, 12% of those aged 35-54 and 17% of those aged over 55 struggle to juggle work with other aspects of their life. In comparison, just one in 10 Millenials feel the same.

Overall, 68% of 35-54 year olds felt more free to be themselves at work, with more than half (55%) of this generation, saying that they were able to be creative at work. This compared to 31% of 55+ year olds and 38% of Generation X, who said they were able to be creative. As employees get older, they are also far less likely to view their colleagues as friends. In fact, 14% of those aged 35-54 years old and 15% of those aged over 55 said they don’t have good friends at work, clearly keeping their work and social lives separate. By comparison, three in five (62%) 18-34 year olds said that they had good friends at work.



Managing 'cognitive hygiene' can help employee mental health

August 22, 2017

Among employees who are attending work while experiencing a form of negative stress (i.e., distress), many are struggling to cope and as a result, it is having a negative impact on their overall mental health. Now, more than ever, organizations are seeing increasing risk levels of individuals with mental or physical health issues and/or illnesses in the workplace. A new whitepaper released today by Morneau Shepell, found that coping skills and levels of resilience were significant in predicting health outcomes and employees' engagement levels.

Why supporting employees to develop their coping skills and resiliency is good business, by Dr. Bill Howatt, Chief Research and Development Officer for Workforce Productivity at Morneau Shepell, is centred around the concept of "cognitive hygiene": the ability to effectively manage negative thinking, maintain cognitive abilities to solve problems and make good decisions without thinking negative thoughts that influence mental health.

Click here to access the full whitepaper.



More than a third of Canadian workers know someone who was dishonest on resume

August 17, 2017

What's the truth about lying on resumes? More than one-third of Canadian workers (37%) polled by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they know someone who included false information on a resume. Job experience (66%) and duties (57%) were cited as the areas that are most frequently embellished. Forty percent of senior managers suspect candidates often stretch the truth on resumes, and 35% said their company has removed an applicant from consideration for a position after discovering he or she lied.



BC government raising minimum wage this September

August 16, 2017

The BC provincial government is making its first move toward a $15-an-hour minimum wage for British Columbia by announcing a 50-cent increase for September and renewing its commitment to a fair wages commission. Effective September 15, 2017, minimum-wage earners will see their pay increase to $11.35 per hour from $10.85 per hour, giving B.C. the third-highest minimum wage among Canada’s provinces — up from seventh position.



Call for nominations: Celebrate Ontario's conservation leaders!

August 14, 2017

The Ontario Heritage Trust is seeking nominations for the 2017 Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Awards and Young Heritage Leaders program. The Trust's recognition programs recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions by people whose leadership, commitment and creativity made a difference to their community, region or to the province. The nomination deadline is September 30, 2017. The Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Awards applauds achievements in four categories:

  • Youth Achievement: recognizes exceptional heritage contributions by young individuals and groups, age 24 and under. The individual award includes a $2,000 post-secondary scholarship, jointly funded by Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life.
  • Lifetime Achievement: recognizes outstanding volunteer heritage contributions by an individual over a period of 25 years or more.
  • Excellence in Conservation: recognizes individuals, groups, organizations and communities for exceptional achievements through the completion of a specific heritage conservation project.
  • Community Leadership: recognizes exemplary leadership by a community in heritage conservation and promotion.

In addition, young volunteers may be nominated through the Trust's Young Heritage Leaders program. Since 2000, hundreds of youth have been recognized for their efforts to identify, preserve, protect and promote Ontario's heritage. 



Employers have a role to play in helping employees balance work and eldercare obligations

August 10, 2017

Over one-quarter of employed Canadians provide care and assistance to an elderly family member, which may lead to significant physical, emotional, and financial pressures. Employees struggling to balance work and eldercare can experience elevated stress levels, absenteeism, and work interruptions, including missing work, taking and making phone calls related to eldercare, and worrying about the care recipient while at work. It is estimated that eldercare obligations cost Canadian organizations an estimated $1.28 billion per year in lost productivity. Despite these substantial costs and implications, formal eldercare programs are not common in Canadian organizations. A new report by The Conference Board of Canada examines how providing eldercare affects both employees and employers and presents a range of accommodation solutions and best practices for implementing an eldercare strategy. Highlights of the report include:

  • Just over one-quarter of employed Canadians have eldercare obligations.
  • Successfully implemented eldercare strategies can benefit employers through retention and reduced absenteeism.
  • A minority of Canadian organizations have eldercare leave programs.

The report, The Juggling Act: Balancing Work and Eldercare in Canada, offers broad guidelines for organizations looking to develop an eldercare strategy.



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