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For persons with disabilities in Canada, education is not always an open door: CHRC report

March 9, 2017

People with disabilities in Canada are facing overwhelming barriers and challenges within our schools, says Canada's human rights watchdog in a new study released today. In a report, entitled Left Out: The treatment of persons with disabilities in Canada's education system, the Canadian Human Rights Commission finds that persons with disabilities in Canada are not receiving the quality education they need to later thrive and succeed in the workforce. Discrimination and the exclusion of persons with disabilities in employment has long been recognized as some of the most prevalent human rights issues in Canada. But what makes an already bad situation worse is that for persons with disabilities the odds are often already against them because of the barriers they face in school. The Commission's report highlights barriers and key issues facing students with disabilities, including a lack of disability accommodation and support, a lack of services and funding, as well as widespread bullying and exclusion. For people with disabilities living in remote areas or on First Nations reserves, the situation is even worse. They face the same barriers but with additional ones including a lack of special education and ineffective dispute resolution mechanisms.



The Canadian Photography Institute launches a $10,000 CAD Research Fellowship Program

March 7, 2017

Today, the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada launched its first Research Fellowship Program, designed to encourage advanced research in the study of the history and criticism of photography. The program is open to photography specialists – historians, conservators, independent researchers and other professionals working in the visual arts, museology and related disciplines in the social sciences in Canada and across the world. Applications must be submitted by March 31, 2017.

The Fellowships involve full-time residencies at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in order to study photographs in the context of other art media. Successful candidates will have access to curators, conservators, collections managers and archivist, as well as, the availability of world class conservation laboratories, storage vaults, exhibition space, and library resources. Each award is valued up to $10,000 CAD, which includes expenses and stipends.



Nominations open for Canada’s Volunteer Awards’ National Advisory Committee

February 28, 2017

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced the launch of a call for nominations to leaders from the not-for-profit, voluntary and business sectors to become members of the Canada’s Volunteer Awards’ (CVA) National Advisory Committee (NAC). The National Advisory Committee role is to recommend award recipients annually in partnership with the Government of Canada. Committee members ensure that Canadians are recognized for their contributions towards making a difference in their communities. Sumbit your nomination today to become a member of the Canada’s Volunteer Awards’ National Advisory Committee. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, March 17, 2017 (23:59 PT). The members of the National Advisory Committee will be announced in spring 2017.



BC minimum wage set to increase in September 2017

February 28, 2017

The BC government will increase the minimum wage by 50 cents to $11.35 an hour, effective September 15 of this year, according to a recent announcement. The daily rates for live-in home support workers and live-in camp leaders, as well as the monthly rates for resident caretakers will also increase proportionate to the general minimum hourly wage increases on the same date. More information on these rates will be made public in advance of Sept. 15.



Strong emotional intelligence is vital for the workplace, survey shows

February 23, 2017

Does EQ outweigh IQ when it comes to success in the workplace? Nearly all human resources (HR) managers (95%) and workers (99%) surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said it's important for employees to have a high emotional quotient, or EQ, because it helps them manage their own emotions and understand and react to the emotions of others. Additional findings from the research:

  • More than one in five employees (21%) believe EQ is more valuable in the workplace than IQ. Nearly two-thirds (65%) said the two are equally important.
  • Most workers (92%) think they have strong emotional intelligence; slightly fewer (74%) believe their bosses do.
  • Three in 10 HR managers (30%) feel most employers put too little emphasis on emotional intelligence during the hiring process.
  • HR managers identified increased motivation and morale (43%) as the greatest benefit of having emotionally intelligent staff.
  • Reference checks (70%) were cited by HR managers as the most common way companies gauge job applicants' EQ, followed by behavioural-based interview questions (55%).
  • Forty percent of HR managers said soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving and adaptability, are more difficult to teach workers than technical abilities.
  • More than six in 10 employees (61%) admitted they've let emotions get the better of them in the office.
  • Eighty-six percent of workers said when a colleague doesn't control his or her emotions, it affects their perception of that person's level of professionalism.



Productivity decreases when senior managers leave, survey shows

February 21, 2017

Employee productivity can take a big hit when the boss leaves, a new survey shows. According to research from staffing firm Robert Half, both workers and CFOs believe having a vacant senior manager role has an adverse impact on the team's efficiency, though those in leadership (78%) are likelier to find it an even greater problem than staffers (69%). Decreased morale and motivation were the biggest reported causes of lost productivity among both groups, followed by concerns over increased workloads and fear about job security or relationships with the new boss.



Nominate an outstanding access to justice leader

February 16, 2017

The Law Foundation of Ontario is encouraging nominations for its signature Guthrie Award, which was created 1996 to honour Hugh Donald Guthrie, QC, a long-time member and Chair of the Foundation’s Board. This year the Foundation celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first time the award was presented. The 2017 Guthrie Award will once again recognize an access to justice champion. Past recipients have come from many directions – the judiciary, private bar, community legal clinics, and nonprofit organizations. They saw a chance to make a difference and took it. Guthrie recipients built bridges between youth and the justice system; advanced justice for Indigenous peoples; served women experiencing violence; and strengthened the community clinic system to assist people with low-incomes.

With the 2017 Guthrie Award, the Foundation hopes to recognize a champion who is actively engaged with the challenges and opportunities in today’s justice landscape – someone who has made a difference in the past and is also focused on the future. Nominations of individuals who have a significant and proven track record of furthering access to justice are being accepted until April 17, 2017. For details on the streamlined nomination process, visit lawfoundation.on.ca.



New survey shows where workers things managers need to improve

February 16, 2017

Strong communication skills are necessary at every career stage, but especially for those in leadership positions. In a new study from Robert Half Management Resources. However, one in three workers (35%) did not give their boss high marks in this area, reporting communication and diplomacy are where their managers most need improvement. Greater leadership (20%) and technical expertise (14%) ranked second and third, respectively, on professionals' wish lists.



Canada's top family-friendly employers for 2017 announced

February 16, 2017

It's not every day that employees feel like they have a powerful advocate to help balance their work and family commitments. But that's just what the nation's leading employers are doing, with the best among them offering a range of great benefits suited to employees at all stages of life. Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers for 2017 were announced yesterday and the winners have set the bar, turning work-life balance into an important tool for recruitment and retention. The competition reviews a range of employment practices and policies, including: maternity, parental and compassionate leave; daycare assistance; reproductive assistance, including fertility drugs and IVF; adoption assistance; paid personal- and earned-days-off (EDO) programs; flexible work arrangements; and even academic bursaries for employees' children. CharityVillage would like to congratulate the nonprofit organizations and charities who were recognized on this year's list!



Study shows workers are happiest and least stressed in first year of job

February 7, 2017

For many professionals, that first year in a new job can be a "honeymoon period," full of new and exciting challenges. But a recent study from Robert Half and Happiness Works shows that professionals with between one and two years on the job are less happy, less interested in their work and more stressed than those still in their first year. After three years or more on the job, happiness levels edge back up and interest levels increase. In fact, those with the greatest tenure (21 years or more) showed the highest level of interest in their jobs. Although managers can take steps to create a happier work environment, they aren't the only ones who can fan the flames of employee happiness. When asked who's responsible for keeping spirits high on the job, 25% of North American workers surveyed said it was their responsibility alone. Another 5% said it was all in their company's hands. The majority of respondents – 70% – cited a combination of the two.



Applications open for paid Justice Fellowship for nonprofit leaders

February 7, 2017

The call for applications for The Law Foundation of Ontario’s Community Leadership in Justice Fellowships for the 2017/2018 or 2018/2019 academic terms is now open. The fellowship gives nonprofit leaders the opportunity to further their careers and their causes through a paid fellowship. It provides a professional development opportunity for leaders in the public sector and builds bridges between community and academia, leaving a lasting access to justice legacy for both. The opportunity is open to senior employees in public interest organizations who are dedicated to advancing access to justice. It allows recognized leaders in the public sector to spend all or part of an academic year at an Ontario university, law school, or college in a legal or justice studies related department (including but not limited to criminology, sociology, social work, political science, and law and society programs). The fellows plan and implement their individual projects, leading activities such as research, teaching, lectures, events, and collaborations. Candidates do not need to have a law degree. The Law Foundation of Ontario provides funding toward the cost of the fellow’s salary and for equipment and other program-related costs the academic host may need. The deadline for applications is April 29, 2017. For full details of the program criteria and application process, visit lawfoundation.on.ca.



Seven in ten Canadian employees report increased work stress

February 7, 2017

Having trouble "keeping calm and carrying on" at work? You're in the majority. More than half (58%) of Canadian workers said they are stressed at work on a day-to-day basis, and 70% reported work-related pressure has increased in the last five years, according to a new survey by staffing firm Accountemps. Executives should take note: Only 21% of Canadian CFOs acknowledged their teams are stressed, and only 23% recognized an increase in worker anxiety. Employees polled cited heavy workloads and looming deadlines (41%), attaining work-life balance (22%), and unrealistic expectations of managers (17%) as top worries.



Research finds organizations using the Mental Health Standard are perceived as safer

February 7, 2017

If you'd describe your workplace as psychologically safe, with civil relationships and satisfactory work/life balance, it just may be due to a major shift in how employers understand and respond to workplace mental health issues. In 2016, 77% of working Canadians indicated attitudes toward workplace mental health issues are better than they were in 2007. Additionally, those Canadians who say their workplace is psychologically unhealthy or unsafe (10%) has been cut in half, down from 20% in 2009. These are just two of the findings arising from recent research commissioned by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace (the Centre). Some of the research highlights include:

  • More working Canadians (79%) say they know about mental health conditions like depression, up from 66% in 2007.
  • Since 2009, fewer workers describe a workplace that has serious or significant psychosocial concerns. Most significant improvements have been made in the areas of civility and respect (27% are concerned, down from 33%) and balance (30%, down from 35%).
  • Employees have more concerns than managers. For example, employees were more concerned with growth and development (38% of employees vs. 26% of managers).

Additionally, a number of Canadian workplaces are now following best practices based on the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard) released in 2013. In organizations implementing the Standard:

  • Only 5% of employees say their workplace is psychologically unhealthy or unsafe vs. 13% in organizations that are not implementing the Standard.
  • Employees who are or have experienced depression are missing less time (7.4 days per year) from work as a result than the average employee with depression (12.5 days).



Seventy-seven percent of Canadians feel entitled to workplace health benefits

February 1, 2017

Entitled is not a word typically used to describe Canadians, but when it comes to workplace health benefits, some believe these plans are a right. According to the most recent Sun Life Canadian Health Index, 77% of Canadians surveyed feel all employees are entitled to receive a health benefits plan sponsored by their employer. Forty-nine per cent strongly agree and 27% somewhat agree with this statement. According to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, 24 million Canadians have supplemental health insurance through their employer or their spouse/partner's employer. When it comes to employer health benefits, a little more than half of working Canadians recognize the health and wellness support their employers are providing them. The latest Canadian Health Index survey found that:

  • 64% said their employer supports their physical health;
  • 58% said the same about their mental health; and
  • 26% said their employer offers programs or initiatives that promote health and wellness.



Share your HR innovation for chance to win $500 in team-based professional development

January 25, 2017

HR management practices within the nonprofit sector are changing rapidly. Shifting demographic, economic, technological, and social trends are reshaping the landscape of HR from how we develop talent to how we structure office environments. Over the course of 2017, the Community Foundations of Canada will be tapping into their community foundation, philanthropic and HRcouncil.ca networks to shine a spotlight on stories of innovative HR strategies being used successfully by nonprofit organizations across Canada. Got a great example of HR innovation in action? Want to share your strategy with others in the nonprofit sector? Submit your story on the Community Foundations of Canada website and it may be featured in an upcoming national series showcasing the best of what Canada’s nonprofit sector has to offer through blogs, podcasts, video, social media and more. BYour organization will also be entered into a draw to win up to $500 towards a team-based professional development opportunity for your nonprofit organization.



Research finds organizational change linked to physical and mental health sick leave

January 24, 2017

New research announced today by Morneau Shepell found that organizational changes have led to employees taking sick leave from work. In a recent survey of employees and employers across Canada, nearly half (46%) of employees have taken time off work and/or noticed other employees take more time off work following workplace changes. The survey found that two thirds (66%) of respondents have experienced at least one organizational change with their current employer – this included team restructuring (39%), downsizing/layoffs (35%), job re-design (35%), re-design of the physical office space (29%) and mergers (15%). Of those employees who have experienced a change, 43% said it had a negative impact on their perception of the company, 40% said it negatively affected their health and well-being and 30% indicated that it impacted their job performance. Across the country, Alberta employees experienced the most workplace changes, with nearly three quarters (74%) facing at least one workplace change with their current employer during the time of their employment.



New 2017 Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary & Benefits Report reveals compensation details

January 19, 2017

Compensation at nonprofits across the country continues to rise slowly for some nonprofit professionals, according to the new 2017 Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary & Benefits Report, published by CharityVillage. To better understand nonprofit compensation, we surveyed more than 1,600 participants who represented more than 14,000 individual employees from nonprofits across Canada. The results are gathered in our 2017 salary and benefits report, now available for online purchase. The report covers key metrics such as:

  • Annual salaries by position, experience, organization type, size, region, and focus
  • Performance incentive plans
  • Benefit packages

For additional insight from the report, click here for our companion article. To get more information about the report itself, and to order, please click here.



Three-in-ten Canadians say they’ve been sexually harassed at work

January 18, 2017

Three-in-ten Canadians (28%) say they have been on the receiving end of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or sexually-charged talk while on the job. And for one-in-seven adults in this country, the experience has been more intense than innuendo or talk: 14% tell the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) they have experienced anything from sexual touching to more serious unwanted sexual contact in their working lives. The results show that while both genders identified experiences of harassment, women are – unsurprisingly – almost four times as likely to have been harassed as men. For one-in-four of those who told the Angus Reid Institute they’ve been sexually harassed at work, the experiences are recent; occurring within the last 24 months. Based on employment statistics, a rough approximation would mean this represents more than one million working Canadians, most of them women. Av ast majority – four-in-five – who say they had these unwanted experiences never actually reported the behavior to their own employers.



Nominations now open for the 2017 Champions of Mental Health Awards

January 10, 2017

Today, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) opens nominations for the Champions of Mental Health Awards. The Champions Awards is an annual event devoted to recognizing outstanding individuals and organizations for their contributions to the mental health sphere in their communities and across the country. A variety of award categories are available. CAMIMH encourages Canadians to nominate their peers by completing the short online nomination form. Submissions will be accepted until February 24th, 2017 and the awards will be held on May 3rd, 2017 at the Shaw Convention Centre in Ottawa.



New survey shows sloppy work considered the most annoying behaviour by co-workers

January 10, 2017

Want to get on your manager's good side? Don't let the details slide. In a new survey by staffing firm Accountemps, more than two in five (41%) of Canadian CFOs cited lacking attention to detail or sloppy work as the most annoying behaviour by coworkers. For 27% of respondents, gossiping or engaging in office politics was their biggest pet peeve, marking a slight increase from a similar survey in 2011. Other popular answers included missing deadlines (16%) and being perpetually late (13%).



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