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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.

Ontario Nonprofit Network needs your participation in Changing Workplaces survey

August 9, 2017

In May, the final report of Ontario's Changing Workplaces Review was released with 173 recommendations aimed at creating better, safer and more decent workplaces in Ontario. Following the release of the report, Bill 148, Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Act was proposed by the Ontario Government and public consultations have taken place over the summer. As part of the Ontario Nonprofit Network’s ongoing labour force strategy and their work to build a decent work movement in the nonprofit sector, they are eager to hear your thoughts and insights. As nonprofit employers and workers, help them identify the potential impact of these legislative developments on our 55,000 nonprofits and charities. What could be the impact on your organizational budget and challenges implementing the legislative requirements, if passed? Have your say in this survey. Please note: this survey is for Ontario nonprofits and charities with paid staff. The deadline is August 31, 2017, but review of the bill starts August 21, so the earlier, the better!

Almost half of Canadian workers would consider going back to a former employer

August 9, 2017

There are no regrets in life, they say, just lessons learned. But does that adage ring true when it comes to your career? In a recent survey from staffing firm Accountemps, 15% of Canadian workers polled said have regrets about leaving their former job. Biggest regrets include departing for the wrong reasons (28%), leaving friends and colleagues (24%), and not exploring other opportunities within the company (13%). Forty-two per cent of workers would consider returning to a former employer, but it would take better pay (54%), promised opportunity for growth (12%) or a flexible schedule (9%) to entice them back.

CFRE International launches online CFRE practice exam

August 3, 2017

CFRE International is pleased to announce the launch of the new CFRE practice exam online. The CFRE practice exam is a study aid to help fundraising professionals prepare, practice, and be poised for success on the CFRE certification exam. The CFRE practice exam is the first study aid of its kind to be offered by CFRE International. It is structured on an unlimited use subscription model for periods of either 30 or 90 days. Subscribers can take a practice exam of 100 multiple choice questions or smaller mini-quizzes focused on individual fundraising knowledge domains. Practice exam feedback is delivered for each of the six fundraising knowledge domains tested in the CFRE certification exam, allowing the practice exam user to identify weaker areas in their preparation and address them through further reading and study. The questions used in the CFRE practice exam are similar in style and difficulty to the questions on the CFRE certification exam. This allows fundraising professionals to gain familiarity and confidence with how questions are presented on the CFRE certification exam as well as with the overall level of difficulty they should expect when they take the CFRE certification exam.

The CFRE practice exam isn't just a study aid for candidates who have already completed their CFRE application and been approved to take the CFRE certification exam. It also provides fundraising professionals with a readiness measure as they start down the path toward CFRE certification.

Could making friends at work be your next best career move?

August 3, 2017

Professionals typically spend more waking hours with their coworkers than anyone else, so friendships are bound to blossom. But does having confidants help or hinder efficiency at work? In a recent survey from staffing firm Accountemps, 61% of Canadian employees said having coworkers that are friends outside of the office positively affects productivity. But only 36% of Canadian CFOs think the same, and 57% said work friendships have no effect on productivity. A separate survey from Robert Half, the parent company of Accountemps, found that professionals who feel they have good friends at work are 1.6 times more likely to be happy at work than those who don't.

Ontario Trillium Foundation announces new CEO

July 20, 2017

The Ontario Trillium Foundation's Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has appointed Katharine Bambrick (Schmidt) as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective September 11, 2017. Before joining OTF, Katharine was the Executive Director of Food Banks Canada which supports a network of 10 provincial associations and over 500 local food bank organizations. Before being named Executive Director of the national organization, she led the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. She has a wealth of experience in senior roles, including as the Senior Director of Public Policy at the Food and Consumer Products of Canada, Director of Provincial and National Affairs at the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, and during her ten-year career with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs where she was a Regional Manager, Senior Project Coordinator and a Rural Leadership Consultant.

Survey finds Canadian workers spend average of 1 day per work week on personal tasks

July 19, 2017

Canadian professionals surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they spend an average of 43 minutes per day, or the equivalent of more than three and a half hours a week, using their mobile device for non-work activities in the office. In contrast, senior managers estimate their staff members spend 32 minutes each day on their cell phones during business hours. Workers also admitted to clocking 40 minutes a day on personal tasks. All in all, the average employee could be wasting nearly 7 hours per work week on activities unrelated to the job. While 38% of managers think staff spend the most time on social networks when using their own mobile devices during business hours, workers said they're most occupied by personal email (35%).

People on the Move: Marcie Flom named executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation

July 12, 2017

The Board of Directors of Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and the Board of Governors of the Jewish Community Foundation are pleased to announce the appointment of Marcie Flom to the position of executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation. Marcie brings more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience to the role. Marcie previously served as both director of the Jewish Community Foundation and vice-president, financial resource development of Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, where she was responsible for the revenue functions of the organization including the annual campaign, special projects, and corporate funding of nearly $15 million annually. Prior to that, she had a consulting practice and held leadership roles at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company and the National Ballet of Canada.

New, enhanced version of the Mental Health at Work® Challenge now available

July 10, 2017

BestLifeRewarded® Innovations (formerly Cookson James Loyalty), Excellence Canada and Economic Club of Canada, among other partners, launched an exciting, organizational support program called the Mental Health at Work® Challenge 3 years ago. The aim of the program is to create a FREE, easy-to-follow, one-stop-shop tool providing organizations with the essentials to begin to implement the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the "National Standard"). The Mental Health at Work® Challenge is a fun and engaging program that provides a step-by-step approach for administrators to implement the essentials of creating a psychological healthy and safe environment along with resources for employees to become more aware and educated about mental health stigma in the workplace, as well action tools to be more psychologically healthy.

Based on member feedback, the partners made several enhancements to the program, such as new 30-day challenges that launch every three (3) months, the addition of a new Excellence Canada Guidebook, offered free of charge to program participants as an easier-to-navigate administrative portal, and more automated communications to employees. All Canadian companies and organizations (including nonprofit) are encouraged to join the FREE Mental Health at Work® Challenge and together we will de-stigmatize mental illness in the workplace. Get started here.

Employers concerned about the impact that legalization of marijuana will have on the workplace: HRPA

July 6, 2017

With less than one year until the legalization of marijuana in Canada, a new study reveals that employers feel unprepared for the impact the increased drug use may have on the workplace. In a survey answered by over 650 Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) members between June 1 and June 9, 2017, over 45% of respondents do not believe their current workplace policies adequately address the potential new issues that may arise with the legalization and expected increased use of marijuana.

In the new whitepaper entitled Clearing the Haze: The Impacts of Marijuana on the Workplace, HRPA makes 10 recommendations to governments and employers to ensure that they are prepared for the increased use of marijuana and the affects that will inevitably have on the workplace. These recommendations include that the government maintain two regulatory streams for medical and recreational cannabis, and ensuring employers are prepared to answer questions about coverage of medical marijuana in their extended health care plans.

Newly released Canadian data confirms employee volunteer programs help attract and retain talent

June 27, 2017

According to a study by Volunteer Canada and Investors Group, 68% of Canadians polled by IPSOS Public Affairs said that, given the choice, they would choose a job with a company that has a strong volunteering culture over one that does not. Further, Canadians are looking to their employer to help them volunteer: 60% of Canadians would volunteer more if it was organized by an employer.

However, simply offering employees time off to volunteer for a nonprofit organization may not be enough. The poll also showed Canadians are involved in a wide range of activities that improve their community such as donating used clothing or raising awareness of an issue through social media. Volunteer Canada believes this points to a need for companies to reconsider traditional employee community engagement program parameters and expand their definition of what constitutes volunteering.

Canadian organizations' rewards and recognition programs don't match millennial workforce realities

June 22, 2017

Long-service recognition is the most prevalent type of rewards and recognition program in place in Canadian organizations. However, a new Conference Board of Canada study suggests that these programs may not appeal to younger generations who typically have shorter tenures. Previous research by the Conference Board has indicated that millennials could have an average of five different employers over a 10-year span. Given this, most millennials would not be at an organization long enough to be eligible for most long-service recognition. This may explain why only 37% of responding organizations agreed that their rewards programs consider the multiple generations in the workforce.

Almost 90% of responding organizations have some type of formal rewards and recognition program in place. In 2016, Canadian organizations spent, on average, $139 per full-time employee (FTE) on rewards and recognition. These programs are more prevalent in the public sector compared to the private sector, however spending on rewards and recognition in the private sector ($161 per FTE) is also almost double that in the public sector ($84 per FTE).

Among these organizations, long-service recognition is the most common at 96%, followed by retirement recognition at 64%. Performance-based rewards and recognition programs, which includes manager-to-employee, peer-to-peer, and corporate recognition are also prevalent. The most common rewards provided as part of peer-to-peer recognition programs are non-monetary such as e-cards or handwritten notes. In fact, just over one-third (37%) of organizations report this is the only type of reward given in their peer-to-peer program.

Nonprofit organizations organizations recognized with inaugural Employee Recommended Workplace Award

June 22, 2017

The winners of the first Employee Recommended Workplace Award were announced today. The Employee Recommended Workplace Award recognizes excellence in achieving a healthy, engaged and productive workforce. Employees were asked to complete a short confidential survey that includes questions about their physical and mental health, as well as aspects of their work and life – all elements of Total Health that impact employee engagement and productivity. On completion, they received a personal assessment that identified potential areas for improvement and provided them with resources to help them take action. Organizations received a summary report of their workforce that highlighted positive results and outlined opportunities for improvement, which they could use for Human Resources planning. CharityVillage would like to congratulate New Brunswick Association for Community Living, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and Cégep Garneau for winning the not-for-profit or government categories.

Enrolment for the 2018 Employee Recommended Workplace Award program is now live. For more information on the Employee Recommended Workplace Awards and to register online, please visit

Casual dress codes can cause confusion, survey finds

June 19, 2017

Casual dress codes may cause clothing confusion for many professionals, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam shows. Although 63% of Canadian workers surveyed said they prefer to wear more relaxed work attire, more than a quarter (28%) admitted they're at least sometimes unsure about whether clothing is office-appropriate. Nearly four in ten (39%) would choose to eliminate uncertainty altogether by donning a uniform.

Additional findings include:

  • Those ages 18 to 34 (45%) have the greatest preference for formal dress codes. They’re also most commonly unsure if their clothing is appropriate (36%) and the age group with the largest number of respondents interested in wearing a uniform (33%).
  • More men (49%) prefer formal attire than women (25%).
  • Most employees (77%) reported they like casual dress codes because they can wear more comfortable clothing.
  • About two in five respondents (39%) said their company policy isn’t always clear about what attire is acceptable.

Less than a third of Canadians feel confident asking for a raise

June 15, 2017

Public speaking has long been thought of as a recipe for anxiety, but it's a one-on-one conversation that makes workers feel even less sure of themselves: asking the boss for a raise. According to a new study from Robert Half, over a quarter of Canadian professionals (28%) feel confident when asking for a pay increase, compared to 48% who feel self-assured when public speaking. The discomfort around these conversations is further reflected in the percentage of survey respondents who – rather than ask for a raise – would prefer to clean their house (39%), look for a new job (10%), get a root canal (3%), or be audited by the CRA (3%). The insecurity around asking for a raise is not new but has changed slightly over time, according to the three-year study: Last year, 31% of professionals felt confident when asking for a raise; in 2015, the percentage was 35%.

Survey shows managers are leading the way in work-life balance

June 13, 2017

Workers' ability to juggle the demands of the office and home is on the upswing, with those in charge greatly aiding the cause, new research suggests. In a Robert Half Management Resources survey, the more than one-third of Canadian professionals (37%) said their work-life balance has improved from three years ago. Nearly nine in 10 respondents (87%) reported their manager is somewhat or very supportive of their efforts to achieve this balance, and 64% said their boss sets a good or even excellent example.

Survey identifies most telling body language in job interviews

June 6, 2017

When it comes to landing a job, what you say to a prospective employer may sometimes be less important than how you say it. In a recent survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam, senior managers said 17% of candidates display negative body language during interviews. Respondents identified eye contact as the most telling nonverbal cue when meeting with applicants, rating it a 4.41 on a scale of one to five (with five indicating the highest significance). This was followed by both posture and handshake, which tied at 4.26. Rounding out the list were hand gestures (4.15), facial expressions (4.14) and fidgeting/habitual movements (4.09).

A third of Canadian employees check in with the office while on vacation

May 24, 2017

Are vacations where people completely disconnect from the office a thing of the past? Research shows "workations" may continue to be common for some professionals today. In a recent survey from staffing firm Accountemps, 33% of Canadian workers said they typically check in with the office at least once or twice a week during their vacation, not changing significantly from 36% one year ago. On the bright side, those who do connect with the office do so fewer times during their break: six percent of workers touch base at least once or twice a day, compared to 10% in 2016. Their reasons for checking in include gaining peace of mind that things were under control (55%), keeping projects moving along (51%), avoiding coming back to extra work (47%) and preventing colleagues from feeling undue stress (25%).

Canadians increasingly eating lunch by themselves, at their desks

May 24, 2017

A new Dalhousie study found that eating lunch at one’s desk seems to be widespread across Canada. Almost 50% of consumers in the Atlantic region eat lunch at their desk, a figure higher than any other region in Canada. Most Canadians also eat lunch alone. The percentages of consumers in Ontario, the Prairies, and the Atlantic region who eat lunch alone are higher than the Canadian average while, in Quebec, only 36% eat lunch alone. Researchers discovered that many consumers are inclined to eat out more often, and will continue to do so. Among single people, 42% anticipate eating lunch on-the-go or at a restaurant more often in the next year

Survey finds employees want flexible schedules this summer

May 23, 2017

What are the hottest summer perks? Workers surveyed by OfficeTeam said they're most interested in flexible schedules (46%), but only 27% of Canadian human resources (HR) managers reported their organization offers them at this time of year. Additionally, 25% of employees surveyed would like the option to leave early on Fridays, 10% would appreciate a more relaxed dress code, and 8% would enjoy company events such as potlucks or picnics. Unexpected absences (28%) and being overly distracted or checked out at work (20%) were identified by employers as the most common negative employee behaviours this time of year, ahead of dressing too casually (18%), not planning well for vacations (17%) and sneaking in late or leaving early (14%).

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