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Federal workplace survey seeks insights to inspire positive change

November 30, 2016

What are the top barriers and issues affecting the health and safety of workplaces in Canada, and what can we do about them? The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is inviting workers and employers to take part in an online survey that continues the conversation sparked at CCOHS’ Forum 2016: The Changing World of Work, held earlier this year. CCOHS’ Forum 2016 brought together subject experts, workers, employers and governments from across the country and beyond, to explore the challenges arising from shifting demographics, climate change, mental health, workplace culture, emotional intelligence, and more. Now CCOHS is inviting the public to take part in the survey and add their voices and perspectives on what they experience in their own workplaces. The results of the survey will be consolidated into a report that shares and compares the feedback from the Forum, and will be available in early 2017. It is hoped that the insights shared in the report will inspire positive change in the workplace. The survey will remain open until December 30, 2016 and can be accessed from the CCOHS website.



Failed hires a matter of mismatched skill set, survey says

November 28, 2016

Recent research from Robert Half Finance & Accounting reflects a continuing trend: Aside from poor performance, failed hires are a result of a mismatched skill set. Nearly half of CFOs interviewed (47%) responded this way, up 18 percentage points from a similar survey conducted five years ago. Another 29% of financial executives think unclear performance expectations is the top reason new employees don't work out. 



Canadian employees want flexible work schedules and generous vacation time

November 17, 2016

Are employers and workers on the same page about juggling personal and professional priorities? Apparently so. More than one-third of senior managers (34%) surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said their company is very supportive of its employees' efforts to achieve work-life balance, and a similar number (30%) of staff agree. Which perks do employees value most? Flexible work schedules (42%) and generous vacation time or sabbaticals (21%) topped the list. This differed slightly from what staff said are the most common work-life benefits at their organizations: 46% noted their company offers paid parental leave, followed by 37% who reported having options for flexible schedules. When asked about health and wellness benefits, employees cited ergonomic evaluations and equipment, such as standing desks (26%), and access to fitness facilities or programs (25%), as the most valuable.



Mental health claim rates can be reduced with specific management practices: Salveo Study

November 16, 2016

Following five years of data analysis, the Salveo researchers have identified five management practices that can help companies lower mental health and disability claim rates in their organizations. These following practices can help prevent mental health issues, reduce claim costs and improve productivity in the workplace: 1) Job design based on employee skills and interests has a 87% probability of reducing claims; 2) work-life balance opportunities has a 77% probability of reducing claims; 3) employee recognition has a 74% probability of reducing claims; 4) promotion of physical activities has a 69% probability of reducing claims; and 5) implementing strategies to help employees maintain a reasonable workload has a 64% probability of reducing claims.

Since 2011, Professors Alain Marchand and Pierre Durand, co-leaders of the study at the Université de Montréal, with the participation of Université Laval and Concordia University, and in partnership with Manulife, have interviewed over 2,100 workers from 63 organizations of all sizes. They analyzed 63 management practices to identify risk factors triggering mental health disorders and provided employers with recommendations on management practices that could help reduce mental health claim rates.



New Canadian journalism award shines spotlight on workplace mental health

November 10, 2016

A new award has been created for journalists reporting 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 widely-used 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, the Forum announced today. Submissions must have received their first publication in Canada in the calendar year 2016, but self-published work is not eligible. The award, to be presented in April, 2017 at the national conference of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) in Ottawa, 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 a wide variety of places in which work is carried out. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2017.



2017 winners of Canada's Top Employer Awards announced

November 7, 2016

The Canada's Top Employer Awards announced the 2017 winners, and several nonprofit organizations and public sector employers were included in the list. This year's competition saw a record number of employers take part in the Canada's Top 100 Employers competition, which saw more applicants from all regions of the country. Entering its 18th year, the Canada's Top 100 Employers competition is an editorial project that recognizes employers with exceptional human resources programs and forward-thinking workplace policies. Some of the nonprofit organizations on this year's list include:

  • Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto
  • The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC
  • The Hospital for Sick Children
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Toronto International Film Festival Inc. / TIFF
  • University of New Brunswick / UNB
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Waterloo
  • World Vision Canada



Last chance to enter to win a $1,000 donation by completing the 2017 Nonprofit Sector Salary Survey

November 3, 2016

LAST CHANCE! CharityVillage's 2017 Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary and Benefits Survey closes November 9th, which means you still have time to complete the survey and be entered to win an iPad Mini. Also, complete the survey and your organization will be entered into a draw to win a $1000 donation from CharityVillage! The Report (to be released in early 2017) that follows the Survey is the largest and most comprehensive Canadian report to provide a detailed picture of nonprofit sector salaries and benefits, which is vital for workforce planning in organizations from across the country. All participants will also be able to pre-purchase the report at a 50% discount.



Toronto Foundation’s Vital Ideas and Leadership grant stream now open for 2017

November 3, 2016

Vital Ideas & Leadership – an evolved and integrated grant stream – draws on components of Toronto Foundation’s Vital Ideas and Vital People grant streams to support high-impact initiatives in Toronto with a proven track record of success to achieve deeper impact and build capacity within the nonprofit sector. These one-year strategic $50,000 grants support organizations addressing quality of life issues in our city, as highlighted in Toronto’s Vital Signs Report. This funding opportunity will support new strategic activities that will increase the effectiveness and sustainability of an initiative and position it for deeper impact. For more information and to access the application form and guidelines click here. To register for an orientation session, RSVP here. The deadline to apply is December 14, 2016.



Retention tension: Are your employees headed for the door?

November 1, 2016

As nearly all experiences go digital – from reading the news to requesting a ride – demand continues to rise for people with the technical and creative expertise to deliver positive online customer experiences. These highly skilled workers, including developers, designers and UI/UX specialists, are hard to find – and equally challenging to keep. In fact, research from staffing experts at Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group shows more than half of CIOs (67%) and advertising and marketing executives (52%) interviewed are worried about employee retention over the next 12 months. When asked how they prevent top performers from leaving, the most common responses from the CIOs and creative executives surveyed were engaging in frequent conversations about performance and career development, regularly benchmarking compensation and benefits to remain competitive, and checking in often with employees about their on-the-job happiness. Additional research findings include:

  • Nearly three-quarters (71%) of technology executives said losing a highly skilled team member without notice would have a somewhat adverse impact on their business because they would be stretched thin until a replacement was found.
  • Six in 10 (61%) creative executives said they experience the most turnover among entry-level employees.
  • The top causes of employee turnover are limited opportunities for career growth and job boredom, according to creative executives.



Canadian employers continue to be challenged in keeping and finding key talent

November 1, 2016

Like their counterparts in the rest of the world, Canadian employers continue to grapple with the challenge of retaining and attracting valuable employees. The results of recent employer and employee surveys conducted by Willis Towers Watson show that half of employers have trouble attracting employees in key workforce segments.

The studies found that communication and effective supervision are very important to foster a rational, emotional and behavioral attachment to a company. While sustainable engagement pays dividends as it diminishes the turnover risk and boosts the companies' performance, the study showed that only 39% of Canadian companies indicate their employees are highly engaged. Therefore, it is worthwhile for organizations to invest in effectiveness at the higher levels of the management hierarchy in order to set an example and lead the way to sustainable engagement by their employees.

The Global Workforce Study reports that less than half of employees say that the senior leadership in their organization has a sincere interest in employee well-being (43%) or that they have trust and confidence in the job being done by the senior leadership of their organization (46%). Only half report that they believe the information they receive from senior leadership.



Enter to win a $1,000 donation by completing the 2017 Nonprofit Sector Salary Survey

October 27, 2016

Good news - CharityVillage's 2017 Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary and Benefits Survey has been extended until November 9th, which means you still have time to complete the survey and be entered to win an iPad Mini. Also, complete the survey and your organization will be entered into a draw to win a $1000 donation from CharityVillage! The Report (to be released in early 2017) that follows the Survey is the largest and most comprehensive Canadian report to provide a detailed picture of nonprofit sector salaries and benefits, which is vital for workforce planning in organizations from across the country. All participants will also be able to pre-purchase the report at a 50% discount.



Habitat for Humanity Canada one of Canada's Safest Employers

October 26, 2016

In recognition of Habitat for Humanity Canada's commitment to safety, Canadian Occupational Safety awarded Habitat Canada with Silver in its sixth annual Canada's Safest Employers awards. Habitat for Humanity Canada supports 56 Affiliates across the country, who collectively built 228 homes across the country last year with the help of over 70,000 volunteers. Habitat Affiliates in every province and territory ensured that decent and affordable housing for low income families is built safely. From construction sites to offices to Habitat ReStores and distribution warehouses, managing the safety of staff and volunteers in a variety of workplaces is a priority. Launched in 2011, Canada's Safest Employers awards recognize companies from all across Canada with outstanding accomplishments in promoting the health and safety of their workers.



Still time to participate in the 2017 Nonprofit Sector Salary Survey

October 20, 2016

There is still time to participate in CharityVillage's 2017 Nonprofit Sector Salary and Benefits Survey. The Report (to be released in early 2017) that follows the Survey is the largest and most comprehensive Canadian report to provide a detailed picture of nonprofit sector salaries and benefits. Knowledge regarding sector compensation packages is vital to workforce planning in organizations across the country. All Canadian nonprofit organizations are encouraged to participate in the survey. There is no cost to participate and all participants will be eligible to win a new iPad Mini. The survey closes on October 26th, 2016.



Survey: More than eight in 10 Canadian employees have gone to the office when ill

October 20, 2016

Being under the weather isn't keeping workers out of the office, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam shows. While 74% of human resources (HR) managers interviewed said their company encourages staff to stay home when they're sick, 87% of employees have gone to the office anyway. Thirty-two percent of those who showed up to work while ill did so because they felt well enough to do their jobs; another 32% said they didn't want to fall behind on assignments. Workers also identified their biggest pet peeves during cold and flu season, with 42% irked by those around them who don't cover their mouth when sneezing or coughing, followed closely by 40% who are most annoyed when someone comes in sick.



Canadians leaving an average of three vacation days unused, says survey

October 19, 2016

Most Canadians would like an additional 11.5 more vacation days per year, according to the latest annual "Vacation Deprivation" survey from Expedia.ca. But would they take them? On average this year, Canadians received 17.3 vacation days from employers, but will take only 14 of them – leaving three days of unused vacation time on the table. That represents nearly 31 million unused vacation days this year alone, and more than $5.5 billion in wages handed back to employers. More than a quarter of Canadians (27%) go a year or more without taking a vacation, with an additional 36% going six months to a year without a break. In this year's survey, 55% of respondents consider themselves "vacation deprived," meaning they feel they either don't get enough time off or are not taking some or all of their vacation days, while a strong majority (62%) feel they deserve more vacation days than they get.



Enter to win an office makeover from Staples

October 18, 2016

Staples Business Advantage is giving away $10,000 in workplace products to one charitable organization. If you’re a Canadian charity, submit a photo of your out-of-date office and tell Staples why you need a spruced-up space. Please ensure there is no sensitive information or people visible in the photo that you don’t want to appear in the public gallery. Makeover contest ends November 18, 2016. The Grand Prize winner will be chosen by a contest committee at Staples Business Advantage from the top 10 contest finalists. The 10 top finalists will consist of the 5 entries with the highest number of votes, and 5 wild card entries. Only registered Canadian charities are eligible to enter.



Survey discovers what questions hiring managers ask the most

September 28, 2016

A job interview can be nerve-racking, but add curveball questions to the mix, and you have a formula for a challenging discussion. The good news for Canadian jobs seekers is that many employers prefer to stick with standard inquiries, according to a survey by staffing firm Accountemps. Questions about the applicants' interest in the position and company were most frequently cited as senior managers' favourites (45%), followed by asking about candidates' previous experience (20%). For some of the most popular interview questions, click here.



Most organizations have substance misuse policies in place, but few measure their effectiveness

September 26, 2016

Substance misuse and abuse has been linked to absenteeism, lost productivity, on-the-job accidents and injuries, and workplace violence and harassment. While the majority of Canadian employers have a formal drug and alcohol policy in place, few evaluate their effectiveness, according to a new Conference Board of Canada report. Highlights from the report include:

  • Nearly all employers offer their employees at least one drug and alcohol support program.
  • A majority of Canadian organizations do not evaluate their substance misuse policies and programs.

Among the employers surveyed, 72% reported having a formal drug and alcohol policy. However, only 32% of employers surveyed reported that they evaluated the effectiveness of their drug and alcohol support programs and policies. Most employers take actions that support, rather than discipline, employees requiring treatment for a substance use issue. In fact, only 3% of the employers surveyed indicated they would suspend or dismiss an employee with a substance use issue. The top three drug and alcohol programs implemented by organizations were: EAP/EFAP, return-to-work support and wellness/health promotion/prevention programs.



Work stress and job demands keeping Canadian employees up at night

September 20, 2016

A new Conference Board of Canada survey finds that 27% of Canadian workers report being fatigued most days or every day during a typical work week. More than 40% of those surveyed reported that their productivity and performance were somewhat or significantly worse when they did not get enough rest. Work stress and job demands topped the list as the main cause of fatigue. Of the employees surveyed, 28% identified it as one of the biggest factors contributing to their lack of sleep. Other leading factors included stress from home demands (26%) and physical health problems (9%). Poor sleeping habits, such as caffeine before bed or too much screen time, also contributed to lack of sleep.



Two-thirds of Canadian workers are prepared to leave their current employer, study finds

September 20, 2016

As back-to-work season sets in, almost two thirds (65%) of Canadian workers are prepared to leave their current employer, according to the latest ADP Canada Sentiment Survey. Compensation is the main reason employees say they would make a move, mentioned first or second by two-thirds of Canadian workers (66%). However, Canadians also cite a variety of reasons related to quality-of-life — "better work/life balance/fewer hours," "less stress" and "better location/shorter commute" — which when combined, are mentioned first or second by 56% of employees. The desire for a higher position is also a key motivator, mentioned first or second by 30% of employees overall, though significant age and gender differences emerge in this area. Specifically:

  • Over one third of men (36%), who would leave their job, say they'd do so for a better position, but fewer than one quarter of women (23%) say the same.
  • Age matters: Four out of ten employees (39%) ages 18-34 who say they might leave their jobs would do so for a better position, and an almost equal segment of those ages 35-44 (32%) agree. The numbers drop at 45-54 (21%) and 55-64 (7%).



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