A new project, focused on supporting employees who juggle work and caregiving responsibilities, launches on May 6, 2010 in Charlottetown. The project entitled, “Winning Strategies to Support Caregivers in the Workplace”, will be announced at the project’s first event, “Caring Coast to Coast”. The event will be held at Confederation Centre of the Arts in Studio 1 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and will be opened by Verna Bruce, Past Associate Deputy Minister of Veteran Affairs Canada and recipient of the 2008 PEI Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Administration. The half day session will be held in an “open space” format allowing opportunities for participants to engage in open dialogue about the realities of managing the issues related to work and caregiving.
Project Coordinator, Jane Boyd, couldn’t be more pleased with the team she has put in place for this project. She states that, “Collectively, our team has over 50 years of experience related to work life issues traversing across family, childcare, eldercare, health and human resources.” Boyd has been actively involved in the early learning field and family related policy on the Island since 2007. She is particularly pleased to have Rob Paterson, a leading advisor on social networks and on how human culture operates, serving as a project advisor. Based in PEI, his work flows between organizational design, research and the web 2.0 world. Paterson is pleased to be involved in this innovative project. He says, “The stage is set to utilize social networks and technology in gaining a national perspective around the issues and solutions for Canadian’s juggling work and caregiving responsibilities.” Paterson goes on to state, “Our hope is that we engage the hearts and minds of employers and employees as we venture on this journey of discovery. This journey will encompass the value of social media, collaborative stories and action.” In addition, the project's research partner, University of Guelph’s Centre for Families Work and Wellbeing, will be pivotal in ensuring that the discoveries are solid and useful in creating a less stressful experience for Canadian’s who provide care while employed. The Centre for Families Work and Wellbeing has already conducted extensive research in this area. In addition, they are very familiar with international best practice around this issue.
Members of the Project Team Include:
Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program, this three year project will aim to support employers in becoming best practice employers around the dual roles faced by many Canadian’s. By engaging employers, employees and service providers, the hope is that the resulting conversation will create innovative workplace supports, tools and resources that will assist employees who face the dual role of work and caring for their children, elders and other family members.
Posted at 12:38 AM in Charlottetown, Child Care, Child Care National, Child Care PEI, Community Building, Community Engagement, Elder Care, Family, Generational Issues, Government, Great Places to Work, PEI, Social Media, Work Environments, Work-Life Balance, Work-Life Balance Research, Work-Life Flex, Working Parents, Workplace Child Care, Workplace Wellbeing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
As some of my readers are aware, I have been consulting on the development of a wonderful new workplace child care program for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (RBA) in Burnaby, BC. Below are a few pictures of the new RBA headquarters, which has been under construction for the last year or so, and is scheduled to have employees begin moving in next month.
I am happy to report that things have been moving along very nicely and this new child care program, which will accommodate infants, toddlers and preschool age children, will be opening in the Fall 2009. The child care centre has been designed to serve RBA employees and their children and will offer exceptional quality child care programming that incorporates the best aspects of multiple early learning philosophies.
The Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Child Care Program will be responsive to the individual needs of the children and families that it serves. Qualified, experienced Early Childhood Education and Infant-Toddler trained staff will ensure that the physical, emotional and social development of each child is supported through the provision of an environment that truly respects the needs of young children.
Program goals include (but are not limited to) the following:
Currently RBA are recruiting Early Childhood Educators, Infant-Toddler Educators and ECE Assistants for this new child care program. If you are a BC or Alberta qualifed Early Childhood Educator I encourage you to submit your resume for consideration via the RBA Careers webpage. Please share this information with your colleagues or anyone who you think might be well suited for a position in this new program.
Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA) is the world’s largest industrial auctioneer, selling more equipment to on-site and online bidders than any other company in the world. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Ritchie Bros. has more than 110 locations worldwide, including 39 auction sites. Ritchie Bros. conducts hundreds of unreserved public auctions every year, selling a broad range of used and unused equipment for the construction, transportation, agricultural, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum and marine industries.
Ritchie Bros. offers an excellent total compensation package including health and dental benefits, education allowance, Group RRSP and Employee Share Purchase Plan with company matching.
I am very excited to announce that I have teamed up with my colleagues Dr. Carol Matusicky and Wendy Creelman to launch the National Network Society this week. We are working on some very exciting things that are moving along a pretty fast pace! For now, here is what you need to know:
National Work Life Network Society (NWLN) supports and promotes
workplace practices that encourage employee health and wellness.
Through best practice research, collaboration, and awareness raising
the society works to educate the actions of Canadian employers to
become employers of choice. Outcomes such as environments that support
the multiple roles of workers provide the platform for healthy
productive Canadian families.
Stay tuned...there are good things to come!
Once again Fortune has published it's list of the "Best Companies to Work For". Fistful of Talent had an interesting post about the "dirty little secret" that exists within almost all companies - those on the list and those not on the list.
But, hid inside the underbelly of these environments is a dirty little secret. The dirty little secret also applies to companies not listed as well. I'll outline it for you two ways - one for the "best companies to work for, and one for "the unwashed masses". It goes a little something like this:
--The golden rule - "A company's culture and attractiveness as a place to work is contingent on the effectiveness, approachability and progressiveness of your manager. That means:
1. A company often listed as a great place to work is often mocked by those within the company with an ineffective manager, and
2. A company not listed as a great place to work will receive many of the same retention benefits among employees, who have a great manager who reinforces, supports and leads.
Just developed a new one page bio sheet that summarizes the type of work that we are currently doing in relation to work-life flexibility, employee wellbeing, child care, community partnerships, education and more. You can download it below.
Posted at 10:02 AM in BC, Child Care, Child Care Alberta, Child Care BC, Child Care New Brunswick, Child Care Ontario, Child Care PEI, Child Care Regulations PEI, Conferences and Events, Early Childhood Development, Early Years Strategies, Education, Great Places to Work, Parents for Choice & Quality, Work Environments, Work-Life Balance, Work-Life Flex, Workplace Child Care | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Last year in the PEI government's Throne Speech it was announced that there would be a new stat holiday for the Province starting in February 2009. The holiday, called Islander Day, is to be on the second Monday of every February. This coming Monday will be the first official Islander Day on PEI and many individuals and families will be enjoying their new found time to relax, play and generally celebrate life on PEI.
Unfortunately, is seems that there are some businesses who are complaining that this new stat holiday will negatively impact business on the Island. According to a CBC news report, these businesses feel that the holiday will cost too much in terms of lost payroll with no additional revenues coming in the door on the day.
Premier Ghiz, on the other hand, feels that the day will enhance business productivity,
While I have been known to disagree with Premier Ghiz on many occassions about how his government is supporting Island families from a public policy perspective; in this case I fully agree with his thinking. This seems to be one occassion where he really gets it. He recognizes that investing in people will pay off for the Island in multiple ways. What a good thing that is.
So after considering everything, here is my take on this issue....PEI (and Canada for that matter) need more CEO's that think like Dan James. Dan totally gets the big picture here. Even Premier Ghiz sees the value this holiday brings. The simple truth of the matter is that investing in people pays off. Employees need time for their personal lives. Employers who take steps to help their employees achieve better work-life balance are rewarded in more ways than we can count. More and more employers are recognizing that it pays off to offer employees increased flexibility, time off, family supports and more. Happy employees are more engaged in their work and ultimately that is good for the bottom line. Study after study shows this. Leading employers demonstrate this through studies that show enhanced employee engagement scores in exchange for things like increased work work-life flexibilty, better communication, improved employee workload control and respect by management.
Dr. Linda Duxbury, a business professor at Carleton University's Sprott Shaw School of Business, recently delivered her sixth and final report on work-life balance with the warning that policies to support working families are a must to get the economy rolling again. She argued policy-makers must recognize that heavy workloads and their interference on family life are key reasons for Canada's declining birth rate and labour force. They need to develop strategies, polices and interventions to help stem this work-life "tsunami.
So for those businesses who disagree with this new holiday I say this....get with the program. (Or - even better - as Dan says: Suck it up.) As a Province and as a Country we need to be doing more to invest in the wellbeing of our people and our communities. What goes around comes around. Believe it or not, your employee's wellbeing will be all the better for the extra time this new stat holiday gives them. Enhanced employee wellbeing truly translates to a better bottom line....even in these tough economic times.
Posted at 08:21 PM in Economy, Employee Engagement, Employee Wellbeing, Great Places to Work, Healthy Communities, Kindergarten PEI, PEI, Public Policy, Research & Stats, Work Environments, Work-Life Balance, Work-Life Balance Research, Work-Life Flex, Working Parents, Workplace Wellbeing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Supporting Employers in Canada ’s Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Sector
The Child Care Human Resources Sector Council’s Supporting Employers in ECEC Project seeks to clearly define the range of employer models in Canada ’s ECEC sector and identify related human resource needs. As this 18-month project nears completion, two documents are now available that preview the research findings and shed light on the employer in Canada’s ECEC sector:
Preliminary Findings - October 2008: This document provides a summary of the preliminary research findings, including the results of the Employer Survey (completed by 987 employers across Canada), the literature review, focus groups, and key informant interviews.
Employer Models in Canada’s ECEC Sector: This document contains a series of 14 descriptive articles designed to bring ECEC governance models to life by exploring different programs and models from the employer perspective.
Posted at 12:19 PM in Child Care, Child Care BC, Child Care National, Child Care PEI, Child Care Resources, Early Childhood Development, ECE Staff Shortages, Employee Engagement, Family, Great Places to Work, Research & Stats, Trends, Workplace Child Care | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Eight Alberta employers have been recognized for their commitment to improving the health of their employees as the recipients of the third annual Premier’s Award for Healthy Workplaces. As part of the Alberta government’s Healthy U initiative, the award celebrates employers who encourage their staff to make healthy eating choices and incorporate active living into their workday. The Premier’s Award for Healthy Workplaces is in its third year. This year, 21 workplaces applied in four categories based on the number of employees, ranging from one employee to more than 1,000 employees. Applicants were judged by an external panel on the strategies, initiatives, policies, and programs that their workplaces use to promote, support, and enhance a healthy workplace. Benefits to employees included smoking cessation and a reduced number of sick days. For more information on the Premier’s Award for Healthy Workplaces, please visit http://www.healthyalberta.com .
“It’s important to recognize employers who make employees’ health a key priority,” said Premier Ed Stelmach. “All the recipients of this award demonstrate a real understanding of the benefits of promoting good health and well-being in the workplace and deserve our recognition.”
As part of the Alberta government’s Healthy U initiative, the award celebrates employers who encourage their staff to make healthy eating choices and incorporate active living into their workday.
The Premier’s Award for Healthy Workplaces is in its third year. This year, 21 workplaces applied in four categories based on the number of employees, ranging from one employee to more than 1,000 employees. Applicants were judged by an external panel on the strategies, initiatives, policies, and programs that their workplaces use to promote, support, and enhance a healthy workplace. Benefits to employees included smoking cessation and a reduced number of sick days.
For more information on the Premier’s Award for Healthy Workplaces, please visit http://www.healthyalberta.com .
They offer flex hours, on-site daycare, transit rebates and free gyms. They're Canada's top employers, and they're raising the benefits bar.
Posted at 10:00 PM in Employee Engagement, Employee Wellbeing, Great Places to Work, Top Employer Lists, Women, Work , Work Environments, Work-Life Balance, Work-Life Flex, Working Parents, Workplace Child Care, Workplace Wellbeing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Canada's Healthy Workplace Month (CHWM) is designed to introduce workplace health to Canadian organizations and to support those who are already on the journey. The month runs from September 29, 2008 to October 26, 2008. More info can be found here.
The goals of Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month (CHWM) are to:
- Increase awareness of a comprehensive approach to workplace health in Canada that involves all three elements of a healthy workplace
- Health and Lifestyle Practices
- Workplace Culture and Supportive Environment
- Physical Environment and Occupational Health and Safety
- Through healthyworkplacemonth.ca, generate awareness and availability of healthy workplace tools and resources so that Canadian organizations may build and sustain healthy workplaces where there are mutual benefits for employees and their organizations
- Build awareness of workplace health research and how its outcomes apply to business productivity and performance, and
- Increase the number of healthy workplaces in Canada.
This summer silverorange is conducting an experiment with the normal working week. We're making it shorter.
For the past eighteen months we've been working too many hours per week. Last summer was a write-off as we had a few major projects being worked on. That work spilled into the fall and of course it kept cascading into the winter. We finally dug ourselves out from under our crippling workload this spring. We made a promise to ourselves to make this summer better than last.
For July and August of 2008 silverorange will be offline on Fridays.
Our hope is that this refreshing change of pace will make the remaining four work days much more effective. Our first Friday of rest is tomorrow.
We'll see how it goes.
There you have it...a great example of acting on work-life balance issues by a small business. How often do you hear of businesses that truly agree that their employees are working too many hours? This is one of the hard truths that many businesses (big and small) don't like to even talk about...often because they don't know how to begin to deal with it....
Silverorange is a great example of "just getting it" and actually doing something about it. Enjoy your Fridays silverorange team!