Bridging the Generations: Redesigning Workplaces to Prosper From an Aging Workforce

The Graham Lowe Group and EKOS Research Associates are pleased to announce the release of Bridging the Generations: Redesigning Workplaces to Prosper from an Aging Workforce. Written by Graham Lowe, the report breaks new ground by using multi-year national survey data to provide insights about major workplace transformations.
Useful for employers, HR professionals and policy specialists alike, this report mines more than a decade of public opinion research into workers’ attitudes towards jobs, the workplace, retirement, career planning and Canadians’ future prospects.
The report reflects on changes in the Canadian labour market, workplaces and work experiences. Anchoring the report are national surveys of Canadian workers, conducted in 2004 and 2012 as part of the EKOS ‘Rethinking Series’ as well as EKOS time-series data on public attitudes to economic change.

Bridging the Generations highlights how employers and policy-makers can take steps to ensure that older workers, facing delayed retirement, don’t reduce the career opportunities for younger workers who are entering a difficult job market. The report provides solutions for managing a smooth generational transition in the workplace in ways that enable workers of all ages to share their experiences and to fully contribute.
Some Key Findings:
– Most Canadians are worried that the next generation will be worse off than today. These worries spill over into workers’ perceptions of the future of the labour market, their retirement plans and a host of other workplace concerns.
– Redesigning workplaces to bridge the growing divide between younger and older Canadians will help to secure economic prosperity and make public healthcare and pensions more sustainable.
– HR practices can help older workers remain in the labour force and help younger workers fulfill their own career plans. Innovative solutions include making workplaces more inclusive, work more flexible and jobs more challenging and meaningful.
– Work-retirement transitions can be updated to enable baby boomers’ continued contributions to the workforce, while ensuring that younger workers’ skills and energy can be more fully harnessed. The result will be a more agile and productive workforce.
Bridging the Generations report PDF

The Wellness Dividend: How Employers Can Improve Employee Health and Productivity

The Wellness Dividend, a new report by workplace expert Graham Lowe, provides employers and benefits consultants with a state-of-the-art, evidence-based overview of why investing in employee wellness makes sense. Also provided are practical insights about how to do this. The Wellness Dividend examines the following topics:
– The strategic value of wellness
– Understanding absenteeism and presenteeism
– Ingredients of effective wellness programs
– Addressing mental health in the workplace
– Measuring impact and progress
– Building healthier organizations
The latest evidence shows that by focusing on three goals – an integrated approach to employee health promotion, a work environment that enhances health and safety, and a culture that values wellness – employers not only reduce employee costs but also improve business performance. We know enough about successful workplace wellness initiatives to identify the steps employer can take to achieve these goals.
For those employers who already have workplace wellness initiatives, the next step involves expanding their reach to get at the full range of workplace determinants of health and engagement. And for employers considering the introduction of a wellness program, addressing both the individual and organizational dimensions of wellness will bring quicker results. Overall, the big wellness dividend is a healthier and higher-performing organization.

The Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Human Capital Performance

The Ontario Hospital Association has published this report, which summarizes findings from the OHA exploratory research project conducted with three pilot hospitals (one acute teaching, one community, and one small). The project examines the relationship between employee engagement and several key human resources (HR) metrics. This is the first attempt by the OHA to link data from two of its major HR data initiatives: the OHA‐NRC Picker Employee Experience Survey and the OHA‐PricewaterhouseCoopers Saratoga HR Benchmarking Survey.

– The project developed a methodology for accurately comparing Employee Experience Survey engagement data with human capital metrics from hospital administrative data at the department level.
– It also identified three HR metrics – the full-time resignation rate, average sick days per full-time employee, and management span of control – which do appear to be related to employee engagement levels at the department level.
– This research will provide HR leaders with support to build the case for making investments in employee engagement. It appears that there are real costs associated with higher absence and resignation rates when engagement is low.
OHA report PDF

Creating Sustainable Organizations: How Flexible Work Improves Wellbeing and Performance

American Express Company and FlexPaths, LLC have published a report, Creating Sustainable Organizations, that provides innovative insights to creating an integrated approach to workplace health promotion, flexible work arrangements and employee engagement. Written by Graham Lowe, the report focuses on the link between overall wellbeing of employees, including mental and physical health, work and personal life integration.
Key findings in the report provide new insights into leveraging employee wellness promotion, addressing underlying root causes of wellness and performance, expanding flexible work design, connecting wellbeing and employee engagement and fostering a healthy work culture.
Flexible work design is a substantial component in the report and underscores the importance of giving employees more choice and control over their jobs and work lives, trusting them to deliver and creating responsibility for results. This is a common theme in employee health promotion, work and personal life integration and employee engagement.
For more information on FlexPaths:
Report PDF

A Framework for Public Reporting on Healthy Work Environments in Ontario Healthcare Settings

The purpose of this report is to inform the development of a comprehensive framework for assessing and publicly reporting the quality of work environments in Ontario’s healthcare organizations. The report synthesizes relevant research on healthy work environments with a focus on the healthcare sector, compares concepts and tools used to measure healthy work environments in healthcare settings, and recommends options for a comprehensive measurement and reporting system for healthy work environments in Ontario.
An evidence-informed case can be made for developing a healthy work-environment measurement and reporting framework in Ontario. Work-environment indicators ideally should be integrated into a comprehensive quality improvement and accountability system. It is important to build on current initiatives, as well as to engage stakeholders in developing the framework and its measurement tools.

People & Performance: Building Alberta’s Future Construction Workforce

People & Performance: Building Alberta’s Future Construction Workforce is a discussion paper on how the global construction sector is addressing workforce development issues. It makes recommendations for how building trades unions, contractors, clients, government and other industry stakeholders in Alberta can strengthen the links between human resources and industry performance. The paper was commissioned by the Building Trades of Alberta (BTA) and was the basis for a provincial forum held in March 2009, and sponsored by BTA.
The full report and a summary of highlights can be downloaded below.
People & Performance Report

Coordinated Action Agenda for Healthy Workplaces and Supporting Evidence

The Canadian Healthy Workplace Council is calling for a coordinated action agenda to create healthy workplaces.
Recognizing that a critical mass of governments, organizations and workplace health practitioners are pursuing healthy workplace goals, the Council believes that the time is right for a coordinated action agenda to create healthy workplaces. The goals are more integrated public policy and wider diffusion of best practices in workplaces.
This document outlines the Council's action agenda and also includes 5 pages of evidence for healthy workplace action, prepared for the Council by Graham Lowe.
Policy agenda and evidence

21st Century Job Quality: Achieving What Canadians Want

This new study, published by Canadian Policy Research Networks, is urging employers and governments to focus on job quality as a means to recruit and retain the workers needed for Canada’s future prosperity. In 21st Century Job Quality: Achieving What Canadians Want, author Graham Lowe finds that the economic prosperity of the new century hasn’t resulted in an overall improvement in job quality – even though many Canadian employers are struggling to attract and keep skilled workers.

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Under Pressure: Implications of Work-Life Balance and Job Stress

This report presents new findings from two national surveys, one of employers and the other of workers, on work-life balance and job stress. The report discusses the implications of these issues for employers and points to actions they can take to improve the quality of work life. Graham Lowe was commissioned by Wilson Banwell Human Solutions to write the report, and it is the first in a series of Human Solutions Reports.
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