How to Create a Healthier Organization

Workshop by Graham Lowe at the 15th Annual Health & Safety Conference Society of Alberta. Edmonton, Alberta. November 9, 2016

Workshop description:
This day-long workshop will help participants apply the ideas, tools and leading examples in Graham Lowe’s book, Creating Healthy Organizations: How Vibrant Workplaces Inspire Employees to Achieve Sustainable Success.
The workshop provides a forum for learning and action planning, enabling you to build the foundations for sustainable success. Is your organization nurturing the employee capabilities it will need to thrive in 2025? How can you better support employees to achieve health, safety and performance goals? What are the most cost-effective ways to promote employee wellbeing? By addressing these questions, participants will achieve the following objectives by the end of the day:
– Understand the business case for a healthy organization.
– Learn about the building blocks of a healthy organization.
– Identify opportunities for strengthening these building blocks.
– Find ways to strengthen their workplace culture.
– Leverage existing initiatives to more fully engage employees.
– Define the critical behaviours for wellbeing and performance.
– Assess progress toward healthy organization goals.
– Identify the best metrics for tracking workplace improvements.
The workshop will develop participants’ capacity for effective change. Participants will be encouraged to identify actions they can take in their day-to-day work that will contribute to a more positive, productive and healthy work environment. Participants also will identify cost-effective ways to better leverage and integrate OH&S, HR, learning, wellness, quality improvement, and social / environmental responsibility initiatives.

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

Creating a learning culture in your organization

For many practitioners and managers, the concept of a ‘learning organization’ remains an elusive goal. That’s because it is difficult to grasp the organizational drivers of effective learning processes and outcomes. This interactive day-long workshop focuses on the role of culture in supporting learning and development. Participants will gain an understanding of how the values, relationships and daily workplace practices in their organizations hold the keys to a dynamic learning environment. Case studies and research evidence will be provided to help participants identify the actions they can take to strengthen the cultural underpinnings of individual and collaborative learning – contributing to improved employee retention, development, engagement and performance goals.
Post-conference workshop. Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD) annual conference, Toronto.
Wednesday, December 5th, 2007. 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.
For further information and registration, visit the CSTD conference website (

How healthy organizations support learning and innovation

Keynote talk at The Changing Face of Work and Learning conference, Telus Centre, Edmonton. Sponsored by The Work and Learning Network, University of Alberta. For conference details see:
TALK OUTLINE: Marshall McLuhan once predicted that we would all be “learning a living” in the information age. This age has arrived, but learning in workplaces is easier said than done. The rhetoric is clear: economic policy links national competitiveness to skill development and learning, social policy promotes life-long learning, and employers are striving for knowledge-intensive business strategies. However, implementing these ideas is difficult because many work environments do not enable learning. The solution requires more than new human resource management practices or a stronger commitment to build a ‘learning organization’. A useful guide for supporting learning in workplaces is the model of a healthy organization – one that has healthy, sustainable and innovation outcomes for employees, investors (or citizens in the public sector) and communities. From this perspective, personal and organizational well-being depends on active learning.

Presentation visuals

Work force singing a new kind of blues

The old industrial era was stressful for workers. Factories churning out endless consumer products were built around assembly line jobs, which were physically taxing and mind-numbingly boring. In today’s global knowledge economy, robots or workers in developing countries do most of the factory work. The "blue-collar blues," as factory worker dissatisfaction was called in the sixties and seventies, no longer is a major threat to productivity. Originally published in the Globe and Mail, October 2002.
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