The Wellness Dividend: How Healthy Organizations Maximize Employee Health, Safety and Performance

Keynote talk by Graham Lowe at the Occupational Health & Safety Group(OHSIG)national conference, Auckland, New Zealand. September 11, 2014. For information:
Talk description: Employers in New Zealand and many other countries face mounting pressures to find better ways to reduce employee health and safety risks. These challenges are best addressed by viewing employee wellbeing as a strategic human capital advantage. This positive approach to risk reduction is guided by a healthy organization vision. A healthy organization forges strong links between health, safety and wellness initiatives and core human resource goals. Wellbeing is viewed as a leading indicator of employees’ capabilities – and future business performance. Evidence-based insights from current research support this approach and provide principles that can help employers reap a significant ‘wellness dividend’.

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

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.

How Work Environment Metrics Can Improve Healthcare Performance

Presentation by Graham Lowe, to the Health System Performance Research Network, University of Toronto. 17 March 2010
This presentation outlines a comprehensive framework for assessing, reporting and improving the quality of work environments in healthcare organizations in Ontario and across Canada. Drawing on evidence showing that healthy work environments (HWE) contribute to positive outcomes for healthcare employees and physicians, the same HWE ingredients also can reduce operating costs, improve human resource utilization, and ultimately support higher quality patient care. The presentation offers a blueprint for how health system employers, governments, quality agencies and professional associations can implement cost-effective and sustainable HWE metrics. A common measurement tool and reporting framework will enable managers and policy makers to use HWE ingredients as levers to improve organizational performance. The benefits flowing from a common healthy work-environment measurement and reporting system should convince stakeholders to reach consensus on HWE metrics and overcome the pitfalls of : indicator-itis that beset other health system performance metrics. Moving down this path requires the active involvement of stakeholders in developing a core set of common metrics, integrating these metrics into existing measurement and reporting systems, building in managerial accountability for work environment quality, and supporting on-going improvements at the front-lines of care and service delivery.
HSPRN presentation