Unemployment on a Record Decline in Canada

Unemployment on a Record Decline in Canada

The unemployment rate in Canada fell to a new four-decade low this May. Statistics Canada’s monthly Labour Force Survey showed that the unemployment rate dropped from 5.7 per cent to 5.4 per cent; beating the previous low of 5.6 per cent set late last 2018. The part-time segment remained unchanged with all of the gains coming in full-time employment. Self-employment was responsible for all of May’s job growth. Notably the drop in unemployment was largely due to a surprise decline of nearly 50,000 in the size of the labour force. Nevertheless, the labour market has added more than 400,000 jobs in the past nine months, including 250,000 since the beginning of 2019. Below are some note-worthy observations. Insights by sector from May: Health care and social services up 20,400 jobs Professional, scientific and technical services up 17,200 jobs Manufacturing up 9,400 jobs Business and building-support services segment up 19,400 jobs Accommodations and restaurant employment up 12,400 jobs Insights by province: Five out of 10 provinces posted job gains Ontario up 20,900 jobs British Columbia up 16,800 jobs Quebec up 11,600 jobs Newfoundland and Labrador up 2,700 jobs Alberta up 2,200 jobs With a drop in unemployment, it can be tough to find and retain high-quality candidates. Get in touch with Staffworks to learn more about how we can help. Connect with us on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter for industry insights, opportunities, and more....
Rethinking Six Management Mantras for Better Innovation

Rethinking Six Management Mantras for Better Innovation

Innovation is no longer optional for social sector organizations. In the face of constant fiscal pressures, growing demand, and a quickening pace of change, we all need to build innovation-ready cultures. A report commissioned by our organization, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, looked at the financial data of more than 200,000 nonprofits in the United States and found that community-based, human-service organizations are in financial peril. Nearly one in eight human service nonprofits are technically insolvent, and nearly half have a negative operating margin over a three-year period. Yet there are a number of “north stars”— opportunities for the sector to move forward and better face these challenges. One important opportunity is the sector’s development of its innovation capacity. But what does it take to build innovation capacity, and how can nonprofit leaders set the right conditions for innovation to flourish? During a series of two-day innovation summits last fall, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities brought together more than 300 people to participate in a condensed human-centered design process we developed in partnership with Greater Good Studio, a design firm committed to working with social sector changemakers. The goal was to use human-centered design to examine longstanding challenges and new opportunities through a different lens. We aimed to build our “innovation muscles” so that we could begin to tackle old challenges in new ways. In the process, we realized that the creative problem-solving methods we were applying were breaking some of the typical management mantras that have dominated our organizations’ cultures. We came to understand that if we’re serious about moving from lip service to action on innovation, we need...
Consequences of Reorganizing Your Workspace

Consequences of Reorganizing Your Workspace

If you look at the latest trends in office design, you would be forgiven for thinking that sofas play an outsize role. There is a lot more to reorganizing your workspace than just putting in soft seating. Many organizations are increasingly concerned about helping employees collaborate on the job. This includes creating comfortable spaces where people can gather to relax, share ideas, and generate new insights. The outcome, they hope, is a more innovative organization. But are there costs? The jury is out on the role of sofas in driving innovation, but it is clear that the drive to increase collaborative spaces in the office can have unintended consequences. The Conference Board of Canada’s new research series Transforming the Way Canadians Work looks at changes to the nature of work, where work takes place, workplace culture, and how the success of these changes is measured. Our research has raised some practical questions that organizations may want to consider before they tear down any walls: Will shrinking the office footprint have the same effect on quiet work as it does on collaboration? With high downtown rents, both public- and private-sector organizations want to reduce the number of square feet per employee in their offices. Our research suggests that when offices shrink, the space for quiet, focused work is more likely to be cut than the space for collaboration. Workers still need access to space both for working together and for quiet individual work. But as offices become smaller, trade-offs are being made, and space for quiet work is losing out. Will your new workspace help employees fight distraction? While organizations are making...
How to Effectively Manage Remote Teams

How to Effectively Manage Remote Teams

More and more employers are embracing the concept of remote teams, challenging managers to expand their management styles in a different way. Communication is the most essential measure of productivity and cohesion of remote teams, so we’ve put together some tips to help you manage your remote teams: Have well-structured and regular weekly meetings  Have a plan and try to stick to it by being organized. Don’t forget to communicate this plan to your team and senior management. There should be no surprises – people should know where you are. Also, if possible, try to see your team members in person on a weekly basis. Communicate is key and should be regular This should be done both formally and informally. Pick up the phone to say “hi, how are things” without a business agenda. Be open to feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding how things could operate more efficiently. This will hopefully help to build the engagement of the team. Be aware of your team and the efforts they are making You may not be in the office to see the extra hours being clocked up. Other managers in the business should let you know if extra hours are being done. It is really important to acknowledge and praise these efforts. Schedule quarterly team meetings A quarterly get-together is important to consider how things are going, areas that require focus and most importantly to celebrate the wins and to plan ahead.  Trust is vital Put the key measures in place, set the expectations and if you have the right people in your team, you should be able to trust that they are following...
Build a Culture for Continuous Learning

Build a Culture for Continuous Learning

Continuous learning and development are key priorities when someone is considering a new job. Candidates are often interested in the training and development opportunities as much as the role itself. Failure to invest in learning has long-lasting consequences. A shortfall in learning and development activity has consequences for business performance, attraction and retention of employees. Here are some tips to help you, as a leader, encourage a continual and effective approach to learning within your team: Keep your strategy focused Examine the skills gaps within your organization and reflect on their longevity. Are they only temporary or will they be the same in 5 years’ time? Think carefully about where to allocate your resources – don’t prioritize the present at the expense of the future. Be adaptable Try to fit training around the way your employees work. Is a whole day in a meeting room going to be conducive to learning, or can you modify your approach? Short “lunch and learn” sessions are excellent opportunities for team upskilling alongside a more tailored programme of classroom, on-the-job and one-to-one coaching according to what suits individual employees. Utilize your own expertise Look at the expertise that already exists within your organization and determine how your experts can guide other employees in the right direction. Take a holistic approach to identify talent – who is the best speaker, the most familiar with a piece of technology, the best salesperson? Recognize and reward these experts by creating opportunities for them to mentor others, whilst simultaneously creating learning opportunities for your wider workforce. Keep training accessible to all Training should not just be the...
Develop and Maintain High-Performing Teams

Develop and Maintain High-Performing Teams

Work teams are the backbone of contemporary work life, and high-performing teams make a lasting impact, not only your business, but on your workplace culture as well. You need know when to retain the right people and know when to lose those who are not right for your team. Here are some tips to help you develop and, more importantly, maintain high-performing teams: Focus on the long-term Review performance data regularly and keep an accurate, objective assessment of potential. CConsider the following: Determine who the current star performers are and what qualities unite them Identify these qualities in more junior members of your team Facilitate opportunities for these prospective star performers to grow, investing time and resources into their development Let your best people know their value There’s a way to show your appreciation for your staff without over-inflating their egos. By letting your team know that their efforts are appreciated, their results noticed, their future progress within the company guaranteed and their hard work rewarded, you can cement their loyalty and therefore stand a much better chance of retaining their services. No one is indispensable Expect and prepare for some of your team members to move on after a while. You should never leave yourself so exposed that if one high performer leaves, overall performance declines and the team crumbles. Your robust long-term plan should help you to ensure that you are able to cope with losing a star performer, and should include cross-training as much as possible. There are many measures you can take towards retaining your best staff, and they all feed into the broader measure...