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Open Office Plans: How they can be made to work better

Open office

Open offices are far from new, but they remain controversial. Most will agree that open office plans can allow for greater collaboration and interaction among employees. But the open workspace can also have an adverse effect on a person’s concentration, ability to think creatively, stress levels and feeling of control. Lack of privacy, noise, inability to regulate lighting, and interruptions from colleagues are some of the negative factors which may be more prevalent in open offices.

Despite the critical way in which they are often viewed, open offices in some form are likely here to stay, and since they are a reality for so many employees, one might consider how it may be possible to make them more effective, productive and comfortable work environments. Here are some ideas that may be worth considering in your workplace. Continue Reading

Not-so-Private – Employees in the Wired World

Employees in the Wired World

 

One of the most striking ways in which modern communication technology has changed the world, including the workplace, has to do with the blurring of distinctions between public and private life. The Internet, social media, email, texts, and cellphone cameras have come together to create fertile soil for a broad-scale social experiment in which it sometimes seems that there is no thought or deed which is not recorded, stored, and often shared.

The Internet can be a virtual paper trail, exposing employees doing things “on their own time” in a way that can end their present employment or potentially their entire career. Continue Reading

Controlling Excessive Work-Related Communication

Controlling Excessive Work Communication

Highly skilled office workers spend an alarming portion of their work week managing email and other digital communications. Moreover, they spend a substantial amount of time trying to get “back on task” after dealing with countless electronic and personal interruptions throughout each work day. But they cannot escape by simply leaving the workplace. Digital communications follow people wherever they go, from morning to night, meaning that many employees – whether by necessity or by choice – are never disconnected. Continue Reading

Talent Management: Accelerate in 2017

Canada is turning 150 in 2017.  Looking back to Canada’s centennial year, 50 years ago, one can only marvel at how much has changed since 1967.  There was no digital technology.  No email; no internet; no cellphones.  There was no truly globalized economy.  White-collar offices operated on a “9 to 5” schedule, and tended to be relatively stable, homogenous, and hierarchical.  Blue-collar workers still dominated the workforce with factories and manufacturing plants often operating three shifts each day.  Career progression was more defined, commonly taking place within a single organization.

The drivers and realities that shape the workplace of today would be unrecognizable to someone magically teleported here from our centennial year.  As business models have changed and technology has begun to dominate, the nature of the workforce itself has altered.  A “non-traditional” workforce now plays an important role in influencing the way in which employers manage talent. Continue Reading

CANADIAN TERMINATION & SEVERANCE PRACTICES – PART 2

In our previous blog, we discussed a survey by VF Career Management on Termination & Severance Practices In Canada (2016), which was presented at an event hosted by Verity on September 30, 2016.

In this blog, we will discuss another presentation from that event by guest Speaker Madeleine Loewenberg, co-founder of Loewenberg Psarris Workplace Law LLP.  Madeleine reviewed some of the statutory and case law in Ontario regarding notice of termination and severance pay.  In the process, she also responded to questions from the attendees which reflected specific real-world concerns.  The following are only selected points from Madeleine’s well-considered review of the law. Continue Reading

Termination & Severance Practices In Canada: Part 1

While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence about how organizations deal with issues of termination and severance, VF Career Management, Verity’s national partnership, has gone one step further by gathering survey data from over 270 Canadian organizations of varying sizes and involved in all industries: Termination & Severance Practices In Canada (2016).

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Facilitating Knowledge Transfer Across Generations

Why are so many employers becoming more concerned about effective knowledge transfer?  After all, there have always been retirements within organizations, and employee turnover is nothing new.

Moreover, it has always been the case that much of the institutional “know-how” within organizations is never committed to paper but instead resides within the brains of its most experienced senior staff, who – ideally – pass it on to those who will follow them.  Essentially, that is the definition of knowledge transfer:  training or learning that passes on the knowledge of an organization’s most experienced people.  Continue Reading

Trends in Employment Termination as Presented by John Carruthers

While there are basic legal principles that apply to employee termination, the law does not remain static as it is continually being reinterpreted by the courts.

This reality was made clear to those who attended a presentation by John Carruthers which was hosted by Verity this past May: “Remember the Bear: Five New Traps to Avoid in an Employment Termination”. John is a lawyer with Cattanach Hindson Sutton VanVeldhuzen LLP. His practice focuses on litigation, dispute resolution and dispute prevention. Continue Reading

Blended Outplacement Support Buoyed by Human Touch

Verity is known for our high-touch, face-to-face approach to career transition, and today’s technological advancements allow for useful supplemental support as well. We invite you to read “Blended Outplacement Support Buoyed by Human Touch” which is written by our fellow VF Career management member, Peter Saulnier. Originally published on HRVOICE.org on May 25, 2016 this article demonstrates VF Career Management’s shared philosophy in all our offices across Canada. It shows the importance of embracing technology, but understanding that to get maximum effect, it is a supplemental tool to face-to-face support – a blended approach!

While technological change has a lengthy history of disrupting the workforce, the scope of our current technologies is facilitating the career transition phase as never before. Continue Reading

What’s a parent to do? Let your child go it alone in the workplace

With graduation season now in full swing and twentysomethings entering the workforce, and on the heels of our recent Student Job Search Workshop, we thought we’d share a very timely article written by our fellow VF Career Management member, Eileen Dooley. Originally published in the Globe & Mail on May 2, 2016.

Realistic expectations. This seems to be a focal point of many discussions today involving Generation Y and millennials, specifically those entering the life of independent adulthood. These are twentysomethings who want a good paying job, and a great place to live – and all at once.

Today, many parents are involved in their adult child’s life more than ever. They don’t just help them pick a post-secondary school, but do the research for them, and even talk with academic advisers and individual instructors. Some take that to the next step, engaging career coaches to work with their adult child, or talking with friends who may be potential employers. They even scour job boards to find roles for their adult child to apply for. Continue Reading

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