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  Employers, Government, HR, and Communities Supporting Working Parents.

This article is inspired by the working parents in the #BacktoSchoolCareForParents program that was kick-started this summer. Writing this article stems from a recent article entitled, “A Working Parent’s Survival Guide” by Daisy Wademan Dowling, for the Harvard Business Review. Understanding the stressful state of working parents calls for  measures that can support a work/family balance during the COVID-19 crisis. There is no doubt that the call for schools to reopen puts working parents in a position where they need to support their children in a way that is very different from the status quo, but also the change in working parents’ circumstances (as a result of the COVID-19 crisis) calls for a need to support the parents as well.

Serge Bloch

Today’s change in the workplace structure is having a huge impact on women, who are more likely than men to adjust their careers for family, in order for their kids to return to school. According to a 2019 FlexJobs survey of more than 2,000 women with children 18 and younger living at home, roughly 31% of women who took a career break after having kids said they had to take this break because of a lack of flexibility with their workplace. There is currently an ongoing conversation on long-term flexible work options, which may be a game-changer for women. With remote work becoming a reality for many parents, the idea of remote work and managing children returning to school is now becoming a concern for mothers. The reality of working remotely every single day alongside meeting the needs of their children requires getting used to – with many still seeking a balance, returning to school now poses a new reality for women.

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The Evolving Interest in Self-Directed Learning: Developing Proficiency as Professionals

With thousands of professionals laid off due to COVID-19, and many more finding their jobs at risk, self-directed learning (SDL) has never taken a front line placement like it has today. Many professionals may be reluctant to invest in conferences, networking, volunteering, or seminars for their professional development, but it was not until recently that a number of these professionals started taking a higher interest in their own learning out of the traditional context of workplace learning.

When it comes to continuing education for professionals, many organizations narrow their focus to providing basic training to employees upon joining the organization in order for the employees to carry out their respective roles. However, a few organizations take a more active part in educating their employees to better prepare them for a higher position within their organization or simply by retaining them irrespective of career progression plans.

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The Restart of Businesses Calls for New Priorities: Fostering Engagement and Productivity

Since the Covid-19 crisis, many teams have been grappling with the new reality of working from home, and employers are continuing to prioritize the health and safety of their employees and customers. All of this is in play at the same time that the local government is working firmly to assure that citizens receive benefits to support them and their families. 

 

In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak and the social upheaval, work-related stress levels are up and the need to change the way we think about stress has never been more pressing. With some certain measures in place for the foreseeable future, it is a good time to take stock of and assess if  employers and businesses are still focused on the right priorities. This is crucial as businesses restart their services, and workers settle into a work-from-home routine. It is important for leaders and management to actively seek ways to foster engagement and productivity by re-framing their priorities. 

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Strengthening the Discourse: racism, racial discrimination and human rights

With today’s headline reports of racial discrimination and captured acts of blatant violence, leaders can no longer shy away from the need to take a stand on inquiring about employees’ life experiences during the current state of protest and upheaval.

 

Conventional diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that focus on employee engagement and belonging are fundamentals but today’s challenges push us to do more. We need to reach far beyond initiatives and awareness in the workplace to give workplace conversations on racism the exigency it deserves. 

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Mindfulness in Education: The change Educators Need Now.

Integrating Mindfulness in Education

Adapting in times of COVID-19 

In the shift to distance learning, we need a response that addresses the overall health and sustainability of learning environments and one that supports the well-being of every educator, student, and member of the school community. This means that educators will need to actively focus on maintaining attitudes of inclusivity, as they diligently prepare for a fundamentally different learning program required by this new reality.  

This article is inspired by my experience as a doctoral student, studying alongside talented students and experienced faculty members. In the last few years, the effects of mindfulness on students has been of the highest interest for educators and various researchers. There are multiple studies that suggest the different benefits that mindfulness has on students, and how this helps them to overcome the levels of stress that they face in their day-to-day classroom routines.

Today’s educators and students carry so much on their shoulders. Meeting academic and social expectations –  simply growing up and developing a sense of self and belonging – can be tough. Yet the pressures in today’s educational environment reach far beyond these basics. Our world is moving and changing faster than ever.

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Should We Fire Him Over The Phone? Adapting in the times of COVID-19

Should We Fire Him Over The Phone?
Adapting in the times of COVID-19
By Gifty Parker

Firing employees can be one of the toughest tasks a manager faces, and can present further challenges when the manager is also faced with the current “virtual workplace” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Termination during this new reality can be even more complicated when organizations have to manage unskilled workers with limited technological proficiency.

With today’s workforce being forced into remote work by today’s rapid, worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus, many companies are finding themselves struggling to manage the terminations and offboarding of employees with the new “virtual” way of doing things. As an HR professional, my intent when firing someone is to always remain compassionate, to empathise when the termination is resulting from a redundancy, and to make terminations more human and humane. But this new reality makes the old way of doing things bygone.

In curbing the spread of COVID-19, virtual communication provides people with the possibility to self-isolate and self-distance. Virtual communication can also get muddled, and trust and collaboration can suffer when workers are siloed. In the opinion of many, it can be perceived as the wrong medium for terminating employees.

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