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Home > Summit > Speaker Bio - Linda Duxbury

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Linda Duxbury is one of Canada's leading workplace health researchers. She has written hundreds of papers, journals, and books, and is the co-author of a series of influential Health Canada reports about work-life balance in Canada.
The workplace of today is not the same as the workplace of even one generation before—let alone three. Despite this, members of all four generations are being asked to understand each other's positions at least sufficiently enough to work together productively and harmoniously. Enter Linda Duxbury.

Duxbury's presentations describe why certain demographic groups behave the way they do. She discusses everyone from those born during WWII; to those who grew up during the freedom of the '60s; to those who grew up in the shadow of recession, downsizing and the threat of terrorism. Duxbury explains the impact these facts have on the work ethic of different demo groups and what this means for companies trying to find ways to retain people from each demographic group. Her presentations—informed by the coming workforce shortage—illustrate how talent has become a source of real power for workers.

Duxbury is a Professor at the Carleton University School of Business and the Director of Research at the Centre for Research and Education on Women and Work. In the last decade, a major focus of her research has been on work/family balance in both public and private sectors, small business, and technology companies. In the course of this research, over 100,000 Canadians were surveyed or interviewed, making it one of the largest research studies of its kind. She has influenced government policy-making and significantly advanced the practices and attitudes toward work-life balance.

Her governmental report, Voices of Canadians: Seeking Work-Life Balance, is a compilation of comments by Canadian workers regarding how they feel about the stresses they face in their daily lives as they seek to balance work and family. As the comments have been left largely in people's own words, they provide a window on how people experience and react to stress and the ways they find to deal with it.

What does Linda talk about?

Standing Still Is Not An Option: Why Organizations Need To Focus on Workplace Health and Well-being

In this talk, Duxbury explores key aspects of workplace health and well-being, identifying the effects that overwork and stress have on workplace morale, productivity and efficiency, why this matters to organizations, and what can be done to improve our approach to and management of this widespread problem. She looks in detail at the current situation, showing how employers are not walking the talk when it comes to recognizing and supporting work-life balance, and that people are feeling more, not less balance in their lives—despite a decade or more of talk on this issue. She goes on to explore the impact this has on an organization's ability to meet its goals and serve its stakeholders. Finally, she keys in on solutions—what has been tried, what should be tried, and what is most likely to make a difference in the lives of working people. A dynamic, thoughtful and entertaining presenter, Duxbury helps managers and executives understand why workplace health and well-being matters, and what they should be doing to help their employees and themselves live more happier, more balanced, and more productive lives.

Capable Managers: The Scarcest Resource of All

This talk uses data from Duxbury and Higgins national study of 33,000 employees to discuss the role of the manager within the organization. The talk starts by outlining the behaviours associated with good and poor management, and then looks at the difference that having a supportive team makes to key employee and organizational outcomes. The last part of the talk focuses on why many managers are having difficulty with the "people part of the job," and outlines a number of solutions. Organizations who wish to increase the number of supportive managers in their organization will get a lot of concrete advice on how this can be accomplished. Likewise, employees with direct reports can gain an increased understanding of what it is that employees want from their managers.

Managing a Changing Workforce

Human resources issues, such as recruitment, retention, work-life balance, and career development will become key competitive advantages in the next decade as Canada moves from a buyer's market for labour (more good people than good jobs) to a seller's market (more good jobs than people). It is no longer enough for employers to talk about the importance of their workforce-they actually have to act in a way that convinces employees that their employer cares about them. This talk discusses the challenges ahead. It outlines the key generational differences that need to be addressed and managed, and provides suggestions and information on the key role of leaders and managers.

You, Me and Them: Dealing with Generational Differences in the Workforce

Now more than ever we need to understand how to deal with generational differences in the workplace: veterans, boomers, Gen-Xers and nexus, all working together, though not necessarily in harmony. This talk will deal with why the different generations think and feel the way they do and give information on recruiting, retaining and motivating the different age cohorts.

[Text taken from The Lavin Agency]