Today is the start of the annual Health, Work and Wellness conference in Vancouver and I’m getting ready to head off to it for the next 3 days. As always, I look forward to attending the conference as it is usually filled with a wealth of helpful information and resources related to employee wellbeing, work-life balance issues and strategic leadership information. I will post more about the conference and related learnings in the coming days.
Below is a quote from an article by Tunisia Riley which appeared on www.aaas.org , September 29, 2006.
“Angeline Lillard of the University of Virginia and Nicole Else-Quest of the University of Wisconsin, Madison studied two groups of five- and 12-year-old students in Milwaukee, Wis. The results indicated that by the end of kindergarten, the Montessori children performed better on reading and math tests, as measured using the Woodcock-Johnson Test Battery that assesses letter-word identification, word attack and applied math problems.
Montessori students also engaged in more positive interaction on the playground and showed more advanced social cognition and executive control. They also demonstrated more concern with fairness and justice.”
Click here for further information on this interesting research regarding the Montessori method of education.
On April 28, British Columbia and Alberta signed the British Columbia – Alberta Trade, Investment, and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) at the 4th annual joint British Columbia – Alberta Cabinet meeting in Edmonton.
British Columbia and Alberta businesses and workers will enjoy new market access. This innovative agreement gives businesses and workers in both provinces seamless access to a larger range of opportunities across all sectors including energy, transportation, labour mobility, business registration, and government procurement.
Earlier this year I became very interested in what the impact of this agreement will be on Early Childhood Educators in both BC and Alberta. I consulted the BC Ministry of Economic development to better understand if Early Childhood Educators would be included in the list of professions that are being covered by this agreement. After some delays, I was recently advised that “Yes they will be added to the list”. I actually think that this is a fascinating development for the child care field in Canada and that it will have major implications regarding the mobilty of workers between our two Provinces. Surprisingly though, it seems that very few people in the child care field seem to be aware of this interesting development.
Ask any employer what one of their key concerns is, and you will probably hear that it’s the need for skilled workers. It seems everyone is talking about the serious labour crunch that is coming and that, in many industries, is already here.
Help is very definitely wanted.
Ask employees what their most important issue is, and the answer from many is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. That juggling things at home, and at work, is tough.
It’s clear that some balance is needed.
What is the answer? For many employers, they have found that offering a flexible workplace both attracts new employees and keeps them on the job once they are hired.
This is where WorkLife BC can help. It’s a new province-wide initiative sponsored by the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the Honourable Linda Reid, Minister of State for Childcare.
Its goal is to celebrate, honor and raise awareness of the issue of work-life balance and illustrate how this can help both employers and employees in this unprecedented time of labour shortages and time constraints.
Workplaces in BC from all sectors –- private, public, non-profit, cooperative –- are eligible for nomination. It’s easy to apply and the only requirement is that the workplace shows that it is making an effort to support employees in harmonizing work and life commitments.
The WorkLife BC Awards are a key component of this program. I invite you to nominate outstanding employers for first annual WorkLife BCAwards, which will be given to recipients at a special forum in Vancouver on February 8 & 9, 2007.