Keynoter Linda Duxbury Answers Your Questions!

1) How will the decline in retirement accounts impact the forecasted upcoming workforce shortage?

There are a number of plausible scenarios. First, people (especially talent who have higher incomes) will leave anyway. Second, people will stay but they will “retire on the job”. In fact, I think that people “having” to stay with their employer because they need their paycheck when their heart wants to leave will be a worse case scenario here – reduced engagement, poorer customer service etc.
Third, older workers who have experienced decades of doing more with less will experience significant health problems which will cost the employer in terms of increased absenteeism, lower productivity etc.  This is not a good news story!

2) How will having employees in the workplace who had planned to retire (but can’t) impact organizational morale?

See above… they will retire on the job and their focus on the negative will contribute to lower morale for all and a decreased ability to recruit and retain younger workers.

3) What is the most high-profile or urgent professional issue you’re facing right now?

High profile?  Speaking with Donald Trump Sept. 24th.  Urgent – getting ready for two new class preparations next Monday!!!

4) Which of your professional accomplishments are you most proud of and why? Which has had the greatest impact on your target audience?

Proudest of? That is a hard one. It sounds trite but I guess I am proud of the fact that I try and walk the talk re:  my research on work-life balance.  I touch base with my 90-year-old dad and 86-year-old mom a couple of times a week, am still happily married and have a great daughter who has recently decided that I am not so stupid after all.  Plus, and most importantly, I have resisted the lure of the Blackberry/iPhone and only two people (husband, daughter) have my cell phone number.  I make sure that I do not work all the time and Friday night, Saturday and Sunday until 8 PM are always time for family and me. Hard but think it is important. Why is this important for my target audience?  Many of you need to make you a priority. Work can and does take over. We need to make sure that this does happen all the time.

5) What are the keys steps necessary to change a work culture effectively?

This one is huge… not something that I am prepared to blog about.  My fingers will cramp if I tell you all I know here.  There is NO one answer and No Magic bullet. This one is tough.

6) What are two to three of the most important things a manager can do to encourage appropriate work-home life balance?

Have some balance themselves, focus on what they do, not what they say, and look at deliverables not face time.

7) Do you see any significant difference between the state of the US and Canadian workforces in terms of the challenges they’re facing or the way they’re dealing with them?

Absolutely.  The recession has not been as deep in Canada as the US and many firms recognize the importance of talent. The downsizing does not appear to be as extreme here.  Plus, we have a much more effective social safety net (despite the debate on Health Care in the U.S. I would rather live here and have access to free health care than the US where you tend to get the care that you can afford.  I also think that we have a much better and competitive approach to maternity leave, etc.

8) Congratulations on being named a Woman of Influence by Deloitte! What have you learned from being part of such a distinguished crowd?

I was honored to get this award.  Very humbling.  Learnt that hard work and a positive view of the world does make a difference.

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