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Agenda and Speakers

The Better Workplace Conference 2017Oct 24–26, 2017 Toronto

> Show Me: Full Agenda | Speakers Only

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

8:15 AM Pre-Conference Day Registration
8:30 AM Optional Workshop 1
(available for sponsorship)

As an Optional Workshop sponsor, you will have access to a highly engaged, pre-qualified audience with maximum interest in the content you present. This is a great opportunity to dig deep into a specific issue and present your solutions to workplace challenges.

12:00 PM Optional Workshop 1 Adjourns
1:00 PM Optional Workshop 2
(available for sponsorship)

As an Optional Workshop sponsor, you will have access to a highly engaged, pre-qualified audience with maximum interest in the content you present. This is a great opportunity to dig deep into a specific issue and present your solutions to workplace challenges.

4:30 PM Optional Workshop 2 Adjourns

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

7:45 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:15 AM Welcoming Remarks from the Conference Co-Chairs and our Strategic Partners
8:30 AM Plenary Session 1
The Better Workplace Has Leaders That Show Courage and Compassion

Our kickoff speaker for this event will be Al Braatz, District Chief, London Fire Service. In addition to being a leader in the fire service, Al also teaches leadership at Western University.

The twin roles of teacher and first responder gives Al a unique perspective on leadership - a perspective that he shares through stories that illustrate different aspects of leadership in different situations. This results in a memorable and compelling narrative whose lessons can be applied in a wide variety of situations.

Joining Al in our opening session will be another experienced leader whose experience complements Al's. Stay tuned as we will be adding details shortly.

Braatz <br />  
District Chief
London Fire Department
9:45 AM Wellness Break

Sponsored by: Fit4Duty

10:15 AM Concurrent Sessions—Set A
(please select one session)
10:15 AM Concurrent Session A1
Better Wellness: Evaluating and Enabling Access to Mental Health Services—Part 1

While issues such as organizational culture and stigma remain obstacles for mental health awareness, it is important to also examine the logistical, systemic, and resource barriers that prevent people from getting access to the care they need.

In this and the following session you will hear about how to improve access. This discussion will include strategies to assist individuals as they return to the workplace.

Thorpe <br />  
Director, Prevention and Promotion Initiatives
Mental Health Commission of Canada
10:15 AM Concurrent Session A2
Better Leaders: Improving Leadership Through Systems Thinking

This session will explore a leadership toolkit for solving complex problems, using an approach that strengthens the ability to see forward and appreciate interdependencies.

When it comes to dealing with organizational cultural change or workplace health issues like addiction, a multidimensional approach is more successful than a linear process. The latter is the equivalent of taking snapshots of small parts of a system without accounting for unintended consequences in the larger system. Human beings and workplace cultures are complex, large systems: addressing complex challenges requires a multidimensional approach that explores leverage points for change and anticipates feedback loops that can radically alter an outcome.

This session will be an interactive learning event designed to identify and develop the skillsets required for success as a change leader. Participants will be introduced to practices from systems thinking, and find out about tools that empower the practitioner to share systems thinking with their colleagues at work, strengthening problem solving throughout the workplace. Be the leader you wish you had by attending this workshop.

Iffrig <br />  
Iffrig & Associates
10:15 AM Concurrent Session A3
Better Experience: Transforming Work and the Organization for Better Employee Experience: The Digital Workplace

Wherever you go nowadays people are talking about digitization of the workplace. While this is not a new trend it has accelerated in recent years, combined with the rising numbers and influence of millennial employees. Even established and typically conservative employers are embarking on ambitious digitization strategies, some of which involve a wholesale rethink of how and where work is done.

This session will focus on the impact this development has on the employee experience and will include discussion of workplace design, remote work, new technologies, and the increasing use of data and analytics. It will act as a guide to some of the pitfalls while focussing on the great opportunity that exists to transform employee experience now and in the future.

Friese <br />  
Director Digital Employee Experience
11:15 AM Stretch Break
11:30 AM Concurrent Sessions—Set B
(please select one session)
11:30 AM Concurrent Session B1
Better Wellness: Evaluating and Enabling Access to Mental Health Services—Part 2

This session will continue the discussion from Concurrent Session A1.

Thorpe <br />  
Director, Prevention and Promotion Initiatives
Mental Health Commission of Canada
11:30 AM Concurrent Session B2
Better Leaders: Better Leaders Serve Those They Lead

In his essay "The Servant as a Leader", Robert Greenleaf states that true servant leaders need to be servants first and foremost. However, there's more to it than that. Not only do leaders need to possess a desire to lead that goes above and beyond just wanting personal power and gain, but they also need a high level of self-awareness. That means that they feel comfortable taking charge and don't have to put on a mask to do so- they can bring their true self to the task, along with all the skills and experience that comes with it.

The most important thing that you need in your toolbox as a servant leader is a clear sense of who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Having a sense of purpose gives leaders the kind of clarity of self that enables them to take charge of themselves, so that they can lead others more effectively.

This session will examine the core principles of servant leadership and explore how you can build the necessary skills on a foundation of self-awareness and authenticity.

McBeth <br />  
Chief Purpose Officer
Servant Leadership Canada
11:30 AM Concurrent Session B3
Better Experience: Goodbye Stress, Hello Life—Stress Strategies That Improve Employee Experience

We live in a fast-paced society with a seemingly endless list of demands. High levels of stress affect one's mood, productivity, and work attendance. This, in turn, affects the workplace by creating stress and tension between co-workers, and lowering overall team morale.

Life will naturally bring us challenges and stress—the key is moving forward so that it doesn't impact other areas of our lives. Drawing from personal and professional experiences, Allan Kehler provides direction that inspires people to persevere through their personal challenges rather than avoid or escape them. Allan empowers his audience to take an honest look at what lies beneath their stressors while providing the tools to heal through a holistic approach. Individuals will learn how to approach co-workers displaying signs of distress, set boundaries, and strengthen the relationship they have with not only themselves, but their co-workers as well.

Through an interactive quiz and an entertaining game of Pie Face, Allan ensures that all participants walk away with an increased understanding of stress, and the impact that it has on both self and the workplace. Allan encourages wellness by sharing strategies that are applicable in both individuals' personal and professional lives.

Kehler <br />  
Author, College Instructor, Speaker
12:30 PM Networking Luncheon
1:30 PM Sponsor Spotlights—Set A
(please select one session)
1:30 PM Sponsor Spotlight A1
An Ounce of Prevention: How to Develop a Personal Crisis Plan

We do our best to meet multiple personal, family, and work demands. If we are blindsided by illness, injury, or life issues, even a minor crisis can cause significant hardship to those of us who are already stretched thin. This is especially true if you do not have someone to cover for you at work. In this session, you will be given a preview of a new resource currently under development. This resource will help to:

  • identify potential stressors and potential reactions
  • identify strategies to mitigate and respond to stressors
  • develop a list of resources that could be useful when you are no longer able to cope effectively
  • explore approaches for work completion and income continuation when you are unable to work

This session is for anyone, including those who are leaders, consultants, self-employed, business owners, students, or remotely employed. Whether you use this only for yourself, or to support others, you will be contributing to the development of a resource that will be made available to all Canadians at no charge.

Baynton <br />  
Program Director
The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace
1:30 PM Sponsor Spotlight A2
How Effective Are Your Wellness Initiatives? Proven Measurement and Analytic Practices to Evaluate and Better Target How You Invest Your Wellness Resources

Led by experts at Virgin Pulse, this session will provide a forum where you can find out about the latest practices and thinking around how companies invest in the wellness of employees.

Too many organizations continue to rely on participation rates and little more than evaluating programs. Yet increased use of wearable technologies and new approaches such as gamification yield important data that, when it is properly analyzed, can lead you to more effective interventions and programs.

1:30 PM Sponsor Spotlight A3
Chronic Disease in the Workplace: A Discussion on Mental Health

Session details to be advised.

2:30 PM Wellness and Networking Break
3:00 PM Plenary Session 2
The Better Workplace is Better for Everyone

When talking about better workplaces and consulting with past attendees and others, one thing became crystal clear. Better workplaces need to be better for everyone. Canada has one of the most diverse workforces in the world and organizations wanting to improve the employee experience need to focus on inclusion—on creating organizations that welcome everyone, where everyone feels they belong.

And we also recognize that this is not just about creating great employee experiences—it is about business performance.

So, we reached out to Trevor Wilson, Author, The Human Equity Advantage whose work in this area has long been the benchmark for diversity in Canada. In this session, he will share how to create genuine inclusion that goes beyond the labels and creates workplaces where people can be authentic, contribute their best and truly feel like they belong.

Joining Trevor will be Tanya Van Biesen of Catalyst Canada. She will share some of the work they have done on women in the workplace and demonstrating the business value of diversity and inclusion.

Wilson <br />  
Author, The Human Equity Advantage: The 8 Leadership Competencies That Drive Organizations Beyond Diversity to Talent Differentiation ,
and Chief Executive Officer, TWI Inc.
van Biesen <br />  
Executive Director
Catalyst Canada
4:30 PM Networking Reception

Thursday, October 26, 2017

8:00 AM Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM Opening Remarks from the Co-Chairs
8:45 AM Plenary Session 3
The Better Workplace Is Driven by Purpose and Passion

In developing this year's program one word kept coming up again and again— "purpose".

One dimension of this is that younger employees - generation Y and now even generation Z—are looking for their work to play a bigger role in their lives, so they expect employers to support causes and charities they believe in.

Additionally, these new generations are looking for meaning in their work.

We believe this development has reawakened a belief in purpose among the boomer generation who are looking now to their legacy and to looking at the impact businesses have beyond the bottom line.

Bryan de Lottinville , Founder and CEO, Benevity has built a successful business enabling employers to connect with the greater aspirations of their employees. He will discuss the need for purpose in the workplace and share how you can create better workplaces by looking outside the workplace.

Angella Goran, Founder/Team Captain, Sokjok will tell her story as a successful athlete and entrepreneur who has combined energy, passion, and purpose to create a successful enterprise and a great place to work. One of her ventures, Sokjok, combines socks with purpose!

de Lottinville <br />  
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Benevity Inc.
Goran <br />  
Founder and Team Captain
SokJok Inc. & Champion a Campaign
10:15 AM Wellness and Networking Break
10:45 AM Concurrent Sessions—Set C
(please select one session)
10:45 AM Concurrent Session C1
Better Wellness: Building A Mentally Healthy Culture in Your Organization

This is the story of one organization's journey to creating a mentally healthy workplace. Using the MHCC's National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace as a guide, the Royal Mint are now two years into an ongoing process that they will share in this session.

Topics for discussion will include:

  • Getting Started—what you need as a foundation for action
  • Getting Over the Discomfort—addressing stigma
  • Getting the Resources—recognizing what you already have and how to use it
  • Getting Results—setting goals and measuring progress

Richardson <br />  
Director, Corporate Health, Safety & Environment
Royal Canadian Mint
10:45 AM Concurrent Session C2
Better Leaders: Coaching and Mentoring for the Next Generation of Leaders

As millennials take on greater responsibility in the workplace, they are also transforming work and leadership.

This session will examine the all-important process of passing the baton from boomers to millennials and how leading organizations are using coaching and mentoring to ensure continuity in transformation.

10:45 AM Concurrent Session C3
Better Experience: Combining Employee Experience with Business Strategy—How to Change Your Culture

Nothing impacts employee experience more than culture. And no business strategy survives with an unaligned culture. Changing your culture must be your top priority.

But where do you start? How long will it take? What might go wrong? Where should I focus my resources? Is it even possible?

This session will feature a leading employer that has successfully executed a major culture change. This example will provide pointers for you as you embark on your own culture change journey.

11:45 AM Networking Luncheon
12:45 PM Sponsor Spotlights—Set B
(please select one session)
12:45 PM Sponsor Spotlight B1
Addiction and Problematic Substance Use: Developing Strategies to Address Opioids and Marijuana in the Workplace

Problematic substance use and addiction have long been controversial with disagreement over testing, employee privacy, safety, and other issues. And it very much relates to the issue of mental health with many employees suffering with concurrent disorders.

But while the topic has been important for a long time, the environment has changed and many organizations have failed to keep their policies and procedures up to date. Both the expected imminent legalization of marijuana and the troubling rise in opioid abuse have many HR leaders rushing to review their policies. Thought leaders from DriverCheck will explore this development and examine the ways employers can respond.

12:45 PM Sponsor Spotlight B2
(available for sponsorship)

This is your opportunity to host a one-hour session by bringing in a speaker of your choice to share new research, case studies, or best practices relevant to the delegates and the conference theme. Your session will be promoted in the brochure, on the website, and in the delegate handbook.

12:45 PM Sponsor Spotlight B3
(available for sponsorship)

This is your opportunity to host a one-hour session by bringing in a speaker of your choice to share new research, case studies, or best practices relevant to the delegates and the conference theme. Your session will be promoted in the brochure, on the website, and in the delegate handbook.

1:45 PM Stretch Break
2:00 PM Plenary Session 4
The Better Workplace is Yours to Lead

Above all else we want this event to help you make a difference. And the best way to do this is to enable and empower you to make a difference. So, we will end with two stirring talks on how you can lead the transformation of yourself and your workplace.

Jean Francois Menard, Kambio Performance has worked with some of the highest performing people and organizations in Canada including Cirque Du Soleil, and figure skating champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. He will share the approach he uses that help these employers and people achieve their business and personal best.

Glain Roberts McCabe Founder and President of The Roundtable will join Jean Francois to discuss how to help teams achieve greater collaboration and performance—a key skill in the increasingly connected workplace.

You won't want to miss this powerfully inspiring conclusion to the event that will mark the beginning of the next stage of continuing your journey to the better workplace.

Ménard <br />  
Founder and President, Kambio Performance
Mental Performance Specialist, Consultant and Speaker
Roberts McCabe <br />  
Founder and President
The Roundtable
3:30 PM Closing Remarks from the Co-Chairs
3:45 PM Conference Adjourns


We’d like to thank our generous partners for their contribution to this event.

Joint Strategic Partners

Lundbeck Canada Inc. logo

Mental Health Commission of Canada logo

Major Partner

Sun Life Financial logo

Participating Sponsors

DriverCheck logo

Great-West Life logo

Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace logo

Benevity logo

Homewood Health logo


Ledgehill Treatment and Recovery Centre logo

Oakhill Recovery Centre logo

Tri Fit Inc. logo  

     Medisys Health Group logo

Virgin Pulse logo

Marketing Partner

IPAC logo

Media Partner

Canadian HR Reporter logo

Thomson Reuters logo

Travel Partner

Image of VIA Rail Canada Inc. logo

The details of this event are subject to change. Please revisit this page periodically for updated information.