Creating a better workplace for your employees—one that is agile in the face of change, that actively engages diverse perspectives, and that prioritizes physical safety and psychological wellbeing—is no easy task.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has ignited change, uncertainty, and opportunities in unprecedented ways.

As you think about the future of work, how is your organization activating a better workplace?

The Better Workplace Conference 2020 will bring together thought leadership, case studies, and engaging discussions to address unique challenges and opportunities that are emerging for Canadian organizations.

Join us for a week-long virtual journey centred around connecting you with industry experts and leaders from across the country and sharing practical information that can be directly translated to your workplace.

Man working on computer holding baby; hands typing on a laptop

Speakers

Ron Tite

Purpose-Driven Leadership and Marketing Expert
Founder of Church+State content marketing agency

Stéphane Grenier

Founder and Lead Innovator
Mental Health Innovations

Camille Dundas

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief
ByBlacks.com

Wes Hall

Executive Chairman and Founder
Kingsdale Advisors

Agenda

The Better Workplace Conference 2020 is all about shaking things up. We want to break away from the status quo, open minds, and forge new relationships. To do this, we enlisted a select group of Council on Workplace Health and Wellness members to become our BWC 2020 ambassadors and help support the development of this agenda.

This year’s agenda revolves around the following themes:

  • Drivers shaping our workplaces
  • Innovation to build safer and more productive workplaces
  • The leadership competencies needed in industry 4.0

Please note: All agenda times are in Eastern Daylight Time. See what time that is for you.

1:00 p.m.

Join us as we welcome you to our first fully virtual Better Workplace Conference.

1:30 p.m.
Keynote session A

Over the course of the last decade, an increasing amount of attention has been paid to workplace mental health. As business leaders and organizations began to take tangible steps towards improving how they support their people, the COVID-19 pandemic struck with little to no warning.

Workplace paradigms were disrupted overnight, requiring a complete reengineering of existing support systems and connection modalities.

Working remotely became the new norm and organizations were forced to rethink how to shape their workplaces for the future, as well as find innovative ways to hire, engage, retain, and support employees.

Throughout his entire career, Stephane has been a people leader. Over the course of the last 20 years, he has focussed exclusively on improving how organizations can better support employees struggling from mental health and/or life challenges. Now President of his own virtual company, Grenier brings tangible and pragmatic solutions to today’s workplaces by blending lived accounts, riveting corporate case studies, leading-edge research and technology, all underpinned by passionate arguments.

Stéphane Grenier

Founder and Lead Innovator
Mental Health Innovations

2:00 p.m.
Break
2:15 p.m.
Plenary session

The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted how organizations operate. What remains, even in these trying times, is the importance of workplace culture.

Panelists will reflect on their organization’s journeys since the pandemic erupted. They will discuss what workplace culture looks like—and needs to look like—in the future of work, and share how they are prioritizing, shaping, and monitoring their culture during the “new normal.”

2:45 p.m.
Break
3:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set A (please select one)

A1—Tapping the potential of a multi-generational workforce

For the first time in modern history, we are seeing five generations in the workplace: traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X, millennials, and generation Z. This reality offers a diversity of thoughts, experiences, and expectations, and will impact how leaders communicate, motivate, and engage with their employees. This session will explore tools and tactics that can generate collaboration and knowledge-sharing among employees of diverse ages.

This session will feature one organization’s story of how they have leveraged technology, digitalization, and innovation to create a better workplace for their employees.

3:45 p.m.

A great deal is learned from connecting and networking with others. Build your network, engage in conversation, and learn from your peers during these intentional networking blocks.

Stay tuned for more details on how we will facilitate networking opportunities between you, your fellow delegates, speakers, and our amazing sponsors and supporters!

4:45 p.m.
Day 1 adjournment
1:00 p.m.

A great deal is learned from connecting and networking with others. Build your network, engage in conversation, and learn from your peers during these intentional networking blocks.

Stay tuned for more details on how we will facilitate networking opportunities between you, your fellow delegates, speakers, and our amazing sponsors and supporters!

1:25 p.m.
Opening remarks
1:30 p.m.
Keynote session B

The global pandemic and worldwide Black Lives Matter protests have sparked renewed discussion about inclusion and belonging for Black employees. This virtual session is for corporate executives who want to go beyond public statements and root out racism from their hiring practices and workplace cultures.

With a combination of education and practical discussions, this session will help leaders understand the range of Black experiences in the workplace and their impact on mental well-being. This armchair discussion will touch on key topics such as:

  • The secret racist history of Canada (Spoiler: We had slavery too!)
  • How can HR support employees who experience racism in the workplace?
  • When good people do bad things: Why all of us have biases and how to recognize them
  • What do I do now? Things you can do today to help make your workplace a safer space for everyone
  • How true leaders support colleagues in allyship

Moderator

Laura Williams

Principal and Founder
Williams HR Law Professional Corporation and Williams HR Consulting Inc

Speaker

Camille Dundas

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief
ByBlacks.com

2:15 p.m.
Break
2:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set B (please select one)

B1—Leading through uncertainty: Crisis management and resilience building

A vision to lead through change and uncertainty is nothing without understanding and support from employees. As we face greater disruption, it is your role as a leader to build the resilience of your organization and employees and help them feel comforted, optimistic, and excited to join your organization’s journey. Hear how you and your employees can adjust to shifting environments, develop coping skills that build resistance to stress, maintain candid and open dialogue, and feel inspired to proactively manage and embrace change.

COVID-19 has expedited the adoption of digital technologies. As a result, we will see faster adoption of automation. These two forces combined will alter fundamental aspects of the Canadian economy: On the one hand, productivity will increase. On the other, one in five Canadian workers will need to recalibrate their skills.

This session presents The Conference Board of Canada’s latest research findings on the impact of technology on Canada’s local economies. Afterward, panellists will discuss potential next steps, roles for stakeholders, and private sector involvement.

Moderator

Harry Sharma

Director, Innovation and Technology
The Conference Board of Canada

Panellists

Ken Doyle

Executive Director
Tech Access Canada

Zafer Sonmez

Zafer Sonmez

Research Associate
The Conference Board of Canada

3:30 p.m.
Break
3:45 p.m.

A great deal is learned from connecting and networking with others. Build your network, engage in conversation, and learn from your peers during these intentional networking blocks.

Stay tuned for more details on how we will facilitate networking opportunities between you, your fellow delegates, speakers, and our amazing sponsors and supporters!

4:45 p.m.
Day 2 adjournment
1:00 p.m.

A great deal is learned from connecting and networking with others. Build your network, engage in conversation, and learn from your peers during these intentional networking blocks.

Stay tuned for more details on how we will facilitate networking opportunities between you, your fellow delegates, speakers, and our amazing sponsors and supporters!

1:25 p.m.
Opening remarks
1:30 p.m.
Keynote session C

COVID-19 has changed how work is being done and how employees interact. A recent study conducted by The Conference Board of Canada and Mental Health Commission of Canada found the quality of employees’ social connections matter in predicting how well they cope through difficult times.

When ignored and undealt with, the psychosocial factor of isolation can increase the risk for employees’ mental harm and erode their mental health. As organizations adjust and adapt to the new normal, they must consider the importance of meaningful social connections for supporting employee’s mental health and job fulfillment.

In this session, Dr. Howatt will:

  • Explore the relationship between the psychosocial factor of isolation and employees’ psychological health and safety in the workplace.
  • Review the links between social connections gaps and mental health.
  • Discuss how to measure employees’ perceived isolation and loneliness in the workplace.
  • Define actions employers can take to support employees in building healthy and safe social connections.
Bill Howatt

Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity
The Conference Board of Canada

2:15 p.m.
Break
2:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set C (please select one)

C1—Choose your discussion: Physical health and safety

In this interactive session, the audience will decide which of two topics they would prefer to see covered under the umbrella of physical health and safety. Stay tuned for more details.

The next phase of the pandemic will throw out leadership challenges like we’ve never seen. Economic realities will begin to bite. Social distancing will create cultural wedges in the workplace. New competencies will be needed and along with them, practices to help navigate what’s ahead. Relational leadership is a new way to think about how we lead that is meant for these times. As a relational leader, you’ll harness emergent, dynamic and co-created energy that will help you see the big picture faster, accelerating performance. In this presentation, we’ll explore how pausing, planning and preparing are will keep you moving with agility and confidence. You’ll leave the session armed with the 7 key questions to ask of yourself as you prepare for a turbulent 2021.

Participants will learn:

  • How to make the leap onto relational leadership’s seven stepping stones
  • How to harness multiple perspectives to ignite commitment, trust, and accountability
  • How to develop pause, plan and prepare, enabling you to find more room to maneuver and attain much needed breathing space
Jill Birch

Leadership and Team Development Facilitator
Founder and CEO, BirchGrove Inc.

3:30 p.m.
Break
3:45 p.m.

A great deal is learned from connecting and networking with others. Build your network, engage in conversation, and learn from your peers during these intentional networking blocks.

Stay tuned for more details on how we will facilitate networking opportunities between you, your fellow delegates, speakers, and our amazing sponsors and supporters!

4:45 p.m.
Day 3 adjournment
1:00 p.m.

A great deal is learned from connecting and networking with others. Build your network, engage in conversation, and learn from your peers during these intentional networking blocks.

Stay tuned for more details on how we will facilitate networking opportunities between you, your fellow delegates, speakers, and our amazing sponsors and supporters!

1:25 p.m.
Opening remarks
1:30 p.m.
Keynote session D

Session description TBC.

2:15 p.m.
Break
2:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set D (please select one)

D1—Returning after workplace injury or illness: What’s changed since COVID-19?

This session will explore how COVID-19 is changing the return-to-work process and its impacts on Canadian employers and their employees. Join this discussion to see how employers can adjust their return-to-work procedures in a pandemic-era workplace. Get practical tips and ideas as we consider the future of work.

This session will explore the following questions:

  • How has COVID-19 changed businesses’ return-to-work and claim management processes?
  • How can employers better support their employees in their return from a workplace injury and/or illness?
  • Looking at the future of work, what other considerations will employers need to navigate?
Samia Jarjoura

Vice President,Sales & Consulting
ReedGroup Canada

Melissa O’Dell Reinhardt

Paralegal
ReedGroup Canada

Nicole Desautels

Workers’ Compensation Case Manager
ReedGroup Canada

As leaders and professionals, we have suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a completely unprecedented pandemic, which has accelerated our transition to digital workspaces and remote technology systems. In this new world, we are more physically distant than ever, yet our need for connection and collaboration has never been greater. Leaders all around the world have been tasked with the challenge of connecting their people virtually and establishing new inroads to digital transformation. To achieve success, leaders will have to understand how to leverage emotional intelligence in a virtual space, which is even more challenging than leveraging these critical leadership skills face-to-face. This session will outline what emotional intelligence is, why it matters today more than ever, and how leaders and professionals can leverage this skill in digital landscapes to cultivate more effective team collaboration.

Jamelle Lindo

Emotional Intelligence Leadership Coach
Paradigm People Development Inc.

3:30 p.m.
Break
3:45 p.m.

A great deal is learned from connecting and networking with others. Build your network, engage in conversation, and learn from your peers during these intentional networking blocks.

Stay tuned for more details on how we will facilitate networking opportunities between you, your fellow delegates, speakers, and our amazing sponsors and supporters!

4:45 p.m.
Day 4 adjournment
1:15 p.m.

Session description TBD.

1:30 p.m.
Plenary session

A key insight into workplaces doing well during the pandemic is how quickly they were able to pivot. Developing capabilities to transform ways of working together means embracing new ways to learn, to empower and generate a culture of trust. This means understanding how change has changed and acquiring new skills to become ever more innovative and agile. How leaders respond in the coming months will make the crucial difference in this time of fragility.

This panel discussion will explore the experiences of three leaders who will share their perspectives and lessons learned during the pandemic, how their leadership has changed and how they are supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion to foster greater collaboration. Our panel will look not only at best, but next practices, sharing advice to support your leadership in the development of stronger, connective workplaces.

Moderator

Jill Birch

Leadership and Team Development Facilitator
Founder and CEO, BirchGrove Inc.

Panellists

Kunal Gupta

CEO
Polar Inc.

Diane Brisebois

President & CEO
Retail Council of Canada

Wes Hall

Executive Chairman and Founder
Kingsdale Advisors

2:15 p.m.
Break
2:30 p.m.
Keynote session E

Contrary to popular belief, there’s no seasonality to leadership. While inputs and outputs may change in response to different cultural trends, varied economic indicators, or even (once a century), the societal effects of a global pandemic, the operating system that governs them shouldn’t change.

What creates better workplaces has very little to do with foosball tables, holiday parties, or Wednesday afternoon Zoom Trivia Challenges where Mary is almost guaranteed to begin on mute. Interestingly, what helps create better workplaces is the same organizational operating system that creates better-performing organizations and better-performing people.

After all, organizations don’t deliver results, growth, or even great culture. People do. And it’s those people who need to be access and be running the same operating system. Better workplaces are created when the organization and its people align what they think, what they do, and what they say.

We are grounded by our purpose (the THINK part). We are defined by our actions (the DO part). And both are adopted by our colleagues, clients, and partners through our communications (the SAY part).

To create better workplaces, we should probably create amazing learning places, right? Done. This humourous and insightful session will have you laughing and learning whether you’re in your office or in your home. Just make your bed, okay?

Ron Tite

Purpose-Driven Leadership and Marketing Expert
Founder of Church+State content marketing agency

3:00 p.m.

Thank you for joining us at BWC 2020!

3:15 p.m.
Conference adjournment

Attend the conference, receive a certificate

Did you know that the Better Workplace Conference is now approved for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours? That means for attending, you will receive hours towards your CPD requirement.

Previous Conference Highlights

Here are some highlights from the 2019 Better Workplace Conference held in Whistler, BC:

  • 224 past attendees
  • 4.7/5.0 overall satisfaction

Attendees by job function:

Attendees by Job Function Services Public admin. Financial services Communications & utlities Unknown Manufacturing Retail trade Construction

Attendees by job title:

Attendees by Job Title CEO VP Director Manager Technical Admin Unknown

Some of our noteworthy speakers from our previous conference

Doug Keeley

Doug Keeley

CEO and Chief Storyteller
STORIES RULE!

Mary Ann Bayton

Mary Ann Bayton

Program Director
Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

 
 
Warren Macdonald

Warren Macdonald

Change Coach and Motivational Speaker

Giselle Kovary

Giselle Kovary

President and Co-Founder
n-gen People Performance Inc.

Register

$450

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