November 01, 2021

Is your company among the "Best Employers" in Canada?

While employees certainly care about salaries and benefits, it's the total package that matters more, according to a recent study from Aon Hewitt entitled Best Employers In Canada.

Organizations are selected as top employers based primarily on survey responses from more than 134,000 Canadian employees at 251 Canadian companies. 

According to Aon Hewitt's definition, employees are engaged when they "say, stay and strive": they speak positively about the organization to others, are committed to a long-term career, and are motivated by their organizations' culture and values to go "above and beyond" to get the job done. 

While the list contains many of the same names that have led the way in previous years past, a few companies have climbed the ladder, and almost 20 new employers have climbed on board.

Continue reading »

October 21, 2021

Is contract work becoming the new normal?

Although they say otherwise, many employers are moving towards a just-in-time workforce populated by temporary workers, contract staff and freelancers. 

Hoping to become more nimble and cut costs, both small and large firms are looking to balance staffing with fluctuating demand – avoiding overhead, benefits and job security at the same time.

And one of the biggest culprits is the federal government, says Public Service Commission president Maria Barrados in a recent report.

Continue reading »

October 19, 2021

What's the real cost of skipping class?

All those students who regularly struggle with the consequences of skipping class can now rest easy. There’s an online calculator that can help you decide whether ditching is really going to make much of a difference.

To use it, all you have to do is provide answers to 10 questions, including the length of your term, how many days you’ve already skipped, quiz frequency, and your current grade in the class.

The calculator then spits out a verdict based on what the site calls a “surefire mathematical formula.”

It also reminds you of just how much school you’ve skipped this semester – and perhaps the fact that you have a test or quiz in a few days.

Continue reading »

October 13, 2021

More Canadians hoping to make job change: study

In this troubling economy people who remain employed are pretty satisfied with their jobs, right?

Apparently not, it seems. The lure of better pay and greater job security is spurring more Canadians to start thinking about changing jobs, according to a new study.

More than one in four workers admitted they’re likely to seek a new job during the next six months.

Among employees who work for organizations where wages have been cut back, this figure jumped to 34 per cent. That's up from 22 per cent who were thinking of making a move at this time last year.

Continue reading »

September 27, 2021

Obesity takes a heavy toll on your wallet: study

A new OECD report claims that Canada has a relatively high number of overweight citizens, suggesting one in four of us currently qualifies as obese — a number that’s expected to climb a further five per cent over the next decade.

Canadian obesity rates are well below those of the United States, however, which the OECD gleefully highlights as the fattest nation among its member countries.

South of the border, 70 per cent of residents are classified as overweight.

Aside from the obvious health issues, the price of all this extra weight is starting to add up both for individuals and employers in added benefits and absentee costs — especially for women, according to a recent study from George Washington University.

Continue reading »

September 23, 2021

Is hiring a private tutor really worthwhile?

Although students have only been back in school for a few weeks, the tutoring business is already in full gear, the New York Times suggests.

In the U.S., the number of tutors being certified has jumped approximately 18 per cent in each of the last five years. And, judging by the number of flyers in the mail this week, Canada doesn't lag far behind.

But, with these increasing numbers, comes a changing landscape.

Continue reading »

September 22, 2021

Morning people better positioned for career success: study

Are you the first one into work on Monday morning? Well, perhaps you should be.

Recent research by Christoph Randler, a professor at the University of Education in Heidelberg, suggests that those who prefer mornings are better positioned for career success.

Randler quizzed university students, a notoriously sleepy bunch, asking them when they were most energetic and willing to change a situation. It was the morning people who were more likely to agree with statements such as “I feel in charge of making things happen” and “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself.”

Continue reading »

August 31, 2021

How to survive a toxic workplace

Are you doing more than your fair share at work, but still being ignored? Are you upset watching your boss bullying you and your peers? Are you starting to dread heading into the office each day?

If so, you’re not alone. Talk to occupational health physicians and they’ll tell you that at least half of their caseloads are related directly or indirectly to mental health concerns from those trapped in a toxic workplace.

And there’s no shortage of them. The Mental Health Commission of Canada, for instance, estimates that between 10% and 25% of workplaces are characterized by conditions and environments that are considered “mentally injurious.”

Continue reading »

August 04, 2021

Achieve aims and ambitions in less than a minute

Richard Wiseman, in his recent book, "59 Seconds: Think a little, Change a lot," suggests that we are far more like somebody watching ourselves than somebody in charge of ourselves.

As a result, much of the book seems to be based on the idea that you can trick yourself into being happier and more successful. And effective change doesn’t have to be particularly time consuming, he maintains.

In fact, it can take less than a minute and is often simply a question of knowing exactly where to start.

A simple touch on someone’s upper arm makes them more responsive to requests, for example; forcing your face into a smile and holding the expression for 20 seconds will trick your brain into being happier.

Continue reading »

July 19, 2021

How will you measure your life?

Harvard Business School prof Clayton Christensen teaches aspiring MBAs how to build more profitable companies. But he also believes that the same strategies can help people lead better lives.

In his classes, he explores questions all of us need to ask: How can I be content in my career? How can I be sure that my relationship with my family is an enduring source of happiness? And how can I live my life with integrity?

Why bother? Well, in a recent study, 87% of respondents indicated that they believed that lack of ethics was a determinant factor in the current economic downturn, and 80% believed that someone can learn effective ethics principles through training.

The answer to the first question comes from Frederick Herzberg’s assertion that the most powerful motivator isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute, and be recognized.

Continue reading »


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...