Lowe Iwh Plenary 17 Nov 09


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Institute for Work and Health – Plenary Series – November 2009. "Job Quality – What is it, why does it matter, and how can it be improved?" This presentation examines the diverse theories, concepts and practices that address the quality of jobs, work environments, and individuals’ work experiences. On this broad canvas, we can identify points of convergence around key sets of determinants and outcomes. However, a common conceptual vocabulary is lacking, which impedes cross-fertilization across disciplines and between researchers and practitioners. The most promising opportunity for an integrated approach is around the connection between work environments, employee well-being, and organizational performance. Practitioners and policy makers need a basic model explaining these complex dynamics. By taking up this challenge, researcher would help ensure that future decisions to improve job quality are informed by evidence.

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Lowe Iwh Plenary 17 Nov 09

  1. 1. Job Quality – What is it, why does it matter, and how can it be improved? Presentation by Graham Lowe, Ph.D. Institute for Work & Health Plenary Toronto, 17 November 2009 Project Title 1
  2. 2. Presentation outline 1. Defining job quality 2. Why it matters 3. How it matters 4. Improvement strategies 5. Discussion © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 2
  3. 3. 1. Defining job quality 2. Why it matters 3. How it matters 4. Improvement strategies 5. Discussion © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 3
  4. 4. Job quality framework Labour market status Wellbeing Training & skills Job satisfaction Intrinsic rewards Pay & benefits Work environment / Business strategy / People practices / Culture / Leadership © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 4
  5. 5. 1. Defining job quality 2. Why it matters 3. How it matters 4. Improvement strategies 5. Discussion © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 5
  6. 6. Human capital risks and costs RISKS COSTS • Stress  Turnover • Work-life imbalance  Health benefits  Absenteeism • Low morale  Presenteeism • Low commitment  Safety • Dissatisfaction  Quality • Health problems  Performance © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 6
  7. 7. Job quality and labour market inequality Total Rewards 6% Economics and Support 12% Relationships Job quality and Balance Decide 20% And Say 9% Few Rewards Security 37% 16% Relative size of employee group © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 7
  8. 8. A positive perspective • Wellbeing • Capabilities • Collaboration • Innovation • Community © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 8
  9. 9. Demands, control and job quality HIGH Learning, motivation to develop new behaviour patterns Low strain Active Decision Latitude (control) Passive High strain Risk of Psychological stress Physical illness LOW Psychological demands HIGH Karasek, R. & Theorell, T. Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life: Basic Books, 1990. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 9
  10. 10. 1. Defining job quality 2. Why it matters 3. How it matters 4. Improvement strategies 5. Discussion © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 10
  11. 11. Integrated quality – performance model WORK ENVIRONMENTS WORK SATISFACTION - Contributions recognized • Overall job satisfaction - Trustworthy senior management • Pride and accomplishment - Good relationship with supervisor • Look forward to work - Healthy and safe - Comfortable JOB CHARACTERISICS - Develop skills and abilities WORK PERFORMANCE - Challenging and interesting work • Learn to do job better - Freedom to make job decisions • Contribute knowledge & skills - Have a say • Take initiative Source: G. Lowe, 21st Century Job Quality. Canadian Policy Research Networks, 2007. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 11
  12. 12. Work environments and safety culture SAFETY CULTURE: Report – Learn - Act Positive outcomes for stakeholders: 1. Teamwork • Reduced risk of errors 2. Fair processes • Improved service quality 3. Supportive supervisor • Improved HR outcomes 4. People leadership • Improved quality 5. Learning environment of work life Source: G. Lowe, The role of healthcare work environments in shaping a safety culture. Healthcare Quarterly 11, (2) 2008 © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 12
  13. 13. Safety culture strategy model Individual quality of work life outcomes Work environment Safety determinants Culture Organizational effectiveness outcomes © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 13
  14. 14. Connecting the quality dots Workers in healthy and safe work environments… — Trust management — Are engaged in their jobs — Report delivering high quality services Source: G. Lowe. Creating a High Quality Work Environment. Results from the HSAA Work Environment Survey. Edmonton, Health Sciences Association of Alberta, 2006. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 14
  15. 15. 21st-century HR strategy WELL-BEING PERFORMANCE CULTURE © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 15
  16. 16. Trust and well-being Employees in the 50 Best Workplaces in Canada have: Work-life balance A psychologically healthy work environment Meaningful work Friendly co-workers Fun at work Compared to employees in other list participants. Source: Great Place to Work Institute Canada. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 16
  17. 17. Why trust matters Trust in senior management is related to:  Skill development  Commitment  Motivation  Satisfaction  Low stress  Low absenteeism Source: Rethinking Work 2004 employee survey. Ekos and Graham Lowe Group. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 17
  18. 18. Values as guides “In the most influential “Core values are the corporations today, a organization’s essential and foundation of values and enduring tenets – a small set standards provides a well- of general guiding principles understood, widely- … not to be compromised for communicated guidance financial gain of short-term system ...” expediency.” R. Moss Kanter, Harvard Business Review, J. Collins and J. Porras, Built to Last: Successful January 2008. Habits of Visionary Companies, 1994. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 18
  19. 19. Examples Treating one another with trust and respect is a cornerstone of the Nokia values, and essential for building an open and honest spirit at the workplace. “Enshrining the Golden Rule as our working guide was the most fundamental decision in shaping our future.” Isadore Sharp, CEO New core values through global ‘values jam’: … Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships. Core principles include mutual respect and a “work atmosphere” that fosters teamwork, personal responsibility, integrity, innovation, trust and communication. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 19
  20. 20. The service profit chain Organizations with clearly codified cultures…  become better places to work  are more innovative, productive and profitable  have stronger customer and employee “ownership” James L. Heskett, W. Earl Sasser, and Joe Wheeler. The Ownership Quotient: Putting the Service Profit Chain to Work for Unbeatable Competitive Advantage, Harvard Business Press, 2008. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 20
  21. 21. 1. Defining job quality 2. Why and how it matters 3. Improvement strategies 4. Discussion © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 21
  22. 22. Getting at root causes - LTI, absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, benefit costs - Low employee engagement WORK ENVIRONMENT © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 22
  23. 23. Thinking bigger…healthy organizations US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health defines a healthy work organization as: “…one whose culture, climate and practices create an environment that promotes both employee health and safety as well as organizational effectiveness.” Source: S. Y. Lim and L. R. Murphy. The relationship of organizational factors to employee health and overall effectiveness. American Journal of Industrial Medicine Supplement, May, 1999: 64. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 23
  24. 24. Comparing 2 perspectives Workplace Health Healthy Organization DIMENSION: Promotion Target Individual Organizational Change model Health promotion Organization development Scope and focus Program-based Systemic and holistic Timeframe Short and medium term Long term Individual benefits Reduced health risks Quality of life and capabilities Organizational benefits Lower employee costs Higher performance Links to strategy Part of HR plan How the business operates Responsibility Formal roles Shared responsibility © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 24
  25. 25. The healthy organization value chain Sustainable Success Inspired How value is employees created for stakeholders Vibrant workplaces Effective people practices Culture and leadership © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 25
  26. 26. Integrating people and performance Retention & Recruitment Learning & Engagement Development Social People Performance Strategic Responsibility & Environment Strategy Management Priorities RESULTS Health OHS Promotion Pay & Benefits Culture © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 26
  27. 27. Telus Wellness Strategy TELUS Wellness Mission “At TELUS we take a holistic approach to personal and organizational wellness. We encourage positive movement toward optimal well-being through opportunities for awareness, education and growth.” TELUS Wellness Vision “The TELUS culture inspires and supports team members to improve their quality of life and actively engage in wellness pursuits.” © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 27
  28. 28. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 28
  29. 29. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 29
  30. 30. Revitalizing culture • “You don’t change cultures – you revitalize existing cultures. ... What you do is bring back the energy that is still there.” Henry Mintzberg © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 30
  31. 31. How supervisors support employees Examples of the leadership skills, abilities, Most positive Positive and characteristics needed in the federal public service, guided by integrity and Supervisor keeps promises respect:  Fosters a climate of transparency, trust and respect Can disagree with supervisor without fear of reprisal  Builds a safe and healthy work environment  Teaches and learns from others Supervisor keeps me informed  Shares information  Promotes collaboration Get recognition from  Encourages open constructive supervisor discussion of diverse views  Follows through on commitments Discuss expected work results with supervisor  Solicits and listens to input  Communicates with clarity and commitment Receive feedback from supervisor  Coaches, challenges and provides growth opportunities 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Source: Canada Public Service Agency, Key Percent Leadership Competencies, 2006. www.psagency-agencefp.gc.ca Source: Government of Canada, Public Service Employee Survey, 2005. Response categories on all items are ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’ for most positive and positive, respectively. http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pses-saff/2008/index-eng.asp © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 31
  32. 32. Trail Operation Guiding Principles These guiding principles define what we value, how we behave, and what we expect of others. Living by these guiding principles will ensure Trail Operation’s future success. 1. We act with integrity, treating all with dignity, fairness, and respect. 2. We commit to everyone going home safe and healthy every day. 3. We take personal responsibility for our actions and results. 4. We support each other to achieve our fullest potential. 5. We act responsibly to support a sustainable future for the communities and environment in which we operate. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 32
  33. 33. The change process matters “If there is one clear result from the research on change management, it is that employee participation increases individual ownership and excitement and, in turn, decreases individual resistance to change. The more people are involved, the more the change effort is their change effort.” Source: M. Tushman and C. A. O'Reilly III. Winning Through Innovation: A Practical Guide to Leading Organizational Change and Renewal. Harvard Business School Press, 1997. p. 200. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group Copyright © 2005 Graham Lowe Group 33
  34. 34. Healthy change • Model the goals • Vision-driven This Aligned to becomes • Values-based strategy how you operate • Continuous learning • Capacity building © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 34
  35. 35. Health promotion as organizational development Healthy change provides opportunities for employees to… • Actively create a better work environment • Take ownership for improvements • Link personal and organizational goals • Show mutual caring and support © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 35
  36. 36. Shared responsibility for quality improvement Vision INCLUSIVE LEADERSHIP Values Actions © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 36
  37. 37. Finding common ground 1. Clarify causal logic and dynamics. 2. Understand barriers to EBM. 3. Make the change process a variable. 4. Do in-depth case studies. © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 37
  38. 38. Presentation outline 1. Defining job quality 2. Why and how it matters 3. Improvement strategies 4. Discussion © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 38
  39. 39. Watch for my new book in April 2010… For more information: Website: www.grahamlowe.ca Email: glowe@grahamlowe.ca Phone: 250.448.5636 © 2009 The Graham Lowe Group 39