Citing the alarming state of Québec's public finances, Conseil du trésor chair Martin Coiteux warned that the remuneration of government employees might well be tied to their productivity in the very near future. There's no denying that in terms of public costs, Québec's health-care system has the best performance in the country. So why are workers in the field of health not better paid?
I recently returned home from grocery shopping with a new loyalty card. All I needed to do was go online and register the card I was given in store. When I went to register my new card, I got the message "registration is temporarily unavailable" with apologies from the company. I tried a few more times for a couple of days and got the same message. The experience led me to think about the cost of downtime to a business.
There's a clever-sounding phrase that has repeatedly wreaked havoc with the macro economy: "It's different this time." It's all over the place now, couched in neatly nuanced narrative about our "new normal." Is it once again misguided advice, or is there good reason to believe that this time really is different?
One would think that, as the global economy struggles to recover, businesses would be looking at all opportunities to expand, be more competitive, bring in more customers and reduce costs. Online retailing seems to make sense in this climate. Heck, I won't even go to a restaurant without first checking out menus and reviews online.
One of Canada's biggest public policy challenges is a coming wave of retiring baby boomers. This will increase the draw on Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Canada Pension Plan, and other social programs such as health care while the number of workers left to fund it all will shrink. To enhance economic performance and boost productivity, governments have reached into their policy playbooks.
I remain amazed by the proliferation of personal devices in today's homes. Therefore it comes as little surprise that the impact of personal devices is hitting the enterprise. Let's face it, you can either to embrace personal devices in the workplace and proactively put security measures in place, or you can deal with the aftermath when employees will inevitably find their own work-around.
Over the course of the past six months, I have been investigating the "trickle-down" effect of mentoring in the workplace. The trickle-down effect of mentoring is that it enables employees to be more productive and innovative. This is because behaviour is a function of the relationship between people and the environment.
Bill Clinton at the DNC said what white- and blue-collar workers have known for 30 years: you need to invest in people to have an innovative and productive economy. My coach, used to say "you get corn, if you plant corn." Neither in government nor in business have we been planting corn. We quit planting it almost 30 years ago when we got rid of middle management in government and the private sector, and as the economy reveals, we are losing.