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Linda Duxbury

Human Resources & Work-Life Balance

Dr. Linda Duxbury, Canada’s most accomplished researcher, writer and speaker on work-life balance, has influenced policy and attitudes to help create supportive work environments in both the private and public sectors. A professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, Dr. Duxbury co-wrote numerous comprehensive national studies on work-life balance and their effect on business bottom-line. Always an enlightening and popular speaker, Dr. Duxbury’s ideas and research are highly valued by major corporations and government agencies.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Managing a Changing Workforce
The upcoming century will see a fundamental shift in the change in the nature of the employer-employee relationship as organizations seek to attract and retain good employees in a declining labour market. This labour force shortage will arise as the massive baby boomer generation retire and companies compete to hire the small pool of “baby – bust” employees. Dr. Duxbury will look at the formative influences shaping the different generations and look at possible sources of generational conflict within the workforce. She will also give employers information on how to adapt to meet the needs of these different groups of employees.

Dealing with the Boiled Frogs: Its All About Workload
Many employers implement family friendly polices such as flextime and compressed work weeks – but do not get the desired results. This talk focuses on the reason why many of the family friendly practices just do not seem to work – they are implemented into a culture which focuses on hours of work not output: where “presenteeism” is equated with productivity. This talk begins with an examination of why employee workloads, especially at the managerial and professional level, have increased over the past several decades. It then presents evidence on why employers should care – the impact of high workloads on the employer’s bottom line. The talk ends with a number of suggestions on how workloads can be decreased – without hiring more staff.

Managing a Changing Workforce: Changing How We Manage
This talk is a follow up for the talk on “Managing a Changing Workforce”. It provides a critical analysis and overview of key disconnects that may be contributing to a disengaged workforce and difficulties with respect to recruitment and retention. Issues covered in this talk include work-life balance, reward and recognition, respect, trust, communication, performance management, and talent management/succession planning and offers suggestions on how organizations can make positive changes in each of these areas. The talk ends with a summary of how the different generational cohorts view each of these issues and a number of suggestions on how employers and managers can use the information covered in the talk to adapt to meet the needs of employees today.

Capable Managers: The Scarcest Resource of All
This talk uses data from Duxbury and Higgins’ research on supportive management (n = 100,000) to discuss the role of the manager within the organization. The talk starts by outlining the behaviours associated with good and poor management and then looks at the difference having a supportive manager makes to key employee and organizational outcomes. The discussion then turns to why many managers are having difficulty with the “people part of the job” and outlines a number of solutions. The final section of the talk offers suggestions to managers on how to manage upwards and what kinds of things they personally can do within their own section.

  • Definitely caught and held the interest and attention of our audience. Numerous people commented on their delighted surprise that a subject many thought was going to be “dry” academia was so insightful & presented with such humour.

    - Attendee, Boys & Girls Club of Canada Conference
  • We heard nothing but great comments from our delegates. She was relevant, thought provoking and very entertaining.

    - Association of Management, Administrative & Professional Crown Employees of Ontario
  • You provided the key elements of a good keynote: concise, evocative data; personal challenges to stimulate thought and discussion; simple visuals that did not overwhelm us. A balanced blend of serious facts with playful humour.

    - Attendee, Boys & Girls Club of Canada Conference

Summary Profile

In the past decade, Dr. Duxbury has completed majors study on Balancing Work and Family in the public, private Sectors and not for profit sectors; HR and Work-family Issues in the Small Business Sector; Management Support (What is it and Why does it Matter?); Career Development in the Public Sector and in the High Tech Sector; generational differences in work values. Dr. Duxbury also conducts research which evaluates the organizational and individual impacts of E-mail, portable offices, cellular telephones, blackberry’s, telework, flexible work arrangements, shiftwork and change management and studying what makes a “supportive” manager. She has completed three national studies (1991, 2001, 2012) on work-life balance in which over 70,000 Canadian employees participated. She is currently conducting a national study looking at issues associated with balancing work and caregiving as well as a research project evaluating the sustainability of policing in Canada.

Dr. Duxbury has published widely in both the academic and practitioner literatures in the area of work-family conflict, change management, supportive work environments, stress, telework, the use and impact of office technology, managing the new workforce and supportive management. She has also given over 350 plenary talks on these issues to public, private and not for profit sector audiences.

Dr. Duxbury is also an accomplished trainer and speaker in the area of supportive work environments, work-life balance, managing the new workforce, recruitment and retention, change management, gender and communication and the communication process.