NSB Logo Linda Duxbury Linda Duxbury

Linda Duxbury


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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.

Keynote Speeches

Virtual Keynotes & Webinars
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Managing a Changing Workforce

We are seeing 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.

Audience reviews:

  • 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

Speaker Biography

Dr. Duxbury has published and speaks widely in the area of employee wellbeing, role overload, telework, the use and impact of office technology, managing the new workforce and supportive management. She has also given over 500 plenary talks on these issues to public, private and not for profit sector audiences. 

Duxbury has completed major studies on Balancing Work and Family in the public, private sectors and not for profit sectors, including through COVID; 
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
and the impact of generational differences on attitudes and values.

Dr. Duxbury has also (and is currently) conducted research which evaluates the organizational and individual impacts of  electronic communications, flexible work arrangements and change management and studying what makes a “supportive” manager.  She has completed four national studies (2016, 2012, 2001, 1991) on work-life balance in which over 100,000 Canadian employees participated.  

Dr. Duxbury has been studying the impact of COVID-19 on employee wellbeing since March 2020. Using funding from MITACS and SSHRC, and in partnership with the Ontario Mental Health Association and the Canadian Association of Police, Dr. Duxbury and her team have done weekly or biweekly interviews with 100 employed parents at three different points in time (wave one, wave two, wave three) which have allowed her team to track the impact of COVID-19 and the various government interventions on employee wellbeing over time.  In partnership with the Conference Board of Canada, they have administered a survey (employee wellbeing in times of COVID-19) in which over 26,000 Canadian employees from across Canada have participated. 

Within the business school at Carleton, Dr. Duxbury was appointed Chancellor’s Professor in 2020 in recognition of her excellent scholarly work. She currently teaches MBA and PhD courses in Managing Change as well as the MBA course in Organizational Behaviour. 

She also works extensively with policing services in Canada and internationally focusing on work-life and wellbeing issues within police services, sustainability of the police, and how best to introduce change within police services. She is also undertaking research with police services on how best to demonstrate the value of police work within communities.

Recognized for her creativity, innovation and leadership, Dr. Duxbury has received the Canadian Workplace Wellness Pioneer Award (2002), Community Policing Award by the Ottawa Police Services (2007), the 2010 President’s Award from The International Personnel Management Association, the Carleton University Research Award (2015), and was recognized as one of Deloitte’s Women of Influence. 

Dr. Duxbury holds a M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo. She has received numerous awards throughout her academic career for both her research, her teaching and her leadership within the community. She is also a well-known public speaker delivering major talks relating to work-life issues around the world.