Government Funding, SR&ED, Integrating Multiple Demographic Groups, Shift Rotation, Injury Investigations and Return to Work Strategies have already been explored this year!
It’s been great to see so many out to our events so far, with little to no room left at the table. The discussion has been quite lively with contrasting perspectives on the topics at hand and plenty of excellent peer to peer knowledge transfer.
Jeff Mitobe of Northbridge gave us some insight into Government Funding through Grants and non-interest bearing loans, Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credits, and how to utilize both to reduce financial risk on some of your projects.
Once a year this topic comes up in some form or another, Integrating Demographic Groups. I was expecting discussion around culture as well as age, but in the end the focus was on Boomers (and older Gen X, 52-70) verses Millennials (aka Gen Y, 18-36) and the fast approaching Post-Millennials (or Gen Z). Wow, did discussion on this topic get passionate! The age group in the room was quite diverse from 20-something to 50-something. Some comments were, “Generally speaking, we don’t have a problem integrating different demographic groups, we have a problem finding them.” And, “Millennials bounce from job to job, staying at one place only a few months, whereas when Boomers were in their early 20’s, their “job bouncing” was counted in years” (1, 2, 3, etc.). I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of this conversation.
Discussion at our Shift Rotation SIG touched on how much overlap is needed between shifts, the perception of more things being missed (quality) on the day or two after a rotation and the fact that no safety trends could be tied to shift changes. We also talked about shift premiums, straight shifts vs rotating and skill set trends on straight shifts. Other topics that came up were regarding challenges around crosstraining, communication and participation by employees for social activities. Lastly, we spoke about how responsibilities of lead hands might change as they rotate through the shifts. On nights when there are fewer on shift, they would have increased responsibilities, but when they are back on days and there are more supervisors it can be quite difficult not to exercises these responsibilities.
I had unintentionally allocated two hours to this topic and was thinking of wrapping things up after an hour and a half, but couldn’t get a word in edgewise. In the end the discussion was still going strong at two hours and I had to kick the group out on behalf of our host! Injury Investigation and Return to Work Strategies are hot topics. Some takeaways… Keep the forms short; rather than one long form with all the info required have two short forms. The first with the very basics to be completed within say, 24 hours and the second form which is more investigative and which must be completed within a week (or certain timeframe). Always have a RTW plan for accommodation. Utilize RTW Specialist as an intervention with employees who don’t really want to come back. Include a job description and request info on limitations/restrictions when seeking input from a doctor. Investigate everything…yes, even near misses.
Thank you very much to our hosts; Hobart Food Equipment Group and Bellwyck Packaging! Presentations and documents from the events discussed can be found at MemberFiles, or if you would like more information on attending Strategic Interest Group events in this consortium visit https://www.emccanada.org/membersarea/owen-sound