Future of Work,  PowerShare,  Research,  Trade Unions

Strengthening Workers’ Voice in the Future of Work

The Centre for Future Work has published a major new report on the economic and social benefits of workers’ voice.

There is abundant evidence that jobs are better when workers can provide input, express opinions, and influence change in their workplaces. Providing workers with regular, safe channels of “voice” increases their personal motivation and job satisfaction. It benefits their employer, too, through reduced turnover, enhanced productivity, and better information flows. And it contributes to a range of positive economic and social outcomes: from stronger productivity growth, to less inequality, to improved health.

Given the dramatic changes occurring in Canadian workplaces (including automation, digital employment platforms, climate change, and pandemics), the need for thorough and effective channels of workers’ voice is more urgent than ever.

This major new report from the Centre for Future Work’s PowerShare project reviews the theory and practice of workers’ voice in Canada. It identifies several reasons we need stronger mechanisms of voice in workplaces – but shows that voice mechanisms have eroded in recent years, especially in the private sector. Finally, the report lists eight concrete strategies for strengthening workers’ voice into the future.

Please read the full report, Speaking Up, Being Heard, Making Change: The Theory and Practice of Worker Voice in Canada Today, by Jim Stanford and Daniel Poon.

Jim Stanford is Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work. He divides his time between Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, Canada. Jim is one of Canada’s best-known economic commentators. He served for over 20 years as Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union.