Beyond Decent Work

Over the past few years, we have seen a rising tension in the labour market – phrases like “The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting” have painted a picture of the workforce without discussing the root causes. People are burnt out and exhausted trying to survive in an affordability crisis. Climate anxiety and pandemic fatigue are prominent in our communities. Workers are constantly having to advocate for themselves. And people are tired of working in environments that aren’t safe and supportive. Though workforce challenges aren’t new, they require new thinking and ways of working in order to transform systems and effect change.

Fall 2023, IONS implemented our first “campaign” style approach to our work in alignment with our new strategy. This will allow us to focus our energy, strategic communications, and resources around a theme, starting with “Beyond Decent Work.” “Decent Work” is a term recognized internationally to promote equal opportunity, safe work environments, and better workplace policies. So why Beyond Decent Work? For IONS, Beyond Decent Work represents the possibility of a transformative shift, and the power of reimagining beyond the status quo or bare minimum. It’s building just, equitable workplaces that prioritize people and provide everyone with access to a dignified life. We envision this to be a long-term campaign with many areas of work.

Welcoming Workplaces

Under this overarching theme, we’ve chosen to focus on “Welcoming Workplaces” first – our spin on what has traditionally been called “recruitment and retention.” These efforts to sustain a workforce refer to the process of identifying, attracting, interviewing, selecting, hiring and onboarding employees. But we know that inclusive, accessible practices attract people – those who feel represented and welcomed apply. And flexible, healthy workplace cultures keep people feeling welcomed – those who feel safe and supported stay. “Welcoming Workplaces” is a holistic concept that encompasses the ideas, cultures, policies, and practices that support the needs of people entering and working in organizations.

Our goal is to strengthen and diversify the sector’s labour force through promoting and implementing people-centered strategies that attract and empower people in their work. We believe the sector can be leaders of transformative change.

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