It is uncommon for a career and talent management company to have its own "Scientist in Residence." After all, what can science contribute into work focused on career paths, an ageing workforce, leadership development and employee lifecycle management?
According to Dr. Nasreen Khatri, the answer is: "plenty." In fact, to this psychologist and gerontologist, it's a no-brainer.
Dr. Khatri becomes Challenge Factory's first Scientist in Residence, ensuring that our clients benefit from data collection that is accurate and measurable to evaluate current outcomes and project future outcomes. She also provides evidence-based insight into topics such as the impact of technology on human performance, the realities of multi-tasking on long term brain health and how workplace factors affect employees over time as they age. Dr.Khatri's research on brain health will be integrated into Challenge Factory's research, speaking, coaching, consulting and training programs.
Dr. Khatri believes that workplaces, managers and employees would benefit from a more research-based, data-supported understanding of how the ageing process affects brain health. While awareness of mental health issues have increased over the last few years, there is still a long way to go before our workplaces are optimized for what employees need as they age and Dr. Khatri is quick to point out when speaking with audiences that ageing, from a brain perspective, begins in our 20s.
As Challenge Factory works with clients to challenge outdated career-path thinking, we believe that having hard data is critical. In times when it seems like everything is in flux and there are no clear paths forward, science can provide the tools and approaches needed to make good decisions.
Basing strategy on evidence, rather than what we believe to be true, is certainly an issue in Canada. New survey results released this week reveal that Canadians believe themselves to be more literate on key scientific topics such as climate change, vaccinations and GMOs than we actually are. The survey was commissioned by the Ontario Science Centre and, according to the CEO and Challenge Factory Advisory Board member, Dr. Maurice Bitran:
"That's part of the issue, that people tend to be fairly confident that they get it...But when you start asking more detailed questions, it becomes apparent that a large fraction of them don't have a good grasp of some basic issues..."
At Challenge Factory, we believe these findings apply to what people believe they know about workforces and workplaces. In fact, data-driven analysis is at the heart of all of the work that we do. We know that today's "common wisdom" around the ageing workforce, generational differences and leadership best practices are often based on bad data or misinterpreted trends. Indeed, as Dr. Bitran expressed, leaders often believe they grasp key problem areas but are lacking solid, detailed understanding of the basic issues underlying what has become commonly accepted "truth."
We are excited to welcome Dr. Khatri to the team and look forward to introducing her to you. If you would like to discuss how science and data-focused approaches can support your workforce-related programs to create healthier, more productive workplaces, let's talk.