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Queen's University IRC

Cathy Sheldrick

How Do You Determine the Best Work Model for Your Organization or Team?

How Do You Determine the Best Work Model for Your Organization or Team?

any organizations that implemented post-COVID-19 work models (remote, hybrid or in office) should be evaluating their choice regularly, to ensure that they retain their competitive advantage and continue to attract the right human resources. It is my recommendation that a review be conducted after the first six months to ensure that the model continues to support the strategic direction of the organization. 61% of Canadian organizations have moved to a hybrid work environment because this was the preferred model by many employees.

Queen's IRC Staff Celebrating 85th Anniversary Year

85 Years of Lifelong Learning

Queen’s IRC celebrated our 85th anniversary on October 12, with an afternoon open house. Guests from the University and local community, as well as IRC participants, speakers, and staff celebrated at the Queen’s IRC office in Kingston.

Speeches from the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, Dr. Barbara Crow, and Queen’s IRC Director of Professional Programs, Alison Darling, highlighted new programs and projects on the horizon for the Centre, and showcased our achievements.

The event also provided the opportunity to reflect on our history and review some of the documents from our past. In many ways, we see how far our training – and the world in general – has come since 1937. We started in a time when industrial relations conferences and training was for “business men”, with men leading the training as well. In 2022, we find that at least half, and often more, of our participants (and facilitators) are women.

How to Lead Your Life with Resilience

Are you feeling tired or frustrated chasing elusive happiness? A full life does come with setbacks. This is a reality we all face. The better able you are at handling these setbacks, the more stable your level of happiness will be. This is why learning how to move through life’s many adversities is important. You can experience consistent happiness while overcoming your life’s challenges by leading your life with resilience. Below are the six holistic essentials from the Circle of LITE personal leadership framework to help you do so.

Canadian HR Awards 2022

Queen’s IRC a Winner at the Canadian HR Awards

We are honoured to be the recipient of the HRD Readers’ Choice Award for Best Service Provider! The award acknowledges the contributions of a company or individual with a proven track record of providing the HR industry and/or HR professionals with the superior service, solutions and support needed to perform their duties.

The Talent Management Revolution

The Talent Management Revolution

Talent management has emerged as a top priority for organizations over the last decade and has only been accelerated by the pandemic as employees were sent home, many displaced, and employers had to radically shift business operations. Human Resources (HR) led the charge in supporting business units to make this transition as seamless as possible – while stabilizing a very disrupted workforce. Not only has HR been thrust into the spotlight over these last few years, but progressive HR leaders have played a significant role in shining a spotlight on a much-needed talent management revolution.

The Gift of Workplace Coaching

The Gift of Workplace Coaching

Many employers of choice offer coaching to their new generation of leaders because it’s a tool with transformative powers. Given the ever-changing business landscape—including the transition back to the office after COVID-19—smart employers provide their employees with the tools they need to succeed—from day one. For new leaders, that includes coaching. In this article, I will talk about what coaching is, the transformative power of coaching, what new leaders can expect from employer-sponsored coaching, and how to get the most out of the gift of coaching.

Inspiring Leaders: Behaviours Build the Brand

Inspiring Leaders: Behaviours Build the Brand

It is no surprise that when we think of inspiring leaders, we identify people we want to emulate, model ourselves after and have the opportunity to work with. As a colleague once observed, leadership can be summarized very succinctly: “Leaders inspire”. And it is seldom because of ‘what’ they do, but rather ‘why’ they do it and ‘how’ they do it.

5 Benefits to Growing Your Team’s Emotional Effectiveness

5 Benefits to Growing Your Team’s Emotional Effectiveness

In the post-pandemic hybrid world, people are craving reconnection. They are looking to rebuild trust in organizations that look and function differently than they did just a few years ago. Leaders of teams know they must foster new ways of connection among their teams. Growing your leadership team’s emotional intelligence is key to building a connection and managing the increasingly diverse needs of employees, while creating a healthy and engaged organization.

Bringing HR Strategy to Life - The Importance of Delegated Authorities and How to Make Them Work

Bringing HR Strategy to Life: The Importance of Delegated Authorities and How to Make Them Work

How do employers translate HR strategies and well intended policies into effective and responsive HR practices and results? A key driver of this success is the clarity and practical application of one’s HR “delegated authorities”. Knowing what HR decision making authorities to delegate, to whom, and how they need to be supported and applied have become mission critical HR management realities for most organizations regardless of sector. Delegated HR authorities are key to “how” HR strategy is delivered, how desired workplace cultures and employee productivity aspirations are realized. They are also key to how meaningful line management accountabilities for employee engagement, wellness, and performance are achieved.

Back to the Collective Bargaining Table

With governments everywhere reducing or removing restrictions, it appears that we’re heading back to bargaining in person. At a real table instead of a virtual one. But even if we’re planning in-person negotiations in the near future, we’re not returning to “normal” – that’s still a ways off. We will need to transition, effectively, from a flat screen to sitting across from each other, in three dimensions, for the first time in a few years. Here are some ideas and considerations to help with that transition.

4 Steps to Achieve Sustainable DEI Transformation

4 Steps to Achieve Sustainable DEI Transformation

In recent years, organizations have turned their human resource energies to enhancing workforce diversity, fostering inclusive workplace cultures and addressing systemic barriers to employment equity. These efforts are simply the right thing to do, and they also reflect leaders’ growing appreciation that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts enhance organizational success. From being able to attract and retain talent, to being more able to innovate and problem-solve, the benefits are plentiful.

Covid-19 vaccinations and Workplace Rights

COVID-19 Vaccinations and Workplace Rights: 2022 Case Law Update

This article provides a case law update regarding the legality of vaccination policies in Canadian workplaces. While these recent decisions are directly relevant for unionized workplaces, the principles set out are useful for all employers, as the courts may consider similar principles when evaluating mandatory vaccination policies in relevant matters (such as wrongful dismissal claims arising out of the implementation of such policies). The current case law suggests that employers can implement protections against COVID-19 in the workplace, but such protections must be reasonable, balanced and relevant to the particular workplace.

Alison Darling

Director’s Note – February 2022

Welcome to a new year of learning! As Queen’s IRC’s new Director of Professional Programs, I’m delighted to introduce our 2022 Program Planner. It’s a privilege to join this team, and I look forward to getting to know you, our participants and sponsor organizations, throughout 2022. While we had hoped to resume in-person training here in Kingston and across Canada this winter, the ongoing pandemic means we’ll have to wait a bit longer. In the meantime, “Studio IRC” brings you virtually into our technology-enhanced classrooms, with amazing tools that our program team and expert facilitators are using to deliver immersive and interactive programs.

Leaders and Change: Imperatives in the ‘New Normal’

Leaders and Change: Imperatives in the ‘New Normal’

The pandemic experience, while incredibly challenging for leaders and teams, also provided important learnings. We came to recognize the greater impact and influence of such attributes as resilience, agility, humility, curiosity, self-care, compassion and caring and attention to growing self-awareness as central to the leader role in guiding teams and ensuring that organization priorities are realized. These are foundational and increasingly expected of the most effective leaders.

Queen's IRC Program Planner - Spring 2022

Queen’s IRC Program Planner – Spring 2022

Download our new Program Planner to learn more about our exciting virtual and in-person training options in 2022! Take a look at what’s inside: Dates, locations and fees for 2022 programs, a digital guide to assist in your professional development planning, new program information, and a detailed Certificate explanation.

Alison Darling

Queen’s IRC Welcomes a New Director

We are pleased to announce that Alison Darling has been appointed the Director of Professional Programs of Queen’s IRC, effective October 18th, 2021. Alison is a long-time Queen’s University employee and joins us from the Smith School of Business. She brings to the IRC a demonstrated history of successfully leading teams within the higher education sector. She is skilled in leadership, maximizing operational effectiveness, training delivery, management of multi-national teams, coaching, and teaching. She is also a strong business development professional who holds an Executive MBA from Queen’s. Alison will take the lead on setting the strategic direction for Queen’s IRC, as well as overseeing business operations, and the financial management of the Centre. Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Alison.

The Great Resignation: will they stay or will they go?

Will They Stay or Will They Go?

Can we stop the great resignation? The pandemic has provided time for people to reevaluate what they want from their work and personal lives. A resulting shift in perspectives on what fulfilling work looks like is now in play. After the uncertainty and exhaustion of the past year, this new paradigm, along with a desire for a universal reset, has created the perfect storm for the Great Resignation, an unprecedented tidal wave of voluntary attrition. Some workers, frustrated with watching paychecks and advancement opportunities stagnate, are leaving their jobs to accelerate career growth and access more equitable compensation elsewhere. Others are making the switch to more meaningful careers, having used the time during lockdown to reflect on what type of work truly makes them happy and fulfilled. There are also those who have burnout from juggling the demands of work-life balance during the pandemic. To support their mental and physical health, these workers are moving to employers who are offering the promise of greater flexibility and work-life integration.

Developing an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Program

The issue of racism and ongoing oppression of minority groups is well documented. Leadership must recognize their unconscious and implicit biases to begin to help organizations become inclusive. Leaders who are engaged will recognize inequities and will also recognize bias as well as disrespect and incivility. By addressing these issues through education and formal programs, leaders will help foster the development of others in overcoming historic barriers to both employment and customer service.

The Shifting Challenges for Leaders: Empathy, Self-Awareness, Effective Communication and Resilience

The Shifting Challenges for Leaders

In January 2020, when we had only vague and incomplete information on a new strain of virus, The Economist published a column entitled A Manager’s Manifesto for 2020: Eight Resolutions to Adopt in the New Year. It highlighted many wise practices and behaviours we knew about but which the authors thought we might pay special attention to, e.g. “give out some praise”, the “buck stops with you”, “listen to your staff” and similar important reminders.

Trust Yourself First: Addressing DEI Using Emotional Intelligence

Trust Yourself First: Addressing DEI Using Emotional Intelligence

Think of the last time you questioned how much you trust yourself – to make a tough decision on your own, to initiate a tough conversation, to admit you were wrong, to learn something new, or to simply be honest with yourself? Exploring your self-trust is what I call “inner work”, and it is foundational to your contribution to addressing one of the most critical forces of our time – creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) workplace.

Hot Skills in a Dynamic Canadian Market

Hot Skills in a Dynamic Canadian Labour Market

Understanding the impact of hot skills on one’s business model and organizational capabilities can be both a challenge and an opportunity and, if not done thoughtfully and carefully, can result in a number of HR and economic risks. Knowing what hot skills are in this day and age, how they should be managed and compensated, and the risks and implications of ineffective choices for both one’s hot skill employees and broader workforce have become a critically important HR strategy issue for many employers.

Leading Organizational Transformation

Leading Organizational Transformation

What is Organizational Transformation? It is a fundamental, radical, ground breaking paradigm shift, such as re-imagining an organization’s structure and culture. It involves integrated, synergistic, aligned, system-wide deliverables for which all employees and leaders are responsible, individually and collectively.

Diversity Hiring to Enhance Inclusive Workplace Culture

Diversity Hiring to Enhance Inclusive Workplace Culture

With recent social movements and the emergence of complex and highly profiled workplace conflicts, there has been increased awareness of organizations’ responsibility to foster safe, diverse and inclusive workplaces. Organizations large and small have taken action to strategically learn about and implement inclusive policies and practices in order to both enhance employee engagement and foster positive organizational culture.

Prioritizing diversity and inclusion efforts has immeasurable value. Workforces that have diversity of thought, perspectives and ideas are better able to solve problems creatively and collaboratively, and diverse and inclusive organization are more likely to achieve their goals.

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