2017 continues to be a year of significant anniversaries. Queen’s University is celebrating its 175th, Canada its 150th and the IRC is marking 80 years of professional development programs for HR, LR and OD professionals. These milestones are important, as they provide a valuable opportunity to celebrate our achievements, but also reflect on how the world of work has dramatically changed over time.
There’s a great deal of talk about high performance organizations and teams these days. In a rapidly moving global economy that increasingly relies on big data and technology, we all recognize the advantage of using information and systems to help drive innovation and set goals. But how do we determine which models are most appropriate for our organization’s unique needs?
Do you know about Botlr, the robot who delivers room service requests to guests at the Aloft Starwood Hotel in California? How about Brian, a robot that provides companionship to seniors in a nursing home? Robots are just one example of how technology is affecting the workplace, and changing the skills that humans will require in the future.
When I joined Queen’s IRC in 2006, I was appointed as Director of the Centre for a five-year term. I was renewed in 2011, and I am delighted to report that I have again been reappointed as Queen’s IRC Director for an additional five years. I am proud of the work we have done at Queen’s IRC in the past five years.
Get ready to see this job ad a lot in the near future. 2016 seems to be the year when HR Analytics hits the windshield of our corporate bus. There is an increasing demand from organizational leaders for evidence-based decision making. Unfortunately I think it will take a while for our certification programs in HR to fully integrate these needs into the supporting training.
Do you or your workplace need a spring tuneup? It can be easy to fall into habits that may seem innocuous, but may actually be hindering your progress. Spring is a great time to review and renew, and Queen’s IRC has just what you need to get a fresh start, with certificate programs, custom programs, and some new opportunities based on requests from our clients.
We are pleased to announce that this year’s W. Donald Wood lecturer will be Mr. Peter Edwards, Vice-President Human Resources and Labour Relations at Canadian Pacific. Peter holds an undergraduate degree and Master of Industrial Relations (MIR) degree from Queen’s University. He is also a speaker at the Queen’s IRC Labour Relations Foundations program. The W. D. Wood Visiting Lectureship was designed to bring to Queen's University distinguished individuals who have made an important contribution to industrial relations in Canada or other countries.
Queen’s University Industrial Relations Centre (Queen’s IRC) is pleased to announce the release of An Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada in 2013. This executive summary is based on a survey of over 400 HR practitioners and explores the current and changing state of the HR profession in Canada. It also compares the findings with our 2011 survey.
Are you ready for change? Our inaugural Workplace in Motion Summit, held on April 16th in Toronto, brought together over 100 HR, LR and OD professionals eager to learn about the forces that are changing the way we work, and to brainstorm strategies for organizations to prepare for the transformation of our workplace cultures and practices. At Queen’s IRC, we also must shift with the times. Our evidence-based programs are carefully designed and reviewed to blend foundational principles with innovative ideas and practices that facilitate change and nurture positive alliances across organizational functions.
I recently had the opportunity to work with a group of HR professionals in Trinidad, through Queen’s IRC’s partnership with the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business within the University of the West Indies. As part of our discussion about building trust in the workplace, we discussed behaviours that lowered trust and those that raised trust. It did not take long for the participants to generate lists of behaviours through table discussion.
There has been a great deal of discussion these days about generational differences at work. Millennials are seeking different rewards than their older co-workers, and evolving technology is changing the way we all do our jobs. In such a diverse and constantly shifting environment, how do we build teams that foster collaboration, trust and a shared vision for success? Queen's IRC programs tackle that challenge head on, using evidence-based tools and hands-on activities to help you design processes and practices that result in a positive work environment that clearly contributes to the bottom line.
How do you change the culture in a workplace where workers don’t trust the leaders, where employees are not engaged, and where people just don’t care about doing their jobs? A few months ago, I was speaking to a group of senior leaders and the topic of changing culture and increasing employee engagement came up. The conversation started innocuously, with a comment like, “There’s too many potholes in the road and you can’t get people, whose job it is to fill potholes, to care.”
This report summarizes and analyzes the results of a survey of HR practitioners from the Caribbean conducted in 2012. More specifically, the results of the survey provide insight into several key aspects of Caribbean HR practitioners’ working lives. These include the demographic characteristics of practitioners, their roles and responsibilities, the nature of the organizations for which they work, their education and career development, the knowledge and skills required to thrive in the Caribbean, and of course, their perspectives on important issues, innovations and challenges in the HR profession today.
Change – for most individuals and organizations – can bring about a mix of feelings, including apprehension, anticipation, anxiety and excitement. At Queen's IRC, we have recently experienced change, and the best way to describe our feelings would be unbridled enthusiasm for a new era of opportunity, exploration and growth.
Twitter and other social networking channels have demonstrated just how quickly we've become a global community. News travels at a blinding speed, and events occurring halfway around the world are broadcast in real time to our various devices.These days, the business world is evolving just as quickly. New international partnerships and collaborations have changed the landscape in practically every industry, resulting in both opportunity and challenge for organizations and changing the way we approach new markets.
“There is nothing in this world constant, but inconstancy.” (Jonathan Swift, 1709)
Swift’s words were true in the 18th century, and they remain true today. We live in a world of continuous change – in both our personal and professional lives. And as our communities become more global and our careers more integrated, it can be challenging to keep up with breaking trends and best practices for your organization’s success.
Over the past few years, I've spent a lot of time talking about the future of the HR profession; a future that I think is filled with opportunity and possibility. We've seen tangible progression in the role of the HR function within organizations. Increasingly, the HR function is viewed as a strategic partner, called upon to provide critical advice and concrete guidance.
We have moved into an era where traditional support services – HR, Finance, IT, Administration, Legal etc. – are under increasing daily pressure to produce a more direct impact on business results. The business rationale for this pressure is easy to understand. Organizations – both public and private – are being pushed by customers, boards of directors, analysts, and investors to do more with the resources they have or – in many cases – do more with less.
In February 2011, the IRC surveyed HR professionals across Canada to glean their perspectives on HR, the challenges and priorities for HR departments, and the kinds of skills and knowledge that are perceived as critical for the practice. This article provides a synthesis of some of our data. Please note that a complimentary copy of An Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada: Executive Summary is available for download from the Queen’s IRC website.
I often think of September as a transitional month, full of promise and new beginnings. Not only does it mark a seasonal change, as summer turns to fall; it is also the time when students across the country head back to school. The Queen's campus is once again bustling with activity, with the start of the new academic year.
Throughout my career, which spans over thirty years as an HR professional, I have been a keen observer of our profession. I now find myself in a position where a large volume of information about the development and changing nature of HR crosses my desk, and I have the luxury and time to consider, reflect on, and speak about my experiences and insights on the future of the HR profession.
In November 2011, the IRC launched a 37-question survey, "An Inquiry into the State of LR in Canada." The purpose of this survey was to describe the state of the labour relations (LR) profession in Canada, based on the perspectives of practitioners. This Executive Summary presents an overview of the aggregated survey data. This practitioner-focused research complements our 2011 exploration of the state of the human resources profession in Canada, and builds on the IRC’s 2009 labour relations survey.
Recognizing that the state of the human resources (HR) profession is changing, in Canada and around the globe, Queen's IRC sought to explore both quantitatively and qualitatively how Canadian practitioners view their profession. In February 2011, we launched a 53-question survey, "An Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada." The purpose of the survey was to describe the HR profession in Canada, based on the perspectives of practitioners.