Queen's University IRC

Human Resources

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.

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.

What’s Your Superpower? A Reflection on Personal and Team Branding

What’s Your Superpower? A Reflection on Personal and Team Branding

Like many people, my life changed significantly overnight in mid-March. Suddenly I was working from home – exclusively. Among the many changes from this, my commute went from 60 minutes a day to approximately 60 seconds a day to the “office” (including grabbing a coffee on the way). With this excess capacity and time, after a few sleep-ins (comparatively 08:00 a.m.), I decided to use this time productively for mental health (reflection, planning, introspection and improvement).

The Starting Point for Building a Trust Plan

Levels of Trust in Workplace Relationships

How do you define trust? How do you describe what trust means to you? Ask ten people and you will likely hear ten different responses.  Because trust is personal. Our past experiences with building, keeping or losing trust really shape how we define trust. For me, I define trust as having the belief that someone, or a company, will do what they say they will do and in with my best interest in mind. A tall order? 

A Coaching Differentiator

A Humble Mindset: A Coaching Differentiator

As a leadership coach, I regularly reflect on the approaches which support the essential relationship between the client and coach. Something that allows these approaches to work more effectively is an overarching mindset of humility, a mindset that applies to both the client as well as the coach. I do want to be clear that ‘humility’ for me does not imply weakness, nor is it the opposite of a tough-minded approach to supporting a client in his or her developmental goals. Rather, it implies a respectful environment that recognizes that the most appropriate coaching relationship is one in which client and coach work on strategies, plans and actions that will result in positive impact.

Lessons from the BCNU Governance Board Certificate Program

Building a Custom Queen’s IRC Certificate: Lessons from the BCNU Governance Board Certificate Program

Union president Christine Sorensen and the British Columbia Nurses’ Union (BCNU) Board have big aspirations for a professional union with a strong, high-functioning Board. Achieving this vision has meant restructuring, long-term strategic planning, and significant training for the Board – and all within a three-year elected term. In 2017, Christine was appointed as president (from the vp/acting-president role) and a new Board had also been elected. With a significant turnover in Board members and a strong drive for change, they began working towards their goals, immediately taking on some significant organizational and structural issues.

The Human Resources Business Partner

The Human Resources Business Partner

The Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) is a popular designation for many human resources professionals in today’s Canadian organizations. However, there seems to be no consistent definition of this role and its responsibilities. This article will attempt to describe the most common organizational structures or models used by HR departments to incorporate HRBPs and will review the strengths and challenges of these models. It will also illustrate the duties and the necessary skills of the fully competent HRBP and make recommendations for organizations considering creating HRBP roles.

HR And Manager Partnerships: Building Accountability In The Workplace

HR and Manager Partnerships: Building Accountability in the Workplace

Rayna had just received an interesting request. J.B., a recent addition to the front-line management team, had come to her following the division wide quarterly town hall update. The division president, Anne, had given a talk on accountability. She’d been firm in her resolve to increase division wide understanding of what it meant to be accountable at work. J.B. wasn’t questioning the directive. He was struggling with the meaning. What did accountability mean for him as a manager?

Strategy or Culture? What’s Your Leadership Challenge?

Strategy or Culture? What’s Your Leadership Challenge?

Change was in the wind. As is true for many industries, the insurance industry was facing significant change. Making the shift from a regulated to a deregulated industry seemed a daunting challenge for the 100 year old RockSolid Insurance Company. The question for the executive team was how to craft a strategy and initiate change in ways that would enable the company to compete successfully into the future.

Competencies Required

From HR Practitioner to HR Leader: Competencies Required

You have your CHRP designation. Now as you begin to climb the ladder to success, what else must you learn to advance your career? One start is to develop the competencies you will need to become a true HR leader. But here the confusion begins. There are many different competencies and competency models proposed by various academics and associations. If you cannot determine with confidence which to trust, how can you decide where to invest your time, money and development efforts?

Active Curiosity in the Coaching Process

Active Curiosity in the Coaching Process

Coaching skills are enhanced and potentially of greater value to the client if informed by an actively curious mindset. In turn, a curious client can increase self-awareness, discover areas in which they can be even more effective and try new approaches and behaviours which will align intention more closely with desired outcomes. Conversations between two curious individuals, client and coach, can raise discussions to becoming part of an exciting and valuable ‘learning community’.

Courage and Coaching

Courage and Coaching

For some time I have been curious about ‘courage’ and its relationship to leadership. I am specifically interested in the part that courage plays in a leader’s decision to work with a coach, but also in the courage it takes for a coach to help their clients become as effective as possible in their leadership roles. Courage is not a new topic in serious conversations on leadership. It has been considered a significant attribute of the most effective leaders for many years.

Identifying High Potential

Identifying High Potential

How do you spot potential? What differentiates a high potential employee from one who has reached a career plateau? Many organizations fall into the trap of relying on past performance as a measure of future potential. Current and past performance may be an indicator of potential, but the two are not synonymous. In fact, according to a study conducted by Gartner (previously CEB/SHL Talent Measurement) only one in seven high performers are actually high potentials. That means that over 85% of today’s top performers lack the critical attributes essential to success in future roles. 

Building Trust and Increasing Employee Engagement in the Workplace

Building Trust and Increasing Employee Engagement in the Workplace

Ben was concerned. Emma, a manager new to his group, had just received her employee engagement scores. They were not good. Emma had been a rock star in her previous individual contributor role. She was seen as talent for the future in the organization. As her HR Business Partner, Ben had watched her struggle as a first-time manager. Now, it appeared that her employee team was willing to put those struggles on paper in the form of not so good engagement scores.

3 Reasons HR Analytics Projects Can Lead to Frustration and Failure

A Cautionary Tale: 3 Reasons HR Analytics Projects Can Lead to Frustration and Failure

Nothing frustrates me more than to see the expertise, experience and time of HR professionals wasted. And in today’s working environment, I see frustration and failure all too frequently in Analytics projects. We have pored through oceans of data and done hours of spread sheeting and analysis, and in the end the leaders we have presented our analysis to have put it to one side or seemed confused or unimpressed by our efforts. Somehow we have missed the mark.

The Talent Gap – Is it Reality or Fiction?

The Talent Gap – Is it Reality or Fiction?

A simple Google search on the words “talent management” reveals almost 17 million hits, and if we look at studies in all countries over the last decade, every time CHRO’s & CEO’s are surveyed, two of the top three challenges they say they face are lack of talent and a shortage of leadership. It isn’t clear whether these two are linked (i.e. is talented leadership scarce; or is it that both leadership and specific talents at all organizational levels are in short supply.)

The Making of the Super CHRO

The Making of the Super CHRO

Today CHRO’s are judged on what they deliver and how they get things done. Aligning talent, fostering engagement, enabling common shared vision and values are critical elements in their toolkit. The CHRO has a vital role in shaping the direction of the organization and ensuring business success for all its shareholders. A tall order for sure but one that I believe we are fully equipped to deliver. This article gives more detail on strategic business planning and HR alignment.

The Power of Cognitive Behavioural Techniques in the Workplace

The Power of Cognitive Behavioural Techniques in the Workplace

There is strong evidence of the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to treat a host of symptoms and behaviours commonly associated with depression and anxiety disorders. In this article, I will discuss the application of CBT techniques to both return to work and performance improvement plans, for individuals whose work life has been impacted by these issues.

5 Questions to Help You Sell the Value of HR

5 Questions to Help You “Sell” the Value of HR

We have created a checklist of 5 Questions that you need to answer as you work to be heard and have impact. They are essential questions to test yourself against at the start of every project. As you read through this for the first time, we suggest that you identify a critical HR initiative that you are responsible for getting your senior management team (or your boss) to support.

Performance Management – Many Possibilities...and Implications

Performance Management – Many Possibilities…and Implications

Performance Management (PM) has become a core organizational strategy and management priority for many organizations. PM can effectively be used to drive accountability, quality, productivity, competence, and rewards and recognition. Going beyond simply a tool to drive “appraisals” and incentive rewards, it can drive a sophisticated quality and performance-based culture.

Jim Harrison teaching at the HR Metrics and Analytics program

Transforming HR Data into Business Insight: A Closer Look at the HR Metrics and Analytics Program

Queen’s IRC recently introduced the HR Metrics and Analytics program to help HR professionals analyze metrics and transform data into powerful stories for their leaders. Led by Paul Juniper and Jim Harrison, the program was designed to help HR professionals become more confident and competent in how to analyze data, how to use data properly, and how to share it in ways that can help their organization make decisions.

Aligning HR Strategies to Create Business Success

Aligning HR Strategies to Create Business Success

I have personally witnessed HR’s evolution from the back room to the board room, from tactics to strategy, and to assuming ownership of the business and its outcomes.  The HR profession has advanced dramatically since the days when I began my career as a recruiter, and we certainly have come a long way from the days of the “Personnel Department”.

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