Queen's University IRC

Research Briefs – October 2017

Queen's University IRC - Research Briefs

   Bringing Practitioner-Focused Research to People Management Practitioners

Oct 2017   



In This Issue…

  1. A Futurist’s Look at IR/HR – Why it’s Time to Start Over
  2. The Stewardship of Service Excellence at the City of Vaughan
  3. Flashback Feature:
    Smoking Restrictions in the Workplace
   Queen's University Campus 

A Futurist’s Look at IR/HR – Why it’s Time to Start Over
2015 Don Wood Lecture in Industrial Relations
Peter Edwards, Vice-President of Human Resources and Labour Relations at Canadian Pacific, 2016

The 2015 Don Wood Lecture was delivered by Peter Edwards, Vice-President Human Resources and Labour Relations at Canadian Pacific. In the lecture, Peter spoke about the future of work, including the changes that are taking place in organizations as new technology emerges, how these changes affect workers (particularly unionized workers) and how the HR and labour relations processes, like collective bargaining, need to evolve.

Topics include:

  • How technology (notably cellphones/smartphones) have changed the way we live, and will continue to change the way we live (ie: self-driving cars).
  • How automation in certain industries will replace human workers (including in the railroad industry) and the far-reaching impact this will have.
  • The need to change the collective bargaining process and new techniques for negotiating collective agreements, including the author’s personal experience.
  • Change management and the need for organizations to continue to change and evolve to stay alive in the future.

>> Download Article


The Stewardship of Service Excellence at the City of Vaughan
Reflections on Sustaining Momentum, Building Capacity and Focus During Transformational Change
Beverley Patwell, Christina Bruce, Leah Zilnik, Laura Mirabella-Siddall, 2016

This case study examines how to recognize the desire for change and harness that energy to build and steward the development and implementation of a Service Excellence Strategy that yields concrete results and sustains the momentum required for long term success.

The City of Vaughan embarked on a six-month transition process called ‘Building Capacity and Focus’ to design and implement an innovative approach to developing a refocused strategic plan aimed at fostering a shared vision and culture of Service Excellence throughout all City services and operations. At the end of this process, the City achieved the following critical milestones: unanimous council approval of the Service Excellence Strategy, a shared mindset and commitment to Service Excellence, and an organizational design and alignment of the City’s three-year budget with the priorities and goals of the Strategic Plan, while keeping the tax rate in line with targets set by Council.

Given the short time frame in which these remarkable results were achieved, this case study illustrates the value in capitalizing on a desire for change at the right moment and ensuring the proper leadership team and strategies were in place to preserve the momentum and commitment required for change in the long term. It also stresses the criticality of measuring and evaluating change at each stage of the process. The Sustainable Leadership Development Framework was used to measure and evaluate the alignment, integration, actions and impacts of the change process. The lessons learned provide valuable insight for the practice of leadership, management and organizational development.

>> Download Article

Flashback Feature:
Smoking Restrictions in the Workplace
Rhonda Hamel-Smith, 1989

This paper looks at the implementation of smoking restrictions in Canadian workplaces in an attempt to discover the impetus for these new policies and laws, as well as some of their social and legal implications.

Workplace smoking restrictions have come about because of new medical evidence claiming a real hazard to non-smokers from environmental tobacco smoke. Although this evidence is inconclusive with respect to healthy non-smokers, there is still enough suggestion of a long-term risk to warrant preventive action. The notion of restricting smoking has been popularized by an effective anti-smoking lobby, in turn, prompting employers and legislators to respond to the new public mood.

Case studies of the implementation of smoking policies by two Canadian employers revealed some of the difficulties involved in regulating personal behaviour and raised doubts about the effectiveness and enforceability of smoking policies.

>> Download Article



Upcoming Programs

NEW Performance Management
Oct. 18-19, 2017

Negotiation Skills
Oct. 22-27, 2017

Organization Development Foundations
Oct. 24-27, 2017

Managing Unionized Environments
Nov. 7-9, 2017

Talent Management
Nov. 8-9, 2017

HR Metrics and Analytics
Nov. 14-16, 2017

Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation
Nov. 14-17, 2017

NEW Strategies for Workplace Conflicts
Nov. 21-23, 2017

Organizational Design
Nov. 21-23, 2017

Designing Change Nov. 28-30, 2017

Labour Relations Foundations
Dec. 4-8, 2017

Coaching Skills
Dec. 6-7, 2017 Victoria

Labour Arbitration Skills
Dec. 11-14, 2017

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