Archives for August 2014

The Head-Down Theory: How Unfairness Affects Employee Engagement

 Zones of EngagementModern HR practice suggests that the difference between successful and struggling companies can be found in employee engagement. Those companies who engage employees to actively participate in the success of an organization report greater productivity, morale, innovation and health. Most companies offer rewards as a way of promoting employee engagement. Yet very few have analyzed the reasons why employees are not engaged. Our research at the Workplace Fairness Institute has led to a conclusion about the real reasons for lack of employee engagement – it’s all about fairness.

What is Workplace Fairness?

Drawing from the works of John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin, we define workplace fairness as “equity of concern and respect for each workplace participant regardless of his/her position in the organization.”

We define “equity of concern and respect” in the following manner:

  • “Equity” does not mean “exactly the same”; rather that on balance individuals and groups will be accorded the same level of respect regardless of their position.
  • “Concern” means that one person’s views on a particular conflict should be given as much consideration as another’s.
  • “Respect” means that all individuals should be accorded the same level of dignity in the way decisions are made regardless of their position in the organization.

Inside HR at the Ontario Public Service

Lori AselstineIn April 2014, as Lori Aselstine began her retirement from the Government of Ontario, she sat down with Queen’s IRC to talk about her career, the HR profession and practising HR in an environment that is 85% unionized.

Lori talks candidly about her experience rising through the ranks in the Government of Ontario, as well as the challenges and opportunities that come from working in labour relations for the government, which often plays the role of the employer and legislator. Lori shares which skills and knowledge she wishes she had acquired earlier in her career, and her thoughts on how HR can play an integral role in the development of corporate strategy and performance. Lori notes that in the next decade, we are going to see a push towards alternate work strategies, and this will present a host of challenges and questions, particularly with a unionized workforce.

Lori has over 33 years of experience with the Government of Ontario, most of which was in the human resources field. She has held positions such as director of Ontario Public Service labour relations, director of Broader Public Sector labour relations and director of strategic human resources business.

Queen’s IRC Fall 2014 – Fall 2015 Program Planner

We’re pleased to introduce our Fall 2014-Fall 2015 Program Planner. It details our foundational and advanced programs and outlines our evidence-based approach to learning. We are also pleased to introduce two new programs – Building Trust in the Workplace and Coaching Skills developed through requests from Queen’s IRC alumni. Our Strategic Workforce Planning program, introduced last year and featuring dynamic training and tools for managing talent and succession planning in today’s global business environment, will also be offered again this year.

Download our Fall 2014-Fall 2015 Program Planner now!

Download Brochure What’s inside:

  • Program dates, locations and fees
  • Detailed description of our entire program lineup
  • The Human Resources & Labour Relations Certificate Roadmaps
  • Information about creating a custom program for your organization
  • 18-Month program calendar

Check out our new program planner: Download

Register today and take the next step in your career to ensure that you continue to thrive in today’s business environment.

New opportunities at Queen’s IRC!

What does ‘professionalism’ mean for HR professionals?

What does 'professionalism' mean for HR professionals?The desire for HR professionals to be accorded the respect and status of being true professionals is a theme that goes back many decades; and there is no evidence to suggest that this desire has waned over the years. In 2013, the Human Resources Professionals Association asked the following question on its annual member survey: “Do you agree that the professionalization of HR is, or should be, an important issue for the profession?”—89.4% of respondents agreed with the statement. This represents as much agreement as one is ever likely to find on any question. (Human Resources Professionals Association, 2013).

But there is an interesting contradiction here. The contradiction lies in that for something that is seemingly so important to HR professionals; the topic of “professionalism” rarely appears in HR publications or HR conferences. When the topic of professionalism comes up in HR circles, there are two responses which are often heard. The first is a response that goes something like “I always behave in a professional manner, and my clients and colleagues think of me as such.” The other response goes something like “I am always professional in what I do, but there are others in our profession that give the rest of us a bad reputation.” And yet, in a 2011 survey conducted by the Queen’s University Industrial Relations Center on the State of HR in Canada (Juniper & Hill, 2011), the authors noted that those HR professionals who reported that they are “pessimistic” or “not sure” about the future of HR were, in general, concerned about the lack of professionalism in the profession and the credentials that are required in order to obtain the CHRP designation.

By way of contrast, some of the established professions do not seem to take “professionalism” for granted and certainly do not think that the topic is an “undiscussable.” A bit more than a decade ago, in response to concerns that had been expressed about a decline in professionalism among lawyers, the Chief Justice of Ontario struck an Advisory Committee on Professionalism. The document Elements of Professionalism was authored by the Committee’s Working Group on the Definition of Professionalism. (2001)

Director’s Note – Fall 2014

Paul Juniper, Director, Queen's IRCChange – 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.

It’s with great excitement that we announce that Queen’s IRC has recently joined forces with the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s. With 27 departments and schools, the Faculty of Arts and Science provides a wealth of opportunities for collaboration and unlimited possibilities to partner with some of the best minds in arts, languages, humanities, social sciences and physical and natural sciences.

Our integration within Arts & Sciences opens up a whole new world of mutually beneficial opportunities and a broader environment for exploring new ways to expand upon our programming. We are currently cultivating relationships within the Faculty and strategically planning priority areas for partnerships.

We are also pleased to announce the introduction of two new programs, beginning in the Fall of 2014 and based on feedback from program participants. Building Trust in the Workplace will focus on the vital skills, practices and processes that result in a culture of respect and trust. This program will be offered as a stand-alone one-day course, but will also be offered in conjunction with other programs to allow for shared savings for participants.

Evidence tells us that a long-term approach to employee retention yields great results. Our new Coaching Skills program will help you identify your top talent and implement strategies for nurturing their skills for mutual benefit and organizational success.

In his book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield talks about adapting to new and unexpected situations, noting that, “it’s mostly a matter of changing your perspective.” At Queen’s IRC, we are always looking for fresh perspectives to move our programs forward, and feel confident that our new partnership will give us – and you – excellent opportunities for professional development. Let’s “think like an astronaut” and explore new horizons for growth and success!

Paul Juniper, CHRP, SPHR
Director, Queen’s IRC

Invest in your best with a one-time team discount!

Invest in your best with a one-time team discount!

This fall, give your team a competitive edge at competitive rates.

Register 3 or more members of your team in the same program and get a 20% discount.*

Register 5 or more team members in the same program and receive a 40% discount.*

* Discount applies to Fall 2014 programs only. All team members must register for the same program at the same time. To register for this promotion, please call us at 1-888-858-7838.

Queen’s IRC certificate-based programs give your team the skills they need to lead change and contribute to your bottom line:

  • facilitators with real-world experience
  • evidence-based tools and best practices
  • hands-on learning
  • open-enrolment programs across Canada

To register for this promotion, please call us at 1-888-858-7838

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