Managing Unionized Environments: The Fort McMurray Experience

Stephanie Noel
Labour Relations

Stephanie Noel, Queen's IRC Business Development ManagerIt is an exciting time at the IRC. Not only are we continuing to expand our programming options, we are also exploring new locations to hold our programs. Most recently, the IRC’s program team headed to Fort McMurray, delivering our Managing Unionized Environments program in October. As the IRC evolves our programming options to best meet the needs of HR, LR, and OD professionals, we also aim to offer programs in locations that are convenient for our participants and their sponsor organizations. The resounding success of the October Managing Unionized Environments has encouraged the IRC to consider offering additional programming options in Fort McMurray during our 2012-2013 program season. Having grown up in Sudbury, Ontario, a mining town, I felt very much at home in Fort McMurray. Conversations that I had with participants during the program were positive; it seems that Fort McMurray is a desirable location for IRC programs moving forward.

The IRC’s Managing Unionized Environments is a unique program because it is not tied to any of our other programming options or certificate series. It brings together supervisors, managers, and union representatives in a three-day program. The program enables opportunities for networking, discussion, and role-play. In addition, practical and relevant materials are provided, including case studies and concrete examples, based on the experiences of subject matter experts, to illustrate the theories presented throughout the program.

While the title of the program is Managing Unionized Environments, the program is not solely restricted to unionized environments; it applies to managers in all sectors and industries, as it focuses on developing a broad range of skills. Performance management is, for example, one of the topics addressed in the program. How do you, as a manager, effectively measure your employees’ performance? Setting measurable learning objectives and outcomes, providing feedback to employees, communicating change, and disciplinary actions are themes covered throughout the program.


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