Lifelong Learning: Advocating Professional Development
Derik McArthur, Queen's IRC Coach
Lifelong learning is a catchphrase often used by many, but a concept practiced by few. As professionals look to not only increase their skill sets, but also to keep up with trends within their industry, it is increasingly important to maintain a high level of competence by continuing to learn. In many fields, such as human resources, professional organizations have been established to maintain a minimum standard for practitioners to achieve to ensure that the profession is held to a measurable level of competence. The CHRP is one example of a professional designation in Canada.
It is human nature to always question and seek knowledge. Most of our conversations are the sharing of or the request for information. We continually seek to expand our knowledge base and learn more about what interests us. As practitioners, we know all too well that at the end of any course we take or seminar we attend, our own theories start to develop and the quest for additional knowledge grows. This is why we must embrace learning and encourage it both professionally in our various workplaces, as well as personally, and apply it to our outside interests. Professional development programs and workplace learning strategies are ways in which employees can ensure that they continue to expand their knowledge and skills, thereby contributing to their lifelong learning. In this article, I discuss the benefits of professional development from an employer and employee perspective.
Training Employees is Key to Effective Union-Management Relationships
Cathy Sheldrick, Queen's IRC Marketing Assistant
Queen's University in Kingston, ON
For practitioners in Queen's University's Human Resources (HR) department, the past two years have brought about a number of changes in the way they do their jobs. Two years ago, there were four union contracts at the University, and today, the tenth contract is being negotiated. With about 80% of the University's employees now unionized, Al Orth, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources) at Queen's University, says the environment has changed significantly. The University had to think ahead about how it was going to support its employees in this new world. "For the vast majority of our supervisors and managers, managing in a unionized environment will be a new experience," Al says.
Al immediately saw the importance of investing in training for the front-line workers who will be dealing with the application of the collective agreements on a daily basis. "It is important that we, as an institution, provide this kind of background, and train individuals in these key management and supervisory roles to continue to build positive employee relations."
The IRC will be participating in several trade shows and conferences in the next few months. Please visit our booth at the following events:
HRPA 2013 Annual Conference and Trade Show January 23-25, 2013
The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is holding their annual conference and trade show this week at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto. Stop by and say hello – we are at booth 801.
2013 HRIA Conference and Trade Show April 17-18, 2013
The Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA) presents their annual conference at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, AB this spring.
Canadian Talent Management Summit May 6-8, 2013
The 3rd annual Canadian Talent Management Summit will be held in Toronto at the Hyatt Recency Toronto.