Performance Management – Many Possibilities…and Implications Ian Cullwick, Queen's IRC Facilitator, 2017
Performance Management (PM) has become a core organizational strategy and management priority for many organizations. From Boards of Directors to front-line managers, 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, PM can be complex and not without risk but it can also drive a sophisticated quality and performance-based culture.
Performance management has also become both a strategic imperative and a challenge for many organizations in this data analytics day and age. As a core enabler of performance optimization and accountability, many executive and HR leaders view PM as a core management practice and a key ingredient to becoming a higher performance organization. As a result of various regulatory, methodological and technological developments over the past five years, however, PM has become a misunderstood topic that is confusing for many organizations, especially for those that do not recognize the interdependencies that cut across other management and human resources practices at the enterprise-wide, team and individual levels of performance.
Best practice performance management is clearly not a “one size fits all” endeavor. Rather, it needs to fundamentally reflect the unique contextual needs of one’s strategic direction, business model, workforce profile and leadership preferences. Best practice PM also needs to be thoughtfully configured, and in many cases, phased in and allowed to mature, otherwise, the policies and programs that it supports will collapse and be rendered ineffective – a management risk that could be quite damaging, ultimately constraining front-line performance and of key importance, customer satisfaction.
Best Practices for the Union-Management Relationship in the Workplace Gary T. Furlong, Queen's IRC Facilitator, 2017
These are challenging times for public-sector finances, private-sector growth in a sputtering economy, and hard conversations at the collective bargaining table. With so many issues on the macro level, we sometimes lose sight of the day-to-day working relationship for all of our employees and bargaining unit members. For the vast majority of unionized and non-unionized workers, it is the day-to-day interactions that determine whether the workplace is a productive, engaged environment, or one that preoccupies everyone with conflict, grievances and problems. Where each workplace falls on that spectrum will largely determine productivity, quality, absenteeism, as well as retention and recruitment. In other words, success often depends on what we do each and every day in the union-management relationship.
Jointly Building a Productive, Constructive Workplace To achieve a healthy workplace that leads to commitment and engagement, there are some important best practices that can be implemented, jointly, by the union-management partnership. Consider some or all of the following five best practices for managing in a unionized workplace.
5 Insights into Conducting Effective Fact-Finding Investigations An Interview with Jerry Christensen Cathy Sheldrick, Queen's IRC Marketing Assistant, 2016
Fact-finding is an essential skill set for anybody who is in an HR, labour relations or employee relations role. If you stay in this role, at some point you will end up doing investigations, and having this skill set is going to make you much more efficient as a practitioner.
Jerry Christensen, who recently retired from the City of Calgary, managed and coordinated the City’s respectful workplace program and dealt with all of their human rights issues. With previous experience working in the criminal justice system and with the Alberta Human Rights Commission, Jerry has worked in several regulatory environments where someone had to be held accountable. In this interview, Jerry shares his thoughts about the value of fact-finding and investigation training for HR and LR practitioners, as well as the five most important things he’s learned about conducting effective fact-finding investigations.
“If you’ve not done any workplace investigations, never had any training to do so, and then find yourself being thrust into that role, it can be very intimidating. The word ‘investigation’ is going to be flashing in front of your face in letters that are 10 feet high and blazing red. You may find yourself feeling anxious and nervous about your role in this process.” Jerry points out that this is why it’s important to have training in fact-finding. “Usually, when people are intimidated about the process, they're going to stumble through it and they may not do it very well.”
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Conference and Trade Show Update
Last fall, Queen's IRC attended the HR Leaders Summit in Toronto and the Top Employers Summit in Vancouver. It was great to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. Many attendees who dropped by our booth entered our draw for Starbucks gift cards and professional resources. Congratulations to our winners: Janet Ramcharitar, Susan Vann, Megan Atkinson, Liane Nickerson, Rita Apa, and Kathryn Cox.
In April, Queen’s IRC will attend two conferences and trade shows. If you are planning to attend, please stop by our booth and say hello:
HR Leaders Summit West – April 4 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, BC.
The HRIA 2017 Conference – April 26-27, 2017 at the Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, AB.