A female employee was involved in a romantic relationship with a male member of the team. He was married. She had enough. The romance ended. He was unable to accept the end of the relationship. He called her repeatedly, at home and at work. He openly harassed her. He distributed photos of her. The woman, her co-workers, and supervisors all saw what was happening, but no one quite knew how to help. Some didn't know if it was their business to intervene. Some thought this was a "private matter." Eventually, the mentally unstable man came to the workplace. He stabbed the woman, causing her death. He then left the workplace, and killed himself.
This is a true story.
Consider the tragic human elements involved; the impact for the families of both people involved. Consider the implications for the human resource professionals, for the union, and for every individual working in this organization:
There is widespread shock among employees, some of whom witnessed the episode
There is guilt among supervisory staff, who were aware of the harassment
There is a sense of danger that permeates the workplace, and has impact on morale
Numerous grievances are filed, asserting failure to provide a safe workplace
Numerous complaints of harassment are lodged
Absenteeism rises dramatically
Performance is affected, but supervisors are reluctant to counsel or impose discipline
Gossip is rampant
There appears to be no exit strategy from the disaster.
Becoming a Trusted Strategic Business Partner: Lessons from the Government of Alberta Stephanie Noel, Queen's IRC Business Development Manager
Graduates of the HR Business Partner Program (Series 3), December 2012, Edmonton, AB
In 2008, when Mary Jefferies first consulted with Queen's IRC to build a new program that would enhance the Alberta government HR professionals' ability to be true business partners, she was not motivated by an industry trend, or faddishness.
The changing business of the Alberta government and of her department — then called Alberta Environment — demanded it.
"Our work was increasingly being seen on the international stage, whether it was in oilsands or in conservation. And we were being challenged to work in a more collaborative, more networked, more interactive way," said Jefferies, now an organizational culture expert in the Alberta government's Environment and Sustainable Resource Development department.
"We needed to give people capacity for systems thinking, facilitation, learning, and organizational development. We needed to respond to changes in the business, and in the expectations of senior leaders. We needed to think about emerging competencies in the workforce, talent management, and leadership development. "And so we asked: What are the capabilities we need to be trusted strategic business partners? How do we get there?"
Participate in the Queen's IRC Survey: An Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada in 2013 Paul Juniper, Queen's IRC Director
Download the Executive Summary of our 2011 Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada
In 2011, Queen's IRC began a longitudinal, practitioner-focused research project that explores the state of the HR profession in Canada. Now, as part of this on-going project, we are following up with a second survey.
Our online survey probes the role of the HR function in Canadian organizations, including the skills and knowledge that are deemed essential for practitioners, and the priorities and challenges for the profession. The purpose of the survey is to better understand and describe the current and perceived future state of the human resources profession in Canada.
The survey is divided into two sections. In the first section, we ask demographic questions that will help us to better understand the varied roles and responsibilities of Canada's HR practitioners. In the second section, we seek perspectives on the HR profession.
We invite you to participate in our survey and share your insights on the HR profession in Canada. Our survey will close on April 5, 2013.
The Executive Summary of our 2011 Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada is available on our website. Should you have any questions regarding our practitioner-focused research, please contact Alison Hill.
Linking Your HR Strategy to Business Strategy: In Today's Evolving Global Economy, Business-Savvy HR Professionals Thrive Paul Juniper, Queen's IRC Director
Paul Juniper, Queen's IRC Director
You've spent years honing your HR skills, and pride yourself on developing successful programs to recruit, retain and motivate top talent. But are your efforts making a difference to the bottom line? In today's evolving work environment, you need more than discipline-specific abilities — today's HR leaders must also be business-savvy professionals with skills and practices that clearly impact the bottom line.
Who is a business-savvy HR professional? It's someone who understands the key business drivers of their organization — and develops processes that align with and contribute to revenue growth, cost control and risk management. The business-savvy HR practitioner knows how to speak the language of numbers and can deliver programs that are relevant to financial results and operational processes.
Business-oriented HR leaders develop tactical approaches to partnerships within the organization and use these relationships to better understand stakeholder perspectives. They are customer-focused, building programs that give employees the tools they need to provide a unique and positive customer experience.
It's clear that a company's human talent can represent an unrivalled competitive advantage in a global economy — but only if your employee culture is focused on and ready to contribute to organizational goals and results. Your combined HR and business acumen is critical to building that team and a sustainable HR strategy – one that speaks business and inspires success.
In this video, facilitator Anne Grant is interviewed about the Queen's IRC Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation program.
In this new video, you can learn about Queen's IRC's Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation program. The interview with facilitator Anne Grant was filmed by Zachary Pedersen of the Canadian HR Reporter. She answers these 7 questions:
What is the Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation program about?
What will participants learn in this program?
Why does the Queen's IRC program stand out from others?
What makes the Queen's IRC approach unique?
Why is Fact-Finding an important skill for today's Labour Relations practitioners?
Are HR and LR professionals doing fact-finding without realizing it?
How does this program align with the IRC's other programming?