The Golden Rules of Fact-Finding: Six Steps to Developing a Fact-Finding Plan
Lori Aselstine, Queen's IRC Coach
As labour relations professionals, we are required to engage in fact-finding on a regular basis. Good fact-finding ensures that the information upon which we form our conclusions and recommendations is credible, and that our advice is evidence-based.
When planned and executed properly, fact-finding provides a solid foundation for conducting analyses, forming conclusions, generating options and formulating sound recommendations. Fact-finding may involve researching documents or existing records and data, holding focus groups, interviewing witnesses, or using written surveys and questionnaires. The techniques employed will depend on the project or issue under consideration. What is constant across all fact-finding missions is the need for a plan to guide and document your efforts.
Developing a good fact-finding plan starts with figuring out what you need to know - what information do you have to have in order to form an evidence-based opinion. The precursors to good fact-finding include scoping the issue to determine what it is you need to answer, understanding the context within which the issue has arisen, and appreciating the "political" landscape (organizational and personal relationships often play a significant role in shaping a witness' view of a matter) - all of these things can influence the approach you take to any given fact-finding endeavour.
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The Relevant HR Professional: Five Strategies to Better Engage with Senior Business Leaders
Jim Harrison, Queen's IRC Facilitator
I'm always stunned when I hear a senior business leader say that their head of HR isn't one of their key advisors; that the head of HR is often not at the senior executive table when major strategic or market initiatives are being discussed.
And yet, in most organizations, human resources are both the largest expense line in the profit and loss statement and the most mission-critical resource: it is only with good people that ANYTHING of business value gets done. For this reason alone, there should be a senior HR professional at the table for every strategic discussion.
So how can it be that in so many companies, the senior HR professionals get relegated to the kids' table when the main meal is being prepared and served? Why are HR issues too frequently an afterthought? The reason for this comes from both sides; business line executives often feel HR professionals spend too much time on process and analysis and not enough on understanding and creating strategic impact; and HR professionals historically have not been trained or encouraged to find the necessary business skills to identify that impact and talk about it in language that excites and engages business leaders.
We have to earn our way to the table. Yes, it is critical for our own careers, but more importantly it is imperative for the business. Outlined here are five strategies that any HR professional can employ to make themselves so relevant to the business and so engaged in its success that senior executives will demand that they are invited to join the senior executive team.
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The Six Levels of Workplace Health
A diagnostic tool for determining the conflict resolution methods within an organization
Blaine Donais, President and Founder, Workplace Fairness Institute
The theory of "workplace health" can be best described by comparing a workplace to a human being. As humans, our health is often affected by the choices we make regarding diet, exercise, stress and generally the way we choose to live our lives. Poor diet, excessive stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise and destructive behaviours such as alcohol and drug abuse can often lead to poor health.
The same can be said of a workplace's health. Often workplaces exhibit behaviours which are indicative of poor conflict management, leading to unfair decisions, a high turnover rate, and unproductive workplaces.
In this article, we consider the concept of "workplace health" and the consequences of poor workplace health upon the success of the organization.
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