Queen's University IRC

Research Briefs – August 2017

Queen's University IRC - Research Briefs

   Bringing Practitioner-Focused Research to People Management Practitioners

Aug 2017   



In This Issue…

  1. Creating a Collaborative Workplace: Amplifying Teamwork in Your Organization
  2. The Relevant HR Professional: Five Strategies to Better Engage with Senior Business Leaders
  3. Flashback Feature:
    Freedom of Religion in the Workplace: Legislative Protection
  Queen's University Campus 

Creating a Collaborative Workplace: Amplifying Teamwork in Your Organization
Brenda Barker Scott, Queen's IRC Facilitator, 2017

Let’s begin with a question. Are you experiencing barriers to working collaboratively, even though you know collaboration is necessary? If you answered yes, this article is for you.

We all know that contemporary work requires collaboration. In our fast-paced, knowledge-intensive workplaces, success requires people to integrate and leverage their efforts. However, knowing that collaboration is essential and being able to foster collaboration, are two different things. Indeed, collaborative failures are commonplace.

As an academic and practitioner, the question I hold is: how can we design organizations to foster necessary collaborative work? Two core assumptions are inherent in my question. The first is that organizations must understand their collaborative work needs. In other words, to support purposeful collaboration, leaders must first step back and reflect on the basic question: what work will benefit from a collaborative effort? While seemingly simple, this question requires leaders to rethink the very nature of how work is framed, assigned and distributed. A second core assumption is that collaborative work cannot simply be overlaid on top of traditional contexts. Rather, collaborative efforts require a system of norms, relationships, processes, technologies, spaces, and structures that are quite different from the ways organizations have worked in the past.

Below, I share the learnings I am acquiring through my research and practice around how collaboration is changing, and the ecosystem of supports that enable it.

>> Download Article

The Relevant HR Professional: Five Strategies to Better Engage with Senior Business Leaders
Jim Harrison, Queen's IRC Facilitator, 2013

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.

>> Read Article

Flashback Feature:
Freedom of Religion in the Workplace: Legislative Protection
Elizabeth Campbell, 1993

Human Rights legislation protects workers from discrimination on a number of grounds including religion. This paper from 1993 looks at the history of legislation prohibiting discrimination and reviews current legislation to determine how freedom of religion is protected in the workplace. Precedents from discrimination cases are outlined to give an indication of how cases are currently being settled. Finally, the paper looks at cases concerning freedom of religion in the workplace over the past fifteen years to assess whether the legislation is in use and is effective.

>> Download Article






Upcoming Programs

Linking HR Strategy to Business Strategy
Sept. 18-20, 2017

Labour Relations Foundations
Sept. 24-29, 2017

NEW Designing Collaborative Workplaces
Sept. 26-28, 2017 Toronto

Change Management
Oct. 3-5, 2017

Coaching Skills
Oct. 17-18, 2017

NEW Performance Management
Oct. 18-19, 2017

Negotiation Skills
Oct. 22-27, 2017

Organization Development Foundations
Oct. 24-27, 2017

Strategic Workforce Planning
Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2017

Building Trust in the Workplace
Nov. 2, 2017

Managing Unionized Environments
Nov. 7-9, 2017

Talent Management
Nov. 8-9, 2017

HR Metrics and Analytics
Nov. 14-16, 2017

Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation
Nov. 14-17, 2017

NEW Strategies for Workplace Conflicts
Nov. 21-23, 2017

Organizational Design
Nov. 21-23, 2017

Designing Change Nov. 28-30, 2017

Labour Relations Foundations
Dec. 4-8, 2017

Coaching Skills
Dec. 6-7, 2017 Victoria

Labour Arbitration Skills
Dec. 11-14, 2017

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