Research and Resources
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Queen’s University Industrial Relations Centre (Queen’s IRC) is pleased to announce the release of An Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada in 2013. This executive summary is based on a survey of over 400 HR practitioners and explores the current and changing state of the HR profession in Canada. It also compares the findings with our 2011 survey.
In my teaching and consulting practice, HR professionals often recount stories like this. Someone, somewhere, makes a disparaging remark about human resources as a “dead end”, “non-value add” or “being the department that just gets in the way. Here’s the news. This is no longer truth. This is wonderful time to be an HR professional. It’s time to grow into a true business partner. It’s time to be seen as someone who “gets it.”
In this article, we take one of the more interesting and useful models of professionalization and apply it to the Human Resources field to see what insights can be had. There are a number of models of professionalization, and of those one of the more interesting and useful models is that of Forsyth & Danisiewicz (1985) . What makes this model so interesting and useful is that unlike other models it has a functional approach rather than a descriptive approach—that is, it looks at the process of professionalization (see figure 1).
Employee compensation typically consumes 40 to 70 percent of operating costs for Canadian employers. For most firms, compensation is their single largest operating expenditure. Last year, according to Statistics Canada, employers in Canada spent nearly a trillion dollars on wages, salaries, and benefits – imagine a stack of $100 bills more than 1,100 kilometers high!
I recently had the opportunity to work with a group of HR professionals in Trinidad, through Queen’s IRC’s partnership with the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business within the University of the West Indies. As part of our discussion about building trust in the workplace, we discussed behaviours that lowered trust and those that raised trust. It did not take long for the participants to generate lists of behaviours through table discussion.
Clark MacFarlane has over twenty years of experience in the health care sector, and is currently the executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Cochrane-Timiskaming Branch, in northern Ontario. CMHA branches provide direct service to people who are experiencing mental illness, and to their families. They are in the process of implementing a new service delivery model, which shifts from traditional treatment methods to a recovery approach.
In December 2014, Queen’s IRC introduced a new two-day Coaching Skills program. With long-time Queen’s IRC facilitator Françoise Morissette at the helm, the program promises to deliver essential coaching skills, tools and models to help participants master the coaching process and improve performance at the individual and organizational level. “Coaching is popular because it’s very portable and can be used formally or informally,” said Françoise, the lead facilitator for the program.
Innovation is a key driver in organizational sustainability, and yes, openness and transparency are a recipe for innovation. But, according to Tapscott and Williams, “when it comes to innovation, competitive advantage and organizational success, ‘openness’ is rarely the first word one would use to describe companies and other societal organizations like government agencies or medical institutions. For many, words like ‘insular,’ ‘bureaucratic,’ ‘hierarchical,’ ‘secretive’ and ‘closed’ come to mind instead.”
ABOUT OUR PRACTITIONER-ORIENTED RESEARCH
Our research includes a variety of activities that complement our programming. Through surveys, interviews, and articles, we aim to communicate trends in the HR and LR fields.
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