Could a strategic HR plan help Canada’s Aboriginal peoples?

Aboriginal

Canadians are reminded more and more of the struggles facing Aboriginal peoples.  Most of us read in horror yet have no idea how we can help.  When we view the problem as a national crisis a solution seems overwhelming.  What if  instead we looked at possible solutions through the lens of a workplace challenge?

The principles embedded in corporate HR plans could hold the key to support the needed actions to help Canada’s aboriginal peoples, on or off reserve, to access employment, and a quality of life on par with other Canadians.

  1. Maintain Health and Safety

Every employer has to provide a safe work environment to employees.  A safe environment is one inclusive of access to clean drinking water, buildings  maintained to meet required code expectations, ability to refuse dangerous work, and a forum to complain, be heard and have corrective actions taken to address valid concerns when these expectations are not met.  This standard for a safe environment, at home and at work, should be a basic right for everyone in Canada.

2. Conduct a Gap Analysis

Corporations assess the gap between the needs of the organization and existing resources and work to close it.  Canada could assess the overall needs of First Nation Communities and work to close the resource gap by engaging and enabling Aboriginal peoples who choose to live on reserve to find meaningful work that is of interest and that supports their Community.

This has been done locally but a national focus on a long term, multigenerational plan would be more beneficial and require less resources than multiple seperate initatives.  The infrastructure could be put in place to assess the common needs of Native Communities and record the gaps between the need and the existing resources.  Specific local needs could be looked at as a subset.

3. Devise Strategies to Support the Organization

In an HR plan there are many components of strategy to support the organization’s needs.  All of these would help bolster the quality of life of Aboriginal Communities.

Examples include:

  • Training and development strategies to prepare Aboriginal people to engage in the workforce in a way that interests them and supports their culture
  • Collaboration strategies to create partnerships with existing organizations that provide these services to new immigrants and other Canadians to learn from past work
  • Outsourcing strategies to engage service providers and thought leaders to bring forward real solutions

4.Engagement

Many successful businesses strive to solicit employee ideas and feedback in order to drive a culture of continuous improvement and increase productivity.  For any initiative aimed at enhancing the lives of Aboriginal people to be successful the grassroots engagement and of Aboriginal leaders and influencers in the development of solutions is essential.

Any change initiative within an organization needs leaders who can live the values and exemplify the success of the project are needed to motivate others and create support from within affected groups.  This type of initative would be no different.

5. Foster a Respectful and Inclusive Environment

When creating a healthy workplace culture the emotional needs of people need to be addressed.   Canada does not have a history it can be proud of when it comes to Aboriginal relations.  Although the work that resulted from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a good start, it did not go deep enough.

Modern people-focussed employers offer soft skill building opportunities and support to employees that include through conflict coaching, facilitated discussions/mediation, and other Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques.  These types of initiatives could be funded on mass to reach individuals to help them work through the conflict with Canadian culture and find a path forward that meets their individual needs.

6. Communication

Any corporate initiative would be supported by a communication plan.  Communicating the vision in advance and during the work is an important change management technique.  Once determined, Canada would need to communicate the vision for building a future to Aboriginal peoples and to all Canadians to build hope and momentum and to create accountability for those communicating the plan.

7. Evaluate and Adjust

When corporations execute a plan they assess the effectiveness and make adjustments.  Canada has been working to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people, however it seems like the efforts may not be as successful as the intent behind them would like.  The results produced need to align with the efforts invested.

Like any journey it could start with just one step…

Are Flexible Work Arrangments the Right Choice for Your Organization?

Many organizations today recognize that it takes more than a paycheque to retain their top talent. As talent in specific industries becomes more scarce, this challenge of attraction and retention will only increase. They also consider that any changes they do implement need to be aligned with the operational objectives of the business. So are there options that employers can consider that align with these concepts? Certainly. It’s just a matter of customization.

Employers need to ensure that the solutions they adopt make sound fiscal and operational sense for their business. So what about Flexible Work Arrangements? Statistics show that there is an increasing demand for today’s working population to balance work and life commitments. We only need to look at demographics to see why this is the case.  Since 1975 the labor force participation of women with children under the age of 18 has increased from 47% to 78%.  We have also seen a dramatic increase in the demand for elder care, with over 68% of the baby boomer workforce admitting to missing work or leaving early due to caregiver obligations. These are some examples of how the demand on an employees time makes Flexible Work Arrangements a very attractive incentive to attract and retain these employees.

The benefits extend past ensuring employees are more satisfied in their work environment. For employers, implementing Flexible Work Arrangement solutions can also serve as a means to increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and lead to a more engaged and present workforce.

Join us on June 13th for a breakfast presentation on how these Flexible Work Arrangements can benefit both employers and employees and suggestions on how to get the process started.

Register Here

We hope to see you there!

Working in the Capital Airs Live this Monday at 8pm on Rogers TV- Channel 22

See the episode guide for details!

http://rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=12&rid=4&sid=4873

Human Resource Blueprints Ltd. Announces Rogers Television Debut!

Rogers TV
Rogers TV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  

 

We are excited to announce the launch of Working in the Capital with Sue Haywood, debuting on Monday, May 28th at 8pm and running every Monday throughout June, on Rogers TV, channel 22.  The program will cover various employment topics from a perspective that will be informative for both the employer and employee audience.

Each episode will include two guest experts, sharing their insights on pertinent employment topics as well as an opportunity for viewers to call in with their questions and comments for discussion. Working and looking for work in the National Capital Region comes with its own unique challenges and opportunities which will be discussed throughout the program. Some topics being covered will include ‘Downsizing- Sizing up Your Options’, ‘Win-Win Interviewing’, and ‘Attracting and Retaining Top Talent’.

The employment landscape is changing and understanding both the current conditions and what to expect in the near future is valuable for any individual along the employee and employer spectrum. As of March 2012, the National Capital unemployment rate sits at 5.9 percent (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/lfss04d-eng.htm). What will this number look like with public sector downsizing underway and a skills shortage beginning to show its effects? Tune in from May 28th – June 25th, every Monday evening at 8pm, to learn more. The program will also air throughout the week for those unable to catch the live show.

We are thrilled for the launch of this program and are looking forward to hearing from our viewers throughout the program.This is your chance to reach out to local experts with your questions on employment topics that are important to you!

Orienting New Employees – republished from The Voice June 2012 edition

Orienting New Employees – The Voice June 2012

12 Steps to Bias-Free Selection

“You remind me of a myself 20 years ago, you’re hired!’

“I’ve got a good feeling about this guy. Let’s bring him on board”

“I don’t like his ‘limp fish’ handshake; let’s go with another candidate”

Sound familiar? If it does, then your company is likely utilizing selection processes that leverage gut feelings and other biases. You may be in for a shock in the months and years ahead. The employment landscape is changing and with that comes a shift to the employees having the power to select among multiple employers for the position they are driving towards. This means now is the time to revisit your selection practices to ensure they allow you to effectively identify top talent, versus letting it walk out your door.

12 Steps to Bias-Free Selection

1. Determine desirable qualifications for role.
2. Solidify required qualifications for role and equivalencies. Once set these should not be changed during the process.
3. Develop a plan to assess skills, knowledge and abilities, and any additional requirements (security?)
4. Determine what behavioural traits (competencies) are required for the role/organization.
5. Develop behavioural based interview questions and scoring grid to assess these traits (competencies).
6. Solidify an overall scoring grid. Once set this should not be changed during the process.
7. Train and educate on selection process to be used and need for consistency.
8. Devise and execute a strategy to post job to a wide source of applicants (internal, employee referrals, employment agencies, job boards, LinkedIn, Twitter)
9. Review resumes against required qualifications for role. Set aside all resumes who do not meet the minimum criteria.
10. Screen remaining candidates for skills, knowledge, abilities and requirements as outlined in plan.
11. Conduct behavioural based interviews. (Situation, Task, Action, Result).
12. Select best candidate using overall scoring grid (requirements, knowledge, skills, abilities, competencies/soft skills).
13. Optional: Have an uninvolved person review scores and evaluation notes and select best candidate. Is it the same individual?