Canadian HR Reporter

March 2020 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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30 www.hrreporter.com Cox started the conversation by asking each of the panelists what culture means to them and their organizations. Their initial assessments formed the basis of the conversation, showing where each organization had to go. Mindi Cox We work in a lot of different industries, but we all have culture top of mind. Over the last four or five years, the discussion around strategic culture initiatives has taken everybody's attention in and out of HR. What does culture mean to your organization? Denise Hayes Our culture is focused on our customer. We started a cultural transformation initiative in 2017. We've been working very diligently to really entrench and transform our culture over the past couple of years. And it's something that's really resonating with our employees. And it's very important in a fast-paced industry like payments, that employees feel that they have a role to play in that customer-focused and innovative environment. Kelly Davis We're really trying to build a global culture because we operate in over 14 countries, each with different cultural norms. We started the discussion around the fact that even though our employees in Cancun have very different days than someone in IT in Canada, we have to find that common purpose statement. An employee in our Atlanta office came up with the acronym EPIC, which just happened to work in English, French and Spanish. Alana Free Fitness tends to be something that most people aren't excited about doing. People don't want to go and do an hour of cardio, but we know we need to. So our culture is all about having fun. Because if people are having fun when they go to the gym, then they're going to want to come back again. And if you have fun when you're at work, you're going to want to come back again. Kristina Holle GAP Canada went through a transformation where we were integrating multiple locations and cultures into one. We really brought our employees along on that journey. We incorporated a change ambassador group that generated a conversation from senior leaders all the way down to floor associates. Then we aligned on our vision. And our vision was very simple: 'team Canada one team one goal.' That language became the connection point for all associates when we were deviating from the plan. It was about bringing people along. Despite the diversity of industries represented at the panel, commonalities were already beginning to emerge. Each HR leader offered a touchstone, a mantra that employees and management could call back to when they might begin to stray from the company culture. The touchstones were drawn from each company's unique background and team, but they all define a culture that employees can under- stand and want to both join and remain a part of. MAKING CULTURE TANGIBLE Once the table had outlined its visions, Cox began to bring out the similarities in approach. She highlighted what, as an employee recognition firm, O.C. Tanner knows so well: Culture's all well and good on a poster, but you have to make it concrete. MC What do you think attracts employees to your culture? The test for me is always 'What do my employees say it's like to work here when their friends ask?' So what do you do to foster the culture that you would like for your employees to represent and like for them to experience? KH As you said, people need purpose, they need to feel as though they're not just going to a job, they're HOW THE PANEL SEES CULTURE "Despite the diversity of industries represented at the panel, commonalities were already beginning to emerge. Each HR leader offered a touchstone, a mantra that employees and management could call back." HR LEADERS ROUNDTABLE THE PARTICIPANTS Kristina Holle – GAP Human resources business leader, Canada and UK "Culture connects all our organizations through inclusivity, diversity and giving back to the community." Alana Free – GoodLife Fitness, VP people and culture "Our culture is all about being fitness obsessed." Kelly Davis – SunWing Travel Group, chief people officer "Our culture is about being EPIC: entrepreneurial, passionate, innovative and customer centric." Denise Hayes – Moneris Solutions, chief HR officer "The customer's the centre of everything we do." Mindi Cox, O.C. Tanner People team leader We work in a lot of different industries, but we all have culture top of mind. LEADERSHIP SERIES

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