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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32 www.hrreporter.com connecting. Our employees truly care when they come into the organization. We become a family, we don't need you to conform into a certain culture, we want you to be you. MC Kristina, a lot of companies will say what you're saying. What are the practices GAP has in place that really helped foster that? KH We have quite a diverse workforce and we've embraced that multiculturalism. We've had karaoke nights where associates sing different music from their backgrounds. I've even been pulled into it. I've been learning some more traditional dance. And we've done that in the middle of the cafeteria. Now associates are so proud that they initiate the potlucks and the food and we have these celebrations on a monthly basis. It's really the more the merrier, and we embrace it. DH At Moneris, we've made culture real by listening. Our employee base is very vocal, and we use survey data and the survey results a lot. We've developed our programs and our actions around that employee engagement. It really makes people understand that we're serious about culture and that we're living the values. AF We have almost a million and a half members, and the members are part of our employee culture as well. Fifty to 60 per cent of our associates were members first. The very first time that we meet an applicant at GoodLife, we talk about what their fitness program is. When we have our second interview, we actually go into the gym with them and work out. Our employees draw a lot of what it's like to be at GoodLife from the members, because we see them two, three, four times a week. They have such a bond with those individuals. It's amazing. KD Because we're at the beginning of our new culture journey with EPIC, we have to be really careful that we're listening to our employees and asking what does that EPIC piece feel like for them. It turns out that what feels EPIC in Montreal is I think we're going to need to identify how to skill them up. Automation is coming, and we need to make sure that it fully incorporates our culture effectively. MC I love that idea of getting ahead of the upskilling because we don't want to leave people behind. If they've trusted us with their careers and their growth and their development, where do they fit now? And I think that's what everybody's asking. KD Our biggest shift is challenging the way things have been done. A lot of company leaders fall into the expectation that new hires might have eight to 10 years experience. But if we look at something like e-commerce, the best people in that space have maximum three years experience. We need to change those requirements and, more broadly, rethink our expectations of employees so it's less about a five-day, eight-hour week and more about performance. DH I would agree with everyone that these are evolving workplace trends that affect employees and the availability of talent. For me, culture truly is a journey, and I don't think you ever stop. As a company, we have to pay attention to everything that you've all just said about listening to your customer and your employees. And I think if you listen to those various inputs and you make your adjustment and tweaks, then you just keep growing and strengthening your culture. Reflecting on the panel, Cox agreed with Hayes' final takeaway, that to build culture, HR leaders have to listen. "Culture is a dialogue, an ongoing process that changes as much as our organizations and our people do," Cox explained. "HR leaders need to start authentically listening to employees and acting on what they learn. More than just soliciting feedback, every time we really listen to our people, we have a chance to improve their experience." CHRR not at all the same as what feels EPIC in in Cancun. So employees are looking for different things. And we're trying to start to say, just like our customer, it doesn't have to be identical. We're starting to talk a little bit more about diversifying the experience. What we don't want to do is create a fake culture. I think we have to be really careful in order for EPIC not to become just a poster on the wall. Hayes, Holle and Free explained how they built tangible cultures. Gap encourages diversity, and GoodLife almost blurs the lines between the employee and member experience, tying both to a wider fitness culture. SunWing is at the start of its cultural journey, but Davis sees examples from her colleagues to guide her. She saw where each of these strategies could be used in her own rollout of SunWing's EPIC culture. Listening, as she says, is key in building out a tangible culture that draws from its customers' passion and its employees' diversity. PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE With an outline of their tangibles in hand, Cox pushed the panelists once again. "As leaders, we need to look ahead," she said. "What are you seeing in the five years that has your attention and that you're trying to put your arms around as far as employee experience goes and what you're delivering as an HR leader?" The whole panel agreed that technology would set the tone of change in the future. Automation and tech innovations are reshaping work as we know it. The tricky thing for HR directors will be quieting their teams' anxieties as the pace of technological change accelerates. AF The online world is just so prevalent in fitness. People could get a video online or they can join a cycling company online. You don't really need to go into a facility to work out. We need to make sure that we stay relevant as a business and that we continue to be a place where people want to come. So that will be for our customers, but also for our associates. We have to really ramp up the fact that we're engaging people to want to come to work every single day and not to be afraid that that online world is going to take their job away. I think it's important to make sure they understand that this place is staying and we're all going to work together to make it successful. CH We're moving into a lot more automation in everything that we do. And I believe [that], in the next couple of years, there is going to be a real fight for talent. As for the folks we already have in place, "Culture is a dialogue, an ongoing process that changes as much as our organizations and our people do." "We have to ramp up the fact that we're engaging people to want to come to work every single day and not be afraid that the online world will take their job away." LEADERSHIP SERIES HR LEADERS ROUNDTABLE

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