Canadian HR Reporter

December 15, 2014

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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Canadian HR RepoRteR december 15, 2014 2 News Recent stories posted on Check the website daily for quick news hits from across Canada and around the world. web O n t h e Across cANAdA HRPA signs memorandum of understanding with Australian, New Zealand HR associations 'Strengthening HR profession through global networks' CFIB wants Temporary Foreign Worker Program replaced by special visa Visa would provide path to permanent residence Canadian startups woo Silicon Valley expats for top jobs Lower pay but shorter commutes, cheaper housing, work-life balance 'Curious' workers fired for sneaking looks at 112 private ehealth records Violation of confidentiality agreement Canadians 'relax and rest' during their commute, says survey 77 per cent of commuters are in a better mood after commute Canada's economy grows at 2.8 per cent in third quarter Gains in retail trade, finance, real estate and professional services: StatsCan ArouNd the world 50 is the new 20 for South Korean workers, data shows 50-something workers account for 18.3 per cent of workforce German unemployment falls to record low in November Jobless total lowest it has been in 23 years Sierra Leone Ebola burial workers dump bodies in pay protest danger bonus money appears to have gone missing EU agrees to investment fund, hoping to create 1 million jobs Hopes to unlock 300 billion euros over 3 years for job creation Israel, unions to start minimum wage talks as national strike looms Chairman calls israel's minimum wage 'starvation wage' Why you should hire foreign-trained professionals Jelena Zikic, a management expert and professor at York University, sat down with Canadian HR Reporter tV to explain how hiring immigrant professionals can create competitive advantage for your organization. Featured Video Faculty of Education Centre for Adult Education and Community Outreach Faculty of Education Centre for Adult Education and Community Outreach Strategy, learning key to future workforce success: Global survey But is human resources up to the task? BY SaRaH doBSon When it CoMeS to the work- place five years from now, em- ployers — and human resources in particular — are going to have to make improvements when it comes to issues such as strategic workforce planning, generational differences and leadership and skills gaps, according to a global survey from Oxford Economics. "ese numbers are about the aggregated human sentiment of thousands of people," said Ed Cone, managing editor and senior analyst for Oxford Economics' thought leadership team in New York. "at can get a little messy but that messiness is what makes the HR function so powerful and it's also what makes it kind of hard sometimes." Strategic challenges HR's strategic — or lack of stra- tegic — role is a continuing issue, found Oxford, which surveyed 100 executive and 100 non-execu- tive employees in each of 27 coun- tries. One-half of the executives surveyed were in an HR capacity. Fifty-two per cent of the execu- tives said workforce issues drive strategy at the board level while 28 per cent said HR advises the C-suite but does not have a voice in decision-making. One-third (31 per cent) said HR works with the C-suite to make strategic de- cisions about the business while 26 per cent said HR is not con- sulted at all about business plan- ning and 24 per cent said work- force issues are an afterthought in business planning. "As we get more granular, the numbers are just depressing," said Cone in a webinar about the survey. "(ese are) not very en- couraging numbers there in terms of HR's role." In trying to explain why, Cone said one respondent told him: "We can't make the case. When we do have access, we don't know how to make the case to the board to get the funding and the focus we need." That's because HR doesn't know enough about its own work, he said. Just 39 per cent of executives said they have ample data about the workforce while 38 per cent said they use quantifi- able metrics and benchmarking as part of a workforce development strategy. And 42 per cent said they know how to extract "meaningful insights" from the data available, found the survey. "HR's got a long way to go in terms of the tools and techniques to understand what's going on," said Cone. "ere's this opacity, this lack of clarity into the work- force itself by HR." It's like a business is blind- folded, said Nick Potts, practice area leader of HCM in the cloud at IBM Europe in London, U.K., who was also in the webinar. "Sixty per cent of a business' costs are related to its people and it doesn't know how it's us- ing that, how it's making money, where those people are coming from, how it's developing them, where the skills will come from in the future. It's the blind lead- ing the blind at that point and… there's a real potential for busi- nesses to suddenly be in signifi- cant trouble." ere's no question HR has to be "datafied," said Kara Walsh, senior vice-president and head of HR for middle central and east- ern Europe at SAP in Walldorf, Germany, who was also in the webinar. "But there's also another issue here as well — it's that we need to educate the business to expect more from HR… I don't believe that every business actually knows what HR could be and that's where the struggle is, that's where we're at a crossroads," she said. "And some of them get it, some of them never will, to be very honest with you, and some can be convinced. at's the challenge, actually — we're still caught up in this activity trap, with opera- tional tasks, instead of having the space and the freedom to be able to innovate." Millennial misunderstanding Despite what we've been hearing, differences between millennials and non-millennials are slight, found the survey. Both groups want competitive compensation (64 per cent of non-millennials compared to 68 per cent of mil- lennials), bonuses and merit- based rewards (56 per cent versus 55 per cent), supplemental train- ing programs (43 per cent versus 45 per cent), flexible work loca- tions (46 per cent versus 43 per cent), up-to-date technology (42 per cent versus 40 per cent) and access to social media at work (37 per cent versus 36 per cent). "We are not arguing that all of these articles and books and think pieces and blog posts you have seen saying that millennials are different are entirely wrong, we just think they're maybe a little overblown and certainly off-base," said Cone. "Every generation or cohort is different in some way — we grew up with different tools, we grew up in a slightly different culture. I think there's a huge exaggeration of generational differences… Peo- ple, once they're in the workforce, want similar things." It can be misleading to box peo- ple in, said Walsh, and it should be more about how the work world has changed, with globalization and technology accelerating. "It's more about diversity and how you work together and how you break down silos, how you share information, how we use technology to reach all people all over the world… and the kind of leadership we're going to need actually to meet this very diverse, multi-generational workforce." e leadership cliff But gaps are evident when it comes to leadership capabilities, found Oxford Economics. Fifty- two per cent of executives said their leadership has the skills to effectively manage talent; 51 per cent said their leaders know how to inspire and empower employ- ees; 47 per cent said their lead- ers are prepared to lead a global workforce; 44 per cent said their leaders are able to drive and ef- fectively manage change; and just 34 per cent said their leaders are prepared to lead a diverse workforce. "We see companies heading over a cliff because the leadership isn't there," said Cone. "We really see this as an issue that's going to have big repercussions for busi- ness and that business had better get it right in terms of training their people from the ranks." deVeloPING > pg. 19 "sixty per cent of a business' costs are related to its people and it doesn't know how it's using that."

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