Canadian HR Reporter

May 18, 2015

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 May 18, 2015 2 NEWS Workplace in motion Millennials are having an impact – is your organization keeping up? BY LIZ BERNIER THE WORKPLACE is under- going fundamental shifts — in how we work and where, what employees' needs are, even what constitutes a "job" — and the pace of change keeps accelerating. But with new capabilities and technologies, there are tensions at work, according to Brenda Barker Scott, instructor of organizational development at Queen's Univer- sity in Kingston, Ont. "What's happening is these new ideals are clashing with the way we've always done things," she said at the recent Queen's Uni- versity IRC Workplace in Motion Summit in Toronto. Most organizations began in a diff erent time and the cultures, processes and norms were passed down to us, she said. But do work- places still fi t our needs? In a sense, it's a matter of the old world of work versus the new world, said Barker Scott. " e old world represents the legacy systems — the way things used to be," she said. "In the past, it's been very much job-based. We go to school and we develop a disciplinary expertise and we come to work in some- thing called a job with a job de- scription, and it defi nes what we do. And there's this assumption that you can actually write down what you do and codify it." Employees work with others who are primarily within their disciplinary or functional bound- aries, so there are cohesive work units. Tools and technologies are very much geared toward our own work; our relationship with our boss is one primarily of align- ment and direction; and we have a yearly performance review, she said. In terms of career, the expec- tation is we will climb that career ladder. " e way that we progress is by putting in our time and develop- ing our disciplinary expertise. In terms of our learning, it's primar- ily directed towards our disci- plinary knowledge, and we think about work and life as two sepa- rate things." But not anymore. As millenni- als enter the workforce en masse, they — along with the other over- arching trends of globalization, knowledge work and technology — are beginning to totally reshape the workplace. Two large Pricewaterhouse- Coopers studies, called Managing Tomorrow's People and Millenni- als at Work, represented more than 8,000 millennials from 75 countries around the world — and revealed how the generation is changing work. "Millennials, apparently, think very, very diff erently and have a very diff erent set of expectations. What's important to millennials is that they have interesting work and they really want to work for an organization that they're proud of," said Barker Scott. " ey want a lot of variation, so they want to work on projects that are with people from all over the organization… they're naturally collaborative." ey're digitally driven and ful- ly expect the technology that em- powers them at home to also em- power them at work. If not, they will simply bring their technology from home to work, she said. "In terms of their career, they want a lot of mobility and varia- tion, and they don't believe that moving should be based on se- niority or tenure — it's about contribution." ey expect speedy progres- sion and have a strong focus on learning and development, said Barker Scott. " ey place a great emphasis on organizations that not only devel- op their skills at work but their life skills as a whole person." Work and life are blended for them and it's important they have the fl exibility to work when they want, where they want and how they want, she said. "We know, of course, that peo- ple are individuals, and that there's lots of variation between the gen- erations. And there's probably lots of similarities between the gener- ations as well," said Barker Scott. "However, the research does suggest that millennials have dif- ferent needs, expectations and values than other generations." 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 Saskatchewan privacy commissioner investigates release of whistleblower's fi le Government says suspension related to misconduct allegations Bell shareholders urge more board diversity at company's annual meeting 2 women sit on 13-member board, no visible minorities Sexualized culture of military creates hostile 'culture of misogyny': Review Found 'undeniable problem' of sexual harassment, sexual assault in CAF Canada economy stalls in February, oil support services drop Pickup in retail off set by decline in manufacturing McMaster University to increase female faculty's pay after review Women earn on average $3,515 less than men Ontario approves bill to create provincial pension plan starting Jan. 1, 2017 Mandatory contributions of 1.9 per cent to be phased in AROUND THE WORLD Pension, labour disputes dog Greek talks as cash dwindles IMF looking to ease mass layoff s of private sector workers New York supermarket owner gives employees part ownership 33 new partners will split 45 per cent, share profi ts going forward China unveils new incentives to boost employment Real jobless rate believed to be much higher than offi cial fi gures U.S. labour costs rise solidly; wage growth picks up Wages, salaries rise 0.7 per cent in fi rst quarter SEC moves toward requiring companies to show link between executive pay, fi nancial performance Vote follows proposal to require disclosure of pay gap between CEOs, employees Getting strategic about talent Michael Couch, president of Michael Couch and Associates, sat down with Canadian HR Reporter TV to talk about why HR needs to focus on strategy when managing talent. FEATURED VIDEO Brenda Barker Scott speaks at the Queen's University IRC Workplace In Motion Summit on April 16 in Toronto. Examples of the 'new' workplace ME TO WE, FREE THE CHILDREN Me to We and Free the Children are examples of workplaces that meld with employee values and needs, according to millennials James Prince and Courtney Jolliffe. "What makes my job attractive is really… I get to be a part of something that is bigger than myself, I get to travel and continuously work with new people, and I also get to continuously develop my role, so everything is forever changing," said Jolliffe, who is a resource and logistics co-ordinator of We Day at Free the Children in Toronto. The organization focuses not just on one bottom line but a triple bottom line, said Prince, who is manager of We Day retail distribution and sales, consumer engagement for Me to We in Toronto. "The triple bottom line (means) when we're making business decisions, we're not just focusing on how many dollars we're making, we're also focusing on the lives that we're changing, as well as the social and environmental impacts that we're making," he said. Mobility is another factor both Prince and Jolliffe fi nd important. "This is mobility not just in my personal life — I used to live in Kenya so I love to move around the globe, I've been to many different countries — but I love the idea of that career lattice… this is actually my fourth role with the organization in only three years," said Prince. There is also a great deal of trust and autonomy for employees, as well as collaboration. "Our philosophy and how we live is that we know that if we can take the best part of everyone's brains, we're going to come up with the best possible product — and so we don't want to do anything alone. Teamwork and collaboration are very important to us," said Jolliffe. There is also no real work-life division, said Prince. "What we look for in our organization and the places that we're working is an alignment between the values that I have at home and the values that I have at work. And it's that value alignment that allows me to be the same person everywhere." SHOPIFY At Shopify, innovation is a key value. "How do you innovate? Well, it's by consuming all the information that you can about a certain subject. And so what does that mean? It means doing all the research that you can, understanding all the different perspectives around the issue at hand," said Brittany Forsyth, vice-president of human resources for Shopify in Ottawa. "At Shopify, we do that in many ways. We do that by having a very open culture, where we encourage people to challenge each other all the time and ask questions and collaborate." And at the 500-employee Shopify, innovation and learning are never fi nite — constant learning, development and pushing boundaries are critical, said Forsyth. "If you're not innovating, you're stalling, and you're not going to (improve)." Continuous investment in training and development is important, but so is giving employees autonomy over their own careers, said Forsyth. "We do a lot of budgets that encourage people to be the owner of their own career, but decide how they're going to learn." So how did the organization build a culture to support this? "When we interview people, we always interview fi rst and foremost for potential. And when I say potential, it's not just new grads coming in that we're saying, 'Are they going to be able to do this job?'... We also look at it when we have a very seasoned, experienced manager coming in, we say, 'Do they still have the potential to learn more? Are they going to push their boundaries? Are they going to experiment and challenge other people? And are they going to be OK with being challenged?'" The organization has a head offi ce with a mixture of quiet or private space and a great deal of collaborative spaces, she said. "We have about 84 per cent introverted (employees)… so a lot of people would think 'You need to build an environment that allows them to go out on their own and think by themselves.' That is important but it's even more important to force the collaboration, the conversations. So we have a lot of coffee shops, meeting rooms, big open spaces that encourage that." submitted by Queen's IRC

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