Canadian HR Reporter

June 1, 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 June 1, 2015 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 Efforts to promote women in business lead to first all- women trade mission 'We have to create this phenomenon that it's ordinary for women to be in these roles' RCMP charged with labour violations in relation to shooting deaths of Moncton officers Alleged code violations relate to force's equipment, training, supervision Inquest into fatal mill blast makes 33 recommendations Directed at WorkSafeBC, RCMP, union, owners, government Bombardier to cut 1,750 jobs Economic conditions, geopolitical issues having an impact AROUND THE WORLD Movement grows to require employers to offer paid sick leave for workers in U.S. McDonald's, Walmart making changes to paid sick leave policies Russia plans detailed discussion on raising retirement age Currently, women can start drawing pensions at age 55, men at 60 Facebook raises minimum pay for contractors to US$15 per hour Will also receive minimum of 15 paid vacation days, US$4,000 new child benefit U.S. jobless claims near 15-year low 4-week moving average falls to 271,750 Bullying in the workplace Debra Pepler, scientific co- director at and a psychology professor at York University in Toronto, talks about the significant impact bullying and harassment can have in the workplace FEATURED VIDEO Institute of Professional Management 2210-1081 Ambleside Drive, Ottawa, ON, K2B 8C8 Tel: (613) 721-5957 Toll Free: 1-888-441-0000 ipm $745 regular $945 ... save $200 offer valid until Oct 15, 2014 The Professional Recruiter Full Accreditation Program on Multimedia CD-ROM This program covers a set of key recruitment and selection skills. 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This new multi-media deluxe package includes three (3) CD-ROMS with over 200 minutes of audio visual clips, participant workbook and exam. $745 regular $945 ... save $200 COMPENSATION (416) 498-7800 ext. 1 Compensation Surveys Incentive Programs Job Descriptions Job Evaluation Pay Equity Performance Appraisal Salary Administration Sales Compensation CONSULTING Top job in HR needs CEO skills Former HR executive at GE looks at competencies required BY LIZ BERNIER CHROs are in increasingly high demand — but it's far from an easy job. And as the demand for top HR professionals heats up, so are CEOs' expectations for the role. In fact, a good CHRO needs many of the same skills and compe- tencies required for other C-suite roles — even the CEO, according to Bill Conaty, former senior vice- president of HR at General Electric (GE), speaking at a Human Re- sources Professionals Association (HRPA) event in Toronto. So what does it take to be an excellent CHRO or senior HR leader? And to truly earn that seat at the strategy table? "e greatest challenge is to convince more CEOs that we're up to the task," he said. "If the CEOs don't have high expecta- tions for the HR function, there won't be any change. You could be the sharpest knife in the draw- er but you're not going to accom- plish much if the CEO isn't back- ing you up." An HR professional has to be- come a legitimate business part- ner to be able to leverage her abil- ity to make a difference in HR, said Conaty, co-author of e Talent Masters: Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers. "It's only going to be as impact- ful as the CEO wants it to be." e CHRO role CHROs have a bit of a tenure problem, said Conaty, citing data from the Human Resource Policy Association in the United States. Its survey of 344 American com- panies found nearly one-half (42 per cent) of CHROs have been on the job for less than two years. "If you go to three years, it's 56 per cent. And if you go all the way over to the seven-year-plus point, that's only 20 per cent of the total," said Conaty, who worked alongside GE CEO Jack Welch for 40 years. "So lots and lots of movement in that function — way too much." Also, the vast majority of C- suite positions are being filled by external hires, he said — even among HR leaders. "at is an indictment of a pro- fession that's supposed to be the expert on succession planning." HR can also struggle with lin- gering negative perceptions from many in other fields, he said. The idea that HR is full of administrators, not strategists, is one theme that emerged in re- sponse to a recent LinkedIn post by Jack Welch, as was "(HR pro- fessionals) are paper pushers who sell fear," said Conaty. "ese are laughable but these are real, live comments," he said. "I would say 70 per cent of the com- ments that came in — and there were thousands of them — were negative. So it says we've got a little image issue." ere's still a lot of room for improvement but the profession is rapidly improving, he said. "We have a number of signifi- cant role models out there today that we didn't have 10 years ago." When he was working at GE, Conaty wrote a roadmap for how HR would become a valu- able business partner to the wider organization. "I wanted the HR team to be highly visible, credible, value- added business partners," he said. And the word "partner" is key. "As I look at key characteristics for future HR leaders across the globe, you really have to find a really critical balance and fit be- tween (the CHRO), the CEO and the CFO. I find those three jobs to be really, really critical… you've got to be able to work with both those functions," he said. "That's not always a really congruous match-up but it's one you've got to… make work. You've got to have the trust and confidence of the entire senior leadership team. I've seen (many) HR people say, 'I've got a great re- lationship with the CEO.' And I'll tell you right now, if that's the only relationship you have, I give you about 12 to 18 months." You've got to be a talent mag- net, a global operator, have ex- cellent assessment skills and the ability to strategize and the capac- ity for complex problem-solving; you've also got to be the external face of the company, so you are representing more than just your- self when you're in that key role, he said. "You could probably use some of these same specs for a CEO job." Lessons on HR leadership HR leaders should have a strong understanding of not just the business itself but also of the in- dustry or sector, said Conaty. "Understanding the industry is as important as understanding your particular business." It's about building the HR vi- sion and strategies around the business model — and to be a problem solver, not just a problem identifier. "You've got to be able to identify a problem before you can solve a problem, but I never dropped an issue on Jack Welch's desk that I didn't say, 'I'm here to tell you this is going on but I'm working on it… if I can't solve it, I'll get back to you.' So I never add it to the pile on their desk — our job should be to take stuff off the pile. And when you do that, you're a welcome visi- tor at the CEO's office." It's also important to have the personal confidence and convic- tions to push back against the sys- tem when necessary, said Conaty. "You can't do it all the time — you've got to pick your issues. But when you see things that are re- ally outside your values and out- side the company's values that just don't feel right, you need to really weigh in. And you might not pre- vail all the time… but you need to weigh in. "Never forget why we're at the table — you need to be both an employee advocate and a business partner at the same time." Alignment between your per- sonal values and the organiza- tional values is key, as is candour and trust, he said. Back in the early 80s at GE, em- ployees would have to create an annual self-assessment with their strengths, development needs and plans, said Conaty. "We always put a boatload of strengths and no real weak- nesses," he said. "So (Jack Welch) just blew that to smithereens… he forced the candour in the system. He forced people to come up with their own self-assessment of their development needs." A development need is purely a development need, unless you don't address it — then it becomes a fatal flaw, said Conaty. "People were very leery of PERSONAL > pg. 6 It's about being a problem solver, not just a problem identifier.

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