Change Culture Impact = People Passion Profit

Editor’s Note:  Marina English, a BCIT student, was the recipient of a conference scholarship for the Greater Vancouver region.

By Marina English

People. Passion. Profit. These three words were the tagline of the 50th Annual BC HRMA Conference and rang true throughout the entire three-day event. It was exciting to see each of these elements come through in the plenary and speaker sessions, as well as through the networking.

With more than 1,000 delegates all committed to learning more about the ever-changing field of human resources, there was a definite essence of passion throughout the event. The profit part goes without saying; HR is in a position to influence the financial success of a business if the proper tools are properly executed, and this conference proved that the BC HRMA community has the right people to do just that. 

As a student with relatively little experience in the field of human resources outside of school I was unsure if I would fit in with so many professionals with years of experience. Within the first hour of being there, I knew this wouldn’t be an issue.

Looking back on my experience at the conference, there are three additional words that stand out: change, culture, and impact. In almost every speaker session, each of these aspects was touched on.

Change
There is a shift happening that HR needs to be very aware of.  Not only is the economy in a period of transition, but there is also a demographic shift in the workplace as people not only live longer, but also remain in the workforce for a longer period of time. HR departments are vital in being able to successfully transition businesses through these changes. We need to find ways to keep employees happy with limited budgets and deal with different generations in the workplace that may have conflicting views.

Culture
Tying together change and impact is the importance of culture and how it can be key to transition through difficult times. More and more companies are becoming aware of the idea that culture is a key foundation for any business. Human resources is in an exciting position as we can truly have a large influence on shaping the culture of a business through helping to align the values of the company with its direction, to hiring, training, and managing employees based on those values.

Impact
Throughout the conference, there was lots of discussion on how HR professionals can have a meaningful impact on a company; not only on the bottom line, but also for employees, the community, and the overall success of the company. Creating a positive impact requires not only thinking about things in a different light, but also paying attention to things such as a company’s culture and what lies ahead in the future.

The BC HRMA community is extremely welcoming and open. I had the chance to meet with professionals and students all with varying experience. Everyone was excited to share their stores, provide advice, and talk about different issues in the field, as well as my experiences in school and the workplace.

Leaving the conference, I felt I had come away with a wealth of knowledge that would be hard to replicate in school. I gained valuable information that will not only be useful once I enter the field as a working professional, but that I can also put to use right now in my personal and student life. 

The field is ever evolving and having the chance to speak with so many professionals on a variety of topics opened my eyes to the possibilities that await myself and other students. At the end of the event, I walked away confident that I had made the correct choice in pursuing this field. Not only did it confirm my passion for many of the topics covered, but I also discovered the strong community of HR professionals in Vancouver and I am very excited to be a part of it.

Thank you again to the BC HRMA for providing me with this great experience. I look forward to attending again next year and meeting more students and professionals in the field.

Marina English is a first year human resource student at BCIT. She has a passion for health, wellness, and fitness and hopes to grow workplace wellness programs in organizations.

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