What area of L&D has served you most as an HR professional?
Kevin Tucker, CPHR
FreshGrade is a Kelowna-based education technology company that develops mobile and browser-based applications for educators, students, and parents. With a degree in Education and Training Management and a passion for helping professionals to reach their full potential, FreshGrade’s HR manager Kevin Tucker is a keen advocate of professional development in all its forms. Kevin has been lucky to have worked in a number of Technology companies within Kelowna, including Disney Online Studios.
While there is an urgency to deliver products and services on time, I have found that there is a common culture of collaborative team work, trust and friendliness within technology companies. A sense of empowerment sets an atmosphere whereby coaching is the optimum tool to draw out the best from people. Given this empowerment, learning (and iteration) takes place during sprints.
At Disney, the emphasis was on encouraging a range of learning methods in different media. This learning culture led to strong involvement in mentoring programs, solid attendance in lunch & learns, a lending library packed with donated textbooks and a strong demand for specialist guest lecturers.
In the technology fraternity, Developers are often well-suited to online learning including sites such as Lynda.com and Treehouse. I’ve also observed that such training on demand is effective when it is backed up by small huddles sharing the learning and making it relevant to real-time work projects.
Irina Doering, CPHR
A seasoned professional, Irina Doering, CPHR has several years’ experience in leadership positions. She obtained her CHRP (now CPHR) designation and serves on the Northern Advisory Council. Her areas of interest include executive coaching, employee relations and engagement, and organizational development. Irina has most recently completed her Masters degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology through renowned Adler University in Chicago.
All types of learning opportunities can be valuable; whether formal, passive, individual, group, or organization-wide. Its value is determined by how the learning experience is interpreted and how it influences the individual(s) and their organizational circles. It only becomes an organizational asset when properly harnessed.
Most leveraged by my employer, was my True Colors™ Personality Inventory training. Having learned how best to address personality-based response patterns to change proved invaluable. In conjunction with a “What’s-In-It-For-Me” approach, resistance was significantly reduced. Understanding employees’ disposition allowed the changes to be communicated in a meaningful way, resulting in buy-in.
Training investments may appear cost-prohibitive and fail to yield an immediately acceptable ROI.
However, to support individual momentum and improve organizational capacity, pairing the learner’s readiness with organizational benefit must be encouraged. Disinclined to reimburse tuition expenses for my masters’ degree, my employer instead extended a flexible work-life schedule. It is vital to healthy workplace cultures that employees feel supported in their own development which fosters better relations and stimulates learning transfer.
Tricia Deere, CPHR
Maax Bath Inc., Armstrong
Tricia Deere, CPHR, BSc is the HR advisor for Maax Bath Inc, Armstrong. She started her career working for Canadian Forest Products in Prince George in silviculture, before moving to the sawmill as a log yard/quality control supervisor. After spending approximately 10 years in the forest industry, Tricia returned to school to obtain a certificate in HR and became a CHRP (now CPHR) in 2008. She and her family moved to the Okanagan valley in 2013, when she first began working with Maax as their HR/safety advisor.
The area of L&D that has served me most as an HR professional are the workshops/symposiums. They have provided me with hands on learning and a higher level of engagement compared to other learning opportunities. The smaller group setting allows the participants to share their best practices and further their knowledge on a particular topic through discussion.
The level of support and feedback from the speakers and participants has been second to none. I have been able to take away practical learning outcomes and put them to action immediately. The forums always offer specific, relevant, and real life experiences and almost always include a segment of best practice sharing.
Getting a fresh perspective, from SMEs and participants alike, on a topic enhances the learnings of the workshop/symposium. The workshops have offered me a variety of networking opportunities to complement the training.
Mary Roach, CPHR
HR development advisor,
BC Public Service
Mary Roach’s HR career began in 1998 at Pollard Banknote, followed by Convergys Call Center—both private sector, non-union. In 2007, she switched to HR advisor for the unionized BC Public Service Agency. Mary served on the HRMA Central Interior Advisory Council and volunteers locally.
In HR, remaining current with changes in legislation and jurisprudence serves to keep my skills relevant. I rely primarily on the Canadian publication HR Infodesk (by First Reference) to provide me insight into how recent Decisions may affect my job.
Years ago, I read an article about a boy who was being bullied at school, by peers using gay slurs. When it went before the courts, the school said there was nothing further they could do as it was a Human Rights issue; Human Rights took the position that it was not theirs, because the boy was not actually gay. In the end, they were found jointly liable, and it was evident that this decision would reflect the same in the workplace.
Another example of change and interpretation relates to complex language, such as the Without Cause termination clause, which has been challenged extensively across Canada. Managers rely on HR to be aware of the recommended verbiage.
Keeping up-to-date is vital to me, as it gives me confidence that my HR advice is current and reliable.
Jason Hamborg, CPHR
6ixSigma Productions Ltd.
Born and raised in Prince George, Jason Hamborg is a graduate of the University of Northern British Columbia; he graduated in 2013 with a degree in Human Resources Management and General Business. Following his graduation, he achieved the Certified Human Resources Professional designation (now CPHR) . Around the same time, he started 6ixSigma Productions—and now completes a variety of videos around the Western Canada and has grown to include the two business owners and 2 full-time employees.
In the video production industry, technology and techniques seem to change on a weekly basis; add that to an expansive body of film and production theory, and it quickly becomes evident that providing opportunities for learning and development is crucial to ensuring our team is up-to-date.
To encourage employee development, 6ixSigma’s approach has always been to support our employees’ personal projects, and more recently, to complete weekly video challenges designed to push the team’s work in new directions and expand competencies. Our culture encourages employees to develop skills and techniques that interest them while building a stronger, more well-rounded workforce.
These passion projects allow for dynamic team discussion. As a business owner, empowering employees to work on personal projects as part of our learning and development philosophy can be a scary concept, but with the right conditions and guidance I believe there are tremendous results innovation to be obtained.
(PeopleTalk Fall 2016)