Where Does the Greatest ‘Disruptive’ Potential Lie for HR?


P&P - Brooke BacklundBrooke Backlund
human resources advisor,
Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company

Brooke Backlund’s energy and drive differentiates her as a young professional. As the human resources coordinator at Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company, Brooke is also a member of the HRMA Northern Advisory Council, and is currently pursuing her CHRP designation. She is keenly passionate in the areas of talent management, labour relations, employment law, and strategic planning. She believes in achieving results through collaboration and innovation, and enjoys returning her skills to her community through volunteering.

Disruption can be necessary in the pursuit of business improvement. As HR professionals we can lead change, and our greatest potential lies in becoming transformational business partners. When we gain credibility within our workforce we are better able to make significant contributions. An increased emphasis on learning our businesses and understanding strategy can ensure we better serve our people and positively influence culture and results. Our challenge is to inspire progress in a company’s greatest asset. If we cannot effectively communicate our vision and understand our business’s goals, we cannot enable change.

Embracing continual learning will enhance our ability to make a meaningful difference. We should be responsive to our business, and have the courage to speak up and think outside of the box. Human resources is a dynamic field, and its professionals will continually experience new challenges and activities. We need to evolve ourselves in order to better manage change.

P&P - Arleen GalloArleen Gallo, CHRP  
director, human resources,
Selkirk College

Arleen Gallo, CHRP is a human resources professional with over 16 years of private and public sector experience, where she is known for her leadership and excellent communication skills. As a coach, she is known for her ability to help clients leverage their strengths and create environments that balance management and leadership within their teams. Arleen has held a variety of senior positions in the manufacturing and education sector and provided organizational development strategies for teams, departments, and business units across multiple facilities and schools.

The greatest disruptive potential for HR at this time lies in technological innovation. The cloud is starting to emerge in the rural areas, changing access and services available to post-secondary institutes.  As institutes contemplate cloud strategies there is potential for significant change to status quo and infrastructure investment. IT departments can be used as required and costs are shared.

The cloud is enabling the explosive growth of Internet-based services including searching, streaming media, and offline storage of personal data, as well as the background processing capabilities that enable mobile Internet devices. The cloud can improve greater flexibility and responsiveness for post-secondary institutional delivery enabling students and institutions to provide an increased level of service and an enriched learning experience. Imagine the possibilities, cost saving, sharing of information, enterprise architecture not normally available in rural remote areas – this will change and shape the work environment.

P&P - Kristian GaetanoKristian Gaetano
director of education partnerships,

As the director of education partnerships for Learnkit, Kristian leverages his passion for business development and relationship management with his experience in human resources, enterprise software and services to help organizations adopt a digital approach to their learning and training. Kristian holds a degree in psychology which he earned through a joint partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and Universite Francois Rabelais in Tours, France as well as a postgraduate certificate in Human Resources Management from Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario. ?

The biggest disruptive potential in HR will come from a shift in how organizations leverage new methodologies and technology to meet rapidly changing employee learning needs. Forward-thinking companies are quickly recognizing that in today’s on-demand culture, learning can no longer live in quarterly training blocks.

As the pace of business and change continues to increase, these companies are moving away from traditional training programs designed around taking people away from their work, and towards a performance support model that makes learning available at the moment of need. From the bank teller in need of a procedural brush-up mid-customer transaction, to the technical service agent stuck trying to repair broken hardware; having immediate access to the knowledge required will have a widespread impact.

By integrating short, on-demand, chunks of digital learning into the technology and tools employees are using every day, early adopting organizations will realize the competitive edge needed to come out on top.

P&P - Tamara DahlTamara A. Dahl, CHRP
senior HR generalist,

Tamara Dahl, CHRP began her career in a small business within the industrial construction sector where she was responsible for everything from recruiting to accounting. After 20 years of office management in a variety of industries, she pursued a business management and human resource management certificate and obtained her CHRP designation. Tamara was a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the North Bay, ON Chapter of HRPA in 2011 and 2012, and plans to be an active member of the HRMA in Kamloops.

Technology has created platforms where individuals can share their good and bad employment experiences with a vast global audience. What was once valuable may no longer motivate or inspire but be expected as an employment or industry standard. This often leads to changes in standards or legislation for communities and organizations resulting in forced compliance. We’ll call it the evolution of standards.

Top employers with foresight drive trends such as flex-time, tele-working and unlimited vacation all in the efforts to attract and retain top talent in their industry. The side effect is a newly developed employment standard or norm that is either forced compliance or maintains a competitive advantage.

Rather than conforming to legislation, HR has the opportunity to lead and direct employment trends eventually leading to the evolution of beneficial standards. Through policy development and implementation, HR can proactively address and essentially direct desired employment trends while maintaining strategic alignment with the organization’s needs.

IMG_4321David N. Takahashi
founder and president,
Highbridge Human Capital

David N. Takahashi is the founder and president of Highbridge Human Capital with 20+ years of professional HR and public accounting experience as a change architect and leader in global organizations. He is passionate about leveraging corporate culture as an organization’s strongest asset. Highbridge Human Capital combines research, analytics and industry insights to design and execute critical programs that help organizations solve and manage some of their most complex people challenges.

This is an exciting era for HR. The convergence of technology, analytics, and mobile computing is elevating HR’s ability to be a strategic business partner and is redefining how we engage with our people. Organizations wanting to gain a competitive edge require people analytics to gain data-driven insights into workforce trends and take action to refine recruitment, total rewards, and other performance incentives to meet employees’ evolving goals and interests. Solutions that collect, process and analyze “big data” are becoming a crucial factor in identifying and managing the challenges of business lifecycles.

Attracting and retaining fresh talent increasingly requires adopting the right technologies to ensure that the journey through hiring and onboarding is supported through mobile and social platforms. Finally, traditional annual engagement surveys are giving way to a new suite of pulse tools, feedback apps, and social networking tools. Many of the new technologies are transformational in their value and will change people analytics, talent management, and culture.

(PeopleTalk Spring 2016)

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