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The top workplace stories of 2014

Ghomeshi, HR certification dominate list – but the number one story was a surprise

By Todd Humber

As the clock runs out on 2014, we take a moment to look back at some of the top workplace stories in
Canadian HR Reporter from the last year.

It’s always an interesting exercise to dive into Google Analytics to pull out the most viewed stories from our website. In amongst the usual suspects you’d expect to see, there’s always a surprise or two lurking. This year was no different.

HRPA dominates headlines

The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) — Ontario’s HR association — was a big newsmaker in 2014. Its decision to pull out of the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA) in May was the second-most viewed story on hrreporter.com for the year.

And the news out of HRPA’s offices didn’t end there — its decision to phase out the use of “CHRP Candidate” in February attracted attention. Little did we know that was the first step in a larger plan to completely overhaul professional certification for HR professionals. The Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation is being replaced with 3 new designations in Ontario, and the ramifications could extend far beyond provincial borders. You can see the framework here.

The bold move got mixed reviews both inside and outside the province. Anthony Ariganello, CEO of British Columbia’s Human Resources Management Association (HRMA), called it “confusing.”

But we can sleep soundly knowing that Canada isn’t the only country going through designation growing pains — in the United States, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) split from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). SHRM started offering its own designations, and HRCI kept the lights on without SHRM.

#Ghomeshigate and sexual harassment

The saga of Jian Ghomeshi, the former CBC radio host fired after allegations of sexual assault, racked up the page views.

We dove deep into the story, looking at the legal quagmire surrounding the case and questions around whether or not he could file a $55-million lawsuit because he was a unionized employee (a lawsuit he later dropped) and how to create a “culture of enforcement.”

There were too many stories about sexual harassment in the news this year, which led me to pen a column about the tipping point for men. I hope we get much better at this in 2015.

Violence close to home

HR professionals are hardly immune to workplace violence. Yet the stabbing rampage at a Ceridian office in Toronto on April 9 hit very close to home for many practitioners.

A 47-year-old man stabbed four employees during a termination meeting. It is one of HR’s worst nightmares, and Lauren Chesney — a Boston-based HR professional and former Canadian HR Reporter staffer — chimed in with her thoughts on how to prevent a similar instance.

It served as a reminder of the very tough work HR professionals do — and of the possibility that things can go very wrong, despite best intentions and planning.

And more

Also making the list of most-viewed stories on hrreporter.com were:

Salary forecasts: Average salary increase for 2015 pegged at 2.6 per cent, according to one study.

A “CASL” nobody wants to live in: The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) took effect in 2014, and we took a look at how it could impact policies, recruitment and training.

Temporary foreign worker crackdown: Ottawa suspended Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) and publicly named offending employers.

‘We’re the best’: Top employer lists always make our top stories list.

The most-viewed story of 2014

With only a couple of days left in 2014, it’s safe to crown the most-read story of 2014.

As promised, I’m betting you wouldn’t have guessed it correctly: That honour falls to a small brief, headlined “Affluent Canadians need average of $2.3 million to retire: Report.” To be fair, it was posted in January — so it had a full year to gather page views.

But it’s still surprising. Perhaps many HR professionals quietly dream of retirement — and with all the headlines around sexual harassment and workplace violence — who could blame them?

Look for a full list of the year’s top stories in the Jan. 26 issue of Canadian HR Reporter. All the best to you and your family for a Happy New Year!

Todd Humber is the associate publisher and managing editor of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. He can be reached at todd.humber@thomsonreuters.com.

© Copyright Canadian HR Reporter, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.

Todd Humber

Todd Humber is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. Follow him on Twitter @ToddHumber
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