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HR at Rogers: Tied to business and back to basics

Focused on building leaders, increasing engagement, delivering results-oriented plan
Employees have conversations with leaders to identify development opportunities. Shutterstock

By Lara Root                                                         

For those of us working in HR, the first month of the year is always an exciting time. Our focus is to launch the people plans that drive our employee’s and business’ success.

Even though it’s the start of 2019, we’ve got one foot back in 2018. What I mean by that is we’re spending the first month of the year closing out our 2018 performance reviews and compensation processes, and it’s especially rewarding when the business does very well.

I’m excited about the beginning of the year at Rogers because all 26,000 of our employees are finalizing their objectives (which cascade directly from our CEO’s objectives) and each employee is working on their personal development plan.

It’s one of the many times of the year employees are having conversations with their leaders that help them identify a couple of development opportunities to help them grow in their current roles and prepare them for their next roles in the company.

These conversations happen face-to-face between leaders and employees, using our HR system to create and document development goals and objectives. We want our employees to learn, grow and spend their careers at Rogers.

The HR team at Rogers isn’t chasing after the next shiny new trend out there. We focus on the basics: building strong leaders and teams; increasing employee engagement; building the capabilities of our diverse, talented employees; and delivering a strong results-oriented HR plan that helps to drive the business.

Along with the financial and customer metrics, we also track a key metric related to the engagement level of our employees, which is currently above “best in class” at 82 per cent.

We are continually investing in our employees and our workplace, as our goal is to increase the level of engagement of our employees every year.

Over the last few years, we’ve moved our employee engagement above best-in-class levels with a focus on developing leaders and employees, focusing on career development and making significant investments in our workplace and training at all levels within the company.

Engaged employees are happier, more productive and more likely to stay and build their careers at Rogers.

But being focused on the basics doesn’t mean that we don’t have an eye on what’s happening in the broader HR industry.

An area that fascinates me and what we’re working on is building a collaborative, transparent, positive and dynamic corporate culture. Late last year, our executive team spent a few hours with the professor, author and management guru, David Ulrich. David’s thoughts on developing strong leaders, identifying behaviours and processes we won’t tolerate, and considering our customer’s experiences have prompted our thinking about how this impacts our culture.

We’re asking ourselves, what determines our culture? What does it really feel like working in our organization? How do our customers feel about us?

Indeed, these are the same questions we are asking our SCNetwork members this year. On Feb. 12, at our event What do culture dynamics have to do with business metrics?, Brett Richards talks about how his Organizational Growth Indicator (O.G.I.), is allowing managers to make more intelligent decisions and, ultimately, strengthen their businesses.

The bottom line is that there is no shortage of HR work, regardless of your company and industry. It’s a fascinating and wild ride in HR, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Lara Root is vice-president of human resources at Rogers Media and corporate groups. She is also the chair of member marketing and communications for the Strategic Capability Network (SCNetwork).

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Executive Blogger

The Strategic Capability Network (SCNetwork) is a membership-based organization for business leaders by business leaders. SCNetwork helps leaders achieve competitive strength through people, by providing a forum for leading-edge thinking and application. Our monthly events feature provocative and thoughtful speakers on issues preoccupying today's organizations. For more information about the SCNetwork, visit www.scnetwork.ca.
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