How to be innovative in HR

'Our aspirational target is by 2030, we’ll have 40% women'

How to be innovative in HR

Many HR departments are put in charge of corporate culture — but it doesn’t always have to be that way.

The responsibility for a great culture should be handled by all employees, says a senior HR leader of an organization known for its innovative HR team.

“It’s not just an HR issue. When you’re talking culture, everyone can be a cultural architect every day. So our expectation from everyone is that you’re all going to show up and have a hand in how the company goes forward. We think of it as going beyond HR,” says Jane Fedoretz, executive vice-president of people talent and transformation at Transalta.

Fedoretz sat down for a video interview with Canadian HR Reporter to talk about Transalta’s innovative efforts around corporate culture, DEI, women and scholarships, and employee rewards and recognition.

Letting employees guide diversity goals

With Transalta in its third year of the DEI “journey,” Fedoretz emphasized the company works hard to lean into its “employee-led grassroots council” when it comes to plotting annual diversity efforts.

“It’s allowing that council to really decide what they want to talk about for that year, and allowing them to go and run with creating webinars, volunteer days, articles, and whatever they’re thinking about. They have set the tone about what they want to address,” she says.

“That’s been pretty innovative because we’ve left it to them to say, ‘These are the areas that we want to focus on’ or ‘These are the next steps,’ and really giving them the freedom to explore that.”

Working with the council, all of Transalta’s policies have also been reviewed to ensure they are inclusive, she says.

But then it’s important to learn some valuable lessons from senior management.

“We report to our board and seek feedback about some of the ideas that we have because, remember, your board members have a wealth of suggestions and ideas that they have from their own experience,” says Fedoretz.

Here are the rest of the 5-Star employers promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

More women on the team

But the organization is not resting on its laurels, says Fedoretz as it has lofty future goals around representation, especially being in the predominantly male industry of energy generation.

“Our aspirational target is by 2030, we’ll have 40% women. We’re at about 26% right now but I am very hopeful that we’ll be able to reach up through some of the work that we’re doing, just getting our voices out there; encouraging all levels of the organization to think about how they can bring women into the workforce, which is particularly important in our remote-work locations outside of the corporate head office,” she says.

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