Tag Archives: Carolyn Courage

How to Keep the BEST ones!

Carolyn Courage, CHRP

Carolyn Courage, CHRP

This blog post was written in response to the May 2013 Coffee Shop HR World Café topic: “What will it take to retain the best talent over the next 5 years?”

A training program called “keeping the good ones” advises Managers how to be Leaders to retain their employees. It focuses on the Managers as they are the biggest tool to keep the good ones.

The training speaks about checking in with your employees, talking about their goals and what is going well and what could go better, reinforcing good behaviour and showing appreciation. Good leadership is the key to retaining talent.

This philosophy is one I hold to be true as I have seen the effects of using it and the effects of not using it. People don’t quit jobs; they quit Managers.

This is especially true with the current generation entering the workforce; the trick is to understand what they want out of a job and how the Manager can meet those needs. The younger generation likes to be challenged, they like feedback and they like to be recognized. They also want opportunity.

How do we foster this as HR people? We coach Leaders on how to be good leaders! Have they checked in with their new hires? Are they training and working with them on opportunities? Leaders are so busy these days they forget to work on the “people side” of things, but if they don’t – they won’t have any people to work with.

How do we gauge if our people are happy?

There are three questions that according to Marcus Buckingham are the biggest indicators of employee engagement and why the Leader makes the difference.

1) At work do I have the chance to do what I do best everyday?
2) Do I know what is expected of me?
3) Are my colleagues committed to quality work?

Buckingham says that asking these three questions will help you gauge if your employees are happy or if a change has to be made. All three have to do with Leadership. Are the employees encouraged and given enough autonomy to do what they do best? Are they checked in with?

Creating a work environment that fosters learning and growth and great Leadership is key to retaining GREAT talent.

Keeping the good ones:
Marcus Buckingham: Heard him speak at the Art of Leadership

Related Pages

To Retain the Best Talent: Find the Right People, Gauge Engagement and Consider Velvet Handcuffs by Geraldine Sangalang, CHRP

Coffee Shop HR World Café: What Will it Take to Retain the Best Talent Over the Next Five Years?

Coffee Shop HR World Café

What three pieces of advice should post-secondary grads should take to heart?

Carolyn Courage, CHRP

Carolyn Courage, CHRP

“Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.  ~William Butler Yeats”

I loved school! I found it very inspiring. I recall the excitement of what was to come, meeting great people, networking and learning from inspiring teachers. Did you have similar memories and impressions?

But what happens next? You made it through the exams, you graduated and you are now excited to get into the job market and make your mark as an HR person.  Where do you start? Where will you apply all this great information that you gained in school?

My advice is as follows:

  1. Gain work experience any way you can
  2. Sit back, observe and build relationships
  3. Continue to learn and always apply at least one idea to your workplace from every workshop you attend. Why just one thing? Read on.

If you don’t have a HR position lined up and are finding it difficult to find your dream job, you are not alone. I used to work in recruiting and can’t tell you how many times new grads called asking to be placed in Management positions. After they let me know they had no real life work experience, I would suggest they gain experience any way they can. You’re saying, all this time at school for entry level? No worries there. The experience you gain at this point in your career is instrumental in creating the HR professional you will become. Gain work experience any way you can. Volunteer for an organization and do HR related tasks, work at a company for free and assist the HR department with anything they need, ask to do a job shadow for the HR person at your workplace. Soak up all the experience you can get.

So you’ve volunteered, put in your time and now you have a shiny brand new HR role. You see a million things you want to change and policies that need to be written. There is no on-boarding process and no job description. What is the first thing you should do?  Simple! Sit back and observe. Get to know the company and its history. At Purdy’s we call this ‘HP,’ historical perspective. Why? There is so much to learn about an organization and what happened before you arrived on the scene. Take time to explore what HR practices do exist, and build relationships with your co-workers at the same time. This works two fold. You will be prepared with information when you present a new idea to your boss, and your fellow employees will buy into you as an HR person. Respect and trust goes a long way in our profession.

Now that you’ve graduated, get back to school! The learning continues, and for good reason. You will attend many workshops, courses, conferences and webinars. What do you do with all this information? Always apply at least one learning tool from every educational event to your workplace environment. It is a good rule of thumb. Why only one thing you may ask? It is said that you only take away three things from every learning activity. Somewhere in all that information packed into one day or a few hours or a week, we grasp and remember a few points. From that, after everything is said and done, we should aim to implement one thing and make it a screaming success. Quality over quantity. I can count on one hand the initiatives I have implemented after learning them from workshops, and most were a great success and are still in place today. The best thing about continued education: Inspiration.

All advice aside, the most important thing of all is to have fun in your new role. And if you don’t find your dream job right off the bat, it will be out there for you one day and you will be armed with a goodie bag of work experience Good luck!

Related Pages:

1. It’s a Big World Out There, New Grad!

2. Coffee Shop HR World Café

3. What Three Pieces of Advice Should Post-Secondary Grads Take to Heart?

Coffee Shop HR Welcomes Carolyn Courage, CHRP!

Carolyn CourageI’m happy to announce that the newest member of the Coffee Shop HR team is Carolyn Courage.  Carolyn is a CHRP based out of Vancouver, BC and we’re lucky to have her join us as an HR Writer:

HR professional from the Retail world, Carolyn is passionate about fostering an engaged, driven and productive workforce.

Carolyn worked at Bootlegger for nine years before moving to Ireland where she worked in the training field. Upon returning from Ireland Carolyn began a dream job at Purdy’s Chocolates specializing in Training and Development. Other areas of expertise are leadership, development, health and safety, labour relations, engagement and community involvement.

A member of the inaugural BC MHRC (Manufacturers Human Resource Council) with Canadian Manufactures & Exporters, Carolyn is focused not only on Retail but Manufacturing as well. Obtaining her CHRP in 2010, Carolyn is involved with BCHRMA specifically the Training and Development round table.

Passionate about contributing to various causes, Carolyn has volunteered for numerous events with the BC Cancer agency and Canuck place to name a couple. The biggest leap was being a part of the TV Canada Sings Season 2; where her Purdy’s team won $20,000 for the MS Society of Canada.