you give people the opportunity to think for themselves through
non-directive coaching, the benefits go beyond day-to-day work.
It’s helping people move forward and be the best they can be. I’m
very fortunate to be able to focus 100 per cent of my time on this.
What are the challenges you experience in your job?
EG: Influencing and leading change is a challenge. Also, staying
focused and saying “no” so you can stick with priorities can be dif-ficult.
It’s necessary to find that balance between making a decision
and looking for collaboration.
What’s key to leading HR during a difficult
time for a client organization?
EG: Communication, for sure. I think the other thing that is really
important is some boldness and courage to speak up despite any
opposition you may encounter. You must demonstrate empathy
and see other people’s perspectives; take time to listen and under-stand
how they are feeling. There are times you need to hold your
ground and when people see that strength in you, it inspires their
confidence. Finally, be the voice of reason. When you’re running a
business, you have your shareholder, your employee and your cus-tomer.
For me personally, I’ve always tried to be the voice of reason
and balance those perspectives.
What are the necessary competencies for
success in HR and how do you think those
have changed throughout your career?
EG: Understanding the business, the industry and the client is
very important. It’s one thing to have an idea, and another to go
and do it, so HR must enable the business. I would say that agility
and executional excellence have changed over time. In today’s envi-ronment,
things change so quickly. You need to operate with an
agile approach. Also, if we are acting as HR value-add partners,
we need to take a consultative approach and help our leaders think
critically about what they are doing.
What tips do you have for new grads or those in entry-level
HR jobs who want to move up the ladder?
EG: Get some management experience early in your career. It may
not even be in HR, but it really helps. Show flexibility in the types
of roles you are willing to take, so you can build depth and breadth
of experience in your career. In my 33 years at the bank, I’ve had
a number of different careers. It’s a good idea to network and stay
connected inside and outside your organization, so be on Twitter
and LinkedIn. Also, see if you can find a mentor who can share
their experience and knowledge. Finally, lifelong learning is criti-cal.
Always invest in yourself.
The HR field has been evolving. What
changes excite you the most?
EG: I would just say it’s the extent to which HR is at the leader-ship
table, helping to shape the culture and future of organizations.
What’s the future of HR?
EG: It’s going to be very talent management-centric. It will be
about equipping leaders to fully engage their workforce. It will
be driving innovation through idea generation and provoking
thought through challenging norms. Employee engagement will
be a big part of it. n
Adam Gregor / Shutterstock.com
“YOU MUST DEMONSTRATE
EMPATHY AND SEE OTHER
PEOPLE’S PERSPECTIVES; TAKE
TIME TO LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND
HOW THEY ARE FEELING.”
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ MARCH 2018 ❚ 41