What the heck is “Talent Management” & why is it vital for your business in 2023?

“Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them; they hire already motivated people and inspire them.”
Simon Sinek

So… what exactly is talent management? Talent management is the full scope of HR processes to attract, onboard, develop, motivate, and retain high-performing employees.  Sounds easy? Right? 

While it is important to create a competitive workforce by recruiting candidates with highly desirable skill sets, you will retain that workforce by investing in continuous learning and skills development, as well as, managing and optimizing performance.  Talent Management is about nurturing the talent that you have on your team and ensuring that “new employees” that join your team are set up for success right from day one.  

In larger organizations who have a person or department specifically trained and assigned to Human Resources functions and duties – it would be the responsibility of the HR team to lead talent management efforts.  But … what happens in an organization without a dedicated HR team?  Who leads the talent management efforts?  Talent management is a process that must be consistently applied – therefore, it is essential that someone leads this process and it is not left up to individual managers who are potentially untrained and unable to dedicate the time required to manage the whole process.  Talent management is a collaborative process that involves managers and supervisors but should ideally have an individual with some HR experience leading the process.

Talent management helps your organization attract top talent, improves employee engagement, productivity and retention.  Investing in talent & utilizing employees where their skills and interests are supported you will notice an increase in motivation, engagement and ultimately retention. Regular reviewing and adapting talent management strategies ensures employees have the skills and knowledge needed to remain effective in their roles and gain any skills required to move to future desired roles within the organization.  There is no one size fits all talent management strategy – what works well for one organization may not work for you.  

Talent management is an essential part of the HR function, even for smaller organizations.  Your employees are your greatest asset, and it’s up to you to keep them motivated, provide development opportunities and show them exactly where they fit into the future of your organization.  

Continue following our Blog in the coming weeks as we break down & further explain some of the critical steps in creating a talent management strategy for your organization.


Does this seem insurmountable for you as a small business?  This is where HR support for your business and your management team can help.  Engaging with an Independent HR Consultant can alleviate the stress of the unknown.  We work with many companies that are in the same boat as you – we use our knowledge and expertise to help you define and elevate your Human Resources strategies and goals.
Need some help setting up an HR strategy for 2023?  
Give us a call 204-451-0111.

Recruitment & Selection – What’s trending in 2023

Looking back over the last few years we have come up against a global pandemic, a shift to remote work and what some industry experts have called “the great resignation”.  What can we expect next? 

Economic uncertainty, inflation and potentially a recession are top of mind as we begin to dig into 2023.  How should these be considered in your recruitment strategy?

We have started to see the pandemic take a backseat and businesses are facing higher than expected turnover and recruitment challenges.  When you factor in the rising cost of living, it makes sense that there will be a corresponding demand for higher wages and more meaningful benefits.

What to expect in 2023?  Recruitment will require businesses to become proactive instead of reactive.  As a business, there will be a call to create and execute some key strategies to locate talent before you have a demand to fill a position.  It will create an advantage for you to look at recruitment in much the same way as you look at attracting customers/clients to your business.  

Some key ways to achieve this:

  • Competitive compensation and benefits
  • Utilizing the power of Social Media
  • Increasing Employee Retention efforts
  • Employing Hybrid work models
  • Creating a great Candidate Experience when recruiting
  • Consider using “Contingent Workers” to supplement your workforce
  • Adapting to the “generational shift” in the workforce

The future means change!  Make sure that you have what it takes to rise to the challenges that will come in 2023.  The key is to strategically come up with a plan for your business – it is no longer reasonable to wait until you have vacancies to start looking for candidates.  Candidates are continually “shopping” for their next employer – if you are not advertising – you are viewed as “unknown” and won’t be attractive to candidates the next time you post a vacancy! 

Does this seem insurmountable for you as a small business?  This is where HR support for your business and your management team can help.  Engaging with an Independent HR Consultant can alleviate the stress of the unknown.  We work with many companies that are in the same boat as you – we use our knowledge and experience to help you define and elevate your Human Resources strategies and goals.  

Hiring Independent Consultants is an advantage for small businesses when full time/on staff support is not required.  Reach out and chat with us and see how we can support your business in creating and executing a Recruitment and Retention strategy for 2023.

Impacting Engagement using Employee Surveys

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek


Employees want to feel like their contributions count and that their opinions and voices are heard.  When employees don’t feel like their contributions count, they’ll seek out an environment where they do. Turnover is expensive so how can you make sure that your people feel like their voice is heard and concerns are addressed?  Research shows most employees appreciate a commitment to frequent communication. Collecting feedback from your team shows them that you’re listening. When done correctly – Employee Engagement Surveys are one of the best opportunities for employees to share their honest feedback and opinions.

Many businesses conduct customer surveys as a way to improve their business – the same should be applied to your employees.  Business success and employee satisfaction are directly related. Engaged employees are more motivated and productive – they take pride in what they are doing. 

Employee Surveys can have a positive impact on:

  • Improving your business
  • Increasing Employee Engagement
  • Boosting Employee Retention
  • Promoting a positive work environment 

Whether conducting Annual Employee Surveys or regular Employee Pulse surveys it is important to show your employees that the effort that they put into answering the surveys is appreciated and that the information gathered through the surveys is looked at and acted upon.  Just sending out one survey is not going to give you valuable results.  It’s about creating a “Survey” process so your employees can easily see that you are interested in creating a feedback culture that uses surveys as one of the tools and that you act upon the feedback to motivate employees and create a more positive work environment.  By surveying employees and acting on the feedback given – you can specifically address areas of dissatisfaction for your employees.  Benchmarking this data will allow you to track your progress in these areas that require improvement.

Transparency plays a huge role in this process.  Sharing the survey results is extremely important – the good and the bad along with your action plan/timeline for acting on the results.  Don’t just talk about the survey at “Survey Time” – talk about it periodically and discuss the action plan and what your business/management team has been doing to move the plan forward.    

Engagement surveys have the ability to provide the context your business needs to identify concerns, create an action plan and drive meaningful change within your business.  Collecting and tracking survey results will allow you to benchmark your data over time and identify opportunities for improvement and measure the impact of any of your actions taken. 

Employee Onboarding

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.   

 -Will Rogers-

Onboarding…Orientation >> potato…potatoh right?  WRONG!

Onboarding and Orientation are often confused as the same process.  Orientation is an important part of the Onboarding process for the completion of paperwork, introducing the new hire to other employees, office facilities, policies ect – but – Onboarding is the overarching comprehensive process involving management and other employees and can last anywhere from 1 month – 12 months. 

Employee Onboarding is the process of welcoming new hires, familiarizing them with your company culture, and helping them acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to succeed in your company and their new role.  Attracting and retaining the right people starts with a well planned and executed Onboarding process.

Onboarding is not one-size-fits-all, although there are common steps to follow:

    • Pre-Boarding – Onboarding starts before your employees do.  This stage includes tasks that should be completed prior to new hire start date, such as Welcome Package, HR & IT set ups, office space setup ect
    • Orientation – primarily the HR paperwork part of onboarding.  Going through the Employee Handbook and policies, Company values and mission statement.  I would suggest breaking this phase into several smaller tasks.  Going through everything HR in one sitting is too daunting and basically isn’t usually retained well  
    • Formal mentor/buddy system – set up a formal mentoring situation for the new employee.  Ensure that the mentor understands their role.
    • Follow up – specific times set up for follow up & assessments.  A general guide for follow up is at the end of the 1st day, end of the 1st week and then 30/60/90 days.  Ensure follow up is documented and completed on time.

Onboarding contributes directly to:

    • Employee Socialization 
    • Job Satisfaction
    • Commitment to the company
    • Employee Engagement
    • Employee Retention 

“Remember Onboarding is not a “one day; HR only” event.”


Employer Branding – why is it important?

Picture this – your sitting around with a group of friends discussing where to go for dinner & drinks on the weekend – everyone is throwing out names of places to go – what is the first thing you do?  Pick up your phone or tablet and start the “google” search.  

Whether you are making dinner plans, looking for a new dentist or booking a vacation rental – your first step is research.  The internet provides us with a plethora of valuable information – why wouldn’t we use it to make informed decisions.  Whether you do a google search, check out social media or online reviews – the fact is you research first before making a decision.

Looking for a job is no different!  Job seekers are becoming increasingly savvy in their research of potential employers.  Candidates will check in with friends/family & professional connections, search through social media & online job boards to gather information, they will check out your website and look for online reviews from your past and current employees.  With our job market being tight ensuring that you have a strong Employer Brand definitely elevates the quality and quantity of candidates for open positions in your organization.

What is an Employer Brand? I’m not a marketing expert & I’m not going to try to be – but I can show you what’s important in an Employer Brand from an HR perspective.  Your Employer Brand is basically your reputation as an employer.  

It includes:

    • What your current employees think about you
    • Why is your company a good place to work – what is your EVP
    • Do current employees recommend you to their friends
    • What story does the career section of your website tell 
    • How does your social media content portray you as an employer
    • How do you treat candidates in your Hiring Process
    • What makes you special as an employer

Gone are the days where posting a job is enough to attract candidates & you have likely seen evidence of that if you have posted positions in the last 6 months.  Job vacancies are taking longer to fill and that takes a toll on your current employees and on your business.  Strive to make your company an amazing place to work for your current employees & you will immediately elevate your Employer Brand.  

You have an Employer Brand whether you’ve put effort into it or not — so put some effort into it and ensure it’s a brand you can be proud of!

Your Employer Brand is becoming increasingly more important for attracting & retaining talent.  An HR Consultant can help you identify what’s working for you and what could use some “stepping up”.  If you’re looking to “step up” your Employer Brand from an HR perspective – give us a call at 204-451-0111 – we would be happy to help you. 

The Great Resignation – Believe it or Not?

Many people have opinions on whether or not this is happening in our little prairie province of Manitoba.  Whether you believe this or not – here is the hard truth – “People are no longer competing for jobs; companies are competing for people”.  As a business that employs people – you need to be prepared for this reality.  Gone are they days where you can throw a job posting up and get 200 or 300 responses to your ad in the first 3 days.  Trust me – those days are gone!  

The “Talent Challenge” that we are currently facing requires employers to be more strategic – way more strategic!  It’s not just about what salary you are offering perspective candidates – it’s about your company culture, what your current employees are saying about you, your Social Media presence, “perks” that are offered to your employees (and I don’t mean dental and eye care), how your company defines it’s social responsibility.  Get my drift?  You need a strategy!

Sure you offer a great “Benefits Package” to your employees – do they use it?  Have you ever done a deep dive to see if what you are offering them is what they want?  By the way … benefits packages are no longer looked at as a “perk” – they are a requirement much like a salary is.  

Everyone has individual needs from their employer.  Don’t assume that you know what your employees want – ASK THEM!  Whether you do this through one on one conversations, group listening sessions, or employee engagement surveys, it is important to have an open dialogue to understand what your employees value and what they need to feel engaged at work.  It’s great to collect all that information, but you also need to be realistic about whether you are able to offer that to them – and be transparent.  Your honesty will be appreciated.

Your culture is what will attract and retain a good team.  Who are you as a company and what can you offer them.  Place your focus on creating a culture of growth and development.   Creating a “Strategic Plan for Talent” may not only help you retain your current team but if they do decide to leave – you will have a solid talent pool capable of continuing into the future.

Not sure how to create a “Strategic Plan for Talent”?  Give us a call.  We have created a “Talent Challenge Playbook” that we work through with our clients.  We can help you create a strategic  plan for 2022 and beyond.

Give your employees the right to disconnect!



Give your employees the right to disconnect!

We currently live in a world where all the lines are blurred – school/work/child care/elder care are all under the same roof.  Defined work spaces & defined work times don’t seem to exist anymore.  For some of us the dining room table, in addition to being a place to eat, is also our home office and our children’s classroom.  We have gone from families who used to be very independent and running in separate directions to work/school, sports, extra curricular activities and social activities – to spending 24/7 in the same house, sharing the same space.  

Almost everyone owns some type of smartphone and we have become very attached to them.  Every time it dings or vibrates – we HAVE TO look at it – we are Pavlov’s dog to technology!  It is also common to have work email, instant messenger etc loaded on personal phones.  Employees feel obliged to respond to emails or messages from their bosses at all hours.  Gone are the days of leaving the office at 5pm – the office now follows you on your smartphone or laptop!

The Pandemic has opened our eyes and made us all more aware and more sensitive to the importance of our Mental Health.  Millennials have entered our workplaces and shown us how strongly they prioritize work-life balance and that they are sometimes willing to leave an employer that doesn’t respect their right to that balance.  Work-life balance is increasingly taking precedence over wages when employees are considering changing employers.

The right to “disconnect” refers to employees’ ability to fully break from work and not engage in work-related communications outside of work hours.  Europe has led the way in instituting the employees’ right to disconnect.  France’s right to disconnect came into force on January 2017, setting out requirements for regulating a company’s use of digital tools during employees’ rest periods & leaves of absence, including personal and family leaves.

Although not a legal requirement in Canada, employers can proactively take steps to create a workplace culture that acknowledges and respects work-life boundaries.  By creating policies and guidelines to address the right to disconnect you will be showing your employees that you respect them as individuals and not just employees, value their loyalty and contribution to your workplace and are respectful to their mental and physical health.  Many employers already support their employees with substantial Wellness Plans – why not include a Right to Disconnect Policy in that Wellness Plan.  This type of policy may also become a valuable tool in attracting and retaining talent.  



What Is Your Organization’s Long-Term Remote Work Strategy?


I read an article this morning that stated that 33% of employees currently working remotely would look for a new role if they were told to return to the office full time.  Personally, I think that might be a bit overstated – but – I do believe that many employees have become very comfortable with certain aspects of the WFH dynamic.  

While it may have started off as “pandemic induced” remote work there does seem to be a desire to continue with a hybrid work arrangement on both sides – management and employees. Many employers struggled to offer true WFH pre-pandemic – they claimed to have WFH but truly offered it as a “one day here and there” perk instead of a true WFH agreement.

There is a growing desire among some businesses and business leaders to start welcoming employees back to the office once it is considered safe.  Now is the time for managers to engage in meaningful discussions with their teams to determine what the “ideal” return to workplace situation will look like.  What is on your employee’s “wish list” for a return?  Businesses need to be prepared for a potential change in employees “ideal” work structures.  Employers can work with their employees to achieve the best scenario to maintain productivity and business systems and satisfy the hybrid workplace requests from their employees.

Remember that a return-to-workplace plan that prioritizes employees well-being and fosters a strong organizational culture will increase employee morale, productivity, engagement, retention and aid your future recruiting efforts.

What will your optimal remote work strategy look like? What will your remote work policies and practices look like going forward?  It’s very important to take the time to plan these out and don’t just let them “happen” as employees return.  

This is a perfect opportunity to partner with an HR Professional who can connect with your team and get their feedback, as well as, meet with management to find out the desired workplace model.  It’s a time to discuss what worked well during the “pandemic” WFH and what didn’t.  An HR Professional can help you figure out the hybrid model that will work well with your individual organization; update company policies to fit the needs of a dispersed workforce and help find the optimal mix of remote & in office to keep your business performing optimally.

Appreciating Generational Differences in the Workplace


Communicating and engaging the different generations in the workplace is more important than ever, but also more challenging.  We are working in a time where employees are working past the traditional retirement date and there could be 4 generations of employees represented in a workplace.  Each generation has been raised differently and experienced life differently which has shaped them into who they are today.  The life experiences of people impacts their behaviour, communication preferences and the way they interact with others in the workplace.

This diversity can certainly provide benefits in terms of the unique backgrounds and perspectives that each generation brings. It can also lead to misunderstandings and conflict. Recognizing this potential and taking steps to proactively minimize it can help ensure a positive environment for everyone — one in which multiple perspectives and generations can thrive.

While it’s important to treat everyone as an individual and not stereotype them based on their generation, it helps to be mindful of the different experiences. 

For instance:

Baby Boomers – ages 55-73 are embracing digital technology – using smartphones and social media, however, they still place a high importance on face-to-face communication.  This generation also values personal growth & team involvement. They are highly-educated, ambitious, and tend to be multi-taskers – sometimes referred to as the “workaholic” generation.

Gen Xers – ages 39-54 are extremely comfortable using technology and are generally quite tech-savvy.  They want technology that supports their professional development. Generation X grew up taking care of themselves at home while their parents worked.  This generation is quite independent and self-sufficient. They value diversity, work/life balance, technology, and informality. They tend to view all work as just a job – sometimes referred to as the “work/life balance” generation.

Millennials – ages 23-38 want to work for a company that embraces technology.  They want mobile technology that facilitates collaboration and teamwork.  They grew up in a supportive environment where protective parents and other adults attended to their needs,  and all kids receive rewards regardless of individual effort. Millennials typically don’t just work for a pay check – they want a purpose.  This group values having a “coach” over having a “boss”.  Millennials are very “work/life balance”  but also crave flexibility in the workplace such as work from home and the ability to work flexible hours.

Generation Z – ages 22-younger this generation has never known a world without technology and expects the tech they use in the workplace to be just as great as the tech they use at home.  This generation actually prefers to bring their own device to work.  Money and job security appear to be top motivators, and more than any other generation they value honesty and transparency. (the age groups quoted above are approximate – my research showed a 3-5 year difference in the groupings depending on who published the information)

By being mindful of the experiences that each individual brings to their position, fostering a culture that celebrates collaboration, keeping the lines of communication open, and tailoring your approach to each individual, you can get ahead of any potential conflicts before they arise and reap all of the benefits of a multigenerational workforce.

We all have something that we can learn from each other – the challenge is keeping everyone aware of that fact!


The “New Normal” is not “Normal”


The “New Normal” is not “Normal”

Covid19 has entered our lives and doesn’t look like it is leaving anytime soon.  It has shaken our world and changed almost every aspect our daily lives.

Many businesses were forced to close their doors only to reopen to a phased-in approach scheduled by the government. 

It appears to me that the only normal that will remain for the foreseeable future – is change!

Workplaces have had to face many challenges – dependant on the type of business that you run.  Not only have workplaces faced the safety challenges of reopening but the staffing challenges as well. 

  • Working from home used to be a perk – now it is the norm for some offices
  • Social Distancing in the office/business/waiting rooms and even break rooms
  • Accommodating our employees who have child care and elder care responsibilities
  • Increased absenteeism – remember when it used to be a badge of honour to show up at work even though you were deathly ill?   Now we are encouraging everyone to stay at home when not feeling well.
  • Employees that are reluctant to return to work because the CERB payments are being enjoyed, fear of contracting the virus or compromised health concerns for themselves or a family member

Still business owners are resilient – many have found some “work arounds” to previous processes to meet the new safety protocols, many businesses are using “out of the box” ideas to generate business and keep bringing in the much needed operating income to keep the business alive and employees employed.

The fact is – we honestly don’t know how long we are going to have to implement these changes that have allowed us to reopen our businesses.  Businesses pivoted to remain operating.  It is now time to document the current processes and procedures and communicate your expectations clearly with your employees.  If you have staff working from home – you should have a WFH Policy that describes expectations.  Don’t jump into making any permanent changes unless you are sure that your business can support those changes in the future.  If you do make changes to jobs – ensure that you are revising employment contracts that you have with your staff.  

As a business owner or leader – your responsibility is to mitigate risk.  Now is the time to look at the changes that you have made and document the changes.  If the changes are only temporary – that’s ok – it’s still important to document them and state that they are temporary measures.

Do you have a “Sick Leave” policy?  Has it been updated for Covid 19?  Are employees comfortable calling in sick if they are not feeling well?  Have you outlined for your staff what steps should be followed if they test positive for Covid19? Or if a family member tests positive?  Having no policies or processes in place creates a risk for your customers, employees and the reputation of your business.  

If you have people working from home for the next 6 months – a revised contract stating that it is a temporary arrangement should be drafted and signed. 

I could go on and on about this topic – the fact is that it will be different for absolutely every business.  I will leave you with 3 words of advice – document, communicate and transparency.

Document all process changes – even if they are temporary.

Communicate often and clearly to your employees and your customers.

Be transparent with your employees about your business; employees are concerned about their futures and that includes their ability to remain employed.  It’s ok if your struggling – almost everyone is right now – but talk about it.  Let your employees know what you are doing to ensure that your business remains open.  

Don’t forget that as a business owner – you can’t do it all.  Network with other business owners for different perspectives.  Reach out to professionals to help you out.  If you have legal concerns – talk to your lawyer.  Money concerns – talk to  your accountant.  People concerns – talk to an HR Professional.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” —Maya Angelou