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April 23, 2024

HR Management Institute Canada Recap

JW Marriott The Rosseau Resort & Spa, Muskoka, ON

Strategic HR Leadership, Cultural Reinvigoration, and Digital Transformation to Build a Workforce for the Future
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HR Can April 2024 Recap
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Escape to Cottage Country for a “Brief Exit from the Day to Day”: A Recap of the Spring HR Management Institute, Muskoka

By Nas Panwar

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Time is finite.  Information is abundant.  Insights are necessary.  Connections are essential.

These inescapable truths mean that this annual gathering of Canadian HR Executives each Spring in Muskoka serves as an HR Village, providing an expertise network that executives can tap into for comparison comfort (“others are experiencing what I am experiencing”) and comparison challenge (“how can we get better and improve?”).

In today’s unsettled business environment, HR departments have become a key lever for survival, sustainability, and success. Human capital is firmly acknowledged as a strategic source of value creation for all types of organizations in today's knowledge-based economy, and in responding to the crisis of the pandemic and this uncertain post-pandemic time by helping organizations both survive and thrive, the profession has easily demonstrated its strategic value.

Research indicates that organizations with a strategic CHRO are 3.5 times more likely to be highly effective at executing business strategy. This underscores the pivotal role of a forward-thinking HR leader in driving organizational success and achieving business objectives.  Attending HR executives were able to glean insights and key learnings from sessions on the value of a trusted CEO-CHRO relationship, the critical success factors for a dynamic Board Director-CHRO relationship, a lively panel discussion between four dynamic CHROs, as well as important role of coaching in business evolution and transformation.

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A recent study by global analytics and advice firm Gallup revealed nearly 8 in 10 Canadian employees are currently disengaged in the workplace. In fact, Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workforce study found just 21% of employees across all sectors are engaged. Although global employee engagement and job opportunities have been on the rise, the latest workforce trends in Canada are quite the opposite. Amid such high disengagement, Canadian employers must consider ways to engage their workers.

In light of these findings, discussions on the Value of Storytelling, Employee Health and Well Being as a Strategic Priority, Developing Leaders to Drive High Performance Cultures, Optimizing ERGs, Amplifying Purpose and Values, Leveraging Tools to Enhance Culture, and Understanding Workplace Mental Health Risk, and Building a People-Centered Culture in Changing Times, provided ideas, tips, and tools for increasing employee engagement and reigniting employees’ passion and sense of belonging.

Focus on adaptability, not certainty.  Get in the arena and push for futures we actually want.

It is clear that rapidly emerging technologies like generative AI are poised to have a ‘once in a generation’ impact on jobs, personal productivity, and organizational performance. It is also clear that HR Leaders need to be ready to embrace the significant change that lies ahead as a result of new technologies and different ways of working.  Having the right people on the bus and the right people in the key seats is critical. Companies across all industries are constantly scanning for insight and advantages that can help leaders meet the range of challenges head on, and CEOs are now asking their HR Teams to develop stronger leaders who can coach their teams and build a winning culture that outperforms.  Additional insights emanated from a highly thought-provoking session on Generative AI and the Future of Work, a discussion on how creativity and innovation are being used to create a competitive advantage with talent, insights into addressing the productivity decline, and developing a digital-ready workforce, leaving HR Executives with several fresh ideas to take back to their organizations.

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The HR Management Institute concluded in fine style with the much anticipated Economic Outlook for 2024, delivered with a healthy balance of caution, optimism, and dry wit, as well as a unique "choose your own adventure" style panel, which was the perfect finale for the Institute, during which attendees shared questions, comments, and perspectives on employee engagement, performance management, and return to work policies.

As one of the HR Executive attendees summed up her experience,

“The conference emphasized the importance of people as the only differentiator in many industries.  Employees can be a company's competitive advantage by embodying our reputation, driving our success, and serving as the face to customers. Prioritizing and investing in teams—through development, recognition, and fostering a positive culture—enables us to stand out in our industry. Putting people first not only enhances team performance but also significantly impacts customer experience and business outcomes. As an aside it’s so important to have peers in HR for our day to day lives to keep each other inspired and motivated along with sharing best practices for people first cultures.”

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To contribute to the next iteration of the HR Management Institute, whether sharing some insights and experiences as a member of the Speaker Faculty, suggesting topic areas for the agenda or joining the waiting list for attendance, please contact Nas Panwar at npanwar@ipmievents.com .

Attendee Feedback

“The support staff was incredible! Highly organized, they never missed a beat! Well done everyone!”
“Loved this event, exceeded my expectations!”
“The staff at IPMI do a fabulous job organizing these conferences. You make it look simple. The content of the conference was filled with strategic information with a nice blend of actionable takeaways. Establishing connections in other organizations and industries is invaluable.”
“IPMI staff were outstanding and had thought of everything!”
“It was wonderful. Very well-run event and we were treated like gold. Felt very valued throughout the process and enjoyed the caliber of the speakers and their content.”
“The most valuable and productive conferences I have attended. The right level of thought leaders for me to interact with and relevant topics.”


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