Blog, Human Resources

Consultants sometimes have a bad reputation with management experts, often face criticism regarding the cost of a few weeks of work (sometimes in the millions), or for being paid to tell leadership teams what they already know. However, there are a number of reasons why businesses benefit from consultants.


It can be hard for existing management and/or employees (busy with daily tasks) to take а step back and analyze a potential problem in their business or office. Consultants offer а fresh set of critical eyes that can help with measurement, analysis, and improvement. Critics might write this off as glorified common sense, but new insights and the ability to identify underlying issues can add significant value to operations. А fresh perspective is critical to а company restart, or to new business ventures where employees and/or management are too involved with the project to recognize possible issues.


Functions and Levels

In most cases, the consultant or firm will build а fact base over а period of а few weeks to а month. They’ll interview people across the board, as well as observe daily routines. Consultants will often start with the organization’s customers (if possible) and then work up through sales and line roles. This information offers lots of insights into the company that the executive team might miss or lack the time to investigate themselves. Interviewing people across functions can also help foster creative problem-solving (something that rarely happens in larger companies). It’s а good idea to have а consultant on board to unlock this kind of insight.


Problem-Solving Expertise

When you’re hiring а consulting firm, you’re hiring а dedicated group of people with one objective: to solve your problem. Having people who can focus their attention on а defined project is a valuable asset. In many ways, they’re better able to make observations, efficiently assess and improve the company than current employees who already have plenty on their plates.


Consultants have also likely served multiple clients before you. They can recognize problems quickly and apply lessons learned in previous cases. They possess an expanded knowledge base that can be valuable to your company. They also belong to networks and associations that give them access to resources you likely don’t have. Given their training and skills, consultants are quick learners, capable of understanding a problem and developing а strategy to solve it, helping a company achieve its objectives.


Impartial Advice/Observation

Consultants can give advice through а more objective lens. They’re independent from the organization, so there’s no hesitation to give unbiased observations and recommendations. This is partially why companies choose to hire outside consultants rather than rely exclusively on internal feedback; those within an organization can be conflicted and sometimes hesitant to give accurate recommendations for fear of being harsh.


External Change Force

It can be difficult for executives and CEOs to do what’s right for their company if it requires changes or reductions in benefits, major operational changes, or even layoffs. It may seem like an easy way out, but many companies hire consulting firms to do the “dirty work.” In а sense, the consultant becomes the scapegoat for those who want to distance themselves from making individuals unhappy while reaching the company’s goal. This provides political cover for senior management, and if something goes wrong, the consulting firm can take the responsibility.


Implementation and Training

As an executive, you have а lot of things on the go; you don’t have time to train everyone on adopting new technology or implementing new strategies. Almost every consulting project incorporates client training. This means whoever you hired to do your consulting will educate your employees on necessary skills, knowledge, technology, etc.


There’s no point in receiving recommendations if employees are unable to integrate and maintain suggested changes. In this way, consulting firms add enormous value to your company. Not only will they tell you what’s wrong, they’ll equip you with the knowledge required to overcome the problem and reach your goal.


There’s а reason why consulting companies rake in $2 billion а year. Generally, business consultants help companies and small businesses improve performance and streamline operations to become more efficient. They identify problems and create solutions, as well as provide objectivity. They’ll also do some unpleasant tasks for you, such as eliminate staff. They know how to get the ball rolling when it comes to revamping your company and offer much more value to a business than just advice.


Helen Jacob | Contributing Writer

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Blog, Human Resources

Older generations have always been critical of the younger ones. From Socrates referring to youths as “bad-mannered tyrants with a lack of respect for their elders” to current young people being blamed for killing countless industries – the toxicity is real.

The current generation receiving the criticism flack is the “millennial,” currently between 21 and 37 years of age. The accusation that they’re the reason for the collapse of several businesses isn’t unfounded. They just can’t afford diamonds, houses, and sometimes even cereal. This comes as no surprise, as millennials carry an average debt of $42,000. As these debts soar and inflation continues to rise, it’s likely the deaths of once-booming industries won’t end any time soon. On the surface it appears as though millennials are doomed to fail, but is it all bad?

The average Canadian lifespan, as of 2011, is nearly 82 years. Compared to the 57-year average in 1921, Canadians are living approximately 25 years longer than previous generations. It was once believed that as people aged, they became more politically conservative. The millennial generation proves that it isn’t age that makes one conservative, but wealth – and millennials don’t have much of that. There’s a reason why money isn’t everything for the younger generation; they prioritize work that’s ethical and makes a social impact over a big paycheque, are more politically engaged, and more educated than any preceding generation (thus the heavy student-loan debt). Despite what some baby boomers might tell you, millennials are hard-working and motivated, making them an asset in the workplace.

Passion is what drives millennial ambitions. Previously, working hard at a job you hated wasn’t frowned upon. Now, you can work just as hard at a job you hate, just like your parents and their parents before them, and still struggle to make ends meet. Suddenly, working as a teacher might be just as risky as pursuing dreams of being an actor or painter.

But the ideal life is no longer built around a picket fence and a 9-to-5 job with benefits. In fact, millennials are dominating their side hustles, and putting their passions into overdrive on top of their regular work week. In the U.S., more than half of millennials are starting apps, freelancing their talents, or trying their hands at things like YouTube channels.

With all of this time and energy going towards work and passion projects, more and more members of this generation are waiting longer to have children, which also has its benefits. Having children later in life has proven to make you a more patient parent, and also makes you more likely to raise emotionally healthy adults. And, with people living into their eighties, waiting to have children doesn’t mean sacrificing time you get to spend with them.

All in all, millennials take a lot of criticism from previous generations, but obtaining multiple degrees and working longer hours doesn’t leave much time to dwell on those judgements. And eventually, we’ll turn our attention towards the entitled kids of the next generation.

 

Jasmine Cormier

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Blog, Human Resources

Good workplace rules keep employees safe and the business running smoothly. Enforcing those rules is important both for employers and employees. Employees need to know, understand, and comply with company rules. It’s the employer’s responsibility to make sure all regulations are followed consistently. Every employee should be aware of the repercussions for breaching the rules. It could result in disciplinary measures like warnings, suspension, or termination. The following factors should be considered when implementing and enforcing workplace rules and regulations: keep reading

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Blog, Human Resources

Job seekers tend to do a lot of research into what employers want from them, but few put as much time into thinking about what they should expect from their employers. Below is a list of mandates that any good employer should follow to function well as an organization and maintain the loyalty of their workers.

Ensure Their Health and Safety

Many seem to assume that this point is only relevant to companies asking their employees to perform physical tasks, but this can easily apply to a typical office setting as well. Saddling your employees with unrealistic goals or huge workloads can take a heavy toll on their mental and physical health when the long hours they spend trying to meet unreasonable targets start to add up. Make sure that both their physical and mental wellbeing are taken into account when developing work policies and assigning tasks. Otherwise a burnt-out, less effective staff and high employee turnover are likely in your company’s future.

Create Opportunities for Employees to Grow

Without room to fully utilize their individual skillsets and advance within the organization, employees will inevitably become bored or dissatisfied. Employers should take the time to provide workers with chances to expand their knowledge and entrust them with new responsibilities and opportunities. In doing so, the company will be rewarded with higher rates of worker retention, job satisfaction, and a healthier, more vibrant office culture as a whole.

Build Trust into Hiring and Work Practices  

If you focus on hiring people you trust to work independently, you’ll avoid falling into the trap of micromanaging your staff. When workers are polled about company engagement, trust is consistently one of the most desired traits that workers look for from management. Strong hiring practices will ensure that your company only hires people that fall into that coveted “trusted” category, which will in turn cultivate better relationships between employees and management.

At the end of the day, companies have a responsibility to make themselves appealing to people seeking employment. Just as the average job seeker will spend a great deal of time perfecting their resume and interview skills, companies should work on improving their work culture and streamlining their processes to not only be more efficient, but also more people-friendly as well.

 

– Lance Wang

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Blog, Human Resources

When done right, succession planning is the seamless process of replacing a top executive when they decide to leave an organization. However, as business trends change, so does the system. The practice is now more inclusive and has a wider scope. Aside from exit strategies, succession planning should take into account both the short-term and long-term stability and sustainability of a company’s human resources, as well as the individual development of its employees. keep reading

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Blog, Human Resources

There’s a lot of competition in the workforce, not just in terms of finding a job, but also when it comes to securing a promotion or raise. Being a good worker isn’t enough; most employees in a company are good. Great employees possess some special characteristics that differentiate them from the rest. They do things differently and take advantage of opportunities presented to them.
keep reading

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Blog, Human Resources

A simple contract is an agreement made by two parties. This agreement can be an oral or a written one. There must be an offer, consideration, and an acceptance to make it valid. Even if the document is not drafted by a lawyer, it can still land you in court in the case of a breach of the contract. It’s advisable to have a written contract rather than a verbal one. keep reading

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Blog, Human Resources

Hiring can be a difficult process. You need a position filled quickly but you’re not sure where to look, or you don’t have time to conduct a search with all the other things you have to do. There are lots of companies dedicated to helping businesses address this issue but weeding out the good ones from the bad can be almost as confusing as actually hiring a new employee. keep reading

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