Merging HR departments: How to make it work Merging HR
Merging HR
How to make
it work
Networking for HR
On-campus recruiting
Ontario privacy
C A N A D A ’ S
Where your perfect
candidate is looking.
You’re looking for the perfect candidate. And they are looking for you.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that you’re both looking in the same place. The Globe and Mail.
If you’re looking for educated, experienced achievers from any industry, call us to find out how
The Globe and Mail can help you find the most desirable candidate in Canada.
Find your candidate. Find your career.
tel: 416.585.5111
toll-free: 1.866.999.9ADS(237)
fax: 416.585.5698
toll-free fax: 1.866.355.4155
tel: 514.982.3050
toll-free: 1.800.363.7526
tel: 604.685.0308
toll-free: 1.800.663.1311
(from BC. AB. SK. NT)
fax: 514.845.8766
fax: 604.685.7549
tel: 403.245.6571
fax: 403.245.4766
United States & International
Advertising Representatives
Publicitas, New York, NY
tel: 212.599.5057
fax: 212.599.8298
Squeeze more into
their benefits.
(Without eating any
of your budget.)
Sometimes looking after employees’ concerns is simpler than you
think – especially if it’s been prepackaged for you. Liberty Mutual is
now offering your employees preferred group rates on home and
auto insurance. And it won’t cost you a thing. We’ll send you a
package to highlight all the savings and protection your employees
may be eligible for. And you take all the credit.
Call us to find out how Liberty Mutual's GROUP SAVINGS PLUSВ®
program can make your job easier and enhance your current benefits
plan at absolutely no cost to your organization.
For details, please call Bruce Weaver at
1-800-268-6418 ext. 2289.
Helping People Live Healthier, Safer, More Secure Lives.
To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Group discounts are not available in all provinces and vary by province.
Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 675 Cochrane Drive, Unionville, Ontario, Canada, L3R 0S7.
VOL. 19 NO. 4
President’s Message
By Shona Welsh, M.C.Ed., CHRP
By Anne Kemp and Paula Lytwyn
Recruitment & Retention
Strategic Communication
From the Trenches
Legally Speaking
News & Views
Labour Relations
Off the Shelf
Research Forum
Training & Development
Health & Safety
First Person
Compensation & Benefits
Provincial Government Affairs - Ontario
CCHRA President’s Message
Provincial News – Alberta
Merging HR departments: How to
make it work
See page 28
Time for HR to shine
See page 24
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
VOL. 19 NO. 4
Executive Programs
Sharon Ferriss
Beverley Allen
Acquire the skills and expertise you need
to win in today’s fast-paced world.
EDITOR (Naylor)
Shayne Stephens
Paul Gray
Wayne Jury
Dawn Stokes, Dennis Muffty, Gord Jackson, Sheilah Davila,
Wayne Jury, Carol Podolaniuk, Steve Beauchamp
Lynne Alex, CHRP
Vice-President, Human Resources
Manulife Financial, Canadian Operations
Roy C. Filion, QC
Barrister and Solicitor
Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP
Toby Fletcher, CHRP
Associate Dean, Business School
Humber College
The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is a
leader in executive learning. Our intense and thorough programs build
and sharpen the abilities managers and executives need to succeed.
We are now accepting applications for the following established and
comprehensive certificate programs:
Advanced Program in
Human Resources Management
Canada’s most comprehensive executive certificate
program in senior HR management.
Toronto fall 2002 program starts: .............September 22, 2002
Toronto winter 2003 program starts: .........January 19, 2003
Ottawa spring 2003 program starts:.........April 6, 2003
Advanced Program in
Managing Strategic Change
This intensive, four-module certificate program is for experienced managers and executives who want to implement change and achieve highimpact results in their organization.
Toronto fall 2002 program starts: .............October 20, 2002
John Hardisty, CHRP
Sheridan College
Peter MacLean, CHRP
Northern College of Applied Arts & Technology
Malcolm MacKillop
Employment Lawyer & Senior Partner
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Wayne Morgan, CHRP
Director, Human Resources
Compugen Services Ltd.
Dan Ondrack, FCHRP
University of Toronto
Simon P. Ouellet, CHRP
Director, Human Resources Operations
McMaster University
Bob Redford, CHRP
R.W. Redford Consulting Services Ltd.
Lorraine Weygman, CHRP
Weygman Consulting
HRProfessional magazine is published six times per year for the Human
Resources Professionals Association of Ontario, 2 Bloor St. West,
Suite 1902, Toronto, ON M4W 3E2, Tel. (416) 923-2324, Toll-free
1-800-387-1311, Fax (416) 923-7264, E-mail [email protected], HRPAO is a not-for-profit association dedicated to
providing leadership and enhancing the contribution of the human
resources management profession. With more than 11,500 members,
HRPAO sets and enforces professional standards, identifies best
workplace practices and promotes the profession. It is the only
accreditation body in Ontario for the professional designation of Certified
Human Resources Professional (CHRP).
HRProfessional magazine is published by Naylor Publications Company
(Canada), 920 Yonge St., Suite 600, Toronto, ON M4W 3C7, Tel. 1-800665-2456 – Winnipeg or 1-800-461-4828 – Toronto, Fax 1-800-709-5551.
В© 2002 Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario. All rights
reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any
means, in whole or in par t, without the prior written consent of
Dan Stapleton, CEO, HRPAO
Enrollment is limited. Apply now. For details, contact the Rotman School:
[email protected]
(Prices include shipping and handling) $45 per year in Canada; $50 per year in
the United States; $70 per year in Europe.
$45 of membership dues are allocated for subscription to
Published articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect the views of
ISSN 847-9453
HRPAO is proud to be a founding member of the CCHRA.
Printed on recyclable paper. Published July 2002 HRP-S0402/7140
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
By Matthew Goff
The Net Effect
With every aspect
of Recruitment and Selection can be
implemented, analyzed and actioned
over the Internet.
Going online gives you the power to
identify the top candidates for
interview in half the time it
traditionally takes to do the same thing
offline. There’s less risk of losing
preferred candidates too, because
automated response communications
let applicants know that you are
interested in them straight away.
You save time and money, eliminate
the need for any printed materials and
benefit from the economies of scale
that result from streamlining your
administration processes.
Our Recruitment and Selection
modules even provide tailored questions for you to ask your candidates
during face-to-face or telephone based
interviews. Yet another reason why is the right answer
for you.
Recruitment Efficiencies streamlines and
tailors the recruitment process to
meet your needs. Fast and efficient
Internet enabled applications have
been designed to help you attract,
m an age and shortlist the right
candidates for the job.
Most companies experience an
increase in the number of applicants
when they start recruiting online. A
careers website without supporting
sifting technology can make your
process less efficient rather than
Not wasting your valuable time
considering unqualified candidates
also means that you’re free to put
more effort and energy into liaising
with those applicants that demonstrate the most potential.
Yo u s a v e t i m e , m o n e y a n d
resources while our intelligent
technology does all the work for
you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
Matthew Goff is a Manager, Client Development,
with SHL Canada Inc., who last year launched SHL currently has over 80 client
organizations (many of which are fortune 500
companies) using this technology. Call now for a
demonstration at 416.361.3454 or 1.800.414.6814.
National Coverage?
Finding good people coast to coast in a country as big as Canada
can be a challenge. Your national newspaper can help you recruit
from Canada’s far east to the Pacific coast; from the 49th parallel,
to the far north. Exposure in Canada’s national newspaper, plus a
significant presence online with, equals coast to
coast careers for all your recruiting needs.
For advertising information,
please call 416-386-2662
or toll free: 1-800-588-7678
e-mail: [email protected]
By Paul Juniper, CHRP, SPHR
Been there, got the pen
ou know the pen I’m talking about,
right? The one that’s distributed to
staf f when one company takes
over another. The one that reads
“Our future together will be strong.”
Human beings have a real ability to
detect hypocrisy. If you’re going through
a merger or acquisition employees need
the straight goods. And it’s the job of
human resources to make sure employees are receiving an honest message.
The pen with the optimistic slogan is not
Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are
a time of high anxiety for everyone – including HR. Employees are wor ried
about their jobs, about their futures.
Communication is key. I have never
heard of an M&A in which the employees involved or affected said there was
too much communication. If you don’t
have fast and easy answers – which you
likely won’t – say that you don’t know
and say when you expect you might
know. Even bad news is preferred to no
news. It is the not knowing that adds to
the stress employees feel.
However, communication is just one
part of the M&A puzzle, albeit a critical
one. HR has many roles it can and needs
to play during a merger or acquisition.
All too often HR is brought into discussions later than is ideal. Companies focus
so much on product and financial goals
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
that many fail to identify the human capital risks and opportunities that are essential to achieving their M&A goals.
One recent study of failed acquisitions
found that management attrition rates
soared 47 per cent over the three years
following the acquisition. Employee satisfaction dropped by 14 per cent and productivity dropped by 50 per cent.
Some of the challenges that HR faces
in an M&A situation include:
• aligning HR programs and policies
• analyzing and addressing cultural differences
• evaluating and integrating compensation, reward and benefit plans
• selecting and implementing HR service models
• developing concrete retention goals
• creating new organization structures
• integrating highly-visible, missioncritical HR systems such as payroll
• assessing outstanding liabilities, including lawsuits and human rights
and employment standards complaints
M&A integration is a core competency and a business practice that we as HR
professionals must become adept at.
Sooner or later, you’re likely to face one.
Will you be prepared?
As professionals we struggle during
M&As with doubts and concerns about
our own futures while trying to help others deal with their uncertainties. Mergers and acquisitions result in much extra
work for HR professionals at the ver y
time when emotionally we too are vulnerable. Under these circumstances it is our
responsibility to be calm and supportive.
When employees come into our offices,
we need to put our own worries aside.
Even though our people are facing insecurity over their jobs, tr y to help them
put things in perspective. Encourage
them to think of change as an opportunity to grow, to move onto something new.
Then take your own advice. If you feel
you are in control, you have power.
I’ve had several encounters with
M&As as a human resources executive. I
was the vice-president of HR at a financial services company that was being acquired and I understand what it’s like to
go through several months of ambiguity
about your own future. The experience
brought home the importance of having
a professional network and the appropriate skills. Then whatever happens, there
will be something for you.
I also worked in outplacement for a
time and observed that during mergers,
people often find their skills aren’t current, they don’t have the confidence they
need and they can’t secure new employment. This is where HRPAO, your professional association, can be invaluable to
you. Take advantage of the many programs and services HRPAO offers to further your professional development and
to build a network of contacts.
Your involvement in the association
will pay dividends not only during an
M&A, but also with any kind of reorganization. Strength and confidence come
from knowing your skills are marketable
and up to date.
With the right expertise and the right
outlook, you can be a tremendous asset
in leading your organization and its people through the human side of change.
And by communicating early and often,
you can ensure that the promise of the
pen becomes reality.
Paul Juniper, CHRP, SPHR
President, HRPAO
By Sharon Ferriss
HR can be big winner in high-stakes M&A game
f you weren’t convinced before, then
after you’ve read through this issue of
HRProfessional magazine, you will certainly believe that human resources
can radically increase the likelihood of
merger success.
“There is an opportunity for HR professionals to step into the breach as an expert
advisor and problem solver in this highstakes game. By developing the right expertise and skills, HR professionals can
earn themselves an important place at the
M&A table,” says Nancy Stewart, a former
consultant with Towers Perrin in Toronto.
Towers Perrin and the U.S.-based Society for Human Resource Management
(SHRM) Foundation recently published
the book Making Mergers Work: The Strategic Importance of People. The book suggests that most mergers and acquisitions
fail for people-related reasons such as the
loss of key talent, incompatible cultures or
disagreement among senior management
about the new company’s direction.
“If HR professionals can demonstrate
that their unique set of skills can make a
difference between success and failure in
M&As, the profession will occupy a
stronger position than ever,” says Stewart.
Just some of the highlights of this information-packed issue include:
• Organization effectiveness specialist
Shona Welsh talks to three HR professionals who have been on the front-line
of mergers and acquisition and reports
back on what HR needs to do to rise to
the occasion
• Consultants Anne Kemp and Paula
Lytwyn draw on the TD Bank/Canada
Trust merger, among others, to offer
strategic advice on how human resources can get its own house in order
and effectively combine HR functions
• In our Legally Speaking column,
lawyer David Corbett outlines the hotbutton employment law issues to
watch out for during an M&A
• A new Strategic Communications column makes its first appearance with a
look at managing your employee communications during large-scale change
• Networking guru Steve Prentice tells
HR professionals how to really “work a
• HR consultant Lynn McKibbin-Brown
writes about setting up an on-campus
recruitment program
• Roslyn Wright, health and safety specialist at Transcontinental, examines
what it takes to make joint committees
• The Provincial Government Affairs column assesses Ontario’s new draft privacy legislation and its implications for
• And much more!
As the Towers Perrin/SHRM book underscores, there is a direct correlation between HR involvement and M&A success.
Mergers present a key opportunity for HR
professionals to demonstrate how they
help to create strategic value.
For more information on Making
Mergers Work: The Strategic Importance of
People, visit
Sharon Ferriss
Managing Editor
As always, HRProfessional welcomes
your feedback. Send us your views and
comments in response to items in the magazine or on other HR issues. Letters to the
editor should be no longer than 300 words
and include your name, title, company, address and work phone number. Letters
may be edited for length and clarity.
Mail: HRProfessional
2 Bloor Street West, Suite 1902
Toronto, ON M4W 3E2
Fax: (416) 923-7264
E-mail: [email protected]
Quality Product
Quality Service
International Tele-Film
(A Division of Visual Education Centre Limited)
Your One-Stop Source For HR Training Products
Qualified video and e-learning tools that will make a difference in your organization's effectiveness
by maximizing the value of your most important asset - your employees.
Preview any program FREE (except shipping & handling)
For more information:
Toronto: Tel: (416) 252-1173 or (800) 561-4300 E-mail: [email protected]
Montreal: Tel: (514) 352-5361 or (800) 989-8929 E-mail: nparГ©
Or visit our website:
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Willwork foryou.
CSP – Certified Sales Professional. When those three letters follow a sales professional’s name,
they pack a powerful message. Employers, current clients and prospects know that CSPs have solid
selling skill – and the credentials to prove it.
By hiring and/or helping your current sales professionals become CSPs, you will decrease
turnover, increase your company’s credibility, differentiate your sales team from the competition and
set measurable benchmarks for your sales department.
Find out what the CSP designation, and CPSA membership will do for your sales force.
Call 1-888-267-CPSA or visit
PHONE: (905) 476-1170 в—† FAX: (905) 476-1172
E-mail: [email protected]
or visit
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
By Lynn McKibbin-Brown, CHRP
On-campus recruiting –
Is it right for your company?
ith ever-increasing competition, more employers are recr uiting on campus to
directly source the brightest
and the best.
On-campus recruiting offers a variety of methods that can work for any
company, whether you are recruiting
for five or 500.
Human resources professionals in
the field believe that a visible presence
is the first element of a good program.
“It’s impor tant to get your name out
there,” says Tara Winslow, recruiting
specialist at Deloitte & Touche in
Toronto. “The PR will help you to attract
the best.” Don’t just limit yourself to
once-a-year recruitment. Utilize all aspects of the programs available – job
fairs, information sessions, networking
events or speaking in class for specialized programs.
Not all schools require that you follow their on-campus schedule. Some
schools offer flexible arrangements to
employers outside of the regular recr uiting seasons. This can be ideal
should you have a special recruiting requirement.
It’s also important to be prepared,
before you arrive on campus. “An attractive booth, information specific to what
you are looking for and well-informed
people manning the booth are key in oncampus recr uiting” suggests Suzan
Daly, HR generalist with Markham,
Ont.-based ACNielsen.
Some companies make the mistake
of just arriving on-campus with little or
no preparation other than putting up a
posting. Being unprepared can be detrimental to your overall presentation and
yield negative results.
“We tr y to have alumni from the
school and a mix of people including
front-line workers who can explain what
they do on the job,” says Maura Dyer,
university and college relations at Bank
of Montreal in Toronto.
Picking the right schools is also an
important element. Research and target
schools that have the programs to meet
your requirements. Develop your contacts with the on-campus school co-ordinators who can be invaluable in
providing advice.
In addition to research beforehand,
follow-up is equally important. “We are
constantly refining our program. Recently we implemented recruiting software with applicant tracking,” Winslow
says. “We screen 2,000 to 3,000 applications a year. That made a big difference
in managing that aspect of the
Another effective program which is
part of on-campus recruiting is hiring
co-op students. Nicole Edgar, campus
recruitment manager at Waterloo, Ont.based Research In Motion, notes that
throughout the year there are co-op students in all areas of the company. “Students’ experiences with us tend to be
positive and many students take fulltime offers after they graduate.”
The major downside of recruiting
on-campus are the resources required.
“We put considerable manpower into
the program, drawing on people
throughout the year to meet with students,” Dyer says. “There are also the
recruitment tools including brochures,
giveaways, uniforms for all the people
manning the career fairs and travel and
associated expenses.”
Managing a co-op program can
stretch resources as well. “We are doing
this three times a year for every four-
month term,” Edgar says. “And it puts
pressure on the supervisors who work
with students because they are always
The main advantage of a co-op program is that both employer and employee have a chance to learn about each
other in advance of a permanent position. “The students are tracked if they
meet or exceed expectations,” Edgar
says. “If they have exceeded expectations then a position can be found for
One of the big advantages of direct
on-campus recruiting is that recruiters
get to meet the candidates face to face.
“You have their resumé right in hand,”
says ACNielson’s Daly. “You can make a
note right on their resumГ© if someone is
particularly impressive.” That can be
extremely beneficial in screening, particularly when you are reviewing hundreds of applications.
Face-to-face discussions work both
ways, Bank of Montreal’s Dyer notes, allowing the bank to educate students
about its culture and values.
All of the professionals involved in oncampus recruiting believe that it will
work for any company – no matter what
size. “Not all students want to work for a
big company,” says Winslow of Deloitte
& Touche. The key again, however, is to
create a program that takes advantage of
the best the company has to offer, which
means planning, follow-up and adding the
proper resources to find and attract the
top candidates for your organization.
в– L ynn McKibbin-Brown, CHRP, is
managing director of Brown Consulting
Group (, specializing in HR and communication solu-
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Free time will take on a whole new meaning.
Introducing Monster Office Hq. All the hiring tools, resources and information you need to keep track of
candidates and get more work done, faster and easier than ever before. Our unique folder system makes staying
organized a breeze.What’s more, Monster Office Hq is available at no additional cost. So team up with Monster today.
And start planning how you’ll use all that new-found free time. For more information, call
hire quality.
By Beverley Allen
Your company is merging:
To communicate or not is the question
uman resources and employee communication. In many organizations
they go together like bacon and eggs,
burgers and fries.
Employee communication can be aligned
structurally and functionally with the human
resources department, and in larger organizations corporate communications works
closely with HR to manage effective employee communication. For this reason, HRProfessional features a new column...Strategic
In future editions of the magazine, you
can find the latest information, tips, case
studies and research findings to enhance
your own effectiveness as a communicator
and leader, and also to help you maximize
the communication processes of your organization. Our first focus, in keeping with the
theme of this issue, is on the role of corporate communications in mergers and acquisitions.
Communication as a system
Communication is one of the most complex human interactions, ranging from mass
communication to one-on-one dialogue.
What goes on between a supervisor and an
employee is interpersonal communication
and it does affect work and work culture. Interpersonal communication becomes even
more complex in group processes. Finally,
there are the more formal communication
processes of an organization, its mass media:
memos, employee newsletters, intranet,
voice mail and e-mail. One must think of the
total system: individual to individual, group
to group, management to employees, communication strategies, tactics and vehicles.
Organizations have “building blocks” to
carry out its functions: work culture, business strategy, structure, people, processes,
and communication. It is the interplay of
work culture, people and communication
that at times is the forgotten component.
How you communicate to your employees,
using the total communications system, can
be a central ingredient of success in any
major change initiative.
What research has shown
Participating in and managing a merger
or acquisition is a complex and delicate
process. There are a number of key issues
that are part of the organizational change
such as:
• What are the long-term objectives for the
merger or acquisition?
• What is the general workplace culture?
What are people saying?
• What is our retention strategy for keeping the right people in the right positions?
• What are the policies, procedures, employee benefits, etc. that will be affected?
Managing the “people factor,” is one of
the most important elements to a successful
merger or acquisition.
There is empirical research that backs the
need to focus on effective “people management,” including employee communication
and involvement, to ensure a successful transition whether it be a merger, acquisition or
restructuring. A Watson Wyatt study found
that 83 per cent of the responding senior executives thought that customer satisfaction
was the most important measure of business
success of a merger. However, keeping management and employees focused on their contribution to customer satisfaction when
surrounded by uncertainty, is one of the most
difficult issues facing leadership.
A variety of other recent evaluations
show that in many of these past cases, the
“soft” part of the equation had been forgotten. In these studies, four out of 10 companies undergoing mergers did not develop a
communications strategy to support the
change. Larger companies tended to do better – 74 per cent used communications plan-
ning, compared with 48 per cent of smaller
What works
Here is a short list of communications
strategies, developed from the experiences
of others:
• Have a broad-based communications program to support the merger process
• Make employees the first line of contact
and key audience
• Facilitate managers’ interpersonal communication and effectiveness
• Encourage senior management, including CEO visibility and open communication style
• Communicate clear information as frequently as possible. For example, set up
a process for frequent progress reports
All have been shown as instrumental to a
well-managed merger.
Mergers and acquisitions can create a
difficult climate for employees and are one
of the more difficult issues to communicate
to employees. It is recognized that a company cannot provide all plans because of legal
restrictions. However, information flow is
essential to employee involvement and buyin. And as noted above, customer satisfaction, a key measure of business success,
does depend on the goodwill and understanding of customers’ key access point –
the organization’s employees. It pays to
keep them informed and involved as the
process unfolds.
в– Beverley Allen, CAE, is director of communications for the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario. Allen is a
communications professional with experience
in corporate communications, employee communications and public relations. She has
worked for a variety of employers: associations,
government and non-profit groups, developing
public relations programs and strategic communications approaches.
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
For U.S. Work Visas & Green Cards,
Canada’s largest companies
come to CDC first.
anada’s largest companies rely on
CDC for help with U.S. work visas
and green cards. They rely on our pro
bono phone consultations and count
on the fact that we quote all fees in
advance. But most importantly, our
clients know that sending a colleague
across an international border in these
troubled times requires sound advice.
The kind of advice that comes from 21
years in the business.
Call us, and discover why CDC is
Canada’s first choice for U.S. work visas
and green cards.
Crossborder Development
Your choice for U.S. immigration
w w w. c r o s s b o r d e r i n c . c o m
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
By Ash Patel, CHRP
Mergers and acquisitions: What about me?
e have many stories of organizations merging or being acquired and combined with
others, the merger between
Hewlett-Packard and Compaq being the
latest mega-combination. In most cases,
the two organizations are very similar in
their product/ser vice offerings and infrastructure. HR in both organizations
must take on the task of determining
who stays and who is let go.
Inevitably, the union results in overlap. The organizations merged in the
first place to create economies of scale
and efficiencies by combining resources.
Facilities are closed or run at reduced
capacities, systems are integrated and
redundant staf f downsized. People in
both organizations ask, “What about
Here is the case of two organizations,
X and Z. Both organizations, before their
merger was approved by government
regulators, started the process of determining which areas overlap in various
regions. The HR department set out to
create a hybrid HRIS to integrate employee data into one system. The system
allowed them to associate one of several
“urgency” codes to each job and to each
employee. Management, line super visors and consultants determined jobs to
be Level 1 urgent (maintained after
merger), Level 2 urgent (kept up to
three years, then downsized) or Level 3
urgent (overlapping considerably –
downsized immediately).
It was found that a majority of jobs
were Level 1 or 2, with about 25 per cent
of the workforce being Level 3. Knowing
this, the HR consultants set out to determine which of the Level 3 employees
would go and which would stay (a similar process was conducted for Level 2).
A unique approach
The last word
A three-year histor y of per formance reviews (cumulative score)
would be the main criteria for downsizing. The lower the score, the greater
the chance of termination. After regulator y approval, all targeted employees
were asked to defend their scores and
provide evidence why they should not
be downsized. Evidence included factors such as popularity, extraordinar y
circumstances, geographic location,
high recommendation from super visors, etc.
The responses were reviewed by
third-par ty consultants to determine a
final list of potential downsize candidates, after which more than the 25 per
cent of targeted employees were given
the chance to take a premium settlement package. Employees who elected
to take their chances and not take the
premium package, were chosen to stay
or leave at a reduced package.
A different program was introduced
for some Level 3 and all Level 2 candidates. Employees wer e given the
chance to participate in a work maintenance program where they could work
share. Under this plan, an employee can
work 40 per cent or 60 per cent of a job
if they can find a person to match the
balance. An employee would earn 40 or
60 per cent of full-time salar y and be eligible for reduced benefits (mandator y
plus). The process was somewhat successful, especially with the Level 2 candidates.
What are your thoughts on this approach? Should it be done with other
merged organizations? Any potential
Send your comments to Ash Patel:
[email protected].
In the last issue, I presented the case
of vertically-integrated organizations that
managed to co-operate an HR function. No
single organization controlled the HR department while sharing costs based on
usage. The measure meant that they all
had an HR function, which they otherwise
would not have.
A surprising many liked the measures,
few thought it was not viable, even at the
risk of not having HR at all. Below are the
results of the Snap Poll:
Exceptionally agree with the measures
Like or agree with the measures
Do not feel the measures are extraordinary
Dislike or disagree with the measures
42 per cent
14 per cent
11 per cent
33 per cent
Descriptive responses were all in support of the measures:
“I think if it works, do it. Who cares if others do not agree.”
“Hey, if you are not going to have HR in the
first place, and we all know what that
means, might as well share with others. The
best one so far Ash.”
Thanks for the many other comments.
I agree, if you can do it, rather than not,
then do it! The lack of a human resources
department has many problems, both latent and manifest. I do advocate that all organizations get HR advice somehow and
get it formally, consistently and intelligently. It does not have to cost a lot either. в– Ash Patel, CHRP, is a professor of HR
management at Seneca/Georgian Colleges
and is in the trenches.
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
There are at least 12 areas of specialty in labour and employment law.
Fortunately, it only takes one phone call to stay on top of them.
The fact is, general knowledge is not enough.
You need ongoing, minute-by-minute and issue-byissue support to deal with the myriad of labour and
employment issues you face every day. Emond
Harnden can help. With effective and timely advice
and support for managers, executives, legal and
accounting professionals.
A forward-thinking
approach to labour law.
Talk to us. For a comprehensive suite of services
that go far beyond traditional legal counsel. In-depth
advice. Executive and managerial training.
Continuous and critical information and industry
intelligence. And the knowledgeable legal
services you can and should expect from your
labour and employment advisors.
A sensitivity to
human resources.
Call today and ask about
our next seminar
Your needs have changed.
Now it’s time to change your expectations.
Agree ...
the right next step!
Richard Russell
The Agree Team has offered a full
range of conflict management
services since 1993:
Gary Furlong
• Customized In-House Conflict
Management Training
• Workplace Assessments and
Heather Bullock
• Mediation of Workplace Disputes
• Conflict Systems Design
• Organizational Partnering
Roger Alton
Agree Dispute Resolution
Call: 1-800-524-6967 or (905) 627-5582
Fax: (905) 627-5362
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Richard Aaronson
By David Corbett
HR issues in M&As:
What should you be on the lookout for?
his ar ticle, given its limited
scope, cannot deal with all the
HR implications that must be examined in a merger or acquisition. However, it will help you focus on
some of the common HR problems that
might arise.
Share or asset purchase?
In a merger or acquisition, the first
question to ask is, How has the transaction been structured? Is the transaction a purchase of shares or assets?
The str uctur e of the transaction is
most often dictated by tax or business
reasons and not HR concerns.
In a share purchase, the purchaser
acquires the shares in the capital stock
of the company. The corporate entity
remains the same and a termination of
the company’s employees does not
occur. The purchaser is simply the new
owner while the employees continue to
work for the same employer.
In an asset purchase, the purchaser
acquires all or some of the company’s
assets. There is a dif ferent corporate
entity that then carries on the former
business of the seller. Employees who
transfer to the purchaser have ceased
to work for the seller and a new employment relationship is created with
the purchaser. There are a number of
statutor y provisions that override this
common law concept and deem prior
employment with the seller to be employment with the purchaser. We will
discuss these statutor y provisions and
their impact later in this column.
While a share and asset purchase
are fundamentally dif ferent corporate
concepts, the HR issues are in many
respects similar. These similarities and
differences are explored below.
Due diligence
You will hopefully be involved in
the due diligence process. The
prospective purchaser will engage in
an exercise to determine what, in fact,
it is getting if it goes through with the
purchase of the business. In addition
to understanding how the seller conducted its business, what you are looking for ar e potential liabilities and
problems. Commonly a room (or
rooms) is set up where relevant documents are gathered concer ning the
seller’s business. From an HR perspective the documents that are often produced and require examination
1. employment contracts;
2. restrictive covenants/non-solicitation agr eements/confidentiality
3. employment policies and procedures;
4. benefit plans, benefit booklets;
5. bonus plans;
6. commission plans;
7. incentive plans and agreements;
8. pension plans;
9. collective agreements;
10. WSIB statements, claims, assessments and experience rating data;
11. a listing of and suppor ting documents concerning: employment law
suits such as wrongful dismissal
claims; employment standards
complaints, investigations and
orders; human rights complaints,
investigations and orders; occupational health and safety complaints
investigations, orders, and prosecutions; labour grievances and unfair labour practice complaints;
applications for union certification;
and, pay equity complaints, investigations and orders.
Whether the deal is structured as a
shar e or asset pur chase, all of the
above need to be examined. In the case
of an asset sale, while liabilities for
past employment standards, past occupational health and safety and past
human rights breaches do not flow
through to the purchaser, you will never theless want to understand how the
vendor has conducted its business.
Statutes that treat a sale of
assets like a sale of shares
The following statutes, for cer tain
purposes, treat the purchaser as if it
were the seller even though the business was sold in an asset sale and not
by way of a share sale:
• the Labour Relations Act, 1995;
• the Employment Standards Act,
• the Workplace Safety and Insuranc
Act, 1997; and,
• the Pay Equity Act.
This is not the case with either the
Human Rights Code or the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
In the case of the Labour Relations
Act where a sale of business occurs,
and this is ver y broadly defined, the
purchaser ef fectively stands in the
shoes of the seller with respect to any
collective agreement obligations. This
applies to not only liabilities arising
after the sale but also to liabilities that
arose prior to the sale.
Under the Employment Standards
Act, the biggest potential liability is for
notice and severance pay for years of
ser vice that arose prior to the purchase and sale. Ef fectively the purchaser becomes the deemed employer
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
from the date of hire by the seller. As
well, if vacation pay is not paid out at
the time of the transaction, the purchaser will be liable.
In the case of the Workplace Safety
and Insurance Act, the purchaser is liable for amounts owing prior to the
purchase. Similarly under the Pay Equity Act, the purchaser is bound by a
pay equity plan of the seller and is required to make any compensation adjustments that were to be made under
the seller’s plan.
The purchaser’s
Wher e the pur chaser buys the
shares it is buying the business as it is.
An asset purchase allows the purchaser
to tailor the purchase to its needs and
plans for the purchased business. In an
asset purchase, there is no need, as a
matter of law, to take on all of the employees or provide exactly the same
package of wages and benefits. That
said, it is quite common for the purchaser to agree to offer employment to
all active employees on substantially the
same terms and conditions as they were
employed by the seller. This happens
for two reasons. First, the seller wants
to limit its liability for terminations. Second, the purchaser usually wants to
carr y on with the business and it needs
content employees to do so.
In the case of a share purchase be
careful to examine the employment
agreements to determine if senior employees will have the option of quitting
with a severance payment or will be entitled to other payments resulting from
a change in control of the company.
In the case of an asset purchase, you
will want to ensure that key employees
are agreeable to transfer ring to the
purchaser. As well, as there will be a
change of employer, new employment
agreements and non-competition/nonsolicitation agreements will need to be
entered into. This will present the purchaser with the opportunity of starting
fresh and obtaining agreeable notice of
termination provisions, thus avoiding
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
An engaged employee
is your best brand asset
You’ve spent extraordinary time and money on your
consumer promise, but do you have employee buy-in?
Do your employees understand what you’re saying?
It’s been proven unequivocally that customer loyalty
and company profitability are compromised when
employees are not on side.
Carlson Marketing Group is a leader in the world of
Relationship Marketing. We can help you align your
employer brand with your marketing strategies to
deliver your message, through your employees.
There’s a host of valuable resources on our website:
Or call – In Toronto: Lillian Murphy,
VP Client Services & Business Development
Telephone: 416-236-1991, Email: [email protected]
In Montreal: AndrГ© Aubin, PrГ©sident
Telephone: 514-847-2001, Email: [email protected]
Carlson Marketing Group
Conflict Management
Certificate Training Programs
for Managers, HR Practitioners, EAP Consultants
Public and In-house workshops:
Alternative Dispute Resolution:
Mediation and Negotiation Skills
Level 1: 3 days; Level 2: 3 days
Basic Family Mediation
7 days
Dispute Resolution in the Workplace
3 days
Presented by Cooperative Solutions, Agree Inc. and
Conrad Grebel University College at University of Waterloo
Call Janice: 1-888-595-5534
Visit us at
the uncertainty of common law reasonable notice. The oppor tunity to make
sure that there is in place enforceable
restrictive covenants is also an opportunity that should not be lost.
Whether a share or asset purchase,
the purchaser should make sure that
the vacation pay is paid out or that it
gets credit in the purchase price for
the accrued liability.
The seller’s perspective
The seller will, in most cases, be
concerned with minimizing the employment costs associated with the transaction. In a share transaction this is not a
problem as the employer remains the
same and there is no termination of employment. In an asset sale, as noted
above, sellers want purchasers to agree
to of fer employment to all of the employees of the seller on substantially
the same terms and conditions.
For employment standards purposes, an employee who accepts employment with the purchaser of a business
does not have a claim for notice or severance pay against the seller. However,
if the employee decides not to accept
employment with the purchaser, the
seller is responsible for the employment standards notice and severance
payments to the employee. Most sellers
want the transition to be transparent to
the employees to avoid employees
thinking that they have any choice but
to carr y on with the purchaser.
From a common law reasonable notice perspective, an employee will be
har d pr essed to justify r efusing an
offer of employment with the purchaser if it is on substantially similar terms
and conditions.
One area where sellers sometimes
get into difficulty is bonus payments. A
bonus plan may require employment
throughout a full 12 month fiscal period. If the sale happens after nine
months are the employees entitled to a
pro rata share of the bonus? They may
be and consideration should be given to
this potential liability when agreeing on
what the purchaser is obligated to do in
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
regards to bonus. Will the purchaser
cover the period of time before the purchase or only after the purchase?
Another area of concern for the seller is the length of employment of the
employees who are retained. For example, if the purchaser hires a long-service employee of the seller and then
terminates the employee after a month
will the employee have any redress
against the seller for common law notice? The answer is yes. The employee
will have mitigated the employee’s
damages arising from the original termination by accepting employment
with the purchaser. However, to the extent that the period worked for the purchas e r i s l e s s than the r e a s on ab l e
notice owed by the seller, the seller
will be on the hook for the balance of
the reasonable notice period. Sellers
commonly deal with this potential
problem by agreeing with the purchaser on who will be responsible and for
what in such circumstances.
A final matter of concer n for the
seller will be whether there has been a
par tial wind-up of the pension plan.
The seller may want the purchaser to
have a pension plan in place to avoid
this result – at least at the time of the
sale. You will need to work with your
pension consultants to determine the
possible liabilities and develop a strategy to minimize those liabilities.
в– David Corbett is a co-director of the
labour and employment practice group
at Fasken Mar tineau DuMoulin. His
practice is restricted to advising and
representing employers in labour and
employment matters. Corbett frequently
appears as counsel before arbitrators,
labour boards and other labour and employment tribunals. His areas of specialization include union cer tification,
collective bargaining, grievance arbitration, occupational health and safety,
human rights and wrongful dismissal.
Corbett is known for his practical proactive advice and regularly advises employers on employee policies and
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
For a Healthier and More
Productive Workplace
Disability Claims Management, 2nd Edition
Ann Leckie & Manjit Grewal, Co-ordinating Authors
2nd Edition
Meeting Practical Problems with Practical Solutions
Disability Claims Management will help you to contain the escalating, often
needless costs associated with disability claims — and help productive and
valued employees return to work.
This straightforward, solutions-oriented handbook provides guidance on:
Specific policies and procedures that form the foundation for an
organization’s disability management program
How claims are evaluated by medical and insurance professionals
Rehabilitation — Getting an employee back to work as soon, and as
safely, as possible
When, and how, to bring in third parties for assistance with disability
management programs
Employee Assistance Programs — And how they support disability
Timely new chapters on training of managers to implement return to work
programs, technology tools for disability management, unique disability issues
arising from cross Canada-US border business, communication strategies, and
psychosocial barrier to return to work outcomes.
$60 + GST • 0 433 43822-3 • 368 pages • December 2001 • Softcover
Take advantage of our 30-Day Risk-Free Examination Terms!
(Price & other details are subject to change without notice. If payment accompanies order we pay shipping and handling.)
Call Toll-free: 1-800-668-6481
Fax Toll-free: 1-800-461-3275
E-mail: [email protected]
75 Clegg Road, Markham, Ontario L6G 1A1 • Tel (905) 479-2665 • Fax (905) 479-2826
Talent has many faces.
Whether you’re looking for freelance,
contract or permanent talent, we have the expertise
to help you find the right face in the crowd.
To learn more, [email protected]
Marketing • Corporate Communications • Advertising • Graphic Design
York University HR program
earns corporate grant
The education of HR students at York
University is getting a big boost, with a
substantial donation from United Parcel
Service (UPS) Canada Ltd. The corporate
grant of $39,281 is considered to be the
first of its kind, specifically targeting HR
students as future business leaders.
Starting next spring, York University –
home to the largest university-based
human resources management (HRM)
program in Canada – will use the funds to
support an annual human resources workshop and lecture series.
“The UPS contribution enables us to
provide academic programming that professionally and technically trains graduating students, providing them with a true
competitive advantage,” says Monica Belcourt, York University HRM program coordinator and president-elect of the
Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario.
The human resources workshop will
focus on information technology issues as
they relate to HR. The faculty will also use
the donation to develop an annual lecture
series in HRM, targeted to human resources professionals, alumni and students.
A key element of UPS’s philanthropic
mandate is the promotion of learning and
development. In support of this mandate,
six UPS human resources employees, including UPS Canada vice-president,
human resources Dave Cole, are donating
volunteer time to York University through
workshops, guest speaking opportunities
and management training courses.
And the winner is....
Bank of Montreal for training
Bank of Montreal was recently named
one of the “Top 100” training organizations in Nor th America by U.S-based
Training Magazine. The bank placed 21st,
the only Canadian company in the top 25.
Training Magazine specifically cited the
bank’s Institute for Learning, a corporate university first opened in 1994 to
facilitate the training of
The Training Top 100 is
a ranking of organizations
that excel at developing human
capital. Some findings about the Top 100:
• On average, employees of Top 100
companies spend 63 hours in formal
training each year
• The Top 100 invests more in their
workforce – 4 per cent of payroll compared to the all-industry average of just
2.6 per cent
Bank of Montreal has spent more than
$500 million on training and development
provided by the Institute for Learning
(IFL). As Training Magazine reported in
its March 2002 issue, “Training professionals at Bank of Montreal know that
maintaining this level of strategic significance depends upon a solid link between
the IFL and the company’s business goals
and objectives.”
Manitoba Hydro for equity
Manitoba Hydro has been recognized
for creative and innovative approaches to
implementing equity in the workplace.
The provincial Crown corporation was
presented with the Vision Award at the
2002 Employment Equity Merit Awards, a
par tnership between The Conference
Board of Canada and the Labour Program
of Human Resources Development Canada. The Vision Award recognizes the principle of employment equity – fair
representation in the workplace for
women, persons with disabilities, visible
minorities and aboriginal people.
Manitoba Hydro was acknowledged
for placing employment equity at the centre of its corporate culture. Two of the corporation’s strategic goals are directly
linked to equity objectives – to take a leadership role in strengthening partnerships
with aboriginal peoples,
and to have a diverse
workforce that reflects
provincial demographics. This commitment is
reflected in initiatives like
pre-placement training programs for aboriginals, summer
employment programs and cultural awareness training. Work stations are redesigned to better ser ve the needs of
employees with disabilities and sign language interpreters assist employees with
hearing disabilities. Women now account
for 23 per cent of the company’s employees, up from 19.5 per cent in 1995. or
Town of Richmond Hill for wellness
The town of Richmond Hill has been
selected to receive the first Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Councils
of Canada (WELCAN), a national not-forprofit organization dedicated to creating
healthy workplaces.
The purpose of the award is to identify
organizations that achieve excellence in
the area of worksite wellness and health
promotion, and to establish role models
for other organizations to follow.
Recipients of the award must successfully address a variety of issues related to
senior management support, data collection, breadth and depth of initiatives offered, annual operating plans, supportive
environment, communications and program evaluation.
“We established our wellness program
in 1998 and have worked hard to ensure
it’s a program that really makes a difference. Four years later we’re seeing
tremendous successes pointing to a
healthier and productive workforce as
well as reduced health-care costs and absenteeism,” says Joan Wade, manager of
Richmond Hill’s wellness program. or
в– HRProfessional / August/September 2002
anatomyof a
Careful Mover.
We learn.
Training is important at Allied Van Lines.
We teach our agent representatives the
latest techniques in move management,
estimating and pricing to guarantee
hassle-free moves. Our drivers are
considered the “road scholars”
of movers.
We listen.
Allied works closely with you to determine
your employee relocation needs upfront.
Then, The Global Direct Organization
conducts follow-up customer satisfaction
surveys to help us measure our
performance and continually improve
our services.
Anthony Calamela
Allied Van Foreman
We’re focused.
Allied people are committed to treating our
corporate customers, relocating employees
and their belongings with care. We realize
your time is important so we perform our
services right - the first time.
We communicate.
Allied Executive Services manages your
company’s moves and keeps you informed.
We design account management reports
to meet your requirements.
We love what we do.
A positive attitude can move mountains.
Allied people are professionals who take
pride in their jobs and accomplishments.
Allied is the world’s most trusted mover.
Please visit our website at
or call us at
By taking charge of
communications, establishing a transition team and hiring
the right consultants and coaches, human resources can
become the unofficial leader of any M&A
f ever there is a chance for
HR to shine, a merger or acquisition is it.” So says Peggy
Grall, a Toronto-based consultant who helped Seagram’s navigate the sometimes rough
waters of their recent mergers.
“I’ve seen it happen where HR can drive
the whole thing. Grab the opportunity!”
Sabrina Ahuja, HR consultant with
NCR Corp., a manufacturer of document
and media solutions, agrees, “The success
of our transition efforts showed in our
new hire surveys. They have been quite
favourable, and our turnover rate [since
the acquisition] has been very low.”
What makes the difference between
HR shining in a merger or acquisition, or
coming out of it a little more tarnished
than expected? Three key components –
all of them focused on people – seem to be
By Shona Welsh, M.C.Ed., CHRP
the predictors of success: communications, creating a transition team and hiring an outside consultant.
“Communication is it, first and foremost,” says Donna Liebham, former corporate resources manager with Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) in Calgary. “Once the acquisition is announced,
you need to immediately establish a relationship with the people in the company
being bought.”
In 1996, CNRL bought Scepter Resources Inc., a similar-sized oil and gas
company. Liebham was responsible for
managing HR, information technology
and administration, so she had complex
logistics to consider as well as their impact on people. “We had our communications plan rolling out the next day.”
At NCR, communications was key
throughout the acquisition – before, during, and after. “Even during the due dili-
gence, we were continually thinking about
the integration process and how to communicate,” says Ahuja.
While the initial acquisition of Automated Papers Inc. by NCR’s Systemedia
Group took place in the spring of 2001,
Ahuja and the transition team are still
communicating around the people issues
more than a year later.
“It’s been an ongoing process. Probably around September of 2001 is where we
reached the stage when we star ted to
hear that NCR is a good place to work and
that management is being fair. Prior to
that, there is that fear factor that’s still
But it was the long-term communications that Liebham feels she was naive
about in managing the transition at CNRL.
“The people are experiencing a whole
bunch of things. There needs to be a long
period of time to help them adjust. It took
about a year before all the dust settled.”
As someone who handles change well,
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
she had a hard time understanding why it
was so difficult for some people and why it
took so long.
At companies like Seagram’s and Visteon, a division of Ford Canada, what happens to people was the focus through
their recent mergers and acquisitions.
Both companies put a lot of effort into
how to communicate through the “me” issues: Am I going to lose my job? What
about my pay and benefits? What’s the
new culture going to be like? Who am I
going to be reporting to?
“People are basically self-ser ving,”
says Grall, who specializes in helping individuals and companies with transitions
and advised both companies. “As soon as
the announcement goes out, r umours
star t. Ever yone immediately thinks,
�What’s in it for me?’ The longer you put
off answering them, the bigger the issues
you have.” Grall brainstormed with managers to identify the biggest people and
communication issues of the merger or
NCR took the same approach. “Job security is always a question,” agrees Ahuja.
“We had to anticipate that during our due
diligence process. We measured the impact and how we could mitigate those
types of issues. The role that HR took,
along with functional team leads, was to
be responsible for communications. This
was the ultimate foundation in dealing
with these issues.”
The bottom line when it comes to communication during a merger or acquisition? Communicate early, often and
NCR engaged in a considerable
amount of up-front orientation, showing
employees from day one how the acquisition would affect them. From there, they
held weekly communications meetings
long after the acquisition was complete.
“If you walk in there from day one
and you do things right, you build the
trust it takes to create an easier
process for integration,” says
Grall agrees, “Choose
your opening moves
carefully. The first things
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
you say out of the gate can set a real tone.
Weigh carefully what you do in the first
few days and weeks after the announcement. Get your vision in mind and how
you’re going to communicate it. Once
you’ve won everyone over, you can afford
to make some mistakes.”
At CNRL, the company laid out the
complete plan for new employees. “The
company doing the buying can’t be afraid
of saying the truth, of saying, �Here’s the
plan,’” asserts Liebham. “It’s not true to
say nothing is going to happen. Just introducing a new factor is going to change
what was. People need to know this.”
Establish a transition team
It’s not enough simply to have a communications plan. Companies that want to
manage the people side of mergers and
acquisitions effectively must have a transition team that oversees that plan.
At NCR, management felt it was important to create a structure to support their
transition objectives. Even before the acquisition was announced, NCR had already established a transition team
comprised of Ahuja and functional managers including the engineering, supply line, finance and sales
Ahuja emphasizes that “it’s
important HR isn’t standing
alone [advising management] about the people issues. The
functional managers were responsible
for communi-
cations within their own area of expertise.” She believes that what made their
integration relatively easy was that the division vice-president and the transition
team really valued the HR component of
the acquisition.
Grall refers to a transition team as the
vehicle for “speaking truth to power.” She
believes that if you don’t have a transition
team through which you can hear what’s
actually happening out there with employees, there will be all kinds of
things you don’t know about.
“You can’t fight what you
don’t know. Not many people will sit in front
of a vice-president
once a merger has
occur red and
tell the truth
about their
Coaching through the people issues
Merle Dulmadge of Dulmadge &
Associates in Calgary is a corporate coach
who has worked with numerous corporations
undergoing mergers or acquisitions. She
offers these tips on hiring an outside coach to
help your transition team.
choices and can select a coach with whom
they feel they can connect. Corporate Coach
University,, offers a variety of
tools for purchase that will help identify the
coaching styles and needs of your employees.
3. Train internal employees in
1. Do your homework
Not all coaches are alike. Many specialize
in specific areas of business coaching and may
not have specific experience with the issues
surrounding a merger or acquisition. Any
reputable coach will recommend a coach who
best suits your needs. A good source of
coaching contacts is the International
Coaching Federation, www.coachfederation
2. Consider hiring several coaches
Coaching is ver y personal and each
person has a particular style. It is important
that your transition team or employees have
If you are anticipating an upcoming
merger or acquisition, why not develop
coaching capacity within your organization
prior to the big event? There is no one better
than an internal employee who will
understand the transition issues others are
facing. Also, you can match new employees
from acquired companies with coach/
employees with the purchasing company as a
positive way to orient and adjust them to their
new company. Check the International
Coaching Federation Web site for a list of
organizations that provide coach training,
If a transition team from different departments and different levels is in place from
the very beginning, then you can get their
input on how their people need to hear it.”
Being aware of your audience is key in
successful communications, and a transition team is a powerful two-way communication tool.
NCR’s experience confirms Grall’s advice. Ahuja notes, “On a weekly basis,
there would be different change issues
employees would have to deal with. Each
functional lead would anticipate the types
of questions they would get, how they
would answer and how they would be resolved.”
Another way a transition team can alleviate anxiety during a merger or acquistion is through simple visibility. “Walk
around,” Grall advises. “Don’t underestimate how much your presence can create
stability in these uncertain times. If [managers] start hiding in their offices, then
ever yone gets scared. Encourage your
managers to be visible throughout the
HRPAO is proud to present its
popular one-day conference on
Sheraton Centre, Toronto
Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Feature topics include:
Protecting Company Secrets
Recent Developments in Just Cause
◆ Employment Standards Act – An Update
в—† The X-Files: Tales from Employment Law Gone Bad!
в—† Why Some Mediations Succeed and Others Fail
в—† Strategies in Defending an Action
◆ Occupational Health and Safety: What’s New?
в—† Human Rights 2002: The Latest Word
HRPAO’s HR LAW Conference
Conference chair:
To register or for more information, contact
HRPAO at (416) 923-2324, ext. 351,
Ontario toll-free 1-800-387-1311,
[email protected] or visit our Web site
Malcolm MacKillop, Senior Partner
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Reserve your spot now –
this conference fills up quickly!
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Hire an outside consultant
While NCR established a transition
team from HR and functional leads from
several departments, they believe an important component of their success was
the fact that the transition team leader
was a third-party consultant.
“[Our consultant] brought an objective
view to the integration milestones,” says
Ahuja. “She had prior experience working
on mergers and acquisitions in other organizations, and could follow up with the
functional leads to ensure communication
paths were open to all of us. We met at
least once a week with her to ensure we
were all on the same page.”
A third-party consultant can also bring
fresh perspectives when the transition
team becomes too embroiled in their own
issues. “[At NCR] this was needed because we tended to become narrow-minded sometimes in thinking about our own
departments. We needed to be thinking
about the interdependency of all departments,” adds Ahuja.
Grall confirms that, in her experience,
getting outside help to manage the people
side of mergers and acquisitions can help
bring perspective during times of heightened emotion. “Sometimes the emotions
of the team get the better of them. I’ve
worked with teams that are so emotional
that it was really hard for them to see
what they needed to do. It wasn’t that they
weren’t good people – they were just overcome with emotion.”
The emotional well-being of the transition team is the one thing NCR feels it
could have paid more attention to during
its acquisition. “We focused so much on
integrating the new people as well as current employees that we sometimes overlooked the fact that we were going
through some changes as well,” says
Ahuja. “The team had a lot on their plates
– they had their every day jobs to manage
plus they had to deal with integration issues. We needed to keep a better eye on
the team and identify stress. We managed
okay, but probably could have handled it
Hiring an external coach or short-term
employee assistance programs (EAP) to
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
identify and help address those kind of
emotional and stress issues are only two
of the options Grall recommends to companies undergoing such transitions. “If
you use coaching along with EAP programs with key people,” says Grall,
“they’ll be more likely to stay with you.
I’ve seen coaching used very effectively
as an employee retention strategy during
a merger.”
The final word for HR professionals on
managing the people side of mergers and
acquisitions? “HR people are often the un-
official leader of the merger or acquisition
no matter what the CEO says. Be positive
and rise to the occasion,” says Grall. “This
is an opportunity to seize the moment and
be able to say you successfully moved
your company through a merger.”
в– Shona Welsh is a Calgary-based communications and learning specialist with over
17 years of organizational effectiveness experience. She holds a master’s degree in
workplace learning from the University of
How to make it work
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
“The integration went well at first, then we hit a wall.
We had become the shoemaker’s children!”
his is what we heard from half
a dozen senior human resource
professionals who have effectively managed a merger or an acquisition. All agreed that it is very difficult
to put enough time into the merger
of the HR functions, but if done successfully, there are big dividends for the
organization. They include:
• Providing a model for the rest of the organization because the merger of the
HR functions is often one of the first
• Assembling an HR team whose members can remain highly focused and
motivated since their needs are being
addressed. They are then sensitive and
very in-tune to the emotions that need
to be dealt with in a merger
In this article, we look at the merger of
HR functions in two stages: getting ready
and implementation. We identify the key
processes as well as the challenges and
successes organizations can experience.
Lessons learned will reveal insights and
tips that can provide practical assistance to
your first (or next!) experience with merging HR functions.
Getting ready
A glimpse of culture and values
Through due diligence, HR executives
get their first glimpse into the culture and
style of the other organization. One executive described how the highly political and
covert style of her counterpart contrasted
with her own more transparent value system. Given that she was the vice-president,
HR for the new organization, she was able
to use this awareness to send clear and
early messages about the culture of the
new organization and the HR function that
she was going to lead. This is one more
reason why HR needs to be “at the table”
from the start.
Program content and intent
Following due diligence, some form of
merger team is usually put in place. Judy
Griffith formerly a VP, HR at TD Canada
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Trust described as “vital” the need for a
thorough dialogue about HR philosophies,
processes, programs, tools, etc. in each organization. Although there will be pressure
to focus on the specifics of the HR processes, she commented that the true value of
these early conversations is in discussing
the HR values in each organization and in
looking beyond the technical details of programs. For example, when exploring
bonus programs, ask, “What is the intent of
the program?” as well as examining the
mechanics of its operation.
This review should also reveal how the
elements of each organization’s HR strategy might serve the new entity. For example, the other HR department might have
focused on benefits and compensation systems while your emphasis has been on career and leadership development. There
are three common situations; complimentary (as described in the above example),
duplicated (the HR functions offer essentially the same programs) and contradictory (the performance management system
in their organization has a focus on development while yours is used primarily to
support your variable pay program). This
assessment can then be compared against
the requirements of the business strategy,
people philosophy and organization culture. A vision for the HR organization and
an HR strategy must then be developed. Finally, an HR plan that details how the strategy is to be executed must be drawn up.
Change management
Another step in the “getting ready”
process is to provide HR staff at all levels
with good change management techniques. This step, however, must star t
with their own anxiety – helping them to
get ready emotionally and, then, to understand how people react to change and
what they can do to ease the transition. We
emphasize the need for this training for all
HR staf f because it is frequently those
staff who interact with employees around
payroll, benefits, severance arrangements
and working conditions that “bear the
brunt” of the emotions during the merger
process. “No matter how well-trained most
HR staff are in managing change – they
will need more training” to effectively support a corporate merger or acquisition,
says Marge Watters of Knebel Watters, one
of Canada’s leading outplacement firms.
Lessons learned
• Allow time for HR staf f to
absorb what has happened,
process their feelings and get
on board. They need to be able
to compar tmentalize their
feelings but not abandon them
• Communicate 5x more, 10x
more than you think you need
to; increase “face time” between
HR leadership and their staff;
squelch rumours – quickly and
with the truth
• Take time to celebrate both
team and individual successes
• Where possible, separate the
downsizing work from the
building of the new organization
• Be willing to recommend and
use “best of breed” in HR
By Anne Kemp and Paula Lytwyn
The table below captures some common implementation issues/questions encountered when managing HR’s transition.
In spite of the best preparation, HR leaders can expect challenges in merging HR
Implementation issues/
functions. One executive described her
need to balance the pressure to say, “just
get over it and get on with it” with the responsibility to help HR staff members work
through their resistance. Short timelines
and limited resources make it difficult to ef-
Possible responses
1. What is your own personal
mindset and emotional state
surrounding the merger or
Confident and in control?
Overwhelmed, stressed, uncertain?
Aware of how to get support?
2. To help facilitate the integration of
HR, what are the priority
issues/processes to manage?
Alignment with vision, mission, strategy and
business objectives of the new organization
through a comprehensive HR strategy and plan
Termination provisions
Communications to employees
Alignment of compensation and benefits plans
Resourcing process
3. Has the new HR team been staffed
with individuals who have the
competencies to manage the
Change management?
Organizational design?
Process improvement techniques?
Coaching and counselling?
Interviewing and resourcing?
4. How can an HR audit be used to
understand the level and types of
services and systems in place in the
HR departments involved?
Compare each of the HR processes, to determine
preferred systems or whether new
systems/resources are required (i.e. recruitment,
HR databases, performance management,
compensation and benefits, etc.)
Design new processes or select the most suitable
existing process
Anticipate and manage pressure to take shortcuts
or make political choices
5. What resourcing process will be
used to fill the HR positions in the
new organization?
Competitive process based on merit
Direct assignment process using
pre-defined criteria, i. e. balance of
staff from merging organizations
6. Are the necessary supports in
place to assist the HR team with the
Employee assistance program (EAP)
Team and individual recognition events to
encourage achievement
Fully-updated business and HR information
systems available “backstage,” i.e. Web site
Access to external facilitators/ consultants to
assist with difficult change issues
7. Has team-building been planned to
reinforce a smooth transition ?
Allow time for the newly-formed team to get to
know each other first, then they can better focus
on the business needs
Provide regular “team huddles” and team-building
Allow a “safe place to vent” within HR
Build in time for fun
fectively manage both the day-to-day HR
work and the demands of the merger. At the
same time, the HR group is being bombarded with questions about policies and systems that have not yet been finalized. This is
compounded with insufficient funds to take
care of HR’s needs (i.e. training, workspace,
computers, etc.) Finally, the new HR team
often lacks a team identity and productivity
may suffer in the short term.
Some examples of the more successful
implementation activities included the creation of a three-day, customized session for
the new HR team that focused on aligning
all parties to the new organizational direction. Other successes involved using a resourcing process that was committed to
ensuring an equal balance of staff from
both organizations in the new HR function.
An employee survey was also used regularly as a measurement tool to check the employee “pulse” including that of the HR
team. Finally, employment guarantees
and/or salary protection helped to manage
uncertainty and maintain levels of trust.
In summary, from our experience and
from discussions with senior HR professionals, the most critical element to making the process work is to communicate,
communicate, communicate. By providing
HR staff members with frequent updates of
plans, issues and progress (especially as it
relates to them personally but also from a
broader organizational perspective), they
become an integral part of the transition
team. With this kind of preparation and
support, the team will be able to manage
very difficult issues often under very difficult circumstances, ultimately helping to
make the transition succeed.
в– Anne Kemp is the president of Berkeley
Developmental Resources, a change and
human resource management consulting firm
( She is also a director of the Advanced Program in Managing
Strategic Change at the University of Toronto.
Paula Lytwyn is the president of Lytwyn
Resources Inc., a human resources and management
( After more than
20 years in the profession, she has assisted
with various challenging mergers and acquisi-
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
By Jamie Knight and Pamela Leiper
Union relationships add
complexity to M&As
n all of the excitement of selling or
buying a company or in reorganizing
an existing corporate structure, it is
all too easy to ignore or “back-burner” the legal impact of the corporate
transaction on the employees of the affected business or businesses. These issues are even more challenging for
human resources professionals when a
union represents some of the employees
affected by the transaction.
When the transaction is structured
as a share sale, the business entity continues to exist with a new owner and the
collective bargaining relationships remain unchanged. There are many more
considerations when the transaction is
structured as an asset sale.
Under certain circumstances, a sale
of a business results in the purchaser inheriting the vendor’s union relationships
and collective agreements. The determination of whether or not there has been
a sale of a business is based in statutory
law and depends less on the legal technicalities of the corporate transaction and
more on whether or not the business or
any par t of it is continuing as a going
concern with a new owner.
The relevant statutory law in Ontario
if trade union relationships are involved is
the Labour Relations Act (“LRA”). The
definition of a sale of business under the
LRA is ver y broad. It is possible that a
sale of business for labour relations purposes will have occurred even if the parties did not intend for there to be a sale. If
there is any dispute regarding whether
there has been a sale of business, an application is made to the Ontario Labour
Relations Board (“OLRB”), typically by an
affected union, for a determination that
the purchaser is a successor employer.
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Role of the OLRB
If the OLRB determines that the purchaser is a successor employer, the purchaser will be bound by the collective
agr eement negotiated between any
union and the vendor. If negotiations are
ongoing, then the purchaser will pick up
the reins of the collective bargaining. If
the business was sold while an application for cer tification or termination of
bargaining rights was before the OLRB,
then the successor employer is subject
to any such application. This is why a
purchaser must conduct due diligence
to determine the extent and nature of
any existing or potential union relationships.
Often the result of a sale of a business is that the two companies merge or
amalgamate their operations and the
employees are intermingled. When this
occurs, the labour relations implications
vary depending on whether one or both
of the original entities is unionized. If
the purchaser is unionized, but the vendor is not, all employees will likely be
covered by the purchaser’s collective
agreement. The one exception could be
if the vendor has a much larger workforce.
The issue is less clear when the purchaser is non-union, but the company it
acquired is unionized. In this situation,
the OLRB may need to make a determination as to whether the collective
agreement of the acquired company covers the purchaser’s existing employees.
The OLRB will base its decision on the
number of employees that are intermingled. If only a small number of employees are unionized then the OLRB may
terminate the bargaining rights of the
union. However, if the number of union
and non-union employees is at least
equal, a representation vote is generally
When both entities are unionized,
the OLRB will decide which union has
bargaining rights, quite likely after conducting a r epr esentation vote. The
OLRB has the authority to amend the
bargaining unit description of either or
both bargaining units to eliminate the
The employer is in a difficult position
because it is not clear whether a collective agreement applies, or if there are
two, which one applies. If the employer
chooses to apply one collective agreement over another, they are at risk of
being liable for not abiding by the terms
of the successful union’s collective
agreement. If there is any possibility
that there will be competing bargaining
rights, the purchaser should meet with
the union representatives as soon as
possible to discuss their positions and to
encourage an application to the OLRB to
quickly resolve this issue. If necessar y,
the purchaser can make the application
If downsizing is a goal of the re-organization, par ticular attention must be
paid to seniority provisions when there
are two groups of employees covered by
dif ferent collective agreements. Since
seniority rights and lay-off procedures
are determined by the collective agreement, it is crucial that the employer determines which collective agreement
applies. The wording of the collective
agr eement will decide whether the
newly amalgamated employees ar e
mixed into the seniority list based on
their original date of hire, or whether
they are merely added on to the end of
the seniority list with the amalgamation
date being their seniority date. As an alternative, it may be that the downsizing
can precede the amalgamation and intermingling, in which case each collective
agreement can apply to each unit.
Investigate the status of
collective bargaining
A potential purchaser will want to
make inquiries into the status of collective bargaining. If a purchase takes
place during the negotiation of a collective agreement, the purchaser is not
necessarily bound by any compromise
made by the vendor. However, the reality is that the union is not likely going to
accept anything less than what was previously negotiated. Therefore, it is in the
best interests of a purchaser to request
that negotiations be postponed until
after the transaction closes. If the union
is not willing to agree to the vendor’s request to postpone negotiations, a purchaser should at least require that the
vendor does not enter into a collective
agreement that is unacceptable to the
purchaser. This can be accomplished by
reviewing the tentative agreement before the vendor signs it.
Inquiries should be made to determine what kind of relationship exists between union and management, including
any history of strikes, lockouts or difficult negotiations. The more information
a purchaser has, the better prepared
they will be to deal with the union in the
After a merger or acquisition, the
purchaser must comply with the terms
and conditions of the collective agreement in place. There is no opportunity
to re-open negotiations until the expir y
of the collective agreement. Therefore,
if a potential purchaser finds the terms
and conditions of the collective agreement unacceptable, they will need to addr ess their concer ns befor e the
transaction is finalized. It may be possible for a purchaser to make the transaction conditional upon r eceiving
concessions from the union.
Conflict Management
nhance your skills and deal with conflict in creative and positive
ways! Practical and relevant skills training is available. Take one or
two workshops for interest, or obtain a Certificate in Conflict Management. In-house, customized training is also available. Workshops include:
Alternative Dispute Resolution,
Advanced Mediation,
Basic Family Mediation,
Advanced Family Mediation,
Coaching: How to Grow People
and Yield Results,
Advanced Negotiation,
Civil Mediation,
Basic Facilitation Skills,
Communication in Creative
Community Building,
Dispute Resolution in the
Transformative Mediation,
Understanding Conflict,
Diversity in the Workplace,
Personal Mastery,
Managing Organizational
Seeing Beyond Disability
to Diversity
For more information please contact:
Mary Lou Schwartzentruber, Program Manager
Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies
Conrad Grebel University College
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6
Voice: 519-885-0220 ext. 254 Fax: 519-885-0014
E-mail: [email protected]
The ability to gain concessions will
depend on the bargaining strength of
the par ties. A union will not typically
agree to concessions unless the purchaser is the last hope of saving the
business. If there is evidence that jobs
will be lost unless the business is sold, a
union may agree to renegotiate some
provisions of the collective agreement.
Managing the communication of the
business transaction to employees is
also an important consideration. In Ontario, there is no legal obligation to consult with the union when a company is
considering selling the business, or restructuring the business. However, it is
possible that a union has negotiated
such a consultation provision in the collective agr eement. Regar dless of
whether the collective agreement requires consultation with the union, it
will go a long way towards maintaining
good labour relations if the company
keeps the union abreast of what is happening with any proposed sale of business.
Corporate transactions can be complicated and involve a tr emendous
amount of work. The lawyers, accountants, bankers and business people who
are involved must be reminded that
there is also plenty of work to do on the
employment and labour relations side as
well. If the employees are treated as an
after thought, then they can sink the
deal or significantly transform the value
of the deal. Human resource professionals owe it to their employers to aler t
them ahead of time that any corporate
transactions have to consider the legal
aspects of employment.
в– Jamie Knight is a par tner and the
manager of the Tor onto employment/pension/research depar tment at
Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. Pamela
Leiper is an associate with the same office. Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP is a
business law firm with offices in Toronto,
Ottawa, Montreal, Calgar y, Edmonton
and Vancouver. The firm has over 500
lawyers, including almost 50 employment
lawyers across Canada.
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Workplace stress sur vey tool
An online sur vey tool that measures
workplace stress may help employers better understand the health and well-being
of their employees and their work conditions. The Employee Survey on Workplace
Stress has been created by the Torontobased Institute for Work & Health.
“Workplace stress, which can lead to
health risks, has become an increasingly
important issue for organizations. They’re
looking for causes, explanations and solutions. We’re designing a Web-based tool
that will help determine stressors and
their levels within an organization,” says
Dr. Harry Shannon, a senior scientist with
the institute.
“The organization’s results can be
benchmarked exter nally with similar
types of Canadian workers and comparisons can also be made internally, for example, across various departments.” The
online tool is secure and protects employee and employer confidentiality, he adds.
Topics covered in the survey include:
job demands, job security, social support,
job satisfaction, psychological distress,
chronic life stressors and health measures.
A comprehensive customized online
repor t is produced that highlights the
stressful work conditions and flags areas
for possible improvement.
For more information, contact Fataneh
Zarinpoush at [email protected] or
(416) 927-2027 ext. 2172.
Toronto Sun moves career
section online
Career Connection, the Toronto Sun’s
weekly section featuring articles on current job and career training trends has
been taken online.
The new service will also feature an interactive job board where the skill sets of
registrants will be matched with available
jobs locally and nationally.
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Editorial content on the site includes:
Job Talk – Human resources specialist
Ellen Goldhar keeps readers on top of current issues and challenges in the workplace
OYAP Profile – A look at the Ontario
Youth Apprenticeship Program
Top of the Trades – Profiles of tradespeople who are standouts in their field
On Campus – Current information on
what’s happening at Ontario’s colleges,
universities and private training institutions
Amex “Be My Guest” dining
card comes to Canada
A dining incentive card from American
Express is now available to Canadian employers who can use the product to either
reward employees or to control business
meal expenses.
The Be My Guest Card, popular in the
United States, is one of the first of its kind
in Canada, says Monica Morgan, product
manager at American Express Incentive
Services. The card is now accepted at most
Canadian restaurants that take Amex.
Be My Guest Cards are point-based
and available in dominations of 35, 50, 75
and 100 points, with each point equal to
one Canadian dollar. Custom denominations are also available. For example, a
company celebrating its 40th anniversar y could reward employees with $40
In addition to rewards, the card is also
an option for group travel. On evenings
when a company’s guests are on their own
for dinner, they can use the Be My Guest
Cards instead of paying for meals out of
their own pocket and getting reimbursed
“Be My Guest Cards also are a great
way to keep your business meal budgets
in check,” Morgan says. “Budget overages are never an issue because the cards
are pre-denominated. Recipients use them
until the cards are depleted.”
The card is based on the philosophy
that cash, as a traditional incentive or reward, is not that effective. People say they
want cash, but American Express says its
research shows that cash is spent on bills
or necessities and recipients soon forget
about it.
For more information, visit or contact Stevi Hanson
at (905) 702-9007.
Web-based succession
A new Web-based system enables organizations to proactively acquire talent
from outside to fill gaps in their succession plans. The “Picking Winners System”
has been developed by Alan Davis & Associates Inc., a Canadian firm specializing
in strategic talent acquisition.
The system consists of an interactive
database of contacts who have been prequalified as high-potential future hires,
sourced from a targeted population, and
who are pre-disposed to considering a career opportunity in the organization. It allows the user to view the secure and
proprietar y candidate database at any
time from any location, and search on
multiple criteria when a critical position in
the organization needs to be filled.
“Many of our client organizations have
developed sophisticated succession plans
to the point that they have identified the
positions that can be filled by developing
talent from within,” says Alan Davis, president. “But the succession plan also typically points out a company’s vulnerability
in the talent domain, that is the skill sets
for which there is insufficient internal talent.”
в– For more information, contact Tom
Bursey at (613) 224-9950 or Laurie
O’Donnell at (450) 458-3532.
By Lynn Mason
By Samantha Miller
Warner Books, Inc.,
November 2001
$18.95 CDN
ISBN 0-446-67804-X
It looks like a letter and is as fast as the
telephone, but e-mail is a different method
of communication, with its own unique aspects and considerations. The proliferation
of e-mail as a major communications tool
has lead to the need for corporate e-mail
policies. Samantha Miller’s book has good
suggestions on managing many e-mail issues – addressing, greetings, spam, privacy,
content, etc. Where applicable, the subject
areas are discussed in a business context.
Chapter 6 is devoted entirely to “e-mail etiquette on the job.” As is suggested in the
main title, Miller also discusses the possible
pitfalls of correspondence by e-mail and
what this can mean in an office context. For
instance, what can happen when you badmouth colleagues or swap sexist comments
via e-mail messages. Miller best illustrates
these circumstances using short, integrated
case study notes. Easy to read, full of useful
tips, checklists and examples, Miller’s book
is valuable to anyone grappling with the
issue of e-mail communication.
By Carol Beatty and
Har vey Schachter
John Wiley & Sons, 2002
$43.95 CDN
ISBN 0-471-64641-5
Employee ownership, once considered
a communist ideal, is a new management
trend. However, this North American concept also embraces the capitalist ideals of
shares and profits, managers and employees. Using 10 case studies of Canadian
companies, Carol Beatty and Har vey
Schachter look at the benefits and pitfalls
of company employee ownership models.
Five of the companies discussed in this
work were on the brink of closure before
turning to employee ownership. Not all of
the companies examined were successful
with this type of management/ownership.
As well, in some cases, the future wellbeing of the community rested on the success of the organization in question. In
each case, the evolution and development
of employee ownership was unique. For
example, one of the companies was
owned by its employees but their shares
did not entitle them to voting rights or positions on the board. Regardless, Beatty
and Schachter were able to see commonalties and reach overall conclusions. In
this accessible work, the authors show
that while not in widespread use, this
model has the possibility of realizing
greater profits and better employee performance for an organization.
Jac Fitz-enz’s work The ROI of Human
Capital, quantifying the contribution of
human capital to corporate profit has not
been possible. Using international quantitative and qualitative research from the
Saratoga Institute, Fitz-enz has developed
a methodology for measuring the impact
of employee performance on an organization’s bottom line. The author shows the
reader how to connect human resource
objectives with corporate improvements
and financial gains. Focusing on three levels – organizational, functional and human
capital management, Fitz-enz explains
how to create a system of human capital
valuation repor ting and futures scorecards, as well as weigh the potential effects of other human resources initiatives.
The examples and data in this well-written
work enable HR professionals to determine the return on investment of human
в– Lynn Mason, BA, MISt, is the book review editor for HRProfessional and the resource centre/information services
manager at HRPAO.
By Jac Fitz-enz
American Management
Association, 2000
$47.95 CDN
ISBN 0-8144-0574-6
Throughout the 20th century, management theory evolved from the belief that
corporate wealth was tied to an organization’s tangible assets to the opposite spectrum of understanding that human beings
are its most valued capital. However, until
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
• Newly Renovated Business Rooms
with Data-port Phones
• Refrigerators • Coffeemakers
• Hair-dryers • Irons & Boards
• Restaurant • Pool & Whirlpool
• Conference & Boardroom
Travelodge Barrie
55 Hart Drive, Barrie, Ontario L4N 5M3
Phone: (705) 734-9500
Fax: (705) 734-0622
Make your reservation today @
flexible • cost-effective • tax incentive
Need Help To
Bridge The Gap?
Munn Conflict Resolution can
help bring you together. Call our
office today to find out how.
2090 Richmond Street,
London, Ontario, Canada N5X 4C1
519-660-1242 FAX: 519-660-1618
TOLL-FREE: 1-888-216-3202
[email protected]
Investigation, Surveillance and Consulting Services
Ph.: 905-852-6216
Fax: 905-852-7262
P.O. BOX 1242
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
L9P 1N5
Labour Disputes
Pre-Employment Background Screening
Corporate Due Diligence
W.S.I.B. Surveillances
Case Investigations
Internal Theft/Fraud
Employee Relocation
Employee Release Programs
“Coast to Coast Network”
By David Zweig, PhD
The line between benign and
invasive monitoring technologies
or more than two decades, HR professionals have been asking
whether or not organizations
should be electronically monitoring
the activities of their employees. Proponents of electronic monitoring have suggested that listening in on phone calls
with customers or counting keystrokes
ensures accuracy and removes bias
when assessing employee performance.
Detractors have pointed to the negative
consequences of electronic monitoring
including an increase in stress levels
and lower quality performance.
Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding electronic monitoring, its use
is becoming increasingly more per vasive in organizations. It is estimated that
over 40 million workers in the United
States are subject to some form of electronic monitoring and sur veillance.
While there is no direct estimate of employee monitoring rates in Canada, it is
reasonable to assume that the percentage of monitored employees in Canadian organizations is equivalent.
Although the most frequent type of
monitoring is performance-based, new
for ms of employee monitoring have
emerged – those that are not directly related to job performance. For example,
new technologies, called “awareness
monitoring systems” or “benign surveillance systems” are being designed and
heralded as the key to enhancing communications between geographically-distributed colleagues. These new
awareness technologies often take the
form of a camera mounted on a computer monitor that captures an employee’s
image and transmits the image (and
whatever the employee happens to be
doing at the time) to remotely-located
colleagues. This image serves as an in36
dicator of the employee’s presence and
availability to interact.
With the development of these new
monitoring technologies, new questions
arise as to how they are being deployed
in organizations. Specifically, how will
employees react to having their images
and actions transmitted to their colleagues across distance? As well, what
implications do the use of these new
monitoring technologies have on how
employees go about their daily activities? For example, does working from
home now require wearing office attire?
Will people want to work for an organization that employs awareness monitoring? Fur thermore, will managers use
availability information as a proxy variable to assess the performance of their
In light of these questions, it is plausible that the use of these awareness
monitoring technologies could have farreaching consequences for a number of
key HR functions. For example, the use
of awareness monitoring could influence
the criteria used to inform performance
appraisals, reduce employee satisfaction
and have a negative influence on attraction and retention. HR professionals
must be concerned about these issues
because for the most part, the developers of monitoring technologies are not.
I recently explored some of these issues in an examination of employee reactions to awar eness monitoring
technologies. Drawing from relevant research in privacy, fairness and technology acceptance, I constr ucted a
theoretical model of awareness system
acceptance in which I hypothesized that
if these systems were designed to respect privacy and fairness, people would
be willing to use them. In two studies, a
total of 1,200 participants responded to a
questionnaire in which the characteristics of an awareness monitoring system
were manipulated to respect or violate
perceptions of privacy and fairness.
The first study examined university
student reactions to awareness monitoring systems. The second study employed a Web-based questionnair e
methodology to sur vey University of
Waterloo alumni from a number of different organizations. Each par ticipant
was asked for his/her perceptions of the
privacy, fairness and usefulness of the
awar eness system described in the
questionnaire. Par ticipants were also
asked to indicate their attitudes toward
awareness systems and their willingness
to work for organizations that employ
awareness monitoring techniques.
It was no surprise that, overall, people found these systems to be highly invasive and unfair. People questioned the
usefulness of the technology and even
suggested that they would not want to
work for an organization that implements awareness monitoring technologies. It was surprising, however, that
even when safeguards were put in place
to protect privacy and respect fairness,
people responded negatively to awareness monitoring technologies. Specifically, offering participants control over
the dissemination of their awareness information, giving them knowledge of
who is using the system to determine
their availability, limiting the frequency
of image capture, and blur ring their
image still resulted in low levels of acceptance as compared to when these
privacy and fairness enhancing modifications were not available.
Interestingly, I expected to find differences in the willingness of the two
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
samples (student vs. organizational employees) to endorse and accept the use
of awareness systems. I thought that
younger participants, more comfortable
with new technologies, would be less
likely to react negatively to awareness
monitoring. I was wrong. There were no
differences across the two samples. All
participants reported negative reactions
to the technology.
In a third, qualitative follow-up study
with organizational employees, a potential reason for these findings emerged.
People felt that the awareness monitoring system violated their personal
boundaries for how much information
they were willing to share with their colleagues – regardless of the privacy and
fairness safeguards in place. That is, although the guidelines for respecting privacy and fairness resulted in slightly
more positive attitudes toward monitoring, they did not fully mitigate negative
reactions to the monitoring system. People still rejected the notion of monitoring as a violation of their boundaries for
sharing personal information.
The most frequent reason people offered in objection to monitoring is that it
violated their privacy and fairness. For
example, one participant stated:
“I feel like when some prisoners are
braceleted so they know where they
are. It’s the whole idea of a loss of privacy in all of our lives. We have radar
on the roads, and now you have radar
at work.”
Furthermore, all of the participants
were concerned about having their perfor mance evaluated by presence. In
other words, having presence monitored
by a technology that captures and transmits a person’s image at a workstation
to others at any point in time during the
workday could ser ve as a measure of
performance. As one participant stated:
“Even if it’s not performance monitoring, your supervisor knows that you
are working from home and he is trying to get a hold of you and checks
every 20 minutes and you are still not
there. It’s not forced monitoring but he
is going to find out.”
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
I Found My Job In The Sun”
“The company I was working for was relocating to
Milton and I had opted not to make the trek. I had been
periodically checking online sites for opportunities, but it
was during my daily read of the Toronto Sun that I found
my job.
I had just finished checking out the Sun’s great sports
section and was casually flipping through the Classified
section when there it was – I was one of 80 other
people who answered the ad, but I got the job!”
– Colleen
Not looking for your staff in the Toronto Sun?
Then you’re missing the opportunity to reach
624,500* readers 18+ that read no other daily
newspaper than the Sun.
Now,with Career Connection in print and online,
you will alsohave access to Canoe’s 6.2** million
unique monthly viewers.**
For more information, call
The Toronto Sun
The Complete Job Solution
We Can Take You
to the Next Level.
Bachelor of Administrative and
Commercial Studies – Organizational
and Human Resources
Here’s the better way to climb to the top. Get your
BACS degree in Organizational and Human
Resources through the Distance Studies program at
the University of Western Ontario. Full-time or parttime, you can prepare for a career in HR management
by taking a combination of courses in human
resources and the broader social sciences – leading to
your CHRP designation and a Bachelor’s degree in
Administrative and Commercial Studies. This
program offers you the critical thinking and
management skills you need to get ahead. The
diversity and flexibility of the BACS program can help
you make the next move up the ladder of success. For
more information on the BACS program:
TEL.: 519-661-3982 FAX: 519-661-3615
e-mail at [email protected]
or, for information on registration,
go to our Website at:
Another participant stated:
“If I look for someone and they are not
there and I check again, they are not
there. It can put negative things in
your mind. And when you are doing
per formance evaluations, you would
think, �What is this person doing?’”
For others, concerns centred on the loss
of control over scheduling one’s own work
tasks. For example, one participant stated:
“You might be working on something
that’s due tomorrow and you have to
get it done no matter what. But now
you have to stop for half an hour because someone else knows you are there
and you have no choice but to deal with
whatever it is they bring to you.”
Still others questioned the utility of
the monitoring technology itself. Receiving an image of a remotely-located colleague at his/her workstation only
conveys presence, not the availability to
interact. For example, one par ticipant
Finding good
HR talent
is easy.
If you know
where to look.
At TMP Worldwide eResourcing, we help organizations in all industries find the quality HR
professionals they need for contract positions. Fast.
How are we able to respond to your requirements so quickly? Because we have an extensive
roster of HR professionals who are available to join your organization for term positions, such
as maternity leave placements, special projects or other contract needs.
To find the best-suited match for your company, we must first understand your business, your
culture, and the specifications of the position. Based on this information, we search our roster
of qualified and fully assessed HR professionals, and quickly provide you with a list of the most
appropriate qualified individuals...usually within a few days.
Examples of qualified individuals currently available include:
Senior HR Generalist; HR Manager; Compensation Specialist; OD Consultant; Pension and
Benefits Manager; and more.
Find out how the people we know can bring your organization top HR talent quickly and
effectively. Contact us at:
Telephone: (416) 868-0118
In addition to this HR contracting service, the TMP Worldwide eResourcing Division provides
three other key services: Search; Research; and e-Search. Read about these unique services in the
For Employers section at
“The assumption here is that if you are
sitting at your terminal, it’s time to be
interrupted and that may not be valid.”
As technology advances, and organizations continue to disperse geographically, there is little doubt that efforts to
design and implement monitoring technologies will continue. Despite the concerns identified in this research study,
the goal driving the research and development of awareness monitoring technologies is noble – to help people
increase communications across distance. However, if your organization is
considering the implementation of new
technologies to monitor performance or
availability, you must play an active role
in considering the potential ef fects on
employees by determining the purpose
and scope of the monitoring activity. Ask
the developers if they have successfully
implemented the technology in other organizations. Have they assessed the impact on per formance? How have they
addressed employee concerns for privacy and fairness? By asking these questions, you can ensure that the
implementation of these new technologies does not cross the line between benign efforts to enhance communications
across distance and invasive actions that
violate employee expectations of privacy
and fairness. Defining this line can have
significant implications for employee satisfaction, performance and retention. в– David Zweig received his PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from
the University of Waterloo in 2001 and is
currently an assistant professor in the division of management of the University of
Toronto at Scarborough. He is also the
communications co-ordinator for the
Canadian Society of Industrial/Organizational Psychology (a division
of the Canadian Psychological Association) and is a member of the Society for
Industrial Organizational Psychology and
the Academy of Management. The research that forms the basis for this article
was awarded the International Association for Human Resources Research
(IAHRR) best HR-related PhD disser ta-
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
The place to be this fall!
HRPAO Fall Programs 2002
Seminars and Workshops for Job Excellence
Once again, HRPAO is offering a variety of informative seminars and workshops.
There are new seminars and returning favourites in this year’s fall lineup, including:
• HR Skills for HR Assistants
• Power Presentations NEW!
• Employment Law
• Employee’s Workplace Security NEW!
• The Effective Art of Networking
• Mergers & Acquisitions NEW!
Dinner Speaker Series
HRPAO’s popular Dinner Speaker Series combines a great dinner with a lecture
from experts in the HR field. The fall sessions are:
To register or for
more information,
contact HRPAO:
(416) 923-2324,
Ontario toll-free
1-800-387-1311, or
visit our Web site
Do You Know Who You Are Hiring?
Speakers: Brian King, King-Reed & Associates,
Scott Williams, Hicks Morley and Jeff Rosin, Korn/Ferry
Thursday, September 26, 2002 from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Sheraton Centre, Toronto - Civic Ballroom
sponsored by:
Transforming Toronto Hydro – Leadership and Engagement
Ave Lethbridge, Director, Organizational Development, Toronto Hydro
Wednesday, November 20, 2002 from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Sheraton Centre, Toronto - Civic Ballroom
For the Fall Programs 2002 brochure, contact HRPAO today!
By Steve Prentice
Networking for HR: Forget finger sandwiches,
have them eating out of your hand
have hosted and produced a number of
professional networking events over the
years. And it’s always interesting when
an HR professional shows up as a person in transition, suddenly having discovered the same truth as the people whose
crisp resumГ©s and eager faces they used to
see daily – that networking is a survival
tool, to be nurtured continuously, not just
in times of career urgency. Yet “networking” often receives short shrift as an afterhours hobby in which people exchange
business cards and dull conversation until
the cheese and grapes run out.
The secret to successful networking,
the trick to ensuring that people keep you
in mind for future opportunities or references, is to discard the temptation to present yourself as a “walking résumé,” and
instead capture their imagination.
Many years ago, on a now classic TV
show called Taxi, Elaine, the main female
character, threw a party. Desperate to impress her art-gallery friends, she dragged
Ron Gooding, C.P.P.
90 John Street South,
Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 2C1
Tel.: (905) 529-6002
Fax: (905) 529-6467
T.F.: 1-877-807-1944
[email protected]
Corporate Investigation Services
her colleague Alex along, imploring him to
make her look good by creating a great impression. When someone asked, “So Alex,
what do you do?” he answered, “I put out
oil fires,” and then proceeded to douse that
person’s cigarette in their drink, adding
“Sorry, force of habit.” The bottom line is
that oil firefighters are more interesting to
most people than cab drivers.
We can see the same issue among HR
professionals, and the same opportunity. At
one of my networking events, I met a recently “downsized” vice-president of
human resources who had worked for a
company that makes snack foods and confections. And that’s pretty much how he
put it, “Hi, I’m a VP of HR, 10 years in the
snack goods industry, looking for a challenging role in HR.” Hmmm. Not ver y
memorable. But this chap had the opportunity to have everyone in the room eating
out of his hand, if he only realized how interesting he is. Not because he’s in HR, but
because he knows candy! There are few
people in the Western world who haven’t
got at least one favourite snack. Now even
though this gentleman hadn’t worked for
Cadbury specifically, he could still have
opened his introduction with something
like: “As VP of HR for a major snack goods
organization, I know the Caramilk secret.
However, if I told it to you, I’d have to kill
you.” This would get a laugh, and would
guarantee that one or more people would
want to come and talk to him, thanks to a
subject of mutual interest.
People love compelling stories. When
it’s your turn to talk at a networking event,
keep in mind that most people know what
HR is. What’s going to single you out in
their memory after the event is over is that
you were the one with the fascinating
stor y, the messenger with the “Gee, I
never knew that” interlude. You will have
given them a gift, and they will remember
you for it, and that’s what networking is.
As an investment in your future networking success, and hence your future,
take some time this weekend to pull together some interesting stories. Leverage
your insider’s access to your current industry, and find something to talk about, other
than your professional qualifications. Keep
a written list if you need to. It’s a disarming
approach to winning people over, and best
of all, the material is already at hand.
в– Steve Prentice is a speaker and author
who teaches “professional survival skills.” Information about his workshops and his time
management book, entitled Cool-Time and
the Two-Pound Bucket, can be found at Prentice can be reached
directly at [email protected] or (416)
Tips for networking success
•Research fascinating stories from your
industry (even if they didn’t happen to
you) and be prepared to use them.
•Select two or three recent news stories,
and have them ready as “openers” (find
some that will be of mutual interest,
however, politics, war and religion stories are not recommended).
•Let the other person speak first. As
good as your story is, people love to
talk. Your opportunity will come.
•Networking events are a supportive environment for practising your conversational skills. Don’t worry about getting
everything exactly right. Just do it.
•Approach every networking event as
an opportunity. You will always learn
something from every interaction, and
you can do the same for the people you
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Are you
faster than
a speeding
Able to solve problems
in a single afternoon?
responsible beverage
service training
Lower your
Be proactive for your next social event.
The Smart Serve program will help you to:
We need your abilities!
Volunteer Now!
• Know your obligations when serving alcohol
• Learn how to minimize your liability
For more information, call Mary
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
1-877-620-6082 416-695-8737
Red Cross
Or visit our Website:
By Roslyn Wright
Joint committees:
Volunteer before being “voluntold”
ommittee work – we are either very
good at it or ver y bad. But why?
After all, most of us are involved in
committees in our personal lives.
As parents, we involve ourselves in activities that focus around our children, such
as guiding or scouting, hockey, soccer or
dance, school parent committees or fund
raising. Or as individuals we could be involved or committed to our hobbies or
lifestyles, such as running, book or car
clubs or nature activities. So what do
these committees or interest groups have
that a joint health and safety committee
doesn’t have? The answer is obvious –
leadership! Someone or something has to
“drive” the committee.
Therefore, what this article intends to
do is provide the human resource professional with “driving” or leadership suggestions.
So to begin the discussion, let us take
a look at why a committee or committee
type of activity will develop.
Addressing a need
The main “driver” of forming a committee is addressing a need. It might start
in the school parking lot in a discussion
around the need to upgrade a playground
or informally in the library discussing the
latest book. Sooner or later a group of
people have assembled to discuss how, or
why or even when. A committee has
begun! So the committee informally develops a purpose or objective. In the first
example of the playground the purpose
might be to raise the funds to purchase
and install a suitable playground. The second example will probably evolve into a
“book club” and the purpose may be less
str uctured and could include reading
books by a certain author, within a timeframe and then meet for discussion. The
“driver” or “need” has been identified and
will continue to be the purpose for that
particular group to meet.
The “driver” of the joint health and
safety committee is two-fold. First of all,
the formation of a joint health and safety
committee has been legislated. (Ontario
Occupational Health and Safety Act, section 9) For most organizations – legislation is enough of a “driver” to ensure that
a group of people meet. The second “driver” of the establishment of a joint health
and safety committee is to address the
health and safety needs in a company.
With the playground and book club
example, structure or rules for committee functioning will develop. Fundraising
for the new playground will need someone to account for the money collected,
or a “treasurer,” someone to document
how the fundraising will happen and who
will do what, when, or a “secretary” and
someone to facilitate the meeting to ensure that the time is spent wisely and assist in resolving any potential conflicts, or
a “chair.”
The book club will need to record
books read and suggestions for books to
read; therefore a “secretary” role will develop. In addition, someone will need to
take on the role of discussion leader, to
ensure that all points of view are discussed equally, therefore the role of
“chair” will once again develop. So, quietly
and without a lot of fanfare, positions and
a structure will develop within the committee that will assist the group to meet
their objective or complete their purpose.
The joint health and safety committee
in Ontario has legislation that assists in
the development of the committee positions. The committee must have two
“chair” positions – one representing the
employer and one representing the work-
ers. It is critical for the joint health and
safety committee to have leaders in these
roles. The worker representatives must
select the employee co-chair, and management must select the employer co-chair.
An opportunity for
Selecting a “co-chair” representing
the employer is an opportunity for management, which is not always recognized.
Therefore, management misses the
chance to appoint a representative skilled
in leading groups of people or helping to
solve problems. Sometimes the employer
representative is selected without
thought to the role and responsibility of
the committee within the organization.
Consequently, the committee will be
made up of employees and employers
with good intentions, but limited skills.
Therefore, the committee will struggle in
its effectiveness.
Let’s take a look at the skill set that
the employer representative should have
to provide the joint health and safety
committee in order for it to function effectively.
The employer representative should
be a good listener and able to accurately
define the core issues. Along with listening, the representative needs to be a
strong communicator, and not just with
verbal communication. Written communication skills are an asset to ensure that
the committee actions plans and recommendations are developed.
Employer representatives need to
demonstrate respect for all committee
members and lead by example. If personal protective equipment in the facility is
mandator y, then it is essential that the
employer representative wear the appropriate personal protective equipment
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
when required. The employer representative must be consistent in his or her behaviour, and demonstrate to the
committee that all items will be thoroughly investigated with prompt, appropriate action taken.
Does this not describe a typical
human resources professional!?
In conclusion, if the opportunity presents itself, please volunteer yourself to
become the employer representative on
the committee. It might be added responsibility at the beginning, but once a joint
health and safety committee sees that its
efforts have had an impact, the momentum becomes infectious and the committee will continue to evolve and develop
leaders from within. This will allow the
employer representative to take on a
lesser role, but leadership should always
be exemplary.
Volunteer before you are “voluntold.”
You never know…you might even have
some fun!
в– Roslyn Wright, R.N., C.O.H.N.C,
C.R.S.P., is a health and safety specialist
working for Transcontinental in Ontario
and Nova Scotia. One of her primary roles
is to “coach and counsel” Transcontinental
health and safety committees, human resources professionals and management on
health and safety issues.
Since 1974
Validates International Academic Credentials
Provides Canadian Academic Equivalents
E: [email protected]
T: 416-972-0070
F: 416-972-9004
WES is the authorized credential evaluation service of the government of Ontario
45 Charles Street East, Suite 700, Toronto, ON M4Y 1S2
New York
Washington D.C.
San Francisco
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
By Ron Guest, CHRP
How do employees add value?
he added value employees provide
to an organization is the difference
between what they earn and what
they contribute. Successful organizations have employees and managers
who are keenly aware of the added value
they impart.
Employees today need to take personal
responsibility to ensure they are contributing more to an organization than
what they cost. Surprisingly, this notion is
quite new to many employees and employers. But how can employees be expected
to be cognizant of this with little attention
paid to it by their employer? And a better
question – why are employers not overly
concerned about this? Employers are
quite content to make sure employees are
doing a good job and that they are acting
in a responsible fashion, often without a
direct focus on their value add to the organization. This thinking is indeed outdated
– in this era with pressure on margins,
productivity, quality and time to market.
Time and time again, I have heard
companies announce major cost-cutting
initiatives, downsizing and budget cutbacks – and ironically it is the employees
who are asking what they can do to help.
This question often goes unanswered or is
answered in such a general way that it
leaves employees with a feeling of hopelessness. This is particularly true in staff
jobs without a clear line of sight to the bottom line. Would it not make sense to
equip employees with the knowledge of
their value add long before the cost-cutting measures are determined?
Additionally, experts agree that lack of
control over one’s job is the leading cause
of stress, far more so than hours worked
or one’s responsibilities. When employees
start to lack guidance as to how they can
add value, other problems arise, such as
more unwanted turnover, less attention
paid to their own jobs, cynicism and resentment.
What is value add for HR?
Value add can have a ver y different
look depending on the job – for example,
why shouldn’t a receptionist know the
names of important customers and make
them feel as valued as they truly are to
the company? At the other end of the
scale, why should highly-paid executives
not be accountable for the value they
bring to the table. Sure, they are paid
competitively, but I suggest that over time
there is a propensity to assume they
should get to keep their jobs if they are responsible and do good work. Why is it
that human resource professionals don’t
visit customers of the business? This
would be one example of HR value add.
Shouldn’t HR be interested in finding out
how external customers view the service
they are getting from the people in the
Why is it that some organizations pay
little attention to filling vacancies by
broadening the scope of other positions to
absorb a vacant job? Would it not make
good business sense to allow employees
through communication, awareness and
training, the opportunity to add value by
increasing their job scope and value-add
responsibilities? This would seem to alleviate some stress for employees and contribute to the bottom line – a win-win for
the company) may not, in fact, be adding
anything. They may be victims of bureaucracy or inept processes or poor management. They have been busy all day, they
work hard – but is there really true added
value in what they are doing?
Employers who understand this equation equip their employees to add value.
These employers give their employees the
tools to understand the current value they
add and how to add additional value – not
just in times of constraint, but all the time.
Their employees know for certain they
make a difference, they take personal responsibility to understand why cer tain
things happen in the workplace and outside of their own area of responsibility,
they challenge work practices and
processes, they raise their own ideas for
improvement and they execute.
Employers in my view cannot afford
any longer to ignore the value-add equation.
в– Ron Guest, CHRP, is president, RG-HR
SOLUTIONS INC. He has extensive HR
generalist experience, most recently in leading organizations through explosive growth
and major-scale change initiatives. Previous experience has included senior HR roles
in various industries. Guest can be reached
at [email protected] or (416) 460-6198.
Hardworking and busy =
not enough
The irony in looking at value add is
that the same people who are working
hard and who are very busy (and who are
currently seen to be highly “valued” by
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
By Robert DeLeskie and Liz Wright
Increasing your ROI:
A “Total Rewards” approach to M&As
ergers and acquisitions used to be
about acquiring material assets –
machinery, inventory, and real estate. Not any more. In today’s
globally competitive market, successful
M&As are about combining and integrating the skills, capabilities and knowledge of
It’s therefore not surprising that M&As
often generate a host of compensation and
benefits issues – so many, in fact, that the
integration sometimes seems like an obstacle course. Navigating these challenges in
a timely fashion requires planning.
Negotiating the deal
When an M&A involves a transfer of
employees, the vendor and purchaser usually address compensation and benefit
terms prior to signing the sales agreement.
In addition to deciding the general conditions of employment, the two parties must
also agree upon interim arrangements to
ensure a seamless transition and continuity
of coverage.
To avoid dismissal lawsuits, vendors
typically want purchasers to offer employment to transferred employees on a “substantially similar” basis. At the same time,
purchasers want to preserve their flexibility regarding terms of employment after
closing – particularly if they intend to integrate the newly acquired business with
their other operations. How this point is resolved ultimately depends on the bargaining strength of each party.
When preparing an approach to this
issue, purchasers should ask themselves
the following questions:
• How does our existing general philosophical approach to compensation and
benefits fit with the expectations of the
new employees?
• Where do we wish to rank in terms of
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
market competitiveness?
• What type of employee behaviour
should be encouraged or discouraged?
• What role will the overall benefits plan
play in motivating these desired behaviours?
• What is the cost of the benefit plan, and
how will it affect our cashflow?
Answering these questions at the predeal stage reduces the need to realign
compensation and benefit policies down
the road – a potentially disruptive and
expensive occur rence. But to answer
them successfully, a purchaser must
weigh its perspective as employer with
the needs and concer ns of the transfer red and existing employees. Postmerger success hinges on striking a
productive compromise between these
two sets of concerns.
Finding the “sweet spot”
M&As surface concerns between employer priorities and employee expectations. As such they provide an excellent
opportunity to consider the benefits of a
Total Rewards Strategy (TRS). This strategic approach is tailor-made for locating the
crucial point of balance between perspectives.
Here’s how TRS works. Traditionally,
reward programs are fragmented into several dif ferent categories: pay, benefits,
learning and development opportunities,
and work/life motivators. Parts are managed individually, without consideration of
how they can work together.
TRS bundles these individual parts together into an integrated strategy by combining extrinsic components (financial
compensation, such as pay and benefits)
with intrinsic components (career objectives, work/life considerations). It helps
firms find the optimal mix of rewards – the
“sweet spot” – needed to deliver true and
meaningful value to employees while
achieving the highest return on investment
for employers.
The challenge in an M&A situation isn’t
simply to find the “sweet spot” between
employer and employees, but also the dynamic balance between different cultures
of employee groups. Consider the following real-world example:
When two major printing companies
merged, the new organization found itself
with two very different rewards programs.
The pension plans alone were worlds
apart: one was a traditional defined benefits plan; the other a cash balance plan.
One rewarded long-service employees; the
other did not.
To resolve this seemingly intractable
situation, the redesign team adopted a
TRS. The result was an innovative benefit
program incorporating the best features of
both plans. It rewarded long-term service
employees as well as fast-trackers, encouraged retention and provided excellent
value for all employees – and for the employer. The new plan was such a success
that the company credits it with bringing
employees together and fostering a unified,
“one-company” culture that exists today.
Adopting the TRS “win-win” approach
early in the game helps organizations overcome the inevitable compensation and benefit challenges posed by M&As. In our
increasingly diverse workplace, it also lays
a strong foundation for facing future HR
challenges – long after the ink on the deal
has dried (and the CEO is on to the next
в– Robert DeLeskie is a freelance writer
based in Toronto. Liz Wright is a senior consultant and Toronto practice leader, strategic
By Trevor Lawson and
Mary Catherine Chambers
The Privacy of Personal
Information Act, 2002
On Feb. 4, 2002 the Ontario government (the “government”) released a “consultation draft” of its proposed privacy
legislation, the Privacy of Personal Information Act, 2002 (the “PPIA”). The government’s stated goal in introducing the
PPIA is to create “…comprehensive privacy legislation that will protect the personal
information of individuals and propel Ontario to the forefront of the digital economy.”
If passed into law in its current form,
the PPIA would introduce a broad range
of new privacy controls in Ontario. As stated in section 1 of the consultation draft,
the PPIA seeks to protect the privacy of
individuals by implementing rules that
will oblige organizations to which the
PPIA applies to collect, use and disclose
personal information in a manner that is
reasonable and respects the rights of such
individuals to control interactions with
their personal data. “Personal information” is broadly defined in section 2 of the
consultation draft of the PPIA as including:
…information in any form or manner
about an individual…that identifies the
individual, can be manipulated by a
reasonably foreseeable method to identify
the individual, or can be linked or
matched by a reasonably foreseeable
method to other information that identifies the individual or that can be manipulated by a reasonably foreseeable
method to identify the individual…
Ontario’s response to federal
privacy legislation
The PPIA is the gover nment’s re46
sponse to the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”). PIPEDA came
into force on Jan. 1, 2001 and imposes
significant restrictions on the collection,
use and disclosure of personal information across Canada. PIPEDA currently
applies to federally-regulated commercial activities. However, as of Jan. 1,
2004, PIPEDA will apply to all commercial activities within all of the provinces
unless a province passes its own “substantially similar” legislation. The provincial government intends the PPIA to be
“substantially similar” to PIPEDA and to
have the PPIA passed into law in advance of the Jan. 1, 2004 deadline set out
Application of the PPIA
In its current form, the PPIA will apply
to the private sector, health sector (including health-care practitioners, services, agencies and institutions),
non-governmental organizations such as
charities, professional organizations and
religious groups, and other organizations
in Ontario that are not federally regulated. The PPIA will not apply to public sector organizations covered by the Ontario
Freedom of Information and Protection of
Privacy Act or the Ontario Municipal
Freedom of Information and Protection of
Privacy Act.
PPIA’s impact on the
The PPIA will apply to the personal information of individuals working for organizations that are covered by the PPIA
and will have a significant impact on the
handling of such personal information.
The definition of “personal information”
under section 2 of the PPIA includes
…information that relates or may relate
to the work performance of an individual or professional wrongdoing, misconduct or disciplinary matters involving
the individual…
Organizations will be accountable
under the PPIA for the personal information they collect from their employees. In
order to ensure compliance with the
PPIA, employers will be required to:
• under take an audit of their current
personal information handling practices, identifying personal information
held in an employee’s file, where it is
kept, why it is collected, how it is used
and who has access both internally
and externally;
• ensure that any personal information
collected from employees is collected
for purposes which are reasonable in
the circumstances;
• ensure that the purposes for which
personal information is collected are
communicated to the employees when
the information is collected and that
employees have given their consent to
the collection of the information and
for any subsequent use or disclosure
of the information;
• ensure that the personal information
obtained is accurate, complete, up-todate and secure and that a policy is established by which employees can gain
access to their personal information;
• ensure that a personal information policy is established, setting out the organization’s general policies in respect to
the collection, use and disclosure of
personal information and advising em-
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Hire Performance Inc. is a specialist in Pre-Employment
Screening and Testing. We service clients across the
country, and offer the most accurate, confidential and
timely information on any applicant. By using our services
you will save valuable time and money, and help reduce
your risk of legal liability when hiring.
Our great services include:
Employment References
Personality Testing
Credit History Analysis
Sales Aptitude Testing
Criminal Reports
Educational Verification
Unique, comprehensive, legally vetted application
and assessment booklet!
Tel./Fax: (905) 946-9696/(416) 946-1340
E-mail: [email protected]
Packed with cool features, this hotbed for
human resources employment just got better.
A distinctive database of qualified HR
professionals to meet the unique
requirements of your positions
Secure job management tools – post, edit,
and delete positions at any time
Automatic pre-screening and sorting of
E-mail alerts when candidates matching
your requirements enter the database
Search by keyword (i.e. education, skills,
location and industry)
Create up to 5 personal profiles
Build and post resumes online
Create cover letters
Apply for jobs and track application status
Receive electronic notification when a job
entered in the database matches your
The new HireAuthority has been developed in partnership with Ltd.,
a leading provider of Web-based career and employment technology.
Visit the HRPAO Web site today!
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
ployees as to how they can access their
personal information.
Enforcement of the PPIA
In its current form, the first line of enforcement of the PPIA falls to the Ontario
Information and Privacy Commissioner
(the “commissioner”). Alleged violations
of the PPIA can come before the commissioner through a complaint made to the
commissioner or by the commissioner’s
own initiative, if the commissioner has
reasonable grounds to believe that an organization has or is about to contravene
the PPIA. In investigating a complaint, an
inspector appointed by the commissioner
has the power to enter a company’s
premises and demand documents and
If the commissioner finds that the
PPIA has been violated, the commissioner
may make orders directing organizations
to cease collecting, using or disclosing
personal information or dispose of
For All Your Statement Needs!
Employee Statements, Electronic Statements,
Statement Administration Systems…
Custom Statements developed utilizing a marketing approach to add value!
Total Compensation, Benefits, Flex Plans, Pension (DB & DC),
Stock Purchase & Savings Plans and Group RRSP programs
incorporating full colour personalized graphs and charts for
employee clarity and understanding.
Our statements are read not filed.
records of personal information that the
commissioner determines to have been
collected, used or disclosed in contravention of the PPIA. An individual or organization af fected by an order of the
commissioner may appeal it to the Divisional Court.
When will the PPIA
become law?
During March of this year, the government under took a public consultation
process during which it received more
than 200 submissions from various individuals and organizations throughout the
province. It is expected that the consultation draft of the PPIA will be amended in
response to the information received by
the government over the course of its
public consultations, although the basic
principles of the PPIA will remain. The
government plans to introduce the PPIA
for passage into law when the legislature
resumes sitting this summer. The government’s goal is to provide organizations
with a period of at least six months after
the PPIA is passed into law to comply
with the PPIA before it comes into force.
Digicom PMC
In the meantime
Developing Innovative Communications Programs
Phone: (416) 920-0539 Email: [email protected]
In anticipation of the passage of the
PPIA into law, there is no reason that your
organization cannot begin to audit its personal information gathering practices and
establish policies for the collection, use
and disclosure of employees’ personal information in order to ensure that your organization is ready to meet the challenges
that will undoubtedly be presented by the
в– Trevor Lawson and Mary Catherine
Chambers are both lawyers in the labour
and employment law section of McCarthy
TГ©trault LLP in Toronto. They represent
management in all manner of claims, including employment standards, wrongful
dismissal, labour arbitrations, human
rights, health and safety, collective bargaining, employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions and more. Chambers is also a
member of HRPAO’s provincial government
affairs committee.
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
By Ian Turnbull, CHRP
It’s a small world after all
RPAO is a member of the Canadian
Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA).
CCHRA is a member, along with
SHRM (USA), the ConfederaciГіn Mexicana de Asociaciones de Relaciones Industriales, A.C. (COMARI) and the
AsociaciГіn Mexicana en Direccion de Recursos Humanos, A.C.(AMEDIRH), both
in Mexico, in the North American Human
Resource Management Association
And NAHRMA is a member of the
World Federation of Personnel Management Associations (WFPMA).
I can hear a chorus of voices saying,
“So what?” We may see some sense in involvement with our fellow Canadians, but
why be associated with the Americans,
the Mexicans or the rest of the world? I’ll
try to give you my perspective.
I believe that there are several reasons
for Ontario and Canada to reach out:
• obligation
• recognition of globalization
• opportunity
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
None of us walks around boasting that
Canada’s overall approach to human resource management is good, but I’m betting that most of us think just that. In fact,
I suspect that most of us believe that we
are at the leading (if not, bleeding) edge
of human resource practice. If we do believe that (and I confess that I do), then do
we not have an obligation to share our
views and approach with HR professionals
wherever they reside?
The world is small and getting smaller.
Between e-mail and
the Web, technology
has made the sharing of information almost instantaneous.
Even the smallest
companies can function internationally,
and with international operations come
other cultures and international laws.
One example:
This past spring, the
Ontario government
released draft privacy legislation that
would apply to all
personal information including employment and health data. The Privacy of Information Act is, in part, a response to the
federal government’s Bill C-6 that will
apply to all commercial activities of Ontario organizations in January 2004.
Followers of the European Union (EU)
will recognize that both Canada and Ontario are playing catch-up. It has been several years since the EU legislated data
privacy and all across Nor th America
there are companies that have had to
scramble to comply. Canadian participation in the WFPMA and NAHRMA will
not only give us advance warning of such
legislation, but will also give us a voice
with those who can influence its design.
There is no better example than at the
recent (May 2002) WFPMA Conference
in Mexico City, where Canada made a presentation to the Head of Nations meeting
regarding our joint national HR standards/ competencies project (in co-operation with HRDC). That was exciting
because CCHRA and its member associations (including HRPAO) hope to market
our approach worldwide. This was a terrific way to get that entire process rolling.
HRPAO does a great job – from this
magazine, to education sessions and its
fabulous annual conference. But look
across the border to Quebec or Manitoba,
or further afield to the Maritimes, to the
USA or to Australia or Europe, and you’ll
discover that our community of human resources professionals doesn’t stop with
Ontario – it’s global.
в– Ian Turnbull, CHRP, is president of the
Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA) and immediate pastpresident of the International Association
for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM). In his working life, he is
managing partner of Laird & Greer Management Consultants, specializing in strategic e-HR, including the selection,
implementation and strategic and operational integration of human resources information management systems within
organizations. He can be reached at [email protected] or (416) 6180052.
By Brian Foster, CHRP
A single voice for HR
s president of the Human Resources Institute of Alber ta
(HRIA), I am delighted to be writing my first column for HRProfessional magazine. I plan to use this space to
bring human resources professionals
across the country, as well as those right
here at home in Alberta, up to date on
notewor thy HR initiatives taking place
both in the association specifically, and
the province generally. I’m honoured to
head up an organization composed of professionals such as you – all committed to
advancing excellence in human resources.
I would like to personally acknowledge
and thank Michael Ford, CHRP, the outgoing president of HRIA for his outstanding ef for ts. He has taken on, and
delivered, strategic initiatives such as approval of our POARA (Professional and
Occupational Associations Registration
Act) application – a key element in HRIA’s
pursuit of recognition of human resources
as a profession in Alberta, which is, in
turn, pivotal in getting our field the recognition it deserves from industry and government.
New initiatives are also already underway. At its strategic planning session earlier this year, the HRIA board approved a
motion to “invite the founding members
to create a single provincial association
through partnerships, with a mandate to
provide value-added services provincially
to members, under one association.”
As well, HRIA has already had initial
discussions about the creation of this single voice for HR in Alberta with the incoming presidents of both the Human
Resources Association of Calgary and the
Human Resources Management Association of Edmonton. One likely outcome
from this initial discussion will be the establishment of an integrated team of members of all HR associations in the province
to discuss the evolution of our organizations to “Unlock the Future Together.”
And this spring, an HRIA contingent
had an excellent meeting with Clint Dun-
ford, Alber ta’s minister of human resources and employment, at which we
shared this proposed vision for the future.
Dunford sees this plan of action as, in his
words, “fantastic” from a regulatory and
provincial point of view. During the meeting, we covered several topical issues
around occupational health and safety and
its effect on small businesses, including
wellness programs – a growth area within
organizations right now – as well as the
need to know more about the benefits of
workplace wellness. Additional meetings
will be held with the minister and his office. I would like to point out, as well, that
Dunford very much agrees with our position that human resources should be acknowledged as a profession. HRIA asked
about being viewed as an “advisory counsel” for the minister’s office. It looks like a
great start to a continuing relationship.
The first of many “Partners in Excellence” meetings was held recently in Calgary with senior HR professionals. This is
a forum that provides us with an opportunity to discuss the “daily HR issues” facing the Alberta business community. To
be certified as a CHRP is one thing, to
promote the designation both internally
and externally is yet another. How can we
get the message to the CEOs and presidents that HR is a profession and a recognized one at that? The time is now to be a
strategic partner.
I look to the next year to be an exciting
one for us all in human resources within
the province of Alberta.
в– Brian Foster, CHRP, is the president of
the Human Resources Institute of Alberta
(HRIA) and managing partner at Axmith,
an HR consulting firm in Calgary offering
programs that cover all aspects of employment from retention to dismissal.
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
need a detective?
Hull specialists will pursue every lead,
creating the best custom benefits solution
for your business and your peace of mind.
40+ years of customized commercial insurance including benefits management, directors & officers liability,
errors, omissions & intellectual property. Expertise with entertainment, communications and new technology companies.
Also VIP life & estates, home, property, auto.
Take the HRPAO Challenge!
November Challenge Exams 2002
Scheduled exam dates:
Tier I Subjects: November 4, 2002
Tier II Subjects: November 5, 2002
Subjects covered:
Human Resources Management
Finance and Accounting
Industrial Relations
Human Resources Planning
Organizational Behaviour
Labour Economics
Training and Development
Occupational Health and Safety
Human Resources Research and
Information Systems
Please note:
Registration Deadline: October 25, 2002 (for November sitting)
Exam Fee: $100 + GST
Exams are offered twice per year: May and November
The above dates are for Challenge Exams only, the Comprehensive Provincial Exam (CPE)
is a separate exam written in September
To register or for more information on the HRPAO Challenge Exams
contact Kelly Morris, Professional Standards Co-ordinator at:
(416) 923-2324, Ontario toll-free 1-800-387-1311, ext. 342,
[email protected], or visit our Web site at
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Agree Inc. ..........................................17
World Education Services .................43
Labour Ready Inc. .............................41
Munn Conflict Resolution Services....35
Agree Inc. ..........................................17
Conrad Grebel University College ......32
Kroll Background America.................51
Durham College.................................11
Optimal Performance Consultants.....17
University Of Toronto Executive Mgmt................................6
Optimal Performance Consultants.....17
TESC Ergonomics Inc........................35
Meloche Monnex Financial
Services Inc..........Outside back cover
Charles Novogrodsky
& Associates ..................................53
Freelancers Unlimited Inc. .................21
Organization Strategies Group, Inc....20
Optimal Performance Consultants.....17
Optimal Performance Consultants.....17
Charles Novogrodsky & Associates...53
Digicom Profile Marketing
Corporation ....................................48
Digicom Profile Marketing
Corporation ....................................48
Liberty Mutual .....................................4
SHL .....................................................7
The Hull Group ..................................51
CCH Canadian....................................27
Carlson Marketing Group ..................19
Smart Serve ......................................41
TMPworldwide Advertising and
Communication .................................38
Please support the
advertisers who have
helped to make this
publication possible.
Charles Novogrodsky & Associates...53
Employment Relations Consultants...35
Crossborder Development
Corporation ....................................15
Langevin Learning Services .......Outsert
Bay Area Investigations
& Protection Services.....................40
Hamilton, ON
Oliver, Yaskiw & Associates Inc.........35
Toronto, ON
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
Langage D’ICI Inc. .............................43
Hire Performance Inc. .......................47
Baker & McKenzie .............................20
Emond-Harnden LLP .........................17
Lexis - Nexis Butterworth ..................21
CPSA .................................................11
Munn Conflict Resolution
National Post .......................................8
The Globe And Mail .............................3
Toronto Sun.......................................37
Ontario Society for Training
& Development .......................Outsert
Optimal Performance Consultants.....17
Commercial Marketing Services ........43
International Telefilm .........................10
Workwell Training Videos ..................11
Allied Van Lines (ALNAV) ..................23
Royal LePage Relocation
Services ..................Inside back cover
University Of Toronto
At Scarborough ..............................35
Career Marketing Specialists .............47
The Staffing Edge ..............................15
HR Technologies........Inside front cover
PTC Financial Staffing .......................15
Athabasca University .........................48
University of Western Ontario ...........37
…is that it will hurt your organization before you are willing or able to notice it
If you are waiting to take positive action to prevent harassment or discrimination, it’s ALREADY too late.
By being reactive about harassment – instead of being proactive and eliminating it before it causes massive
damage – your company is incurring many hidden costs.
Before an incident or complaint occurs, you are:
• Losing good employees
• Losing productivity
• Lowering employee morale
• Failing to attract “star performers” from different backgrounds
• Eroding your brand and company reputation
After an incident or complaint occurs, your company will:
• Incur hefty legal bills to defend human rights and related claims
• Spend a Canadian company average $6,000-$10,000 to attract,
select and train replacement employees
• Probably decide to invest heavily in damage repair and
reputation management
• Have to rebuild work groups divided, if not shattered, by the
experience of a human rights complaint
For more information, visit:
Call 24 hour Recorded Message: (416) 544-3500
Or call us directly – no obligation – (416) 534-5891 for:
Charles Novogrodsky and Associates offers comprehensive
human rights management and diversity consulting services.
We help you prevent discrimination and harassment. Our many
services include:
• Policy and program review/development
• Management briefings
• Supervisor and employee training workshops
• Individual coaching, including gender-sensitivity coaching
• Special assistance to prevent E-mail and Internet
If you have a problem, we help you resolve it — so that your
workplace is restored.
Request "Connecting the Dots"
FREE Special Reports that will show you
• Exploratory (low cost) human rights management and diversity briefings
• Free short telephone consultations
• Further information on what we do and how we do it with and for you
HRProfessional / August/September 2002
n de d
C amp
to Sep
Even more chances for you to
recruit new members and win
valuable rewards!
Sponsoring new members is easy!
Simply spread the word to friends and colleagues
about the benefits of HRPAO membership
When a new recruit fills out your name in the
“Referring Member" section of the membership
application form, you become eligible for
fabulous prizes
Why should you participate?
You can impact the growth and development of
your profession
Your networking base will expand
You and your colleagues will have access to
more resources and benefits
Win Rewards
Free Gift: Every time you
recruit a member you receive an
multi-tool as a
Grand Prize
"thank you" gift.
Grand Prize: Recruit 7 or more
members and be entered in a
draw to win the $5,000 Dream
Vacation Travel Voucher. This is
a once-in-alifetime
Better than a
1 in 20 chance to design
of winning!
the holiday
of your choice.
based on projected # of entries in the Grand Prize draw
Second Prize: Recruit 3 or
more members and be entered in
a draw to win the $2,500 Long
Weekend Get-Away Travel
Voucher. Again, you can use your
voucher to travel anywhere,
Third Prize: Recruit 1 or more
members and be entered in a
draw to win the All-Expense Paid
Trip to the 2003 HRPAO
Conference. ($1,500 value)
Your involvement is key. It is an opportunity to
share information and enthusiasm with potential
new members on a first-hand basis.
Members are our strength!
Visit the “Member-Get-A-Member” section of the HRPAO Web site ( to find
recruitment tools & tips or call (416) 923-2324/1-800-387-1311 for more information.