At its most impressive, a forward-looking HR function would
be helping to lead the creation of meaningful organizational ideation
capture, says Maurin. This entails creating a culture that
encourages innovation, enables communication and instils confidence
that employees’ ideas will be acted upon.
“A key message – and the good news for the HR professional –
is that the criticality of the role is higher today than ever,” he said.
“I think it’s only going to get higher in the future, so I think HR
is a pretty good space to be in.”
BE AGENTS OF CHANGE
“The world is moving faster and faster. HR teams are going to have
to move just as fast to provide support and leadership in areas like
artificial intelligence as technology shifts and new business models
emerge. They need to be as agile as the world is becoming,”
said Greg McLelland. He is the chief revenue officer for Corus
Entertainment, a media and content company with holdings in
television, radio, digital assets and publishing, among other areas,
including brands like Global Television, HGTV Canada and
Food Network Canada.
At Corus, the HR function is called the People Team.
“I take that quite seriously, because our team is responsible for
$1.6 billion. I expect our People Team to be completely embedded
into our activities,” said McLelland. This is demonstrated more at
Corus than it is in many organizations, since the People Team is
included in activities like sales meetings.
“We’ll take them out with us to meet clients; they help engineer
that process, facilitating the meetings in some cases,” said
For instance, he says, part of the Corus sales team is a group
of about 60 people across the country called Tempo that works
with major brands, in some cases developing creative ways to integrate
them into Corus productions. In these instances, the People
Team may be called in to a half-day integration facilitation process
where they might run a meeting between the client and
Of course, McLelland also places a high value on the more traditional
HR role of managing the employee relationship. When
Corus recently took over a collection of Shaw Media holdings,
including Global Television, “We had been battling each other for
20 years, so there was an awful lot of animosity to get over,” he said.
“HR was very helpful in making sure teams were getting aligned.
We spent a lot of time team building.
“Also, we have something called Corus University that our
People Team leads. We do a lot of what I call ‘test and learn.’ Most
Friday afternoons we have social interactions; or we might give
Friday afternoon off. We do a three- or four-day offsite meeting
every year with world-class speakers who talk about health and
wellness, and motivational speakers,” said McLelland. “People are
our resources, and they can leave and find work in other places
– especially top talent – so you have to give them an environment
that’s fun and allows them to grow. Properly organized in
a forward-looking company, the HR function is one of the most
valuable assets, and I encourage people to exploit it in ways that
maybe they haven’t thought of before.”
“PROPERLY ORGANIZED IN A
THE HR FUNCTION IS ONE OF THE
MOST VALUABLE ASSETS.”
– GREG MCLELLAND
14 ❚ APRIL 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL