People First HR Services

Curt Vossen of Richardson International on speaking the same language

People First

Richardson International eases transition through communication

With its agreement to purchase Viterra assets — including grain handling, crop input and processing facilities — Winnipeg-based Richardson International has taken its rightful place on the international stage and will soon assume the title of Canada’s largest agribusiness. Richardson is a worldwide handler and merchandiser of Canadian-grown grains and oilseeds, and its wealth of expertise in agriculture, oilseed processing and food packaging has made it a global business leader and one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

Poor communication a top work complaint

Colleen Coates

If you ever have felt that no one hears or sees you at work, you’re not alone. Poor communication within organizations could easily be the No. 1 complaint that is heard time and time again. You would think that knowing this is a key issue plaguing many organizations that someone would do something about it! Admittedly it can be tough to address something as important as communication when it is difficult to prove the organization’s return on investment. That is, if you invest time and even money into resolving the organization’s internal communication needs, what is the payback for the organization?

Conflict intervention, resolution test of effective leadership

Colleen Coates

Being able to snuff out the lit fuse of a workplace conflict before it becomes an explosive situation is a true test of leadership.

Every workplace has its share of conflict. In any setting where people are engaged, committed and passionate about what they do, disagreements are inevitable. It means people care enough to disagree strongly. Change also brings conflict. Therefore, it’s fair to say that the best organizations aren’t those without conflict, but those that know how to deal with conflict in a healthy, constructive way. This is where effective leadership comes in.

10 phrases to stall your career

Colleen Coates

Your social skills can open doors or slam them shut. Whether dealing with customers, co-workers or your boss, the words you choose and how you frame your message influences the way people perceive you. The difference between being a problem-solver or a problem is as simple as the words you choose. It is not what you intended those words to mean, it really is the words you choose.

Proper word usage can be a powerful tool that shapes how people feel about you. Using the correct words also provides the opportunity for people to want to listen to you and hear what you have to say. Too often business communication is filled with extra words that just fill space, mix up the intended message or are negative and unproductive.

Craig McIntosh of Acrylon Plastics on the power of entrepreneurial thinking

People First

Acrylon Plastics CEO wants managers to act as owners

Craig McIntosh readily admits that he doesn’t accept no for an answer.

“No just means you haven’t heard me clearly, so let me explain myself to you some more,” says the president and CEO of Acrylon Plastics, a Winnipeg-based manufacturer of custom plastic parts for a wide range of applications including buses, farm equipment, windows and doors, fencing, commercial buildings and residential playgrounds.

McIntosh says his proclivity to positivity is a common trait of entrepreneurs. “That’s just part of our nature. We don’t regard boundaries as absolutes but rather as obstacles to be worked around whereas many others see boundaries as absolutes and are stopped by them.”

Rosie Jacuzzi of Misericordia Health Centre on maintaining core values

People First

From the major construction work outside of Misericordia Health Centre, it is obvious that big changes are underway. Once renovated, the complex will house expanded community programs, including the four flagship programs not offered anywhere else in Manitoba: the Buhler Eye Care Centre, Provincial Health Contact Centre, Sleep Disorder Centre and Urgent Care Centre, plus the Ambulatory Diagnostic Centre and a new, one-stop health care centre for seniors called PRIME.

“This dynamic redevelopment project is designed with the future of care in mind,” says Rosie Jacuzzi, president & CEO of Misericordia Health Centre. “These specialized programs complement our vision and reflect a move toward community-based care.”

A hunting you will go …be sure to go quietly

Colleen Coates

You have decided it’s time to make a move from your current employer, but want to ensure your job search is kept a secret. Confidential job search is becoming even increasingly more difficult in the age of social media when privacy is scarce. If you don’t want your current employer to find out that you are looking for a new job, there are steps you can take to keep your search confidential. While you are better off to search for a job while you already have one, this can be a very stressful time. There are several questions that come to mind. Should you tell your boss? What about references? How much notice do I have to give? How you handle your departure from your current employer can be as important to your career as how you perform in the next one. Remember, it is not a crime to search for a new job, but how you conduct that search and the terms under which you leave will speak volumes about your professionalism and integrity. Here are some suggestions for stealth job hunting:

Firms need to develop talented female managers

Colleen Coates

Men are still more than twice as likely to hold a senior management position as their female colleagues — a ratio that has not changed much within the past two decades despite the fact that women have made tremendous progress. Those who have achieved a greater gender balance in senior management ranks are to be applauded.

According to a 2009 report from the Conference Board of Canada, women make up almost 48 per cent of the talent pool and yet, only 0.32 per cent hold executive positions. It’s concerning that women are still significantly underrepresented in the upper echelon of the workforce. Although most organizations say they support diversity and the development of future leaders, women in top leadership roles seem to still be the exception, not the rule.

Professional image reflects who you are

Colleen Coates

With the flood of new grads entering the workforce this spring, it seems a suitable time to discuss dressing for success. For the rest of us (ahem), a refresher course probably wouldn’t hurt, either.

Whether you’re going for a job interview, going out on a date or going to the bank for a loan, it’s important to look the part. Like it or not, appearances definitely matter and people will make instant assumptions about you based on how you dress. While you can’t judge a book entirely by its cover, you can’t dismiss the power of first impressions.

CEO Don Streuber of Bison Transport on the Long haul ‘family’

John McFerran

Every employee is a spoke in the wheel at Bison Transport

This spring, Bison Transport became a five-time grand prize winner of the National Fleet Safety Award (an unparalleled industry achievement) and was recognized as one of the Best Fleets to Drive For by the Truckload Carriers Association. Yet, as impressive as the accolades that Bison continues to amass, the company simply views it as business as usual.

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