Lok Jack GSB Career Month took place in June 2018 to prepare students and alumni for the job hunting process, through a number of events and workshops, culminating with the Career Fair on June 30th.
On Tuesday 4th June 2018 the Employer Insight Evening was held in the Sydney Knox Room featuring leaders in the Human Resource and Talent Management fields from 3 Top tier organizations in Trinidad and Tobago
Ms. Chantal Greaves Cowan – Manager; Talent & Cultural Management – Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business.
Ms. Stacy Homer – Director; Human Capital – UNICOMER Trinidad and Tobago
Ms. Mala Gangadeen Ali – Talent Acquisition Manager – RBC Financial (Caribbean) Ltd
Mr. Jason Cummings – Area Vice President, Business Banking North (TT) RBC Royal Bank Trinidad & Tobago Limited
This evening allowed our students and alumni to engage directly with individuals who are the gatekeepers of the human resource of these large companies and find out directly from them what they look for when recruiting for their respective companies.
The evening offered with a mix of featured presentations along with lively interactive conversations and frank questions, which cut straight through to issues and addressed misconceptions with regard to recruitment policies and practices. There was active engagement not only from the persons physically present in the room but also from our online audience, as the event was live-streamed on the Lok Jack GSB Alumni Facebook Page. (https://www.facebook.com/LokJackAlumni/videos/2069112336456553/)
A 3-hour workshop entitled, Making your Resume Standout in the pile, was held on Saturday 9th June 2018. It was attended by 20 persons, including students, alumni and members of the public. This was a rich an informative workshop, which left all participants wanting more and with homework to update their resumes for review by their facilitators.
The workshop was facilitated by Lok Jack GSB’s very own Ms. Fayola Nicholas – Director of Advancement & Alumni Relations and Ms. Clare-Marie Cockburn – Talent Acquisition and Engagement Specialist, who took the participants on a journey of understanding themselves in order to present their best self on their resume, and using the most appropriate format to best present themselves to potential employers.
The final event for this month was the annual Career and Recruitment Fair. Participating in this year’s event was RBC Financial (Caribbean) Limited, Unicomer (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited, Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Limited & The Ansa Mcal Group of Companies which represented 8 companies.
At Career Fair 2018 there were over 90 individual applicants, applying for 28 positions. There were over 110 interviews conducted on Saturday 30th June and now we wait to see how many of these vacancies will be filled with Lok Jack GSB Alumni & Students.
The Lok Jack GSB recognizes the changing economic landscape and in our pursuit to continually add value to all our stakeholders, the focus on career preparedness and development for our Alumni and Students is of primary importance to us, and we will continue to ensure that our students and alumni have access to the best resources and opportunities available to advance their careers.
The Lok Jack GSB Advancement and Alumni Relations Team would like to thank all the companies, HR professionals, volunteers and participants who contributed to all the Career Month events, without the participation of all the stakeholders, this month would not have been successful.
The importance of compliance and risk management has significantly increased over the past few years because of the numerous scandals and failures from local and foreign companies. There’s a persistent need to build an effective, risk-aware culture at all levels because the risk intelligence of workers is one of the factors that defines and separates success from failure.
Risk Management Capabilities Critical to Organizational Performance
The report conducted by the Harvard Business Review further went on to state that in order to establish effective enterprise risk management processes, the following five (5) lessons must be adhered to:
Risk management needs to have a clear “owner” to be effective
Corporate goals and risk management must be integrated
Manage risk proactively
Look deeper and wider to determine what their most serious risks will be in the long run
Break down silos and managerial bottlenecks
Key indicators of success for integrating an effective risk culture are board-level support and the incorporation of a Chief Risk Officer (CRO), charged with the responsibility of risk management. It’s imperative that the CRO works closely with the Chief Executive Officer and line managers for the smooth integration of the risk management processes.
Simply stated, risk management is imperative for success. Subsequent to determining the effectiveness of existing risk and compliance programs, organizations should seek to implement the aforementioned risk management capabilities and adhere to the five lessons mentioned above. Therefore, giving rise to a risk resilient organization capable of mitigating risks, increasing the probability of sustained business growth.
In a recessionary period, human resource managers cannot afford to continue to operate in a ‘business as usual’ manner. In response to uncertainties in business environments, your human resource management leadership strategy should focus on:
Staff reduction and its impacts on employees
Adjusting its HRM functions
Minimising economic adjustment impacts on the organisation
Preparing for the period after a recession
Let’s look in closer detail at the first two activities.
HRM Activities Associated with Staff Reduction & the Impact on Employees
In periods of economic decline, companies often seek to de-clutter ‘excesses’, trim operational ‘fat’ by removing resources such as time, money or people. These corporate activities are generally undertaken with the aim of improving operational efficiency. Therefore, employee downsizing shouldn’t be implemented as an ad hoc activity but rather as a part of the company’s overall strategy to improve its internal business operations. Employee reduction, retrenchment or separation impact three specific groups of employees.
First on the list are “victims” or persons who lose their job due to downsizing. The HRM objective in managing employee separation is to implement the downsizing process in a way that allows dismissed employees to leave the organisation with dignity. Termination with dignity requires separation packages to include:
On-going career coaching
In-house counseling for separated employees
Outplacement services to make job seeking easier
The provision of training and re-qualification courses to assist victims in acquiring new job market skill
Human resource management professionals should avoid sudden-death discharges i.e. abruptly telling employees of their job loss. Instead, consideration should be given to finding ways to eliminate the element of surprise, shock and humiliation employees may experience. A compassionate separation option is a decompression period of two or three weeks of notice. During this period, the affected employee has the time to complete projects, plan for the last paycheck and begin their job search. Employees should also be provided with an explanation of their severance package in writing. Sensitivity and care are required when employees are going through a termination process. Their lives and futures are at stake, and the organisation’s image and reputation are also at risk. Line managers and human resource management professionals must appreciate the realities of human loss and hurt and be trained to listen attentively and respond appropriately to employees’ distress.
The second group, the “survivors” are those employees who remain with the organisation. Though still employed, some persons may experience what psychologists label the “survivor syndrome”. This malady causes a marked decrease in the motivation, engagement, and productivity of employees who remain at a company following a workforce reduction. Common symptoms include job uncertainty, fear, anger, the perception of unfairness, stress from increased work and loss of loyalty and commitment. Some researchers suggest downsizing creates a phenomenon in survivors called “the cycle of failure” which begins with dissatisfaction and fear of taking action. Thus, leading to organisational inefficiency and reduced organisational commitment.
The third group, the implementers, the organisational managers driving the staff reduction process, represent the third group. Some authors have labelled these employees “executors”. The downsizing executioners are individuals with responsibilities for planning, implementing and/or dealing with the aftermath of downsizing activities. Human resource professionals are responsible for training the executioners to cope with the downsizing process. Training will help them to display suitable forms of behaviour during the downsizing process.The Impact of Headcount as a Reduction Strategy
Employee layoffs can have negative, positive and mixed effects on an organisation. Headcount reduction by itself, as a recession survival strategy often causes an organisation’s performance to suffer. In addition to losing the knowledge of dismissed employees, massive downsizing negatively affects the entire network of knowledge within an organisation. Staff reductions also disrupt the organisation’s existing social networks, regarded by economists as valuable, intangible assets developed over long periods of time. Loss of employee loyalty, damage to the organisation’s image, the firing of knowledgeable people and loss of trust are some of the negative effects on staff reductions in organisations.
When layoffs are paired with organisational redesign and restructuring initiatives, organisational performance can be enhanced. A positive outcome from employee downsizing is the removal of redundant resources which can improve efficiency, productivity and profit by reducing labour cost.
Human Resource Management Functions & Recession
Which HR functions are most likely to be impacted by a downturn in a company’s operations? The top four are training and development, recruitment and selection, compensation and workplace redesign.
Training & Development
In the area of training and development, a recession requires employees to have new skills. This creates a need for new training plans or revisions to existing ones. As voluntary turnover generally decreases in a period of economic contraction, employees may require assistance to rethink career paths and revisit personal development plans and goals. A recessionary period, therefore, presents the organisation with an opportunity to adopt new approaches to human capital development to support competitive advantage.
Recruitment & Selection
In times of organisational crisis, recruitment of labour is likely to be stopped or significantly curtailed. Under these circumstances, meeting the organisation’s need for human capital requires a new recruitment and selection strategy. When unemployment is high, an employer has a larger pool of “high quality” potential employees to select from. This presents the selection challenge of having the right techniques to filter the best performing applicants from the rest of the applicant group. Promotional opportunities may also be stymied in organisations experiencing a recession, causing dissatisfaction for employees seeking advancement and growth.
Compensation & Workplace Redesign
The challenge of designing compensation programmes to provide equitable and attractive compensation and incentives for employees escalate in recessionary times. Maintaining the correct balance between base and incentive pay in the form of bonus schemes may have to be revisited. The organisation must also consider the adequacy of the existing health and welfare benefit programmes as the cost of employee benefit claims may increase due to greater levels of stress and resulting illnesses.
It is not unusual for companies facing tough economic conditions to undertake job re-design and workplace restructuring initiatives. Faced with job loss, an employee’s primary concern in a restructured job may only be with the compensation factors. Other aspects of the job such as task variety, job relevance, or work-life balance may be ignored. Financial needs, however, are not an employee’s only source of motivation. Human resource management professionals who focus solely on compensation and ignore other job motivation factors demonstrate a limited understanding of or appreciation for workplace motivation factors.
Change in workplace design can also be driven by outsourcing or offshoring of non-core operations. These are attractive strategies for supporting labour cost reductions. Some of the risk associated with these strategies include a decline in employee morale and loyalty, often in sympathy for those who have lost their jobs, the loss of managerial control and internal talent, an increase in the complexity associated with managing operational processes. Ironically, when a company outsources jobs to individuals overseas, there is a loss of jobs in the domestic market, which can increase national unemployment levels.
Doing Nothing is Not an Option
To survive, and even thrive in a period of recession, an organisation has to be innovative and flexible enough to design and implement a new business strategy. Effective human resource management professionals must respond to this change, by adjusting the HRM structures, practices and policies to help the company obtain competitive advantage the company. Doing nothing is not an option.