HR database to reward on-the-job skills

QUEBEC CITY — The Canadian Technology Human Resource Board has created a database where employees can register on-the-job achievements and be recognized for possessing skills that normally require a formal certificate or training program.

The Profile program, to be launched early next

year, will include national occupancy standards in 13 disciplines, enabling universities, industry and government to evaluate competency gaps and give them a snapshot of their employees’ skill sets.

“”Employers may not know all the skills their workers have,”” said CTHRB executive director Robert Cook at the organization’s first national conference last month.

He said the program could be used as an electronic resumé or by universities to find out where students are in their curriculum. “”A student may think they’re at a certain level in a particular program, while their professor may think otherwise by looking at the student’s progress using the Profile program.””

The Profile program is designed to help potential employers weed out hundreds of unqualified job applications and assist existing employers evaluate workers for possible job promotions or new job assignments.

The need to upgrade job skills is an ongoing requirement in the high-tech sector, according to Grant Trump, president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Human Resources in the Environment Industry, Calgary. He said 82 per cent of organizations in his sector indicated their staff need to upgrade their skills.

“”Professional knowledge is rapidly becoming outdated, but the environmental industry is also undergoing rapidly expansion with 78 per cent of organizations actively recruiting,”” said Trump. “”Environmental employers are competing with the IT sector for workers.””

Ron Wiens, a partner in Ottawa-based Totem Hill Inc., said managers can’t cope with changing technology so they slow decision making down and surround their employees with process. “”Large companies fail because there is too much command and control and not enough leadership.””

Management often breaks large projects down and believes if each part is successful, the whole project will be successful, said Wiens. But in reality, they have to care about the success of the project as a whole for it to work.

Wiens said Canada must focus on increased productivity, more investment in technology and more training for workers. He said the leadership role of managers must include emotional intelligence, relational intelligence and cultural intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to connect with your strengths and weaknesses and build self-esteem and self-worth. Relational intelligence is the ability to connect with other employees which builds trust, while cultural intelligence is the ability to develop shared visions and values and connect people to the meaning of their work.

“”Leadership is about changing the picture inside workers,”” said Wiens. “”Structure tasks and milestones so people feel successful by having minor celebrations throughout a project instead of a major blowout at the end. Help people connect with success by taking pride in their work.””

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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