Medical Council of Canada
Plenty has changed at the Medical Council of Canada over the years – its headcount, for instance. Established in 1912 to assess the credentials of medical practitioners, the organization had no more than a dozen or so employees in the 1970s. Fast forward 30 years, and the group has grown to about 90.
And while its original HR practices worked relatively well while the organization was small, according to Leeanne Paquette, director of human resources, those practices needed an overhaul by the time she joined the team in 2007.
“We have three floors,” Ms. Paquette says. “There were people on the third floor who didn’t know people on the first floor. It was so compartmentalized. People did their own thing. There was no formalized training. There was no management around it.”
With support from Mr. Ian Bowmer, MCC’s executive director, Ms. Paquette set about changing a few things. First, the organization conducted a compensation review to better align remuneration with duties. The organization then developed codes of conduct and core competencies, and implemented flexible work hours. It installed an HRIS system for data tracking and record-keeping.
“I turned (things) upside down,” Ms. Paquette says. “They went from filling out forms to take a vacation day to using an automated time-reporting system.”
But MCC also went well beyond the basics. The organization partnered with local service providers to help employees balance their workdays and personal lives. MCC now has on-site massage therapy, on-site esthetician services, and services that pick up and drop off employees’ dry cleaning. Another service offers oil changes for employees’ vehicles. “It costs MCC nothing, but what a big win for HR,” Ms. Paquette says.
The employees certainly seem to appreciate those new HR policies. “Employees are a priority, as reflected by great employee benefits, programs, meetings, seminars, activities, committees, social events, education, et cetera,” wrote one respondent to the Employees’ Choice survey. “Employee feedback is considered in most aspects of this organization. Every person is made to feel important.”
One major change focused on the role of HR itself, and the way employees are encouraged to see the actual department. Staff members are trained to communicate with each other to solve problems – they don’t automatically request that HR intervene if issues arise. Ms. Paquette says that has made a world of difference in MCC’s work culture.
“The communication in the organization now is so different. People are really challenging each other. We’ve created a culture of a single organization.”
Employees seem to agree. “The organization has gone through a complete transformation of our culture. It is now more than ever a very pleasant place to work. Leaders, managers and employees are held accountable for their actions both positively and negatively. There is a renewed sense of trust.”
Considering how many changes the organization had to implement to improve the HR practices, MCC’s top-10 placement is a huge win, Ms. Paquette says. “For us to receive this award – you have no idea … Now I know employees get it.”