20 Canadian HR leaders win place on Global 100

As we head further into 2021, our expectations of leadership continue to change

20 Canadian HR leaders win place on Global 100

As we head further into 2021, our expectations of leadership continue to change. Gone are the archaic ideals of silent, faceless executive teams – with COVID-19 ushering in a new era of human-centric management.

In that vein, HRD recently announced our Global 100 2021 – a definitive list of the best and brightest HR practitioners across the world. HR leaders in Canada really shone through, with 20 leaders landing a place on the prestigious list.

Canada Global 100 winners, in alphabetical order:

  1. Joanne St. Bernard-Honegan, Aviva Canada       
  2. Chris Taylor, Best Buy Canada    
  3. Gina Jeneroux, BMO     
  4. Laura Salvatore, Centurion Asset Management
  5. Deborah Maynard, Coast Mental Health              
  6. Jennifer Bouyoukos, Entertainment One             
  7. Melanie Scheepers, Geotab, Inc.             
  8. Donna Burnett Vachon, Hydro Ottawa  
  9. Hartej Gill, KPMG Canada            
  10. Lana Burton, Maple Leaf Foods                  
  11. Amelie Duclos, McDonald's Canada        
  12. Kimm Maugeri, Mercer Canada
  13. Dr Melanie Peacock, Mount Royal University
  14. Meghan Stettler, O.C. Tanner Institute 
  15. Lawrence Hughes, Porter Airlines Inc.   
  16. Nicki Sabapathy, Shopify             
  17. Kelly Davis, Sunwing Travel Group           
  18. Dr. Mazi Raz, The Ivey Academy               
  19. Dr Jarik Conrad, UKG     
  20. Claude Silver, Vanyer Media      

HRD spoke to Meghan Stettler, Director of the O.C. Tanner Institute and one of our winners, on how it feels to have been named in this year’s list.

“As Director of the O.C. Tanner Institute, I am deeply honored to be named alongside several industry powerhouses on HRD's Global 100 list as we’ve worked tirelessly this past year to provide timely and relevant research-backed data and insights to help organizations and their people thrive during this critical time,” she told HRD. “From the weekly COVID-19 pulse surveys, webinars, and regional roundtable discussions, to the publication of our market-leading Global Culture Report, to our upcoming return to work research priorities (and so much more), this award encompasses not only my contribution as a trusted voice and thought leader, but the commitment of so many others in delivering on the promise of the O.C. Tanner Institute to accelerate lasting cultural change for the better. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together under unprecedented and challenging circumstances.”

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There’s no denying that Canadian employers and employees have been through some tough times recently. Yet, through it all, HR leaders stepped up to help the C-suite navigate the murky and uncertain waters of COVID-19. Looking ahead to 2021, HR will continue to play a pivotal role as a strategic business partner. Now recognised as a key player by the C-suite, HR finally has a well-deserved seat at the boardroom table.

“It’s both wonderful and humbling to be named to the Global 100 for the 2nd consecutive year,” added winner Chris Taylor, CHRO of Best Buy Canada. “We always strive to remain a top employer and to do that I need to be looking two to three years ahead and making decisions with our future in mind. It is more imperative than ever that HR strategy fully supports our organization’s digital transformation work.

“The world has changed in many ways during the pandemic. Current and potential employees, as well as customers, are paying greater attention to a company’s contribution to social initiatives, impact on communities and how meaningful the inclusion and diversity programs are. HR needs to take centre stage on these crucial strategies.”

The leaders featured on this year’s Global 100 have been selected for their outstanding commitment to their companies and their people over the past 12 months. Across a myriad of industries and sectors, these HR leaders rose to the challenge – safeguarding their employees and helping the C-suite navigate a constantly changing landscape. It's always been part of HR’s purview to recognise and reward employees – but rarely are the practitioners themselves on the receiving end of this praise.

Read more: How mentorship contributes to a healthy business culture

“Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re continuing to trace the deep impacts of recognition on workplace culture and business outcomes,” added Stettler. “Our research shows that during the COVID-19 pandemic, recognition increased engagement, productivity and innovation by 47% - higher results than pre-COVID levels. That’s because recognition is the great connective tissue that binds together all the cultural factors that matter most to employees, especially in times of crisis – purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, wellbeing, and leadership.  In fact, recognition done well increases the odds of having a thriving culture by 15x. In contrast, those organizations who decided to cancel their recognition programs in the wake of disruption experienced the exact opposite.  

“As we approach Employee Appreciation Day on March 5, organizations have a unique opportunity to honor the unique and heartfelt contributions of their employees who rose to the challenge amid an ever-evolving pandemic, civic unrest and economic pressures. 2020 is a year people will never forget and we need to honor them in a way they’ll never forget. So, it’s important to seize this day and provide a unified message of genuine gratitude for carrying the organization through this time. Then beyond, work to make 2021 the year of recognition by identifying opportunities to appreciate more often on a personal level. This will help organizations embed recognition into their culture, so it no longer becomes just something you do once or twice a year, but a reflection of who you truly are.”

Take a look at HRD’s Global 100 full list here.

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