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What is necessary for business success?

Canada’s fastest growing companies reveal their HR practices

by Lynda Zugec, The Workforce Consultants

August 19 2010 - The importance businesses place on their strategic human resource choices can determine success or failure.

The idea of HR as a 'strategic player' has gained substantial ground over the years. According to the 2010 edition of the Academy of Management News, "One area that has really seen a dramatic increase in [conference] submissions relates to what is known as Strategic Human Resource Management...[the] sessions address relations among firm characteristics, organizational strategies, HR strategies and practices on firm performance." Their annual conference took place in Montreal, Quebec in August of this year. With over 18,000 active members, the conference was a guaranteed success.

Recognizing the need to determine the 'people practices' employed by successful businesses today, The Workforce Consultants surveyed and interviewed companies belonging to the Profit 100: Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies. Approximately 80% of the companies listed in the Profit 100 have less than 200 employees.

According to Lynda Zugec, International Consultant and Chairman, The Workforce Consultants, "The survey results reveal that the advantages smaller organizations have is the ability to move quickly on decisions coupled with an understanding of the business and industry as a whole. Oftentimes, in larger organizations, many people are far removed from the business goals and objectives and thus less aware of what they’re striving for," explains Lynda.

Survey participant Tina Oxford, VP Human Resources, Fusepoint Managed Systems Inc. credits success to the fact that "Departmental goals are aligned with corporate goals and the team is measured on the success of achieving those goals."

Warren H. Wong, VP & Chief Talent Officer, Elastic Path Software Inc., also participated in the survey and concurs with the need to involve talent at all levels as he asserts, "Talent management is a function that will enable the achievement of the business strategy and vision. The engagement of employees is key."

A solid understanding of the business along with the ability to move quickly and engage employees, are not the only elements seen in these fast growth organizations. Lynda maintains that "The other notable area of strength concerns the leadership. The leadership team is what got them to where they are today and what will largely determine where they end up in the future."

Will these fast growing companies lose their competitive angle at some point? According to Lynda, "That all depends on their business model, how they move forward, and how they manage their people."

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