Treena Chabot is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources and the Principal Consultant at TREE for Supervisors. She teaches the Human Resources for Professionals Certificate at Kompass.
If you've recently transitioned into a leadership role at work, it's very likely you received little or no training on how to navigate your new position.
Lack of training for new managers is well documented in companies across the globe. Research by consulting firm, West Monroe, uncovered major deficits in this area.
In 2018, they surveyed 500 managers and found that a full 59% had never received any kind of training on how to be an effective leader. And you'll find similar stories in organizations of all types, in all industries.
The inevitable result? Front-line managers are left to figure out hiring, firing, conflict resolution, and performance evaluation all by themselves. They stumble into legal quagmires and other traps, like micro-managing and failure to retain top talent.
The answer? Take matters into your own hands! This is where HR expert and educator, Treena Chabot comes into the picture. Treena is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources and the Principal Consultant at TREE for Supervisors.
And in her spare time, she also teaches the Human Resources for Professionals Certificate at Kompass. This training is specifically designed for new managers, to help them embrace challenges like recruitment, hiring, HR compliance, and employee relations with confidence.
We interviewed Treena to learn more about her background in business and HR, and what students can expect in her online course.
Think you might be a good candidate for human resources training? Here's everything you need to know about this program.
Q: Treena, can you give us a little background on your experience in HR, business, and education?
Treena: I completed a Bachelor of Commerce, with an HR specialization, and then went on to add a Bachelor of Education and a Certificate in Adult Education. During the 18 years I spent teaching in a Business Administration program, my focus was on sharing best practices in human resources and organizational behaviour.
A few years ago, I completed the requirements for the CPHR (CHRP) designation. Now, I am a consultant specializing in Psychological Health & Safety. My company helps organizations bring best practices for mental health to workplaces, which includes training supervisors on how to work more effectively with their employees.
Q: What are the main skills you teach in the HR for Professionals Certificate?
Treena: The HR for Professionals Certificate course covers an introduction to the HR Centres of Excellence. While there is quite a bit of theory, participants have the opportunity to put this theory into practice and share their ideas for feedback.
Participants in the course learn how to analyze and administer their organization’s human resources policies, and ensure they are compliant with the respective legislation. The focus is on creating a positive, supportive work atmosphere that leads to engagement. But, when employees are not on board, students learn how to administer progressive discipline measures.
Q: Who is this training designed for? What backgrounds do your students come from?
Treena: This certificate program is geared toward people who are becoming responsible for the HR function in their organization. These people are typically working in smaller organizations, that do not have an HR department.
Many of the students have years of experience in industry, so they understand the complexities of business. This program helps them to see the business through an HR lens and lead HR initiatives.
In many cases, it reaffirms what they thought they should do, gives them additional points to consider, and provides them with the knowledge to be confident in making their decisions and recommendations.
Q: Can you share some of the professional challenges your students are facing? What HR issues are they bringing to class?
Treena: We have had a wide variety of students come through the program already. One is working for a quarry company with archaic HR practices, and she is slowly trying to bring them along with higher wages and an employee handbook. She has many great ideas, and she is using the course as backing to her suggestions.
Another student is an office manager at a physiotherapy practice. She's had to take on the HR function as the business grows and expands into two provinces. She has to ensure they are compliant over two jurisdictions, and is creating a team strategy that improves interactions between the therapists and employees.
Another student is working for a start-up, so she'll be creating the HR policies that will help this company make good decisions for a millennial workforce right from the beginning.
Q: Can you talk about how the online format works? How do you keep everyone on track, engaged, and motivated?
Treena: The online HR training program includes 5 courses, each with recorded presentations, practical assignments, and online classroom discussion postings. I believe in positive, corrective feedback, so students are told when they have great ideas, and are asked to fix answers if they don’t provide what was asked for.
I am loving the interaction that takes place on the discussion board. Students are encouraging each other, and giving additional food for thought. I'm really seeing the message of progressive HR practices coming through.
I also use Zoom software to have a live video chat with students, if they like. I find this is a great way to connect with people across Canada! I also get to learn more about the students as individuals.
Q: What do your students tend to find most challenging about the coursework for the HR certificate?
Treena: Students would probably say it can be challenging to work full time and keep up with the course. To make it easier, I provide them with a checklist to keep track of what they need to do, and we do not penalize anyone for late submissions of assignments.
With online courses, you have to be self-driven, and this program is no exception. As far as the work itself, students sometimes struggle when creating scales for performance appraisals. I don’t mind giving extra explanations and additional examples, or sending work back for further development. I believe in building students' competencies - not just giving grades.
Q: What aspects of the training do you find students enjoy most?
Treena: I think students enjoy the thought-provoking material and discussions the most. Some students pour out amazing ideas in their assignments and posts online. I know our HR future is in good hands when I read their contributions, and I know they can use many of the materials they're creating to resolve real challenges at work. Which is what it's all about!
Q: Why do you believe human resources training is so important for front-line managers and aspiring leaders? Why has this become such a big issue in today's workforce?
Treena: HR has been in the spotlight lately because of harassment in the workplace, but it has always been important to comply with legislation and protect the organization.
My belief is that organizations need to go beyond minimum requirements and provide a workplace where employees can fulfill their potential. My passion is in giving front-line managers the tools to perform the most important job in the organization: Employee Relations.
Recently, I read that 70% of employee engagement has to do with the direct supervisor. I believe this. This HR for Professionals program is short enough for supervisors and other leaders to fit into their schedule, and the knowledge about people at work will lead to well-rounded, more effective decision-making and policy implementation.
A big thank-you to Treena Chabot for talking with us this week—and giving readers some great insight into the HR for Professionals course.
If you're interested in learning more about human resources training, we welcome you to use the links below for additional information. Click to request details by email, or to explore the HR Certificate page for pricing, a course list, and an overview of learning goals.