Engaged workplace: Creating cultures of leadership, inclusivity, wellness and innovation

This program has been pre-approved for 11 CPD hours by HRPA
This program has been pre-approved for 11 CPD hours by HRPA
8:30 am

Conference welcome remarks

Soula Courlas, Partner and National Leader, People & Change Services, KPMG in Canada

8:45 am

Opening keynote session

Empowering women in leadership: Moving the dial on inclusiveness

Empowering females into executive positions is crucial in today’s economy, with companies performing better when able to leverage the different perspectives and results women bring to the leadership table. HR leaders must go beyond paying lip service to new initiatives and build more substance behind their diversity agendas.


Join Jodi Kovitz – one of the world’s most influential women in business – in an opening keynote as she shares ideas, strategies and proven tactics for advancing women leadership and increasing inclusiveness in the workplace. In the spotlight:

  • Why female empowerment is the key to the future of Canada’s economy
  • How can we strive to empower women and reduce the gender gap?
  • How can we get more women on boards and in executive roles?
  • How can we support women in leadership roles?

Jodi Kovitz, CEO & Founder, #MoveTheDial; Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence 2018 and Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women 2017

9:25 am

Shaping the workforce of the future: The challenge and opportunity for HR leaders

The traditional workforce is being transformed with alarming speed amid unprecedented advances in technology. AI and other smart technologies are poised to forge an unprecedented division of labour between bots and bosses. And success in creating and sustaining productive new workplaces will demand nothing less than a transformation of traditional workforce management and skills acquisition.

This presentation will address critical questions that businesses and HR Leaders are asking, such as:

  • What trends are affecting the shape of the workforce?
  • What will the future workforce and businesses look like as skilled employees and smart machines begin working together?
  • How can HR leaders drive and manage the transition to the workforce of the future?

Soula Courlas, Partner and National Leader, People & Change Services, KPMG in Canada

10:10 am

HRD's CHRO series: Leading with compassion

Canada’s most prominent CHROs will reveal their insights on the key trends, innovations, opportunities and challenges shaking up the world of work.

Jason Fleming, Principal, Maxton HR

10:25 am

Fit Break

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10:30 am

Networking coffee break

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11:10 am


Leadership development for HR: Crushing Imposter Syndrome in its tracks

We all hear it. That little voice inside your head that quietly says “but I’m not ready … what if they find out that I’m an imposter”? It’s Imposter Syndrome; the feeling that, no matter how qualified you are, you’re not good enough to be doing what you’re doing.

But there’s a difference between not being qualified and not feeling qualified.

Women often spend inordinate amounts of time attributing successes to accident. Failure comes from lack of skill and ability. Success is just down to luck. How does that make sense?

Join us to learn seven key steps to crushing imposter syndrome in Its tracks.

Denise Roy, Vice President, Human Resources, Cardinal Couriers

Innovation on a budget: Meeting Leaders where they are to give them the tools they need to succeed

In the era of Google and Buzzfeed, people are used to having information at their fingertips. Coupled with reduced attention spans and a fast-paced sector, how can learning in a corporate context compete? Sienna Senior Living owns, manages and operates more than 85 Long Term Care and Retirement Residences in Ontario and British Columbia; each its own unique microcosm of leaders and team members. We’ve almost doubled in size in under 5 years and continue to grow. Our challenge? How do we continually engage and grow the team of more than 12,000, while supporting the business objectives of a rapidly expanding company?

Answer: by meeting people where they are. By asking questions. By keeping it simple and fun and relevant. Their recipe takes minimal investments in technology, adds communication and relationship building, and mixes in smart learning strategies.

The result: finding, growing and keeping the best....

Leanne Joffre, Senior Director, Sienna Senior Living

Farheen Nathoo, Senior Manager of Learning and Development, Sienna Senior Living

11:50 am

Networking lunch

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12:40 pm

Take the plunge: Dive deeper into technology as a change agent for your organization

It’s a digital landscape out there. People practices are evolving. Technology is advancing rapidly. Organizations are transforming to keep pace. HR is at the intersection of all these factors and must successfully navigate their organisations through these changes.

Learn how HR leaders can drive productivity, innovation and new business opportunities by creating an actionable vision to embrace technology as a tool for change. Drawing on the latest research, this session will provide insight on:

  • The global technology trends transforming the world of work
  • The impact technology is having on the Canadian economy
  • How HR leaders can take advantage of technology within their organisations
  • Overcoming the disconnect between employee and employer through technological innovations

Sooky Lee, General Manager, Human Resource Outsourcing, ADP Canada

1:20 pm

Identify and activate the hidden potential within your organization

How do you identify future leaders within your organization today – especially with the barriers and challenges that prevent hidden leadership talent from surfacing.

Why wasn’t leadership potential spotted in the first place? Why are highly talented people struggling to overcome certain hurdles?

  • Explore the business implications of missing hidden talent
  • Learn how to identify your hidden talent and change how you think about potential
  • Myth-bust your diversity assumptions - gender, generation, and functional background - that cause a failure to unleash the underdogs
  • Self-audit your business readiness to unleash hidden potential and learn the proven practices to ignite change based on a global database of 20 years and 50,000 leaders

Mathieu Baril, Managing Director, DDI Canada

Annie Framand, Senior Consultant, DDI Canada

2:00 pm

HRD’s CHRO Series: Culture is Key

Canada’s most prominent CHROs will reveal their insights on the key trends, innovations, opportunities and challenges shaking up the world of work.

Jennifer Irwin, Vice President, Human Resources and Communications, Allied Properties REIT

2:15 pm

Networking coffee break and book signing with Stéphane Grenier

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After the War: Surviving PTSD and Changing Mental Health Culture

Stéphane Grenier

Stéphane Grenier is a nationally known workplace mental health innovator, speaker and entrepreneur. He was appointed to the Order of Canada earlier this year for his contributions in the field of workplace mental health.

Stéphane is the founder of Mental Health Innovations (Booth #34), an organization dedicated to rehumanizing workplaces in Canada through non-clinical mental health interventions that compliment traditional clinical care.

Grenier is an outspoken promoter for the use of social support to overcome mental health problems. His conviction comes from his incredible experience changing the mental healthcare system of the Canadian military.

His book, After the War: Surviving PTSD and Changing Mental Health Culture, was released in February.

Stéphane Grenier, Founder & Lead Innovator, Mental Health Innovations; Author of After The War

2:55 pm

Global trends and innovations in diversity & inclusion

There’s constant pressure on today’s leaders to make their organizations more diverse and inclusive. Developing effective initiatives that respond to the challenges is essential to ensure organizations are both supporting cultural, ethnic and gender differences and harnessing the value of diversity of thought.

Join a prominent global D&I leader Sacha de Klerk as she delivers her insights on the latest D&I trends shaping the future of work.

  • Overview of the latest diversity trends
  • What does it take to be at the forefront of diversity and inclusion?
  • Advocating the value and reframing D&I within your organization
  • Advancing workplace inclusion through developing a culture of belonging
  • Promoting inclusive leadership: challenging bias and nurturing diverse talent
  • Building bold and innovative practices to facilitate a diverse future

Sacha de Klerk, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Norton Rose Fulbright

3:35 pm

Fit Break

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3:40 pm

Panel discussion

Cultivating Company Culture: Increasing performance, productivity and purpose within your organisation

Developing a strong and engaged company culture is well known for being the key to increasing performance levels. With workplaces becoming increasingly transformative and multi-generational, it’s essential for HR professionals to adapt their strategies to reflect these changes.

In this session, HR leaders will provide their insights on how to create a strong company culture that fosters the high performance and innovation required to succeed in today’s economy.

  • Adapting company culture to support the differing requirements of multi-generational workplaces
  • Increasing engagement through a purpose-focused culture
  • How do you create a sense of belonging at work?
  • Hyper-personalisation and innovative strategies for engaging employees across generations
  • Leveraging the value of a healthy workplace: Driving measurable productivity improvements by putting wellbeing at the forefront of employee experience

John Stockwell, Chief People Officer and Global M&A HR Integration Owner, Dentsu Aegis Network


Sarah Moore, Director, Talent Acquisition, People Department, GoodLife Fitness Clubs

Christine Song, VP, People & Culture, BioConnect

Gena Restivo, Vice President, Human Resources & Communications, AstraZeneca; Best Workplace Culture Award Winner, Canadian HR Awards 2018

Mona Shah, Chief Legal & Human Resources Officer, Kellogg Canada

4:30 pm

Closing keynote session: Creating a culture of innovation within your organization

The opportunities and threats of disruptive innovation can no longer be ignored by HR leaders who need to ensure their organizations can adapt to a transforming business landscape.

Globally recognised for his work as an innovation strategist, Shawn Kanungo will deliver his insights on how organizations can disrupt before they are disrupted, including:

  • Developing innovative, creative thinking within the confines of an organizational structure that does now always support new ideas
  • Facilitating successful experimentation of new technology and business models
  • Essential strategies for building internal culture

Shawn Kanungo, Innovation Strategist;  General Partner of Queen & Rook Capital, Top 40 under 40; Inc. Magazine’s 100 Most Innovative Leadership Speakers in 2018

8:30 am

Morning workshop: Moving beyond performance management

When used correctly, performance processes can be a powerful tool for enacting change. Transforming from a one-sided, evaluative model to growth-oriented development can ignite performance across the organization and help employees discover, unlock and fulfil their potential. Join Dr. Jarik Conrad of Ultimate Software, one of HRD’s highest-rated speakers, who will teach you:

  • Key strategies for transitioning performance management into performance development
  • Building the case for continuous conversations versus annual events for compensation decisions
  • Gain ideas to transform your managers into coaching leaders armed with meaningful data and AI-driven recommendations to motivate their teams
  • Understand the latest technologies supporting the transformation in performance development

Jarik Conrad, Sr. Director, Human Capital Management (HCM) Innovation for Ultimate Software

9:30 am

Opening keynote session: How to lead in the infinite game

There is no such thing as "winning” business. Unlike games like hockey or chess, the endpoints, rules and challenges are continually evolving. Those that thrive in the long run are those that adopt this way of thinking and play by infinite rules. They are the ones who out-maneuver, out-innovate, and outlast their competitors.

In this opening keynote session, Stephen Shedletzky, Chief Igniter and Head of Brand Voice at Simon’s Sinek’s company Start With Why, will teach HR leaders how to embrace an infinite mindset and how to build stronger more innovative and more inspiring organizations.

Using exclusive insights from Simon’s upcoming book coming out in December 2018, he will show you how to stay ahead in a game with no end and thrive in today’s ever-changing and unpredictable marketplace whilst keeping your people’s best interest at heart. Walk away inspired ready to lead your organization and your people into the future!

Stephen Shedletzky, Head of Brand Voice, Igniter, Simon Sinek’s Start With Why

10:15 am

Fit Break

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10:20 am

Networking coffee break

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11:00 am


Beyond Compliance to Culture: HR in the #MeToo Era

Sexual harassment and other toxic workplace behaviours are sadly still a problem. The current approach - policies, compliance training, and after-the-fact investigations - has resulted in no significant reduction in workplace harassment.

HR must move beyond basic legal compliance to a strategy that recognizes the role our organizational culture plays in preventing or perpetuating sexual harassment and related behaviours.

Learn about practical, evidence-based steps to assess your current practices and adopt a more proactive, culture-focused approach to prevent workplace harassment.

Jane Watson, Senior People Partner, Klick

Data-Driven HR: Using data and analytics to tell a compelling story about people

A prominent analytics leader reveals how to use analytics to drive forward business decisions and strategy, as well as best practices for interpreting data into meaningful insights, how to tell a story by using the data, and how to effectively communicate with senior management by speaking their “numbers” language, including:

  • What is important to measure and what is not?
  • How to harness insights and stories from people data?
  • How to make meaningful business decisions using data and analytics
  • The role of data and analytics in developing and evaluating business and people strategy
  • How can organizations take data to a whole new strategic level?

Travis Windling, HR Analytics Enablement Lead, Manulife

11:40 am

Networking lunch

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12:30 pm

Building A Best-In-Class Employee Experience with Benefits

Employees have come to expect the same level of personalization, flexibility and always-on service in the workplace that they have in their everyday lives. Organizations must adapt to provide employees with experiences reflective of consumer experiences to differentiate themselves in increasingly competitive markets. Join Mike Serbinis, serial Canadian entrepreneur and CEO of League, as he shares best practices on how to build a best-in-class employee experience with benefits, including:

  • Insight into changing market dynamics: understanding employees of the past, present and future
  • Understanding new employee expectations and how to meet them
  • Key recommendations for crafting a best-in-class employee experience

Mike Serbinis, Founder and CEO, League

1:10 pm

Driving employee engagement through career exploration at your organization

Career development is fast becoming one of the top three drivers of employee engagement globally, and it’s essential for HR leaders to have strong training and mentoring programmes in place to retain top talent and meet the expectations of their employees. Join Lisa Bull, Ceridian’s Chief Learning Officer, as she reveals the latest global innovations in training and professional development, including practical strategies for transforming career development and boosting employee engagement. You will walk away with:

  • Best practices for facilitating career exploration within your organisation
  • Putting your employees first: leveraging the benefits of an employee-centric model
  • Developing a strategic roadmap for transforming career development

Lisa Bull, Vice-President, Learning Excellence, Ceridian

1:50 pm

Networking coffee break

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2:30 pm

Fit Break

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2:35 pm

HRD's CHRO Series: Connecting purpose and profit

Canada’s most prominent CHROs will reveal their insights on the key trends, innovations, opportunities and challenges shaking up the world of work.

Norm Sabapathy, Executive Vice President, People, Cadillac Fairview

2:50 pm

Closing keynote session: What it truly means to be a modern-day leader

A modern-day leader is committed to a collaborative culture, purpose-driven, and remains an open thinker. They know how to deliver value-add solutions in the face of limited resources while always keeping in mind the critical importance of an engaged workforce. And that’s what it’s all about. The more HR accepts it has a responsibility to improve employee engagement, the more it can make a significant difference and impact through the development of modern-day leaders.

In this talk, Dan Pontefract lays out three key facets of the modern-day leadership: culture, purpose and open thinking. When HR begins to build a workforce full of leaders who can demonstrate all three, the entire organization can be transformed. Don’t just wish for a seat at the table; be the table and make a strategic difference to the bottom line and future success of your organization by your active involvement in the re-engineering of leadership itself.

Dan Pontefract , best-selling author of OPEN TO THINK, THE PURPOSE EFFECT & FLAT ARMY; Chief Envisioner at TELUS, Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria

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