Dr. Denis Cauvier Presents at #TALeague 2018 Conference – Mumbai, India

I recently had the pleasure to be the opening keynote speaker in Mumbai, India for the #TALeague 2018 Annual Conference, organized by www.peoplematters.com   This sold out event had 450+ delegates from Business, HR & Talent Acquisition Leaders.  It was a wonderful experience to connect with so many positive professionals representing a wide spectrum of Indian Employers.

In my keynote Talent Acquisition to Talent Management – A mindset Shift I shared that the timing and need for this type of conference is critical as organizations are constantly seeking ways to obtain an edge in the war for talent. I shared recent research that shows the following factors that can create Executive Insomnia:

  • Competition
  • Geo Political
  • Economic Changes
  • Regulatory Changes
  • Commodity/ Currency Changes
  • Profits/Cash-Flow
  • Brand Reputation
  • Employee Attraction/ Engagement/ Retention

Not surprising as the above illustrates that the most common factor causing senior leaders to loose sleep involves TA & TM issues.  No doubt you have heard the philosophical question of “which came first the chicken or the Egg”? This question is a metaphor describing a situation where it is not clear which of two events should be considered the cause and which should be considered the effect. The reality is that both the egg and chicken are totally dependent on each other. This notion holds true within high performance HR teams. The challenge occurs when silos emerge between TA, TM & LD. Often each thinks that their contribution is more meaningful than the others. These functions when aligned with each other and performed strategically not only make their counterparts’ lives easier they contribute to the bottom line.  When TA professionals immerse themselves into the world of TM & LD and factor in the company’s performance management expectations, learning & development protocols, ongoing career advancement opportunities, engagement efforts all through the lens of the firms mission/vision and values can they deliver their talent acquisition magic. When TA is in alignment with TM & LD major improvements happen within productivity, learning curve, levels of engagement and all these drive profits.

Sadly, according to CEB/GartnerTA’s influence is declining within their organizations. “Unfortunately, under the traditional role, the advice provided by recruiters is essentially ignored. Only 25% of hiring managers currently say that recruiters influence their hiring decisions, and only 35% are satisfied with recruiting’s impact on their business results.”

The solution moving forward is integrating of TA/TM/LD. This role is often referred to as aTalent Advisor. This “consulting” role provides expert advice on internal talent optimization& how to dominate the external talent marketplace.

The Benefits of this mind shift change to talent advisor to Hiring Managers:

  • Better informed about future talent challenges/opportunities.
  • Greater strategies to counter competitor talent actions.
  • Obtain more innovators, technologists, specialists, diverse talent, and potential leaders.
  • Spend less time on talent management, even as their talent results continually improve …all driving the bottom line.

The Benefits of this mind shift change to the talent advisor:

  • Increase in job security, as technology takes over more traditional recruiting tasks.
  • Value to company improves with increasing strategic impact on business.
  • Status within the company rises as hiring managers recognize consulting value.
  • Increase in career opportunities with consulting skills being developed.

Too many organizations view HR/TA/TM & LD as ‘Cost Centers’. For over 30 years, I have advocated that HR needs to be seen and held accountable as a ‘Profit Center.’ Today’s hyper competitive and disruptive business environment requires an agile workforce to survive let alone succeed. To accomplish this we need to change our focus from spending money on talent related issues and instead start making strategic investments. When we think in terms of investments, we expect certain returns from these investments. HR and all of its critical components is no different. Each investment needs to be analyzed to consider the business case rationale before proceeding, and then measured to determine the actual contribution made to the bottom line. To help HR/TA/TM & LD professionals build their business cases for the initiatives they propose to the C-Suite. I shared my HR PROFIT Modelplus several case studies from my international consulting practice.

To further understand how to make the shift totalent advisorI offered and expanded on the following five points:

  1. Reality immersion
  2. Educate hiring manager
  3. Set partnership goals
  4. Candidates vs. potential hires
  5. Strategic metrics

Having shared your inspirational messages with over one million people in 45 countries, what have you discovered is a common trend throughout the world of HR?
I would categorize this common trend as a “missed opportunity”; my experience is that too many organizations view HR as a cost centre. For over 20 years I have been an advocate of the notion that HR needs to be seen and held accountable as a Profit Centre. We should stop spending money on HR activities
and start to invest instead. When we think in terms of investments we expect certain returns from these investments. HR is no different, each investment needs to be analysed to consider the business case rational prior to making the investment and then measured to determine the actual contribution made to the
bottom-line. As a consultant and speaker, one of my greatest sources of professional pride is my track record in helping companies reframe their perspective on HR creating specific strategies to maximize their returns on all HR investments will result in reduced time and cost of hiring, increase levels of productivity, reduce employee turnover, enhance customer satisfaction, improve sales, and increase profits.
What are the biggest challenges to hiring and retaining people in a tight labour market?
The biggest challenge is to be able to differentiate your organization among other employers whom you are competing with for labour. The single best strategy is to be seen as the employer of choice in both your industry as well as your community. Consider how much emphasis and effort you invest in your
marketing and branding to gain new business and keep your existing clients happy. During a tight labour market you need to invest this same amount of energy and creativity in your “People Branding”. When a company is recognized as being an employer of choice several things happen: one, your good employees value working with you and thus don’t want to leave, and your reputation attracts other great candidates to seek employment with you despite any recruiting efforts.
In your book “How to Keep Your Staff Productive and Happy”, what mistakes do companies commit which affect the happiness and productivity of their staff?
From my 20+ years experience as an HR/ Talent Management practioner,
researcher and consultant I have identified the common mistakes made by companies around the world that affect the happiness and productivity of their staff.
Some specifics are: managers forget that people are individual and use a “one-size fits all” approach to dealing with their staff. They try to treat their people
equally which I feel is a mistake. I believe that your peak performers should receive more of your attention. That managers spend too much time “telling” and not enough time “asking”, and not enough energy is invested in getting people engaged with their work.
How has HR changed over the past 10 years?
HR has changed dramatically over the past decade. Some of the more significant changes are: demographics changes including the aging workforce and declining
birth rates in most developed nations and at the same time exploding birth rates in most developing nations; the emergence of four distinctly different age groups
working at the same time; the global nature of business with massive mergers and acquisitions as well as outsourcing of labour; plus technological advances
affecting the need for skills and knowledge upgrading; the proliferation of internet recruiting, flexible HR policies, employment branding; plus an unprecedented
talent and skills shortage that will continue in many countries for the next two decades.
What is the key to pre-screening and selecting the right people for a team?
The quick answer is to “pre-screen for competency and select for character”. What this means is that the entire pre-screening process should focus on answering the fundamental question, “does the person possess the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to do the job?” In other words, are they competent (able) to do the job? Once you are satisfied that the applicant
possesses the requisite abilities then the selection process begins. It is here that you need to “select” the best candidate in terms of best fit with the company. To do this you must focus your energies on examining the person’s character which is made up of their attitude, and personality. The most insightful part of the selection process is the face-to-face interview.
What are some of the main reasons that some sales people are successful and others are not?
Contemporary wisdom suggests that the key to successful selling lies within the sales person’s skills, knowledge and selling techniques. Although I agree that these issues are all important, I believe that the single biggest contributor to selling success is the person’s attitude. Their attitude entails many elements,
such as their attitudes: towards themselves in the role of professional selling, their attitude as it relates towards the selling process; their attitude towards the
company they represent, the products and services they offer their attitudes toward their customers, and their team-mates. These attitudes will ultimately
determine their level of selling success.
As a respected authority on developing client centric organizations as well, how is it possible to turn a one-time buyer into a life-time customer?
People the world over complain to me that there is no customer loyalty and that a client will change suppliers to save even a tiny bit of money. I feel this is
an over-simplification of the issue. Yes, people are always seeking bargains, but at the end of the day it’s value for money that will win out. I don’t believe that
a company has to be the lowest priced provider; rather they need to fully understand the needs of their clients and then exceed the customer’s expectations. This is done by investing in client relationship building, having
highly skilled and knowledgeable, sales, and customer service professionals, and constantly seeking ways to improve the life and or business of your clients. By adopting this “imbedded partnership mindset” you will become the supplier of choice for your key accounts.
In your best-selling book “the ABCs of Making Money”, what are some of the strategies that ordinary people can implement to create extraordinary
Actually, the answer to this question lies within the title of my book; it’s what I refer to as the “ABCs” approach and is doable by anyone who has the desire
to succeed and is prepared to put the effort in. It all starts with adopting the right attitudes. By understanding the attitudes of successful, wealthy people, and then engaging in highly effective day to day behaviours (such as living within your means, investing your money at an early age, develop critical skills in the areas of selling, communicating, negotiating and priority management; and finally applying the principles of creating money by owning your business and developing numerous sources of passive income… the idea of earning money even while I sleep is very appealing to me!
Your work is also renown within the circles of personal development – how can an ordinary per son live the life of his or her dreams? Are you living the life of your dreams?
Yes, I am living the life of my dreams; I have the love and support of my wife and our two daughters. I am a professional speaker, consultant and author by choice; I enjoy both the people and the various projects I accept. I love to travel and learn about other cultures and ways of doing business, and I particularly enjoy helping my clients by providing them with low cost high impact strategies that greatly increase their profits and overall business success. I take a tremendous
pride in each success story. To me, a key element of living the life of my dreams involves personal freedom. I equate that to being able to choose how I invest my time, energy and money and the people I choose to invest it with. By this measure I am truly living a dream life! I believe that everyone can enjoy living the life of his or her dreams and that it starts with defining what success means to you. Consider a highly skilled and well equipped archer. One would expect this
archer to be able to hit the target easily, however, imagine if they were bind-folded and spun around many times, and only had one arrow and no assistance from anyone. The odds of them hitting that target have just greatly been reduced. The point behind this bow and arrow example is that “you can’t hit a target you can’t see”. This is true in life. How likely are you to be able to live the life of your dreams if you first can’t identify what that looks like? Once you see it, you can do it. Once you have set your goals, invest some time in planning your future instead of just letting life pass you by. Then read about other people who have also been successful in a similar way and learn how they did it. Consider connecting with a successful person who can guide and mentor you through your journey. Don’t be afraid to be bold and take some risks. Lastly, remember to enjoy each day both the victories and the failures, they are equally part of life’s journey.

Dr. Denis Cauvier – International Best Selling author of 8 books began his presentation to The Ottawa Independent Writers Association with a short review of the modern book market. With the rise in easily-available technology, it has never been easier to publish a book, but on the downside this proliferation makes selling the work for profit a daunting challenge. The focus of Dr Cauvier’s presentation was non-fiction, but it turned out that a great deal of what he would say applied equally to the production and marketing of fiction.

There are three essential reasons for writing and publishing a book:
Financial – to earn a living on sales of your work
Legacy – the message you want to communicate; your personal written record
Education – bringing information to people
Whichever of these paths an aspiring writer chooses, the key issue is to build credibility for your personal brand. Researching titles and topics in order to find the correct niche for the work is an essential component. A triangle using these three points is helpful in defining the ‘sweet spot’. The effective intersection of these three values is the mark of a highly successful book:

The ‘sweet spot’ lies somewhere within the triangle

The author must have total clarity on the Why before proceeding.

Identify your market; who will pay for the book, and who will buy it? In the realm of how-to books it is sometimes the case that the buyer is not the end-user. Dr Cauvier used the example of his book The ABCs of Making Money for Teens as an example of a textbook that was purchased by adults for a youth readership.

A synopsis will help to achieve clarity.
– Take an honest look at the competition to determine in what way your work is unique, or needs to be made unique
– Write your synopsis with the above in mind
– Produce a working title

Tell the World
– Share your idea as widely as possible – both title and synopsis – but protect it from theft by registering the contents
– Telling potential purchasers that the work is on the way gives them an inducement to buy, but it also gives the author a stimulus. The best way to avoid ‘writers’ block’, or procrastination as it should be termed, is by telling everybody it’s on the way citing a specific release date.

As mentioned in the Introduction, with modern technology publishing a book is comparatively easy. Sales of school e-textbooks, for example, rose from 3% of the market in 2010 to 6% in 2011, indicating popular access to a readily available technology. There are three general categories of publishing:
– Trade – the upsides of having a work accepted by a publisher are that most aspects of quality, marketing and distribution are taken care of, and the resultant work provides the author with great credibility. The downsides are loss of control of the product, the comparatively parsimonious return (perhaps 10 to 15% – of net of discounts prices, if you are lucky), and the time it takes from acceptance of the work to actual publishing
– Hybrid – in this category the publisher accepts the work, but leaves much of the control in the authors’ hands. The upside of being published, yet still controlling your product, is countered by the need to publicize and sell the work yourself
– Self-Publishing – it is only recently that self-publishing has become a respectable component of the industry; the slur of ‘vanity book’ is now dated. With the great rise in print-on-demand and e-book formats, self-publishing is very straightforward. The upside is the complete control that it offers, including cover design, text layout, etc. (Some self-publishers will contractor-out design work, and this is a wise move although costly.) The potential downside is clearly that sales and marketing are entirely in the authors’ hands

How to Write a Book in Five Days
Yes, it can be done! Dr. Cauvier has done it several times and argued that this process can best be done on a beach in some tropical location, and with the freezing rain soaking the Nation’s Capital just outside the window, audience agreement was unanimous. It is assumed that the knowledge you wish to express is already there, so writers of large fictional tomes might pause here. Here are the five days:
– Day 1 – write the story boards, create the table of contents, define the overall look and feel of the book (including visuals, layouts and texts in as much detail as possible)
– Days 2 and 3 – dictate the book. There are several apps, such as Dragon Dictation, for portable devices and smart phones to convert words into text. Refer often to your story boards and don’t worry about the pauses, ums and ers.
– Day 4 – take all the text material from the dictation and organize into a logical flow.
– Day 5 – Clean-up the sentence structure, check for details and hand over manuscript for professional editing and production
In case anyone in the audience was skeptical about this approach and time frame, this reporter did exactly this for a textbook on musical instrument-making, but sadly not in a tropical paradise.

Sales and Marketing
It’s not widely understood that writing a book consumes perhaps 30% of the time and energy, while the remaining 70% needs to be spent in making it sell. Some useful recommendations are:
– Write a marketing plan, revisit the title and cover, and pay especial attention to the appearance of the finished product especially the front and back cover
– Create a website and build a database. With bookstores and on-line sellers such as Amazon there is no way to keep a track of who is buying the book
– Go to local bookstores and local media outlets. It can be a waste of time to try the larger chain bookstores; normally they won’t want to deal with self-publishers
– Libraries and educational institutes are excellent resources because they share information amongst themselves, providing ready-made publicity
– Bulk sales are often tied to a product. For example, Kevin Kolman grilling book was rejected repeatedly by publishers. Kolman got creative and now sells bulk orders to barbecue manufacture Broil King.
– Promotions – use social media, hire a publicist (if you don’t have the expertise, buy it) and get well-known thought leaders to write reviews. Also, it is quite possible with modern printing methods to customize book covers for specific markets

As this reporter was taking his notes during the presentation he realized that, had he one tenth the energy, skill and commitment of Denis Cauvier, he might just be able to flog a few more of his books. In conclusion, an excellent presentation with a great deal of food for thought. For more information on Dr. Cauvier please go to www.deniscauvier.com

This is a sign on the times. I have been discussing the forth coming labour shortages for several years now. Premier Brad Wall is on a recruiting tour to Ireland. Here is a great article from The Calgary Herold.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford will be looking for some strong workers Monday in her trip to the so-called City of Big Shoulders.

While the main focus of the premier’s mission to Chicago this week is highlighting Alberta’s energy relationship with the United States — including the role of the oilsands — the province’s labour shortage will also be on her mind as she meets with political officials and union leaders.

“There’s a lot of work we’re going to do down there with respect to labour,” she said at a news conference last week.

“We’ve had discussions with a number of labour organizations in Chicago who’ve been doing work with decision-makers in the United States — and with the Canadian and U.S. ambassadors — to try to find avenues where we might be able to accelerate access of skilled labour into Alberta.”

Redford, who left for Chicago on the weekend and will stay for two more days, said in Calgary on Friday that the province is looking for workers with specific skill sets to fill key positions in Alberta.

Chicago may have a few to spare.

A new Calgary Economic Development study identifies communities in Canada — the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland — most able to fill 25 jobs that are most needed in the coming years, a list that includes engineers, geologists, nurses, plumbers and carpenters.

The top recruiting spots are Los Angeles, Phoenix and Denver, but Chicago is in the next tier of cities.

With the Alberta economy heating up — the province projects GDP to grow 3.8 per cent over the next year — demand for workers is an increasingly pressing issue for government and businesses.

Labour demand is expected to climb by more than 600,000 workers by 2021, with about 114,000 more jobs than people in the province. That includes a shortage of 1,300 engineers and 4,800 registered nurses.

In Calgary, demand for workers is anticipated to increase by almost 190,000 by 2020.

A lack of workers is already a factor in an expected drilling slowdown, with the Petroleum Services Association of Canada recently projecting the energy industry won’t drill as many wells this year, in part because of the labour crunch.

Competition for scarce workers is also one of the biggest contributors to cost inflation that threatens the oilpatch in boom times.

During the last uptick in activity between 2006 and 2008, the labour market was so tight that skyrocketing pay for Alberta oilfield workers helped push up the cost of oilsands projects.

Some were shelved or eventually scrapped.

Today, more than $110 billion of oilsands projects are back on the books; annual oilsands investment is projected to peak above $20 billion in 2014.

Energy economist Peter Tertzakian of ARC Financial Corp. said recently that cost inflation due to labour tightness is an “area of caution” for the industry in 2012.

“It’s at the margin here. We are at full capacity,” said Tertzakian. “So if there is any hint of increased spending, whether it’s a big project in the oilsands or broader oilfields, it’s going to trigger higher costs.”

Neal Hughes, a vice-president with HMA Land, which provides project management services for the energy industry, said he expects the coming shortage of workers to be more severe than in the past.

“Alberta industries have tremendous plans for hiring for the next two to five years and, with respect to skilled trades and professions, I think there is a critical shortage looming for this part of Canada,” said Hughes, who attended a Friday SEPAC luncheon where Redford spoke. “Any measures the Alberta government can take to ensure we do have that supply of labour are most important.”

Redford said she is so concerned about the issue that she’s asked deputy premier Doug Horner to put together a group of oil sector officials to speak to Alberta MPs and the national Conservative caucus on the issue.

“There needs to be some recognition of what we’re actually facing in Alberta,” she said. “It’s time for us to pool our resources.”

—_With files from Darcy Henton and Rebecca Penty, Calgary Herald.

Immigration system update boosts skilled trades
Those workers to be considered under separate program
By Laura Payton, CBC News
Last Updated: Apr 10, 2012 10:16 PM GT+02:00

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says tradespeople who want to immigrate to Canada will get a separate, streamlined federal skilled worker program later in 2012. Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

Skilled tradespeople who want to immigrate to Canada will be getting a separate, streamlined program later this year, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says.

“We are facing huge and growing labour shortages in Canada, particularly here in the West and in Alberta,” Kenney said at a construction site in Calgary Tuesday.

“To be honest, our immigration programs haven’t been effective in addressing a lot of those shortages. Our immigration programs have become rigid and slow and passive.”

The current federal skilled worker program assesses applicants on a 100-point grid, with a pass mark of 67. The grid takes into account the candidate’s official language ability, education, work experience, age, whether they have a job offer in Canada and their overall adaptability, according to a news release from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The grid favoured professionals rather than workers in the skilled trades, who make up only three per cent of entrants to Canada under the federal skilled worker program. The program has a backlog of 280,000 applicants, leading the government to propose refunding the $400 fee to those who applied prior to Feb. 27, 2008, and now want to withdraw their applications.

Kenney said there will be tens of billions of dollars in new construction in Alberta in the next 10 years, with the country facing huge gaps in skilled workers for the same time period.

“There really is virtually no meaningful access to Canada for skilled tradespeople to come here as immigrants, as permanent residents, and make a lasting contribution to our economy,” he said.

Kenney said an updated skilled worker program will be unveiled later in 2012. It is expected to include a separate stream for skilled tradespeople, including those in construction, transportation, manufacturing and the service industry.

More emphasis on practical training

The proposed program would let skilled tradespersons be assessed “based on criteria geared towards their reality, putting more emphasis on practical training and work experience rather than formal education,” the news release said.

The news was well-received by employers with projects in the West, where the energy and construction sectors are sucking up workers faster than Canada can produce them.

The Canadian vice-president of human resources for CH2M Hill, a global infrastructure and energy company, said Tuesday’s announcement shows the government is aware of the challenges businesses face.

“At CH2M Hill, we make it a priority to hire qualified Canadians. We’ve got aggressive recruiting programs across Canada, but sometimes our needs in certain sectors simply outstrip our supply of various skilled labour categories and other types of workers,” David Larter said.

CH2M Hill now employs about 2,000 people in hundreds of projects across Canada.

Larter said his company hopes to double staff in Canada in the coming years — but he adds that won’t be possible if immigrants aren’t part of the equation.

EMC news – Whether you are a prospective employee or a prospective employer, Dr. Denis Cauvier – a world renowned authority on hiring practices – has a lot to share on human nature, motivation, and money.

“The first week on the job is critical to set the tone, for both the employer and employee,” Cauvier said. “It’s about reciprocity, just as you are keen to give a good impression, the company needs to be the same.”

Cauvier is a professional speaker appearing before audiences in 47 countries – far more than his peers in Canada and abroad – and has saved companies millions of dollars in human resources (HR) along the way. He is an international bestselling author of eight books with over one million copies sold.

An expert who has appeared in America’s top newspapers and television shows, the Ottawa Valley resident is a pioneer on a philosophy that encourages clients to invest wisely in HR.

He maintains that doing so will reduce the time and cost of hiring, increase productivity levels, reduce employee turnover, enhance customer satisfaction, improve sales, and increase profit.


It all makes for great selling points to prospective clients today, not so much in the late 1980s, before the term “motivational speaker” was coined, when he was young man struggling to advise business leaders.

Back then they doubted he had the experience to teach anything. Cauvier knew he had some convincing to do, beyond pointing to his business degree. So he turned the question back on his audience, asking them how many workers they’ve hired.

Turns out none had his experience in hiring hundreds of people, despite their many years in business. General experience was no match for specific experience.

That’s the kind of insights Cauvier uses when discussing the art of business. At other times he relies on his general experience. Over the course of a fascinating career, Cauvier has:

• worked in the middle of the savannah in mud huts with no electricity as an economic development consultant to an African king,

• facilitated strategic planning sessions with an Arabian sheikh,

• flown on a $60-million private jet for several days exploring the concepts of business success and financial freedom with Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinkos,

• sat with First Lady Hazel Manning at St. Ann’s, the official residence of the prime minster of Trinidad and Tobago, discussing leadership and youth self-esteem issues,

• led a paintball team in a jungle as part of a CEO leadership retreat in the Philippines.

/Another example of specific experience has to do with confidence. The truism that says “hire for attitude and train for competence” more or less holds up for him. Crucial to that attitude, though, especially for younger less experienced people, is confidence.

Cauvier tells the story of one of his first jobs. He convinced the boss to let him work the first week for free. If the boss found him indispensable, he would be hired. If not, they’ll go separate ways.

Cauvier doesn’t advocate doing something for nothing – the employer had a moral obligation to hire him if he proved himself competent – but that often the more creative, aggressive job seekers are the ones that get ahead.

How he knew to put the offer in is something Cauvier can’t explain.

“I just had the gumption to ask,” he said. “I was reasonably bold and self-confident, and I’ve always sought the freedom of being an entrepreneur.”

Bold, yes, but he didn’t allow hubris to creep into those early years. He was fortunate enough to find two mentors and to hear what they had to share.

Gradually a pattern started to form. Cauvier would speak for free to chambers of commerce and other groups. He would get paid gigs from participants afterward, which meant the speaking engagements doubled as sales and marketing. His speaking notes and talks with business leaders would end up in his books, which he would hock at future speaking engagements. And the circle would continue.

The point being that a business – Cauvier owns three businesses – can make money in many ways, even by starting out in a very indirect way.

For 23 years Cauvier’s made a living doing what he loves.


Cauvier is often called in when high staff turnover and other measures have reached a critical level. The problem for many managers and others near the top of the company is the inability to see the big picture. They struggle with day-to-day operations and boosting revenue to cover costs being sucked out the back door.

He insists a company has to create and stick to its vision, mission statement and other policies. That will build brand recognition and attract a solid customer basis.

A favourite example is Starbucks. The company sells coffee, sure, but it also sells an experience.

“Its core values are your core values,” he said of customers. “They are really practicing what they preach.”

Starbucks appeals to young, ethical-purchasing consumers through its fair-trade coffee beans. But it does much more. The baristas are young, interested in the arts, highly educated and travel extensively. In short, a mirror image of the customer. Neither minds paying a lot for a quality cup of coffee.

And the employees tend to work for the company for a long time despite the low salary. The job reflects their values and personality.

The same is true for Walmart. The employees come from the working class and expect to pay less.

They mirror the customer base.

“Your core values should be a brand extension,” he said. “Because like-minded people will come.”

Those are companies using best practices. A large Alberta-based meat production plant was using worst practices before Cauvier stepped in.

The province was experiencing a significant labour shortage in 2007 (Tim Hortons paid $13.75 per hour). The meat packing industry works on razor sharp profit margins. But with a 68 per cent turnover – 548 employees out of 800 – revenue was evaporating. It cost $2,248 to train and ready a worker, which translated to $1.3 million in losses.

“They said ‘Help.'”

Cauvier did the reach and found out 90 per cent of the turnover happened in the first 30 days on the job.

Morale was horrible, too, thanks to policies such as promoting within based on tenure – not on merit or willingness to become managers.

The welcome committee consisted of a safety policies movie and an operations book to study.

The company was failing to reciprocate, and employees were taking note.

Cauvier convinced the company to institute a vetting process for promotions, training programs for supervisors, new job descriptions and standards, and a guarantee that the past would remain in the past. A year later, in 2008, turnover was at 11 per cent. Losses totalled just $200,000.

“They were very happy. Absenteeism was down, safety was up. Morale was up,” he said.

“It’s humane resources, not inhuman resources.”

He added that many people spend more time with co-workers than family members. It’s important to be firm on issues, not on people.


It’s been a long journey for Cauvier.

When he was starting out in the business world, human resources issues were “looked down on.” It was a division for loyal employees, a reward, a pastureland. Now it is taught in universities and has proven to better the bottom line.

There is a respect for the theories and practices around HR. And Cauvier is among those who brought about the change.

Among the most prestigious business groups in the world is the Young Presidents Organization, with a membership of 19,000 worldwide. Only CEOs of companies with $50 million profits can apply.

To speak before the group is analogous to a politician speaking before the United Nations general assembly.

When they invited Cauvier, they said he was the top expert on human resources on the planet right now.

“Just to do a chapter event in Ottawa would have been an honour. But the global leadership Summit? A little lad from Arnprior?” he said.

“For this organization to come calling – it was a big deal for me.”

My new book for business owners and senior leaders is now available. I feel that this is my best book so far. It has been receiving great reviews from business people all over the world. Please check it out at http://www.amazon.com/Stop-pending-Money-Your-People/dp/097365144X

I know for a fact that the coaching and performance assessment meetings have been very productive and have already started to yield positive results in performance, team relations, levels of engagement, clarification of objectives and roles, problem identification and resolution. I have every confidence that there will be even greater gains in these areas in the near future!

As I final note I would like to encourage the entire management team to keep up their professional development efforts by;

• Retaining a coachable mindset, continue to be open and allow yourself and encourage your people to come out of your comfort zones and try new ideas to be more productive
• Foster a sense of urgency within yourself and your team while remembering to balance this with strategic thinking
• Maintain transparent communications with the entire team, say what you mean and mean what you say
• Remember the power of 70/30 while coaching (listen 70% of the time, speak for 30%)
• Delegate effectively but don’t abdicate your responsibility, failure to so do hurts the company and robs your people of critical developmental opportunities
• Develop and use probing questions and use silence appropriately
• Praise publicly often (when earned) and criticize privately
• Set SMART Objectives and hold your people accountable for achieving them
• Seek the best in your people and you will find it, however never let poor performance slide by.
• Remember there are only two valid positions in a lean and keen organization, the positions that directly serves the paying customer and the positions that directly supports the positions that serves the paying customer. Any other positions are a total waste of resources!
• Remember that attitudes are contagious, ask yourself is yours worth spreading?
• Regardless of your role in the company, everyone needs to keep their eyes and ears open to what is happening in the market and to notify the appropriate person if they see any challenges or opportunities.
• Lastly, as a leader you must stand in front of the troops and lead by example, remember you need to set the pace, attitude and professionalism and be a proud part of making your organization an employer of choice.

I recently did this interview on Kidela TV on my new book Stop $pending Money on Your People – How to Turn HR into a Profit Center. It’s too bad the Skype connection was poor.