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Recruiting mission 85% accomplished – and guiding principles for the HR mission ahead

About Dany Gagnon

Dany GagnonDany, who joined Tembec in September 2015 with a mandate to lead the transformation, is building on his success leading change management programs in the automotive, brewing and agri-food industries. He is a mechanical engineer with a specialization in aeronautics and has a certification in process management. His global perspective reflects his experience working in the US, Asia and Europe, as well as Canada.

Temiscaming site, in brief

  • One of the largest forest products manufacturing sites in North America.
  • 800 site employees – 80% unionized under one collective agreement / 20% staff.
  • Three main mills that manufacture different forest products: specialty cellulose, high-yield pulp and coated bleached board (containerboard); and a chemical products facility.

Temiscaming transformation

The objective is to make Temiscaming a highly-competitive world-class operation for the long term. This will enable us to meet customer expectations for quality and reliability, as well as community expectations for sustainability, while ensuring profitability for Rayonier Advanced Materials.

Dany Gagnon
April 18, 2017

We set out in early March to hire a team of seven human resources professionals for 18-month contracts. And on March 31 we filled six of those positions so we have accomplished 6/7th – make that 85% – of our original recruiting mission in short order.

We continue to recruit for the one contract HR position that remains unfilled: Manager – Internal Communications.

The six new members of our HR team completed an intensive onboarding program in Montréal the week of April 3. They took up their new positions at the Temiscaming site on Monday, April 10. They will work alongside the site’s permanent HR team.

We are fortunate to have this injection of highly-qualified people in the critically important HR function. And I urge everyone at the Temiscaming site to give them a warm welcome.

Guiding principles for the HR mission ahead

We want our new contract HR professionals to govern themselves according to five guiding principles. I see these guiding principles as a framework that will shape the decisions and actions of our HR contractors in their daily work.

1) Focus on results 

This is job one for the contract HR operations team. We hired people with operational mindsets, able to focus sharply on specific tasks or projects, then deliver results. We do not need people who prepare strategy documents and expect others to execute!

2) Serve as catalysts for change 

We are transforming the site, to make it more competitive, which means changing how we think and work. You can’t do the same old things and expect to improve! We expect our HR contractors to be role models – by executing their responsibilities efficiently, they will show our existing workforce how to work more efficiently. In recruiting, we favored candidates with a history of working in environments where change was a constant.

3) Work as a responsive team

Human resources is a service function. Some of the many examples are managing staffing for the site, and providing information on benefits to employees. All this calls for responsiveness. And for teamwork – our HR people have to be aligned, so they can help out one another.

4) Understand change management

I have built a career around transformation, or change, so it is second nature for me. But I know it is not easy for everyone. I expect our contract HR professionals to understand that resistance to change is to be expected, and to be able to think ahead to address it in a mature way. 

5) Remember job one

The team has to remember it has been hired to execute the daily human resources tasks that keep the site running smoothly – to deliver results.