A team of two, the Lunenfeld Human Resources (HR) department runs as busily and efficiently as a much larger group. Headed by Manager Jamie Wickham, with energetic and skilled support from Melissa D’Amico (who is covering for Iryna Rizzuto’s maternity leave), the department officially began five years ago while maintaining its close interactions with the hospital’s HR team.
It was in 2005, when the Lunenfeld was comprised of a steadily growing staff of over 500, that various policies and procedures were implemented in the areas of formal job descriptions, offer letters, health benefits and more, that required the dedicated efforts of a research HR department.
Jamie, who did his undergraduate degree in finance, switched to studying human resources so that he could “help put faces to the numbers” and feel more connected to the problem-solving aspect of his work.
So what roles does the HR department play?
For those of us who are relatively new to the Lunenfeld and are not trainees (who are supported primarily via the Research Training Centre), you probably first encountered the HR department through a job description, appointment for an interview, formal offer letter and a comprehensive orientation session.
From day one, HR provides valuable support services related to job entry right through the continuum of job training, potential job promotions and even the transition to new opportunities in other centres and/or companies.
“Most of the time we do have policies in place that can help solve problems and keep our employees satisfied,” says Jamie. Indeed, navigating and staying up to date with the quagmire of employment legislation is a challenge for many people, and an important role for HR.
“Jamie provides valuable and objective advice on appropriate compensation, recognition and recruitment strategies,” says Dr. Jim Woodgett, the Lunenfeld’s Director. “He also plays an essential role in mitigating, as far as possible, the impact of terminations due to occasional loss of funding or changes in circumstance.”
And as our days, months and in many cases years at the Lunenfeld continue, you may need to access HR through its liaison with the Employee Assistance Program, a free, confidential service via Ceridian LifeWorks that offers support to help manage stress, plan finances, or access counseling services for various health/psychosocial issues.
In essence the HR team acts to help us all do our jobs more efficiently, effectively and positively!
“Seeing people get promotions and feel fulfilled and challenged in their roles is particularly rewarding to me,” says Jamie.
Have a question for the HR team? Visit 60 Murray Street, Room L5-232 or call Jamie at extension 4214.