Vertical Bridge nominated as a Finalist for External HR Consultancy of the Year 2015

July 23rd, 2015

Canadian HR Awards

Vertical Bridge is up for best external HR consultancy in Canada!


We at Vertical Bridge are extremely pleased to announce that Vertical Bridge has been nominated as a finalist for the for External HR Consultancy of the Year in the 2015 Canadian HR Awards! A big thank you to our amazing consultants, great clients and partners who all had a hand in making this nomination happen. Hats off to you and hurray for us!

Hats off to our fellow nominees:


Clear HR Consulting
Inspired HR
Salopek & Associates
Vertical Bridge Corporate Consulting


What do do if a key employee leaves

June 29th, 2015

Credit: Felicity Stone, BC Business ; Image by: Sabrina Smelko

key employee retention

Sandra Reder, president and founder of HR consulting firm Vertical Bridge, and Go2HR CEO Arlene Keis outline how to prepare a backup plan

1. Identify key positions
“Look at every single job, and if that person was to walk in and say goodbye, how much of an impact would it have on your ability to deliver on your programs, your services, your products or to keep your business going?” says Reder. “A lot of people think succession planning is just for leadership continuity, but it really is for critical skill and knowledge and potential technical and organizational knowledge as well,” notes Keis.

2. Assess the competencies and skills required
You also need a way to incorporate that knowledge into the rest of your organization, says Keis. Reder advises asking incumbents to put together a procedures manual, if appropriate to the position. “It’s a great way to engage them if you say, look, we want to put a procedures manual together so we really understand what you do in the event that you, say, win the lottery.”

3. Pinpoint potential understudies
“Target the specific individuals that have these skills, discuss it with them, and create a development and retention plan with them so that you’re engaging—it’s not something you’re doing to them, you’re doing it with them,” says Keis. “It’s much easier to grow from within than to have to pull someone in who is new to your company,” notes Reder, who advises using performance reviews to spot which people are promotable in all key areas.

4. Cross-train
Use cross-training techniques to ensure more than one person is capable of performing essential tasks or have the incumbent mentor someone else. “Even at the higher level that can be done to some extent,” says Reder. “Most people in a job like to learn, they like to be challenged, so if they’re being cross-trained like that, it makes their jobs more interesting, and it’s a form of engagement.”

5. Constantly recruit
“If you get unsolicited resumés, it may be worth somebody’s while to make one phone call and chat with that person and say, We have nothing available right now, but what are you looking for?” says Reder. “Just take some minimal notes.” Then if a key employee does leave, you can call back to see if the person is still interested. “You should never have to start from scratch.”

CBC Vancouver talks to Sandra Reder about commuter burnout

June 18th, 2015

Commuter Burnout

Did you know some employers start the work clock as soon as an employee gets on the West Coast Express? Sandra Reder, President/Founder of Vancouver HR consultant firm Vertical Bridge Corporate Consulting talks to CBC Vancouver about the how to mitigate commuter burnout and keep your employees productive (and happier).

Vertical Bridge HR Consultant Wins Prestigious ICF Prism 2014 Award

June 16th, 2014

ICF Prism Award Winner
Vertical Bridge is thrilled to announce that Jennifer Gerves-Keen, one of our dedicated HR consultants, was the recipient of the coveted ICF (International Coach Federation) Prism 2014 Award for the work she has been doing together with Deloitte Consulting. Here is an excerpt from the press release sent out by the ICF:
“As a professional services Firm, our internal coaches lacked the knowledge and confidence to engage in holistic coaching conversations,” says Patty Tyers, senior manager, Deloitte Consulting. “Since working with Jen, the quality and depth of our coaching culture has improved significantly. Further we have expanded our commitment to coaching by continuing to develop an even stronger coaching capability in our leadership. “It takes a village!”
“From my perspective, The ICF 2014 Prism Award is a validation of what can be achieved when a coach and an organization work together to open up a dynamic organizational community that supports the individual while creating opportunities for the entire group to move forward.” said Jennifer Gerves-Keen.Congrats, Jennifer Gerves-Keen!

Organization Learning Thrives Informally

April 29th, 2014

Source: PeopleTalk April 2014 edition (BCHRMA)

Author:  Jennifer Gerves-Keen

IN A RECENT ARTICLE ABOUT CAREERS published in The Globe & Mail, Marina Glogovac discussed the relatively new importance of continuous learning as it pertains to ongoing success in today’s marketplace. According to Glogovac, learning to learn is the most competitively relevant skill for today’s world.

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