The Human Well has been providing clients with a full range of HR services for over 10 years. We approach business issues in an uncomplicated manner providing customized solutions that support a company’s business strategy at a reasonable cost.

Clients typically call us when:

  • Growth requires new supporting policies and programs
  • Key business objectives have been missed
  • High levels of turnover are being experienced
  • The right talent cannot be attracted
  • A new enterprise system is being implemented
  • International expansion is being considered
  • General or executive compensation needs updating

Our team of experts can help your organization address the following area of HR concern:

Compensation - Executive, general staff, short and long term incentives, and stock ownership

Staying on top of competitive reward in the home office is tough enough but compounded when employees are located across the country or on different continents. We can help you maintain internal equity through job evaluations and market position through competitive analysis while facilitating the ability of employees to gain developmental experience by being able to move between functions through a salary range structure without compensation being a barrier.

Creating motivational short term incentives, long term incentives and profit participation programs for executives and senior management.

We work closely with boards and even manage Compensation Committees, to help clients develop responses to their specific, strategic needs related to the executive team whether located locally or abroad, assisting with disclosure as well as internal compensation governance such as Compensation Philosophy and Policy.

Talent Management - Attract, develop, assess and retain

Good people are becoming harder to find as the talent supply diminishes. We help companies attract and retain the best through the development of a clear employment brand, promoted online and featuring your company’s culture and values, terms and conditions, accountabilities and employee incentives. When these align you create an engaged workforce, motivated to implement corporate strategy and be more productive.

THW helps clients build recruitment portals that with the aid of social media serve as an online beacon in attracting the best skills to their business.

We’ve helped many clients increase employee effectiveness and mitigate business risk by developing customized Talent Management programs such as employee development, employee assessment, employee performance management, succession planning and talent risk mitigation. THW helps clients select and customize approaches that support their employment brand, employment culture and goals.

Expatriate Management and Global Employee Mobility - Reward, benefits, employment structures, tax, relocation, and reciprocity

Employee willingness to relocate internationally is diminishing (see Blog and Publications). Mobility is a scarce competency often targeted by competitors. Attracting and retaining younger mobile individuals and their families requires a very different approach to reward and relocation than would have attracted the baby boom generation. Assignments are expensive and do not usually go wrong in the workplace. They typically breakdown in the home environment, as a result of stresses and strain place upon a family.

Whether you are moving a mine engineer to Africa or senior programmer from the US to Canada there will be cultural adjustment. Anticipating these changes, developing the right relocation and incentive provisions aligned with the strategic goals of the assignment are key to avoiding costly mistakes and helping the employee and their family successfully land.

THW works with clients to develop offer letters, reward and relocation strategies, tax, employee benefit and employment structures including global employment and payroll companies and even roster schedules.

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Benefits Management - Non-commission advice, design, funding, risk management, and international consolidation

It used to be that a decent health care plan, an opportunity to save for retirement and some catastrophe coverage would be satisfactory to the average employee. With the generational shift underway, workplace benefits are moving away from their "safety net" origins to life style offerings. Such expectations need to be met at home and internationally to attract and retain the best. In addition, with international business now reaching further afield, employers need to make sure that medical and political evacuation, kidnapping and ransom procedures are all in place and working.

THW helps clients analyze risk to employees and place the appropriate benefit funding and accounting mechanisms in place whether you are a large or small employer. THW accepts no commissions from insurance companies and therefore is truly independent and working in your best interest.

Whether your business is domestic, international or involves a mobile workforce THW can assist in creating the right design platform, level of consolidation and funding vehicle (e.g. multinational pooling or your own captive insurance company).

Mergers and Acquisitions - Soft and hard due diligence, integration planning and implementation

"90% of M&A's fail because of people issues" so goes the rule. We disagree. The number is probably right but "don't deliver on the value promised" would be a better description. In any M&A - people are the key. Whatever makes that business attractive is created by its people coming in each morning and doing what they do. You do not want to stop them doing that and further, you need them to remain engaged. Even if you intend to rid yourself of all human assets after the transaction there is much damage that can be done in the interim. Soft due diligence helps understanding of the culture, values and roles of the key players (acknowledged or not) and will make a huge difference in ensuring an effective integration or transition plan is put in place and that retains a combined and engaged work force.

THW assists with assessing the hard due diligence; the human capital liabilities both on the books and off. However, we believe it is the study of talent and culture where real value lies.

Strategic HR Planning - Staffing, skill gaps, recruitment strategy and incentive

The most commonly overused and abused word in the context of HR is "strategic". Few practitioners understand what it means and few business leaders even admit to the two being linked. We believe we understand it better than most. We get how important the acquisition of a key skill set can be to profitability, we recognize the true P&L impact of having employees go the extra mile and we can evaluate the staff numbers you will need to grow your business if you recruit for competency level A rather than competency level B, most importantly we can help you figure out the revenue and profitability impact of aligning incentives with business strategy and HR policies.

Change Management - ERP implementation, transformation, organization effectiveness, re-structuring, out sourcing, organization development, performance improvement, and process improvement

Change is part of every organization - implementing complex information systems, out sourcing processes, acquiring and merging with others can be overwhelming but it is necessary for growth and success.

Though the changes may be complex, the solutions don't have to be. Your people can navigate through a time of transition instead of dragging the project down. THW approaches change projects from a down to earth perspective that focuses on the people not Gantt charts and consultant speak.

We'll provide an assessment of your project and a plan that will make sense for you and your people.

Special HR Projects – Domestic and international

When companies run into an HR challenge that appears to be too high risk (threat to margin) to larger consultants or too costly (in order to mitigate that risk) they will often look to THW for help. Whether its finding the optimal location for a new world HQ, identifying the key competitors and locations for a globally scarce skill set or preparing a manpower plan for a venture in West Africa with our internal company backgrounds and skills we can usually find a practical, no frills solution.

A comprehensive list goes only part way to describe the way THW supports its clients. A better example might be to examine a few of the case studies below:

1. An international construction company wanted an internally equitable compensation system that allowed the movement of key people between functions without compensation being a barrier. Acquiring internally job evaluation skills that would be used only periodically was not a good investment. THW was able to develop a job family and salary structure and an ongoing protocol for the job evaluation of all new positions as necessary allowing internal HR to focus on core business support responsibilities

2. A large number of scarce specialist skills to man a growing number of locations were sought. Recruiters were unable to locate or attract the necessary numbers of candidates and were expensive. THW was tasked with finding a less costly alternative that would accelerate the process and attract larger numbers. THW developed an online recruitment and screening portal that provided hundreds of pages of information about each position and promoted these opportunities 24/7 through social media posting on numerous platforms. Within several months a supply chain of several hundred approved candidates were ready to be deployed.

3. A US restaurant chain making its first venture outside of its home country wanted to make sure that it was an employer of choice and able to attract the best in Canada. THW helped asses its home country culture and values and the programs that supported those, and adapted them for the Canadian employment law environment. The company made a seamless cross border relocation into Canada competing with established competitors and attracting the best candidates to its unique employment brand. In this capacity THW effectively operated as a PEO.

4. A law firm representing an owner of a business that had been prematurely retired in breach of an employment agreement following the sale of his business to a larger company. THW was tasked with providing expert opinion demonstrating based upon the experience of its practitioners, the vital contribution of the former owner and the resulting lost earnings that subsequently translated into a settlement being reached.

5. A mining company had several hundred employees working in various countries around the world, some with their families and others with family members remaining in the home location. The company wanted a contemporary compensation and benefits design that did not discriminate by originating location or nationality, was integrated with local social security plans where appropriate, and provided prompt assessment and reimbursement of claims. THW assessed alternative providers, arranged presentations, took up references and worked with the provider and client to overcome implementation challenges. THW does not receive commissions from insurance companies and was able to save the client almost $500k in premium costs.

Collaborative Projects – Domestic and international

We describe ourselves as a collaborative consulting practice, which means working with partners or your other advisers to get to the right solution. This may include lawyers when developing a new executive compensation program, recruiters when hiring a key leader and needing to understand a complex package or IT people when working on a portal or social media recruitment campaign. We will gladly and enthusiastically work with your extended team to make sure our recommendations are implemented in the most feasible way possible.

Expanding Your Business into Canada

Are you planning an international expansion into Canada? Canadian employment legislation making your head spin? Not sure where to begin? We can help!

Concentrate on what you do well and allow us to take care of your human resource obligations.

We work with international companies coming to Canada. We are an ASO, bringing our clients practical, seamless solutions for a reasonable fee. We do not take ownership of your employees, rather we provide you with the information and tools to ensure that you are legislatively compliant and competitive within your industry. We will bring to your attention things you need to know about Canadian employment practice, values and culture as well as legislative requirements, ensuring you attract and retain the right talent to make your business a success.

Common questions we are often asked:

  • What body of Canadian labour legislation applies to our organization - Federal or provincial?
  • What should I pay our employees?
  • What is a competitive vacation policy for my industry?
  • What statutory holidays do we have to provide to our Canadian employees?
  • How do I legally terminate an employment relationship?
  • What employee benefits shall we need?

Compliance is the easy part. Creating an engaged, productive team is the challenge. Lawyers and immigration advisers cannot help here. With in depth hands on international experience in employment matters THW provides not only local expertise but can help you cultivate the employment culture that you target whether you are expanding your business into Canada from the US or indeed anywhere else.