Stacking the Deck

Chief HR officer Denise Hayes holds Moneris’s most important cards: its people. Here, Hayes lays out how she’s helping Canada’s leading payment processor revamp its internal processes so it can continue to grow.

Photo by Moneris Solutions.
Photo by Moneris Solutions.

Moneris is a leader in point-of-sale payment processing across North America. The organization has a really great focus on delivering to our clients while bringing innovative and creative payment solutions to the market. For instance, in June 2014, we released PAYD PRO, the first and only smartphone-based mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) solution in Canada to accept both Interac debit- and credit-card payments. PAYD PRO is also the first mPOS product to include EMV Chip and PIN and contactless payment technology. This revolutionary solution allows merchants to process payments securely anywhere they do business.

Over the years, I learned I really enjoyed being in organizations and industries that are growing, changing, and [are] complex. The payments industry is very complex. My role as chief human resources officer is to help the organization deliver on our business strategy from the people perspective. That’s end to end—from attracting talent into the organization to developing them, recognizing them, and helping evaluate them, in order to ultimately deliver on our overall growth and business objectives.

Personal credibility plays an integral part in being successful. For me, it boils down to making sure to ask, “What problem are we trying to solve here?” to internal and external clients. I am a strategic business partner to our internal clients and to our CEO. I encourage all of my team to do that as well.

I was recruited to help the organization deliver on the overall business strategy, so when I started, I needed to take a look at my own shop. It was already a great group, but their roles and responsibilities were not yet clearly defined. So I did a SWOT—which stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats”—analysis. I spent a lot of time talking to leaders and getting feedback on what was working and what wasn’t.

From there, I created four centres of excellence. First was talent acquisition. Next was organizational development, which is really the business-support function along with organization design, alignment, and leadership development. Third was total rewards, which constitutes compensation, benefits, pension plans, and recognition programs. The last area was learning and development, which includes both our technical learning as well as soft-skill development.

Outside the Office

According to Hayes, HR can sometimes get pretty serious, so it’s important to look for creative outlets. That manifests itself from the seemingly ordinary, like decorating her home, to the more intellectually challenging, like volunteering for the board of the local performing-arts centre.

This alignment made it clear for the business to know who to go to for what. It made it clear for the employees within HR, too. They now know what they are accountable for. It was foundational in getting our house in order, in order for us to support the business. I was extremely fortunate that they understood right away. Some people even moved into new roles or got extended responsibility. There was an appetite to take on more.

We also do an annual review for our most senior leaders. I introduced a nine-box, a performance potential matrix that is considered best practice. We took it a bit further with a complete calibration session. It was every executive for a full day, talking about every individual’s place on the nine-box—the result being that we have identified our top talent and are now in a position to continue to develop that group of people for either broader or new roles within the organization, as well as succession-planning purposes.

As Moneris wants to continue to be the leader in our space, we’ll continue to evolve and grow, and HR will need to be there. We’ll need to modify our talent strategy—in real time—and change will be constant. Overall, it’s a very exciting industry, and I’m really excited to see what the future brings for both Moneris and the HR department.