Optimizing people skills in the workplace

Renée Parent à la une

With the Bootcamp on Learning Strategies less than two weeks away, Ellicom is pleased to present a little sneak preview of the themes that will be covered by its speakers. On June 1, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Renée Parent, Development Advisor at Desjardins Cooperative Institute, along with fellow DCI advisors Johanne Fournier, will bring her twenty-plus years of experience in the field of training to present a workshop on developing interpersonal skills, specifically the challenge of investing the necessary time and support.

By Renée Parent

A delicate subject

When we invest in employee training for workplace situations, we tend to focus on the knowledge and skills essential to the tasks at hand. However, their training cannot be complete without developing the people skills needed to ensure the desired performance. Addressing people skills is a delicate subject as there are no clear-cut methods for doing so Because we are touching upon an employee’s way of BEING, we risk hitting a nerve. Are we in danger of getting too personal? Can an employee really change the way they carry themselves? Do they need to change their personality?

Clear expectations

According to H. Boudreault, an expert in interpersonal skills development, it’s important to distinguish between personal and professional skills. Although an employee’s personality certainly falls under the realm of the personal, all organizations have certain expectations of their employees regarding attitudes and behaviours that reflect the company culture, help achieve certain business objectives, or ensure the smooth functioning of work teams. It is thus important to properly identify and target these essential professional people skills.


Is there a magic formula?

Once the targeted behaviours and attitudes have been identified, it’s important to take into account where your learners already stand. This is a challenge in itself. How do you make these behaviours magically appear? You must master a particular methodology that is based on key principles that maximize the development of people skills and ensure that trainings produce the desired results.

At Desjardins Cooperative Institute, our corporate university, we have spent the past two years defining best practices inspired by learner experiences and observations.


Five key principles

Developing people skills in the workplace is no easy task. It requires changing certain behaviours often directly influenced by belief and values.

We therefore base ourselves on the following five principles to ensure that our training programs provide optimal development of people skills and that learners retain these skills.

  1. Ensure openness, motivation, and commitment
  2. Promote self-awareness
  3. Allow learners to continuously recognize their progress and the effects on their performance
  4. Adapt development goals and activities to workplace issues and challenges
  5. Provide a realistic period of time and support to ensure behaviour change

Real examples and lessons learned


If you’d like to:

  • seer how these principles have been concretely applied to development activities;
  • experiment with some of the pedagogical formulas associated with these principles;
  • identify key players and their role in ensuring development of expected employee behaviours; and
  • discover how the magic happens…

…sign up right away for our exciting and interactive workshop!


Passionate about human development, Renée Parent is an organizational psychologist. With twenty years of experience as a consultant, she has acquired expertise in two main areas: skills management development, and the development of leaders and teams. As a development advisor with the Desjardins corporate university for over a year and a half, Ms. Parent coordinates a mandate dedicated to innovative and effective approaches to fostering interpersonal skills in line with Desjardins’ strategic objective for member and client experience. An excellent communicator, she brings a unique touch to all her presentations, thus ensuring their effectiveness.

Johanne Fournier, pedagogy and skills development advisor, has been working with Desjardins for over six years. She assumes a leadership role in the development of training design methodologies. She has also initiated work on the identification of expected behaviours and knowledge, as well as the development of skills development practices, specifically related to interpersonal skills.



Leave a comment

Seul votre prénom et commentaire seront affichés sur le blogue. Les autres informations resteront confidentielles.