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Lorne Bennett

Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Pennecon
Lorne Bennett
Lorne Bennett

Lorne Bennett is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Pennecon.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born in Gander NL and grew up in Corner Brook, NL

I now live in: Paradise, N

I completed my training/education at: Bachelor of Commerce,  Memorial University of NL, Masters of Industrial Relations, Queens University at Kingston, Project Management Certificate at York University

What I do at work

I provide advice on workplace issues and problems. I work with others on an HR team to develop processes and programs to support management and employees. These processes and programs help ensure a satisfied and productive workplace. To do my job, I need to have a general understanding of technology and engineering as well as the organization I work for. This helps me know how things are "supposed" to work and assist managers put work processes in place to meet that goal.

I also address employee concerns as they arise. I research HR programs and practices at other organizations as well as what courts, judges and governments have decided about workplace issues. I use this information to ensure we are the best organization we can be (i.e., make money and ensure employees are satisfied and productive at work).

I use specialized database software and spreadsheets to record and track employee information and calculate costs of programs and help make presentations. I make decisions by investigating and understanding issues and using my work experience. When necessary, I get advice from specialty skills such as lawyers and consultants to understand the law and how best to address a situation. I then use my communication skills to advise managers and employees how a workplace situation should be handled for our organization.

The types of problem solving I engage in include hiring employees, workplace training, employee orientation, deciding how much people should be paid, deciding the health benefits and savings plans for employees. I’m also involved in negotiating terms and conditions of employment with employees, managers and unions, as well as wellness and mental health supports. I also have to be a coach and counselor for employees and managers on how "things should work". I work at knowing what motivates people and how they like to work. I make sure employees understand the company’s expectations and I discipline employees

My career path is

I had a summer construction job in high school and I knew that working outdoors in harsh weather and physical labour (e.g. using a jack hammer) was not for me. I needed to make money. I pictured myself working at a desk, in an office, doing business. But I did not know what I wanted to do. I liked solving issues, working on teams, and being loyal. I generally knew how things were supposed to work, when performing work. I did have teachers in high school and university who gave me advice at what I was good at and where I needed to improve.

I decided on Human Resources because of courses I did not like as I completed my Bachelor of Commerce (e.g., Accounting, Finance and Marketing). Those things just did not interest me. During my undergraduate degree I completed three work terms. Here I found out what I liked, and did not like, to do at work. I was good at working with people and solving issues. I had good friends who gave me advice and I met a person in university, who eventually I married, who helped motivate me to complete school and be as good as I could be.

I have an undergraduate degree in Business, and a graduate degree, specializing in Human Resources and Labour Relations. I also completed a certificate program in Project Management, because my work involves a lot of projects. I like change and interesting work. I've worked in hospitals and nursing homes in the health care sector. I’ve also worked on offshore platforms and at a refinery in the oil and gas industry. Now I work with a company that does construction and maintenance work and with all types of tradespeople.

I am motivated by

I like people! I like solving people issues and problems and watching a team be successful. I like talking to people and understanding "what’s going on" or " how things work" in a workplace. I get satisfaction from knowing that I provided advice and support to help employees, individually or on a team, to be successful. I like researching issues and providing advice to my co-workers and others (e.g., unions, other companies that my company might partner with or do work for them).

When there is conflict in the workplace, I like that I help find the best solution. I like working and communicating with others, that are smart and confident, or who have different experiences, so I learn from them. This helps me provide better advice to my coworkers and be a better person myself. I also like helping employees who need encouragement and advice at work.

How I affect people’s lives

My work gives people an opportunity to get a job, make money to have things in their life (e.g., a house, apartment, get a car and buy things). I help other people to ensure they are happy at work and that work gets done. I help people solve problems at work, train and orientate them so they know how to do their job. I also help people leave the organization if they are not performing work or not getting along with others.

Outside of work I

I like spending time and socializing with friends. I like to travel. I enjoy spending time with family at our cabin. I like to garden and clean up around the house, winter snow clearing, and mowing lawn in summer (it relaxes me and gives me time to think). I play hockey, hike and play golf. I run or lift weights when I can, and once did a triathlon. I do some volunteer work, but should do more, to give back to others and help our community.

My advice to others

Know who you are and what you like to do. Talk to teachers, friends and people that already work in that career. Get some job experiences, hopefully through school, to discover what you like. Embrace change as being constant. Be open to feedback from others and accept it to improve. Don't be afraid of failure and learn from your experiences.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Geography
  • Math
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Business & Economics
  • Music
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Played on a sports team
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked being given specific instructions
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Engaged in activities such as fishing

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