September 14, 2017 marked an incredible milestone in Clear HR Consulting’s history. That evening, at the 2017 Canadian HR Awards in Toronto, Clear HR Consulting won the award for External HR Consultancy of the Year!

What a thrill! Now we know what it must be like to win an Oscar. Imagine a black-tie affair hosted by TV personality Ben Mulroney. The nominees for our category are announced. The presenter opens the envelope. “And the winner is…” Then a long pause after which the presenter says that she has the wrong envelope. The right envelope is opened and then “And the winner of External HR Consultancy of the Year is…Clear HR Consulting!!” (Good thing we weren’t the La La Land of this awards show!)

After that, it’s all quite a blur. Klaudia and I went up on stage to accept the award (unfortunately, Andreas and Annika couldn’t attend). I said a few words which, to be completely honest, I don’t really remember. I walked off the stage trying not trip down the stairs in front of over 650 people. Pictures and interviews ensued and I was in such a state of shock that I’m not quite sure what I said. We were on cloud nine! It was an amazing, exciting night. Thank you to the Canadian HR Awards for putting on another great show.

Who would have thought that winning External HR Consultancy of the Year was possible for our boutique HR consulting business back when we started in 2004?

As I reflect on how far we’ve come in the past 13 years, I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish. My vision, albeit a slightly blurry vision at the time, was to work with small businesses. Large companies have the benefit of HR departments and large budgets to help them navigate the often complicated and sensitive world of employee management. Small businesses, however, which make up 98% of businesses in BC, don’t have the luxury of that internal human resources support. Most fumble their way through the people-side of their business, and by luck, talent or good timing, they become successful.

My goal was to be able to help these small businesses become better employers by providing quality HR support. By being better employers, they would have happier employees. If employees are happier, they become better mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters and sons. They become better contributors to the communities in which they live and work. If their families and communities benefit from their positive spirit, then the world becomes that much brighter. That would be our way to contribute to making a positive difference in the world.

Looking back, I would like to believe that we have made a difference. Whether by helping an employer navigate a difficult termination, by giving a manager advice on how to best give performance feedback to an employee, or by providing a client a shoulder to cry on or a sounding board to work out a problem, we try our best to help our clients be better employers. They might not always like what we tell them. They might not always want to do what we recommend. But, we always have their best interests in mind. Even if that means they don’t need us anymore. We aim to leave our clients in a better position that when they first engaged with us.

There is so much negativity in the world today, and there are so many incredibly poor examples of leadership in business and politics. If we can make even some small, positive contribution to helping leaders be better, we’d be taking baby steps towards achieving our vision.

I look back very fondly at our last 13 years. Though I don’t know what the future will bring, I know that we’ll continue working at a grassroots level to help our clients be great employers with employees who feel respected and champion their businesses.

Thank you to all of our amazing and wonderful clients. It goes without saying that we wouldn’t be here without you. To our partners and service providers, thank you for your support and counsel.

And last but not least, my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to Andreas, Klaudia and Annika for bringing your best to our business and to our clients each and every day. This award is a testament to your hard work and dedication.

Thank you to the Canadian HR Awards for this wonderful honour. We look forward to a bright future in the years ahead.

Cissy Pau

PS: Check out some photos and a video from the event!