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Originally published: October 21, 2016

Lisa Wilkins is the Chief Human Resources Officer at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The Investor Office recently sat down with Lisa to discuss her role, the evolution of the OSC and what makes the organization such a great place to work.

Meet Lisa

I’ve been the Chief Human Resources Officer at the OSC for 3 years. Prior to working here, I spent half of my career as an external consultant focused on organizational design and development, strategic human resource management and business strategy and planning. The other half of my career has been spent inside organizations working in human resources, most recently at Mount Sinai Hospital.

In addition to my business interests and career, I have a strong interest in the arts and in the community. This past year, I was able to combine these two interests, by exhibiting and selling several of my paintings to raise money for a family shelter in my neighbourhood. It was a very rewarding experience!

On the OSC’s talent…

Our role in the Human Resources (HR) department at the OSC is to ensure the responsible management of the organization’s biggest asset: our people. We in HR think of ourselves as being stewards of that investment and have developed a service model that reflects that role.

The OSC mandate is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices and to foster confidence in capital markets that are fair and efficient markets. As an organization, we achieve these goals through the skills and capabilities that our employees bring to their work, be that regulatory, advisory or administrative. In HR we partner with managers across the organization to design and structure work effectively, we promote a culture of learning and professional development that enables people to expand their breadth of experience, and we develop policies and practices (such as pay and benefits, leave policies and, employee wellness programs) that enable people to do their best work. From an employee point of view, talent acquisition and management is about providing an excellent experience for staff as they move through their career. My personal goal is that our employees describe their time at the OSC as “the best employee experience I ever had.”

On the OSC’s evolution of stakeholder engagement…

Over the last few years, the OSC has been evolving the way we interact with stakeholders, focusing on consultation, dialogue, and face-to-face interaction. The Investor Office plays a critical role in this evolution, taking a lead in examining our work, what we currently do and what we should be doing regarding the delivery of investor protection. For example, our current and former Chairs encouraged the increased interaction with industry stakeholders and investors through initiatives such as roundtables and OSC in the Community, which involve employees from across our organization. These face-to-face meetings increase our understanding of what is happening with investors and industry participants, the challenges faced and the impacts new rules have on both. Additionally, from a staff perspective, this type of interaction builds their communication and stakeholder engagement skills and expertise, and is a unique and rewarding opportunity to see the impact their work has on the community.

On working at the OSC…

When I worked in the health care industry, people were very passionate about the mission or mandate of the organization, which makes sense when you’re thinking about the health and wellbeing of people in our community. When I joined the OSC I was impressed to see the same level of passion demonstrated by staff here. People really care about the mission and our values, and the organization is filled with people who know they are making a positive difference in the community.

The work is also really interesting! It’s challenging, there is so much change in the industry that we are forced to step outside of our comfort zone, to consider and reconsider what we know and to find solutions that address multiple needs and perspectives to achieve our mandate. The OSC is definitely a place where people can grow their career and have real impact.

Any final thoughts?

I’m proud of all the good work we have been doing at the OSC and of our focus on the employee experience. We strive to create a positive work environment and we see employees supporting and celebrating each other’s accomplishments and differences. This in turn results in better work for investors and the industry. That is the everyday experience I’m proud of.