Q&A with Ceridian’s Michelle Bogart

Ceridian HCM Inc.’s director of employee engagement and culture discusses flexible working, parental leave and family bike rides.

Q. What top challenges do you face in your role?

A. Our team’s area of focus means the tightening labour market will keep us busy in the coming years. Our greatest challenges are identifying programs . . . that attract, and will continue to engage, our top talent throughout their careers. It’s critical in today’s labour market and it isn’t going anywhere.

Q. What new programs or initiatives are you looking to implement?

A. We’re in the process of reviewing our parental leave program to create more options to support all families through that incredible life stage. In Canada, for example, if a family elects to leverage [employment insurance] benefits for an extended period, how can we support employees as they transition back to work through a period of time that can be challenging?

Read: A look at extended parental benefits one year on

[We’re] thinking through that for first-time parents, for families working through the adoption process or fertility struggles, just understanding how those situations can impact the lives of our employees.


September 2018 — present
Director, engagement and culture, Ceridian HCM Inc.

February 2018 — September 2018
Strategic business partner, Ceridian HCM Inc.

September 2012 — February 2018
Business analyst, State Farm

March 2010 — September 2012
Agency training specialist, State Farm

Q. How do you judge the success of a program or initiative?

A. We monitor our employee engagement very closely through a number of channels on an ongoing basis. We run annual engagement surveys, as well as both internal and external pulse surveys throughout the year. We also have feedback channels we’ve established to collect employee sentiment — things like our regular town hall meetings with executives, our global all-hands calls . . . and an employee idea portal.

Q. What program do you consider the most successful or that you’re most proud of?

A. Our workplace flexibility is probably the greatest demonstration of our underlying company culture. Programs like our virtual working arrangements, where we enable employees, like me, to work virtually, and adjusting our hours to tend to personal commitments — these programs are rooted in a true, genuine trust for our employees.

Read: Ceridian raises engagement, productivity with flex time-off policies

I’m also proud of our Take 2 program, which encourages employees to take two hours off whenever they need to tend to personal commitments, and our flexible time away from work program. The beauty of this program is it came from employee feedback.

Q. What key human resources issues do you expect in the year ahead?

A. In 2019, one of the drivers has been the ongoing war for talent and I think that’s going to continue in 2020. We will continue to see the focus on how we can drive engagement and innovation — those very human elements of work — by focusing on creating a meaningful, personalized employee experience. Helping employees find a sense of purpose in work will reduce the potentially high impact of turnover.

Q. What do you like to do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?

A. We have two young children and they’re very active, so I spend a lot of my days cheering for them at various athletic events or practicing with them to help them build a love of their various activities. If we’re not on the field or at a match, you’ll probably find us in the backyard playing baseball or going for family bike rides. If I have a chance, I do try to sneak in a peaceful moment with a yoga session or a good book.

Q. What’s your favourite employee benefit and why?

A. The flexible working and flexible time away from work programs have significantly impacted my personal life, helping me blend work and family life so I can be the parent I want to be and the employee I want to be.

Read: Third of employees have left job for flexible working options

Historically, my accrued vacation time was for when my kids had appointments or were home sick, and I never had that day to just rest and recharge. When you take a day to rest or breathe, you come back a better employee and a better parent, a better person.

Kelsey Rolfe is an associate editor at Benefits Canada.