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Blue-Mark Spotlight – Manager of People and Culture, Eric Cole, on Removing Barriers and Creating an Environment for Success

Eric brings a desire to foster an open and supportive culture at Blue-Mark. With a background in Adult Education and Human Resources, he strives to understand the needs and motivations of the team to find ways to enable individual and group development. Read on as Eric shares his thoughts on building an inclusive environment that encourages collaboration and celebrates diverse perspectives.

1. What lead you to choose Human Resources as a career?

Through my experience, I’ve had opportunities to focus on training and coaching employees to improve team effectiveness and performance. I became motivated by helping others to learn and grow. Studying adult education and human resources enabled me to gain a better understanding of how people learn and develop differently. This awareness of varied learning styles has influenced how I approach my work today. It’s an exciting challenge to work collaboratively with different people through the learning process – from the first introduction of an idea, through to the final mastering of new knowledge, approaches or skills.

2. As an HR Professional what do you hope to achieve through your work?

I’ve always believed that removing barriers and enabling individuals to excel in their roles and environment should be a core focus for HR. By improving policies and practices and providing greater development opportunities, we create a situation where employees can progress in their careers.  If I can make a change or improvement that allows my colleagues to focus on their work and worry less about everything else, then I feel I have succeeded.

3. What is something every organization should incorporate within their culture and environment?

It’s my belief that all organizations should foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable being themselves. Through my education, I researched how homophobia in the workplace can have crippling effects on employees’ mental health and work performance. When people spend much of their energy hiding aspects of their social identity and trying to fit in, it leaves very little left for doing their jobs. I want people to feel valued, respected and have a sense of belonging. It is important for any organization to create a culture where no one is left out and people are empowered to be their authentic selves.

4. What drew you to Blue-Mark?

What drew me to Blue-Mark was the collaborative approach that is consistently used.  I love being able to collaborate with colleagues and brainstorm new ideas to help improve the workplace and provide support. Blue-Mark’s management is open and communicative, which has helped build a unified and supportive culture with a clear vision for the future. I feel privileged to be a part of a growing organization where I can provide my expertise and knowledge to help expand the team and their capabilities.

5. What’s something that not many people know about you?

I studied piano from the time I was 6 or 7 until I completed a bachelor’s degree in Music. I was fortunate to work with some amazing teachers and had opportunities to perform with talented musicians in both Canada and the US. Playing music has always felt very natural to me and although I play less now, whenever I do, it’s still a fulfilling experience.

Education: B.Mus (Hons.), B.Ed (Adult Education), Certificate in HR Management