This month we spoke with Janet MacLean, CMRRA’s Direct of Human Resources about CMRRA’s current projects, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, and the complexity of publisher/songwriter compensation through mechanical licensing.
You’ve been at CMRRA for nearly a year and a half, and you’ve already made a great mark on our team! What fulfills you the most in your position at CMRRA?
Since I joined CMRRA it has been a busy and exciting time. I think I feel the most fulfilled when talking to my CMRRA teammates and when making changes that make things easier and better for our employees.
Starting at CMRRA right at the beginning of the pandemic, I missed out on knowing and working with the team in the office. You learn a lot from people through those informal chats ‘by the water cooler’. I jump on any chance I get for a quick casual conversation when I can learn new things about my colleagues and what makes them tick. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone in our newly renovated office, it is a really bright and inspiring space!
It was a great feeling rolling out our new and improved flex benefit plan and retirement savings programs earlier this year. Both plans were in need of an update and we really wanted them to reflect and recognize our staff’s contributions and engagement. To take the info that employees provided in a benefit survey and to be able to respond to concerns and wishes gave me great satisfaction and I think the result was a real win for CMRRA.
What are some of your main projects that are on the go as Director of Human Resources at CMRRA?
We have just made the exciting decision to move our Performance Review system to UKG (our payroll/HRIS platform). I will be working on the configuration and implementation in time for our 2021 review process which will start in January 2022. Moving our system to UKG will make it easier for everyone to complete the process and will allow for future improvements to be made.
I am also amidst an update to the CMRRA Employee Handbook and working with the Return to Office team on our plans to reunite in the office. We continue to actively monitor the pandemic situation and how it affects our plans to implement a new hybrid working model. We want to ensure that everything is in place from a health and safety perspective for when we come together 2 days a week to collaborate and to strengthen and evolve the CMRRA culture. There is a lot of work happening to ensure we make thoughtful decisions and that they are reflected in our policies and procedures. I can’t wait to safely join staff back to the office and to meet a lot of them face to face for the first time!
You’re on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee at CMRRA, can you tell me a little more about that?
The DEI Committee was established in September 2020. It is an awesome team that is really great to work with. Our monthly meetings are always interesting. With the Committee still being relatively new, we are working through things together and learning from each other as we go. We are lucky to have partnered with a terrific DEI consulting firm, Boldly Inclusive, with whom we have wonderful synergy. They have provided invaluable guidance and support. I am really proud of what the Committee has been able to accomplish so far. A real highlight for me is the work that went into the creation of CMRRA’s inclusion statement – it was an inspiring process and I think our statement really reflects where CMRRA is at right now.
Now that you’re immersed in the music industry, has working at CMRRA taught you a lot about the value of songwriters? Has that changed your relationship with music?
Music has always been present in my life. Today my family has music on at breakfast and dinner, I run with it, we listen to it in the car, my kids seem to always have headphones on, and in non-covid times we would have a steady schedule of concert tickets to look forward to. Recently I was nervous and excited to attend the Arkell’s first live concert since the pandemic began. It seemed fitting to go since I think the last live show I went to – the Lumineers at the ACC – was one of the last live concerts before Toronto’s lockdown. It reminded me how amazing it is to experience live music and I now can’t wait for the next opportunity.
Working at CMRRA I have been enlightened to the complexity and layers that exist in the creation of music and how it is compensated. There is way more that goes into the behind the scenes work at CMRRA than I had understood. I learn new things everyday about the intricacy and the importance of the work. CMRRA’s focus on improving communication and information sharing – Megaphone learning sessions, Pulse meetings, Town Halls, weekly emails– has been so helpful for increasing my understanding of how different parts of the CMRRA machine work, fit together and result in songwriters and music publishers getting paid.
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