Devard Knowles

BTVI Benefits Manager

Benefits Manager of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, Devard Knowles, was a member of the DisruptHR Nassau 2023 competition winning team, where he skillfully displayed his human resources knowledge and skills.

Mr. Knowles was one of 12 speakers recruited to participate in the competition in which participants were divided into four teams of three. On Mr. Knowles’ team were HR Officer of Bahamas Air Navigation Services Authority, Mercedes Morley and Talent Development Manager at Rosewood Hotel, Khadijah Young. Held at Crypto Isle, each speaker had five minutes to make his or her presentation with the aid of 20 slides. The three judges – senior HR industry leaders – evaluated the presentations through a question and answer component.

Founded in Cincinnati in 2013, DisruptHR is a global information exchange designed to inform and empower HR leaders, business professionals and community leaders. The Bahamas Society for Human Resource Management (BSHRM) and Wellington Hepburn International (WHI) partnered to facilitate DisruptHR Nassau 2023 under the theme Plugging the Brain Drain. The ultimate focus was to present strategies that disrupt the traditional view of the HR field, encouraging some of the best and brightest of Bahamian talent to remain home or return.

Mr. Knowles’ topic was Flex Your Times or Lose Your Dimes. He discussed choosing which type of flextime to offer employees, determining guidelines and non-negotiables, and including important details and making them official.

“I spoke to how flextime should not only be available to senior employees. I gave three practical solutions to show how they could be implemented tomorrow. They aren’t ambitious,” said Mr. Knowles.

“The event was one where we got to highlight our HR acumen to the public by discussing relevant issues and providing industry solutions to plugging the brain drain. I stayed on topic and time. The goal was really to teach them something meaningful but make it quick,” he added.

Questioned as to his thoughts about being chosen to participate in the event, Mr. Knowles said he was honoured.

“Honestly, I know it was an invitation I couldn’t underestimate. They didn’t have to choose me. It showed me that other HR professionals took notice of my talent,” said Mr.  Knowles who has been a HSHRM member since 2008.

BTVI’s Interim President, Dr. Linda A. Davis congratulated Mr. Knowles, noting that he is an example of the talent that exists at the organisation.

“We’re very proud of Mr. Knowles’ performance. To be selected as one of the 12 speakers for this event, which was held in cities worldwide, speaks volumes. Moreover, to be a member of the dynamic winning team is proof that he has transformative ideas that were accepted by veteran HR professionals who were judges. Mr. Knowles represented his industry and BTVI well,” said Dr. Davis.