5.0 HR Value: "Respect"
5.1 "Respect" defined
Parks Canada defines "Respect" as: Mutual trust, recognition of accomplishment, self-esteem and regard for others.
- Respect individual differences.
- Recognize individual and team contributions.
- Respect the need to balance work and personal lives.
- Recognize employees' rights to union membership, representation and participation in union activities.
- Respect and apply principles concerning official languages, employment equity, privacy, health and safety, protection from harassment and discrimination.
5.2 Where the Review Team looked for evidence of "Respect"
In order to examine "Respect", the review team looked for evidence to suggest that the opinions of individuals were valued. We looked for formal and informal recognition of individual and team contributions. We looked for evidence that the Agency encourages a positive balance in the personal and work lives of its staff. We looked for evidence that the Agency respects employees' rights to union membership and representation. We looked for evidence of application of Agency concern for matters of official languages, employment equity, privacy, health and safety, protection from harassment and discrimination
5.3 What the Review Team found with respect to "Respect"
With respect to "Respect", the review team found a high degree of consistency and a high degree of attention paid to this value by Parks Canada. We found:
- That the Agency and its leadership (particularly top leadership) are highly active both formally and informally in celebrating the accomplishments of the Agency's people both as teams and individuals. We found the Agency has built a multi-faceted Rewards and Recognition Program that includes:
- A CEO Award of Excellence that operates on a structured and continual (rather than annual) basis.
- A CEO People Management Award
- Long Service Awards (for 15, 25 and 35 years of service)
- Appreciation Awards (available to any manager to recognize the accomplishments of staff.)
- Functional Community awards (intended to recognize excellence within communities such as Heritage Presentation, Historic Sites, and Human Resources.)
- That Agency management has taken a keen interest in Recognition and that the Agency works hard "at catching people doing things right." In our review we noted several examples of senior management informally acknowledging and publicly celebrating the achievements of staff at all levels through newsletters and other vehicles.
- That the Agency clearly recognizes and respects employees' rights to union membership, representation and participation in union activities. We found a well organized and well structured approach to Labour Management Consultation and an active LMC environment both nationally and in the field. We found no evidence to suggest that employees are constrained from seeking representation or are constrained from participating in union activities. We found in conducting this review that we were encouraged to speak directly and confidentially with senior union officials, and we found that the employee focus groups arranged for us for this review included a good representation of employees active in their union who were quite willing to voice their opinions to us. The Parks Canada Employee survey reports, "Parks Canada employees appear confident that fairness and respect exist within their individual work unit, but are less confident that it permeates the overall organization. Most employees feel that everyone in their work unit is accepted equally, that their supervisor treats them with respect, and that their supervisor understands and respects the provisions of the collective agreement. The respect of supervisors is by far the most positive aspect of working life, according to a large number of staff. In fact, supervisors' respect of the collective agreement is viewed more positively than in the Public Service."
However, while employees were willing to speak candidly and openly to the review team, employees do not necessarily feel that they can do so using the processes of the Agency without fear of reprisal. As the Parks Canada Employee survey reports, only half of the employees in the Agency believe that they can:
"initiate a formal redress process without fear of reprisal, the result is nonetheless disturbing, given that only one in two employees believe this to be the case and that the ability to initiate formal redress is another key driver of overall satisfaction with the job. These findings point to some weakness related to the HR values of respect and fairness."
- That the Agency has a highly organized and highly active Occupational Health and Safety Program and that this receives considerable management time and attention. This program (overseen by a National Occupational Health and Safety Policy Committee) contains a well structured policy that includes the following components: leadership, planning, implementation, monitoring and recording, review, correction and continuous improvement. The program includes a well articulated prevention dimension. The Parks Canada Employee Survey reports that:
"The organization is seen to be strongly committed to occupational health and safety. As noted, most employees agree that their supervisors are committed to this issue. Furthermore, fully two-thirds of the employees have taken occupational health and safety training in the last three years, and most are satisfied with this training. Finally, most employees know where to go for help with health or safety issues at work."
That the Agency has developed and implemented its own Dispute Resolution System that includes an Independent Third Party Review (ITPR) dimension.
- That with respect to employment equity, the Agency has completed a workforce analysis that shows:
- That Aboriginal Peoples are well represented in the workforce of the Agency
- That Persons with Disabilities are appropriately represented in the Agency;
- That Women are somewhat underrepresented
- That Visible Minorities are underrepresented in semi-skilled manual worker and professional occupations
A large majority of employees believe that the right to use either official language in the workplace is respected. As the Parks Canada Employee Survey reports, "most employees agree that they are free to use either official language in meetings and training. A total of 85 per cent agree that training offered by the Agency is available in the official language of their choice, and a similar proportion agree that they feel free to use the official language of their choice in meetings in their work unit (87 per cent) or outside their work unit (81 per cent). Questions regarding training that is offered in the language of choice and use of language in meetings (inside and outside the work unit) are answered similarly."
That with respect to harassment and discrimination, the Parks Canada Employee Survey reports "Although the reported incidence of harassment and discrimination at Parks Canada is marginally lower than reported in the Public Service, nonetheless, one in five to one in seven employees did report one or the other. Two-thirds of Parks Canada employees are satisfied with the way their work unit responds to matters related to harassment and discrimination (which is higher than satisfaction reported in the Public Service overall), and a slightly greater proportion agrees that the Agency works hard to create a workplace which prevents harassment and discrimination."
The review team concludes that the Agency has been effective and consistent in observing the HR value of Respect.
That the Agency has conducted an Employment Systems Review and found no real systemic barriers to the employment of members of employment equity groups although there are practical difficulties in attracting members of these groups due to the seasonal nature of a large component of the workforce and due to the remote locations of much of the work of the Agency. Nonetheless, the Agency has committed itself to narrowing the representation gaps for Women and Visible Minorities as best it can acknowledge these practical challenges.
That the CEO and Chief HR Officer have committed that 25% of all new hires will be drawn from Employment Equity groups.
That with respect to official languages, the Agency has met the requirements of the Official Languages Act. (See OL Annual Review Report 2001/02) No significant gaps in compliance, capability or service were identified. The Agency ensures respect for official languages by designating a senior executive to champion official languages (in recent years, the CAO Strategy and Plans and presently, the Chief Human Resources Officer.) In national committees, the Agency encourages participants to speak in the language of their choice and the responder can also speak in the language of their choice. At Management Committee, Official Languages requirements are routinely considered in decision-making and Official Languages issues brought to the table receive serious consideration. Agency budgets for translation are significant and allow for easy access to information in both languages. The Agency web site (parkscanada.gc.ca or parcscanada.gc.ca) was developed to meet the requirements of the policy on the use of the two official languages on electronic networks. All content was produced in separate English and French versions. There were more than 2.5 million visits to the website. Visitor Information Surveys are conducted at 114 eligible locations over a repeating five year cycle. This survey provides an ongoing client feedback system regarding language of service. The number of public complaints related to official languages has been minimal. Some field units have received awards from the Commissioner of Official Languages.