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Internal Audit and Evaluation Documents

Review of the Conformance of the Parks Canada Human Resources Regime with its Values and Principles

Review of the Conformance of the Parks Canada Human Resources Regime with its Values and Principles

Final Report
Date: April 30th, 2010

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Introduction

Understanding the Context in which PCA Works

Methodology

General
HR Review Strategy
HR Review Framework
HR Review Criteria and Indicators
Key Review Activities

General Observations and Findings

Specific Observations and Findings

Results
Processes
Service Delivery

Recommendations

Main Report

Introduction

Background
Understanding the Context in which PCA Works

Methodology

General
HR Review Scope
HR Review Strategy
HR Review Framework
HR Review Criteria and Indicators
Review Timelines

Planning Phase – Identifying Relative Risk Areas

Review Strategy for Higher, Medium, and Lower Risks

Examination Phase – Assessing Results, Processes, and Service Delivery

Key Review Activities

Analysis and Findings

Review Activity – Document Review
Review Activity – HR Outline of Progress and Key Developments
Review Activity – Questionnaire (Control-Self Assessment)
Review Activity – Analysis of the Parks Canada Employee Survey (PCES) 2009 Results
Review Activity – Analysis of the Treasury Board Management Accountability Framework (MAF 6 & 7) Performance Assessment of Parks Canada
Review Activity – Interviews in the Field and at National Office
Review Activity – Working Groups in the Field
Review Activity – Senior Management Feedback
Treasury Board Secretariat Employee Engagement Model

General Observations and Findings

Revised Risk Ranking Following Analysis

Specific Observations and Findings

Value: Competence
Principle: Effectiveness
Value: Fairness
Value: Respect
Principle: Accountability
Principle: Consistency
Principle: Openness
Principle: Efficiency
Principle: Simplicity
Principle: Adaptability

Conclusion

Recommendations

Appendices

Appendix A: Detailed Definitions of Values and Principles

Appendix B: Number and Types of HR Policies

Appendix C: List of Documents Reviewed

Appendix D: Progress and Key Developments Questionnaire

Appendix E: CSA Questionnaire

Appendix F: Key Contacts and Stakeholders

Appendix G: TBS Employee Engagement Model- Respect and Empowerment Paths

Appendix H: HR Comparison Between PCA and Other PS Organizations- Ratio of Employees to HR Professionals

List of Tables and Figures

Tables

Table 1: Review Risk Identification Framework

Table 2: Percentage of FUS, MM and HR Who Agree HR Regime Elements are Well Designed, Consistently Applied and Serving Employees and PCA Well

Table 3: CSA Explanatory Notes Related to Previous Graphs

Table 4: Preliminary Analysis of PCES Questions Linked to Values, Principles, and HR Regime Elements (Includes relative comparison to PSES).

Table 5: Values and Ethics (VE) Scorecard for MAF Round 7 (2009-10) Parks Canada

Table 6: People Management Scorecard for MAF Round 7 (2009 -10) Parks Canada

Table 7: Working Group Discussion Topics by Location

Table 8: Values and Principles- Before and After Comparison of Risk Rankings

Figures

Figure 1: Review Framework

Figure 2: Review Strategy

Figure 3: Review Framework

Figure 4: Review Criteria

Figure 5: Work Plan Timelines

Figure 6: Views from the Field on Whether HR Regime Elements are Well Designed, Consistently Applied, and Serving Employees and PCA Well

Figure 7: Components of the TBS People Management Drivers and a High-Performing Public Service

Figure 8: Comparison of People Driver: Leadership (PCA vs. PS)

Figure 9: Comparison of People Driver: Workforce (PCA vs. PS)

Figure 10: Comparison of People Driver: Workplace (PCA vs. PS)

Figure 11: Comparison of People Driver: Engaged Employees (PCA vs. PS)

Figure 12: Comparison of People Driver: Culture of Excellence (PCA vs. PS)

Figure 13: Comparison of PCES and PSES on Values and Principles

Figure 14: Comparison of PCES and PSES on HR Regime Elements

Figure 15: The Treasury Board Secretariat Employee Engagement Model

Figure 16: Major Elements of Parks Canada’s HR Policy Framework

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Executive Summary

Introduction

The Parks Canada Agency Act requires Parks Canada Agency (PCA) to develop and apply a set of values and principles in the management of human resources in the Agency. The values and principles were developed in partnership by union and management, and were approved by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 1999.

The Act also requires the Agency to conduct an independent review of the consistency of the HR regime with these values and principles, which are to govern management of its human resources. In 2004, the Agency conducted the first review to fulfill its responsibility under this legislation.

In June of 2009, Parks Canada (the Agency) engaged the Centre for Public Management (CPM) to conduct the second formal, independent review required by the Act. This report presents the findings of this review and fulfills the requirement set out in Section 35 (1) of the Act.

Understanding the Context in which PCA Works

Parks Canada is highly decentralized in terms of its organizational structure. The particularly remote nature of many of its locations results in heightened challenges with respect to visitor accessibility, recruitment and retention of highly skilled employees, and national cohesion in its policies, programs, and processes. It, therefore, requires an effective management structure and discipline.

Parks Canada’s employee base consists of approximately 6,000 employees (including Terms and seasonal employees). The majority of the employees (about 80%) work in one of the 42 national parks and national park reserves, three marine conservation areas, or 167 national historic sites managed by Parks Canada. About 10% of employees work in Service Centres located in Halifax, Quebec City, Cornwall/Ottawa, and Winnipeg (with small branch offices in Calgary and Vancouver). The Service Centres provide technical and professional services to Field Units (e.g. science, architecture, and engineering). National Office, with less than 10% of the employee base, consists of five directorates, which provide legislative, operational policy, planning, program direction, financial management, and human resources functions and services.

Parks Canada is an agency in motion. Through a mix of externally driven government objectives and organizational evolution since its inception in 1998, there are many initiatives underway. Under the banner of PCA Renewal, there are seven major initiatives:

  1. Development of a Vision statement;
  2. Refreshing and realigning the PCA “brand”;
  3. Implementation of the Law Enforcement Program;
  4. Implementing prevention guidelines, to support PCA staff in preventing and dealing with incidents at parks and sites;
  5. The realignment of the External Relations and Visitor Experience functions;
  6. Resource Conservation Renewal (RCR) – Maximizing the benefits from PCA investments in ecological monitoring, species at risk, and contaminated sites remediation by defining future accountabilities, roles and organizational structures of resource conservation; and
  7. National Historic Sites Renewal – Developing a renewal strategy focusing on enhancing the relevance of these sites to Canadians.

Methodology

General

The purpose of this section is to present our overall approach for the Review. We based our methodology on our CPM rigorous audit approach and the expectations of PCA. Our review was a broad assessment of the conformance of Parks Canada’s human resource regime with the values and principles that the Agency espouses. While the review was neither a comprehensive audit nor an evaluation of the HR function (and was not intended to be), we followed an audit-like approach.

The Agency’s human resources values and principles pertain to “results” (competence, effectiveness), “processes” (fairness, respect, accountability, consistency, openness), and “service delivery” (efficiency, adaptability, and simplicity). As a result, this review examined both what the Agency is seeking to accomplish through its human resources regime (i.e. a qualified workforce, representative of the Canadian population, working in a positive and enabling work environment) and how these objectives are achieved. Our review examined the extent to which the organization’s values and principles are being applied to the operation of HR functions and practices. We were also careful to ensure that we responded to the expectations of our client by:

  • Creating a matrix of values and principles and human resources regime elements and specifying the criteria and indicators on which each will be assessed;
  • Ensuring a linkage to well-documented evidence and findings, and good documentation showing what evidence was used to support specific conclusions;
  • Considering the concepts of risk and materiality in order to focus our resources most effectively;
  • Ensuring a strategic focus appropriate for an audience of senior managers and parliamentarians; and
  • Providing concise practical recommendations for areas where conformity between values and principles and the human resources regime could be improved.

HR Review Strategy

Although this review is not an audit, the approach and methodology followed audit principles. The approach was thorough, objective, independent, systematic, and evidence-based, and consisted of three phases: (a) Planning, (b) Examination, and (c) Reporting.

HR Review Framework

An important expectation of PCA was that we create a matrix of values and principles and human resources regime elements and specify the criteria and indicators on which each was assessed.

To satisfy the first part of the requirement, the conformance of PCA’s HR regime with its values and principles was assessed through three lines of review: (a) results achievement; (b) adequacy of processes and controls; and (c) service delivery. As indicated in Figure 1 below, each of these lines of review examined specific values and/or principles that were relevant to each of the three lines.

Figure 1: Review Framework

Figure 1: Review Framework

HR Review Criteria and Indicators

The second part of meeting the PCA requirement, specifying the criteria and indicators on which each element of the HR regime was assessed, built on the HR review framework.

The five criteria for this review and 36 supporting indicators and can be found in the Specific Observations and Findings section at the start of our findings for each of the values and principles. They were derived from key source documents, including: Office of the Auditor General (OAG) Internal Audit Report – Management of HR Function and Professional Development, Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) Evaluation Framework, Public Service Commission (PSC) Departmental Staffing Assessment Report (DSAR), Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA), MAF People Element Round 6 and 7, OAG Reports, and Value and Ethics Code for the Public Service. The five criteria are:

  • C1PCA should have successfully established the flexibilities envisaged in the creation of the PCA;
  • C2 – The HR regime should effectively support PCA in achieving its mandate results;
  • C3PCA should have the right talent in the right place at the right time;
  • C4 – The Process Controls should be suitably designed, consistently applied, and effective; and
  • C5 – There should be evidence of sustained efforts to make the system more adaptable, simple, and efficient.

Key Review Activities

We carried out eight review activities to assess the conformance of the HR regime to the PCA values and principles:

  1. Document Review;
  2. HR Outline of Progress and Key Developments;
  3. Questionnaire (Control Self-Assessment);
  4. Analysis of the Parks Canada Employee Survey (PCES) 2009 Results;
  5. Analysis of the Treasury Board Management Accountability Framework (MAF 6 & 7) Performance Assessment of Parks Canada;
  6. Interviews in the operational directorates and at National Office;
  7. Working Groups in the Regions; and
  8. Senior Management Feedback.

General Observations and Findings

Our review coincided with the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, and for us, this seminal event and its relevance to Parks Canada and its people touched us. Amid the national excitement and sponsorship creativity, one powerful Parks Canada commercial stood out. Its message of discovery and rediscovery of Canadian heritage —“Who does this moment belong to? Who is all this for? Who owns these places?” —inspired pride in many. It underscored for us that it is the employees of the Agency who make this real for Canadians. It is the HR regime, based on values and principles, that ensures a workforce that is sustainable, principled, and productive, and a workplace that is enabling and supports their aspirations. The review came to life for us.

Our overall conclusion is that the HR regime is in harmony with the PCA values and principles—although, naturally, some areas need work to enhance ongoing conformance. We found that the Agency routinely considers and applies its values and principles in its analytical and decision-making processes. The Agency and its HR regime have come a long way and there is the commitment, planning, and spirit to go further.

In our opinion, the Agency has made good progress in addressing the specific recommendations of the 2004 Review. Specifically, we found a high degree of conformity between the human resources regime and most of the values and principles, although, we encourage the Agency to continue with actions to enhance conformity. Areas where we believe that more work is needed to reach a similar level of conformity, fall under the value of respect (focused on harassment and discrimination), and the principles of consistency (performance management, and rewards and recognition, below the national level) and openness (focused exclusively on effective communication). The reader will note that, while we have focused on the principle of openness to highlight the communication issue, we raise the recurring communication issue in discussing other values and principles.

There is evidence of several good initiatives that have been put in place or are underway to strengthen the PCA HR regime. A sampling of these is highlighted in the report. Often, however, in reviews of this nature, there can be a tendency to crowd out the “good” and focus on the things to “fix.” We hope that we have resisted this tendency. While we make several recommendations at the end of the report that the Agency may wish to consider, our overall opinion is positive. Furthermore, in our discussions with employees across the Agency, which focused on areas for improvement, they encouraged us to take note of the strong sense of purpose, pride, and teamwork that they feel within PCA.

The 2004 Review, the first one conducted after the creation of the Parks Canada Agency, only addressed the evolution of the HR regime as a work in progress adding that there were hopeful signs of adhering to the values and principles. Judgements made then about the conformance of the HR regime to the Agency’s values and principles needed to be tested with the evidence now available five years later. Five years from now, others will make new judgements with the benefit of enlightened hindsight.

The PCA values and principles are mutually supporting. They must be seen as an integrated whole and not judged in a vacuum. Ideally, one value or principle cannot be overemphasized at the expense of another if the HR regime is to effectively support the PCA mandate. We believe that PCA has strived to maintain a consistent and balanced approach whereby equal importance has been placed on each value and principle. We rarely found that the exercise of one value or principle negatively affected that of another. Rather, many of the examples we cite, as both strengths and challenges, often apply to more than one value or principle. Although we next address each value and principle individually, we do so for clarity in the structure of our report and not to imply that we see one value or principle being addressed at the expense of another.

In a wide-ranging review such as this, with multiple activities and sources of information, there is sometimes inconsistency within and between sources of data. Therefore, in carrying out this review, we had to balance sources of information and make judgements in interpreting the data based on various considerations. For example, we note later in our discussion of the value of respect, the apparent paradox among high levels of PCA employee job satisfaction, low perceptions of employee empowerment and higher perceptions of harassment and discrimination versus reported complaints. Further, for example, in comparing the Parks Canada Employee Survey (PCES) and our self designed Control Self Assessment (CSA) questionnaire results, we took into consideration the varying numbers of respondents and the targeted groups (all employees versus manager level).

We have covered all eight of our review activities, in varying degrees of detail. For example, the Document Review activity makes reference to the many documents reviewed but does not cite specific findings. These findings are included in the detailed discussion of each value and principle, which follow later. In contrast, our review activities related to the PCES, MAF and our CSA questionnaire, required us to conduct our own analysis because, unlike the Document Review, there was no existing document to review. Simply because we had to do these analyses from first principles, we would not want to leave the impression that we relied on, or gave greater weight to, this opinion-based information more than the actual systems, processes and practices of the regime in doing our analysis and drawing conclusions.

Effective communication, in any organization, is a challenge but particularly so, in one as far-flung as Parks Canada which has a relatively flat organizational structure. In the ensuing discussion in this summary of individual values and principles, the reader will note the recurring communication theme. There are many reasons for recommending that the Agency continue to be vigilant in this area. It is important for us to stress that this is not a criticism of those whose function it is to communicate. There is evidence of many good examples of efforts to better communicate, although, we believe that there is always room for improvement. Rather, we see several contributing factors.

There is a sense of “initiative overload” or “saturation” within PCA. Early in this Executive Summary, we highlight the seven PCA Renewal Initiatives, driven by external and internal imperatives. This degree of motion and inherent cultural change presents a communication challenge. When the implementation of individual initiatives takes longer than foreseen and overlaps, employees loose the thread, mix the difference between program and process, and get frustrated, messages blur, confusion sets in, and communication is seen to be ineffective or failed. Sometimes, as we have seen, employee expectations of various HR functions present a communication challenge. In several fora, employees expressed their frustration with basic functions such as classification and staffing “taking too long” and have laid their negative impression at the feet of restrictive HR delegation and the like. On the other hand, we have seen evidence that the Agency compares favourably to other organizations in terms of effective use of HR resources. However, to improve communications, we applaud and encourage the Agency’s efforts to set service standards for key HR functions. We also believe that the report can be used as a communications vehicle to recalibrate employee impressions and expectations about standards of service and Agency policy decisions in such areas as delegation.

The 2004 Review suggested that there was an inconsistency in the application and internalization of the values and principles between management and other employees. Various employees suggested that the HR values and principles were like a “management code of conduct” which applied only to management in its interactions with staff and not necessarily to staff in its interaction with management or other members of the Agency. We believe that, five years later, there is greater awareness and internalization of the Agency’s values and principles among all staff and an expectation that all employees have a role to play in bringing them to life in everyday workings of PCA.

Specific Observations and Findings

Our observations and findings on the PCA values and principles are summarized according to the three lines of review: (a) results achievement; (b) adequacy of processes and controls; and (c) service delivery, as shown in Figure 1: Review Framework.

Results

Value: Competence

We have seen evidence that the Agency is moving towards a competency based system and addressing this recommendation of the 2004 Review, albeit through a gradual evolution to competency management. Based on our examination, PCA employees seem to be generally satisfied that the right talent is being hired to meet the needs of PCA. This is reinforced by the positive responses to the PCES.

Succession planning, supported by sound HR planning and knowledge transfer strategies, is a key area of management focus. The ability to retain and develop employees for meeting PCA mandates in the future has been identified in the corporate risk profile and raised by individuals throughout the course of our review. Through its HR plan, PCA has determined specific occupational groups that require succession planning to meet the future needs of the organization. The need for targeted succession planning is recognized but implementation still needs work.

There is evidence of plans and results for individual development and career planning to maintain the required competencies and to support personal and organizational growth. We saw evidence of a number of training and development programs such as the Aboriginal Leadership Development Program (ALDP), which aims to develop a cadre of Aboriginal leaders within Parks Canada to enhance and enrich the Agency’s culture by integrating Aboriginal culture within all facets of its operations.

However, employee responses in the PCES and CSA questionnaire with respect to effective learning and development were not as positive as some of the existing programs and planning would suggest. This could be an issue of communication, inadequate resources or the heavy focus on organizational versus individual learning in the past few years. Earlier, we referred to the seven PCA Renewal Initiatives underway. Each of these initiatives has a learning/training component and huge investments have been made in this area. Employees may see this level of corporate learning as crowding out their opportunities for individual learning which could account for their survey responses.

Principle: Effectiveness

We found evidence that PCA has used the flexibilities inherent in the separate employer status where it was appropriate to do so to meet operational needs. Views were expressed to us, however, that PCA could make greater use of flexibilities of separate employer status in the area of collective bargaining. After examination, we were convinced, however, that the scope for greater degrees of autonomy is limited and the current situation has met PCA’s needs.

We found evidence that PCA has streamlined HR systems and processes, resulting in lower costs through administrative overhead savings. The Agency makes effective use of its HR resources and in comparison with a sample of other government departments and agencies, PCA has among the lowest ratio of HR professionals to overall employee population.

We found evidence that PCA uses national generic approaches, with an aim to reduce dependency on rules. A few examples are included in the main body of the report to highlight the Agency’s progress.

Our review of the latest annual PCA Performance Report reflects successful, acknowledged achievement of mandate and objectives. For example, the External Relations and Visitor Experience (ERVE) Realignment Initiative, supported by the HR regime, is evidence of this. PCA met its goal to foster in Canadians, specifically their visitors, a personal and more relevant connection to Canada’s treasured natural and historic places.

While there is evidence that the Agency has been relatively successful in meeting its mandate, the issue of employee empowerment is worth mentioning. In theory, empowered employees lead to higher productivity and organizational success. However, employee perceptions in the PCES are negative about the feeling of being empowered in the workplace (45%). They based these perceptions on their freedom to act in their jobs or to have a say in decisions and actions that have an impact on their work, rather than in terms of authority. Given the low positive response in the PCES, we believe that more work needs to be done to analyze feelings that employees have about empowerment and to develop appropriate action plans. One possible reason for employees’ negative perception of empowerment is the climate of major organizational change and selective “freezes” resulting in feelings of disenfranchisement (e.g. staffing).

Processes

Value: Fairness

Various forms of formal and informal recourse mechanisms are in place in the Agency for those who believe that unfairness has occurred. However, the responses to the PCES and CSA questionnaire indicate that these mechanisms have not taken hold yet in a sense of instilling confidence in employees.

With respect to equitable pay across PCA, between the National Classification Review and the current pay zone collapse underway, PCA has taken systemic steps to address this element of respect.

The National Classification Review is an example of the Agency’s efforts to reinforce the value of fairness with respect to equitable pay at different locations for work that is described more uniformly and consistently through generic job descriptions. Approximately 35% of employees were reclassified into a higher group or level and received a retroactive pay adjustment— while a small percentage of employees moved to a new occupational group and/or level that had a lower compensation but they were to be salary protected. We believe that when the National Classification Review is finalized and all grievances are settled, there will be a strong foundation for equitable pay built largely on generic job descriptions and a small percentage of non-generic descriptions.

We saw evidence of initiatives undertaken to ensure that employees are treated equitably, both individually and collectively, while respecting PCA’s diversity. For example, all staffing supervisors and managers are required to complete an online training session on bias-free selection.

We observed practices and decisions being communicated openly and honestly. That said, we heard that there is still work to do to better communicate in general. As well, the Agency faces the challenge of finding ways to communicate with employees in isolated locations who do not have ready access to computers. In summary, we note the need to continue a sustained effort to continue to improve effective communications throughout PCA. This is a recurring theme, which is highlighted in our discussion of other values and principles.

Value: Respect

Throughout our examination at various levels within PCA, we were struck by a clear climate of respect that permeates the organization. In responding to the PCES, 71% of employees expressed the view that PCA treats them with respect. While this is not to say that there are not challenges in maintaining respectful relationships within PCA, we believe that the HR regime conforms, in great measure, to the value of respect.

In response to our questionnaire, and during subsequent interviews, individuals expressed the view that processes to manage conflict in the workplace were serving them and the Agency well. The union perspective that the Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS) is functioning well reinforces this general view.

On a more negative note, in responding to the PCES, only 58% of employees felt that they could initiate a formal redress process without fear of reprisal. In and of itself, this response is not enough to suggest that there is a crack in the climate of respect at PCA, but it is a perception that requires vigilance. This low positive response could be a function of a lack of awareness and ineffective communication of various redress avenues available. However, ensuring that employees are more aware of redress mechanisms open to them may lead to a reduction in their latent fear of reprisal. Furthermore, employees reported a reluctance to file formal complaints upon hearing about the experiences of other employees circulating in the workplace regarding how their complaints were handled. Many also held the notion that their single complaint would be incapable of changing the situation. We were struck by the degree of congruence on this issue between our findings and the issues raised by the PCA Ombudsman in his report.

Respect for individual differences is evident in PCA. There are numerous examples of programs and tools that have been developed in the areas of official languages (OL), diversity, health and safety, etc. that are aimed at sustaining an ethos of respect at PCA. These include a new leaflet on language of work entitled Where Respect Truly Makes Sense, which was distributed in the summer of 2005 to all staff in designated bilingual regions.

Employees seem to be responding positively to the implementation of PCA workplace policies and programs. They responded positively in the PCES when asked to comment on questions related to respect. For instance, 81% of respondents felt that supervisors and senior management are committed to ensuring occupational health and safety in their workplace.

The 2004 Review recommended that the Agency improve the representation of women and visible minorities. We saw evidence that progress has been made with both groups. The Agency’s diversity initiatives have contributed to highly positive employee perceptions about diversity at PCA. Specifically, 83% of PCES respondents believe that, in their work unit, every individual, regardless of race, colour, gender, or disability would be/is accepted as an equal member of the team.

However, there is a challenge to creating a respectful work environment in PCA: the issue of harassment and discrimination. Similar to the Public Service at large, reports of harassment and discrimination have gone up since the last PCES survey conducted in 2004.The Treasury Board, in its Management Accountability Framework (MAF) Round 7, assessed PCA to have “Opportunity for Improvement” regarding the total of actual harassment complaints and harassment grievances per employee. We noted, however, that actual harassment complaints and grievances were lower in 2008-2009 and were reduced from the previous year by 56% and 31% respectively.

Paradoxically, 85% of employees expressed a high level of job satisfaction in the latest survey and 80% of respondents believe that Parks Canada works hard to create a workplace that prevents harassment and discrimination. Similar results were evident across the Public Service.

Without further analysis, we cannot offer a ready explanation for this apparent anomaly despite carrying out a cursory literature search and discussion with Statistics Canada. There is no question that harassment and discrimination negatively affects job satisfaction, but there are other probably more statistically relevant determinants of job satisfaction. These could include other variables such as job tenure, intentions to leave the organization, geographic location, source of the harassment and discrimination (e.g. persons in authority, co-workers, the public, etc.) and demographic variables such as employment equity groups, age, and occupation.

In our view, the Agency has taken harassment and discrimination seriously. Mandatory harassment and discrimination training has been implemented. In 2008, the Agency launched mandatory awareness training programs entitled Evolving Workplace: Everybody Wins, as well as the Employment Equity Policy, the Workplace Accommodation Policy and the Toward a Harassment-Free Workplace Policy, all delivered via the intranet.

Regardless, like all organizations, PCA needs to redouble its efforts to reduce and eliminate harassment and discrimination. One suggestion might be for PCA to adopt a new strategy that would see the implementation of a national campaign promoting respectful relationships in the workplace, shifting from the current and seemingly ineffective zero tolerance approach to one of a 100 percent respect culture. This approach has worked in situations such as reducing bullying in schools and is being considered by at least one other Federal Government department.

One key aspect of the value of respect is the extent to which accomplishments are celebrated, both formally and informally. We found evidence that PCA goes to great lengths to recognize the contributions of employees to the attainment of organizational objectives. We note later that there is a challenge, however, of ensuring the consistent application of rewards and recognition programs in PCA.

Based on our examination, we believe that PCA respects the right of employees to union membership, representation, and participation in union activities. On the other hand, although union leadership expressed to us a positive working relationship with PCA leadership, senior management should address the fact that only 52% of employees feel that senior management engages in meaningful consultation with their union on workplace issues. Again, this could be a communication issue.

Principle: Accountability

There is evidence that senior management plans and sets the direction for the key elements of the PCA Program Activity Architecture (PAA) including HR initiatives. The Agency has continually reviewed its accountability framework. In May 2007, the Treasury Board approved a new Strategic Outcome and PAA for the Agency, which better reflects the PCA Strategic Outcome and Programs.

Our examination of selected Performance Management Agreements (PMAs) shows that the HR initiatives in the PAA translate into specific objectives and responsibilities in individual PMAs. Underlying this positive finding, however, is the fact that in their PCES responses, PCA employees were less positive in their perceptions of senior management’s competence and ability to plan and set direction. This dichotomy could be a function of the Agency’s geographical dispersion or less than effective communication but in any event, it is something PCA should strive to reconcile.

The 2007 PCA Staffing Audit stated that delegation instruments were not updated regularly and that in some cases individuals who did not have staffing delegation were signing staffing documents. We have seen evidence that delegation of authorities’ document has been updated since the 2007 audit.

Principle: Consistency

In our assessment of consistency, we were not looking for evidence of everything being done in the same way all the time. Consistency is neither dogmatic nor rules-based, and should not replace innovation, judgement, and discretion in decision-making. We expected to see evidence of performance based on the values and principles combined with an effective means of disseminating knowledge and best practices. For the most part, we found such evidence.

With respect to consistency in performance management, PCA appears to have a well-structured process and complete templates to ensure that performance management is comprehensive, integrated, and universally applied. In 2005, PCA issued the Performance Management Tool Kit following the launch of its Learning Strategy. The goal of that strategy is to develop a dynamic learning environment for individual and staff excellence in achieving its mandate. Performance management is a key element of this initiative, as it enables an organization that is high performing. However, the evidence suggests that perceptions vary within the Agency about the consistent application of formal performance management.

Rewards and recognition are important ingredients in creating a positive, productive, and innovative workplace. Rewards and recognition can motivate and encourage employees to contribute to their own success and that of the organization. However, the consistent application of rewards and recognition programs is always a challenge in any organization.

The CEO Awards are almost universally recognized throughout PCA as being consistent in acknowledging significant achievement. On the other hand, consistency in the application of rewards and recognition below the level of the CEO Awards appears to be a challenge in PCA. Both respondents to the questionnaire and interviewees indicated a lack of consistent formal recognition at the Field Unit and Service Centre level. The lack of consistency was generally attributed to differing management styles, workload, funding, a lack of support for recognition programs from employees and unions due to perceived inequities of such programs.

It appears that there have been significant strides regarding the improvement of consistency through training and orientation programs at PCA in recent years. For example, the New Employee Orientation Week provides training to instill in new PCA employees a common vision and sense of belonging to PCA.

Principle: Openness

We commented on the communication conundrum in the General Observations and Findings section of this Executive Summary. Effective communication, in any organization, is a challenge but particularly so in one as far-flung as Parks Canada, with a relatively flat organizational structure. The reader will note a recurring communication theme throughout our report. There are many reasons for reaching this conclusion and for recommending that the Agency continue to be vigilant in this area. It is important for us to stress that this is not a criticism of those whose function it is to communicate. There is evidence of many good examples of efforts to communicate better, although we believe that there is always room for improvement. We can only suggest that PCA continually seek innovative ways to enhance communications.

We found evidence of proactive efforts to communicate a wide variety of HR policies and programs on the Agency intranet. We were impressed with the genuine desire of senior management to ensure that PCA employees were aware of policies and programs through effective communication instruments (e.g. intranet, regular CEO teleconferences).

However, throughout our report, we have highlighted instances where the intent to communicate and the resulting impact of communications are somewhat different. There is evidence that communication messages are not consistent, and sometimes outdated, among various National Office and regional intranet sites.

Service Delivery

Principle: Efficiency

The pursuit of greater efficiency is a classic example of good progress but with much more to accomplish. We found evidence of initiatives that have been put in place to achieve greater efficiency, but on the other hand, we were advised of areas requiring attention. As covered in our earlier findings under the principle of effectiveness, we determined that PCA delivers a common standard of HR services with fewer personnel per capita in comparison with other departments.

HR governance structures are in place, which require the involvement of PCA senior management in discussing and setting HR priorities, and in the planning, development, and roll out of HR policies. The Agency’s HR committee, a standing committee of the Executive Board, is the prime example of this governance.

PCA is striving to ensure that quality and timely human resources information is available to support HR strategies and decisions. A project is well advanced to develop a PCA HR Dashboard. As shown in the Parks Canada Employment Equity Annual Progress Report 2007-2008, there is also strong evidence that PCA uses timely information to advance its employment equity objectives.

We found numerous examples that demonstrate that HR processes are planned and conducted having regard to time and cost, and linked to business requirements. For example, a staffing checklist was created to provide delegated managers and operational HR with a useful tool to assist in staffing.

Another example that HR processes are efficient and linked to business requirements is the implementation of the Priority Module in PeopleSoft. The Agency is at a time of flux, with many priority initiatives being implemented, including restructuring and realignment of entire directorates. Many positions are being created, many reformulated with a different suite of responsibilities, hence different skill sets and experience are required to do the job. Many work descriptions and job classifications have changed, therefore requiring management to try to ensure a place for every current employee, where possible. Staffing and classification processes are taking place in large volume and scope. The enhanced Priority Management System, including the capacity to identify all salary-protected positions, is helping to manage these PCA business requirements.

While we saw evidence of efforts to reengineer specific HR functional processes (e.g. compensation), we did not see evidence of an overall strategy to examine all HR functions in the context of moving to the implementation of PeopleSoft 8.9. We believe that PCA could benefit from the work done by the HR Community in the broader Public Service.

On a more negative note, we would be remiss if we did not reflect some of the frustration within PCA related to the length of time it takes for the completion of classification and staffing actions. While we acknowledge that there are mitigating circumstances, we recognize that PCA is taking, and should continue to take steps to reduce wait times in these two areas. We applaud and encourage the Agency’s efforts to set and continually monitor service standards for key HR functions such as staffing, classification, and compensation. Once in place, this service delivery framework would help to recalibrate employee impressions and expectations.

Finally, the Pay and Benefits function is an area that required attention based on a 2006 PCA Audit, although a recent follow-up audit shows that progress is being made to make this important HR function more efficient.

Principle: Simplicity

We found several examples where PCA has attempted to make various functions of the HR simpler. These include many online training programs, templates, and toolkits to facilitate the use of various HR processes and generic job and emerging competency descriptions. For example, to facilitate the generic job descriptions, large Field Units were structured similarly, as were medium and small Field Units.

A prime example of efforts to achieve greater simplicity is the use of Omnibus staffing process. While there is an upfront investment on the part of both line managers and HR professionals in planning and carrying-out staffing, once a process has been completed, jobs can be filled with very little staff time and effort. We did hear complaints about the level of effort required to carry out these staffing processes, but we also heard a lot of positive feedback on the benefits of these processes in making the actual staffing of positions much simpler.

Evidence exists that a streamlined, simple HR governance structure is in place and effective (Labour Management Consultation Committees, HR Committee etc.). It was suggested to us, however, that the discussions and decisions of various committees within the governance structure may not be communicated among each other and that beneficial cross-pollination might be lost.

We saw evidence that PCA is making progress in “informalizing” its programs and processes aimed at creating a better workplace. While formal grievance processes are still actively used, there seems to be greater reliance on informal processes to manage conflict in the workplace. Many strong building blocks are in place, including the Ombudsman, the Informal Conflict Management System, and labour/management committees etc. The Aboriginal Consultative Committee meets regularly to discuss broad policy issues relating to PCA and provide expert Aboriginal advice directly to the CEO. However, they are working somewhat independently. We heard that some employees are confused about which dispute resolution building block they should contact with their issue, and therefore, they contact all of them. Better cohesion of these various building blocks might be something that PCA might wish to consider.

Principle: Adaptability

Although PCA is a separate employer, members of the PCA HR community interact with other departments and central agencies in the broader Public Service to stay abreast of best practices and new initiatives. The Agency, like all departments and agencies, is focused on achieving the objectives of the Clerk of the Privy Council Public Service Renewal Initiative. One prime example where the PCA HR regime conforms to the principle of adaptability is in the development of the HR Dashboard, which we described earlier under the principle of efficiency.

PCA has recognized that the HR regime must adapt to ensure that the Agency can meet its mandate. In this regard, a new HR priority was added to the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities to recognize that Human Resources Renewal will focus its efforts in increasing the capacity of its organization to learn and adapt to change, notably to changing demographics.

Supporting the principle of adaptability, we discovered an interesting approach in PCA to ensure that the development of HR policies and programs are seen to be beneficial from the perspective of employees who work in the field. National Office organizations can use up to 25% of Field Unit employees on planning and implementation teams for various initiatives. These employees can be connected virtually to their Ottawa teams or can actually work in Ottawa for periods of time. We heard that there is a lot of back and forth on National Office projects between field employees and National Office, contributing to the greater success of a given initiative.

Notwithstanding the evidence of good adaptability, the Agency faces a challenge in dealing with the fallout from what we have termed “initiative overload.” Earlier in this Executive Summary, we highlighted the seven PCA Renewal Initiatives presently underway. Further, in the General Observations and Findings section, we raised the challenge of coping with “initiative overload.” When the implementation of individual initiatives takes longer than foreseen and overlaps, employees loose the thread, mix the difference between program and process, get frustrated, messages blur, confusion sets in, and communication is seen to be ineffective or failed. While these initiatives are worthy, PCA should look for opportunities that make sense, to change the pace of implementation, and certainly, to resist the implementation of new initiatives until a period of consolidation and stability has been achieved.

Recommendations

This review has covered many areas where Parks Canada is progressing to ensure the conformance of the human resources regime with its values and principles within the National Office and regions. Based on our review, we were asked to make suggestions for areas of improvement and further consideration by the Agency. The recommendations that we are proposing, while not presented in any particular order of priority, are organized in accordance with the HR Review Framework (Figure 1). Some of these action items are already underway and we simply encourage the Agency to continue with them. We realize that many of our recommendations are mutually reinforcing and would need to be integrated into a comprehensive action plan. Further, the list of proposals is lengthy and the constraints of funding, people, and time will likely not permit the pursuit of all of them. That said, we respectfully suggest the following:

General

  • Look for opportunities that make sense, to adapt the pace of implementation, and certainly, to resist the implementation of new initiatives until a period of consolidation and stability has been achieved.

Results

  • Building on the good work to date, continue to expand competency-based management to all PCA work streams, linked to various HR functions (e.g. recruitment, learning and development performance management, succession planning). (Competence)
  • Address employee expectations, through focused communication, for access to learning and development opportunities pointing out a distinction between organizational and individual learning. As a reduced need for organizational learning permits, shift resources to strike a better balance between organizational and individual learning. (Competence)
  • Continue to focus on strategies for targeted succession planning based on sound HR planning (e.g. Middle Managers and professional specialists). (Competence)
  • Encourage employee empowerment by developing action plans based on the Treasury Board Secretariat Employee Engagement Model (“Empowerment Path”). This is one of five paths which are referred to earlier in this report. (Effectiveness)
  • While we were convinced that the scope for greater degrees of autonomy in the use of the flexibilities of separate employer status is limited and the current situation has met PCA’s needs, we encourage the Agency to use those flexibilities when opportunities arise (perhaps in the areas of two-tier bargaining or classification). (Effectiveness)
  • Continue to adapt the PCA classification structure to meet the needs of the organization. (Effectiveness)

Processes

  • Increase awareness, through effective communication, of various redress avenues available to employees. (Fairness, Respect)
  • Adopt a new strategy on harassment and discrimination: a campaign promoting 100% respect culture (versus zero tolerance), coupled with relevant training, and along the lines of anti-bullying programs. (Respect)
  • Consider a short statistical study to determine the correlation, if any, among job satisfaction, harassment and discrimination and various other variables to address the apparent anomaly between high job satisfaction and high perceptions of harassment and discrimination in PCA. A project of this nature could be complemented by a report for PCA on the “Respect Path,” based on the newly developed Treasury Board Employee Engagement Model. (Respect)
  • Communicate the senior management rationale behind the new delegation instrument so that it is better understood, that managers value an empowered role, and do not perceive delegation as overly restrictive. (Accountability)
  • To improve consistency of local rewards and recognition programs, provide assistance in the development of a framework or tools that could be used by the Field Units and Service Centres. (Consistency)
  • Seek innovative ways to enhance communications (Openness):
    • Implement a Service Canada/INAC model for “circuit riders”; and
    • Shift to non-traditional, non-hierarchical tools (e.g. web casts).
  • Following a suggestion made to us, the Agency could consider having a standing item on HR included in the Agenda of various committees in the overall Agency governance structure. This would ensure that HR issues are front and centre, and would facilitate efficient communications. Further, the Agency may wish to consider putting in place a system that links the outcomes of the advisory and decision-making committees within the HR governance structure to better communicate among each other. (Openness)

Service Delivery

  • Continue to reengineer HR business processes, linked to a plan to move to PeopleSoft 8.9, within available resources and appropriately paced implementation.(Efficiency)
  • Continue to take steps to implement service standards and reduce wait times in the completion of compensation, classification, and staffing actions. (Efficiency)
  • Implement the concept of a “help circle” bringing together key players in managing workplace conflict to better coordinate and communicate to the client base, ensuring no contradiction in policies and approaches. (Simplicity)
  • Continue to include lessons learned in the evolution of the HR Dashboard and use it for HR performance measurement. (Adaptability)
  • TBS, in concert with the Public Service HR community, is in the midst of developing a PS-wide People Management Dashboard to provide Deputies and Central Agencies with more focused and relevant information about people management trends and issues for decision-making. We would recommend that PCA participate in this work to continue to integrate lessons learned in the evolution of its HR Dashboard and to ensure alignment with the HR information contained in the TBS Dashboard. (Adaptability)

Main Report

Introduction

The Parks Canada Agency Act requires Parks Canada to develop and apply a set of values and principles in the management of human resources in the Agency. The values and principles were developed in partnership by union and management, and were approved by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 1999.

The Act also requires the Agency to conduct an independent review of the consistency of the HR regime with these values and principles, which are to govern management of its human resources. In 2004, the Agency conducted the first review to fulfill its responsibility under this legislation.

In June of 2009, Parks Canada (the Agency) engaged the Centre for Public Management (CPM) to conduct the second formal, independent review required by the Act. This report presents the findings of this review and fulfills the requirement set out in Section 35 (1) of the Act.

Background

About Parks Canada Agency

In 1998, the Government of Canada passed the Parks Canada Agency Actand established the Agency as a separate legal entity. Parks Canada has a mandate to “protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and foster public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations”. The Agency is responsible for delivering major programs related to national parks, national marine conservation areas, and national historic sites.

Prior to the creation of the Agency, human resources processes were dominated by rules-based, “one-off,” transaction-based approaches. The entire employment regime was designed to meet needs of the broad public service. The related rules-based philosophy led to multiple, overlapping and lengthy rights-based recourse systems, based entirely on win-lose outcomes. This fostered a confrontational, conflict-ridden relationship with unions. Human resource management accountabilities were complicated, convoluted, and managed primarily by outside oversight bodies. As stated in the PCA Human Resources Plans and Priorities Report from 2001-2010, the move to separate employer status foresaw that:

  • Improvements would take place in a separate employer universe, tailored to Parks Canada’s operating environment and employee needs;
  • Parks Canada was to operate with a streamlined, flat organizational structure with decentralized authority and clear, simple accountability;
  • Resulting simple, streamlined HR systems and processes would result in lower costs through administrative overhead savings;
  • A values-based HR regime using national generic approaches where appropriate, would replace the dependency on rules;
  • The HR regime would be tailored to meet the needs of the Parks Canada employees and operations; and
  • By applying a values-based approach, a streamlined, rapid resolution of workplace conflict would be achieved, with a focus on problem solving at the local level thereby encouraging win-win outcomes and fostering collaborative relationships with unions.

Parks Canada is highly decentralized in terms of its organizational structure. The particularly remote nature of many of its locations results in heightened challenges with respect to visitor accessibility, recruitment and retention of highly skilled employees, and national cohesion in its policies, programs, and processes. It, therefore, requires an effective management structure and discipline.

Parks Canada’s employee base consists of approximately 6,000 employees (including Terms and seasonal employees). The majority of the employees (about 80%) work in one of the 42 national parks and national park reserves, three marine conservation areas, or 167 national historic sites managed by Parks Canada. The parks and sites are organized into 32 geographically based Field Units managed by Field Unit Superintendents (FUS) who are accountable to the Chief Executive Officer. Operational human resources services (e.g. compensation, advice to support HR operations) are largely the responsibility of the Director Generals (DGs) Eastern, Western and Northern Canada, although, some specific services are provided by the National Office as well as functional guidance. About 10% of employees work in Service Centres located in Halifax, Quebec City, Cornwall/Ottawa, and Winnipeg (with small branch offices in Calgary and Vancouver). The Service Centres provide technical and professional services to Field Units (e.g. science, architecture, and engineering). National Office, with less than 10% of the employee base, consists of five directorates (National Parks, National Historic Sites, External Relations and Visitor Experience, Strategy and Plans, and Human Resources) who provide legislative, operational policy, planning, program direction, financial management, and human resources functions and services.

Parks Canada’s Values and Principles

As mentioned earlier, the CEO is responsible for “developing the values and principles governing … the management of human resources of the Agency.” The values and principles are summarized below (see Appendix A for detailed definitions).

The values are:

  • Competence: Refers to the knowledge, abilities, personal suitability, and other qualities required to perform effectively in the workplace;
  • Fairness: Means that activities and decisions are just, timely, impartial, and objective; and
  • Respect: Mutual trust, recognition of accomplishments, self-esteem, and regard for others are important elements of respectful working relationships.

The principles are:

  • Effectiveness: Achieving the expected results (e.g. representative work force);
  • Accountability: The requirement to be answerable for carrying out responsibilities in accordance with these human resources values and operating principles;
  • Consistency: Acting in a similar manner in similar circumstances;
  • Openness: Ensuring straightforward and honest communications;
  • Efficiency: Making the best possible use of human resources, time, and money;
  • Adaptability: Adjusting to circumstances while encouraging innovation and creativity; and
  • Simplicity: Making things as uncomplicated as possible.
Basic Characteristics of the Human Resources Regime at the Agency

The Parks Canada Agency Actestablished the Agency as a separate employer and conferred on the CEO many of the authorities for human resources management that in the “core” public service reside with and are exercised by the Treasury Board (TB), supported by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS). These include the authority to determine the organization and classification of the positions in the Agency, to set terms and conditions of employment, and establish standards, procedures, and processes governing many aspects of the regime.

The human resources regime includes all aspects of human resources management within the Agency in the National Office and the Regions. The HR regime includes the HR governance structure that comprises:

  • HR Strategy and Planning;
  • HR Policy Framework;
  • HR Roles and Responsibilities;
  • Programs; and
  • Committee/Governance Structure.

The regime also includes these specific HR functions:

  • Classification, Pay, and Compensation;
  • Recruitment, Staffing, and Retention;
  • Learning and Development;
  • Employment Equity;
  • Official Languages;
  • Managing Conflict in the Workplace;
  • Labour/Management Relations;
  • HR Planning, Reporting, and Systems;
  • Health and Safety in the Workplace; and
  • Performance Management/Recognition and Rewards.

The Parks Canada Agency's authority to set its staffing framework is grounded in the Parks Canada Agency Act. When taking policy and individual staffing decisions, managers must respect other key laws, including the Official Languages Act, Employment Equity Act, Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Public Service Labour Relations Act. As a separate employer, PCA does not fall under the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), except with respect to political activities, or the Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA). Managers will make staffing decisions in accordance with the Agency's Delegation of Human Resources Authorities document and staffing policies.

Staffing services for the Agency are delivered through a decentralized service model. While functional responsibility for staffing rests with the Chief Human Resources Officer, staffing services are provided by operational Human Resources Managers (HRM), Advisors and staff that report to Service Centre Directors, or Field Unit Superintendents. Each operational Director General also has a senior HR professional that provides both operational services to DGs as well as advisory services to HRM. National Office HR operations are delivered by a dedicated unit within the Human Resources Directorate.

Implementation of the regime, and maintaining consistency with the values and principles, is not only the work of the human resources professionals in the Agency but involves all managers and staff in carrying out various responsibilities in managing human resources.

Since 1999, the Agency has carried out three rounds of collective bargaining, the latest being ratified in February 2009. There is one bargaining agent for the employees of the Agency (i.e. the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)). Collective agreements in the Agency have by and large mirrored the provisions in agreements in the core public service. The Agency’s classification program, with the exception of the executive group that has a unique structure (i.e. PCX rather than EX), uses the same standards as the core public service, and rates of pay are generally the same.

In 2001, the Agency initiated a National Classification Review Project with the objective of developing and implementing a classification system that provides for equitable and consistent classification results and would be simple to use. It was determined that the new system would employ broad-banded generic work descriptions and encompass a complete organizational analysis, including the definition of organizational principles and functional organizational models. The review was completed in 2008 and PCA is currently dealing with a significant number of grievances from employees concerning the results of the new structure.

The human resources policy and directive framework for the Agency includes Treasury Board policies and National Joint Council directives that apply to the core public service, which the Agency adopted without change, as well as a number of policies or directives that have been adapted for the Agency context. A summary of the number and types of HR policies in the Agency is shown in Appendix B.

The Agency conducted an all-employee survey in 2004 independently of the standard survey conducted in the core public service. A follow-up survey was conducted in 2009, consistent with the core public service survey, and the results have been analyzed as part of our Review.

As a separate employer, PCA has not been required to participate in the TBS annual Management Accountability Framework (MAF) performance assessments of the People Management elements of the framework. The Agency has self-assessed these elements for MAF Round 6. TBS conducted a formal MAF assessment of PCA in Round 7.

Results of 2004 Review of the HR Regime

In general, the 2004 review concluded that the Agency’s human resources regime:

“…is mostly consistent with its values and principles (or is developing in a manner that is consistent with them) but that there are exceptions and areas that require further work. We find that Parks Canada is consistently mindful of its values and principles and that it routinely applies its values and principles in its analytical and decision making processes.”

More specifically, the reviewers found a reasonable to high degree of consistency between the human resources regime and the values of respect and fairness, and the principles of efficiency, consistency, and simplicity. They found limited evidence to draw conclusions on the implementation of the principle of effectiveness, since many elements of the human resources regime were in the planning stages or were only in the process of being rolled-out. Areas where more work was needed or progress was limited included the implementation of the value of competence, and the principles of openness, accountability, and adaptability. In response, the Agency committed to continuing to develop its regime and to address priority issues within its financial capabilities, including completing initiatives underway at the time, such as the development of generic work descriptions, recruitment and skill standards, targeted succession planning, a corporate learning strategy, and a strengthened performance management function.

Specifically, the 2004 Review recommended:

  • Competence:
    • Integrate the value of competency [sic] in a systematic manner in all corporate, workforce-level, HR systems, and processes; and
    • Improve performance assessment and develop comprehensive succession planning, formal mentoring, and retention programs.
  • Respect:
    • Initiate a formal redress process without fear of reprisal;
    • Improve representation of women and visible minorities; and
    • Address harassment and discrimination.
  • Openness:
    • Address employees’ perceptions of openness and trust.

Understanding the Context in which PCA Works

Parks Canada is an agency in motion. A mix of externally driven government objectives and organizational evolution since its inception in 1998 has given way to many initiatives, which are presently underway. Under the banner of PCA Renewal, there are seven major initiatives:

  1. Development of a vision statement;
  2. Refreshing and realigning the PCA “brand”;
  3. Implementation of the Law Enforcement Program;
  4. Implementing prevention guidelines, to support PCA staff in preventing and dealing with incidents at parks and sites;
  5. The realignment of the External Relations and Visitor Experience functions;
  6. Resource Conservation Renewal (RCR) – Maximizing the benefits from PCA investments in ecological monitoring, species at risk, and contaminated sites remediation by defining future accountabilities, roles, and organizational structures of resource conservation; and
  7. National Historic Sites Renewal – Developing a renewal strategy focusing on enhancing the relevance of these sites to Canadians.

For illustrative purposes, three of these initiatives are described below to give the reader a sense of the backdrop of major organizational and cultural change in which this review took place, which shaped its conclusions.

Law Enforcement Program

In May 2009, a year after the Government’s decision to arm up to 100 officers, Park Wardens began their duties as fully dedicated specialists in law enforcement under the new Parks Canada Law Enforcement Program. This announcement fundamentally changed Parks Canada’s approach to law enforcement and led to the creation of the new program as one of the seven Renewal Initiatives. The program was founded on the following five principles:

  • Safety: Employee and public safety are paramount in the delivery of law enforcement services;
  • Integration: The integration of prevention and law enforcement programs allows the Agency to more effectively and efficiently fulfill its mandate;
  • Professionalism:Law enforcement personnel will maintain the highest ethical and professional standards;
  • Accountability:The Law Enforcement Branch provides a service to Parks Canada Field Units as agreed to in the service delivery agreements. The Branch is guided by continuous performance measurement that ensures delivery of the agreed to service and provides timely advice on the effectiveness of law enforcement activities aimed at achieving Field Unit priorities. In addition, a clear and consistent separation of roles and responsibilities from those of other organizations and police service of jurisdiction is maintained; and
  • Mandate Focus:The Law Enforcement Branch resources will be focused in an effective and efficient way to ensure that it meets Parks Canada Agency’s mandate for visitors’ enjoyment and protection of natural and cultural resources.

Competitions were held in September 2008 to recruit and fill the newly classified Park Warden positions. Candidates underwent medical, physical, and psychological assessments as part of the staffing process. Successful candidates then participated in specific law enforcement training and once they met all requirements, they were appointed to a position.

Park Wardens are now deployed to national parks based on law enforcement requirements. While they are located in specific parks, they will support other sites at strategic times and as required.

Emphasis on the Environment – Resource Conservation Renewal

Parks Canada Agency has made substantial investments in ecological monitoring, species-at-risk recovery, fire management, and contaminated sites remediation in recent years, within a broad context of active management and ecological restoration. These improvements and the structural changes resulting from the law enforcement decision created an opportunity to review and confirm roles and responsibilities related to the resource conservation function within the Agency's renewal agenda. The objectives of the resource conservation portion of the renewal initiative, which touch directly on the HR regime, include:

  • Determining the appropriate accountability framework within the Agency for the various activities currently associated with the resource conservation function;
  • Confirming the roles and responsibilities (lead and support) of the resource conservation function;
  • Providing the necessary tools and support to implement the approved direction in support of Agency priorities; and
  • Aligning resources necessary to deliver functional accountabilities in collaboration with other Agency functions and with external partners.
External Relations and Visitor Experience (ERVE) Realignment

As another one of the seven Renewal Initiatives, the ER and VE realignment aims to better equip Field Units with the capacity to help Canadians appreciate and enjoy their natural and cultural heritage. The Agency recognized that new ways of working were required, and that the old organizational structure needed to be renewed. The resulting realignment included a greater degree of specialization and dedicated expertise in external relations and visitor experience particularly in urban outreach, internet web content, stakeholder and partnering relations, promotions, and visitor experience product development.

The CEO named the ERVE realignment as his number one priority in 2008, with the desired outcomes of increasing Canadian awareness, appreciation and understanding of the heritage places administered by Parks Canada, and facilitating the opportunity for visitors to gain a sense of personal connection to the places visited.

A key element in the Plan was the creation of separate external relations and visitor experience organizational structures, each with a respective manager position and a team of dedicated specialists. This plan also includes strategic objectives, guiding principles, organizational models, job concepts, work stream grid menu of positions, and implementation parameters. By May 2009, almost all the Visitor Experience and External Relations manager positions were staffed. The next steps involved initiating the staffing process with existing congruence matches and priority officer field positions, and undertaking a similar realignment exercise in the Service Centres.

Methodology

General

The purpose of this section is to present our overall approach for the Review. We based our methodology on our CPM rigorous audit approach and the expectations of PCA. Our review was a broad assessment of the conformance of Parks Canada’s human resource regime with the values and principles that the Agency espouses. While the review was neither a comprehensive audit nor an evaluation of the HR function (and was not intended to be), we followed an audit-like approach, which is described later in this section.

The Agency’s human resources values and principles pertain to “results” (competence, effectiveness), “processes” (fairness, respect, accountability, consistency, openness), and “service delivery” (efficiency, adaptability, and simplicity). As a result, this review examined both what the Agency is seeking to accomplish through its human resources regime (i.e. a qualified workforce, representative of the Canadian population, working in a positive and enabling work environment) and how these objectives are achieved. Our review examined the extent to which the organization’s values and principles are being applied to the operation of HR functions and practices. We were also careful to ensure that we responded to the expectations of our client by:

  • Creating a matrix of values and principles and human resources regime elements and specifying the criteria and indicators on which each will be assessed;
  • Ensuring a linkage to well-documented evidence and findings, and good documentation showing what evidence was used to support specific conclusions;
  • Considering the concepts of risk and materiality in order to focus our resources most effectively;
  • Ensuring a strategic focus appropriate for an audience of senior managers and parliamentarians; and
  • Providing concise practical recommendations for areas where conformity between values and principles and the human resources regime could be improved.

HR Review Scope

This review focused on the conformance of the Parks Canada human resources regime with its values and operating principles over the course of the past five years (2005 – 2009), but presents an opinion on the regime in place in 2009.

This project includes an in-depth review of Parks Canada’s values and principles within the human resources regime, including all aspects of human resources management within the Agency in the National Office and the operational Directorates that were listed earlier in the Introduction section of this report.

HR Review Strategy

Although this review is not an audit, the approach and methodology followed audit principles. The approach was thorough, objective, independent, systematic, and evidence-based, and consisted of three phases: (a) Planning, (b) Examination, and (c) Reporting. Figure 2 below provides an overview of CPM’s general strategy for the three phases involved in the review.

Figure 2: Review Strategy

Figure 2: Review Strategy

HR Review Framework

An important expectation of PCA was that we create a matrix of values and principles and human resources regime elements and specify the criteria and indicators on which each will be assessed.

To satisfy the first part of the requirement, the conformance of PCA’s HR regime with its values and principles was assessed through three lines of review: (a) results achievement; (b) adequacy of processes and controls; and (c) service delivery. As indicated in Figure 3 below, each of these lines of review examined specific values and/or principles that were relevant to each of the three lines.

Figure 3: Review Framework

Figure 3: Review Framework

HR Review Criteria and Indicators

The second part of meeting the PCA requirement, specifying the criteria and indicators on which each element of the HR regime was assessed, built on the HR review framework.

The five criteria for this review, outlined in Figure 4 below, and the supporting 36 indicators, were derived from key source documents, including: Office of the Auditor General (OAG) Internal Audit Report – Management of HR Function and Professional Development, Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) Evaluation Framework, Public Service Commission (PSC) Departmental Staffing Assessment Report (DSAR), Public Service Modernization Act, MAF People Element Round 6 and 7, OAG Reports, and Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service.

Our analysis, presented later in this report, addressed all 36 indicators. The indicators are listed at the beginning of our findings for each of the individual values and principles in the Specific Observations and Findings section.

Figure 4: Review Criteria

Figure 4: Review Criteria

Click to enlarge

Review Timelines

Our review, in its various phases, took place over the period from November 2009 - April 2010.

Figure 5: Work Plan Timelines

Figure 5: Work Plan Timelines

Click to enlarge

Planning Phase – Identifying Relative Risk Areas

The planning phase of this review consisted of the identification of risk areas within the PCA HR regime regarding its conformance to the ten values and principles. The risk areas were identified and categorized using the following definitions for ‘higher’, ‘medium’, and ‘lower’ risk based on the extent to which the HR systems and practices are suitably designed, consistently applied, and meeting the employees’ and Agency’s needs:

  • Higher: There is a higher likelihood that the systems and practices in place are not suitably designed, consistently applied, or effective to support the achievement of the value or principle. These shortcomings could seriously compromise the achievement of the value or principle.
  • Medium: There is some concern or uncertainty about whether the systems and practices in place are suitably designed, consistently applied, or effective to support the achievement of the value or principle. These shortcomings could compromise to some extent the achievement of the value or principle.
  • Lower: It appears that the systems and practices in place are suitably designed, consistently applied, and effective to support the achievement of the value or principle.

Review Strategy for Higher, Medium, and Lower Risks

The review strategy used for each value and principle differed based on the results of the preliminary assessment that ranked each value and principle higher, medium, or lower risk. Higher risk values and principles were assessed with a full analysis, which included every review activity shown later in this section. Medium risk values and principles were assessed with a partial analysis, which included a subset of the key review activities, while lower risk values and principles were assessed with a follow-up of previous review findings.

Table 1 outlines the review strategy for the higher, medium, and lower risk values and principles. This was the preliminary assessment of risk, which we subsequently updated as more information became available during the examination phase.

Table 1: Review Risk Identification Framework

PCA Values
and
Operating Principles
Sources of Information Overall View Review Strategy
2004 Five Year HR Review Interviews in the Regions and at National Office Document Review MAF Audit of Values and Ethics Control Framework
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1. Competence check mark check mark     check mark check mark check mark check mark check mark     Higher Full analysis
2. Respect check mark         check mark     check mark     Lower Follow-up on previous review findings
3. Fairness   check mark   check mark   check mark check mark         Medium Partial analysis
4. Effectiveness     check mark check mark check mark       check mark     Medium Partial analysis
5. Accountability     check mark check mark     check mark check mark check mark check mark check mark Higher Full analysis
6. Consistency     check mark check mark check mark check mark check mark   check mark check mark check mark Higher Full analysis
7. Openness check mark       check mark check mark   check mark check mark   check mark Higher Full analysis
8. Efficiency           check mark     check mark     Lower Follow-up on previous review findings
9. Adaptability check mark check mark         check mark   check mark check mark   Medium Partial analysis
10. Simplicity     check mark   check mark             Lower Follow-up on previous review findings

Examination Phase – Assessing Results, Processes, and Service Delivery

The examination phase of the review comprised a number of key tasks to assess “results,” “processes”, and “service delivery” against the review criteria and indicators that led to our findings and recommendations against the overall objective of assessing the conformance of the HR regime with its values and principles. This section describes the overall strategy, as well as, the key review activities in sequential order, outlining the purpose, approach, and criteria addressed.

Key Review Activities

We carried out eight review activities to assess the conformance of the HR regime to the PCA values and principles:

  1. Document Review;
  2. HR Outline of Progress and Key Developments;
  3. Questionnaire (Control Self-Assessment);
  4. Analysis of the Parks Canada Employee Survey (PCES) 2009 Results;
  5. Analysis of the Treasury Board Management Accountability Framework (MAF 6 & 7) Performance Assessment of Parks Canada;
  6. Interviews in the Regions and at National Office;
  7. Working Groups in the Regions; and
  8. Senior Management Feedback.

A detailed description of each of the eight review activities is presented below.

1. Document Review

Purpose: To identify and assess the areas in which the human resources regime within PCA conforms to the Agency’s values and principles. Specifically, PCA was assessed against the review criteria to determine whether the key systems and processes in place support what the Agency is seeking to accomplish and whether these objectives are being achieved.
Approach: Reviewed and analyzed all documents submitted by PCA and relevant external documents to support specific findings against the criteria outlined below. See Appendix C for a list of documents reviewed.
Criteria Addressed:
  • C1
  • C2
  • C3
  • C4
  • C5

2. HR Outline of Progress and Key Developments

Purpose: To seek feedback from human resource senior management to obtain a history of initiatives undertaken to promote service delivery and other examples to illustrate, in specific terms, the conformance of efficiency, simplicity, and adaptability to the HR regime. Ultimately, where applicable, our review tested the HR initiatives against the full set of values and principles. Additionally, the human resources senior management and line managers were asked to provide an update, with specific examples, on the progress made against the recommendations identified in the 2004 Review Report.
Approach: Developed a template/questionnaire (Appendix D) for human resources senior management to prompt responses for the purposes detailed above. Consolidated responses and reviewed further documentation provided, to form the basis for subsequent working groups and interviews.
Supporting Templates: Numerous examples are used in our findings for the individual values and principles in the Specific Observations and Findings section.
Criteria Addressed:
  • C3
  • C4
  • C5

3. Questionnaire (Control Self-Assessment)

Purpose: To identify and assess whether the PCA HR regime is suitably designed, consistently applied, and effective in supporting PCA in achieving its mandate across all values and principles. Identify opinions on recommendations in areas where the HR regime could be functioning more effectively.
Approach: Developed and distributed a questionnaire to managers, functional specialists, and key staff at National Office and within the regions, and Union Stewards. The questionnaire responses were reviewed and analyzed to address the criteria below.
Supporting Templates: See Appendix E for the Control Self-Assessment (CSA) template.
Criteria Addressed:
  • C1
  • C2
  • C3
  • C4
  • C5

4. Analysis of the Parks Canada Employee Survey (PCES) 2009 Results

Purpose: To identify and assess employees’ perceptions of the conformance of PCA HR regime to the Agency’s values and principles.
Approach: Analyzed survey results submitted by PCA employees against the values and principles of the Agency to the extent they are applicable to the criteria below.
Criteria Addressed:
  • C1
  • C2
  • C3
  • C4

5. Analysis of the Treasury Board Management Accountability Framework (MAF 6 & 7) Performance Assessment of Parks Canada

Purpose: To determine the strengths and challenges identified in the Parks Canada MAF Assessments for Values and Ethics, and People Management. These assessments provided another tool to assess how well the HR regime conforms to the PCA values and principles.
Approach: Reviewed MAF ratings for Areas of Management 1 (Values and Ethics) and 10 (People Management).
Criteria Addressed:
  • C2
  • C3
  • C5

6. Interviews in the Regions and at National Office

Purpose: To obtain feedback from individuals across the Agency on the preliminary findings we reached after analyzing the information described above. The interviews focused largely on higher and medium risk areas and examined, from the perspective of the interviewee, whether the related values and principles are being achieved, what progress has been made, and further actions needed to be taken to improve processes and results.
Approach: Conducted interviews with the senior management at the National Office, and as practicable, within the regions.
Criteria Addressed:
  • C1
  • C2
  • C3
  • C4
  • C5

7. Working Groups in the Regions

Purpose: To further validate the analysis of data and preliminary conclusions from the document review, HR Outline on Progress and Developments, Control Self-Assessment, Parks Canada Employee Survey, and interviews. The preliminary conclusions were adjusted, to the extent needed, based on the feedback from the working groups.
Approach: Drafted a summary of findings and conducted working groups in Calgary and Halifax on the status of PCA’s conformance to the values and principles.
Criteria Addressed:
  • C1
  • C2
  • C3
  • C4
  • C5

8. Senior Management Feedback

Purpose: To discuss the overall conclusions of the review and outline key recommendations.
Approach: Conducted interviews with the senior management in the National Office including the Chief Audit Executive (CAE), the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), the CEO, the External Audit Committee, the Agency HR Committee, and the new PCA Executive Committee.
Criteria Addressed:
  • C3
  • C4

Analysis and Findings

This section covers the analysis and findings of our review. Specifically, in sequence, we have conducted an analysis related to each of the eight review activities described in the Methodology section and results of the qualitative and quantitative analysis follow.

This section concludes with General Observations and Findings, and Specific Observations and Findings, on each of the ten values and principles.

In a wide-ranging review such as this, with multiple activities and sources of information, there is sometimes inconsistency within and between sources of data. Therefore, in carrying out this review, we had to balance sources of information and make judgements in interpreting the data based on various considerations. For example, we note later in our discussion of the value of respect, the apparent paradox among high levels of PCA employee job satisfaction, low perceptions of employee empowerment and higher perceptions of harassment and discrimination versus reported complaints. Further, for example, in comparing the PCES and CSA questionnaire results, we took into consideration the varying numbers of respondents and the targeted groups (all employees versus manager level).

We have covered all eight of our review activities, in varying degrees of detail. For example, the Document Review activity makes reference to the many documents reviewed but does not cite specific findings. These findings are included in the detailed discussion of each value and principle, which follow later. In contrast, our review activities related to the PCES, MAF and our self-generated CSA questionnaire, required us to conduct our own analysis because, unlike the Document Review, there was no existing document to review. Simply because we had to do these analyses from first principles, we would not want to leave the impression, we relied on, or gave greater weight to, this opinion-based information more than the actual systems, processes and practices of the regime in doing analysis and drawing conclusions.

Review Activity – Document Review

We carried out an extensive document review of roughly 100 internal PCA and external documents. Relevant findings from this document review are included and referenced in our Specific Observations and Findings later in this section. A list of these documents is contained in Appendix C.

Review Activity – HR Outline of Progress and Key Developments

An important part of our analysis involved research into initiatives, completed or underway, to improve the PCA HR regime since the 2004 Review. Some of these initiatives were undertaken to address specific shortcomings cited in the 2004 Review, while many others reflected a natural evolution in the maturity of the PCA HR regime, or provided HR support to the seven major PCA Renewal initiatives outlined above. To do this, we worked closely with the Human Resources Directorate to catalogue these initiatives in three general areas:

  • Labour relations, classification, and compensation;
  • Learning and development; and
  • Recruitment and retention.

We have drawn several key examples from the extensive list of initiatives that are highlighted in our review of individual values and principles later in this report.

Review Activity – Questionnaire (Control-Self Assessment)

To extend the reach of our analysis and maximize the contribution of employees to our review, we developed a Control-Self Assessment (CSA) Questionnaire. We sent this questionnaire to a sample of roughly 115 Field Unit Superintendents (FUS), Middle Managers (MM), Human Resource Managers (HRM), and Union Representatives (UR) and received a 48% response rate (24 FUS, 21 HRM, 13 MM, and 9 UR) Those who took the time to respond, made a valuable contribution to the review and their views are reflected in our Observations and Findings section.

Figure 6, on the following page, shows the percentage of respondents (combined FUS, HRM, MM, and Union representatives) who agree that the HR regime elements are well-designed, consistently applied, and serving employees and PCA well. A high percentage of respondents believe that all of the HR elements are well-designed. With respect to consistent application, from a positive perspective, a high percentage of respondents believe that the “Governance Structure” is visible across the agency with clear roles and responsibilities. (We understand that action is underway to refine the Agency’s governance structure to further enhance its effectiveness.) On the negative side, “Recruitment and Retention,” and “Performance Management/Recognition and Rewards” are not seen to be consistently applied. Similarly, “Recruitment and Retention” and “Performance Management/Recognition and Rewards,” as well as “Compensation, Pay and Classification”, are elements of the HR regime that are ranked lowest in terms of serving the employees and the Agency well.

Figure 6: Views from the Field on Whether HR Regime Elements are Well Designed, Consistently Applied, and Serving Employees and PCA Well

Figure 6: Views from the Field on Whether HR Regime Elements are Well Designed, Consistently Applied, and Serving Employees and PCA Well

Click to enlarge

Table 2 is a summary, which shows the positive percentage responses of the four groups to the questionnaire. In examining this table, the reader should take in to account that the Union representatives’ responses were few (9) and uniformly more negative than the responses of the other three groups. This tends to bring down the overall positive responses. We used the color-coded matrix of HR regime elements and employee responses to our three questions to determine where to focus our follow-up interview questions, the results of which are contained in Table 3. To illustrate, Recruitment, Staffing, and Retention is consistently in the red range thus requiring more attention in our analysis. Overall, the table provided a useful image to stimulate interviewees’ reaction to the questionnaire responses.

Table 2: Percentage of FUS, MM and HR Who Agree HR Regime Elements are Well Designed, Consistently Applied and Serving Employees and PCA Well

(Red = <60% positive; Yellow = 60% - 70% positive; Green >70% positive)

HR Regime Element Well Designed Consistently Applied Serving You/PCA Well Total
FUS HR MM UR All FUS HR MM UR All FUS HR MM UR All
HR Strategy and Planning 50% 57% 100% 0% 52% 56% 58% 100% 0% 53% 50% 46% 86% 0% 45% 50%
HR Policy
Frame-
work
76% 88% 100% 33% 74% 80% 53% 75% 25% 58% 71% 67% 100% 20% 65% 66%
HR Roles and
Respon-
sibilities
74% 89% 100% 25% 72% 77% 53% 100% 33% 66% 65% 65% 90% 17% 59% 66%
Prog-
rams
78% 71% 100% 0% 62% 72% 73% 100% 0% 61% 72% 75% 100% 0% 62% 62%
Gover-
nance
Structure
71% 100% 100% 100% 93% 94% 100% 100% 50% 86% 68% 92% 100% 50% 78% 86%
Classifi-
cation,
Pay and
Com-pensa-
tion
71% 60% 89% 22% 60% 73% 70% 78% 38% 65% 54% 45% 70% 25% 49% 58%
Recruit-
ment,
Staffing and Reten-
tion
63% 60% 64% 14% 50% 61% 45% 60% 14% 45% 50% 60% 60% 14% 46% 47%
Learning and
Deve-
lop-
ment
75% 68% 90% 38% 68% 54% 67% 89% 38% 62% 59% 61% 80% 38% 60% 63%
Employ-
ment
Equity
86% 61% 100% 25% 68% 77% 56% 100% 33% 66% 81% 56% 100% 20% 64% 66%
Official Langua-
ges
79% 74% 90% 33% 69% 78% 74% 67% 25% 61% 74% 74% 78% 14% 60% 63%
Mana-
ging
Conflict in the Work-
place
96% 95% 89% 50% 82% 78% 79% 67% 43% 67% 83% 89% 78% 38% 72% 74%
Labour/
Manage-
ment Rela-
tions
95% 95% 89% 50% 82% 84% 79% 89% 13% 66% 90% 100% 89% 22% 75% 75%
Health and
Safety
in the Work-
place
82% 100% 92% 63% 84% 73% 93% 100% 75% 85% 70% 88% 92% 75% 81% 83%
Perfor-
mance Manage-
ment/ Recog-
nition and Rewards
70% 65% 63% 38% 59% 62% 44% 63% 14% 46% 59% 53% 63% 38% 53% 52%

Table 3: CSA Explanatory Notes Related to Previous Graphs

HR Regime Element
(Red= <60% Positive; Yellow=60%-70% Positive; Green >70% Positive)
Observations from the Questionnaire
HR Strategy and Planning
  • Middle Managers (MM) generally positive or no opinion;
  • Approximately half of Field Unit Superintendents/Directors/Director Generals (FUS/DIRECTOR/DG) and Human Resources Managers (HRM) are negative; and
  • Negativity applies to Well Designed, Consistently Applied, and Serving them/PCA Well.
HR Policy Framework
  • MM and FUS/DIRECTOR/DG are generally positive; and
  • HRM does not feel that policies are consistently applied.
HR Roles and Responsibilities
  • MM generally positive or no opinion;
  • FUS/DIRECTOR/DG, HRM, and MM felt that existing roles and responsibilities among them were clear and appropriate;
  • HR felt that roles and responsibilities were not consistently applied; and
  • Two-thirds of FUS/DIRECTOR/DG and HRM felt that the existing roles and responsibilities served them well (may warrant attention).
Programs
  • MM very positive or no opinion, while FUS/DIRECTOR/DG and HRM are generally positive.
Governance Structure
  • FUS/DIRECTOR/DG, HRM, and MM generally positive about existing governance structures.
Classification, Pay and Compensation
  • MM generally positive or no opinion;
  • HRM least positive of the respondents about design of function; and
  • Only half of HRM and FUS/DIRECTOR/DG felt that the current function serves them well (45% to 54%).
Recruitment, Staffing, and Retention
  • Less than two-thirds of FUS/DIRECTOR/DG,HRM and MM were positive across all three categories; and
  • HRM were negative about Consistently Applied and Serving them/PCA Well (45% to 55%).
Learning and Development
  • MM generally positive or no opinion;
  • FUS/DIRECTOR/DG feel that this area is well designed but are less positive about the other two categories;
  • FUS/DIRECTOR/DG do not seem to feel that learning and development efforts are consistently applied or serving their needs; and
  • HRM has a low perception in the area of the effectiveness of learning and development efforts.
Employment Equity (EE)
  • MM very positive or no opinion;
  • FUS/DIRECTOR/DG generally positive; and
  • Slightly more than half of HR specialists feel that EE is Well Designed, Consistently Applied, and Serving them/PCA Well.
Official Languages
  • FUS/DIRECTOR/DG, HRM, and MM generally positive across the board; and
  • However, this is one of only four regime elements where MM have a lower perception, in this case related to the consistent application of official languages (only two-thirds believe it is consistently applied).
Managing Conflict in the Workplace
  • FUS/DIRECTOR/DG, HRM, and MM generally positive across the board; and
  • However, this is one of only four regime elements where MM have a lower perception, in this case related to the consistent application of managing conflict in the workplace (only two-thirds believe it is Consistently Applied).
Labour/Management Relations
  • FUS/DIRECTOR/DG, HRM, and MM have a very positive perception of labour/management relations.
Health and Safety in the Workplace
  • FUS/DIRECTOR/DG, HRM, and MM have a very positive perception of health and safety in the workplace.
Performance Management/ Recognition and Rewards
  • Less than two-thirds of FUS/DIRECTOR/DG, HRM, and MM were positive in all three categories;
  • This is one of only two regime elements where MM are less positive across the board about the design, consistent application, and effectiveness of the function; and
  • Less than half of HRM feel that this element is consistently applied and slightly more than 50% feel that this element is serving them or the PCA well.

Review Activity – Analysis of the Parks Canada Employee Survey (PCES) 2009 Results

The review analyzed the 2009 PCA PCES results based on the drivers of People Management excellence in the Public Service adopted from the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) People Management Model, which is shown below in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Components of the TBS People Management Drivers and a High-Performing Public Service

Figure 7: Components of the TBS People Management Drivers and a High-Performing Public Service

Click to enlarge

Source: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pses-saff/2008/report-rapport-eng.asp

In this report, the analysis of the PCES 2009 results is structured on the drivers of “leadership”, “workforce”, “workplace”, “engaged employees” and “culture of excellence”, which together, drive results for the Public Service and Canadians. The drivers and their related sub-drivers outline the fundamental elements that underpin effective people management. The design of the 2009 PCES was based on these drivers.

The graphs presented in this section of the report contain the average of the percentages of positive responses for each grouping of survey questions related to each of the drivers and sub-drivers contained in the TBS People Management Model. This methodology (used by TBS to present Survey results for the PS-wide PSES 2008) allows us to represent each driver and sub-driver by a single percentage, thus facilitating the comparative analysis.

Figure 8: Comparison of People Driver: Leadership (PCA vs. PS)

Figure 8: Comparison of People Driver: Leadership (PCA vs. PS)

Strengths

  • The perceptions of leadership “Values” are similar to those in the rest of the Public Service, although, one might say that a 65% rating could warrant attention.

Challenges/Concerns

  • PCA fares lower in terms of leadership in comparison to the Public Service on the sub-driver of “Competence” and roughly equal on the sub-driver of “Planning and Direction Setting”. There is major room for improvements in this driver seeing as a little more than half of respondents were positive about leadership (55.7%).
  • PCA’s score for “Competence” appears to be significantly lower than that of the PS (47% vs. 55%). This is of particular concern considering that the TBS Employee Engagement Model (refer to Appendix G) indicated that employee perception of “Executive Leadership”, (which measures employee confidence in their senior managers and their belief that senior managers make effective and timely decisions) has both a high impact on job satisfaction, and commitment and satisfaction with the organization.
  • Within the “Planning & Direction Setting” sub-driver the overall employees’ positive perception is roughly 55%. In terms of the specific PSES questions which drive this overall average, only 48% of PCA employees believe that “essential information flows effectively from senior management to staff”; only 34% of PCA employees agree that “senior management in [their] department makes timely and effective decisions” and only 43% of PCA employees agree that “senior management has made progress toward resolving the issues raised in the 2005 PSES”. All three questions had a significant negative impact on the overall sub-driver score. However, on a more positive note, 70% of PCA employees agree that their “immediate supervisor keeps [them] informed about the issues affecting their work and they feel they can clearly explain to others the direction of their department.”

Figure 9: Comparison of People Driver: Workforce (PCA vs. PS)

Figure 9: Comparison of People Driver: Workforce (PCA vs. PS)

Strengths

  • 80% of PCA employees believe that the “Right Talent is in the Right Place at the Right Time”. This is the highest rated sub-driver in the Workforce driver.
  • Responses from the PCES show that employees’ perception of “Values-Based Staffing” is more positive than in the Public Service (62% vs. 57%).

Challenges/Concerns

  • PCA employees’ perceptions of “Career Opportunities” are rated the lowest under the Workforce driver (47%). This may be of particular concern, because the TBS Employee Engagement Model, has identified “Career Development and Opportunities” (measured by employees belief that their organization supports their career development and that they have opportunities for promotion) as having a high impact on job satisfaction. Within the “Career Opportunities” sub-driver, only 40% of PCA employees expressed that they were extremely or significantly satisfied with their career progress in the Public Service.

Figure 10: Comparison of People Driver: Workplace (PCA vs. PS)

 

Figure 10: Comparison of People Driver: Workplace (PCA vs. PS)

Strengths

  • Over 80% of employees rated “Meaningful Work” and “Physical Conditions and Resources,” positively.

Challenges/Concerns

  • Although in line with the Public Service, less than half of PCA employees responded positively about feeling empowered (“Empowerment”) by having a say in decisions and actions that have an impact on their work (45%). As we discuss later in the report, we do not feel that “Empowerment” is tied to employee/manager’s views on delegated authorities within PCA.
  • Perceptions of “Positive Working Relationships and Communications” are relatively low in absolute terms, although two-thirds expressed a positive perception.
  • Slightly less than two-thirds of employees expressed positive perceptions of “Trusted and Effective Recourse”. Given the importance of dispute resolution, which we discuss later in our analysis and findings, the Agency may wish to address this in its PCES Action Plan.

Figure 11: Comparison of People Driver: Engaged Employees (PCA vs. PS)

Figure 11: Comparison of People Driver: Engaged Employees (PCA vs. PS)

Strengths

  • PCA employees are more satisfied with their jobs (85.5%) compared to the Public Service (80.5%). “Job Satisfaction” is the highest rated sub-driver in the Engaged Employee driver.
  • PCA scores greater than the Public Service on all sub-drivers.

Challenges/Concerns

  • PCA employees’ perceptions of “Commitment to the Organization” and “Satisfaction with the Organization” are the lowest under the Engaged Employee driver (71% for both sub-drivers).

Figure 12: Comparison of People Driver: Culture of Excellence (PCA vs. PS)

Figure 12: Comparison of People Driver: Culture of Excellence (PCA vs. PS)

Strengths

  • Generally, this driver receives high positive scores. Over 80% of employees feel that PCA is “Results Oriented” and “People Oriented.”
PCES Linkage to Values, Principles, and HR Regime Elements

In addition to analyzing the PCES results in line with the TBS People Management Model, we also compared the results of the survey, for both PCA and the Public Service, against the Agency’s values, principles and HR regime elements.

To ensure a fair comparison between results, only corresponding questions phrased exactly or similarly in both surveys, were included in our analysis. Furthermore, close-ended questions with responses marked along a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree (in addition to Don’t Know and Not Applicable) were selected for our comparison. The selected questions were then classified by two reviewers, under one or more value or principle, as well as an HR regime element, if applicable. Table 4 below, provides an illustration of the preliminary phase of the analysis. In keeping with the methodology adopted by the Treasury Board Secretariat, the percent positive responses to individual questions (excluding N/A and Don’t Know responses), related to a given value, principle or HR regime element, were averaged to provide a single point reference, which was used to create the summary Figures 13 and 14 below. Moreover, Table 4 provides an illustration of our classification for the first ten questions in the PCES.

Table 4: Preliminary Analysis of PCES Questions Linked to Values, Principles, and HR Regime Elements (Includes relative comparison to PSES).

PCES Questions Value or Principle HR Regime Element Total % Positive PCA Total % Positive PS Corresponding PSES Question PCA-PS % difference
1. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my job. Efficiency   76 82 1 -6
2. The material and tools provided for my work, including software and other automated tools, are available in the official language of my choice. Respect Official Languages 90 92 2 -2
3. When I prepare written materials, including electronic mail, I feel free to use the official language of my choice. Respect Official Languages 89 86 3 3
4. My job is a good fit with my interests. Competence Recruitment, staffing, retention 85 79 4 6
5. I have support at work to balance my work, family
and personal life.
Respect HR Strategy and Planning 75 74 5 1
6. I am satisfied with my current work arrangement (e.g., regular hours, telework, and compressed work week). Respect   83 83 6 0
7. I feel I can claim overtime compensation (in money or in leave) for the overtime hours that I work. Fairness Classification, pay, compensation 68 65 7 3
8. Overall, I like my job. Competence   88 84 8 4
9. I get a sense of satisfaction from my work Competence   83 77 9 6
10. I know how my work contributes to the achievement of Parks Canada’s goals. Competence HR Strategy and Planning 82 82 10 0

As shown in Figure 13 below, PCA results are in line with the broader Public Service when measured against the values and principles. Notwithstanding, Accountability ranks lowest at slightly over 40% and might warrant attention.

Figure 13: Comparison of PCES and PSES on Values and Principles

Figure 13: Comparison of PCES and PSES on Values and Principles

Click to enlarge

* Insufficient data for Simplicity and Consistency.

Similarly, a comparison, shown in Figure 14 below, of the survey results between the Agency and the Public Service, measured against the elements of the PCA HR regime shows a similar trend to Figure 13 above. “Labour Management” and “Learning and Development” are the two areas where the Agency ranks lowest.

Figure 14: Comparison of PCES and PSES on HR Regime Elements

Figure 14: Comparison of PCES and PSES on HR Regime Elements

Click to enlarge

Review Activity – Analysis of the Treasury Board Management Accountability Framework (MAF 6 & 7) Performance Assessment of Parks Canada

We also analyzed the PCA MAF results for Round 7 based on the performance assessment by TBS to provide us with another view of the conformance of the Agency’s HR regime to its values and principles. The results of the two relevant Areas of Management in the TBS Performance Assessment Model (i.e. Values and Ethics, and People Management) are shown in Tables 5 and 6 respectively.

In terms of Values and Ethics, the Agency received an Acceptable rating overall (See Table 5). Although, harassment complaints and grievances per employee, and employees’ perceptions of PCA leadership received an assessment of Opportunity for Improvement. These assessments underscore other findings in our review that suggest that improvements in the area of harassment and communication warrant attention.

As shown in Table 6, in terms of People Management, the Agency received a Strong rating on Employee Engagement; Acceptable ratings in Leadership, Employment Equity, Performance Management, and Official Languages, and Opportunity for Improvement in Employee Learning, and Integrated HR, and Business Planning. Of particular note, the Agency received a rating of Attention Required in the following sub-elements of the overall people performance assessment:

  • Communication;
  • Representation of Women;
  • Planning Effectiveness; and
  • Overtime.

Again, we note the recurring communication theme. In defence of the Agency, while Overtime received an Attention Required, our analysis suggests that the nature of work in the Agency often requires high amounts of unexpected overtime (e.g. fighting forest fires) which would tend to skew the results. When we looked at overtime in the traditional sense in the National Office, we found the levels of overtime to be normal.

Table 5: Values and Ethics (VE) Scorecard for MAF Round 7 (2009-10) Parks Canada

Rating Legend

Strong Strong Acceptable Acceptable Opportunity for Improvement Opportunity
for Improvement
Attention Required Attention
Required

  Key Performance Indicators Rating
VE1. The organization demonstrates a culture of respect, integrity, and professionalism
Acceptable legend
a. A composite measure of culture of respect, culture of integrity, and respectful workplace: Acceptable
  • Culture of Respect: Employees who report that overall, their organization treats them with respect.
Acceptable
  • Culture of Integrity: Employees who report that they can count on their immediate supervisor to keep his or her promises.
Acceptable
  • Respectful Workplace: Employees who report that their organization works hard to create a workplace that prevents harassment and discrimination.
Acceptable
b. The total of harassment complaints and harassment grievances per employee. Opportunity for Improvement
VE2. Senior management demonstrates values-based leadership

Acceptable legend
a. A composite measure of senior management demonstration of values-based leadership: Opportunity for Improvement
  • Senior management commitment to resolve survey concerns: Employees who report they believe their senior management will resolve concerns raised in the employee survey.
Opportunity for Improvement
  • Senior management—sharing of information: Employees who report that essential information flows effectively from senior management to staff.
Opportunity for Improvement
b. The organization has V&E plans and these have been implemented. Acceptable

Table 6: People Management Scorecard for MAF Round 7 (2009 -10) Parks Canada

  Key Performance Indicators Rating
P1. Employee Engagement

Strong legend
a. A composite index of commitment and satisfaction: Acceptable
  • Commitment: Employees who report that they would prefer to remain with their organization, even if a comparable job was available elsewhere in the federal Public Service.
Strong
  • Satisfaction with organization: Employees who report that they are satisfied with their organization.
Acceptable
  • Job Satisfaction: Employees who report that overall, they like their job.
Acceptable
  • Work satisfaction: Employees who report that they get a sense of satisfaction from their work.
Acceptable
b. Retention: Percentage of people leaving their job within initial 12 months of appointment for deployment or for a promotion outside of their organization. Strong
P2. Leadership
Acceptable legend
a. A composite index of confidence, effectiveness, communication, and commitment: Opportunity for Improvement
  • Confidence: Employees who report that they have confidence in the senior management of their organization.
Acceptable
  • Effectiveness: Employees who report that senior management in their organization makes effective and timely decisions.
Opportunity for Improvement
  • Communication: Employees who report that their immediate supervisor keeps them informed about the issues affecting their work.
Attention Required
b. Leadership Stability: Percentage of managers leaving their job within two years (from EX minus 1 to EX05 EX Equivalents). Strong
P3. Employment Equity

Acceptable legend
a. Respectful workplace: Employees who report that in their work unit, every individual, regardless of race, colour, gender or disability, would be/is accepted as an equal member of the team. Strong
b. Employment equity - Representation in each designated group in comparison to workforce availability Acceptable
  • Women;
Attention Required
  • Person with Disabilities;
Acceptable
  • Aboriginal Peoples; and
Acceptable
  • Visible Minorities.
Strong
P4. Employee Learning

Opportunity for Improvement legend
a. A composite index of training and development opportunities: Acceptable
  • Training: Employees who report that they get the training they need to do their job.
Acceptable
  • Development opportunities: Employees who report that their organization does a good job of supporting employee career development.
Acceptable
b. Commitment to formal training: the proportion of the budget spent on training and educational services vs. proportion spent on personnel. Opportunity for Improvement
P5. Performance Management

Acceptable legend
a. A composite index of performance feedback and assessment clarity: Acceptable
  • Performance feedback: Employees who report that they receive useful feedback from their immediate supervisor on their job performance.
Acceptable
  • Assessment clarity: Employees who report that their immediate supervisor assesses their work against identified goals and objectives.
Acceptable
b. Rigorous performance management regime – The extent to which (% difference) the department’s performance ratings for executives diverges from the established bell curve. Strong
P6. Integrated HR and Business Planning

Opportunity for Improvement legend
a. A composite index of workload and planning effectiveness: Opportunity for Improvement
  • Workload Employees: Employees who report that they can complete their assigned workload during their regular working hours.
Acceptable
  • Planning effectiveness – A composite index of:
Attention Required
    • a. Employees who feel that the quality of their work suffers because of: (a) constantly changing priorities.
Attention Required
    • b. Employees who feel that the quality of their work suffers because of: (b) lack of stability in their department or agency.
Attention Required
    • c. Employees who feel that the quality of their work suffers because of: (c) too many approval stages.
Attention Required
b. A composite index of overtime and succession planning: Acceptable
  • Overtime: Overtime hours per employee.
Attention Required
  • Succession planning: Percentage of employees who were promoted internally (after at least 12 months in the position).
Strong
P8. Official Languages

Acceptable legend
a. A composite index of freedom for written and oral communication in the official language of the employee's choice: Acceptable
  • Written Communication: Employees who report that when they prepare written materials, including electronic mail, they feel free to use the official language of their choice.
Strong
  • Oral communication: Employees who report that when they communicate with their immediate supervisor, they feel free to use the official language of their choice.
Strong
b. Bilingual Supervisors: Percentage of supervisors who meet the language requirements of their position. Acceptable

Review Activity – Interviews in the Field and at National Office

Several interviews were conducted throughout the course of our review. Those interviews helped immeasurably to form our opinions and we wish to thank all those who made themselves available. A list of those key contacts and stakeholders (interviewees) is contained in Appendix F.

Review Activity – Working Groups in the Field

Table 7 below illustrates a variance in the additional topics chosen by the participants for discussion in addition to the two chosen by facilitators (Communication, Classification and Staffing), which were common topics discussed at working groups.

Table 7: Working Group Discussion Topics by Location

Calgary, Alberta (01/02/10) Halifax, NS (12/02/10)
Implementation of Major Initiatives
(Law Enforcement etc.)
HR/Succession Planning
Performance Management Learning and Development
HR/Succession Planning Effective Recourse (Formal and Informal) – Fear of Reprisal
Delegation Harassment and Discrimination
  Rewards and Recognition

Review Activity – Senior Management Feedback

We completed our review by presenting and receiving feedback from Senior Management on our findings. Our meetings included:

  • The CEO, the Chief Audit Executive, and the Chief Human Resources Officer;
  • The Agency Audit Committee;
  • The Agency HR Committee; and
  • The new PCA Executive Committee

We updated our draft report based on the feedback and additional evidence we received.

Treasury Board Secretariat Employee Engagement Model

Although not forming part of our Examination Phase, we do make reference in our findings and recommendations to the recently developed Treasury Board Employee Engagement Model, specifically to its Empowerment and Respect paths. There is no formal Treasury Board Secretariat reference to which we can refer the reader. For reference, we have summarized the model here and included the Empowerment and Respect Paths in Appendix G.

Eight leadership, workforce, and workplace characteristics (as measured by 17 PSES questions) drive the level of employee engagement upwards or downwards in organizations.

The TBS Employee Engagement Model provides a blueprint for all organizations to focus their organizational improvement efforts. The people management drivers work together to form “paths” for improving employee engagement. The “paths” reveal the key actions an organization can take to improve employee engagement.

The five strongest “paths,” listed below, can be used to diagnose work environment situations that either block or enhance employee engagement:

  • Career path;
  • Respect path;
  • Staffing path;
  • Teamwork path; and
  • Empowerment path.

Figure 15: The Treasury Board Secretariat Employee Engagement Model

Figure 15: The Treasury Board Secretariat Employee Engagement Model

General Observations and Findings

Our review coincided with the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and for us, this seminal event and its relevance to Parks Canada and its people touched us. Amid the national excitement and sponsorship creativity, one powerful Parks Canada commercial stood out. Its message of discovery and rediscovery of Canadian heritage —“Who does this moment belong to? Who is all this for? Who owns these places?” —inspired pride in many. It underscored for us that it is the employees of the Agency who make this real for Canadians. It is the HR regime, based on values and principles that ensures a workforce that is sustainable, principled, and productive, and a workplace that is enabling and supports their aspirations. The review came to life for us.

There is evidence of several good initiatives that have been put in place or are underway to strengthen the PCA HR regime. A sampling of these will be highlighted later in the report. Often, however, in reviews of this nature, there can be a tendency to crowd out the “good” and focus on the things to “fix.” We hope that we have resisted this tendency. While we make several recommendations at the end of the report that the Agency may wish to consider, our overall conclusion is that the HR regime is in harmony with the PCA values and principles– although, naturally, some areas need work to enhance ongoing conformance. Furthermore, in our discussions with employees across the Agency, which focused on areas for improvement, they encouraged us to take note of the strong sense of purpose, pride, and teamwork that they feel within PCA.

The 2004 Review, the first one conducted after the creation of the Parks Canada Agency, only addressed the evolution of the HR regime as a work in progress adding that there were hopeful signs of adhering to the values and principles. Judgements made then about the conformance of the HR regime to the Agency’s values and principles need to be tested with the evidence now available five years later. Five years from now, others will make new judgements with the benefit of enlightened hindsight.

The PCA values and principles are mutually supporting. They must be seen as an integrated whole and not judged in a vacuum. Ideally, one value or principle cannot be overemphasized at the expense of another if the HR regime is to effectively support the PCA mandate. We believe that PCA has strived to maintain a consistent and balanced approach whereby equal importance has been placed on each value and principle. We rarely found that the exercise of one value or principle negatively affected that of another.

Rather, many of the examples we cite, as both strengths and challenges, often apply to more than one value or principle. While we next address each value and principle individually, we do so for clarity in the structure of our report and not to imply that we see one value or principle being addressed at the expense of another. Effective communication, in any organization, is a challenge but particularly so in one as far-flung as Parks Canada, with a relatively flat organizational structure. In the ensuing discussion in this report of individual values and principles, the reader will note the recurring communication theme. There are many reasons for recommending that the Agency continue to be vigilant in this area. It is important for us to stress that this is not a criticism of those whose function it is to communicate. There is evidence of many good examples of efforts to better communicate, although, we believe that there is always room for improvement. Rather, we see several contributing factors. There is a sense of “initiative overload” or “saturation” within PCA. Early in this report, we highlight the seven PCA Renewal Initiatives, driven by external and internal imperatives. This degree of motion and inherent cultural change presents a communication challenge. When the implementation of individual initiatives takes longer than foreseen and overlaps, employees loose the thread, mix the difference between program and process, get frustrated, messages blur, confusion sets in, and communication is seen to be ineffective or failed. Sometimes, as we have seen, employee expectations of various HR functions present a communication challenge. In several fora, employees expressed their frustration with basic functions such as classification and staffing “taking too long” and have laid their negative impression at the feet of restrictive HR delegation and the like. On the other hand, we have seen evidence that the Agency compares favourably to other organizations in terms of effective use of HR resources. However, to improve communications, we applaud and encourage the Agency’s efforts to set service standards for key HR functions. We also believe that this report can be used as a communications vehicle to recalibrate employees’ impressions and expectations about standards of service and Agency policy decisions in such areas such as delegation.

The 2004 Review suggested that there was an inconsistency in the application and internalization of the values and principles between management and other employees. Various employees suggested that the HR values and principles were like a “management code of conduct”, which applied only to management in its interactions with staff and not necessarily to staff in its interaction with management or other members of the Agency. We believe that, five years later, there is greater awareness and internalization of the Agency’s values and principles among all staff and an expectation that all employees have a role to play in bringing them to life in the everyday workings of PCA.

Revised Risk Ranking Following Analysis

Based on the results of our examination, integrating the specific results from the eight review activities described above, we modified our original risk assessments of the values and principles to reflect our findings. The comparative risk rankings are shown in Table 8 below.

Table 8: Values and Principles- Before and After Comparison of Risk Rankings

Line Of Review Value/ Principle Risk Ranking- Scope And Plan Post-Examination Risk Ranking
Results Competence Higher Lower
Effectiveness Medium Lower
Processes Fairness Medium Lower
Respect Lower Medium
Accountability Higher Lower
Consistency Higher Medium
Openness Higher Medium
Service Delivery Efficiency Lower Lower
Simplicity Lower Lower
Adaptability Medium Lower

Specific Observations and Findings

Our observations and findings on the PCA values and principles are summarized according to the three lines of review: (a) results achievement; (b) adequacy of processes and controls; and (c) service delivery, as shown Figure 3: Review Framework.

Results

Value: Competence

RISK RATING: LOWER

Definition

  • Refers to the knowledge, abilities, suitability, and other qualities required to perform effectively in the workplace. Competence resides in individuals, working independently or as a member of a team, and in the organization as a whole.

Review Criteria and Indicators

  • C3 –PCA should have the right talent in the right place at the right time.
    • I-3a. A human resources framework exists that is based on the premise that employees will be selected, evaluated, developed, and promoted based on competencies that support organizational success.
    • I-3b. Managers and employees are satisfied with quality of hires that result in PCA having the right talent in place.
    • I-3c. Retention, succession planning, and mentoring programs exist to maintain and transmit “corporate memory”.
    • I-3d. Evidence of plans and results for individual development and career planning to maintain the required competencies and to support personal and organizational growth.

Recommendations from the 2004 Review:

  • Integrate the value of competency in a systematic manner in all corporate, workforce-level, HR systems, and processes.
  • Improve performance assessment and develop comprehensive succession planning, formal mentoring, and retention programs.

Conclusions

It is important to make a distinction between the value of competence and the tools needed to develop and measure the attainment of job competencies required to ensure that the workforce has the capacity to do the work it is given effectively. Competence is a broader concept than competency management and profiles. In the PCA context, competence encompasses three dimensions that we have established above as indicators:

  • Selection, evaluation, development, and promotion of employees based on competencies that support organizational success;
  • Retention, succession planning, and mentoring programs to maintain and transmit “corporate memory”; and
  • Plans and results for individual development and career planning to maintain the required competencies and to support personal and organizational growth.

The 2004 Review found that the Agency did not have in place a competency based management system that approached the competence value in an integrated or systematic manner. From the new Agency’s perspective, there was caution to avoid pitfalls encountered by other organizations by moving immediately to wholesale competency profiles. Hence, the Agency adopted a measured approach to implementing a system that would support its specific definition of competence.

(I-3a) In the intervening period, PCA has gradually moved towards the creation of Competency Profiles in two work streams (HR and Interpretation) primarily to improve the effectiveness of recruitment and staffing. A pilot project was approved in 2009 by the Human Resource Committee and at that time, a decision was taken to expand the use of these competency profiles deeper to cover all three dimensions of the competence value shown above. Thus, we have seen evidence that the Agency is moving towards a competency based system and addressing this recommendation of the 2004 Review, albeit through a gradual evolution to competency management. Building on the good work to date, we recommend that the Agency continue to expand, in concert with available resources, its competency based management to all PCA work streams, linked to various HR functions (e.g. recruitment, learning and development, performance management, and succession planning). It makes sense to us that the evolution to competency-based management in the Agency should proceed in line with the implementation of the various initiatives under PCA Renewal (e.g. understanding the role and competencies of the Warden of the future before building a competency model for this work stream).

(I-3b) Based on our examination, PCA employees seem to be generally satisfied that the right talent is being hired to meet the needs of PCA. This is reinforced by the positive responses to the PCES where the sub-driver “Right/Enough Talent in the Right Places at the Right Time,” received an 80% positive response from PCA employees (slightly greater than the positive response rate of 76% from the Public Service as a whole).

(I-3c) Succession planning, supported by sound HR planning and knowledge transfer strategies, is a key area of management focus. The ability to retain and develop employees for meeting PCA mandates in the future has been identified in the corporate risk profile and raised by individuals throughout the course of our review., , With a median workforce age of 47 years (versus 44 years in the Public Service), and the average age of retirement being at 58 years, it is important that PCA maintains a focus on strategies for succession planning. Through its HR plan, PCA has determined specific occupational groups that require succession planning to meet the future needs of the organization. The need for targeted succession planning is recognized but implementation still needs work. While still in the early stages of development, the Inter-Generational Human Resources Strategy is a risk-based strategy designed to enhance PCA’s capacity to recruit and retain qualified and experienced employees. We encourage the Agency to continue to have a focus on strategies for targeted succession planning (e.g. Middle Managers and professional specialists).

(I-3d) There is evidence of plans and results for individual development and career planning to maintain the required competencies and to support personal and organizational growth. We were advised of the number of training and development programs such as:

  • The Aboriginal Leadership Development Program (ALDP), which aims to develop a cadre of Aboriginal leaders within Parks Canada to enhance and enrich the Agency’s culture by integrating Aboriginal culture within all facets of its operations. The program’s fundamental goal is full-time, long-term retention of Aboriginal leaders in the Agency;
  • The New Employee Orientation Program not only presents new employees with the opportunity to develop a professional network with colleagues across the country but it also aims to increase participants’ knowledge of the Agency and their understanding of how their role contributes to achieving Parks Canada’s objectives;
  • Mandatory leadership courses consist of a comprehensive curriculum and are offered to Supervisors and Managers (including PCXs) as a blend of distance learning and classroom based learning; and
  • New Executive (PCX) Orientation Program promotes a better understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities of a senior manager at Parks Canada.

However, employee responses in the PCES and CSA with respect to effective learning and development were not as positive as some of the existing programs and planning would suggest. This could be an issue of communication, inadequate resources or the heavy focus on organizational versus individual learning in the past few years. In the Introduction section of this report, we referred to the seven PCA Renewal Initiatives underway. Each of these initiatives has a learning/training component and huge investments have been made in this area. Employees may see this level of corporate learning as crowding out their opportunities for individual learning which could account for their survey responses. The dichotomy between corporate and individual learning, investment could also explain why some senior managers we interviewed were surprised that learning and development was identified as an issue. , We would encourage the Agency to address employee expectations in this area through focused communication.

Principle: Effectiveness

RISK RATING: LOWER

Definition

  • Achieving the expected results (e.g. representative work force)

Review Criteria and Indicators

  • C1– PCA should have successfully established the flexibilities envisaged in the creation of the PCA.
    • I-1a. Improvements in HR regime have taken advantage of the flexibilities inherent in the separate employer universe, tailored to PCA operating environment and employee needs.
    • I-1b. Values-based HR regime using national generic approaches have, where appropriate, replaced dependency on rules.
    • I-1c. Streamlined, rapid resolution of workplace conflict has been achieved by applying a values and principles-based approach.
  • C2 – The HR regime should effectively support PCA in achieving its mandate results.
    • I-2a. Annual PCA Performance Reports reflect successful, acknowledged achievement of mandate and objectives.
    • I-2b. HR Strategic Plan reflecting ongoing organizational needs for talent is in place, updated, and results monitored on a regular basis.

Conclusions

Effectiveness is an overarching principle, which leads to high-level results that are attained through the conformance of the HR regime with the Agency’s other values and principles. In our HR Review Framework, effectiveness, along with competence, is related to the achievement of organizational results. The organization’s processes and service delivery, themselves rooted in a values and principles-based approach, further support the achievement of results. In other words, no one value or principle can be looked at in isolation. Given that the achievement of results is the primary objective, it is logical that the indicators related to effectiveness are achieved through conforming to other values and principles. For example, the effectiveness indicator of the achievement of a streamlined, rapid resolution of workplace conflict can be a function of conformance with the values of respect and fairness, and the principle of openness. For purposes of brevity, for our assessment of effectiveness, we have chosen not to repeat detailed evidence related to other values and principles but rather decided to make a high-level statement about each indicator.

The first indicator associated with the principle of effectiveness seeks to determine the extent to which the Agency has used the flexibilities provided to it when the Agency was created. For ease of reference, we have restated the flexibilities in this section that are also shown in the introduction to this report. As stated in the PCA Human Resources Plans and Priorities Report from 2001-2010, the move to separate employer status foresaw that:

  • Improvements would take place in a separate employer universe, tailored to Parks Canada’s operating environment and employee needs;
  • Parks Canada was to operate with a streamlined, flat organizational structure with decentralized authority and clear, simple accountability;
  • Resulting simple, streamlined HR systems and processes would result in lower costs through administrative overhead savings;
  • A values-based HR regime using national generic approaches where appropriate, would replace the dependency on rules;
  • The HR regime would be tailored to meet the needs of the Parks Canada employees and operations; and
  • By applying a values-based approach, a streamlined, rapid resolution of workplace conflict would be achieved, with a focus on problem solving at the local level thereby encouraging win-win outcomes and fostering collaborative relationships with unions.

(I-1a) We found evidence that PCA has used the flexibilities inherent in the separate employer status where it was appropriate to do so to meet operational needs. The National Classification Review was a major example of the Agency having used such flexibilities. In saying this, we believe that there is greater scope to adapt the PCA classification structure to meet the needs of the organization. Views were expressed to us, however, that PCA could make greater use of flexibilities associated with separate employer status in the area of collective bargaining. After examination, we were convinced however that the scope for greater degrees of autonomy is limited and the current situation has met PCA’s needs.

We found evidence that PCA has streamlined its HR systems and processes, resulting in lower costs through administrative overhead savings. The Agency makes effective use of its HR resources and in comparison with a sample of other government departments and agencies, PCA has among the lowest ratio of HR professionals to overall employee population. The comparative analysis is contained in Appendix H.

(I-1b) We found evidence that PCA uses national generic approaches, with an aim to reduce dependency on rules. A few examples are included below to highlight the Agency’s progress with respect to this indicator.

PCA, like the rest of the Public Service, has moved from a rules-based to a values-based staffing system. We comment later, in our findings on the principle of efficiency, about the staffing checklist developed by the Agency, which, in part, provides managers with a tool to guide them through the steps they need to take in the staffing process.

The National Classification Review is another example. Upon completion of the review in 2008, approximately 220 master generic work descriptions supported by nine functional organization models were applied to 6,752 positions while approximately 150 non-generics were position-specific work descriptions.

Similarly, the Agency is approaching the introduction of competency models in an integrated and systematic manner, which will ultimately provide a generic, PCA-wide foundation to enable:

  • Selecting and hiring the right candidates;
  • Setting objective performance standards;
  • Providing targets for professional development;
  • Building teams; and
  • Selecting candidates for succession planning.

(I-1c) PCA is making inroads in streamlining and resolving workplace conflict by applying a values and principles-based approach. The evidence for this assessment is detailed in our assessment of the values of respect, fairness, and the principle of openness, elsewhere in our report.

(I-2a) Our review of the latest annual PCA Performance Report reflects successful, acknowledged achievement of mandate and objectives. The ERVE PCA Realignment Initiative, supported by the HR regime, is evidence of this. PCA met its goal to foster in Canadians, specifically their visitors, a personal and more relevant connection to Canada’s treasured natural and historic places.

  • More than three-quarters of the visitors surveyed at 15 locations felt a sense of connection to each surveyed location.
  • Parks Canada mostly met its performance target in 2008 - 2009 with respect to visitors feeling satisfied with their visit, with 14 of 15 surveyed locations (93%) meeting or exceeding the target of 85 percent.

The HR regime supported the ERVE initiative, in part, by creating specialized positions, such as Product Development Specialist and Promotion Officer.

While there is evidence that the Agency has been relatively successful in meeting its mandate, the issue of employee empowerment is worth mentioning. In theory, empowered employees lead to higher productivity and organizational success. However, employee perceptions are negative about the feeling of being empowered in the workplace, which is based on their freedom to act in their jobs or to have a say in decisions and actions that have an impact on their work, rather than feelings of authority. This view is supported by the analysis of the question used in the PCES to gauge the feeling of empowerment. Given the low positive response in the PCES (45%), we believe that more work needs to be done to analyze feelings that employees have about empowerment and to develop appropriate action plans. One possible reason for employees’ negative perception of empowerment is the climate of major organizational change resulting in selective “freezes” (e.g. staffing). The issue of empowerment is also dealt with next under the principle of accountability, where we have offered a specific recommendation.

PCA’s culture of leadership, continuous learning, and improvement ensures that employees at all levels fully understand their role, take personal leadership, are prepared to deal with change, and are fully equipped to deliver on the Agency’s mandate and Strategic Outcome. For example:

  • Since implementing the Accelerated Learning program in September 2008, which aimed towards having 90% of managers complete their training by March 31st 2011, PCA is on track to meet that goal with 20% of managers across Canada having participated in leadership programs already; and
  • As part of the Agency’s Strategic Outcome and program activities, Orientation Week activities were well designed and beneficial to new employees.

Progress has been made in terms of representation, recruitment, and promotions, which brings PCA closer to its goal of achieving a representative workforce. In addition to progress with respect to representation of women and visible minorities, the representation of Aboriginal peoples continues to exceed labour market availability.

(I-2b) Moreover, The PCA HR Strategic Plan, reflecting ongoing organizational needs for talent, is in place, updated periodically, and the results are monitored. We commented on the related issue of succession planning in our earlier discussion on the value of competence.

Processes

Value: Fairness

RISK RATING: LOWER

Definition

  • Means that PCA activities and decisions are just, timely, impartial and objective.

Review Criteria and Indicators

  • C4 – The Process Controls should be suitably designed, consistently applied, and effective.
    • I-4a. Recourse processes available/redress mechanisms in place in the Agency for those who believe that unfairness has occurred.
    • I-4b. HR processes (e.g. staffing and promotion) are fair, equitable, open, and diversity is respected.
    • I-4c. Employees performing similar work in different locations are paid equitably.
    • I-4d. Practices and decisions are communicated openly and honestly.

Conclusions 

(I-4a) Recourse mechanisms are in place in the Agency for those who believe that unfairness has occurred. However, the responses to the PCES and CSA questionnaire indicate that these mechanisms have not taken hold yet in a sense of instilling confidence in employees (Only 58% of PCA employees believe that they can initiate a formal redress process without fear of reprisal (vs. 53% in the PS).

(I-4b) We saw evidence of initiatives undertaken to ensure that employees are treated fairly, and equitably, both individually and collectively, while respecting PCA’s diversity. For example:

  • All staffing supervisors and managers are required to complete an online training session on bias-free selection.
  • The interim staffing and recruitment principles and guidelines for external Omnibus competitions take employment equity into consideration when staffing for an external Omnibus process.
  • Just under two-thirds of PCA employees responded positively, in the PCES, that the process of selecting a person for a position is done fairly (this is slightly higher than the Public Service at large).

Additionally, the Manager’s Employment Equity Guide also consists of tools to help managers to staff, retain, and manage designated group employees. At the time of writing this Review, the Guide was in draft form but when formally issued, will provide a useful tool to help managers ensure equitable treatment of employees, and increased representation of designated groups in various units across the Agency.

(I-4c) With respect to equitable pay across PCA, between the National Review and the current zone collapse underway, PCA has taken systemic steps to address this indicator.

The National Classification Review is an example of the Agency’s efforts to reinforce the value of fairness with respect to equitable pay at different locations for work that is more consistently and uniformly described through generic job descriptions. The goal was to ensure fairness and equity so that employees who perform similar work receive similar compensation, regardless of where they work. Upon completion of the Review in 2008, approximately 220 master generic work descriptions, supported by nine functional organization models, were applied to 6752 positions while approximately 150 non-generics were position-specific work descriptions, which may result in compensation disparities within PCA. We heard, for example, that there is a perception of pay inequity among employees who collect money at various entrances to PCA sites/parks. We did not attempt to confirm this level of detail. However, generally speaking, approximately 35% of employees were reclassified into a higher group or level and received a retroactive pay adjustment— while a small percentage of employees moved to a new occupational group and/or level with a lower compensation but they will be salary protected. We believe that when the National Classification Review is finalized and all grievances are settled, there will be a strong foundation for equitable pay built largely on generic job descriptions and a small percentage of non-generic descriptions.

The pay zone collapse was a provision of the last collective agreement. Prior to that, all employees in the Agency’s blue-collar workforce were either in Zone 1 or 2. Zone 1 was Saskatchewan west while Zone 2 consisted of the rest of the country. As a result, pay differences could be significant for some trades. The Agency and the Union negotiated a 3-year phased-in collapse of the zones, which moved all employees in Zone 2, to Zone 1 rates, which in effect, will eliminate Zone 2 after Aug 5, 2010. This collapse essentially eliminates a pay difference for the same work in different areas of the country, which is positive evidence of the Agency’s attempts to eliminate the last vestige of pay inequity, after the National Review process.

(I- 4d) We observed practices and decisions being communicated openly and honestly. For example, minutes of the HR Committee and Frequently Asked Questions related to the Classification Review are posted on the PCA intranet. That said, we heard that there is still work to do to better communicate committee decisions in general. As well, the Agency faces the challenge of finding ways to communicate with employees in isolated locations who do not have ready access to computers. In summary, we note the need to continue a sustained effort to continue to improve effective communications throughout PCA. This is a recurring theme, which will be highlighted in our discussion of other values and principles.

Value: Respect

RISK RATING: MEDIUM

Definition

  • Mutual trust, recognition of accomplishments, self-esteem, and regard for others are important elements of respectful working relationships.

Review Criteria and Indicators

  • C4 – The Process Controls should be suitably designed, consistently applied, and effective.
    • I-4e. Employees can speak openly within the Agency or they can use the redress processes of the Agency without fear of reprisal.
    • I-4f. Respect for individual differences (i.e. official languages, employment equity, health and safety, protection from harassment and discrimination).
    • I-4g. Formally and informally celebrating the accomplishments of the Agency’s people both as teams and individuals.
    • I-4h. The need to balance work and personal lives is respected.
    • I-4i. The right of employees to union membership, representation, and participation in union activities is recognized.

Recommendations from the 2004 Review:

  • Initiate a formal redress process without fear of reprisal.
  • Improve representation of women and visible minorities.
  • Address harassment and discrimination.

Conclusions

Throughout our examination at various levels within PCA, we were struck by a clear climate of respect that permeates the organization. In responding to the PCES, 71% of employees expressed the view that PCA treats them with respect. While this is not to say that there are not challenges in maintaining respectful relationships within PCA (which will be highlighted below), we believe that the HR regime conforms strongly to the value of respect.

In response to our questionnaire, and during subsequent interviews, individuals expressed the view that processes to manage conflict in the workplace were serving them and PCA well (84%). The union perspective that the Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS) is functioning well, reinforces this general view.

(I-4e) On a more negative note, in responding to the PCES, only 58% of employees felt that they could initiate a formal redress process without fear of reprisal. In and of itself, this response is not enough to suggest that there is a crack in the climate of respect at PCA, but it is a perception that requires vigilance. This low positive response could be a function of a lack of awareness and ineffective communication of various redress avenues, however, ensuring that employees are more aware of redress mechanisms open to them may lead to a reduction in their latent fear of reprisal.

Furthermore, employees report a reluctance to file formal complaints upon hearing about the experiences of other employees circulating the workplace, regarding how their complaints were handled. Many also hold the notion that their single complaint would not be capable of changing the situation. We were struck by the degree of congruence on this issue between our findings and the issues raised by the PCA Ombudsman in his report.

(I-4f) Respect for individual differences is evident in PCA.There are numerous examples of programs and tools that have been developed in the areas of official languages (OL), diversity, health and safety, etc. that are aimed at sustaining an ethos of respect at PCA. Some of these include:

  • A new leaflet on language of work entitled Where Respect Truly Makes Sense distributed in the summer of 2005 to all staff in designated bilingual regions;
  • The Self-Identification Form Project was initiated in 2008 and resulted in an 87% response rate;
  • An Inter-generational Human Resource Recruitment and Retention Strategy is under development;
  • The Emeritus Program was developed to allow scientists to work after retirement;
  • A bias-free selection online training module was developed and is mandatory for all supervisors and managers;
  • The Hazard Prevention Program (HPP),Task Safety Analysis (TSA), and Safe Work Practices (SWP) aimed at eliminating hazards or minimizing the risk associated to hazards in the workplace;
  • In November 2009, the HRC approved a policy on disability management responsibilities and the delivery of disability management services;
  • The EE Manager’s Guide was developed to help managers to staff, retain, and manage EE employees and issues; and
  • Interim Staffing and Recruitment Principles and Guidelines for external Omnibus competitions were developed to ensure EE is taken into consideration when staffing for external Omnibus processes.

(I-4f) Employees seem to be responding positively to the implementation of these and other workplace policies. They responded positively in the PCES when asked to comment on questions related to respect. For instance, 81% of respondents felt that supervisors and senior management are committed to ensuring occupational health and safety in their workplace.

(I-4f) Since receiving a rather low rating from the Commissioner of Official Languages in the last annual report, PCA has worked hard to develop its 2 Official Languages,1 Common Space Tool Kit. This kit consists of the Hello! Bonjour! tool, which equips staff with a multitude of practical tools, geared towards providing better service to Canadians as well as meeting client service objectives in both official languages. It has already received commendations from the Commissioner, which is a positive indication of their rating in the next report. Presently, a toolbox for Official Languages is also in the works. Additionally, employees also responded very positively to the following questions in the PCES regarding their freedom to use their official language at work:

  • 90% of respondents feel that the material and tools provided for their work, including software and other automated tools, are available in the official language of their choice;
  • 89% of respondents feel that when they prepare written materials, including electronic mail, they are free to use the official language of their choice;
  • 89% of respondents believe that the training offered by Parks Canada is available in the official language of their choice;
  • 87% of respondents feel that, during meetings in their work unit, they are free to use the official language of their choice; and
  • 92% of respondents feel that when they communicate with their immediate supervisor, they are free to use the official language of their choice.

(I-4f) The 2004 Review recommended that the Agency improve the representation of women and visible minorities. Since then, progress has been made with both groups.

Members of visible minority groups within Parks Canada continue to be under-represented, with representation at 3.4% (or 170 people) compared with availability of 5.7% (or 281 people) in 2007- 2008. The trend is encouraging, however, there were only 140 employees from visible minority groups working at Parks Canada in 2006-2007. At current hiring rates, it is expected to take four years to meet availability.

Overall representation of women at 44% has been steadily increasing and the gap between their representation and external workforce availability of 46% is being reduced.

These results and other initiatives have contributed to highly positive employee perceptions about diversity at PCA. Specifically, 83% of PCES respondents believe that, in their work unit, every individual, regardless of race, colour, gender, or disability would be/is accepted as an equal member of the team.

(I-4f) There is a challenge to creating a respectful work environment in PCA: the issue of harassment and discrimination. Similar to the Public Service at large, reports of harassment and discrimination have gone up since the last PCES survey conducted in 2004. In the latest survey, 30% reported having been harassed (compared to 19% in 2004), and 18% reported having been discriminated against (compared to 14% in 2004). We noted, however, that actual harassment complaints and grievances were low in 2008 - 2009 (eight complaints and nine grievances) and were reduced from previous year by 56% and 31% respectively. The Treasury Board, in MAF Round 7, assessed PCA as “Opportunity for Improvement” regarding the total of actual harassment complaints and harassment grievances per employee.

Paradoxically, 85% of employees expressed a high level of job satisfaction in the latest survey and 80% of respondents believe that Parks Canada works hard to create a workplace that prevents harassment and discrimination. Similar results were evident across the Public Service. Without further analysis, we cannot offer a ready explanation for this apparent anomaly despite carrying out a cursory literature search and discussion with Statistics Canada. The Agency may wish to consider a short study to determine the correlation, if any, among job satisfaction, harassment and discrimination and other variables such as job tenure, intentions to leave the organization, geographic location, source of the harassment and discrimination (e.g. persons in authority, co-workers, the public, etc.) and demographic variables such as Employment Equity groups, age, and occupation. There is no question that harassment and discrimination negatively affect job satisfaction. However, there are probably other, more statistically relevant, determinants of job satisfaction. A project of this nature could be complemented by a report for PCA on the “Respect Path,” based on the newly developed TBS Employee Engagement Model, which we will recommend a little later in this section.

In our view, the Agency has taken harassment and discrimination seriously. Mandatory harassment and discrimination training has been implemented. In 2008, the Agency launched mandatory awareness training programs entitled Evolving Workplace: Everybody Wins, as well as the Employment Equity Policy, the Workplace Accommodation Policy and the Toward a Harassment-Free Workplace Policy, all delivered via the intranet. During 2008-2009, over 1500 employees have participated in the online Evolving Workplace: Everybody Wins training. Where staff did not have access to a computer, copies of the online information were posted for reading. As of March 31st, 2008, 3,133 employees have received anti-harassment training.

Regardless, like all organizations, PCA needs to redouble its efforts to reduce and eliminate harassment and discrimination. One suggestion might be for PCA to adopt a new strategy that would see the implementation of a national campaign promoting respectful relationships in the workplace, shifting from the current and seemingly ineffective zero tolerance approach to one of a 100 percent respect culture. This approach has worked in situations such as reducing bullying in schools and at least one other Federal Government department is considering it. This approach can be coupled with relevant training, which educates employees on how to prevent and avoid situations of harassment and discrimination. Further, to help focus activities and investment in this area, PCA may wish to consider engaging Statistics Canada to prepare a report on the “Respect Path” based on the Treasury Board Employee Engagement Model.

(I-4g) One key aspect of the value of respect is the extent to which accomplishments are formally and informally celebrated. We found evidence that PCA goes to great lengths to recognize the contributions of employees to the attainment of organizational objectives. It will be noted later, that there is a challenge of ensuring the consistent application of rewards and recognition programs in PCA. At a national level, the PCA CEO Awards of Excellence make an extremely positive contribution to employee engagement and performance. They recognize seven categories covering all aspects of the PCA mandate and operations:

  • Facilitating Memorable Visitor Experiences;
  • Fostering a Culture of Conservation;
  • Improving Operations and Services;
  • Innovations in Learning;
  • Engaging Partners;
  • Exemplary Service; and
  • Outstanding Career.

(I-4h) In terms of respect in supporting employee work/life balance, 75% of employees expressed a positive view in the PCES that they have the support at work to balance their work, family, and personal life.

(I-4i) Based on our examination, we believe that PCA respects the right of employees to union membership, representation, and participation in union activities. Supporting this conclusion, in the PCES, 72% of employees felt that senior managers respect the provisions of their collective agreement, and 82% felt that their immediate supervisor understands and respects the provisions of their collective agreement. On the other hand, although union leadership expressed to us a positive working relationship with PCA leadership, senior management should address the fact that only 52% of employees feel that senior management engages in meaningful consultation with their union on workplace issues. Again, this could be a communication issue.

Principle: Accountability

RISK RATING: MEDIUM

Definition

  • The requirement to be answerable for carrying out our responsibilities in accordance with these human resources values and operating principles.

Review Criteria and Indicators

  • C4 – The Process Controls should be suitably designed, consistently applied, and effective.
    • I-4j. Senior management demonstrates planning and direction setting, and ensures that accountabilities are clear throughout PCA for meeting strategic and operational objectives.
    • I-4k. Responsibilities and objectives in the HR regime are clearly defined, aligned with PCA direction, and serve as the basis for accountability for results.
    • I-4l. HR delegations of authorities, commensurate with effective training, are appropriate to enable timely decision making.

Conclusions

(I-4j) There is evidence that senior management plans and sets the direction for the key elements of the PCA Program Activity Architecture (PAA) including HR initiatives. The Agency has continually reviewed its accountability framework. In May 2007, Treasury Board approved a new Strategic Outcome and PAA for the Agency, which better reflects the PCA Strategic Outcome and Programs.

Our examination of selected Performance Management Agreements (PMAs) shows that the HR initiatives in the PAA translate into specific objectives and responsibilities in individual PMAs. Underlying this positive finding, however, is the fact that in their PCES responses, employees were less positive in their perceptions of senior management’s competence and ability to plan and set direction. This dichotomy could be a function of the Agency’s geographical dispersion or less than effective communication but in any event, it is something PCA should strive to reconcile.

(I-4k) We found numerous examples that demonstrate that roles and responsibilities in HR processes are clearly defined and linked to business requirements. For example, a staffing checklist was created to provide delegated managers and operational HR with a useful tool to assist in staffing. Two separate checklists exist: one comprehensive list for HRM and a one-page list for managers, with only the steps they are required to act on. To support our finding that the HR regime supports the achievement of the Agency’s mandate, a review of the latest annual PCA Performance Report reflects successful, acknowledged achievement of mandate and objectives. The ERVE realignment Renewal Initiative, supported by the HR regime, is evidence of this. PCA met its goal to foster in Canadians, specifically their visitors, a personal and more relevant connection to Canada’s treasured natural and historic places. The HR regime supported the ERVE initiative, in part, by creating specialized positions, such as Product Development Specialist and Promotion Officer.

Another example that HR processes are linked to business requirements is the implementation of the Priority Module in PeopleSoft. We discuss this initiative in detail later under the principle of efficiency.

(I-4l) The 2007 PCA Staffing Audit stated that delegation instruments were not updated regularly, and that in some cases, individuals who did not have staffing delegation were signing staffing documents. We have seen evidence that delegation of authorities’ document has been updated since the 2007 audit. However, we heard reaction, both in response to our questionnaire and subsequent interviews, that there is a level of frustration with the lack of timely decisions and that delegation is held at too high a level. The evidence suggests to us that there are good reasons, in some cases, why slightly higher levels of delegation are required, but it needs to be communicated and explained. In our view, there is a need to communicate the senior management rationale behind the new delegation instrument so that managers value their role, maximize their sense of empowerment, and do not perceive delegation as overly restrictive.

We have drawn a link between the level of delegation and empowerment, based on feedback we received throughout the review process. However, we believe that employee perceptions about their feeling of being empowered in the workplace is not based on their perception of the appropriateness of delegated authorities, but rather on their freedom to act in their jobs or to have a say in decisions and actions that have an impact on their work. This view is supported by the analysis of the question used in the PCES to gauge the feeling of empowerment. Given the low positive response in the PCES, we believe that more work needs to be done to analyze feelings that employees have about empowerment and to develop appropriate action plans. To help focus activities and investment in this area, PCA may wish to consider engaging Statistics Canada to prepare a report on the “Empowerment Path” based on the newly developed Treasury Board Secretariat Employee Engagement Model.

Principle: Consistency

RISK RATING: LOWER

Definition

  • Acting in a similar manner in similar circumstances.

Review Criteria and Indicators

  • C4 – The Process Controls should be suitably designed, consistently applied, and effective.
    • I-4m. Consistency through various decision review and dispute resolution processes (i.e. collection and application of precedent in such areas as labour relations, etc).
    • I-4n. Comprehensive, integrated, consistent, and universally applied performance management process.
    • I-4o. Consistency through the various recognition and communications vehicles (awards, newsletters, intranet site).
    • I-4p. Consistency through orientation, training, and various other learning initiatives, both local and national.

Conclusions

In our assessment of consistency, we were not looking for evidence of everything being done in the same way all the time. Consistency is neither dogmatic nor rules-based, and should not replace innovation, judgement, and discretion in decision-making. We would expect to see evidence of performance based on the values and principles combined with an effective means of disseminating knowledge and best practices.

For the most part, we found evidence that PCA attempts to adhere to the principle of consistency. Often, however, like other values and principles, there can be a difference between the intent to be consistent and the perceptions of employees. Some examples of initiatives aimed at consistency include:

  • The Learning Strategy;
  • Training and Orientation programs;
  • National Classification Review; and
  • ERVE Realignment – Common principles and consistent standards across all parks and sites.

(I-4m) We found a compelling example of the intent to ensure decision review consistency related to labour relations, in the case of discrepancies that existed within the organization with regard to special conditions applicable to canal operating employees (lockmasters, bridge masters, and lock operators working at different canals operated by Parks Canada). A working group consisting of employer and union representatives was put together to come to a common understanding on the interpretation of these conditions. While agreement was reached on many areas of common ground and process, the eventual agreement is currently being challenged and a policy grievance on this interpretation is expected to be heard this spring. Notwithstanding the outcome to proceed with a formal grievance process, this appears to be an example of the intent to reach common understanding on the part of management and labour.

While not a precise measure of consistency, only 36% of employees who responded to the PCES felt that the relationship between union and senior management is highly productive. On the other hand, in questionnaires (CSA and PCES), responses on issues such as labour/management relations and managing conflict in the workplace were generally more positive. One point to note related to the questionnaires was that middle managers were the least positive group regarding the consistent application of managing conflict in the workplace. During our interview process, issues related to consistency were raised in such areas such as the application of HR policies, HR planning, classification of positions, rewards and recognition (below the national level) and performance management.

(I-4n) With respect to consistency in performance management, PCA appears to have a well-structured process and complete templates to ensure that performance management is comprehensive, integrated, and universally applied. In 2005, PCA issued the Performance Management Tool Kit following the launch of its Learning Strategy. The goal of that strategy is to develop a dynamic learning environment for individual and staff excellence in achieving its mandate. Performance management is a key element of this initiative, as it enables an organization that is high performing.

However, the evidence suggests that perceptions of consistently applied formal performance management throughout PCA vary. The responses to the PCES were more positive than the responses to our CSA questionnaire, where only 56% felt that performance management was consistently applied. However, more than two-thirds of the respondents to the PCES responded positively to the following statements:

  • “I receive useful feedback from my immediate supervisor on my job performance.”
  • “My immediate supervisor assesses my work against identified goals and objectives.”
  • “I receive meaningful recognition from my immediate supervisor when I do a good job.”

During the interview process, suggestions were made that goal setting was conducted and assessed infrequently and usually only at the end of the year, rather than making adjustments throughout the year. The most commonly held area of concern with respect to performance management consistency was the challenge of dealing with poor performers. In some cases, the inability to deal with this issue could have a negative impact on retention in PCA. We note that this is a universal challenge across the Public Service, but one nonetheless that PCA should continue to deal with.

(I-4o)Rewards and recognition are important ingredients in creating a positive, productive, and innovative workplace. Rewards and recognition can motivate and encourage employees to contribute to their own success and that of the organization. However, the consistent application of rewards and recognition programs is always a challenge in any organization. Consistency is a function of management philosophy, resources, and workload. It seems to be no different at PCA. At a national level, the PCA CEO Awards of Excellence make an extremely positive contribution to employee engagement and performance. They recognize seven categories covering all aspects of the PCA mandate and operations, which were discussed more fully in our earlier comments under the value of respect.

The CEO Awards are almost universally recognized throughout PCA as being consistent in acknowledging significant achievement. On the other hand, consistency in the application of rewards and recognition below the level of the CEO Awards appears to be a challenge in PCA.,, Both respondents to the questionnaire and interviewees indicated a lack of consistent formal recognition at the Field Unit and Service Centre level. The lack of consistency was generally attributed to differing management styles, workload, funding, a lack of support for recognition programs from employees and unions due to perceived inequities of such programs, and the difficulty in determining appropriate rewards at the local level. However, generally speaking, 70% of employees expressed a positive view in the PCES that they receive meaningful recognition from their immediate supervisor when they do a good job. Moreover, employees responded positively to the use of a newsletter for additional recognition, showcasing the achievements of PCA employees, at the local level. One suggestion to improve the consistency of local recognition and reward programs was to provide assistance in the development of a framework or tools that could be used by the Field Units and Service Centres.

(I-4p) It appears that significant strides have been made towards the improvement of consistency through training and orientation programs at PCA in recent years. The New Employee Orientation Week provides training to instill, in new PCA employees, a common vision and sense of belonging to PCA. Over 3000 staff were trained in Quality Visitor Experience and a thousand staff have attended the New Employee Orientation Program. We also saw evidence of strong leadership development programs, including the Aspiring PCX program.

Principle: Openness

RISK RATING: MEDIUM

Definition

  • Ensuring straightforward and honest communications.

Review Criteria and Indicators

  • C4 – The Process Controls should be suitably designed, consistently applied, and effective.
    • I-4r. Structures in place to facilitate open and honest communication and dialogue (like the Parks Canada Employee Survey).
    • I-4s. HR plans, programs, and staffing strategies are communicated on departments’ websites or departmental databases, and contents are clearly communicated to employees and managers.
    • I-4t. Website or departmental resources that provide all forms, guides, publications and access to policy documents.
    • I-4u. Strategies, decisions, policies, and practices are communicated in an open and timely manner.

Recommendations from the 2004 Review:

  • Address employees’ perceptions of openness and trust.

Conclusions

We commented on the communication conundrum in the General Observations and Findings section of this report. Effective communication, in any organization, is a challenge but particularly so, in one as far-flung as Parks Canada which has a relatively flat organizational structure. The reader will have noted the recurring communication theme throughout our report. There are many reasons for reaching this conclusion and for recommending that the Agency continue to be vigilant in this area. It is important for us to stress that this is not a criticism of those whose function it is to communicate. There is evidence of many good examples of efforts to communicate better, although we believe that there is always room for improvement. We can only suggest that PCA continually seek innovative ways to enhance communications.

(1-4r & I-4u) We found evidence of proactive efforts to communicate, in a timely manner, a wide variety of HR policies, programs, and staffing strategies on the Agency intranet. We noted that the Agency has an activity in place to openly discuss the results of the PCES with employees, at all levels, and to develop appropriate action plans.

(I-4s) For another example, when staffing a large number of identical positions, the Agency has used Omnibus staffing processes in recent years. Typically, they are: open to the public, including all PCA employees; widely marketed, using the Agency’s public website and a variety of other strategic means. All staffing tools are created as a collaborative exercise, involving subject matter specialists, senior management and HR. Candidate assessment is done in a variety of locations, in response to candidates' geographic availability.

(I-4r & I-4u) We were impressed with the genuine desire of senior management to ensure that PCA employees were aware of policies and programs through effective communication instruments (e.g. intranet, regular CEO teleconferences etc.). Other communication vehicles include the Ombudsman and the PCES. In addition to these methods, the Agency could consider a shift to non-traditional, non-hierarchical tools such as webcasts.

(I-4t & I-4u) However, throughout our report, we have highlighted instances where the intent to communicate and the resulting impact of communications are somewhat different. There is evidence that communication messages are not consistent, and sometimes outdated, among various National Office and regional intranet sites. We also heard that forms and templates covering the same topic, are difficult to locate and numerous, to the point where employees are left confused as to which form to use.

(1-4u) Furthermore, the PCES indicates that employees are not overly positive about effective communications (Questions 63, 69, and 71). We have referred previously to the National Classification Review as a positive initiative under the principles of effectiveness and fairness. On a less positive note, the classification case study illustrates a well-intentioned communication strategy that, nonetheless, did not seem to have the intended effect in the field. We commented earlier under the value of fairness that we were particularly impressed with the use of the Classification Review Frequently Asked Questions as a timely communication vehicle to address employee concerns. However, we had to take into consideration the high volume of grievances, still in the process of being resolved, related to this initiative.

The Agency may wish to consider implementing a variation of the Service Canada/INAC model for “circuit riders.” This would involve an individual or a small team, equipped with up-to-date communication material, making regular visits to remote PCA locations. This could improve the odds that employees would have a better idea of the spirit and intent of various initiatives and will be able to provide feedback to program managers and communicators to continually adjust their messaging.

Service Delivery

Principle: Efficiency

RISK RATING: LOWER

Definition

  • Making the best possible use of human resources, time, and money.

Review Criteria and Indicators

  • C5 – There should be evidence of sustained efforts to make the system more adaptable, simple, and efficient.
    • I-5a. Senior executive time and involvement in discussing and setting HR priorities, and in the planning, development, and roll out of HR policies.
    • I-5b. Quality and timely human resources information is available to support HR strategies and decisions.
    • I-5c. HR processes are planned and conducted having regard to time and cost, and linked to business requirements.

Conclusions

The pursuit of greater efficiency is a classic example of good progress but with much more to accomplish. We found evidence of initiatives that have been put in place to achieve greater efficiency, but on the other hand, we were advised of areas requiring attention. As detailed in our earlier findings under the principle of effectiveness, we determined that PCA delivers a common standard of HR services with fewer personnel per capita in comparison with other departments (Refer to Appendix H).

(I-5a) HR governance structures are in place, which require the involvement of PCA senior management in discussing and setting HR priorities, and in the planning, development, and roll out of HR policies. The Agency’s HR committee, a standing committee of the Executive Board, is the prime example of this governance. It meets monthly, and records of decisions are distributed throughout the Agency. That said, it was suggested to us during interviews that other committees across PCA would benefit from having a standing agenda item on HR included in each meeting. This would ensure that HR issues are front and centre, and would facilitate efficient communications.

(I-5b) PCA is striving to ensure that quality and timely human resources information is available to support HR strategies and decisions. A project is well advanced to provide the Agency’s senior management with key human resource metrics needed by management to create and sustain a supportive, highly engaging, and high-performing workplace. As shown in the “Parks Canada Employment Equity Annual Progress Report 2007-2008,” there is also strong evidence that PCA uses timely information to advance its employment equity objectives.

(I-5c) We found numerous examples that demonstrate that HR processes are planned and conducted having regard to time and cost, and linked to business requirements. For example, a staffing checklist was created to provide delegated managers and operational HR with a useful tool to assist in staffing. The staffing checklist was designed to provide all required steps and associated documents for running a comparative assessment (competition). It includes hyperlinks to reference documents and tools, be they on the PCA intranet or on external websites, and a printable version to enclose in the staffing file. Two separate checklists exist: one comprehensive list for HRM and a one-page list for managers, with only the steps they are required to act on.

(I-5c) Another example that HR processes are efficient and linked to business requirements is the implementation of the Priority Module in PeopleSoft. The Agency is at a time of flux, with many priority initiatives being implemented, including restructuring and realignment of entire directorates. Many positions are being created, many reformulated with a different suite of responsibilities, hence different skill sets and experience are required to do the job. Many work descriptions and job classifications have changed, therefore requiring management to try to ensure a place for every current employee, where possible. Staffing and classification processes are taking place in large volume and scope. The enhanced Priority Management System, including the capacity to identify all salary-protected positions, is helping to manage these PCA business requirements.

While we saw evidence of efforts to reengineer specific HR functional processes (e.g. compensation), we did not see evidence of an overall strategy to examine all HR functions in the context of moving to the implementation of PeopleSoft 8.9. We believe that PCA could benefit from the work done by the HR Community in the broader Public Service. Therefore, we would recommend that PCA continue to reengineer HR business processes, linked to a plan to move to PeopleSoft 8.9, within available resources.

On a more negative note, we would be remiss if we did not reflect some of the frustration within PCA related to the length of time it takes for the completion of classification and staffing actions. While we acknowledge that there are mitigating circumstances, we recognize that PCA is taking, and should continue to take steps to reduce wait times in these two areas. We applaud and encourage the Agency’s efforts to set and continually monitor service standards for key HR functions such as staffing, classification, and compensation. Once in place, this service delivery framework would help to recalibrate employee impressions and expectations. For reference, Public Service Commission (PSC) reported, in its recent Annual Report, that the average time to staff across the Public Service for internal indeterminate advertised staffing processes was 18.9 weeks (132 calendar days) for distinct processes and 22.1 weeks (155 calendar days) for collective processes. The evidence that we have seen suggests that PCA, in developing its staffing service standards, is seeking to better the Public Service average by roughly 35%. We emphasize that this a target that will depend on a common definition of staffing start and finish times, and the actual staffing processes that are implemented.

Finally, the Pay and Benefits function is an area that required attention based on a 2006 PCA Audit, although a recent follow-up audit shows that progress is being made to make this important HR function more efficient. In response to our questionnaires, we heard that the current pay system is paper heavy. However, we noted in the 2006 Audit that strides had been made to automate the Leave Request System.

Principle: Simplicity

RISK RATING: LOWER

Definition

  • Making things as uncomplicated as possible.

Review Criteria and Indicators

  • C5 –There should be evidence of sustained efforts to make the system more adaptable, simple, and efficient.
    • I-5d. Simplifying, consolidating, streamlining, and in some cases “informalizing” aspects of the HR regime (e.g. introduction of Alternate Dispute Resolution, Independent Third Party Review).
    • I-5e. PCA can demonstrate improvement in HR regime simplicity.

Conclusions

(I-5d) We found several examples where PCA has attempted to make various functions of the HR simpler. These include many online training programs, templates, and toolkits to facilitate the use of various HR processes and generic job and emerging competency descriptions. For example, to facilitate the generic job descriptions, large Field Units were structured similarly, as were medium and small Field Units.

A prime example of efforts to achieve greater simplicity is the use of Omnibus staffing process. While there is an upfront investment on the part of both line managers and HR professionals in planning and carrying-out staffing, once a process has been completed, jobs can be filled with very little staff time and effort. We did hear complaints about the level of effort required to carry out these staffing processes, but we also heard a lot of positive feedback on the benefits of these processes in making the actual staffing of positions much simpler.

Evidence exists that a streamlined, simple HR governance structure is in place and effective (Labour Management Consultation Committees, HR Committees etc.). It was suggested to us, however, that the discussions and decisions of various committees within the governance structure may not be communicated among each other and that beneficial cross-pollination might be lost. The Agency may wish to consider putting in place a system that links the outcomes of these advisory and decision-making groups.

(I-5e) We saw evidence that PCA is making progress in “informalizing” its programs and processes aimed at creating a better workplace. While formal grievance processes are still actively used, there seems to be greater reliance on informal processes to manage conflict in the workplace. , Many strong building blocks are in place, including the Ombudsman, the Informal Conflict Management System, and labour/management committees etc. The Aboriginal Consultative Committee meets regularly to discuss broad policy issues relating to PCA and provide expert Aboriginal advice directly to the CEO. However, they are working somewhat independently. We heard that some employees are confused about which dispute resolution building block they should contact with their issue, and therefore, they contact all of them. Better cohesion of these various building blocks might be something that PCA might wish to consider. In this regard, we heard of the concept of a “help circle”, which would aim to achieve this better cohesion. This would be done by ensuring that those who initiate and deliver training come together periodically to discuss efficiencies and to better coordinate their approaches.

Principle: Adaptability

RISK RATING: LOWER

Definition

  • Adjusting to circumstances while encouraging innovation and creativity.

Review Criteria and Indicators

  • C5 – There should be evidence of sustained efforts to make the system more adaptable, simple, and efficient.
    • I-5f. HR function maintains awareness of developments in human resources management in the public and private sectors and uses benchmarking as a basis for continuing improvement.
    • I-5g. PCA can demonstrate improvement in HR regime adaptability.

Conclusions

Although PCA is a separate employer, members of the PCA HR community interact with other departments and central agencies in the broader Public Service to stay abreast of best practices and new initiatives. The Agency, like all departments and agencies, focused on achieving the objectives of the Clerk of the Privy Council Public Service Renewal Initiative.

(I-5f) One prime example where the PCA HR regime conforms to the principle of adaptability is in the development of the HR Dashboard. In creating the Dashboard, the Agency sought to learn the lessons encountered by several public and private sector organizations. These included:

  • GTE Network Services;
  • UK Civil Service;
  • Dofasco;
  • Ernst & Young; and
  • Vancity Credit Union.

The Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), in concert with the Public Service HR community, is in the midst of developing a PS-wide People Management Dashboard to provide Deputies and Central Agencies with more focused and relevant information about people management trends and issues for decision-making. This would include:

  • PS-wide trend information for central tracking of People Management Drivers;
  • Tools, which departments and agencies can use to improve HR planning and performance relative to specific drivers of people management; and
  • Management Accountability Framework (MAF) scorecards (including a staffing indicator provided by the PSC).

We would recommend that PCA participate in this work to continue to integrate lessons learned in the evolution of its HR Dashboard and to ensure alignment with the HR information contained in the TBS Dashboard.

(I-5g) PCA has recognized that the HR regime must adapt to ensure that the Agency can meet its mandate. In this regard, a new HR priority was added to the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities to recognize that Human Resources Renewal will focus its efforts in increasing the capacity of its organization to learn and adapt to change, notably to changing demographics. This includes increased efforts to ensure that the workforce reflects the diversity of the Canadian population.

An example of the HR regime demonstrating adaptability is the HR support to the law enforcement program, an important priority in PCA Renewal. The program to create up to 100-armed Park Warden positions within the Agency fundamentally changed Parks Canada’s approach to law enforcement., In May 2009, a year after the Government’s decision on arming park wardens; they began their duties as fully dedicated specialists in law enforcement under the new Parks Canada law enforcement program. A lot of work went into the implementation of the decision, and HR played a vital role. Two competitions were launched in May, to fill specific currently vacant Park Warden (GT-04) and Park Warden Supervisor (GT-05) positions. Both competitions produced an impressive number of applicants. Initial screening was completed at the beginning of June, with the assessment process taking place over the summer. HR was also instrumental in the development of special training programs to support the law enforcement initiative.

(I-5g) Supporting the principle of adaptability, we discovered an interesting approach in PCA to ensuring that the development of HR policies and programs benefit from the perspective of employees who work in the field. National Office organizations can use up to 25% of Field Unit employees on planning and implementation teams for various initiatives. These employees can be connected virtually to their Ottawa teams or can actually work in Ottawa for periods of time. We heard that there is a lot of back and forth on National Office projects between field employees and National Office, contributing to the greater success of a given initiative.

Notwithstanding the evidence of good adaptability, the Agency faces a challenge in dealing with the fallout from what we have termed “initiative overload.” In the Introduction section of this report, we highlighted the seven PCA Renewal Initiatives that are underway and addressed three of them in detail. Further, in the General Observations and Findings section, we raised the challenge of “initiative overload.” When the implementation of individual initiatives takes longer than foreseen and overlaps, employees loose the thread, mix the difference between program and process, get frustrated, messages blur, confusion sets in, and communication is seen to be ineffective or failed. While these initiatives are worthy, PCA should look for opportunities that make sense, to change the pace of implementation, and certainly, to resist the implementation of new initiatives until a period of consolidation and stability has been achieved.

Conclusion

Our overall conclusion is that the HR regime is in harmony with the PCA values and principles—although, naturally, some areas need work to enhance ongoing conformance. We found that the Agency routinely considers and applies its values and principles in its results, processes, and service delivery, and are reflected in the HR regime. Thus, in our review, the HR regime supports the achievement of the Parks Canada mandate.

In our opinion, the Agency has made good progress in addressing the specific recommendations of the 2004 Review.

Specifically, we found a high degree of conformity between the human resources regime and most of the values and principles, although, we encourage the Agency to continue with actions to enhance conformity. Areas where we believe that more work is needed to reach a similar level of conformity fall under the value of respect (focused on harassment and discrimination), and the principles of consistency (performance management, and rewards and recognition, below the national level) and openness (focused exclusively on effective communication). The reader will have noted that, while we have focused on the principle of openness to highlight the communication issue, we have raised the recurring communication issue in discussing other values and principles.

The Agency and its HR regime have come a long way and there is the commitment, planning, and spirit to go further.

Recommendations

This review has covered many areas where Parks Canada is progressing to ensure the conformance of the human resources regime with its values and principles within the National Office and regions. Based on our review, we were asked to make suggestions for areas of improvement and further consideration by the Agency. The recommendations that we are proposing, while not presented in any particular order of priority, are organized in accordance with the HR Review Framework (Figure 3). Some of these action items are already underway and we simply encourage the Agency to continue with them. We realize that many of our recommendations are mutually reinforcing and would need to be integrated into a comprehensive action plan. Further, the list of proposals is lengthy and the constraints of funding, people, and time will likely not permit the pursuit of all of them. That said, we respectfully suggest the following:

General

  • Look for opportunities that make sense, to adapt the pace of implementation, and certainly, to resist the implementation of new initiatives until a period of consolidation and stability has been achieved.

Results

  • Building on the good work to date, continue to expand competency-based management to all PCA work streams, linked to various HR functions (e.g. recruitment, learning and development performance management, succession planning). (Competence)
  • Address employee expectations, through focused communication, for access to learning and development opportunities pointing out a distinction between organizational and individual learning. As a reduced need for organizational learning permits, shift resources to strike a better balance between organizational and individual learning. (Competence)
  • Continue to focus on strategies for targeted succession planning based on sound HR planning (e.g. Middle Managers and professional specialists). (Competence)
  • Encourage employee empowerment by developing action plans based on the Treasury Board Secretariat Employee Engagement Model (“Empowerment Path”). This is one of five paths which are referred to earlier in this report. (Effectiveness)
  • While we were convinced that the scope for greater degrees of autonomy in the use of the flexibilities of separate employer status is limited and the current situation has met PCA’s needs, we encourage the Agency to use those flexibilities when opportunities arise (perhaps in the areas of two-tier bargaining or classification). (Effectiveness)
  • Continue to adapt the PCA classification structure to meet the needs of the organization. (Effectiveness)

Processes

  • Increase awareness, through effective communication, of various redress avenues available to employees. (Fairness, Respect)
  • Adopt a new strategy on harassment and discrimination: a campaign promoting 100% respect culture (versus zero tolerance), coupled with relevant training, and along the lines of anti-bullying programs. (Respect)
  • Consider a short statistical study to determine the correlation, if any, among job satisfaction, harassment and discrimination and various other variables to address the apparent anomaly between high job satisfaction and high perceptions of harassment and discrimination in PCA. A project of this nature could be complemented by a report for PCA on the “Respect Path,” based on the newly developed Treasury Board Employee Engagement Model. (Respect)
  • Communicate the senior management rationale behind the new delegation instrument so that it is better understood, that managers value an empowered role, and do not perceive delegation as overly restrictive. (Accountability)
  • To improve consistency of local rewards and recognition programs, provide assistance in the development of a framework or tools that could be used by the Field Units and Service Centres. (Consistency)
  • Seek innovative ways to enhance communications (Openness):
    • Implement a Service Canada/INAC model for “circuit riders”; and
    • Shift to non-traditional, non-hierarchical tools (e.g. web casts).
  • Following a suggestion made to us, the Agency could consider having a standing item on HR included in the Agenda of various committees in the overall Agency governance structure. This would ensure that HR issues are front and centre, and would facilitate efficient communications. Further, the Agency may wish to consider putting in place a system that links the outcomes of the advisory and decision-making committees within the HR governance structure to better communicate among each other. (Openness)

Service Delivery

  • Continue to reengineer HR business processes, linked to a plan to move to PeopleSoft 8.9, within available resources and appropriately paced implementation.(Efficiency)
  • Continue to take steps to implement service standards and reduce wait times in the completion of compensation, classification, and staffing actions. (Efficiency)
  • Implement the concept of a “help circle” bringing together key players in managing workplace conflict to better coordinate and communicate to the client base, ensuring no contradiction in policies and approaches. (Simplicity)
  • Continue to include lessons learned in the evolution of the HR Dashboard and use it for HR performance measurement. (Adaptability)
  • TBS, in concert with the Public Service HR community, is in the midst of developing a PS-wide People Management Dashboard to provide Deputies and Central Agencies with more focused and relevant information about people management trends and issues for decision-making. We would recommend that PCA participate in this work to continue to integrate lessons learned in the evolution of its HR Dashboard and to ensure alignment with the HR information contained in the TBS Dashboard. (Adaptability)

Appendices

Appendix A: Detailed Definitions of Values and Principles
Appendix B: Number and Types of HR Policies
Appendix C: List of Documents Reviewed
Appendix D: Progress and Key Developments Questionnaire
Appendix E: CSA Questionnaire
Appendix F: Key Contacts and Stakeholders
Appendix G: TBS Employee Engagement Model
Appendix H: HR Comparison Between PCA and Other Organizations

Appendix A: Detailed Definitions of Values and Principles

Section 16 (1b) of the Parks Canada Agency Act specifies that the Chief Executive Officer is responsible for establishing a charter for the Agency and for developing the values and principles governing the management of human resources of the Agency. Prior to the creation of the Agency, a union-management working group began development of the Agency’s HR values and principles consistent with this provision of the Act. The proposal was endorsed by a Union-Management Steering Committee and approved by the CEO in February 1999. The values are:

Competence: refers to the knowledge, abilities, personal suitability, and other qualities required to perform effectively in the workplace. Competence resides in individuals, working independently or as a member of a team, and in the organization as a whole. We:

  • Commit to employing competent people.
  • Maintain and transmit “corporate memory” (i.e.: knowledge, skills and experience developed over many years) as an essential part of organizational competence and renewal.
  • Invest in individual development and career planning to maintain the required competencies and to support personal and organizational growth.

Fairness: means that our activities and decisions are just, timely, impartial and objective. We:

  • Ensure equitable treatment of employees both individually and collectively while respecting our diversity.
  • Apply equitable processes and our attitudes, acts, and decisions are well reasoned.
  • Communicate our practices and decisions openly and honestly.
  • Ensure that all staffing decisions and other human resource practices are free from political influence and other forms of patronage.

Respect: Mutual trust, recognition of accomplishments, self-esteem, and regard for others are important elements of respectful working relationships. As a value, that is earned and deserved. Respect implies that we:

  • Respect individual differences and different points of view.
  • Recognize individual and team contributions.
  • Respect the need to balance our work and personal lives.
  • Recognize the right of employees to union membership, representation, and participation in union activities.
  • Respect and apply principles concerning official languages, employment equity, privacy, health and safety in the workplace, and protection from harassment and discrimination.
  • Foster an environment, in which we participate in the organization’s activities and decisions.
  • Consult prior to taking decisions that directly affect other employees.

The principles are:

Effectiveness: Achieving the expected results (e.g., representative work force).
Accountability: The requirement to be answerable for carrying out our responsibilities in accordance with these human resources values and operating principles.
Consistency: acting in a similar manner in similar circumstances.
Openness: Ensuring straightforward and honest communications.
Efficiency: Making the best possible use of human resources, time, and money.
Adaptability: Adjusting to circumstances while encouraging innovation and creativity.
Simplicity: Making things as uncomplicated as possible.

The human resources regime is understood to include all aspects of human resources management in the Agency including:

  • Classification, pay, compensation
  • Recruitment, staffing, and retention
  • Learning and development
  • Employment equity and diversity
  • Official languages
  • Managing conflict in the workplace
  • Labour/management relations
  • HR Planning, reporting, and systems
  • Health and safety in the workplace
  • Performance management, recognition, and rewards

Appendix B: Number and Types of HR Policies

Figure 16: Major Elements of Parks Canada’s HR Policy Framework

Major Areas Number of Active Policies and Directives
Executive Policies 6
Labour Relations 26
Staffing 8
Classification 1
Compensation and Pay Administration 5
Benefits 8
Employment Equity 2
Training and Development 3
Occupational Health and Safety 2
Recognition 6
Other 6

Appendix C: List of Documents Reviewed

  1. Parks Canada Human Resources Values and Operating Principles (February 1999)
  2. Parks Canada Corporate Plan 2008/09 – 2012/13
  3. Parks Canada Corporate Plan 2009/10 – 2013/14
  4. Corporate plan 08-09, 12-13
  5. Parks Canada Agency Code of Ethics (February 2006)
  6. Parks Canada Human Resources National Office Business Plan 2008-09 – 2012/13
  7. Parks Canada Human Resources Plans and Priorities 2001-2010
  8. Parks Canada Pay and Benefits Audit (August 2006)
  9. Pay Benefit Follow-up Audit - Draft V3 - December 7, 2009
  10. Parks Canada Staffing Audit (September 2007)
  11. Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act: Parks Canada Agency Action Plan 2007/10
  12. Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act - Results-Based Status Report (Part VII) (Canadian Heritage)
  13. Parks Canada Departmental Performance Report (for the period ending March 31, 2008)
  14. Parks Canada Report on Plans and Priorities 2008/09
  15. Human Resources Plans and Priorities 2001-2010
  16. HR template for Business Plan input 2007
  17. HRD Business Plan 2008/09 to 2012/13
  18. Culture Survey 2006
  19. ConnEXions 2006 (1st National Leadership Forum)
  20. Our shared Journey: A Framework for engaging the Parks Canada team in integrated delivery of our mandate 2007-2012
  21. Engagement Index Report
  22. Being First Analysis
  23. Focus Groups following 2003 Employee Survey
  24. Human Resources Delegation of Authority (currently under revision)
  25. Parks Canada Employment Equity Plan 2004-2007
  26. Parks Canada Employment Equity Progress Report 2007/08
  27. Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages Annual Report 2007/08
  28. Annual Review on Official Languages (CPSA)
  29. Official Languages Performance Report Card (OCOL)
  30. Parks Canada/Parks Victoria Exchange Program Evaluation Report (2008)
  31. Employer's Annual Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Report
  32. Local Occupational Health and Safety Committee or Representative Report
  33. Ombudsman Annual Report 2009
  34. Human Resources Department October 4, 2009 Organizational Chart Director Level
  35. Parks Canada Employee Survey 2009 Summary Report with charts
  36. Speaking Points: CEO’s call with Middle Managers October 21-22, 2009 via teleconference call
  37. HR Organizational Comparisons
  38. Minister's Round Table on Parks Canada 2009
  39. Normes de services en dotation (non-PCX)
  40. Staffing Services and Responsibilities
  41. The PC Review 2008/09
  42. A Four-Component Model of Procedural Justice – Defining the Meaning of a Fair Process
  43. Classification Observations ENG
  44. Competency Management – Interpretation Work Stream Statements
  45. PSC Annual Report 2009
  46. Performance Report for the period ending March 31, 2009
  47. Performance Report for the period ending March 31, 2008
  48. PC - Five Year Review of the HR Management regime 2004
  49. OAG Internal Audit – Staffing
  50. CRA 5 Year Review
  51. OAG IA Report- Management of the HR and Prof. Development Function
  52. Staffing MAF
  53. Lahey Report
  54. OAG Report CRA HR Authorities 2008
  55. Values and Ethics Code for the PS
  56. PC – Five Year Review of the HR Management regime 2004
  57. Understanding Culture – Duxbury (slides)
  58. Strategic Directions April 2009 (slides)
  59. Sharing our Journey – Towards a unified vision (slides)
  60. Sharing our Journey – six slides post-HRC
  61. Risk Management Policy Draft June 2009
  62. Risk Identification by PAA May 2008
  63. Risk Assessment Methodology Placemat Sept 2008
  64. Remaniement – relations externes et expérience du visiteur
  65. Parks Canada Law Enforcement Program: Results-based Management and Accountability Framework/Risk-based Audit Framework
  66. Parks Canada Code of Ethics – English
  67. Integrated Risk Management Deck audit Dec 2008
  68. Implementation of Section 41 of Official Languages Act - Action Plan 2007-2010
  69. HR Template for Business Plan input 2007
  70. HR Dashboard Report – 28 Nov 2007
  71. HR Audit example
  72. Focus Group Report Final – English
  73. ERVE Phase II Staffing
  74. External Relations and Visitor Experience Implementation Criteria Sept 25, 2008
  75. Realignment and Completion of Functional Structures External Relations/PA 3 & Visitor Experience/PA 4 Frequently Asked Questions
  76. Realignment and Completion of Functional Structure External Relations PA 3 and Visitor Experience PA 4 Service Centre Update
  77. Realignment and Completion of Functional Structure External Relations PA 3 and Visitor Experience PA 4 Backgrounder
  78. External Relations & Visitor Experience Organizational Models (slides)
  79. External Relations and Visitor Experience Implementation Tool Kit Instructions
  80. Integrated Risk Management Proposed Approach for Parks Canada 2008 (slides)
  81. Information Management, Systems and Technology Strategy (IMST) 2008-2015
  82. Leading transformation Training-Being First
  83. Audit Of Values And Ethics Control Framework
  84. Planning and Reporting-The Way Forward-(slides)
  85. 2009/10 Internal Audit Plan
  86. 2009/-10 Evaluation Plan
  87. National Classification Review: Executive Summary Report on the Process & Key Decisions
  88. Group Allocation Decision
  89. Functional Group Decisions
  90. Update on Collective Bargaining April 2007
  91. Policy on Organization and Classification
  92. Policy Place Policies, Directives, Guidelines, Bulletins, Manuals, Guides, Standards, and Guidelines in use in Parks Canada (PCA Intranet)
  93. News from the CEO (PCA Intranet)
  94. PCA Intranet Main Page (PCA Intranet)
  95. Parks Canada Agency Resource Guide (PCA Intranet)
  96. Hazard Prevention Program (PCA Intranet)
  97. Occupational Health And Safety Program And Policies table of contents (PCA Intranet)
  98. National Informal Conflict Management Policy and Guidelines (PCA Intranet)
  99. Conflict Management Options Available (PCA Intranet)
  100. What is ICM (PCA Intranet)
  101. Confidentiality FAQ (PCA Intranet)
  102. ICM Workshop Presentation
  103. HR committee Terms of Reference (PCA Intranet)
  104. PCA Resource Guide aimed at new employees (PCA Intranet)
  105. PC Learning Programs Available (PCA Intranet)
  106. PCA Learning Strategy (PCA Intranet)
  107. Procedures for Recourse to Independent Third Party Review (ITPR) (PCA Intranet)
  108. Manager Training Curriculum Outline (PCA Intranet)
  109. Manager Training Curriculum Outline (PCA Intranet)
  110. HR What We Do, Who We Are (PCA Intranet)
  111. Renewal Frequently Asked Questions (PCA Intranet)
  112. Parks Canada Vision – “ The Words Behind the Words” (PCA Intranet)
  113. PCA Organizational Chart
  114. Human Resources – Values And Operating Principles
  115. Ombudsman’s Classification Observations

Appendix D: Progress and Key Developments Questionnaire

Human Resources Outline of Progress and Developments
Name:  
Job Title:  
Contact Information:  
Please complete the questionnaire below and provide supporting documents, as necessary, electronically to CPM, no later than October 30, 2009.
PART 1:
Please indicate significant initiatives (e.g. policies, practices, information systems, etc.) undertaken since 2004 in your area of responsibility to improve HR in PCA, and identify the Values and Principles that these initiatives support.
Name
of initi-
ative/ Exam-
ple
Short Des-
crip-
tion
List Key
Documents
and Attach
Files
e.g.:

• Project Descrip-
tions
• Record
of Decision
• Most
Recent
Status
Reports
Please indicate which other Values and Principles are addressed through the initiative
Results Processes Service
Delivery
Effec-
tive-
ness
Compe-
tence
Res-
pect
Fair-
ness
Accoun-
tability
Con-
sis-
tency
Open-
ness
Effi-
cien-
cy
Adap-
tabi-
lity
Sim-
pli-
city
1                        
2                        
3                        
4                        
5                        
6                        
7                        
8                        
9                        
10                        
PART 2:
The 2004 Review Report identified specific recommendations with respect to how the HR regime conforms to a subset of four of its Values and Principles. Beneath the recommendations listed below, please indicate examples or initiatives that have been undertaken to address these recommendations.
Name of Example/ Initiative Short Description List Key Documents and Attach Files e.g.:
  • Project Descriptions
  • Record of decision
  • Most Recent Status Reports
Competence:
  • Integrate the value of competency in a systematic manner in all corporate, workforce-level, HR systems and processes.
  • Improve performance assessment and develop comprehensive succession planning, formal mentoring and retention programs.
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      
Respect:
  • Initiate a formal redress process without fear of reprisal
  • Improve representation of women and visible minorities
  • Address harassment and discrimination
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      
Openness:
  • Address employees’ perceptions of openness and trust.
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      
Adaptability:
  • Seek more autonomy in collective bargaining.
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      

Appendix E: CSA Questionnaire

Review of the Conformance of PCA's Human Resources Regime
with its HR Values and Principles
Name:  
Job Title:  
Region/Service Centre/Field Unit:  
Contact Information:  
Questionnaire
Instructions

For the questionnaire below, please select from the drop-down list (Yes or No) whether the elements of the HR regime are:
  1. Well-designed;
  2. Consistently applied; and,
  3. Serving you or PCA well.

If you have no views on a particu lar element of the HR regime, please select "N/A" from the drop-down list.

For each regime element in which you answered "no" for any of the columns (A, B, C), please explain what , in your opinion, should be done to improve it.

Please return completed questionnaires no later than December 1, 2009 to Elena Ward at elena.ward@cpm.ca. We would encourage you to return the questionnaires via email. however if that is not possible, please send completed questionnaires by fax to Elena Ward at Centre for Public Management at 613-567-7790.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire.


HR Regime Elements A B C D
Well-designed? Consistently applied? Serving you or PCA well? If, you answered "No" to any of the questions in column A, B, or C, please explain what, in your opinion, should be done to improve it.
HR Governance:
HR Strategy and Planning (select) (select) (select)           
HR Policy Framework (select) (select) (select)           
HR Roles and Responsibilities (select) (select) (select)           
Programs (select) (select) (select)           
Governance Structure (select) (select) (select)           
Specific HR Functions:
Classification, Pay and Compensation (select) (select) (select)           
Recruitment, Staffing and Retention (select) (select) (select)           
Learning and Development (select) (select) (select)           
Employment Equity (select) (select) (select)           
Official Languages (select) (select) (select)           
Managing Conflict in the Workplace (select) (select) (select)           
Labour/Management Relations (select) (select) (select)           
Health and Safety in the Workplace (select) (select) (select)           
Performance Management/ Recognition and Rewards (select) (select) (select)           

Appendix F: Key Contacts and Stakeholders

We gratefully acknowledge the individuals who took the time to participate in our Review. We apologize if we have inadvertently left anyone off this list.

# Name Position Title Region/ Service
Centre/ Field Unit
1 Tathiana Agudelo Manager, HR Gwaii Haanas
2 Marc Ampleman Director, Québec Service Centre Québec Service Centre
3 Sophia Arbeau HR Manager Nunavut
4 Robert Beeraj Director, Leadership & Learning National Office
5 Sylvie Bélanger Manager, HR National Office
6 Catherine Bellerose Human Resources Manager Mount Revelstoke And Glacier National Parks
7 Colleen Benson Administrative Assistant Eastern Ontario Field Unit
8 Bruno Bond A/ Director, Aboriginal Affairs National Office
9 Thierry Bouin Field Unit Superintendent La Mauricie
10 David Bowes Manager Policy and Liaison Office of the DG W & NC
11 Tim Bradnam Senior Labour Relations Advisor Western & Northern Canada
12 Ginette Brindle Field Unit Superintendent South-Western Ontario
13 Dawn Bronson Field Unit Superintendent Manitoba Field Unit
14 Greg Bryant Manager, Human Resources NNB & PEI
15 Louise Boucher Executive Director Eastern Canada
16 Tom Buckley Bear Management/Public Safety Specialist South Western Ontario
17 Theresa Bunbury Operations Superintendent Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada
18 Andrew Campbell DG External Relations and Visitor Experience National Office
19 Darla Campbell VE Manager Parks Canada Discovery Centre DG Office, Western and Northern Canada
20 Ameet Chandna Purchasing Officer Western and Northern Service Centre - Calgary
21 Marguerite Chapman Human Resources Advisor Calgary
22 Tom Chapman Operational Manager of Law Enforcement Alberta and British Columbia
23 Irene Colter   Alberta Service Centre
24 Brenda Corrigan Advisor, Resourcing Strategies & Programs Western and Northern Canada
25 Anne Côté Manager, HR Québec Service Centre and Saguenay-Saint-Laurent
26 Merrilee Davies Human Resources Director Northern & Western
27 Vaughan Davies Carpenter WOW 10 PEI Field Unit
28 Mark Delong Superintendent Kejimkujik National Park of Canada
29 Bill Domanko Manager of Human Resources Prairie/North-Northern Prairie and Saskatoon South Field Units
30 Michelle Douglas a/Human Resources Manager Southwest NWT Field Unit
31 Denis Dufour Planning Manager, Patrimonial Québec Service Centre
32 Robert Edelmann National Informal Conflict Management (ICM) Advisor National Informal Conflict Management (ICM) Office
33 Brian Evans Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive National Office
34 Alan Fehr Field Unit Superintendent Northern Prairies Field Unit
35 Greg Fenton Field Unit Superintendent Jasper
36 Bill Fisher Director General Western & Northern Canada
37 Sean Fitzgerald Technical Services Officer, Yukon Field Unit
38 Mark Garnett Asset Manager Mainland Nova Scotia Field Unit
39 Céline Gaulin Chief Administrative Officer National Office
40 Sylvain Girouard Director, Planning, Reporting, Systems National Office
41 Ernie Gladstone Field Unit Superintendent Ontario Service Centre
42 Ron Hallman DG, National Parks National Office
43 Dean Hamilton Engineer New Brunswick South
44 Kathy Hansen Human Resources Manager Atlantic Region, Western Newfoundland, & Labrador Field Unit
45 Wayne Harpell Sector Manager Central Ontario
46 Brenda Henn Director, Human Resources, Eastern Mainland NS Field Unit
47 Robert Hingston Public Outreach Information Officer Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit
48 Trevor Janzen Resourcing Advisor Western and Northern Canada
49 Katharine Kinnear Corporate Services Western and Northern Service Centre
50 Daniel Kinsella President National Component, Public Service Alliance of Canada
51 Rennée Lamontagne Manager, HR Western Québec Field Unit
52 Steve Langdon Field Unit Superintendent Coastal BC FU
53 Daniel Langlois Director Saguenay-Saint-Laurent Field Unit
54 Mike Largy (Past) Manager, HR Qu
55 Alan Latourelle Chief Executive Officer National Office
56 Michel Latreille Special Advisor to the CEO
Official Languages Champion
National Office
57 Nathalie Lavoie Finance and Administrative Manager Saguenay-Saint-Laurent Field Unit
58 Nicole Leblanc Manager, Human Resources South-western Field Unit
59 Sylvie Lee Manager, HR Programs, Youth and Diversity Employment Programs- Human Resources Directorate
60 Carole Loiselle Field Unit Superintendent Western Quebec Field Unit
61 Orysia Luchak Director Western Service Centre
62 Aynsley Macfarlane Site Manager Cape Breton Field Unit
63 Mike MacInnis HR Manager Banff National Park of Canada
64 Martin Magne Director Western and Northern service centre
65 Yves Marcoux Employment Programs Recruitment and Retention
66 Luc Martin Ombudsman Office of the Ombudsman
67 Dave McDonough Superintendent Waterton Lakes Bar U Ranch Field Unit Waterton Lakes Bar U Field Unit
68 Alan Mcdow Human Resources Manager Halifax, Nova Scotia
69 Liz Mcewan Finance Manager Gwaii Haanas Field Unit
70 Ruth A. McGraw Acting Senior Editor National Office - CEO-ECO
71 Hugues Michaud Directeur, Unité de gestion Québec
72 Anne Morin Field Unit Superintendent Yukon
73 Omar Murray Heritage Presenter Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada
74 Maureen Osland HR Advisor Lake Louise
75 Don Ostapowich Manager, Human Resources Riding Mountain and Manitoba Field Units
76 Larry Ostola Director General National Historic Sites
77 Heather Oxman Senior Specialist Public Outreach Education, POE, PIE, ERVE
78 Katherine Patterson Field Unit Superintendent, South Saskatchewan SK, South Saskatchewan
79 Cheryl Penny Field Unit Superintendent RMFU
80 Dennis Peters Special Advisor to the CHRO National Office
81 Alannah Phillips A/Manager of External Relations Mainland Nova Scotia Field Unit
82 Alan Polster Resource Management and Public Safety Specialist II Western/Calgary/Mount Revelstoke and Glacier FU
83 Salman Rasheed Manager, Resource Conservation Western and Northern Service Centre
84 Jim Reeves Service Centre Manager Calgary
85 David Robinson Manager, Infrastructure Eastern Canada DG East
86 Rhonda Lee Rossiter Manager, Business & Human Resources Lake Louise/Yoho/Kootenay Field Unit
87 Mark Schneider Asset manager Riding Mountain and Manitoba Field Unit
88 Geraldine Shears Manager, Human Resources Western Newfoundland and Labrador
89 Carol Sheedy Director General Eastern Canada
90 Robert Sheldon Field Unit Superintendent Northern New Brunswick Field Unit
91 Tracey Smith HR Manager Atlantic Service Centre
92 Corinne Steed   Corporate Development
93 Suzanne Therrien-Richards Manager, Planning WNSC
94 Pat Thomsen Chief Human Resources Officer National Office
95 Rob Thompson Director Coastal British Columbia Field Unit
96 Karen Tierney Field Unit Superintendent Newfoundland East Field Unit
97 Kevin van Tighem Field Unit Superintendent Banff Field Unit
98 Palema Upshaw   Compensation Halifax
99 Pam Veinolte Field Unit Superintendent Kootenay/Yoho/Lake Louise
100 Mike Walton Field Unit Superintendent Northern Ontario
101 Norma V Welch   Halifax Defence Complex - Halifax Citadel
102 Karen Wolfrey VE manager Eastern Ontario Field Unit
103 Lianne Wright Director Atlantic Service Centre

Appendix G: TBS Employee Engagement Model- Respect and Empowerment Paths

The Respect Path

The Respect Path

The respect path is one of the stronger paths for improving employee commitment to and satisfaction with the organization. The path is unique in that it only contains two drivers: the ethical and people-oriented environment driver and the executive leadership driver.

The strong connection between the executive leadership driver, which is at the base of the employee engagement model, and the ethical and people-oriented environment driver provides an important focus for executives. The creation of a respectful and inclusive work environment depends largely on the organizational tone set by executive leaders. Executives can best establish such a work environment by making decisions in a timely and effective manner and by performing their work in a way that garners the confidence of their employees. These actions can lay the foundation for other workplace behaviours, such as dealing with ethical issues in a consistent and fair manner.

Employees who feel they are treated with respect will prefer to remain employed at their organization even if an equivalent job is offered elsewhere in the federal public service. In effect, a considerate and equitable work environment not only fosters commitment but also overall satisfaction with the department or agency. This relationship is illustrated by the direct connection between the ethical and people-oriented environment driver and the organization’s commitment and satisfaction outcome.

Because employee engagement outcomes have a strong reciprocal relationship, the contributions executives make toward creating an ethical and people-oriented workplace not only affect employees’ commitment to and satisfaction with the organization but also their job satisfaction.

The Empowerment Path

The Empowerment Path

The empowerment path is one of the more complex paths leading to increased employee engagement. This path involves connections between four drivers. Together, these four drivers interact in a way that can either strengthen or weaken employee engagement by directly affecting employees’ commitment to and satisfaction with their organization.

This path’s foundation is the executive leadership driver. As described in both the career path and the respect path, executives have a significant influence on the ethical and people-oriented environment driver. The confidence employees have in their executives and their ability to make timely and effective decisions sets the tone for the workplace. Improvements to the executive leadership driver tend to increase an employee’s belief that the organization is respectful and works to prevent discrimination and harassment.

From the ethical and people-oriented environment driver, the empowerment path continues on to the career opportunities and development driver. If employees believe their organization is respectful and prevents discrimination and harassment, they are also more inclined to believe their organization supports career development and promotion opportunities. This connection speaks to the idea that fairness and equal treatment touch on many facets of the work environment. Furthermore, the tone an executive sets by fostering a healthy, emotionally safe, mutually trusting, and respectful work environment will have far-reaching effects across the employee engagement model—in this case, on the career opportunities and development driver.

The career opportunities and development driver’s connection to the empowerment and innovation driver represents the cornerstone of the empowerment path. As increased access to career development and promotion opportunities help build employees’ confidence in their knowledge, abilities, and skill sets, their willingness to be innovative and take initiative also increases. The availability of career opportunities for employees also increases their belief that they have a say in the issues that directly affect them. By offering employees career opportunities, the organization signals that their employees’ capabilities and talents are valued and deserving of investment.

The direct connection between the empowerment and innovation driver and job satisfaction completes the empowerment path. This relationship highlights the importance of employee autonomy for increasing the degree of satisfaction an employee has with his or her job. As job satisfaction is also linked to employees’ commitment to and satisfaction with the organization, it follows that the greater their sense of empowerment, the more inclined they will be to remain with their organization.

The empowerment path illustrates the need for giving employees greater control over their work environment. Organizations that have identified challenges with the empowerment and innovation driver can increase employee engagement through the support of career opportunities that facilitate employee empowerment.

Appendix H: HR Comparison Between PCA and Other PS Organizations- Ratio of Employees to HR Professionals

Note: Based on PCA research

Organization Employee Population No of Regions HR size and composition Ratio
Canada Revenue Agency 45,002 5 + HQ 596 HRs (PE equivalent) working nationally 75:1
Public Works and Government Services Canada 13028 5 Unknown  
Department of National Defence 28000 civ. 5 279 PE’s
12 EX
96:1
National Research Canada 4613 5 120 Employees 38:1
Canadian Food Inspection Agency 6464 4 + NCR 334 Employees
(92% indeterminate; 6.7% term and 1.2% students)
19:1
Citizenship and Immigration Canada 4145 5 200 PE’s
4 EX (corp)
20:1
Transport Canada 4897 5 15-20 employees in each region

100 Employees (Classification and Staffing)
49:1
Fisheries and Oceans Canada 10839 6 + NCR
(Sector based)
Unknown  
Parks Canada Agency 6862 (- 960 for students?) 2 regions + National Office 255 total
78 Corporate HR
120 Operational HR
57 operational compensation
23:1