A message from Dave Leschasin

March 2016

A record 58% (or nearly 15,000 people) participated in the AON Hewitt Employee Opinion Survey in 2015. This is a pretty significant jump from last year’s participation of 44 per cent, so thank you for your participation.

Engagement scores went up again. They’ve been growing, from 54 per cent to 56 per cent to 58 per cent. I would like to think our actions have impacted that over time.

We’ve also seen an increase in manager engagement, with 72 per cent of them engaged in 2015 - versus 67 per cent in 2014. The number of employees who say they work with effective managers increased from 51 per cent to 56 per cent.

When they assessed the data, AON Hewitt noted that our engagement is improving with engagement scores increased at 11 of 17 sites, and that we made positive progress on all key drivers identified the previous year.

However, when I reviewed the data, it revealed that we have 96 organizational units with less than 46 per cent employees engaged, scores that are less than the average of bottom quartile scoring employers. That is where managers have an opportunity to get in there, ask questions about what’s not working and work to improve things.

AON Hewitt told us to keep focusing on managers, because our results continue to show that effective leaders are the key to engaging you. Manager effectiveness and manager engagement have improved but we still have work to do - 28 per cent of people managers are not engaged. If they’re not engaged, it impacts their people.

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I’ve recommended to senior leadership, and they agreed, that Employee Opinion Survey (EOS) action planning needs to be one of our top priorities as a Region.

To support that, there are two tools in the works: Creating an Action Plan with EOS Results and Performance Conversations.

One site’s data from piloting performance conversations far exceeded my hopes. I thought we were going in the right direction, but I hadn’t predicted such an apparent correlation to engagement.

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Performance Conversations is a tool for managers to build relationships with employees, and offers the chance for performance discussion and feedback…which you keep reminding us is important to you.

Shortage of resources (people, tools, technology) remains an ongoing issue, and one you have most frequently raised as a concern in your survey response written comments. There is a lot going on across the Region. We have limited resources so we can’t add staff and cutting services isn’t an option. Process improvement and other solutions take significant investment, time or culture change. The strongest solution we have is to prioritize: drop, delay or defer what is not a current identified priority.

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The Region’s senior leadership has initiated a priority setting exercise, which will happen across all levels of management. We’ll be looking at what we can drop, delay or defer, so we can focus on what’s most important.

I’ve done this exercise with HR. Our immediate priorities as a department are stabilizing and strengthening HR Shared Services (#1 on our A list of priorities), providing leadership and support to managers to action based on employee opinion survey results, to implement the non-union job evaluation and compensation system and explore WCB cost-reduction options.

Regarding the survey, the most critical action our senior leadership is expecting to see happen now that we have the data back is communication between people managers and their employees about the survey results. After that, each organizational unit needs to develop and complete an Action Plan using EOS results.

In particular, senior leadership is expecting managers and facilities to look at their one to three bottom scoring units. Get in there to talk about what’s working and the areas that need improvement, and how to best fix the problem. And then? Create an action plan.

We can’t fix all the problems all at once, but we are paying attention to the survey data we receive and working hard to prioritize and address the highest priority issues, one by one. We’re coming at this issue in a number of different ways, regionally and locally at each site. We’re taking action and moving in the right direction.

Sincerely,

Dave Leschasin
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

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