Department of Finance Canada Public Service Renewal Results, 2016
Recruitment and Onboarding
At the Department of Finance Canada, we work hard to attract and recruit future leaders.
Since 2000, through the annual University Recruitment Campaign, the Department has been providing new recruits with the opportunity to work on challenging policy issues, access decision makers and influence important public policy decisions.
Our 2016 University Recruitment Campaign received over 800 applications—an increase of more than 300 applications from 2015. Officials from the Department visited 15 universities across Canada and spoke with professors and students on campus and through online sessions. This year, for the first time, invitations were sent to French and English universities to join a “Google Hangout,” where recent recruits to the Department spoke about the opportunities available in the Department as well as their own experience. Students then had an opportunity to ask questions and hear directly from employees using this real-time, virtual communication platform. Frequent workshops, retreats and informal gatherings throughout the year allow our recruits to work with colleagues within the Department and externally. Our six policy branches provide unparalleled opportunities to work on issues like economic and fiscal forecasting, the federal budget, G20 and G7 meetings, federal transfers to the provinces and territories, tax policy and financial sector regulation.
The Department also participates in the Co-operative Education and Internship Program. This program is specifically designed to provide post-secondary students with four-month assignments related to their field of study and offer them the opportunity to use their academic knowledge in an actual work setting.
The Minister of Finance has recently launched a policy competition that invites post-secondary students across Canada to think big and offer bold ideas that address an economic policy challenge facing Canada. The Post-Secondary Policy Forum is a great opportunity for students to play the role of policy advisor to the federal government and showcase their innovative policy ideas on a national stage.
We continue to enhance and tailor training opportunities for our employees and heighten our learning culture. A number of formal and informal activities are offered to employees to support everyday duties and longer-term career progression:
- In 2016, over 120 new employees attended orientation sessions where they learned about the Department’s current issues, challenges and main priorities from the Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Ministers and other senior managers.
- Approximately 20% of employees are registered in a departmental Professional Development Program, allowing them to develop the skills and competencies needed for career progression.
- Our automated Professional Learning Plan data identified that 25% of employees wanted intermediate to advanced-level Microsoft Excel training. Over 180 employees have been trained, consolidating training requests, minimizing costs and helping those who need the skills to get them.
Our employees benefit from on-the-job learning opportunities as well. In 2016:
- Mentoring and job shadowing matches doubled from 2015 levels.
- Over 500 employees attended departmental FED Talks sessions, including panel discussions with Assistant Deputy Ministers on how to brief senior management to support decision making.
- A pilot Executive Leadership Program, which was launched to prepare new managers and executives for career progression, has been met with positive feedback and strong evaluations.
A respectful workplace is a fundamental value at the Department of Finance Canada. We strive to build an environment where employees are engaged with their work and their colleagues, and where their mental health and well-being is a priority.
We kicked off Mental Health Week, which took place from May 2-8, with the departmental launch of the Not Myself Today campaign.
- Information packages were prepared for staff that included conversation starters, myth-busting facts and “I’m Feeling” mood buttons.
- An employee mental health survey will collect anonymous feedback on employees’ views of mental health in the workplace. Results from the survey, which are expected in spring 2017, will support the Department’s commitment to workplace wellness and help shape future initiatives.
- Over 250 employees participated in information sessions and workshops that included topics covering conflict solutions, work-life balance, mental health and workplace wellness, and constructive approaches to conflict and difficult conversations.
Our Speakers Series hosted a number of presentations this year, including a presentation by Dr. Jacques Legault on "Insightful Tips on Mental Health." The series increased awareness of the many issues being faced in today's policy-making fora. In particular, sessions on "Income Equality and Gender-Based Analysis" spurred much conversation about respect and equality amongst employees. They were great opportunities for staff to engage on issues that matter to Canadians with renowned thinkers across Canada and around the world.
The Department’s staff work in a modern and flexible workspace at 90 Elgin:
- Floors feature an abundance of natural light, good air circulation, collaboration areas, touchdown spaces, and quiet rooms, two of which have additional privacy measures that support meditation and prayer.
- WiFi access throughout the building promotes the use of technology and flexibility in the workplace.
- Existing recycling programs divert the building’s waste from going to the landfill. With the incorporation of disintegrated paper into the composting program as of April 1st, projections based on last year’s volumes suggest a potential increase of up to 70% in diverted waste.
- Paper consumption throughout the Department has been reduced by 30% through the use of multi-functional devices equipped with secure printing and scanning features.
- An “Enviro Fair” was held during Canadian Environment Week to promote sustainable environmental practices. Bike mechanics were on site to provide minor tune-ups and repairs to employees’ bicycles. The event has expanded to include other government departments and external kiosks on a wide range of environmental issues including organic foods, energy efficiency, awareness of local species at risk, local food market information, public transit and waste diversion.
- Close proximity to the scenic Rideau Canal inspired employees to form a running club for all levels to jog/run/train once a week over lunch.
Department of Finance Canada employees are eligible to be nominated for nine department-wide Excellence Awards. The Outstanding Contribution by a New Employee Award is granted to any new non-Executive (EX) employee (employed in the Department for 18 months or less) for his/her distinguished contributions and/or exemplary behaviour.
Selected by senior management and in consultation with branch management committees, the recipient demonstrates excellence, initiative, enthusiasm, teamwork and dedication by:
- Consistently producing work of high standard;
- Continually giving exceptional service to clients; and,
- Demonstrating initiative in an exemplary fashion.
Renewing the Public Service
Relying on the expertise and experience of our mid-career employees and the dynamism of the new generation joining the Department, the Department continues to grow and make valuable contributions as a modern and inclusive Public Service.
Making new “space” to engage and collaborate, the Department was one of the first departments to use social media tools such as Google Hangout and Facebook Live to interact with Canadians in real time. Our pre-budget consultations alone reached approximately 250,000 Canadians nationwide.
Our Young Professionals Network continues to grow and help young employees integrate, participate and stay connected.
In 2016, the Network:
- Organized two blood donor clinics that offered employees the opportunity to discover their blood type while collecting over 170 units of blood;
- Hosted the Department of Finance Canada Swab Event to raise awareness of the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network;
- Co-hosted the second annual Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) Central Agencies’ FUNction in the Parliamentary Precinct. An evening entirely designed and run by young public servants, Department of Finance Canada employees contributed approximately $7,400 at FUNction 2016 for the GCWCC campaign.
The Department of Finance Canada opened its doors on June 14th and hosted its second annual Open House@FIN, welcoming more than 350 public servants from government departments, including session registrants and informal kiosk participants. Supported by an employee-led Open House Committee, this event continued to raise awareness and demystify the Department’s work, with presentations on topics such as “Behind the Scenes of the Federal Budget,” “Implementation of the Canada Child Benefit,” and “Replication of a G20 Negotiation Session.”
On April 20th, the Department co-hosted the second Interdepartmental Blueprint 2020 Innovation Fair at 90 Elgin, with the Clerk of the Privy Council, the Secretary of the Treasury Board and the Deputy Minister of the Department of Finance Canada all participating in the opening ceremonies.
The 2016 Fair was identified as the largest networking and learning collaboration event ever in the Public Service:
- Over 2,000 public servants from 70 departments and agencies were welcomed on site.
- Over 2,800 additional online connections were made for the web broadcast.
- In collaboration with the Blueprint 2020 National Secretariat, the Department of Finance Canada hosted approximately 50 currently registered students from six universities and colleges in the National Capital Region to participate in person.
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