Section IV - Work Environment - DPR - 2011-12
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The Canadian Forces (CF), one of Canada's most important and recognized national institutions, strives to be reflective of Canada's cultural, ethnic and linguistic makeup, as well as its regional diversity. Its members, regardless of gender, race, religion or culture, share the same goal of protecting the country, its interests and values, while contributing to international peace and security. People are the foundation of the CF's operational capability and Canada's rich mosaic of ethnicity and diverse cultures continued to enhance our ability to serve the Canadian population and to conduct operations in other nations, worldwide.
The military career is such that its characteristics, collectively known as the Military Factor, set it apart from other professions and make direct comparisons with civilian occupations difficult. Both the Employment Equity Act (EEA) and the CF Employment Equity Regulations (EER) acknowledge this uniqueness. Furthermore, the status of the CF as a unique employer is recognized by the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) and is embedded into the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA).
The CF made significant progress in its implementation of Employment Equity (EE) during Fiscal Year (FY) 2011-12. Initiatives included:
- A joint Military/Civilian planning group to revitalize the existing EE governance framework was created. This planning group was tasked to conduct an extensive review of all aspects of governance, and also look at creating a more responsive top to bottom structure with clear and concise Lines of Operation and Communication. The Advisory Group structure presently in place was to be made more robust with clearer linkages into both the corporate and employee components of the organization;
- Following up on an internal review of the CF EE Regulations in 2010-11, an amendment to the regulations was initiated and currently being staffed;
- The second CF Employment Systems Review was begun, and will extend until the end of March 2013 resulting in the production of a new strategic CF EE Plan;
- A series of successful regional EE workshops directed toward CF and DND Employment Equity practitioners, including members of the Defence Advisory Groups, as well as Defence managers and supervisors were conducted; and
- A multilateral working group was created to ensure the viability and continuation of the CF's many Special Measures programs for Aboriginal People.
The Department of National Defence (DND) is committed to increasing diversity by creating a workforce that reflects Canada's population and seeks to retain its current, valued civilian workforce. As Canada's demographics change, a diverse workforce gives DND a foundation for broadening its professional capacity and discovering more effective ways to serve the needs of Canadians. DND seeks to ensure that the department remains representative, and as such, can position itself as an employer of choice for all segments of the Canadian workforce to compete for talent in the future.
DND has made significant progress in its implementation of Employment Equity (EE). During FY 2011-12, DND has:
- Revitalized the existing EE governance framework, in order to make it more robust with clearer linkages into both the corporate and employee components of the organization. The group is now in discussion with various stakeholders for the implementation of the renewed DND/CF EE Governance Model;
- Developed the initial version of the 2013-16 Corporate Civilian Employment Equity Plan (CCEEP). The CCEEP will align with new and evolving governmental priorities such as the Clerk's Public Service (PS) Renewal Action Plan objectives and the Treasury Board Secretariat's (TBS) Management Accountability Framework (MAF). The CCEEP is also based in part on the Strategic Model for Civilian Human Resources to ensure that the implementation of the Canada First Defence Strategy is effectively supported;
- Completed the consultation process of the DND Employment Systems Review (ESR) with key Human Resources (HR) stakeholders, on the recommendations made for the removal of employment barriers for designated group members. The results of the consultation process were used to develop the CCEEP;
- Conducted regional DND/CF EE and Diversity workshops, between March and November 2011 (locations: Esquimalt, Edmonton, Ottawa, Borden, Valcartier, Halifax and Winnipeg). The theme was "From Compliance to Inclusion", which were directed toward civilian and CF EE practitioners, including members of the Defence Advisory Groups, as well as Defence managers and supervisors;
- Launched the Understanding Diversity and Employment Equity on-line course for civilian employees;
- Continued to provide EE representation and mobility reports in order for management to address gaps in their HR planning and staffing strategies. As a result, DND has increased the representation of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal Peoples through effective planning, monitoring and reporting.
The Official Languages Program Transformation Model (OLPTM) 2007-2012 came to an end on 31 March 2012. An assessment of the OLPTM was completed in October 2011 as part of the creation of the next plan, which is called the Official Languages Action Plan (OLAP) 2012-2017. The assessment identified several successes and several areas where additional effort and work is required. These findings were key building blocks for the next five year plan and influenced the drafting of Defence Administrative Orders and Directives on official languages (OL).
Significant progress has been made in OL in many areas including performance measurement. Between summer 2011 and 2012 the number of performance measurement tools increased from two to the end-state requirement of six tools. The Human Resources Management System (HRMS) reporting tool has been improved and expanded to support increased performance measurement reporting required within the OLAP. Survey questions have been included in the "Your-Say" annual CF survey to provide a wide sampling of CF members on OL issues. The OL complaint database is being adjusted to directly correspond with performance measurement activities and targets. A proactive system of site visits to verify Official Languages Act compliance has been trialed and will be implemented in fall 2012 and a trend database with historical and current data has been developed. Finally, an OL performance measurement dashboard with detailed supporting information has been developed and will be used to publicize OL performance to the Department, support Departmental Coordinators of Official Languages, and guide senior department management in directing the OL program during the upcoming OLAP.
A communications strategy was developed in coordination with the OLAP to support its end state and foster compliance over the next five years. The main theme of the strategy, "Lead with respect", describes the culture that will be promoted in the context of the Action Plan for 2012–17. It is intended to place the onus on supervisors to lead by example and recognize linguistic duality by respecting the linguistic rights of their subordinates; by improving their own second official language competencies; by encouraging second-language learning, use, and retention by their subordinates; and by increasing bilingualism in work environments in bilingual regions and bilingual units.
Information sessions were delivered to civilian employees and CF members at various events to inform them of their rights and obligations under the OLA. Communications products have been developed and distributed to DND supervisors to help them create a work environment conducive to the use of both OL and promote linguistic duality as a value. Significant efforts have also been made to enhance communications and support to the Coordinators of Official Languages network through the provision of advice, guidance, and tools to ensure distribution of clear, timely, and coherent information on OL.
Finally, the legal framework for determining the linguistic requirements of CF units and functions has been clarified. This framework will guide the production of a manual for the language designation of units and identification of civilian and military positions.
Alternate Dispute Resolution
Operational research has determined that the average amount of lost productivity due to conflict within the workplace is 2.6 hours/week/person, or a cost of conflict of approximately $450M/year. The Conflict Management Program was developed to provide a means of resolving disputes early, locally and informally; thus, reducing the reliance on the time consuming, more costly formal dispute resolution processes (grievance, harassment, etc.).
The Defence Conflict Management Program has:
- Offered Members of the Defence Team intervention services in the form of consultation, coaching, facilitation, mediation and group interventions that assisted in preventing or resolving workplace conflicts early, locally and informally by employing the principles of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR). The nature of the disputes or conflicts have included career/promotion, classification, community, discipline, diversity, financial entitlement, harassment, housing, job description, leave, medical, performance evaluation, staffing, termination/release, work conditions and work relationships. Some of these issues apply to both military and civilians with others being specific to the military or civilian work forces. Within these issues the three most prevalent were work relationships, harassment and work description disputes;
- Provided core ADR training to educate the Defence Team on how to: resolve conflicts effectively; develop strategies and techniques to deal effectively with emerging conflict situations as leaders; and techniques on how to intervene effectively as a leader when conflicts arise. In addition, customized ADR training was provided to deploying forces that enhanced their operational effectiveness by providing skills to deal with conflicts when they arose during a mission. ADR training has been fully integrated into the CF Non-Commissioned Member professional development process training participants at the basic (recruit), primary leadership, intermediate (senior leader) and advanced Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) levels, and progress has been made in integrating ADR training into the CF Officer professional development process. Finally, ADR training has been fully integrated into the Defence Leadership Curriculum for the professional development of civilian leaders and managers;
- Conducted promotional activities to enhance the general awareness of the Defence team of the benefits of employing the ADR principles of the conflict management program as a first recourse to resolve disputes early, locally and informally;
The Defence Conflict Management Program was re-engineered to meet the Federal Government's Deficit Reduction Action Plan and the Departmental Primary Reserve Employment Capacity Study targets. As such the Program will see a significant reduction in both military and civilian personnel.
The vision for the Conflict Management (CM) Program during the transition is to ensure a continued ability to provide the highest level of CM services to the Defence Team while satisfying the imposed reductions.
The re-engineered Conflict Management Program will transition over the next two fiscal years from a local oriented Program with resources in 19 Defence establishments to a Regional model with the following four centres:
- West. This centre will be located in Edmonton and responsible for delivering ADR services in the Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia; and the Yukon, Northwest and Nunavut Territories;
- Central. This centre will be located in Kingston and responsible for delivering ADR services in the Province of Ontario (less the National Capital Region (NCR));
- National Capital Region/Québec. This centre will be located in Ottawa/Gatineau and responsible for delivering ADR services in the NCR and the Province of Québec; and
- East. This centre will be located in Halifax and responsible for delivering ADR services in the Atlantic Provinces.
Employee Assistance Program
The Department has in place an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that is a voluntary and confidential service to help individuals deal with personal or professional issues that might impact on their work performance. This program serves to foster and maintain the well-being and productivity of the Defence Team. DND's EAP delivers services through a network of internal peer resources (Referral Agents) and an external professional mental health service provider (Health Canada). EAP users of internal peer resources are referred to appropriate external resources (e.g. psychologists, community organizations, family doctors, etc.) or internal resources (e.g. Alternate Dispute Resolution, Bargaining Agent representatives, Human Resources Advisors, Harassment Advisors) depending on the nature of the request for services.
In 2011-12, DND's EAP was enhanced to expand access to mental health counselling services through Health Canada's Employee Assistance Services, to all civilian employees and their immediate family members. This enhancement has brought greater alignment with Military Assistance Services available to military members and their families. During this reporting period, there were approximately 1,925 total visits by civilian and military personnel. This represents a slight increase from the number of total visits in FY 2010-11 (approx. 1904). The main reasons for contacting EAP were (1) family issues (31%), (2) work-related concerns (25%), and (3) mental health issues (24%).
With prevailing issues of mental health in the workplace, the Directorate of Diversity and Well-being (DDWB) has continued to focus its resources on the development of mental health training with the purpose of creating greater awareness regarding this issue. To this end, 10 workshops on "Mental Health for Managers of Civilian Employees" were offered to 200 managers in 9 locations across the country. The demand for this course is such that DDWB has been asked to deliver a further 25 sessions in FY 2012-13.
DDWB is also in the final development stage of a "Mental Health in the Workplace" on-line course for managers. This new course, offered as part of the DND Leadership Curriculum, is expected to be launched early in December 2012. DDWB is interested in adapting the content to develop a similar course intended for all employees.
Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program
Canadian Forces Members Assistance Program (CFMAP) is a voluntary and confidential counselling service to help CF members and their families who have concerns that affect their personal well-being and/or work performance. This program, which is purchased from Health Canada, is available 24/7 and is provided free of charge wherever CF members serve. For FY 2011-12 there was approximately 3258 referrals to this program. This represents a slight increase in the number of referrals over previous years. Regular force members and families represent the major users of this service with the main reasons for contact being marital/family issues and psychological health. For FY 2011-12 CFMAP was able to manage in-house the client's needs 73.1% of the time.
Recognizing Individuals and Team Achievements
2011 Honours & Recognition for the Men and Women of the Canadian Forces may be found at http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2012/dn-nd/D3-23-2011.pdf
DND Corporate Awards: http://hr.ottawa-hull.mil.ca/hrciv/dgcesp/ddwb/awards/en/home_e.asp?reference=110920001
Public Service Award of Excellence: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/arp/exc-eng.asp
Vision Awards: http://www.thevisionawards.org
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