Message to Defence Team members: Promoting and measuring inclusive behaviours within the Defence Team

April 1, 2022 - Defence Stories

Message from the Deputy Minister and the Chief of the Defence Staff


The nature of our work at the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) means there will always be new challenges to focus on, whether at home or abroad. But we still need to continuously push ahead with long-term priorities, like the well-being and sustainability of our organizations. As part of that work, you’ll continue to see the concept and practice of inclusive behaviour factored into how we recruit, train, retain and promote all Defence Team members.

Inclusive behavior is a key component of treating one another with dignity and respect, both of which build critical trust between team members. It’s not a new expectation of Defence Team members; however, previous performance management and assessment tools did not explicitly define or identify inclusive behaviours, leaving staff and supervisors alike unclear about what was expected. This is why we are phasing in changes to make expectations more clear, and all of us more accountable for meeting them.

You may recall that in Fall 2021, Chief, Professional Conduct and Culture released the Initiating Directive on the Integration of the Measurement of Inclusive Behaviours in the Defence Team [PDF-470KB] (accessible only on the National Defence network). Around that time, we also incorporated more explicit expectations into the way that performance is managed among public service executives and senior military officers. Now, beginning April 1, 2022, the performance of all Defence Team members—be they DND Public Service employees or CAF members—will be evaluated on whether they demonstrate inclusive behaviours.

What this means for you

Performance management and evaluation, done properly, should involve continuous feedback over the entire fiscal year. These changes mean that identifying, understanding and demonstrating specific examples of inclusive behaviour will be part of the performance management process. As a member of the Defence Team, you will strive to demonstrate inclusive behaviours throughout the year, and you will have discussions with your supervisor about these behaviours as part of your performance evaluation.

Being purposeful in our use of inclusive behaviours will help ensure all our teammates can bring their authentic selves and diverse perspectives to the workplace. In turn, we will all benefit from having access to the broadest possible range of creativity, innovation and talent available. While changing the culture of an organization rooted in history and tradition can be challenging, we encourage Defence Team members to keep being open to and engaged in the change, individually and collectively. Let’s seize this opportunity together.


Bill Matthews
Deputy Minister of National Defence

General Wayne Eyre
Deputy Minister of National Defence Chief of the Defence Staff

Page details

Date modified: