Respectful workplaces

A diverse, respectful and open workplace is one of the keys to ensuring our employees have the environment they need to do their best in their service to Canadians.

Through our Framework on Mental Health we continue to address an important issue facing many Canadians. The work that has been done to date has generated momentum and enthusiasm. Regions and branches have taken the initiative to appoint a lead/champion, develop their own action plan to support the departmental activities, and have mental health be a key theme at all staff meetings.

For example, our employee networks, senior management blog and our Champions provide employees with a safe environment to connect with others and speak about their own experiences.

In the coming months and years, we want to help employees increase self-awareness of how to care for their mental health and develop employees’ and managers’ skills and confidence to offer help to a co-worker who seems to struggle. Most of all, we want to shift the cultural perception that asking for help is a sign of weakness.

Video: Stories of Excellence: A reflection on supporting respectful workplaces

Transcript of video: Stories of Excellence: A reflection on supporting respectful workplaces

I think Employment and Social Development has a golden opportunity to really demonstrate its leadership by supporting employees with disabilities in the workplace.

There are all sorts of organizations that already have tools, but for us it’s now pulling something all together.

The more information and knowledge we have on mental health, the better we can talk about it, and solve problems.

The people who are making the decisions actually need to reflect that diversity of Canadians that we serve.

I think we’re going through a culture shift. The public service is seeing a lot of renewal. So at that point, if management has a desire to change things, with all the newcomers to the Department, they bring with them new points of view and things can change.

It’s really a team effort, [with] mental health champions in every region and, increasingly, in every branch. We’re going to try and create a network with all those mental health champions—so that, again, we can ground this in the reality that is the day-to-day in our organization. So, what we’re doing is, we’re putting out a bunch of little things, we’re experimenting, we’re trying. We said let’s go with the little bits that work and then improve it as we go along. And, so, it’s an evergreen, organic effort on behalf of the Department.

I think we’ve done a lot on anti-stigmatization, with various people at all levels of the organization coming forward to try and normalize mental health. We’ve put in place good supports. Now we’re tackling how to measure.

We went to a session on post-traumatic stress disorder. And they gave us the tools to recognize when we’re in trouble and to realize when to get professional help.

We have an annual town hall, in which we connect the entire Labour Program. The first, inaugural one was on the subject of mental health, and the second one is on civility and respect. So, we try to get really everybody we need to into those conversations in the town halls.

One of the things we’ve done is the testimonials. I, myself, did a testimonial about my own journey with mental health.

When other employees see that it’s okay to talk about it, then they start talking about it. So, Sara you’ve really been very helpful getting sort of a snowball effect.

That’s a big part of the Blueprint 2020 vision, is to have employees truly engaged right across the board, allowing for the free exchange of ideas and innovative solutions to things and feeling that they’re part of the solutions to some of these concerns.

More ways mental health and respect are promoted at ESDC

Meet D’Arcy

D’Arcy is reducing the stigma around mental health and helping us all to start talking.

Sue: I Have Depression (video)

“My name is Susan, Susie or Sue Spooner. No matter what name I go by, I am no longer embarrassed to admit that I live with depression. It is never too late to talk about it and take action.”

ELLE Panel: Mental Health (video)

“[Women] know our loved ones’ health more than our own health. Keep your appointments, keep your check-ups and check in with yourself. It’s very, very, very important.”

Improving the workplace, one conversation at a time (Video)

Dialogue is at the heart of a healthy workplace.

Pink Shirt Promise

On Pink Shirt Day, February 22, 2017, James Gilbert, ADM, Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations, shared a personal story about facing bullying.

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