Renewing the Public Service Beyond2020

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Beyond2020 logo

Canadians count on their Public Service for professionalism, predictability, and stability. At the same time, meeting the changing needs of Canadians means that we must continue to learn and renew ourselves by looking deeply at how we work.

Moving forward on renewing our Public Service is especially pressing given the dynamic time we live in. With emerging shifts in technologies, global flows of information, and profound differences in generational expectations and ways of working, merely launching new programs and initiatives is not enough. We need to change how we think about our work—our mindsets—and how we work together and with Canadians—our behaviours.

That is what Beyond2020 is about. It is about how we work. It is about how our everyday actions can make a difference. This is not about putting a 1995 workflow on a 2019 device. It is about evaluating how we tackle problems. Are we taking risks by trying out different ways of doing things? Are we seeking out different perspectives and being as inclusive as we can? Are we constantly learning and growing?

These questions speak to our mindsets and behaviours. And they are just a sampling of the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves to become more agile, inclusive, and better equipped. As illustrated in the following sections, we are already shaping improvements around these key areas of focus.

We will be measuring and tracking progress as we go. The results of the Public Service Employee Survey will serve as a key tool to analyze our progress across the Public Service and within each organization.

Success depends on harnessing the expertise, knowledge, and passion of all public servants. Public servants from coast to coast to coast are encouraged to work together and to take advantage of horizontal communities that cut across government (like the National Managers’ Community and the Federal Youth Network).


Agile

An agile Public Service involves being courageous in taking on new roles and in tackling barriers that limit us in responding quickly to new challenges.

Agility can make us uncomfortable because it sometimes requires us to push boundaries. But we are building this capacity by embracing uncertainty and learning through experimentation. Public servants should feel they can challenge the status quo and explore new ways of developing solutions.

Thinking differently about how we work

Agility speaks to how we manage, mobilize, and empower public servants. By experimenting with workforce models, employees contribute their specific skills and talents where and when they are needed, with less focus on their physical location.



Drawing inspiration from mobility-based initiatives, like Canada’s Free Agents and micro-missions, the Fellowship program, sponsored by the Impact and Innovation Unit at the Privy Council Office, allows us to further experiment with ways to bring in important new skills. The current key areas of specialization are behavioural insights, innovative finance, impact measurement, challenge prizes, and data science.

 

We understand that the ability of public servants to be more mobile is fundamentally reliant on really understanding our workforce. The Statistics Canada Human Resources (HR) Business Intelligence team developed a number of interactive tools that empower managers to use HR data to make evidence‑based decisions.

One tool is a multi-faceted dashboard that allows users to view and interact with results from the 2017 Public Service Employee Survey. This tool was the first on Statistics Canada’s new Innovation Cloud and has been accessed 20,000 times per month, on average, since its launch in April 2018. It was recognized with an Honourable Mention in the 2018 National HR Awards’ Best Use of People Analytics category.

 

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and Public Services and Procurement Canada have launched an agile procurement process for the purchase of digital goods and services. In the traditional tendering process, we often provide companies with a detailed outline of the solution we want them to provide. This agile procurement process, on the other hand, features “challenge-based procurement,” where we present companies with a problem and invite them to solve it. This is a new and promising approach for government procurement.

 
Three people sitting on a bench looking at a wall covered with pictures of public servants

Experimenting

Being agile requires us to experiment and try new things. We understand that we do not have all the answers or the capacity to solve everything ourselves.

Through the Impact Canada initiative, a variety of departments are using prizes to attract broader, more diverse expertise and ideas, and accelerate outcomes-based approaches across government.

This includes:

 

Rock crusher
The Crush It! Challenge reached out to Canadians for clean technology solutions to transform how energy is used for crushing and grinding rocks in the mining industry, like this underground grinding mill that crushes mineral ore into dust.

We are also working with:

I am encouraged to be innovative or to take initiative in my work. 66 %. 2018 Public Service Employee Survey

Internally, the Treasury Board Secretariat hosts a portal on experimentation on GCpedia (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) that houses case studies and other tools, events, and resources to help public servants on their experimental journey.

Employees from Indigenous Services Canada and the Department of Finance Canada have set an interesting example of innovative entrepreneurship. Working together, public servants swiftly mobilized people with varying backgrounds in project and commercial finance, energy projects, Indigenous matters and government operations to move forward on the Northern Ontario Grid Connection Project. The project is being led by Wataynikaneyap Power, a partnership between the utility company Fortis Inc. and 24 First Nations communities, which have majority ownership in the partnership. It is the largest Indigenous-led and Indigenous-owned infrastructure power project in Canada. The project will connect 16 remote First Nations communities to the provincial power grid. The first community, Pikangikum First Nation, was connected in December 2018.

 

Margaret Kenequanash

“This project will redefine the relationships and the landscape of how business must be conducted with the First Nations through creating a sustainable First Nation equity position overall. This provides the foundation for the communities to participate meaningfully in the economic prosperity of this country.

We would like to thank both levels of government who’ve supported our vision of owning a major infrastructure in our homelands. Now we need to get the line that brings light into the communities. These are exciting times!”

- Margaret Kenequanash
Chief Executive Officer
Wataynikaneyap Power LP

Seemingly small actions and decisions can lead to meaningful improvements

  • Western Economic Diversification Canada is experimenting with co-working: sharing workspace with stakeholders in the community. By learning alongside people who are doing different work from ourselves, we can spawn innovation in both the community and the public sector.
  • Daniel Gray and Caroline Simard led a small team in the Corporate Management Branch at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to develop a new, efficient electronic invoice-to-payment system that saves money and frees up resources to focus on higher priority areas.
    Caroline Simard and Daniel Gray
  • Experimentation Works is a government-wide initiative led by the Treasury Board Secretariat to build public servants’ capacity in experimentation skills and practice. It uses a learning-by-doing model that showcases departments’ small-scale experiments from start to finish in an open-by-default manner. Want to learn more? The project is openly tracked on Trello.
 

Phoenix Pay System

This is the third year we have written about the Phoenix pay system in this report. We continue to hear, on a daily basis, stories from public servants about issues they have had with their pay. The message is clear: problems with our system continue to be widespread and persistent. Though we continue to reduce our backlog of cases, we are still a long way from resolving our pay issues.

Progress, however, has been made. The Pay Bulletin provides public servants with information about public service pay, including updates on progress towards addressing the backlog of pay transactions. Employees at the Public Service Pay Centre in Miramichi, New Brunswick, and across the country continue to work hard to resolve outstanding pay issues and stay on top of new ones.

In a 12-month period, the backlog of cases in the queue was reduced by over 20%. We have increased the number of employees working in pay operations to relieve some pressure and have introduced pay pods—dedicated compensation teams for departments and agencies—to help streamline the process for employees in resolving pay issues. We are grateful for the efforts of these public servants.

Christine Bransfield

“A successful day in compensation is ensuring we can do everything possible to make sure our clients are paid correctly. When accounts are reconciled and pay is correct, we know the client will be satisfied and be able to concentrate on their daily tasks without worrying about their pay.”

Christine Bransfield, Acting Team Leader, Public Service Pay Centre


Pay system
Text version - Pay system

An outline of a rectangle is in green, with a green bar at the top.

Inside the bar, Pay System is written.

These graphics and words are below:

  • Green circle with 70% inside. Arrow pointing up with a 1 inside. Has your pay or compensation been affected by the Phoenix pay system?
  • Green circle with 32% inside. Arrow pointing down with a 2 inside. Do pay-related or compensation-related issues cause you stress at work?
  • Green circle with 36% inside. Arrow pointing left with a 0 inside. Satisfaction with department or agency to resolve pay or compensation issues.

Comparisons are with the 2017 PSES. Arrows show the direction of change and numbers represent the difference in percentage points.

We continue work on the Next Generation of the Public Service human resources and pay system and recognize the need to address issues as quickly as possible. However, we are also learning from our mistakes and taking the time to engage widely, to:

  • better understand the complexities of our pay and human resources needs; and
  • develop usable and practical solutions for best meeting the needs of our workforce.

While Phoenix failures have been frustrating and immensely challenging, the resiliency and agility of public servants in responding to this situation has been heartening. Fixing the pay system remains a top concern.

Inclusive

I think my department or agency respects individual differences (e.g., culture, work styles, ideas). 78 %. 2018 Public Service Employee Survey

While Canada’s diversity is a fact, inclusion is an act of will. It can be as simple as how we run meetings or about reaching out across teams, departments, levels, and to the many sectors outside the Public Service to seek diverse views. No one has a monopoly on good ideas.

Speak up. Get involved. Make a change in your organization. If there isn’t a dialogue going on now, start talking about how you open that up. The time is now.

Caroline Curran, Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer

Empathy and compassion

Mia Sigouin

Mia Sigouin displayed inspiring courage in sharing her own experience to help others with their transition.

As she notes, “I wanted to equip future transgender employees with something more concrete.”

Mia worked with colleagues to create Support for Trans Employees: A Guide for Employees and Managers for Public Services and Procurement Canada employees.

 
Transcript - Supporting transgender employees

(Shot of Mia Sigouin and Emmanuelle Gallays)

(Mia Sigouin speaks)

My life before I transitioned is a little bit complicated.

(Text on screen: Making better possible)

(Cover page for the document “Support for Trans Employees: A Guide for Employees and Managers”)

(Image of Mia as a teenager, prior to transitioning)

I was so not good in my skin that I think my body was giving up and I took the decision to take a leap of faith and transition.

(Text on screen: Mia Sigouin, Manager, Next Generation Travel Program Directorate, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

When you take that decision and you announce it to a manager, the workplace is extremely important.

(Shot of Emmanuelle Gallays)

(Emmanuelle Gallays speaks)

(Text on screen: Emmanuelle Gallays, Director, Outreach, Social Media and Creative Services, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

I could tell she was really, really nervous. So she flipped over the phone with the official diagnostic from the doctor and although I didn't understand what it was, was it gender dysphoria?

(Mia Sigouin interjects)

Gender dysphoria.

(The definition of gender dysphoria appears: A condition where a person experiences persistent discomfort or distress because of a mismatch between their gender identity and the sex they were assigned at birth.)

(Emmanuelle Gallays continues speaking)

That was a new term for me. We wanted to kind of document the journey from Mia's perspective but also from a manager's point of view. That was the kind of the genesis for the guide.

(Shot of Kara Lafleur)

(Text on screen: Kara Lafleur, Human Resources Advisor, Employment Equity Division, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

(Kara Lafleur speaks)

So we were approached by them, we meaning my team, Diversity and Employment Equity, because Mia was transitioning and there was no policy or guiding document that she was aware of. The employment equity team, which is my team, created a working group, solicited input from various stakeholders, other human resource disciplines like pay and labour relations, the union members, union representatives from the various unions and our Pride at Work Network which is a network for the LGBTQ2+ community here within Public Services and Procurement Canada.

(Graphic representing the various stakeholders that contributed to the development of the trans guide)

(The definition of LGBTQ2+ appears: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and two-spirit (adjective phrase).)

(Shot of Gordon Bulmer)

(Text on screen: Gordon Bulmer, Steward, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

(Gordon Bulmer speaks)

One of the reasons I was involved with the trans guide is because I'm part of the Joint Committee on Employment Equity and Diversity here in the department. The fight for gender expression rights in the Human Rights Act was a 12-year fight. June 2017 the gender expression was added to the human rights charter as a protected ground. It vastly improved the lives of trans members, trans persons here in Canada.

(Image of posters from human rights rally, followed by an image of Canadian flags, encircled by alternating LGBTQ2+ and transgender flags.)

(Graphic representing the amendment made to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, through Bill C-16 to include gender identity or expression)

(Image of a street decorated with flags representing the LGBTQ2+ rainbow of colours, followed by an image of pink balloons and LGBTQ2+ flags decorating a street)

(Shot of Kara Lafleur)

(Kara Lafleur speaks)

The trans guide has started a movement, it’s still in the early stages but you’re seeing different changes throughout the department and through the Federal government as a whole. So for instance, within the department, our Translation Bureau created an accompanying glossary to go along with our guide.

(Animation representing the various terminology that can be found in the Gender and sexual diversity glossary)

So they created a glossary for gender and sexual diversity and all the terms in both languages which was very important because it’s very hard to find terminology in French. So all Canadians and private business can have access to this tool.

(Animation representing the web page address to access the Gender and sexual diversity glossary)

(Shot of Gordon Bulmer)

(Gordon Bulmer speaks)

The fact that Treasury Board and other departments have looked at our trans guide as a framework for the development of future documentation around the support of trans members, shows leadership by our department around social justice issues.

(Animation showing the different pages of the trans guide)

And it just shows that the Government of Canada can be a leader in social justice not just a follower.

(Image of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raising the LGBTQ2+ flag on parliament hill, followed by an image of a stylized Canadian flag with the LGBTQ2+ rainbow of colours)

(Shot of Kara Lafleur)

(Kara Lafleur speaks)

We received the Public Service Award of Excellence for public sector values in the workplace, it’s the Joan Atkinson Award. We were very proud and pleased to receive that as well.

(Image of the Trans Guide working group receiving an award at the awards ceremony)

And it was so nice to be part of a group and to create document that is actually going to help someone immediately. You can see the results straight away.

(Mia Sigouin speaks)

(Shot of Mia working at her desk, followed by a portrait style shot of Mia in an office setting)

My story overall at work has been great at PSPC because of the executive, because of the senior management, because of my manager, colleagues. They just made it an amazing journey.

(Text on screen: Consult the guide and glossary online at: canada.ca/diversity-glossary, canada.ca/trans-guide)

(Public Services and Procurement Canada signature)

(Canada wordmark)

Ann-Marie Jenkins and Mallory Chafe in Northern Labrador
“We were able to see the smiles. One gentleman told us we had just made his life a lot happier.”

In October 2018, Ann-Marie Jenkins and Mallory Chafe (both Canada Revenue Agency outreach officers) visited four Inuit and Innu communities in Northern Labrador to talk about tax benefits and credits. These face-to-face discussions allowed Ann-Marie and Mallory to engage community members in an open way and help people file their returns. In fact, some were able to file their own return on the spot! These officers found the trip very rewarding.

 

Healthy workplaces

It takes leadership at all levels to advance inclusion in the Public Service. We’ve seen grassroots efforts, like the Federal Speakers’ Bureau on Healthy Workplaces (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) and horizontal groups made up of public servants from across the country, bring to life important conversations like making the workplace more inclusive.

My department does a good job of raising awareness of mental health in the workplace. 71%. 2018 Public Service Employee Survey

Building on many of these efforts, Safe Workspaces: Starting a Dialogue and Taking Action on Harassment in the Public Service used employee feedback to identify actions to better support employees. Early action is under way, including:

  • departments and agencies have begun to offer ombuds services to employees;
  • harassment is now an agenda item at every meeting between management and Public Service unions; and
  • many engagement and training sessions have taken place, including the Canadian Coast Guard’s “Women at Sea” discussion about the experiences of women in operational environments.


Public servants are benefiting from an enhanced series of Canada School of Public Service courses on harassment prevention. As well, the Treasury Board Secretariat will launch the Centre for Wellness, Inclusion and Diversity in the Public Service in spring 2019. The Centre supports departments and agencies working to address issues of harassment and helps to create safe, healthy, diverse, and inclusive workplaces.

Dog with eyes blacked out
Canadian Security Intelligence Service employees deal with national security related matters every day—and also happen to be dog-lovers! Here’s one visitor whose eyes have been blacked out to ensure his secret identity remains intact.

There are many ways to make our workspaces healthier. And, as is often the case, a little creativity can go a long way. For example, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s Quebec offices introduced a schedule to allow employees to bring their best friends—their dogs—to work. The team found that bringing pets to work has increased performance, relieved stress, and promoted positive social interactions. Overall, it’s been such a success that the Toronto office has followed suit! That’s nothing to bark at.

 

Health Canada launched a Workplace Wellness Service Centre in May 2018. Its purpose is to streamline access to services that address the needs of employees related to duty to accommodate for persons with disabilities, disability management and the reporting of occupational health and safety incidents and accidents. The Centre provides employees with a single point of contact to coordinate human resources, information management and technology, and security service requests.

 


GBA+ logo

We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are. This is why public servants use Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to assess how diverse groups of women, men, and non-binary people may experience policies, programs, and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. It considers many other identity factors, like race, ethnicity, Indigenous origin or identity, sexual orientation, age, place of residence, and disability. The Department for Women and Gender Equality’s GBA+ online course aims to give public servants the awareness and skills they need to apply gender-based analysis when developing policies and programs.

 

A diversity of perspectives

A good example of bringing various voices to the table is the Deputy Minister Task Force on Public Sector Innovation, which includes mid-career GC Entrepreneurs (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) as full members. These members provide fresh perspectives to the discussion and benefit from a leadership development opportunity.

Clean Growth Hub logo

Individual teams or departments cannot tackle every challenge on their own. The Clean Growth Hub, launched in January 2018, is an example of a whole-of-government focal point for collaboration. The Hub brings together 16 different federal departments and agencies to help companies and projects:

  • navigate clean technology programs and services;
  • share information and promote coordination between programs; and
  • improve tracking and results on clean technology outcomes to Canadians.

In its first year of operations, the Hub served over 800 clients.

 
Mackenzie Larwill

“It is incredibly interesting to work with people who come from various different departmental cultures and interests and see the impact a common purpose can have. I am most proud of helping to build those relationships and continuing to foster them to increase collaboration across departments to improve clean technology outcomes.”

– Mackenzie Larwill, Senior Analyst
Natural Resources Canada

In the work unit, every individual is accepted as an equal member of the team. 72%. 2018 Public Service Employee Survey

We are continuing to work towards creating a workplace where Indigenous peoples seeking and living a Public Service career are supported and fully included in all facets of Public Service life. Through the Deputy Minister Task Force on Reconciliation, tools have been developed to support departments in working towards reconciliation within the Public Service, including:

  • an Action Plan Placemat that outlines barriers and recommended solutions and identifies progress on improving recruitment, retention and promotion;
  • a Deputy Ministers Dashboard to outline initiatives and tangible workplace practices that can be taken under current authorities; and
  • a departmental Progress Scorecard to identify existing gaps and provide updates and data on initiatives working towards improved and sustained recruitment, retention, and promotion of Indigenous employees and executives.

In addition, the Canada School of Public Service has established an Advisory Circle composed of Indigenous government and non-government representatives who play a strategic role in defining the focus of the curriculum and the overall direction of the School’s Indigenous Learning Series.

John Kenney

“I’m most proud of the way we’re working: with others, in the open, trying new things, testing and iterating as we go.”

– John Kenney, Manager, Social Innovation, Natural Resources Canada

Equipped

We are designing work environments that optimize performance, make learning a fundamental part of the job, and provide better access to technology and tools.

The Data Strategy Roadmap

The recently released Data Strategy Roadmap for the Federal Public Service sets the foundation for the Public Service to create greater public value from the data it creates, collects, and manages. The report followed nearly a year of engagement throughout the Public Service.

 
Data Strategy Roadmap logo Enterprise Data Centre Borden

In September 2018, Shared Services Canada, Defence Construction Canada and the Department of National Defence opened the government’s largest state-of-the-art data centre in Borden, Ontario. Enterprise Data Centre Borden:

  • supports federal government online program and service delivery to Canadians;
  • provides greater physical and cyber security for Canadians’ personal information; and
  • contributes to a long-term information technology solution for Canadians’ growing use of digital services.

Sometimes, innovation is about streamlining. Of our over 700 data centres located across Canada, close to 90% are simple rooms in office buildings. Shared Services Canada has closed 180 legacy data centres to date and continues to migrate applications and data to newer, more secure environments, including enterprise data centres and cloud-based solutions. Much more needs to be done, as we migrate to digital government, to free up resources from maintaining legacy systems.

 

Continuous learning

Continual renewal requires continuous learning.

Moufid Jarada of Shared Services Canada features in A day in the life of a civil aviation inspector a video about a Transport Canada job that requires continually staying up to date on the latest regulations and technology.

 
Transcript - 'Day in the Life of…' a Civil Aviation Inspector

(Four people are walking through aircraft garage.)

(Cut to two men, elevated in a skyjack, doing building maintenance.)

(Cut to man working in aircraft garage.)

(Cut to three men walking outside on aircraft runway.)

Moufid Jarada: I knew from the moment I walked through Transport Canada’s hangar in Ottawa this was going to be an amazing experience. The aircraft I saw were as impressive as the people I met throughout the day.

(A man outside the aircraft garage, with a helicopter on the ground behind him, is waving at the camera.)

(Text on screen: Moufid Jarada: A Day in the Life of a Civil Aviation Inspector.)

Hi, my name is Moufid Jarada, and I was the lucky participant in a Day in the Life of a Civil Aviation Inspector.

(Close up of a person in a Transport Canada civil aviation team uniform.)

Transport Canada’s civil aviation team helps keep Canada’s skies safe.

(Close-up of an aircraft with the Transport Canada logo and Canadian flag.)

They regulate and monitor Canada’s national air transportation system.

(Moufid and two civil aviation team members are walking through the civil aviation team workspace.)

(Moufid and one of the team members are talking.)

To do their work well, civil aviation inspectors need to stay up to date on the latest regulations and technology.

(Moufid and the civil aviation worker are checking data on three side-by-side screens.)

(In a close-up, the three screens are showing geographical data.)

(Moufid is talking with the two team members.)

Many of the inspectors are pilots themselves, and part of their job is to maintain their skills.

(Aircraft in a hangar are shown being maintained.)

(A civil aviation worker on a platform is inspecting the tail of the aircraft.)

(A screen is showing data on a map of the Canadian Great Lakes region.)

I had an opportunity to experience one aspect of the rigorous training that is needed to do this job well.

(Two red lights are flashing on the bottom of an aircraft flight simulator.)

(Moufid is sitting at the controls in the simulator cockpit. The windshield screen shows a runway.)

It was a thrill and a unique experience to be able to go into the flight simulator.

(Close up: Moufid’s hands are operating the simulator’s controls.)

(The flight simulator is seen from the outside, tilting.)

I was even evaluated for my take-off and landing skills!

(Inside the flight simulator cockpit, a civil aviation worker is training Moufid.)

(Moufid and the worker are sitting in the simulator cockpit. The screen is showing a landing.)

As part of their job, civil aviation inspectors do planned and unannounced inspections.

(Moufid and two civil aviation workers are in the hangar. Moufid is taking pictures.)

This ensures that those involved in the air transportation sector are following Canada’s regulations and safety standards.

(Transport Canada civil aviation uniforms are shown on hangers.)

(Binoculars are shown in close-up.)

(Moufid and two civil aviation workers are walking through aircraft garage.)

As part of my day, I visited Nav Canada’s operations.

(The exterior of the Nav Canada building is shown. Moufid and the civil aviation worker are meeting and shaking hands with a Nav Canada employee.)

(Outside, with an airport behind them, Moufid and the Nav Canada employee are speaking.)

(The company provides air navigation services, including air traffic control.)

(A passenger jet takes off behind an air traffic control tower.)

Once again, I met some very highly skilled and dedicated professionals who use the very latest technology to do their job.

(Inside Nav Canada, Moufid and two men are speaking.)

(Moufid and the Nav Canada employee are speaking in the air traffic control tower. Air traffic data is shown on computer screens.)

(Through a window, an air traffic controller is seen in the tower.)

As I got ready to board a Transport Canada helicopter, I was reassured and comforted to know that there was a whole team working together to keep passengers like me safe in the sky and on the ground.

(Outside, Moufid and two Nav Canada employees walk toward a helicopter.)

(Moufid is sitting in the helicopter speaking with one of the employees.)

(A suburb is seen from the air.)

(Inside the helicopter, the pilot and overhead controls are seen in close-up.)

What a fabulous day!

(A Nav Canada employee is helping Moufid out of the landed helicopter.)

(White background, black text on screen: Created and produced by Public Services and Procurement Canada, Creative Services, with support from Transport Canada Civil Aviation – Ottawa, Ontario)

(White background, black text on screen: Canada wordmark.)

Silhouette with data lines in the brain

To ensure Canada’s Public Service has the skills and knowledge it needs to deliver in the digital age, the Canada School of Public Service launched the Digital Academy. Open by default and collaborative in nature, the academy brings together contributors from various levels of government, the private sector, and the non-profit sector. The curriculum supports all levels of public servants in their efforts to modernize operations to deliver digital services that Canadians expect.

 

The Atlantic Federal Council, supported by Canadian Heritage’s Atlantic Region, has created an inter-institutional program that allows federal employees to learn and practice their second official language by working in minority community organizations. This has proved to be a win-win: public servants develop their second-language skills, and community groups receive extra help. Moreover, based on its success, this program is being adopted by other parts of Canadian Heritage.

Four public servants working on a laptop on an outdoor bench

Similarly, the Translation Bureau’s Language Comprehension Tool helps maintain a vibrant culture of bilingualism and enable public servants to better understand their second official language. While this tool has been integrated into GCconnex to translate discussion forum posts, it is also available to all public servants to help encourage the use of both official languages in the workplace.

 

Activity-based working

GCworkplace is about more than just new workspaces and new furniture. It’s about the people. It’s about creating an environment to support the new way of working for a modern, confident and high-performing Public Service. Moving beyond the open-office concept of Workplace 2.0, the GCworkplace vision is enabled by the Activity-Based Workplace design concept. It features a variety of work points that are designed with productivity in mind and supports a range of activities we do each day, from working independently to working collaboratively, whether in an office building or a laboratory or on the front lines of service to Canadians. There is a focus on ensuring accessibility for persons with disabilities—reflecting a strong recognition that more needs to be done to remove barriers.

Transcript - What’s an Activity Based Workplace?

(Text pops up on light grey screen: Activity-Based Workplace)

Narrator: Maybe you've heard some buzz around the activity-based workplace.

(The text slides out of the frame. A line under the text transforms into a text box. The box slides up and text appears inside it: What It’s About? Below the box, a silhouette of a woman pointing up at the box.)

Narrator: You're probably wondering what it's about.

Well, activity-based workplace is about creating a work environment customized to the needs of people.

(Image slides out of frame, new text on screen slides into frame: Work Environment.)

(Animations pop up around the text—a computer, a keyboard and a desk lamp.)

Narrator: It is about creating the best circumstances for each activity that employees perform each day.

(Text slides out of frame. Text slides into frame: Creating Circumstances. More text slides into frame, changing it to read: Creating the Best Circumstances.)

(Text slides out of frame and new text slides into frame: For Each Activity. New text appears, changing it to read: For Each Activity that Employees Perform Each Day.)

Narrator: But workplace modernization is not just about the space.

(Text slides up out of frame, and new text slides up from the bottom: Workplace Modernization.)

(New text appears between the two words: Space. It forces them apart, creating a chart with Workplace appearing vertically on the side, Modernization horizontally on the bottom and Space diagonally between them. Arrows point from Space to the two other words.)

Narrator: It is about the balanced integration of the physical space with the right technological tools and the adoption of an innovative and progressive culture.

(Text appears on screen: Physical Space and Right Technological Tools. The phrases are on either side of a balancing scale.)

(Graphic of balancing scale slides out of frame, leaving the two phrases. Text slides onto screen to form three columns, with new text in the middle column: Innovative and Progressive Culture is between Physical Space on the left and Right Technological Tools on the right.)

Narrator: It is when these three components work together that we build modern and flexible work environments that enable organizations to meet their goals or to achieve their vision.

(Text slides out of frame. Graphic of workplace floorplan with text sliding into the floorplan: Modern Flexible.)

(Graphic slides out of frame. Text slides onto screen: Meet Their Goals.)

(Text slides out of frame, new text slides on: Achieve Their Vision.)

Narrator: When we assign each employee to a desk, whether in an office or in a cubicle, there is an expectation that this is where they work.

(Text slides out of frame. Graphic of person seated at a desk with a computer slides down into frame.)

(Outline of box forms around the graphic of the person working, with an arrow pointing to text: “Work.” Graphic slides out of frame.)

Narrator: Things are changing, and we need to change the way we work to keep up.

(Graphic of person with laptop seated on chair slides into frame. Graphic slides out of frame. Graphic of person with laptop at table slides into frame.)

Narrator: Work should no longer be seen as a place you go but rather as a thing you do.

(Graphic slides out of frame. Graphic of a location bubble and text slides into frame: Place You Go. Location bubble turns, pointing to man standing at desk, working on laptop. Text on screen: Thing You Do.)

Narrator: With the technology that enables us to be mobile and with the increasing need for collaboration, assigned desks are becoming more and more irrelevant.

(Graphic slides out of frame. Graphics of a router, a tablet and a webcam appear. Text slides into frame: Technology.)

(Icons slide up, out of frame. Graphic slides into frame showing people sitting and working. Text above graphic: Collaboration. Graphic slides out of frame.)

Narrator: Our office designs and our culture need to catch up to the new way we actually work.

(Graphic of workplace floorplan changes from single cubicles to a collaborative space. Graphic slides out of frame.)

Narrator: What you will find in an activity-based workplace is a variety of work points where, on any given day, any employee can choose to work on a range of activities that best suit their current task and personal work style.

(Text slides onto screen: Activity-Based Workplace.)

(Graphic: boxes connecting to text. Each box has the text: Work Points.)

(Graphic: woman appears and points to the word Activities.)

Narrator: You will find a variety of different work spaces laid out in small neighborhoods.

(Graphic transitions to an office below the text: Work Spaces.)

(Graphics of different offices cascade on top of the first icons like cards.)

Narrator: Open collaboration areas of various sizes and shapes are set away from individual work areas.

(Transition to floorplan of empty office with beside it the text: Collaboration Areas.)

(The floorplan slides to the left to reveal the text. Individual Work Areas. More floorspace is added to the floorplan.)

Narrator: Personal storage, file storage, visual privacy, noise levels and maximized lighting are all taken into consideration when laying out the various spaces and work points.

(Transition to text on screen: Personal Storage.)

(The word File knocks out the word Personal so the text reads: File Storage.)

(From above, the phrase Visual Privacy knocks the phrase File Storage off screen.)

(From above, the phrase Noise Levels knocks Visual Privacy off screen.)

(From above, Maximised Lighting knocks Noise Levels off screen.)

(From the left, the word Spaces knocks Maximised Lighting off screen.)

(The phrase Work Points slides on screen on top of Spaces. A second Spaces slides on screen on top of Work Points, then a second Work Points and a third Spaces join the stack.)

Narrator: The activity-based workplace sees space as a tool, not unlike technology.

(Text Activity-Based Workplace appears from above and knocks previous text off screen.)

(Text moves up to reveal arrow underneath, pointing down to the text: Space As A Tool.)

Narrator: By providing a wider variety of options, we gain greater flexibility, we become more productive and we reinforce trust and employee empowerment.

(Text slides out and new text appears: Wider Variety of Options.)

(Text slides up to reveal an arrow underneath, pointing down to new text: Greater Flexibility.)

(Text slides up again to show another arrow pointing down to new text: More Productive.)

(Text slides up again to show another arrow pointing down to new text: Reinforce Trust.)

(Text slides up again to show another arrow pointing down to new text: Employee Empowerment.)

Narrator: Success is not about the number of staff sitting at their desk anymore. It’s about finding the best way to integrate flexible workplaces, enabling technology and the right mindsets to support it.

(Text slides up and new text appears on screen: Success.)

(Beside this, an equals symbol appears followed by nine copies of the same graphic of an employee at their desk. The graphics are in a square with three employees on each side.)

(The first row of three employees fades to reveal the text: Flexible Workplaces. The second row fades to reveal the text: Enabling Technology. The third row fades to reveal the text: Right Mindsets.)

Narrator: Are you ready for the future? Let’s do it!

(Images slide out of frame, replaced by new text: Are You Ready for the Future?)

(Text slides down, out of frame. New text with graphic of a woman giving thumbs up slides into frame: Let’s Do It!)

(Image slides down out of frame. Text bounces down into frame: Join the Conversation #GCWorkplace.)

(Text fades out. Public Services and Procurement Canada departmental signature and Canada wordmark fade in.)

Join the conversation #GCWorkplace

(Canada wordmark)

(Public Services and Procurement Canada departmental signature)

Working with users to design solutions is critical. An example of this comes from a team from Public Services and Procurement Canada who are experimenting with working beyond a designated office: employees choose where and how they will work. Whether working from a choice of office locations, working from home or in transit, they have the tools to perform their work and collaborate with their colleagues.

Public servants working on their laptop at a table
Public servants working at modern desks
Public servants watching two people talking in chairs in front of a screen
Public servants chat around a small table
A public servant points to writing on a whiteboard, while others watch
Three public servants chatting in a boardroom

Increasingly, workplaces are designed to support the range of activities we do each day, from working independently to collaboratively, from working in a cubicle to a laboratory, from fieldwork to space exploration.

 

Parliamentary precinct

While we work on improving our workspaces, public servants are also busy improving the houses of our country’s democracy. For over 150 years, the Parliament Buildings (the Centre, West, and East blocks) have housed the Government. We are busy completing the largest heritage restoration project Canada has ever seen. Public Services and Procurement Canada has shown great skill in balancing restoration with modernization to ensure Canada’s most historic and culturally significant buildings meet the needs of a 21st century parliamentary democracy.

 
Parliament: West block under construction
Parliament: Worker at building restoration site

As work progresses, Public Services and Procurement Canada is also making these important spaces accessible. This will make it easier for Canadians to enjoy Parliament Hill, and engage in our parliamentary democracy. Once complete, the Parliamentary Precinct will feature:

  • barrier-free access throughout, including entrances, amenities, and seating in the new Senate and House of Commons Chambers;
  • accessible elevators and washrooms, counters, and drinking fountains; and
  • lower curbs and accessible ramps, handrails, hydraulic door openers, and Braille signage.
Transcript - Improved accessibility in the Parliamentary Precinct

(Aerial shot of the buildings on Parliament Hill with super-imposed International Symbol of Access.)

(Exterior shot of West Block building.)

(Aerial shot of the Government Conference Centre.)

Narrator: Public Services and Procurement Canada is removing barriers in the century-old buildings on and around Parliament Hill.

(Footage of the interior of the Government Conference Centre.)

(A sign for an accessible elevator.)

(Aerial shots of the West Block building during construction with scaffolding and construction equipment.)

We are restoring and modernizing the buildings and improving access for everyone.

(A person in a motorized wheelchair is going down accessible ramps and through an accessible entrance.)

The newly built Visitor Welcome Centre provides the first-ever barrier-free public entrance to Parliament.

(A visually impaired person is walking with his cane, guided by another person, inside the Visitor Welcome Centre.)

The interim Senate and the House of Commons Chambers include accessible seating on both the Chamber floors and public galleries.

(Shot of the newly renovated Senate Chamber.)

(A person in a motorized wheelchair moves into an accessible seating area in the gallery of the House of Commons.)

(A person in a motorized wheelchair is looking at the House of Commons Chamber from the gallery.)

(Shot of the Senate Chamber taken from the Chamber floor.)

(Shot of accessible seating with accessible features inside the Senate Chamber.)

(Close-up of a person lifting the arm of an accessible seat inside the House of Commons Chamber.)

(Shot of walls of the corridor outside the House of Commons Chamber.)

(Shot of a person in a motorized wheelchair exiting an elevator.)

(Shot of a visually impaired person reading Braille signage on a sign next to a door.)

(Close-up of the hand reading Braille signage.)

New and restored spaces will have a barrier-free path of travel on all floors.

(A visually impaired person moving his cane on elevated dots on the floor indicating stairs.)

(Close-up of a hand pushing an accessibility button to open a door.)

(A person in a motorized wheelchair waiting while a washroom door is opened by a mechanical door opener.)

(A person in a motorized wheelchair filling his bottle at an accessible water fountain.)

(A person using a motorized wheelchair in the gallery of the House of Commons Chamber.)

(Aerial shot of Parliament Hill with accessibility symbols super-imposed over the building.)

The changes to the buildings on the Hill are helping to create a more inclusive and accessible Canada.

(Public Services and Procurement Canada Wordmark)

(Government of Canada Wordmark)

 
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