Appendix A – List of Participants

Panelists & Speakers

  • Amelita Armit, Vice-President of Staffing & Recruitment Programs,Public Service Commission
  • Calum Carmichael, Professor, Carleton University
  • Linda Duxbury, Professor, Carleton University
  • Glynnis French, Assistant Secretary, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Robert J. Giroux, Président-directeur général, Association des universités et collèges du Canada
  • V. Peter Harder, Deputy Minister, Industry Canada
  • Matt Jones, Senior Policy Analyst, Climate Change Bureau,Environment Canada
  • Arthur Kroeger, Chancellor, Carleton University
  • Huguette Labelle, Chancelière, Université d’Ottawa
  • Robert Lafleur, Vice President, Canadian Centre for Management Development
  • Alan Ritchie, Tax Court of Canada
  • Gisèle Samson-Verreault, Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources, Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Gene Swimmer, Professor, Carleton University


  • Lisa Fairweather, Program Analyst, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Jeff Graham, Intern, United Nations
  • Jeremy LeBlanc, Greffier à la procédure, Chambre des communes
  • Geneviève Lépine, Associée à la recherche, Forum des politiques publiques
  • Monique Ramdhan, Policy Research & Development Officer,Industry Canada
  • Paul Sadler, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian International Development Agency
  • Stefan Smith, Planning & Performance Officer, Department of Fisheries & Oceans
  • Greg Sweet, Issue Analyst, Health Canada


  • Rashma Agarwal, Trade Policy Analyst, Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Alia Al-Zand, Learning Consultant, Human Resources Development Canada
  • Daniel Amable, Research Analyst, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
  • Dale Anderson, Senior Advisor, Human Resources Development Canada
  • Alison Archibald, Commerce Officer, Industry Canada
  • Marilyn Arditti, Special Advisor to the ADM, Communications,Human Resources Development Canada
  • Michael Arthur, Policy Analyst & Advisor, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • W. Scott Barillaro, Issues Policy Officer, APEX
  • Colin Barker, Trade Policy Officer, Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Maria Barnes, Senior Program Officer, APEX
  • Dean Barry, Policy Advisor, Citizenship & Immigration Canada
  • Aline Beauchamp, Directrice adjointe, Agence de développement international du Canada
  • Saphina Benimadhu, Communications Advisor, Public Service Commission
  • Rachelle Bogatin, Junior Associate, Policy Research Initiative
  • Anne Bordé, Directrice générale, Agence de développement international du Canada
  • Karlis Bouse, Executive Assistant, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Kim Brant, Manager, Aboriginal Employment, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Jennifer Cavasin, Economist, Finance Canada
  • Michael Christensen, Spectrum Engineer, Industry Canada
  • Eileen Clarkin, Health Canada
  • Amanda Cliff, Director General, Health Canada
  • Darlene DeGravina, Team Leader, Employment Equity, Department of National Defence
  • Annie Di Palma, Information and Communications Officer, Health Canada
  • Marie-Eve Doucet, Student, Ottawa University
  • Cathy Downes, Director General, Industry Canada
  • Cathie Emond, Marketing Coordinator, Carleton University
  • Nathalie Frank, Policy Officer, Canadian Heritage
  • Carey Frey, Manager, Corporate Systems Architecture,Communications Security Establishment
  • Malcolm Gibb, Research Analyst, Canadian Heritage
  • Marc-André Gratton, Consultant, recrutement des cadres,Commission de la fonction publique
  • Joanne Hamilton, Senior Trade Policy Officer, Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Kathryn Hamilton, Director, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • John Hannaford, Deputy Director, Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Kathleen Hickey, Co-op Coordinator, Carleton University
  • Steve Hindle, President, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
  • Dal Hines, Director, Public Service Commission
  • Richard Hookham, Director, Canadian International Development Agency
  • Richard Julien, Directeur, Ressources naturelles Canada
  • Colette Kaminski, Economist, Finance Canada
  • Vania Karim, Economist, Industry Canada
  • Brad Kelly, Issues Policy Officer, Industry Canada
  • David Kinsman, Executive Director, Transportation Safety Board of Canada
  • Fiona Long, Head of Marketing, Technology & Innovation, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Michael Mackinnon, Senior Policy Analyst, Health Canada
  • Don MacLean, Project Leader, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
  • Surita Maddox, Policy Research & Development Officer, Industry Canada
  • Robert Main, Director, Life Sciences Branch, Industry Canada
  • Lori McKay, Research Analyst, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
  • Tahanee McKnight, Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • John Mihalus, Director General, Industry Canada
  • Cynthia Nash, Senior Analyst, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Joanne O’Byrne, Director, Human Resources Development Canada
  • Jae-Sang Park, Program Officer, Canadian Heritage
  • Laura Paulette, Employment Program Officer, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Alisa Postner, Trade Policy Officer, Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Zivana Pavic, Manager, Workforce Renewal, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Sarah Powell, Training Officer, Human Resources Development Canada
  • Tonya Price, Program Officer, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
  • Sandy Ramos, Archivist, National Archives of Canada
  • Pierre Ricard-Desjardins, Adjoint de direction du Sous-ministre délégué, Industrie Canada
  • Richard Rochefort, Director General, Canadian Centre for Management Development
  • Karin L. Rosenberg, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
  • Frances Ryan, Graduate Student, Brock University
  • Eileen Saunders, Director and Associate Dean, Arthur Kroeger School of Public Affairs, Carleton University
  • Linda Scourtoudis, Research & Policy Analyst, Canadian Centre for Management Development
  • Joanne Scrivens, Human Resources Advisor, Health Canada
  • Ron Stewart, Director General, Human Resources Development Canada
  • Doug Sutherland, Learning Coordinator, Western Economic Diversification Canada
  • Leo Tavormina, Graduate Program Internship Coordinator, Concordia University
  • Jean-François Tessier, Agent en ressources humaines, Développement des ressources humaines Canada
  • Sinead Tuite, Director, Policy, Canada25
  • Carolyn Vander Byl, Policy Research and Development Officer,Industry Canada
  • Diane Venne, Officer-in-Charge, PS National Staffing Policy, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Rachelle Viau, Training Liaison Officer, Environment Canada
  • Caterina Vogrig, Project Manager, Natural Resources Canada
  • Patrizia Vogrig, Project Officer, Department of Fisheries & Oceans
  • Michelle Ward, Human Resources Advisor, Department of Fisheries & Oceans
  • David Watters, Visiting Executive, Public Policy Forum
  • Alexandra Young, YMAGIN National Coordinator, Human Resources Development Canada
  • Megan Yukich, Human Resources Officer, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Appendix B – Program

Day 1: Setting the Context (Tuesday September 3)
17h00-19h30Wine & Cheese Reception


  • Opening Speaker: Arthur Kroeger, Carleton University
  • Presenters: Gene Swimmer & Calum Carmichael, Carleton SPPA
  • Discussants:
    • Amelita Armit, Public Service Commission
    • V. Peter Harder, Industry Canada
    • Matt Jones, Environment Canada
Day 2: Recruitment (Wednesday September 4)
08h00-09h00Registration & Continental Breakfast
09h00-10h00Plenary: Obstacles to Recruitment and Current Solutions


  • Keynote Speaker: Glynnis French, Treasury Board Secretariat
10h00-10h30Health Break
10h30-11h15Break-out Groups: Identifying and Prioritizing Recruitment Challenges
11h15-12h00Plenary: Reporting Back on Priorities and Challenges
13h00-14h45Break-out Groups: Developing Collaborative Solutions
14h45-15h15Health Break
15h15-15h45Plenary: Reporting Back on Collaborative Solutions
15h45-16h45Closing Session: Shifting from Recruitment to Retention


  • Keynote Speaker: Linda Duxbury, Carleton University
Day 3: Retention (Thursday September 5)
08h00-08h45Continental Breakfast
08h45-09h15Plenary: Obstacles to Retention


  • Keynote Speaker: Huguette Labelle, University of Ottawa
09h15-09h45Open Space Forum: Obstacles to Retention
09h45-10h00Health Break / Selection of Topics
10h00-10h45Discussions – Round 1: Developing Collaborative Solutions
10h45-11h00Open Space Forum: Reporting Back from Discussions
11h00-11h45Discussions – Round 2: Developing Collaborative Solutions
11h45-12h00Open Space Forum: Reporting Back from Discussions
12h00-12h30Preparation of Presentation to Panel
13h30-15h30Presentation to PanelThe conference will conclude with a presentation of the collaborative solutions for recruitment and retention to a panel of decision-makers. The panellists will hear what participants have discussed, and reflect on possible next steps.


  • Panel:
    • Amelita Armit, Public Service Commission
    • Glynnis French, Treasury Board Secretariat
    • Robert Giroux, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
    • Robert Lafleur, Canadian Centre for Management Development
    • Alan Ritchie, Tax Court of Canada
    • Gisèle Samson-Verreault, Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Appendix C – Recruitment – Raw Answers

The following is a compilation of all of the ideas generated by participants through discussions on recruitment challenges and solutions. We have done our best to capture ideas as they were expressed in the various rooms. In the main body of the report, we have synthesized the ideas that retained the most attention; but our goal here is to provide the reader with the raw data. As a consequence, there may be some overlap in answers.

Morning Session – Recruitment Challenges

This section is a list of what participants raised as obstacles to recruitment in each of their respective groups.

Group 1:

  • Length of recruitment programs (variety, duration)
  • Insincere policies for diversity
  • Lack of internal recruitment programs to parallel external programs
  • Rhetoric and disconnect with reality
  • Plain language in attracting people
  • Continuity across departments
  • Clear, concise job descriptions (know what you’re getting into)
  • Length of time to process (link to volume of applications)
  • Need more assertive recruitment campaigns: have a presence out there (requires budget)
  • Lack of emphasis on the diversity of opportunity (able to enter and move around); overcome negative image/stereotypes
  • Creating/promoting PS as a career of choice with career paths (link to diversity above)
  • Make sure processes work (paycheques…other work items)
  • Not enough stakeholder involvement in program design (ensuring good fit)
  • Lack of efficiency in screening, testing and assessments
  • More qualified HR administrators (increase efficiency)
  • Recruiting the right people – target people/recruiting
  • Too few bridging mechanisms (e.g., co-op and other recruitment programs)
  • Increase diversity of recruitment programs and academic backgrounds/ specialization of recruits
  • Negative backlash – word of mouth/communications need for follow-up/ feedback
  • “Career pathing“, promote career in PS
  • Streamlining the application process
  • Shorten/diversity – accelerated development programs
  • Salary: clarify salary process, improve starting/entry level salaries
  • Flexibility of recruitment process

Group 2


  • Budgets cuts
  • Budgets not large enough to hire
  • Change budgetary priority
  • Development programs recruit too few (AEP, MTP etc)

Job requirements/Qualification issues

  • Don’t feel that you don’t have the chance to move up (non-minority)
  • Language challenges
  • Feeling of non-discrimination of non-minorities
  • Education backgrounds – broadening qualifications
  • PS mirrors Canadian population – must consider this in policy
  • “Degree” challenge perceptions
  • Accreditation

Process issues

  • Red tape/bureaucracy
    • Time delays
    • Easier to go through backdoor
    • Impersonal website, no opportunity for feedback
    • Don’t tell you how well you are doing
    • Too may levels
    • Red tape
    • Doesn’t inspire confidence
    • Rules can be roadblocks
    • Might be some EE programs already
  • Internal co-ordination
    • Help you find better fit
    • Need for coordination – between PSC and departments
    • Internal hiring
    • Focus on middle managers
    • TBS policies, process not getting to line managers
    • Best practices need to be shared
  • Awareness, marketing, communication issues (external)
    • Need department to do their own recruitment brand process
    • No understanding of what job looks like
    • Need for guide to increase awareness of what exists
    • Examine who to improve what already exists
    • Marketing and bridging better fit
    • 30 % attrition is extremely high
    • Raising awareness with certain groups
    • Programs not fully developed
    • Start younger

Group 3:

  • The time it takes to hire a new candidate can be excessive (6 – 12 months)
  • There may be a problem with HR planning. People are looking at filling future vacancies, however we may not know what the future work will actually entail. This can make it difficult to plan.
  • How can we make work in the PS more interesting to attract more people?
  • How can we open the minds of managers to offer senior positions to outside candidates? Attracting people at higher levels can be difficult
  • Dealing with the external perceptions of the public service: Many people think the public service lacks dynamism
  • There is a lot of talk about change, but is there a resolve to really act on the part of managers? How are we actually going to make changes? Resolve is needed to follow up effectively
  • Hiring timelines: It can take 8 months to get a job
  • There can be a problem when the middle managers that are sent to hire for the future are predominantly white males
  • It is important to build a skilled workforce that is representative
  • There are problems with the public’s opinion of both government in general and its employees
  • There is often a failure on the part of management to see new recruits as corporate assets
  • Too much of a focus on issue management instead of people management
  • We are still using a bureaucratic management model; this makes work less interesting for junior people
  • Many people get in the “side door”: through whom they know, through co-op positions. The front door isn’t working.
  • There are inconsistencies in the feedback sent to prospective candidates: Why would one be qualified for one department but not four others?
  • Jobs posted often have pre-selected candidates; this is a waste of time and resources.
  • There are discrepancies in the pre-qualified pooling
  • Staffing is very subjective
  • The types of questions asked in interviews don’t always apply to a particular position
  • Assigning junior employees leftover administrative work underutilizes people’s abilities
  • We should regulate the qualifications of who is doing a given job
  • It is necessary to manage the high expectations of new recruits; it is important to realise greater responsibility is earned
  • Mobility issues: Will people leave the public sector and not come back? How can we re-recruit people?
  • Cycles of recruitment: What will bring people back? Is there a wall blocking middle or upper management from returning to the public sector? There needs to be flexibility for people to leave and then come back.
  • In departments where there is an increase in hiring (e.g., CIDA’s policy branch), managers must be given the skills to hire effectively
  • People must be recognized as corporate assets. It is good to have managers who are willing to take risks
  • It is important to make a positive experience for new recruits from the beginning, so that if people leave they may still return
  • We need a broader perspective of what the department’s and the government’s goals in society are
  • There is a common perception that one has to put in 35 years to make a difference
  • Hire people, not just positions
  • Being a workaholic seems to be the only way to get ahead; we need to emphasize “working smarter not harder”
  • Ensure newcomers have the means to affect their futures
  • There is a need to attract people from the private sector
  • Salaries can be uncompetitive at higher levels, people may choose the private sector for compensation reasons

Afternoon Session – Solutions to Four Main Recruitment Challenges

This section contains an amalgamated list of the solutions given to address what participants deemed to be the main recruitment challenges.


How do we produce an easier, faster and more efficient hiring process?


  • Pre-approved pools, inventories based on knowledge and experience
  • Faster staffing at all levels
  • Reduced red tape
  • Reduced bureaucracy
  • Improved efficiency in selection
  • Reduced time in recruitment process
  • Develop self-assessment test for pre-competency profiling byapplicants
  • Make operational managers better recruiters through training in HR management
  • Decentralize hiring to operational managers, but provide them with necessary training to fulfil this role
  • Facilitate discussions between line managers and HR staff
  • Improve communications between different levels of management to better identify gaps in the organization
  • Have performance bonuses for managers who hire highly qualified recruits who stay within the organization
  • Synchronizing HR planning with organizational planning
  • More emphasis on planning HR needs (get out of crisis mode: plan ahead and set aside the necessary resources)
  • Combine technology efficiency with a personal contact in recruiting
  • Review best practices in the private sector and incorporate into the public service where appropriate
  • Avoid overly bureaucratic controls, concentrate on values
  • Make greater use of anticipatory staffing, better planning
  • Creating an exclusion order for outside recruitment of students from pre-qualified pool
  • Streamline paperwork during and immediately following hiring
  • Identify drivers and bottlenecks in the recruitment process
  • Promote internal recruitment
  • Promote movement between governmental and non-governmental organizations and between levels of government
  • Be proactive in developing pools of candidates and draw from them
  • Simplify information given to front line managers and make clear what tools are available to help them
  • Find out where the bottlenecks are, document the problems and work to fix them rather than just blaming the system
  • Proactive, permanent hiring process
  • Allow and encourage individuals to give feedback on their own experiences within the system
  • Hold entry interviews to find out people’s early reactions to a new position/recruitment process, follow-up a few months later
  • Encourage new employees to be members of steering committees for recruitment programs
  • Look at all hiring options, deployments, contracts to speed up the process


How do we improve the image of the public service and better facilitate marketing of our HR initiatives?


  • Make individuals to be ambassadors 365 days a year
  • Campaigning in high schools and universities with emphasis on positive aspects of a public service career
  • Targeted and sustained marketing
  • More assertive recruitment campaigns
  • Image of the public service as a career of choice
  • Follow through and delivery on commitments
  • Internal programs and recruitment
  • Publish a monthly magazine on “A Day in the Life of a Public Servant” for distribution to students
  • Encourage everyone to act as an informal liaison between those looking to hire and those looking for work, make recruitment everyone’s business
  • Better partnerships with universities and colleges, education about PS opportunities by assigning reps to campuses
  • Promote the range of options available in the public service
  • Better marketing and dispelling myths
  • Be a positive ambassador about your workplace
  • Give great co-op experiences and count on word of mouth promotion from past participants
  • Teach people about how the organization works
  • Partner with PSC and other departments to promote positive characteristics of the public service (balanced lifestyle, opportunities for growth, diversity, bilingualism, etc.)
  • Present a unified image of the public service/department
  • Do not stand for political public sector bashing, speak out about the value of working in the federal public service
  • Encouraging creativity and risk-taking
  • Diverse recruitment force
  • More transparent competitions (not setting requirements with a specific individual in mind)
  • Plan and link corporate needs to communications
  • Limit political interference


How can we standardize and coordinate government-wide recruitment practices and initiatives?


  • Internal coordination within and across departments
  • Continuity across departments
  • Better sharing of best practices
  • Better sharing of information (so that programs reach line managers)
  • Communicate with other departments about best hiring practices
  • Share success stories
  • Have mandatory and consistent hiring timelines set by the PSC
  • Avoid interdepartmental competitions for the same pool of applicants through collaborative and cooperative HR initiatives
  • Encourage leadership role of central agencies in developing formal partnerships
  • Organizations and central agencies need to provide adequate resources
  • Instil uniform values in the hiring process
  • Collectively work on a system that allows candidates to easily trackwhere they are in the process via the web or by phone
  • Direct links from PSC website to department listing of positions available for all competitions
  • Adopt a common vocabulary
  • Allow greater mobility between departments
  • Review the merit principle to determine more clearly what it means and how it is applied
  • Revision and rethinking of standardized testing
  • Start development programs with other departments
  • Standardize testing across departments
  • Allow/Encourage departments to share lists
  • Develop a coordinated package that tells people what it’s like to work for the public service
  • Increased interdepartmental cooperation in organizing forums, fairs, conferences, etc with links to the academic world, NGOs, other governments
  • Maintain a central inventory of coop students


How do we design HR initiatives so as to ensure both the right job for the right person and the right person for the right job?


  • Make sure interview processes are two-way dialogues to ensure the right fit
  • Increased variety of assignments
  • Increased variety of academic backgrounds
  • Allow new employees to rotate within and between departments more frequently
  • Detailed discussions about expectations
  • Have individuals develop career plans with managers
  • Managers should be flexible with the people who work for them; try to accommodate employees and offer them new assignments when necessary
  • Hold job fairs where both employers and employees can rank each other
  • Have detailed job descriptions that accurately reflect the content of the job
  • Get a sense of individual interests and skills
  • Track competency development and use it for competition purposes
  • Managers should be able and willing to help employees move into positions in which they are more interested
  • Allow individuals to easily match inventory of skills with available positions
  • Be clear about your individual job and communicate when your needs and/or goals change
  • Managers need to clearly communicate needs, what they have to offer and follow through on commitments
  • Increase mobility, allow recruits to work in a variety of areas
  • More descriptive job descriptions on web sites with a person to contact for more information

Others Points Raised:

  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Host and encourage social events, speaker series, etc.
  • Individuals should be more pro-active in their career management
  • Organizations can make better uses of links on their own web sites
  • Do more hiring out of the private sector, individuals with 5-10 years of different experience
  • Multiyear corporate funding for trainee programs
  • Offer salaries/benefits comparable with the private sector
  • Make students more aware of the bridging mechanism and the competition process
  • Individuals should volunteer to participate in recruitment campaigns
  • Don’t be afraid of taking risks
  • Base compensation on skills and competencies and be willing to pay for those that are in high demand
  • Adequately fund career development and training
  • Make people the organization’s top priority
  • Implement modern management techniques (value-based, work-life balance, etc.)

Best practices

  • Demographic studies to understand the challenges being faced
  • Sound program design, implementation and evaluation
  • Saskatchewan Fellowship Program – 3 year term, recruitment 2-3 years
  • Work across departments and agencies through partnering
  • Selecting members of hiring committees who are qualified and motivated
  • Sharing worst practices so that lessons can be learned from mistakes and their consequences
  • Meeting regularly with employees to ensure job satisfaction
  • CV sharing
  • Assignment pools
  • Specialized programs such as the MTP, AETP
  • Bridging mechanism for students
  • Interchange programs
  • Targeting image development to those you wish to recruit
  • Backfilling: gives people an opportunity to have other experiences
  • Health Canada group development plan for ES’s that trains them to be senior officers
  • Single portal entry (

Appendix D – Retention – Raw Answers

The following is a compilation of all of the ideas generated by participants through discussions on retention challenges and solutions. We have done our best to capture ideas as they were expressed during the open space forum. In the main body of the report, we have synthesized the ideas that retained the most attention; but our goal here is to provide the reader with the raw data. As a consequence, there may be some overlap in answers.

Open Space Forum – Retention Challenges

This section is a list of what participants raised as obstacles to retention.

Resources management issues

  • Inadequate training opportunities due to budget cuts
  • Lack of resources to do job effectively
  • Lack of preparation/equipment for new employees
  • Unrealistic demands by senior management

People management issues

  • Lack of support for managers
  • Improper knowledge transfer
  • Short sightedness of managers about to retire
  • No reward/recognition for job well done
  • Lack of responsibilities or challenge
  • Equating young face with lack of competency
  • Bad management
  • Overselling/ false promises
  • People management not a priority (how to make this a priority and not just lip service)
  • Unwillingness of managers to deal with problems
  • Heavy workload, especially as you move up
  • Managers need to walk the talk re: work-life balance

Process issues

  • Too much red tape
  • Long time to effect change
  • Stupid centrally driven exercises

Internal co-ordination

  • Feeling anonymous
  • Inability to move within/between departments (explore career opportunities systems)
  • Terms
  • Limited development and training opportunities for individuals already in

Job requirements

  • Equal opportunity for advancement
  • Getting hired for who you know not what you know
  • Lack of good appraisal/performance evaluation system

Retention Solutions

This section contains an amalgamated list of the solutions given to addressing what participants deemed to be the main retention challenges.


People management is not a priority for managers


  • Allow employees to take risks
  • Work with employees to develop learning plans
  • Make “people management” training mandatory for all supervisors, starting as early as possible
  • Develop succession plans, encourage job-shadowing opportunities between people nearing retirement and officers to ensure knowledge transfer
  • Managers need time to get to know their employees


Unwillingness by managers to deal with problems / Long time to effect change


  • Make expectations, rights and responsibilities known clearly/better enforce these
  • Individuals should seize opportunities to effect change in their sphere of influence
  • Understand generational differences when attempting to implement change
  • If recruiting were more stable, generational divides would not be as pronounced
  • Discontinue reliance on outside consultants. Listen instead to what your own employees are telling you
  • Be realistic as to what change can be accomplish
  • Go about change incrementally to be sure that you can deliver on what is promised. This would avoid bad morale after failed “big reforms”


Inability to move between departments


  • Develop recruitment programs, similar to existing specialized recruitment programs, around topics that cross departments (e.g., environment). Recruits would then spend a fixed amount of time in several departments working on that topic from different perspectives. Additionally, these types of programs could be made available to those already in the public service and used as a retention tool
  • A culture shift is required to move departments away from proprietary thinking
  • Allow middle managers to rotate more to expose them to the benefits of regular rotations. This could be worked into their performance plan
  • Make greater use of job swapping/job sharing between departments


Inadequate training opportunities


  • Training must be ongoing and timely
  • Give each employee a training allowance
  • Centralized web site detailing what training opportunities are available
  • Having managers work with employees to develop learning/training plans and actually following through on these


Lack of resources to do job effectively


  • Individuals need to clearly and persistently communicate their resource requirements for projects. Conversely, managers need to balance workloads
  • Having “floaters” within the department can help fill temporary gaps and give certain people exposure to many different areas


Excessive use of terms


  • Implement the recommendation that would reduce from five to two years the amount of time a term can be used without being offered indeterminate status
  • Term employees should talk to their managers about their aspirations and managers should be realistic and honest in what they promise


False promises/Overselling during interview or hiring


  • Both the hirer and the interviewer need to be better informed. In some cases, the onus is on them to do their homework
  • Limit interdepartmental competition
  • Develop a central code of conduct for hirers/interviewers with penalties for unethical behaviour


Insufficient recognition/rewards


  • Managers need to give feedback to employees more often than during formal evaluations
  • New professionals should be encouraged to nominate each other and good managers for departmental/public service-wide recognition programs
  • Good “people management” accomplishments should be recognize
  • Managers should be encouraged to treat staff occasionally to special events (e.g., lunches, golf tournaments)


Work-Life Balance: Managers need to walk the talk


  • Leadership should come from the top; the Clerk, Deputy Ministers should champion work life balance and should lead by example
  • Managers need to identify priority areas of focus and develop work plans
  • Work plans would help organisations and employees identify resources available for projects and manageable workloads and thus relieve pressure on employees and organizations


Too much red tape


  • Identify steps that are unnecessary and remove them
  • Encourage the use of informal communication tools, such as e-mail and decks rather than formal briefing notes
  • Develop a system that would ease key accountability/reporting/performance measurement requirements
  • Establish simple procedures that do not require a long approval process for training, travel, leave, etc.


Bad management/Inappropriate behaviour


  • Have an anti-harassment training course mandatory for all employees, particularly managers. This training course should not be for managers only, but should include individuals in various stages of their careers. This would reduce miscommunication between levels
  • Take action once an inappropriate incident has been identified
  • Exit interviews should be mandatory
  • Retention targets should into performance agreements and performance pay
  • Identify Top 10 “Turnover” organizations in government


Feeling anonymous


  • Recruiting manager should introduce new recruit around the office
  • Department/ Public Service Commission should have mandatory introductory sessions. This would serve a duel purpose: it would help new employees understand the workings of the federal public service and would help them develop networks
  • The Public Service Commission and departments should develop programs to encourage pride within the public service, organise activities such as picnics, after work ski trips, print t-shirts with departmental logos and brand the public service of Canada as a great place to work


Lack of challenges and responsibility


  • Individuals should be proactive, get involved with extra curricular activities such as the federal government’s charitable campaign
  • Individuals should identify priority areas for department/branch/team and provide thoughts to others within branch. By sharing thoughts and opinions others will see what you have to offer
  • Managers should empower people
  • Develop challenges based on personal ability rather than level
  • Evenly distribute administrative tasks
  • Encourage team environment and knowledge sharing
  • Increase personal interaction between management and staff, this will help managers identify employees strengths and experiences
  • Best practices such as providing challenging task, promoting developmental opportunities, providing and attaining feedback, should be identified and shared
  • Individuals can show leadership by getting involved in organizational activities (e.g., United Way, departmental committees) not directly linked to their work
  • Individuals can join youth networks

Other Challenges Raised:

  • Improper knowledge transfer
  • Lack of support for managers
  • Lack of preparation/equipment for new employees
  • Long time to effect change
  • Short-sightedness of managers about to retire
  • Equal opportunity for advancement
  • Heavy workload especially as you move up
  • Stupid centrally-driven exercises
  • Getting hired for who you know not what you know
  • Lack of good appraisal/performance evaluation system
  • No development for those already in
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