Good news over at ACOA

The Hill Times is reporting on the latest Public Service Employee Survey which finds that ACOA is the highest rated place to work among federal government in Canada.

Agency name Score (maximum 5)
1. Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency 4.33
2. The Supreme Court of Canada 4.33
3. Canadian Human Rights Commission 4.23
4. Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency 4.21
5. Statistics Canada 4.2
6. National Capital Commission 4.19
7. Department of Canadian Heritage 4.18
8. Canadian Radio – Television and Telecommunications Commission 4.17
9. National Parole Board 4.16
10. National Energy Board 4.11

You need to subscribe to the Hill Times to read the narrative but I have cut a bit here:

The latest Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) released by the Treasury Board has results indicating rampant low employee morale and engagement. Is it really like that? Well, not everywhere. At least
some federal agencies are doing things right by their employees and those employees are responding
in kind. In my article of last Aug. 24 in The Hill Times, I provided a list showing the best and the worst places to work in Canada’s public service, according to employees.

“It’s not what the government can do for you, but how we can do good for Canada.” That mantra is how Monique Collette, president of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), explained employees’ attitude toward working there. ACOA was tied as the No. 1 best agency to work for in Canada’s Public Service (CPS). It has some 750 employees, situated mostly in the four Atlantic provinces
where they provide regional economic support. Certainly the PSES results set ACOA far above the average CPS agency. For example, with respect to providing career opportunities for staff, ACOA ranks close to three times better than the rest. How do they do it? In my experience, ‘best’ organizations always have good leaders. Ms. Collette is one of the few longstanding deputy heads in the CPS, nearly seven years as president.

She also began her career as an ACOA employee, a rare situation amongst her peers. She readily raves about her agency and the people who work there and counts herself “lucky” to be in charge of such a great place to work. Her humility and personable style came out strongly in our meeting. In addition to having a people-oriented boss, there are some structured elements in ACOA that lead to more satisfied employees: employees can expand their skills by switching between work units, as well as between Moncton-based headquarters and regional offices, and even receive extra training to facilitate the change. Employees are encouraged to directly contact Ms. Collette and she claims to have met nearly every employee in person or in regularly scheduled meetings. ACOA does a lot to recognize good work with a peer-selected award ceremony each year. ACOA takes the PSES very seriously and has an extensive followup process to ensure issues are identified and action is taken. Every supervisor must ensure that staff members have yearly learning plans in place. The ACOA mandate, constantly driven down to all levels, allows employees to clearly understand why they are there and how they help other Canadians.

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