Company: City of Saskatoon
Innovation: The True Measure of Diversity and Inclusion
Award Recognition: Honorable Mention
When the City of Saskatoon won “Canada’s Best Diversity Employer” award in 2012 they received an evaluation of the organization through a diversity and inclusion lens, using a scale called the Equity Continuum. Receiving this recognition, however prestigious, brought to their attention some areas where there was an opportunity for continuous improvement.
The assessment provided by TWI suggested that their current quantitative measurement of diversity in the workplace should be enhanced to provide qualitative measurements of workforce perceptions in order to truly measure successes in diversity and inclusion.
They received guidance to conduct a survey to gauge this perception. This Equity Quotient Attitude Survey widens the lens to include measurements of employee perceptions on the fairness of the organization’s policies and procedures, and the climate of its work environment as it relates to diversity and inclusion. These results are a true indicator of the organizations strengths as well as gaps.
Once the results of the qualitative data were collected, they found two opportunities that they could immediately address:
1. The perception around the knowledge of and trust in a respectful workplace and harassment policy was that people were not aware of or lacked understanding of the process relating to ensuring a respectful workplace.
2. The perception around the understanding of diversity and inclusion was that people lacked knowledge and understanding of diversity and inclusion within the organization.
The knowledge and trust in their harassment policy prompted an immediate review of the current policy and procedures. With this review they were able to streamline the process to make it friendlier for the users of the policy, allowing them to self assess the situation while gaining a better understanding of guidelines. They plan to devise a communication plan on the roll out of this streamlined process that will ensure employees are guaranteed a respectful workplace free of harassment and discrimination.
To raise further awareness around understanding what diversity and inclusion was defined as in their organization, they collected success stories of some diversity champions from their organization and put out a call for nominations. They hosted an Inclusive Workplace Champion Recognition event and recognized seven recipients whose efforts and commitment over the recent past had resulted in creating an inclusive work environment. Their stories were shared at this event and they were recognized by their CEO for successfully emulating an inclusive workplace through diversity and inclusion practices, initiatives, and programs. This was their first step to raise awareness on what was already working. They plan to continue with this as an annual event.