1 Report to/rapport au: Ottawa Board of Health Conseil de santé d Ottawa November 18, novembre 2013 Submitted by/soumis par: Dr./Dr Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health/Médecin chef en santé publique Contact Person / Personne ressource: Esther Moghadam, Manager/Gestionnaire Integration, Quality and Standards / Direction de l intégration, de la qualité et des normes Ottawa Public Health / Santé publique Ottawa , ext./poste CITY WIDE/ À L ÉCHELLE DE LA VILLE Ref N : ACS2013-OPH-IQS-0011 SUBJECT: HUMAN RESOURCES PLAN OBJET : PLAN DES RESSOURCES HUMAINES REPORT RECOMMENDATION That the Board of Health for the City of Ottawa Health Unit receive this report for information. RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT Que le Conseil de santé de la circonscription sanitaire de la ville d Ottawa prenne connaissance du présent rapport à titre d information. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Ottawa Public Health (OPH) workforce is a diverse health professional group, working in interdisciplinary teams and comprised predominantly of nurses and public health inspectors. Other health professionals include epidemiologists, nurse practitioners, dental hygienists, dentists, social workers, physicians and health promotion providers. Teams are supported by family visitors, outreach workers, youth facilitators, data clerks and program assistants, and supplemented by a cadre of community volunteers. While staff retention is high, over the next few years, OPH will face increasing human resource challenges as long-tenured employees retire: skill shortages in certain job
2 categories such as bilingual public health nurses and inspectors, a changing composition of the workforce in terms of age and ability to work in multiple languages, and ensuring that the workforce reflects the diversity of the community. In the face of these challenges, OPH has created a human resources plan with the goal of ensuring the sustainability and high-performance of the organization: Invest in existing and future workforce by expanding teaching and training programs for learners of public health disciplines, implementing OPH learning curriculum for staff in leadership, technical skills and competency development, and conducting succession planning Build a positive workplace culture through collaborative leadership, recognition of employee contributions and employee engagement Leverage opportunities for service and development by engaging with community volunteers to expand both reach and capacity as well as to promote community involvement Through innovative attraction and retention strategies, and implementation of staff development programming, OPH is well-situated to achieve its ongoing goal of having a sustainable, positive, productive and engaged workplace. RÉSUMÉ Le personnel de Santé publique Ottawa (SPO) est un groupe diversifié de professionnels de la santé qui travaillent dans des équipes interdisciplinaires principalement composées de personnel infirmier et d inspecteurs de la santé publique, mais comprenant aussi des épidémiologistes, des infirmières praticiennes, des hygiénistes dentaires, des dentistes, des travailleurs sociaux, des médecins et d autres professionnels faisant la promotion de la santé. Ces équipes comptent également sur l aide de plusieurs commis aux données, préposés, visites en milieu, travailleurs de proximité, jeunes intervenants, adjoints administratifs et bénévoles de la communauté. Même si son taux de conservation du personnel est élevé, SPO sera confrontée à des difficultés grandissantes de gestion des ressources humaines au cours des prochaines années, soit à mesure que les travailleurs de longue date prendront leur retraite. Parmi ces difficultés, mentionnons les pénuries de personnel qualifié dans certaines catégories d emploi, comme les infirmières en santé publique et les inspecteurs de la santé publique bilingues, le changement de la composition de la main-d œuvre (âge ou capacité à travailler dans plusieurs langues) et la complexité à employer une maind œuvre qui reflète la diversité de la communauté. SPO a donc élaboré le plan de ressources humaines ci-dessous pour assurer la pérennité et le haut rendement de l organisation : Investir dans la main-d œuvre actuelle et future en augmentant les programmes d enseignement et de formation pour les apprenants des disciplines de santé publique, en offrant le programme d apprentissage de SPO au personnel qui perfectionne leurs aptitudes techniques, leurs compétences et leur leadership, ainsi
3 qu en planifiant la relève. Créer une culture positive en milieu de travail grâce à un leadership axé sur la collaboration, à la reconnaissance de l apport des employés et à l engagement de ces derniers. Saisir les occasions de service et de développement en s engageant auprès des bénévoles de la communauté pour augmenter la portée et la capacité de SPO, ainsi que pour promouvoir la participation de la communauté. Grâce à l adoption de stratégies novatrices de recrutement et de conservation, ainsi qu à la mise en œuvre de programmes de perfectionnement professionnel, SPO est bien placée pour atteindre son but constant, soit d offrir un milieu de travail durable, positif, productif et engagé. BACKGROUND This report serves to provide the Ottawa Board of Health with an overview of the Ottawa Public Health (OPH) workforce, recent challenges to the sustainability of the organization as well as the goals of its Human Resources Plan, which aims to address these issues. The Ontario Public Health Organizational Standards, as set out by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), help promote organizational excellence, establish the foundation for effective and efficient programming and service delivery, and contribute to the public health sector value chain with a greater focus on performance, accountability and sustainability. The Ontario Public Health Standards indicate that the corner stone of public health is the quality of its workforce...building and sustaining public health human resource (HR) capacity is essential for success. Boards of Health are responsible for ensuring a competent and diverse public health workforce by providing ongoing staff development and skill building related to public health competencies as well as ensuring an influx of new professionals into the system, including student placement. This should include quality improvement and life-long learning programs for staff members, as well as the provision of opportunities for formal and informal public health leadership development. 1 It is worth noting that OPH is not experiencing unique challenges. In the recent Ontario Public Health Sector Strategic Plan Make No Little Plans, the report identifies maintaining and growing a highly competent workforce as a collective area of focus throughout the province. The Plan states that Gaps in public health human resources have plagued the public health sector for many years. We need a workforce plan that will address challenges and barriers to recruitment and retention in key disciplines; identify core competencies for the full range of public health disciplines; and determine how best to manage the varying capacity and expertise across the province. 2
4 OPH Workforce The Human Resources (HR) related functions of OPH are coordinated with the City of Ottawa with HR policy and practices primarily aligned to collective bargaining obligations lead by the City Clerk and Solicitor Department. The majority of OPH s workforce is comprised of service providers: public health nurses, registered practical nurses, nurse practitioners, dental professionals, public health inspectors and dieticians. These front-line service providers are supported by various technical, administrative, scientific, medical and community health professionals, team supervisors, and management. Overall Demographics OPH has a total of full time equivalents. The total headcount is 678 employees, comprised of 61 per cent full-time continuous, eight per cent part-time continuous, and 31 per cent temporary, casual employees and students. OPH requires the use of temporary staff to address resourcing requirements related to short-term provincially funded one-time projects and program seasonality, as well as enhanced responses to urgent public health issues. In many scenarios when existing resources are temporarily redeployed to urgent and emerging priorities, their positions need to be backfilled otherwise core service delivery is compromised. All OPH staff speak at least one official language (English or French), with forty-four per cent speaking both official languages. Other languages spoken by staff include Cantonese, Arabic and Spanish. Representation of women, visible minorities and persons with disabilities in the OPH workforce is greater than City of Ottawa average. Representation of Aboriginal Peoples in the workforce is less than City average. Sixty-four OPH staff are eligible for retirement within the next three years and the average age of current OPH supervisors, program managers and managers is 48 years. OPH is a Teaching Health Unit and promotes the benefits of a career in community health, resulting in 340 learner placements in 2012 of nursing, dental hygienists, dieticians, nutritionists, masters, residents/fellows and medical students. Approximately ten agreements are in place with post-secondary institutions across Ontario, including the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College and La Cité collégiale. OPH recruitment is often targeted towards graduates enrolled in learner placements. For example, of the 35 nurse graduate guarantee students who were placed with OPH since November 2012, 34 where hired into either permanent or temporary OPH positions. Employee Engagement OPH has made an organizational commitment to employee engagement. The establishment of in-house professional development and learning opportunities, such as Grand Rounds, as well as peer-to-peer recognition and the creation of an employee engagement committee to advise management on creating a supportive work
5 environment are examples of recent initiatives. Notable improvements have been reported since employees were first surveyed in 2009: staff report believing that their work makes a difference in the community, that their work provides a sense of personal accomplishment, and that they have a positive relationship with their supervisor. These indicators are significant as they are linked to increases in overall employee engagement over 5 years, and an increase in peer and client recognition of effective service delivery. Challenges to the OPH Workforce Over the next few years, OPH will face increasing HR challenges: skill shortages in certain job categories, such as bilingual public health nurses and inspectors, a changing composition in its workforce in terms of age and ability to work in multiple languages, and ensuring that the workforce reflects the diversity of the community it serves. As a result of retirement of long tenure employees, OPH may face significant knowledge and skill loss especially at the managerial level; nine per cent of OPH employees are eligible for retirement. Succession planning activities have identified 15 vulnerable OPH positions, the majority being management and supervisory roles. OPH s ability to attract, retain and engage employees, as the competition for skilled workforce increases, will be a key factor for success. Additionally, employee engagement activities have revealed that staff are increasingly faced with demanding workloads in addition to personal health matters and older adult care. In order to develop skills, create career opportunities and reward structures that contribute to ongoing job satisfaction and retention, OPH requires a comprehensive approach to personal and professional development that contribute to ongoing job satisfaction and retention. Finally, OPH s current reality of growing economic pressures amid increasing community health needs, necessitates a plan that includes a high number of temporary positions, regular headcount review and technological innovations (e.g. mobile workforce). DISCUSSION With the creation of a new Board of Health in 2011, the adoption of the Strategic Framework ( ) and as a participant in the City of Ottawa s People Plan ( ), OPH has created an HR Plan to address future needs. Contributions to OPH s Human Resources Plan include: OPH Strategic Plan, Guiding Principles, and Priority Activities Ottawa Board of Health Strategic Priorities ( ) Ontario Public Health Standards and Health Protection and Promotion Act MOHLTC Organizational Standards and Public Health Accountability Agreement Public Health Agency of Canada Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada City of Ottawa People Plan and Quarterly Talent Scorecards External and Internal (City and OPH) survey results and related reports elaborate Champlain Local Health Integration Network Nursing Census Report 2012
6 MOHLTC Nursing Health Human Resource Plan Feedback from OPH staff through Innovation cafés, team meetings, and opinion surveys Goals of the HR Plan Invest in Existing and Future Workforce OPH aims to attract and retain a skilled, high performing and diverse workforce by monitoring and planning for the future retirement of health professionals and leadership roles, understanding the supply and demand factors, both internally and externally, by determining the workforce profile by segments. OPH is expanding teaching and training programs for learners of public health disciplines with an emphasis on offering learner placements for nursing, residents and medical students as well as enhancing student placement agreements with local universities to promote inclusion of more health related programming. OPH is investing in the future workforce of public health by continuing and expanding teaching and training programs for staff and learners of public health disciplines. Continuous professional excellence in community health is being achieved with the implementation of OPH learning curriculum for staff in leadership, technical skills and competency development. OPH has also implemented a staff development policy to ensure consistency and transparency, and to encourage staff to increase skills through internal or external channels, such as masters level certification. Succession planning and leadership development is also being implemented across all branches of the department by identifying vulnerable roles and areas, soliciting interest from all OPH staff, conducting assessment of current skills and knowledge levels, developing personalized learning plans, and determining level of readiness for succession. OPH is also participating in best practice leadership development (Municipal Leadership Certification) and knowledge transfer for management positions, including sitting on external committees, special projects or assignments as well as secondments, internal or external to the City of Ottawa. Employee Engagement OPH seeks to build a positive workplace culture through collaborative leadership, recognition of employee contributions and employee engagement. The organization continuously strives to identify effective methods of engaging employees through recognition, performance evaluation, business process review, and internal communications, including all-staff meetings, timely operational updates and consistent performance reviews. In order to ensure that OPH is a healthy and safe workplace, in 2014, the department will establish a new, multi-workplace joint Health and Safety Committee through a formal application process with the Ministry of Labour.
7 Leverage Opportunities OPH is increasing opportunities for service and development by engaging with community volunteers to expand both reach and capacity as well as to promote community involvement. Currently, OPH mentors and coaches more than 350 volunteers who support the delivery of programs, such as the Baby Express drop-ins, Community Food Advisors and Ottawa Breastfeeding Buddies. Conclusion Many elements of the HR and talent engagement plans have been in place as part of operational and strategic planning, while others have been recently implemented or are in the development stage. OPH will monitor and report on successes and changes through regular planning and evaluation processes. Through innovative attraction and retention strategies, and implementation of staff development programming, OPH is well-situated to achieve its ongoing goal of having a sustainable, positive, productive and engaged workplace. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS There are no legal impediments to receiving this report for information. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS There are no financial implications associated with this report. TECHNOLOGY IMPLICATIONS There are no technological implications associated with this report. BOARD OF HEALTH STRATEGIC PRIORITIES The report supports the Board of Health Strategic Priority: Support succession planning and professional development in OPH staff (F2). TERM OF COUNCIL PRIORITIES This report supports the Term of Council Priority: Healthy and Caring Communities. DISPOSITION Ottawa Public Health will implement the goals of the Human Resources Plan, as described in this report.
8 1 Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Ontario Public Health Standards Available from: 2 Public Health Leadership Council. Make No Little Plans: Ontario s Public Health Sector Strategic Plan [Internet] April. Available from: o_little_plans.pdf