A Framework for Attraction and Retention in the Government of Nova Scotia

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1 Government of Nova Scotia, Attraction and Retention Framework A Framework for Attraction and Retention in the Government of Nova Scotia Summer 2006

2 Government of Nova Scotia, Attraction and Retention Framework Table of Contents I. Introduction 3 II. Purpose of the Framework.. 3 III. Background and Context for Change 3 IV. Critical Success Factors 5 V. Guiding Principles 5 VI. Monitoring and Evaluation. 5 VII. Components of the Framework. 5 VIII. Our Menu- Key Strategies.. 8 Prepared by: Carrie Hotton, Strategic Services Consultant Strategic Human Resources Management Nova Scotia Public Service Commission tel: (902)

3 Government of Nova Scotia, Attraction and Retention Framework I. Introduction One of the corporate human resources plan goals for the Government of Nova Scotia is to be a preferred employer. As a preferred employer, government will attract and retain the required talent needed to achieve its goals and continue to deliver high quality services to the citizens of Nova Scotia. In order to achieve this goal, a framework outlining key components and strategies for attraction and retention has been outlined. Strategies presented in the framework strengthen our foundation (policies, processes) and introduce new approaches to attraction and retention. Strategies have been presented as a menu of selections for government to employ. Effectively addressing attraction and retention requires a long-term perspective and acceptance that real change will take time and collaboration/partnerships among many stakeholders. Actions that result from the framework can address challenges such as competition for talent from external organizations, myths and misconceptions about working for government, immigration and diversity strategies, generational differences in work expectations, and employee demographics, to name a few. II. Purpose of the Framework There are several purposes of the attraction and retention framework. They include to: Outline key attraction and retention strategies to be implemented over the next three-four years that will help government achieve its goal of being a preferred employer Clarify the core components of government s attraction and retention framework in support of being a preferred employer Link activities that are already underway in the area of attraction and retention Encourage government to be proactive and plan for its future workforce needs Support government strategies like immigration, diversity, positive ageing and economic development III. Background and Context for Change A few examples of challenges and opportunities related to attraction and retention have been outlined below. Diversity and Immigration Strategies: As stated in the Government of Nova Scotia s Moving Towards Equity Annual Report, , the current government workforce is not representative of the working age Nova Scotians. As an example, and as the table below demonstrates, we have over 13% of Nova Scotians that are disabled and of working age, yet only 4% of persons with disabilities employed in the

4 Government of Nova Scotia, Attraction and Retention Framework Government of Nova Scotia. 1 Attraction and retention approaches will support diversity principles and practices. With the introduction of government s Immigration Strategy, immigration is seen as playing a central role in Nova Scotia, as the province faces both demographic and economic change. In particular, it is seen as imperative to incorporate immigration strategies to plan for a shrinking workforce we need to ensure we have enough people, with the right skills, to fill the jobs available in Nova Scotia so we can compete in the international marketplace. 2 Employee Demographics As stated in the Public Service Commission s Business Plan, more than 70% of government s workforce is over the age of As employees become eligible for retirement, there is increased pressure to ensure that the right person is available to replace the exiting employee. Attraction and retention efforts will help to identify and address future workforce needs, and support work in the area of succession management. Generational Differences in Work Expectations Another challenge facing government is generational differences in work expectations. A recent article published with the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario refers to the echo generation or generation Y employees, those born between 1980 and 1999, as a generation that will make an enormous impression in the workforce. For the first time in history, we have a workforce that contains four distinct generations, each with its own set of values, view of authority, work and communication style and expectation of leadership and work environment. 4 Public Perceptions of Government as an Employer Public perceptions of working for the Government of Nova Scotia are mixed. In a recent Omnifacts Bristol study of public perceptions of government as an employer, at least half of participants expressed some interest in a public service career for either themselves or their children. Perceptions of upward potential and career advancement were not as positive participants felt a real go getter would have more upward potential in the private sector and young people perceive the private sector as offering more in terms of salary. 5 1 Nova Scotia Public Service Commission. Moving Towards Equity, Affirmative Action and Diversity in the Nova Scotia Public Service; Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. Nova Scotia s Immigration Strategy; Nova Scotia Public Service Commission, Departmental Business Plan. 4 Allen, Paul. Why and How: Managing Different Generations in the Workplace. Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario; September Omnifacts Bristol for the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission. Nova Scotia Public Servant Perception Research Focus Group and Survey Report (internal report); April 2003.

5 Government of Nova Scotia, Attraction and Retention Framework Employee Perceptions of Attraction and Retention Managers and supervisors within government have identified that they have difficulty attracting and retaining the staff they need. The 2005 results of the Government of Nova Scotia s employee survey indicated that 33 percent of managers and supervisors feel they can attract the talent they need to achieve business goals, and 36 percent feel they can retain the talent they need. In addition, only half of respondents said they would recommend the Government of Nova Scotia as a great place to work and slightly more than one third of employees believe that hiring is based on merit within government. 6 Analyzing voluntary turnover and retirement statistics, and future results from the corporate employee surveys is required in order to understand their perceptions in greater detail. Human Resources Renewal A number of critical activities have occurred over the past several years to support the creation of progressive human resources strategies for the Government of Nova Scotia. The creation of a Corporate Human Resources Plan, creation of several human resources forums (directors, managers, consultants), completion of a merit staffing audit, and building professional HR capacity within the human resources community are examples of activities that have occurred to support human resources renewal across government. IV. Critical Success Factors Critical success factors include support from the Public Service Commission s Management Teams, Deputy Ministers, government departments and the human resources community. In addition, it is critical that the framework support Nova Scotia s immigration, positive ageing, diversity, and other similar strategies as they relate to the Government of Nova Scotia as a preferred employer. V. Guiding Principles Strategies implemented under the framework will be anchored by principles such as fair hiring and our values: integrity, diversity, respect, accountability and the public good. VI. Monitoring and Evaluation Evaluation, monitoring and reporting of progress in attraction and retention should be included as part of government s corporate human resources plan. 6 Nova Scotia Public Service Commission. How s Work Going Employee Survey Results Report, Mini Survey 2005.

6 Government of Nova Scotia, Attraction and Retention Framework VII. Components of the Framework There are a number of factors that influence government s ability to attract and retain employees. A few examples include: leadership, policy, compensation and benefits, diversity, healthy workplaces, and succession management. In addition, a recent Towers Perrin study, they identified the top drivers of attraction and the top drivers of retention in Canada. They are as follows, in order from : Rank Attraction Drivers Retention Drivers 1 Competitive base pay Senior management interest in employee well being 2 Work/life balance Opportunities to learn and develop new skills 3 Career advancement opportunities Base salary 4 Competitive benefits My manager understands what motivates me 5 Challenging work Satisfaction with organization s people decisions 6 Salary increases linked to Retirement options individual performance 7 Learning and development opportunities Senior management acts to ensure organization s long-term success 8 Competitive retirement benefits Fairly compensated compared to others doing similar work in my organization 9 Caliber of coworkers Appropriate amount of decision-making authority to do my job well 10 Reputation of the organization as a good employer Reputation of organization as a good employer Our model for attraction and retention includes the drivers listed above and four key enablers to help government attract and retain employees. The four enablers are attraction, recruitment and selection, recognition, and exit management. See the diagram on the next page for the complete model. 7 Towers Perrin. Winning Strategies for a Global Workforce, 2006.

7 Government of Nova Scotia, Attraction and Retention Framework Attraction and Retention Model Components Drivers* Enablers Outcome Goal: To be a preferred employer Attraction Retention 1. Competitive pay 2. Work/life balance (healthy workplace) 3. Career advancement (career planning) 4. Competitive benefits 5. Challenging work 6. Performance-based pay 7. Learning and development 8. Competitive retirement benefits 9. Caliber of co-workers 10. Organization s reputation as a good employer 1. Organization retains the right people 2. Learning and development 3. Competitive pay 4. Managers understand what motivates team 5. Satisfaction with organization s people decisions 6. Competitive retirement benefits 7. Senior management acts to ensure longterm success 8. Fair compensation 9. Employee decision-making authority 10. Organization s reputation as a good employer Attraction Recruitment & Selection Recognition Exit Mg t The Government of Nova Scotia attracts, and retains skilled, diverse and responsive public servants. *Drivers identified in a Towers Perrin report, Winning Strategies for a Global Workforce Although the framework focuses on the four enablers, it is important to acknowledge the impact and influence of other factors that will influence the drivers of attraction and retention. Organizational factors like effective leadership, sound compensation and benefits policies, healthy workplaces and opportunities for continuous learning and development are directly related to the drivers of attraction and retention and will form a key part of messaging to potential and existing employees. The items listed on the following pages serve as a menu for government to select attraction and retention strategies that support the goal of being a preferred employer. Detailed action plans can be developed for each strategy.

8 Government of Nova Scotia, Attraction and Retention Framework Attraction and Retention in the Government of Nova Scotia ~~ MENU~~ Attraction Strategies Communications and promotions: design, develop and implement promotional materials, like executive recruitment brochure and career ads, and design, develop and implement a corporate careers website to provide information about career opportunities, culture, etc. Corporate employee orientation program: design, develop, and implement a corporate employee orientation module for employees and managers. Ambassador strategy: ambassadors proactively communicating to various audiences via presentations, use of the Careers that make a difference toolkit, etc. Recruitment & Selection Strategies Service standards: design, develop and implement standards for the human resources community for practitioners involved with recruitment and selection (ex: process review, timeliness, professional certification). Fair hiring policy and related guidelines: review, develop and implement an updated fair hiring policy and related guidelines for managers and HR Education for our HR practitioners and managers: design, develop, implement and evaluate education sessions to increase human resources and manager competencies related to staffing, and their awareness of internal and external best practices in recruitment and retention within government. e-recruitment practices: reduce reliance on paper-based approaches to recruitment and selection by implementing an online recruitment system. Increase efficiencies by moving to an automated, online system for managing competitions (job postings, resumes, candidate communications) and producing recruitment-related reports. Talent pools: develop, implement and evaluate talent pools for various groups (new professionals, mid-career professionals, executives). Include networking opportunities, subscriptions to be notified of career opportunities, etc. Recognition Strategies Recognition framework: design, develop, implement and evaluate a recognition framework for government, outlining corporate components like the Premier s Award of Excellence and Long Service Awards. Include departmental components like Minister s Awards and informal recognition activities. Premier s Award of Excellence initiative: develop, implement and evaluate the Premier s Award of Excellence recognition initiative, formally recognizing outstanding contributions and achievements of employees. Healthy workplace initiative: link recognition efforts with initiatives underway as part of government s commitment to healthy workplaces. Recognition is a critical element of a healthy workplace. Exit Management Strategies Exit management guidelines: design, develop and implement guidelines to HR regarding voluntary, involuntary and retirement leave processes Education: educate managers and HR about the exit processes. Exit survey processes: implement exit survey process, and then analyze and communicate results from to help identify attraction and retention issues and patterns across government. Flexible retirement options: partner with other internal stakeholders to design, develop and implement flexible retirement options, providing support to employees as they prepare to retire and opportunities postretirement for retirees to support knowledge transfer, mentorship and employee orientation.

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