“Our organization is legally and ethically committed to removing barriers to employment for designated groups under the Employment Equity Act. How can you help us?”
Situation: A large publicly traded, full service bank and one of Canada’s 50 Best Employers needed to consult with current employees that belonged to the 4 designated groups under Employment Equity (EE) legislation (women, Aboriginal, people with disabilities and visible minorities). This exercise was to be done in compliance with aspects of a recent EE Audit that the Federal Government had conducted with the bank as part of the standard EE procedures. The bank sought to hear the experiences of participants regarding real or perceived barriers in recruitment, promotion and other areas of employment within the organization. They also wanted to hear any suggestions to overcome such barriers.
What CRC Consulting did: The bank retained CRC Consulting to lead this exercise as they ascertained that employees would feel more comfortable sharing candid information with an outside professional organization. A carefully crafted invitation was co-designed by CRC Consulting and the bank to be sent to all employees of the bank to encourage participation, especially of those employees who self-identified as members of the designated groups.
The response was very positive with a series of in-person focus groups being conducted in three different cities as well as focus groups and some one-on-one interviews over the phone. CRC identified and categorized “themes” that emerged and presented their implications to the bank.
Benefits: Participants were pleased to have been consulted. They reported that the bank had many good policies supporting employment equity, but also pointed out ways such policies could be consistently implemented into practice. An added value of this initiative were the other good suggestions that were generated by participants that were beyond EE requirements. Taking action on these would improve the overall human resources practices of the bank. The participants felt proud of the commitment the bank had shown in wanting to improve in this important area of workforce development. Through this process, the bank recognized some concrete tools could be quickly developed and used in their human resource processes to strengthen their organization’s inclusive environment. CRC Consulting developed these tools for them and the bank could report on some immediate actions in the follow-up to their EE Audit.