Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Aug. 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

McGill University
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Lea Cameron
Senior Advisor
Research & Innovation
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
MyWorkplace Program

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

McGill's Vision 2020 Sustainability Policy statement specifically mentions the importance of promoting "a healthy, safe and productive work and learning environment" – these are the ideas at the core of My Workplace whose focus is on enabling, empowering and encouraging an enthusiastic approach to learning across the workforce. These initiatives align directly with the values of Vision 2020.
My Workplace is a major project, one of the Principal's five priorities for her mandate, and has been endorsed by her senior leadership team (P7). It strives to enable a significant change in the workforce culture at McGill principally by enabling and empowering staff at all levels to shift their work habits towards learning and continuous improvement. This is a major initiative.
In particular, the My Workplace Learning Organization survey, discussion groups and feedback sessions were designed to hear from all levels of employees. The goal was to incorporate the feedback and data collected into the recommendations, program development and ultimately the concrete projects underway. The group felt that by drawing on the depth of knowledge and diverse experiences of our employees they could craft far better programs and initiatives.
Fundamentally, by encouraging the University's workforce to adopt the habits and emphasize the values of a learning organization, My Workplace endeavors to create a sustainable approach to the way we work. My Workplace aims to make connections among staff to create "in-house" capacity for sustainable policies and practices in service of our students, our Faculty and each other
Though My Workplace, is a project that primarily addresses the administrative staff, its impact will be felt beyond that as it is intended improve the experience of all those who interact with and call upon the services provided by the administrative units.
My Workplace has focused its efforts to date around the following activities:
1. Health Checks: Unit-level analysis of opportunities and pain points revealed through unit data, employee and leadership surveys, and dialogues with senior management.
2. Projects: Projects developed to respond to opportunities and pain points revealed during health checks.
3. Learning Organization Survey: Designed to measure the degree to which the McGill workplace reflects the traits of a learning organization.
4. Summer Discussion Groups: Discussion groups organized during the summer to explore more deeply the perceptions and key themes that were revealed in the Learning Organization Survey.
5. Theme Teams: An initiative organized within the Administration & Finance portfolio to catalyze cross-functional cooperation to address key issues that are important to a learning organization. Teams are exploring the following themes: Innovation and Failure, Performance Management, Recognition, Process Improvement, Agility and Client Service.
6. Ideas: Enabling innovative ideas with the power to benefit the McGill workplace.

Learn about specific projects here: http://www.mcgill.ca/myworkplace/node/613/

An important step in the pursuit of this objective was to determine the degree to which McGill already reflects the traits of a learning organization, a place where continuous learning and innovation is fostered. The goal of the survey was to help direct the My Workplace team to the areas that required the most effort in terms of the planning programs and interventions. Working together with Planning and Institutional Analysis and Organizational Development, the My Workplace Work-group developed a survey tool based on earlier work conducted by researchers at the Harvard Business School for use in the McGill environment. The survey was sent to 2,754 administrative and support staff members across McGill in mid-April 2015.3 In order to add depth and context to what was revealed in the analysis of the survey response, the My Workplace Work-group also organized a series of summer discussion groups. The My Workplace team hosted a series of 5 summer discussions, reaching approximately 130 self-selected administrative and support staff members who responded to an open invitation to all staff to take part. The discussions were organized around four themes that emerged from the Learning Organization Survey: leadership and organizational structure; empowerment, innovation and risk; performance and career development; and quality and customer service.

During these discussions, administrative and support staff members had an opportunity to share their candid thoughts on McGill’s current workplace realities, as well as their ideas for how to address the challenges they face and the opportunities they see.

The survey and discussions led to the success of the My Workplace Project thus far, as the sub-projects were tailored according to the needs and concerns of the staff at McGill. Three Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were established to capture the extent to which the McGill workplace reflects the three fundamental traits (“pillars”) of a learning organization these were:
o Supportive learning environment (e.g. opportunities for learning and teaching are embedded in the ways that we work)
o Concrete learning processes and practices (e.g. knowledge transfer for the purposes of succession planning)
o Leadership behaviour that provides reinforcement (e.g. leaders model behaviours that support workplace learning)
The My Workplace team will re-survey at regular intervals to determine if there has been any movement relating to the KPIs established.
For more information about the Learning Organization Survey, and other positive outcomes of the My Workplace projects, please visit: https://www.mcgill.ca/myworkplace/files/myworkplace/learning_organization_survey_results_and_analysis_for_web.pdf

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Diversity & Affordability
Wellbeing & Work

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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