Fact Sheet #2d) Senior Leadership Promotion of Workforce Survey

Level 1

Element: Communication and Consultation

Outcome 2: Consultation and communication begins regarding anti-discrimination and employment equity matters.

Indicator 2d): Senior leadership encourages staff to undertake workforce survey.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • A copy of the correspondence from senior leadership on the workforce survey has been disseminated.
  • Evidence that relevant consultation on employment equity and anti-discrimination matters took place, and that employees know about it.

Indicator Description

The organization’s senior leadership plays a key role in leading cultural change and in supporting employment equity (EE) within the workforce. Senior management takes part in promoting the full participation of employees in the workforce survey by communicating its vision of and commitment to EE.

At level 1, the organization’s senior leadership is aware of its obligations with respect to EE and wants to achieve full participation in the self-identification survey. To achieve this goal, the organization ensures that senior leadership communicates important messages about EE to its staff and consults with employees’ representatives on the approach it will use to encourage all employees to self-identify. This could be done through various media such as memos, letters, newsletters, etc.

For example, an organization may decide to promote the workforce survey with employee representatives, or bargaining agents in unionized workplaces, by signing a joint letter of commitment regarding EE that highlights the importance and benefits of self-identification.

Suggested Approach

To achieve success in the participation of its workforce survey, an organization should emphasize its own commitment toward EE. Therefore, it is essential for a Level 1 organization to involve its senior leadership in this process by:

  • Raising senior leadership awareness: Having senior management broaden its knowledge about EE and the workforce survey equips them to better define the organization’s commitment to achieve full representation.
  • Developing the business case for EE: Understanding the benefit of creating a more representative work environment is a key component in the communication of the organization’s values pertaining to EE. It reinforces the implicit and explicit EE commitment between the organization and its workforce.
  • Creating a network: Inviting senior management and different advisory committees to promote EE and their participation in the workforce survey can broaden your reach and provide good information and tips on dealing with perceptions/concerns present in the workplace related to self-identification.

Promising Practices

  • “Walk the talk”: In one company, senior leadership accompanies human resources EE officers in distributing the survey. A representative of senior leadership opens every workforce survey information session to highlight the importance of diversity within the organization.
  • Recognition of EE accomplishments: Some organizations find ways to recognize the positive work of staff involved in promoting EE in the workplace. An organization has a reward system for managers who encourage employees from their sections to complete the workforce survey.

Useful Tools and Links

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Equity Act

Canadian Human Rights Act

Workplace Equity Information Management System (WEIMS) - Labour Program

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Human Rights Legislation and the Charter: A Comparative Guide - Parliamentary Research Branch 

Guide to Screening and Selection in Employment (archived) - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Equity Frequently Asked Questions  - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Systems Review (archived) - Canadian Human Rights Commission

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