Fact Sheet #13b) Employee Focus to Improve Policies

Level 2

Element: Evaluation for Performance Measurement and Continuous Improvement

Outcome 13: Organization is collecting human rights qualitative data.

Indicator 13b): Organization works at improving its planning, policies and processes related to human rights with an employee focus.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • Human Rights Maturity Model (the Model) action plan with set objectives/targets.
  • Regular Model action plan progress reports.
  • Degree of understanding of policies and processes.
  • Effectiveness of implementation of action plans, policies & processes.
  • Employee satisfaction and morale.

Indicator Description

As the organization gathers quantitative and qualitative data on its initiatives and enhances its structured approach to employment equity and human rights, its leadership will start to develop reporting on how well its plans, policies and processes related to human rights are developed and aligned with its commitments to provide employees with a work environment that is inclusive and respectful. 

At Level 1, the organization looks at how well it met the indicators of each Level 1 element of the Model, and how senior leaders met Model expectations in terms of awareness, leadership and role modeling. At Level 2, the organization will review the results of its actions to meet the indicators of each Level 2 element and assess how senior leadership, managers and human resources staff are translating the organization’s human rights obligations into actions. In other words, how effective are they in developing specific human rights policies into their employment practices and implementing them? Both the structure to enable the development of the human rights culture and the one to measure it for continuous improvement are fundamental at Level 2.

For example, the organization may consider including a feedback mechanism as part of its anti-harassment prevention policy so employees can provide their views on how easy the policy was to interpret or use and how diligent senior leadership was in handling the concern and in mitigating the situation. This will allow the organization to improve the policy, its reach in terms of harassment prevention, and ultimately have a positive impact on the employees’ morale and satisfaction in their workplace.

Suggested Approach

While senior leadership continues to invest in specific initiatives linked to the Model, it keeps measuring the progress made within the organization in terms of human rights culture. Keeping in mind that the essence of the Model Level 2 is to ensure that senior leaders, managers and human resources staff of an organization have committed to adopting a structured approach to human rights, the organization should measure how well they are meeting expectations of the Model in terms of human rights planning, policies and processes, leadership and implementation.

Here are some steps that can be followed to achieve Level 2 of the Model for the Performance Measurement and Continuous Improvement element:

  • Review your Hodel action plan to assess progress.
  • Consider involving your human rights champion and Model Steering Team to develop your measurement strategy. Their involvement is a key component in capturing the intended outcomes behind the specific initiatives implemented.  
  • Define what successful implementation means for your organization.
  • Choose factors/standards against which the implementation will be measured.
  • Ask yourself:
    1. How do we define the scope of our human rights work in operational terms to measure it?
    2. What are appropriate measurement approaches? One organization may want to measure the direct effect of its effort by concentrating on how well leaders, managers and human resources staff are committed to the culture change, while another may chose to measure the ultimate impact on employees only. 
  • Proceed with the inventory of available data sources in existence in the organization. You may have an employee survey that captures this information or an existing evaluation process in place such as exit interviews, complaints processes, training evaluations, etc.
  • Bridge the gap between what is readily available and the data that needs to be systematically gathered from now on.
  • Establish a clear set of roles and responsibilities for the planning, implementation and maintenance of your performance measurement function.
  • Remember that the development and implementation of the performance measurement system requires time, effort, skills/expertise and perhaps most importantly, the active support of senior leadership.

Promising Practices

  • Introducing feedback mechanisms into human rights or employment equity policy: The feedback mechanism provides direct information from the employees’ perspective and can be useful both to enhance the human rights culture and to continuously improve the structure that supports the culture.
  • Conducting an employee survey: Organizations from the public sector may use the Public Service Employee Survey and add a secondary survey in order to evaluate the level of satisfaction of the employees with regard to the inclusiveness of their workplace. The secondary survey may also be used to find the level of awareness of employees with regard to human rights and employment equity policies and the level of confidence they have with these policies and processes. Private sector organizations may create a new survey or add questions to one that it already conducts on a regular basis (annually, bi-annually).
  • Introducing a complaints and compliments process: An organization implemented a process whereby employees can either raise their concerns or praise the organization for the way their situation was handled.

Useful Tools and Links

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Equity Act

Canadian Human Rights Act

Financial Management Capability Model - Office of the Auditor General of Canada

The Quality Metric Maturity Model - ASQ

Delivering Intelligent Transport Systems: Driving integration and innovation - IBM

Recordkeeping Maturity Model Road Map: Improving recordkeeping in Queensland public authorities - Queensland State Archives

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