For the second year in a row, the Ontario Public Service (OPS) has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, by Mediacorp Canada, out of more than 75,000 employers surveyed.
In these economic times, governments at all levels are being called on more than ever to help get citizens and businesses back on their feet. To succeed, a strong public service is vital.
So I’m very proud that Ontario received this national recognition. It demonstrates that our employees are being provided a workplace where they can reach their potential — which will help Ontario come out of the recession stronger than ever.
Further evidence that our employees feel supported and rewarded in their jobs can be found in our 2009 employee engagement survey. Sixty-seven percent of employees said they would recommend the OPS as a great place to work, up from 52 percent in 2007.
In addition, 67 percent of employees say they would stay in the OPS even if offered a similar job elsewhere — a jump from 57 percent in 2007. However, we are not just a high-performing organization by numbers, but also by actions.
Our success can be partly attributed to the exciting and enriching work that we do. Our employees make a real difference in the lives of Ontarians every day — from working one-on-one directly with the public to building policies that have a province-wide impact.
OPS employees also have the chance to work on inspiring initiatives such as protecting the environment, supporting new businesses and improving our public education system. This call to public service has made us an employer of first choice and created a workforce filled with energized employees.
We are also being proactive in recruiting a diverse and dynamic workforce. We hire people from all backgrounds who bring bold ideas, knowledge and skills to the table and can help us meet the challenges of tomorrow, today.
We seek out this talent through many programs including internship programs that hire young professionals with less than two years of experience and professional newcomers who bring global perspectives into the OPS.
We also see learning as a key opportunity to retain and develop our staff. Last year alone, over 50,000 employees participated in more than 90 different in-house and online courses.
In addition, leadership development courses, job shadowing and mentoring programs are available for staff. We also encourage them to be leaders without titles — anyone in our organization can take on volunteer opportunities that create a more positive work environment.
The OPS offers employees the opportunity to move between ministries and divisions — allowing them to build new skills sets and increase their knowledge of different aspects of the government. Staff can shift into new careers, such as moving from engineering to communications, or from law to policy development.
The OPS has worked hard to become an employer that our staff can be proud of, that supports career growth and development, and that encourages innovation and service excellence.
I’m proud to be a part of the OPS. It is filled with motivated, energized and focused individuals who are committed to public service values. The OPS is truly an inspiring place of work.
Shelly Jamieson is Secretary of the Cabinet and head of the Ontario Public Service.