Giving Voice to Our Employees
At Minto, we understand the responsibility we have when it comes to our first community: our employees.
Our employees are our priority as they enable us to carry out our mission. That's why we're laser focused on providing them with the best possible experience and an environment in which they can thrive. We do this by listening to their needs prioritizing their feedback and then focusing on the necessary actions to ensure they have a vibrant place to work.
In this blog post, we'll explore four ways we prioritize employee listening and feedback, and how we're able to turn their insights into tangible actions.
1. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Surveys
Listening to feedback on how to create a more inclusive workplace
Fostering an inclusive workplace is imporant to our employees and therefore critical to our success. At Minto, we're committed to creating a welcoming environment, one where every employee feels listened to, respected, supported, and like they belong.
In 2021, we partnered with Diversio, a specialist consulting firm, to deploy our first diversity, equity, and inclusio (DEI) survey. We collected feedback and the following were put into action:
- Minto's Executive and Senior Leadership Team attended a "Fundamentals of DEI" workshop to gain insight into building a climate where employees can thrive.
- Virtual instructor-led webinars on workplace inclusion were introduced to highlight the importance of building an inclusive culture, creating awareness of our own biases, and the role we eall play in fostering belonging in the workplace. The goal is to have the majority of our workforce take part in this course before the end of 2023.
In 2023, as part of our ongoing listening strategy, we launched a follow-up survey to gather further input, track our progress year-over-year, and gain a better understanding of how we can improve. Diversio analyzed our survey responses and verbatim comments, identifying three key areas we’re actioning to strengthen our culture:
- Ensuring our hiring managers and recruiting team understand unconscious biases that can impact how we attract and recruit talent.
- Continuing to focus on education around inclusive hiring, while expanding the reach of our recruiting initiatives to new and diverse networking channels.
Culture of Belonging:
- Cultivating a culture of wellness where everyone feels heard and valued by their peers with the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.
- Adding an ‘Inclusion Advisor’ feature to our BRAVO! recognition platform to help ensure that written communication is meaningful and inclusive.
- Building connections with senior resources to help support, mentor, and invest in the growth and development of our employees.
- Offering career development workshops to help employees create plans unique to their career paths, and to help managers and senior leaders support their employees’ career development plans.
- Investing in manager-focused training on wellness, resiliency, and empathy to ensure leaders are best equipped to provide constructive feedback, encourage growth, and create a work culture that is understanding and supportive.
2. Employee Engagement Surveys
Hearing from our employees
Hearing from our employees is a powerful way to increase team cohesion, retention, and well-being. To that end, we've conducted the Employee Engagement Surveys every 12 to 24 months for the past 16 years.
We share survey results with all staff and establish action plans at the departmental, operating group, and corporation-wide levels to address areas for improvement.
These surveys give perspective on a number of topics, but most importantly, the verbatim comments are carefully reviewed and wherever we can, HR takes them into account and actions them. The feedback informs decisions on benefits, training programs, and so much more.
“Hearing directly from our employees through verbatim comments in the survey has been a powerful way to help guide our decisions and led directly to the development of our wellness portal - a single one-stop shop for all things related to benefits. It also helped us to understand the need to augment our mental health coverage and support and has been invaluable in improving the employee experience at Minto.” - Jo-Ann Taylor, Chief Human Resources Officer
3. The Minto BRAVO! Program
Encouraging a culture of feedback and recognition
BRAVO!, an employee recognition program that enables and encourages employee and team member feedback and recognition, is designed to celebrate employees as they hit key milestones, embody Minto's core values, and make contributions to our shared success. BRAVO! provides employees with the opportunity to recognize excellence in each other and to respond in kind to the recognition they receive.
BRAVO! plays an important role in listening to and recognizing individual and team contributions day-to-day and during times of crisis. Every year, employees who receive the highest-level BRAVO! awards are nominated for a Greenberg Award under each of Minto's four core values: Achievement, Courage, Innovation, and Parternship.
“At Minto, we firmly believe that recognition and appreciation are a critical part of valuing our employees and their accomplishments—which is why we’ve been investing in our BRAVO! Recognition Program since 2016. One of the most inspiring aspects of BRAVO! is the ability for employees to share and make public their feedback in something similar to a social media feed - injecting a much-needed dose of positivity and highlighting the many acts of kindness and strong contributions felt across the organization.” - Dave Bond, Senior Director, Human Resources
4. CEO Chats and Get Connected Sessions
Providing a forum for transparency and open dialogue
Our CEO Chats have provided an incredible opportunity for Michael Waters, CEO of the Minto Group to get out from behind the desk and both share and listen to employees.
Throughout the year, a small group of employees gather at our corporate offices to sit down with Michael as he transparently shares the latest happenings within the business. Employees are also given the chance to submit questions anonymously in advance or ask questions on the spot.
Our CEO Chats have been well received as employees appreciate the open dialogue and the opportunity to have their voices heard within a safe container.
More than just our CEO, members of our executive team also invest time in doing “Connect Sessions” making their way around the various properties, construction sites and offices to share news and listen to feedback given by employees. We understand the importance of allowing people to have a voice - starting with creating the right platforms to gain these various perspectives.
At Minto, we’re continually striving to become better listeners so that we can continue to enhance our employee experience. Actioning employee feedback ensures we are providing employees with inclusive spaces to work, opportunities to learn and grow, moments of recognition, and much more. By listening to our employees, we hope to continue creating a workplace where each and every person can truly thrive.