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Algonquin College News

Full house for last week's Town Hall

May 18, 2017

It was a full house for Thursday's Town Hall on the 2017 Employee Engagement Survey, which was attended by employees from across the College and watched by many more via livestream at the Perth and Pembroke campuses.

The Town Hall was opened by President Cheryl Jensen. Cathy Frederick, Vice-President of Human Resources, and Neil Crawford of Aon Hewitt, the company that administered the survey, also presented information to employees.

Cheryl acknowledged there was still work to be done and that not all of the results were good news, but said she would not "sugar-coat" the statistics. She encouraged employees to see the survey as the next chapter in a journey everyone at the College is taking together.

"We're trying to be as honest and transparent as we can with the results," she explained. "That's the only way we get better."

Crawford cautioned employees that not everything could be solved immediately.

"It's impossible to address everything that everybody says in the survey," said Crawford. He noted that there were four key areas that he thought the College should consider working on to improve employee engagement:

1. Make a sustained commitment to addressing perceived workplace inequities
2. Concentrate on improving engagement of managers and supervisors
3. Further increase two-way interaction between leaders and employees
4. Accelerate efforts to build a stronger recognition/celebratory culture

"The level of engagement is something we have the opportunity to work on together," said Crawford. He explained that employee confidence that the survey would spark change had been reduced since the last survey.

Cheryl said that this was an aspect of this year's results that she found "troubling" but encouraged employees to reach out to her during her second Listening Tour, as many had, to share their thoughts.

"You need to tell me what's irritating you, you need to tell your manager what's irritating you," she said before fielding many questions from employees. "I have to work through you, you're my team. Together we can effect change, we can't do it on our own."

The Town Hall included a lengthy Q&A session that allowed many employees to ask questions about the results.