Internal Audit of Talent Management (November 2011)

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Table of contents

Acknowledgements

The audit team would like to thank those individuals who contributed to this project and, particularly, employees who provided insights and comments as part of this audit.

1.0 Executive Summary

1.1 Background

Public Safety Canada is a relatively small and nascent Department tasked with a high profile mandate as the lead department for public safety, with responsibilities ranging from emergency management and national security to crime prevention, law enforcement policy and corrections policy.  Within the context of this significant mandate and requirement for highly specialized skill sets, combined with the relative ease of talent mobility across Government of Canada departments, it is critical for Public Safety to effectively acquire, develop, engage and retain top talent.

Over the past two years, reports such as the 2009 Report of the Auditor General of Canada on Emergency Management at Public Safety and the Department's Integrated Human Resources and Business Plan of 2010-2011 have highlighted challenges Public Safety Canada faces in the areas of Human Resources Management. Some of these key challenges include difficulty attracting and retaining qualified employees at the Senior Management level and higher than planned turnover rates. In response to these challenges, Public Safety Canada has communicated a key 2011-2012 priority to establish a robust talent management program and effective succession planning.

This audit has identified and used appropriate criteria to contextually assess whether the Department is applying appropriate talent management practices. The audit has also identified recommendations to address priority opportunities for improvement, thereby building the Department's internal capacity for effective talent management. Please note that while the current environmental context may be characterized by fiscal restraint, progressive employers continue to invest in effective talent management to ensure the acquisition, development, engagement and retention of a talented workforce in both the shorter and longer term.

In order to provide additional context to this engagement, in consultation with the Department, Public Safety's current and desired human resources strategy have been profiled on the following HR strategic management continuum based on an analysis of the Department's broader human resources needs. An organization's position on the continuum determines the strategic context within which HR governance, core policies and programs (including talent management) and enabling practices are established and measured. Public Safety's desired human resources strategy (i.e. positioned at the upper end of a "Human Resources Management" strategy) was considered in establishing and assessing against audit criteria.

HR Service Strategy Continuum
Image Description

A graph entitled "HR Service Strategy Continuum" displays a positive regression between time (on the x axis) and human resources value added (on the y axis). This relationship is represented by a single line, itself labeled to represent cost and progressing upwards from the origin point at a 45 degree angle. Three points on the cost line—indicated by green ovals—display the focus of three separate areas of responsibility: Personnel Administrator, Human Resources Management, and Human Capital. These labels are displayed in white text on black boxes, with a full description of the focus located to the immediate right of each label. They read as follows:

  1. The Personnel Administrator focuses on establishing programs to provide employee services, such as developing and maintaining orientation programs and performance evaluation processes.
  2. Human Resources Management focuses on analyzing human resource needs and developing plans and programs to address those needs, such as analyzing training needs, developing and maintaining succession planning/career development programs, and developing and implementing competency-based HR applications.
  3. Human Capital focuses on developing and implementing HR strategies to support business strategy and acts as advisor to the organization by, for example, advising on organizational structure, and developing and implementing a comprehensive, competency-based performance management strategy.

Additionally, the graph reflects current state relative to target state, each displayed with red arrows indicating different points on the cost line. Current state is displayed between the Personnel Administrator and Human Resources Management points, whereas target state is displayed between Human Resources Management and Human Capital, further along the progression of time and value added.

Public Safety's desired positioning is consistent with what would normally be observed in a knowledge-intensive business where higher value added talent development is core to successful operational execution. This positioning is also slightly higher than what would be observed across broader public sector norms.

It has been recognized by the audit team through interviewee comments that the Human Resources function is committed to evolving along this continuum, as demonstrated by the ongoing transformation project focused on establishing generic job descriptions.

Talent Management Overview

Talent management is the process of acquiring, developing, engaging and retaining the skilled workforce required to achieve the organization's short and long term objectives. Effective talent management is broader than the Human Resources (HR) function. In addition to developing and deploying effective HR strategies, programs and processes, talent management requires appropriate governance, and the right organization-wide leadership behaviours. In many respects, HR is responsible for developing the strategies and programs, and leaders across the organization are responsible for deploying those strategies and programs within their teams, with a view toward acquiring, developing, engaging and retaining required talent.

1.2 Why it is Important

A specific concern held by the Department is that since Public Safety has a very talented and younger workforce than typical Government of Canada departments who may imminently experience a high number of retirements, the competition for Public Safety's talent from other departments is likely to increase. As a result, the Department believes that workforce and succession planning must be undertaken in order to identify and proactively address the potential future talent shortfalls.

Other talent management concerns expressed included:

Overall, the Department believes that there is a need to have the appropriate processes and tools in place to effectively manage talent. While the Department has taken steps to implement talent management practices, this audit was intended to serve a formative purpose to help the Department identify contextually relevant industry practices and priority areas for improvement  in order to meet its longer-term needs.

1.3 Audit Objective and Scope

The objective of this audit was to determine if Public Safety Canada is applying appropriate practices related to talent management and, if not, to identify recommendations to address priority deficiencies or challenges.

The scope of this audit covered the timeframe from March 1, 2011 to May 31, 2011. The scope of this audit included the following high priority potential talent management dimensions, including the relevant key practices contained within Deloitte's Talent Maturity Model:

Audit criteria were developed in order to assess each of these dimensions (refer to Appendix A).

1.4 Audit Opinion

Based on evidence gathered and assessed during the audit, we found both observed strengths and areas for improvement concerning the talent management practices within Public Safety Canada. The greatest areas for improvement were noted in the areas of Recruitment and Staffing Strategies and Succession Management. Areas where moderate issues were noted include: Talent Strategy, Talent Management Governance and HR Functional Infrastructure, Talent Metrics, and Workforce Planning. Areas that were found to be generally controlled, with only minor areas for improvement, include Learning and Development and Performance Management.

1.5 Statement of Assurance

In the professional judgment of the Chief Audit Executive, sufficient and appropriate audit procedures have been conducted and evidence gathered to provide senior management with reasonable assurance of the accuracy of the opinion provided and contained in this report. The opinion is based on a comparison of the conditions, as they existed at the time, against pre-established audit criteria.

1.6 Summary of Audit Findings

Throughout the audit fieldwork, the audit team observed several examples of how talent management programs, tools and practices are well-designed and applied effectively. This resulted in several observed strengths across many of the audit areas. Of the areas considered to be high priority potential talent management risks, the areas of greatest strength included Learning and Development and Performance Management.

The audit team also identified areas where management practices and processes can be improved:

  1. Talent Strategy - There is not a defined and integrated talent management strategy across the Department including a talent management approach, framework, and guiding principles.
  2. Talent Management Governance and HR Functional Infrastructure - There is no formal Human Resources committee at the senior level nor at the mid-manager level, nor an existing committee with human resources as a formal and regular agenda item, to provide a means for discussion of talent management issues and plans, and ensure integration of efforts and consistency of practice.
  3. Talent Metrics - There is not a strategically-aligned and defined set of talent metrics that are tracked and reported on for performance monitoring and management decision-making purposes (for each branch or for the Department as a whole).
  4. Workforce Planning - With the exception of retirement projections, Departmental workforce projections are not made beyond a one-year timeframe, thereby limiting the organization's ability to predict and develop plans to address longer-term talent shortages for critical skill sets.
  5. Recruitment and Staffing Strategies - There is no multi-year workforce plan to guide a proactive recruitment and staffing strategy. Furthermore, there is a need to provide enhanced and consistent advice to hiring managers, and to achieve greater timeliness in staffing positions.
  6. Succession Management - There are no formal succession plans in place for high impact positions.

1.7 Summary of Audit Recommendations

  1. Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, it is recommended that the Director General, Human Resources lead the development of Public Safety's talent management strategy in collaboration with branch leadership by doing the following:
    • Define and implement an integrated and multi-year talent management strategy across the Department, including a defined talent management approach, framework, and multi-year objectives and initiatives.
    • Ensure that multi-year planning includes proactive initiatives to address forecasted workforce shortages and identified talent management priorities over the defined time horizon.
    • Continue to participate in integration sessions for branch business planning, and ensure a stronger integration between the human resources needs and priorities of the branches, and those that are reflected in the annual priorities of Human Resources (documented within the Corporate Management Branch Business Plan).
  2. Given the fiscal constraints in the current operating environment, it is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, together with colleagues at the executive table introduce human resources issues as a standing item on the agendas of two existing committees: one committee of senior management, and one committee of mid-managers. The specific committees where a standing agenda item on human resources should be added are to be determined at the discretion of Public Safety executive, including the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch. It is essential that the Director General of Human Resources be present on these committees.
  3. Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, it is recommended that the Director General, Human Resources do the following to improve the use of talent metrics:
    • Establish a talent management strategy (see recommendation #1) and create a dashboard of strategically aligned talent metrics, targets and actual results against targets, that is provided to senior management on a regular (i.e., minimum quarterly) basis.  A similar dashboard, customized for each branch should be provided to branch management on a regular basis to facilitate informed decision-making and enhance accountability.
    • Review actual performance against target and enhance or update Human Resources plans accordingly.
  4. Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, it is recommended that the Director General, Human Resources lead the following initiative to improve Public Safety's workforce planning processes:
    • Workforce projections (supply and demand) should be made for the short, medium, and longer terms, and should serve as input into a multi-year talent management strategy.
  5. Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, it is recommended that the Director General, Human Resources lead the following initiatives to improve Public Safety's staffing processes:
    • Together with recommendation #1, develop a proactive, strategic recruitment and staffing strategy to address forecasted workforce shortages in the short, medium and longer term.
    • Establish service level standards and track and evaluate recruitment and staffing processes for efficiency and effectiveness.
  6. Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, it is recommended that the Director General, Human Resources lead the following initiatives to improve Public Safety's process for succession planning:
    • Confirm critical workforce segments (within recommendation #4) and identify specific competency requirements.
    • Undertake multi-year supply and demand forecasting within high impact and difficult to fill positions (within recommendation #4).
    • As appropriate, implement proactive strategies to develop talent pools of possible successor employees (e.g., identification of key talent, assessment of key talent, generation and management of succession-based development plans, etc.).
    • For all key positions, identify a possible succession plan, which at a minimum should identify an individual(s) who is capable of serving in an acting position for an interim basis to manage short-term needs.
    • Through learning and development processes, ensure the possible successors build requisite skills.

1.8 Management Response

Given the current context, it is more important than ever for Departments to implement sound and effective Talent Management Practices. The Department accepts the conclusions and recommendations of this audit and will take every step possible to improve its current Talent Management Framework. Public Safety will continue to improve its Integrated Planning function, including the Integrated Human Resources and Business Plan. It will continue the implementation of the Human Resources Transformation Initiative and implement risks-based and results-based approaches to Human Resources Management. Over the next two years, the implementation of the departmental Generic Work Description project will be a priority; the adoption of Generic Work Descriptions for every position will provide solid foundations on which to improve HR management strategies and practices. The Department will also continue to implement, monitor and improve its Talent Management Program for executive.

To further improve its Talent Management Practices, the Department will, among other things:

The Department will also continue to be up-to-date on leading edge Talent Management Practices to ensure it continually implements innovative approaches to Human Resources Management.

Approved By:
Rosemary Stephenson
Chief Audit Executive

2.0 Background

Public Safety Canada is a relatively small and nascent Department tasked with a high profile mandate as the lead department for public safety, with responsibilities ranging from emergency management and national security to crime prevention, law enforcement policy and corrections policy.  Within the context of this significant mandate and requirement for highly specialized skill sets, combined with the relative ease of talent mobility across Government of Canada departments, it is critical for Public Safety to effectively acquire, develop, engage and retain top talent.

Over the past two years, reports such as the 2009 Report of the Auditor General of Canada on Emergency Management at Public Safety and the Department's Integrated Human Resources and Business Plan of 2010-2011 have highlighted challenges Public Safety Canada faces in the areas of Human Resources Management. Some of these key challenges include difficulty attracting and retaining qualified employees at the Senior Management level and higher than planned turnover rates. In response to these challenges, Public Safety Canada has communicated a key 2011-2012 priority to establish a robust talent management program and effective succession planning.

This audit has identified and used appropriate criteria to contextually assess whether the Department is applying appropriate talent management practices. The audit has also identified recommendations to address priority opportunities for improvement, thereby building the Department's internal capacity for effective talent management. Please note that while the current environmental context may be characterized by fiscal restraint, progressive employers continue to invest in effective talent management to ensure the acquisition, development, engagement and retention of a talented workforce in both the shorter and longer term.

In order to provide additional context to this engagement, Public Safety's current and desired human resources strategy have been profiled on the following HR strategic management continuum based on an analysis of the Department's broader HR needs. An organization's position on the continuum determines the strategic context within which HR governance, core policies and programs (including talent management) and enabling practices are established and measured. Public Safety's desired human resources strategy (i.e. a Human Resources Management model) was be considered in establishing and assessing against audit criteria.

HR Service Strategy Continuum
Image Description

A graph entitled "HR Service Strategy Continuum" displays a positive regression between time (on the x axis) and human resources value added (on the y axis). This relationship is represented by a single line, itself labeled to represent cost and progressing upwards from the origin point at a 45 degree angle. Three points on the cost line—indicated by green ovals—display the focus of three separate areas of responsibility: Personnel Administrator, Human Resources Management, and Human Capital. These labels are displayed in white text on black boxes, with a full description of the focus located to the immediate right of each label. They read as follows:

  1. The Personnel Administrator focuses on establishing programs to provide employee services, such as developing and maintaining orientation programs and performance evaluation processes.
  2. Human Resources Management focuses on analyzing human resource needs and developing plans and programs to address those needs, such as analyzing training needs, developing and maintaining succession planning/career development programs, and developing and implementing competency-based HR applications.
  3. Human Capital focuses on developing and implementing HR strategies to support business strategy and acts as advisor to the organization by, for example, advising on organizational structure, and developing and implementing a comprehensive, competency-based performance management strategy.

Additionally, the graph reflects current state relative to target state, each displayed with red arrows indicating different points on the cost line. Current state is displayed between the Personnel Administrator and Human Resources Management points, whereas target state is displayed between Human Resources Management and Human Capital, further along the progression of time and value added.

Public Safety's desired positioning is consistent with what would normally be observed in a knowledge-intensive business where higher value added talent development is core to successful operational execution. This positioning is also slightly higher than what would be observed across broader public sector norms.

It has been recognized by the audit team through interviewee comments that the Human Resources function is committed to evolving along this continuum, as demonstrated by the ongoing transformation project focused on establishing generic job descriptions.

Talent Management Overview

Talent management is the process of acquiring, developing, engaging and retaining the skilled workforce required to achieve the organization's short and long term objectives. Effective talent management is broader than the Human Resources (HR) function. In addition to developing and deploying effective HR strategies, programs and processes, talent management requires appropriate governance, and the right organization-wide leadership behaviours. In many respects, HR is responsible for developing the strategies and programs, and leaders across the organization are responsible for deploying those strategies and programs within their teams, with a view toward acquiring, developing, engaging and retaining required talent.

2.1 Audit Objective

The objective of this audit was to determine if Public Safety Canada is applying appropriate practices related to talent management and, if not, to identify recommendations to address priority deficiencies or challenges.

2.2 Audit Scope

The scope of this audit covered the timeframe from March 1, 2011 to May 31, 2011. The scope of this audit included the following high priority potential talent management dimensions, including the relevant key practices contained within Deloitte's Talent Maturity Model:

Audit criteria were developed in order to assess each of these dimensions (refer to Appendix A).

Public Safety's talent management practices were examined relative to the Deloitte Talent Maturity Model to assess the current versus desired state of talent management sophistication. The Talent Maturity Model anchors range from Developing, when talent programs are in their infancy, to Market Leading, when programs are in the most advanced stage of development.

Within the context of Public Safety Canada's desired Human Resources Management strategy, as well as Public Safety's relatively early stage of organizational maturity, Public Safety's talent management practices should be within the "Progressing" to "Advanced" range of program sophistication for each of the talent management program areas that correspond to the identified high priority potential talent management risks. Audit criteria and procedures were designed based on this understanding (see Appendix A for a complete list of audit criteria).

Table taken from the Deloitte Talent Maturity Model
Image Description

The image focuses on a table taken from the Deloitte Talent Maturity Model, which is fully displayed below the excerpt in smaller, zoomed-out form. The excerpted table contains five columns, with the headings displayed in a grey arrow pointing to the right, suggesting a progression of steps from left to right: Developing, Basic, Progressing, Advanced, and Market Leading. They read as follows:

  1. The Developing stage (displayed with a pale blue header) is that in which a strategy, process or program is becoming larger, more organized and is coming into existence.
  2. The Basic stage (with a green header) is that in which a strategy, process or program is forming a basis and focusing on the fundamentals.
  3. The Progressing stage (with a blue header) is that in which a strategy, process or program is in a state of advancement, moving forward and making continuous progress.
  4. The Advanced stage (with a darker blue header) is that in which a strategy, process or program is far along in time and has made substantial progress.
  5. The Market Leading stage (with a dark blue header) is that in which a strategy, process or program is pioneering and one of the first in its field to explore new subjects, ideas or methods.

The Progressing and Advanced stages are highlighted with a red box.

2.3 Approach

Procedures for gathering evidence included inspection of documents, interviews, detailed review of a sample of files, computation and analysis of data. The application of these procedures allowed the audit team to formulate a conclusion as to whether the established audit criteria have been met. Standards followed for gathering evidence included ensuring information was sufficient, reliable, relevant, and useful to draw conclusions.

2.4 Findings, Recommendations and Management Response

Based on evidence gathered through documentation and file review, analysis and interviews, each of the audit criteria was assessed by the audit team and a conclusion for each audit criterion was determined. Results of the audit fieldwork include both observed strengths and areas for improvement concerning the talent management practices within Public Safety Canada.

Throughout the audit fieldwork, the audit team observed several examples of how talent management programs, tools and practices are well-designed and applied effectively. This resulted in several observed strengths which are provided in the following list:

Talent Management Strategy

Talent Metrics

Recruitment and Staffing Strategies

Succession Management

Learning and Development

Performance Management

The audit team also identified areas where management practices and processes can be improved. The following are findings gathered by the audit team where opportunities for improvement exist and should be addressed by Human Resources management. Of those indicated below, the greatest areas for improvement related to Recruitment and Staffing Strategies and Succession Management.

2.4.1 There is a need to define and implement an integrated and multi-year talent management strategy across the Department

In light of Public Safety's context and desired Human Resources Management strategy and the implications for the level of talent management effectiveness, there should be a documented set of talent management principles and priorities to guide talent management practices. Talent management plans and organizational plans should be aligned and address business-driven talent management needs and priorities.

Although progress has been made in developing an Integrated Human Resources and Business Plan (IHRBP), there is not a defined and integrated talent management strategy across the Department including a talent management approach, framework, and guiding principles. As a component within a broad Human Resources strategy, a talent management strategy defines an organization's talent management approach or philosophy, and focuses on the four pillars of acquiring, developing, engaging and retaining the skilled workforce required to achieve the organization's short and long term objectives. In addition, the current IHRBP has gaps with respect to broader, multi-year planning to address medium and longer term business needs and workforce demographic needs.

The audit team observed that the IHRBP is an annual exercise which all branches contribute to. There are talent management elements present in the Department's IHRBP, which are also present in the Corporate Management Branch Business Plan. However, there is an opportunity to improve the alignment between these two annual plans and to integrate annual planning with an overall proactive talent management strategy.

Recommendation:

Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, it is recommended that the Director General, Human Resources lead the development of Public Safety's talent management strategy in collaboration with branch leadership by doing the following:

Management Response
Management Action Plan Completion Date
The Department will continue to implement and improve its current Talent Management Program for Executives and use empirical data to inform HR management strategies across the Department. Ongoing and completed on an annual basis
The Department will review its current performance management program for employees to ensure it is better integrated with other HR processes and systems and better meet the needs of management and employees. Q2 – 2013-14
The Department will develop an Integrated Talent Management Strategy. Q4 – 2014-15
The Department will formalize its newly created HR Business Management Unit and implement sound strategic planning, performance measurement and risk management practices in Human Resources. Q3 – 2013-14
The Strategic Planning Division and Human Resources Directorate will continue to work in close collaboration to strengthen HR and Business integration in the Integrated Human Resources Business Plan and Branch Plans. Ongoing - annually
2.4.2 Enhanced talent management governance should be implemented at Public Safety

In light of Public Safety's context and desired Human Resources Management strategy and the implications for talent management governance and HR functional infrastructure, a structure should be in place to support talent management governance, including executive-level responsibility and defined accountabilities. Processes and practices should be in place to govern talent management effectiveness, including periodic reporting to the executive, resulting in accountability for core talent management results and enterprise-wide consistency and integration of efforts. A cross-functional talent management committee should be in place to monitor and assess talent management issues and initiatives.

Although there is some reporting to senior management on talent management information (e.g., Staffing Performance Report, Report on Labour Relations, Compensation and Wellness Programs), and the importance of strategic human resources management has become a greater focus for the Deputy Minister, human resources is not a formal and regular agenda item at the senior level, and there is no formal HR committee at the mid-manager level to provide a means for discussion of talent management issues and plans, and ensure integration of efforts and consistency of practice. Such committees would ensure that there is broad and senior level awareness and support for talent management initiatives.

Recommendation:

Given the fiscal constraints in the current operating environment, it is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, together with colleagues at the executive table introduce human resources issues as a standing item on the agendas of two existing committees: one committee of senior management, and one committee of mid-managers. The specific committees that are best suited to include human resources as a standing item on their agendas are to be determined at the discretion of Public Safety executive, including the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch. It is essential that the Director General of Human Resources be present on these committees.

Management Response
Management Action Plan Completion Date
The Department will modify its current Senior Management Committee Terms of Reference to provide for regular HR-dedicated Management Committee agendas. Q1 – 2012-13
The DG of HR will be a permanent member of HR-dedicated senior Management Committees.  
The Department will establish a DG HR committee chaired by DG of HR. Q4 – 2011-12
2.4.3 Establish, report and analyze talent metrics that are strategically aligned with the Department's talent management strategy

In light of Public Safety's context and desired Human Resources Management strategy and the implications for the type of talent metrics needed, the Human Resources function should have a talent management dashboard of key workforce metrics and targets, and use this information to make annual decisions to improve talent management.

Talent management metrics presented to the Management Committee tend to be focused on workforce demographics, turnover and current state profile of the workforce, rather than metrics related to strategic talent management objectives such as progress against priorities. There is not a strategically-aligned and defined set of talent metrics that are tracked and reported on for performance monitoring and management decision-making purposes (i.e. talent management dashboard), which may indicate that Public Safety's management does not have the information it needs to make informed decisions regarding talent management.

There is no talent management dashboard of strategically-aligned metrics currently in place for each branch or for the Department as a whole. However, specific talent management metrics (focused on workforce demographics and turnover) are provided on a semi-annual basis to aid branches in their staffing plans (i.e., mid-year and end-of-year performance summaries).

Recommendation:

Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, it is recommended that the Director General, Human Resources do the following to improve the use of talent metrics:

Management Response
Management Action Plan Completion Date
The Department will develop an Integrated Talent Management Strategy Q4 – 2014-15
The Department will formalize its newly created HR Business Management Unit and implement sound strategic planning, performance measurement and risk management practices in Human Resources. Q3 – 2013-14
The Department will create a HR dashboard including Talent Management performance measures, analysis and trends. Q2 – 2013-14

2.4.4 Longer-term workforce planning should be conducted

In light of Public Safety's context and desired Human Resources Management strategy and the implications for workforce planning, high impact and difficult to fill positions should be identified, and the organization should forecast its demand for talent within these segments based on planned organizational growth, as well as retirement, mobility and separation projections. The organization should also develop recruitment and succession plans to address projected workforce shortages.

With the exception of retirement projections, no Departmental workforce projections are made beyond a one-year timeframe, thereby limiting the organization's ability to understand and develop plans to address longer-term talent shortages, especially for critical skill sets.

Due to the lack of longer-term workforce planning projections, proactive recruitment and staffing strategies are not developed and implemented for these critical workforce segments based on multi-year talent demand forecasting.

Recommendation:

Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, it is recommended that the Director General, Human Resources lead the following initiative to improve Public Safety's workforce planning processes:

Management Response
Management Action Plan Completion Date
The Department will include a formal process to identify and manage critical positions in its Talent Management Strategy. Q4 – 2014-15
The Department will formalize its newly created HR Business Management Unit and implement sound strategic planning, performance measurement and risk management practices in Human Resources. Q3 – 2013-14
HR and will develop staffing strategies that will be integrated in the TM strategy. Q4 – 2014-15
The Department will implement a new staffing plan format that will be updated on a quarterly basis. Q1 – 2012-13
The Department will provide workforce projections to the branches, feeding their staffing plan and the TM strategy. Q2 – 2013-14

2.4.5 Proactive recruiting and staffing strategies should be developed to address forecasted workforce shortages. An enhanced and aligned effort between HR and hiring managers is required to improve staffing services.

In light of Public Safety's context and desired Human Resources Management strategy and the implications for recruitment and staffing, proactive recruitment and staffing strategies should be established on an annual basis to address potential talent shortages that have been identified through workforce planning activities. Recruitment and staffing processes and tools should support the staffing strategy and be efficient, standardized and technology enabled. Hiring managers should be aware of their options, responsibilities and the approximate timelines associated with recruitment and staffing processes, so that they can plan accordingly.

Due to the absence of longer-term workforce planning projections, Public Safety does not conduct multi-year planning based on multi-year projections to guide a proactive recruitment and staffing strategy.

With respect to the level of staffing service provided to internal clients, there is a need to provide enhanced and consistent advice to hiring managers, and to achieve greater timeliness in staffing positions. It is recognized that HR initiatives are already underway that will enable greater timeliness in the staffing process (i.e., generic work descriptions).

Recommendation:

Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, it is recommended that the Director General, Human Resources lead the following initiatives to improve Public Safety's staffing processes:

Management Response
Management Action Plan Completion Date
The Department will formalize its newly created HR Business Management Unit and implement sound strategic planning, performance measurement and risk management practices in Human Resources. Q3 – 2013-14
The Department will establish service standards for HR operations aligned with interdepartmental HR Common processes Q3 – 2014-15
The Department will establish results and risks-based approaches to staffing, providing managers with more flexibility, responsibility and accountability. Q3 – 2013-14

2.4.6 Succession management for critical positions requires a greater degree of rigor and formality.

In light of Public Safety's context and desired Human Resources Management strategy and the implications for succession planning, a formal succession planning program should be in place for both executive positions and other high impact and difficult to fill positions, including programs to identify and develop talent pools of potential successors.

At Public Safety, there are no formal succession plans (i.e. where potential successors are formally identified and a documented plan to develop potential successors has been made) in place for executive and other high impact and difficult to fill positions.

Human Resources has tools that may be integrated with, and support succession planning across the Department, but they are not being used formally for this purpose. Examples of tools include performance management guides and forms, learning curriculums and forms, EX talent management questionnaires, etc.

Recommendation:

Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Branch, it is recommended that the Director General, Human Resources lead the following initiatives to improve Public Safety's process for succession planning:

It is recognized that while HR is responsible for developing the programs and tools, leaders across the organization are responsible for deploying those programs within their teams. In this regard, while HR must take a leadership role in succession planning strategy and tool development, organizational leaders must take the responsibility and accountability for ensuring that these are carried out within their directorates.

Management Response
Management Action Plan Completion Date
The Department will develop an Integrated Talent Management Strategy. Q4 – 2014-15
The Department will formalize its newly created HR Business Management Unit and implement sound strategic planning, performance measurement and risk management practices in Human Resources. Q3 – 2013-14
The Department will include a key commitment related to succession planning in Executive's Performance Management Accord. Q1 – 2013-14
The Department will develop learning curriculums aligned with the Generic Work Description Project Q4 – 2014-15
The Department will develop competency profiles aligned with the Generic Work Description Project. Q2 – 2014-15
The Department will develop new programs and improve existing programs contributing to knowledge transfer and formalize its mentoring program. Q2 – 2013-14

Appendix A – Audit Criteria

The conclusions reached for each of the audit criteria used in the audit were developed according to the following definitions.

Audit Criteria
  Conclusion on Audit Criteria Definition of Conclusion
1 Well Controlled
  • Well managed, no material weaknesses noted; and
  • Effective.
2 Controlled
  • Well managed, but minor improvements are needed; and
  • Effective.
3 Moderate Issues
  • Moderate issues requiring management focus (at least one of the following two criteria need to be met):
    • Control weaknesses, but exposure is limited because likelihood of risk occurring is not high;
    • Control weaknesses, but exposure is limited because impact of the risk is not high.
4 Significant Improvements Required
  • Requires significant improvements (at least one of the following three criteria need to be met):
    • Financial adjustments material to line item or area or to the department; or
    • Control deficiencies represent serious exposure; or
    • Major deficiencies in overall control structure.

The following are the audit criteria and examples of key evidence and/or observations noted which were analyzed and against which conclusions were drawn for this audit. In cases where significant improvements (4) and/or moderate issues (3) were observed, these were reported in the audit report.

Audit Criteria
Audit Criteria Conclusion on Audit Criteria Observations
Talent Management Strategy

There is a documented set of talent management principles and priorities to guide talent management practices. Talent management plans and organizational plans are aligned and address business-driven talent management needs and priorities.

Moderate Issues
  • There is not a defined and integrated talent management strategy across the Department including a talent management approach, framework, and guiding principles.
  • Although there are documented human resources plans and priorities completed annually for a one-year period, the IHRBP has gaps with respect to broader, multi-year planning.
  • All directorates are involved in creating staffing plans which feed into the Integrated HR and Business Plan.
  • Some linkages exist between the annual Integrated HR and Business Plan and the annual Branch Business Plan, and integration sessions are held to strengthen branch plans from the corporate services perspective.
  • There is an opportunity to more tightly link the HR component of the Corporate Management Branch Business Plan with the Integrated HR and Business Plan for the Department.
Talent Management Governance and HR Functional Infrastructure

A structure is in place to support talent management governance, including executive-level responsibility and defined accountabilities. Processes and practices are in place to govern talent management effectiveness, including periodic reporting to the executive, resulting in accountability for core talent management results and enterprise-wide consistency and integration of efforts. A cross-functional talent management committee is in place to monitor and assess talent management issues and initiatives. The Human Resources (HR) function's service delivery ratios and cost-to-manage statistics are in alignment with contextually relevant benchmarks.

Moderate Issues
  • There is no formal committee at the senior level nor at the mid-manager level to discuss and address talent management issues and plans, and ensure integration of efforts, consistency of practice, and ensure that there is broad and senior level awareness and support for talent management initiatives.
  • Existing senior manager committees only focus on HR issues on an intermittent basis (i.e. for the annual EX Talent Management Exercise, or in reviewing workforce demographics).
  • HR does not track metrics to measure department-wide HR effectiveness and efficiency as a whole (refer to Talent Metrics section below for further details).
Talent Metrics

The Human Resources function has a talent management dashboard of key workforce metrics and targets, and uses this information to make annual decisions to improve talent management. Employee engagement is assessed annually or bi-annually.

Moderate Issues
  • There is not a defined set of metrics tracked and reported on for management purposes.
  • There is no talent management dashboard of strategically-aligned metrics currently in place for each branch or for the Department as a whole. Talent Management metrics (focused on workforce demographics and turnover) are provided on an annual basis to aid branches in their staffing plans. Metrics are not measured to provide assessment against strategic priorities and objectives.
  • Some tracking of metrics such as staffing and classification statistics are done by HR. They are not necessarily reported on outside the Department.
  • Employee engagement is routinely measured, and committees are established and meeting regularly to follow up on the results of the employee engagement survey.
Workforce Planning

High impact and difficult to fill positions have been identified, and the organization forecasts its demand for talent within these segments based on planned organizational growth, as well as retirement, mobility and separation projections. The organization develops recruitment and succession plans to address projected workforce shortages.

Moderate Issues
  • With the exception of retirement projections, no workforce projections are made beyond a one-year timeframe. The short-term staffing actions required are noted in the annual staffing plan completed by each branch.
  • EX population demographics and metrics are reviewed regularly via the EX Talent Management Committee. This is not the case for all other positions.
Recruitment and Staffing Strategies

Proactive recruitment and staffing strategies are established on an annual basis to address potential talent shortages that have been identified through workforce planning activities. Recruitment and staffing processes and tools support the staffing strategy and are efficient, standardized and technology enabled. Hiring managers are aware of their options, responsibilities and the approximate timelines associated with recruitment and staffing processes, so that they can plan accordingly.

Significant Improvement Required
  • As a result of a lack of multi-year forecasting, there is a lack of forecasting-based proactive recruitment, staffing and succession strategies.
  • There is a desire among hiring managers to have an enhanced level of up-front advice that is consistent among HR staff for a staffing process and between staffing processes. There is further a desire to see greater timeliness in staffing positions.
  • A number of templates and guides exist for staffing.
  • Although there is information available to assist in the staffing process, hiring managers either do not have access to the information or are not aware of its existence.
  • Some proactive staffing strategies are in place (e.g., Express Staffing, collective staffing).
Succession Management

A formal succession planning program is in place for both executive positions and other high impact and difficult to fill positions, including programs to identify and develop potential successors. A career planning and mobility program is in place, including accessible information regarding the multiple career path and mobility options within the organization, supported by formal and informal career and mobility planning discussions.  

Significant Improvement Required
  • No formal succession plans are in place (i.e. where successors are identified for positions, and a plan to develop the successor has been identified).
  • There are various tools that may integrate with succession planning, but they are not being used formally for this purpose.
  • A Guide to Succession Planning is available to staff.
  • There is some degree of informal succession planning done in most areas.
  • Career mobility discussions are incorporated into the performance review process.
Learning and Development

Personal learning plans are developed based on performance feedback and career goals. Organization-wide learning programs are in place, and are centrally managed within Human Resources. Employees have access to organization-wide learning programs as well as training programs offered by external vendors.

Controlled
  • A lot of work in this area is currently under development (i.e. learning curriculums). Learning curriculums for some occupational groups are completed, but are not completed down to the classification level. This is the next step in the development.
  • Learning plan templates are available and mandatory for eligible staff. The learning plan requirement is integrated into the performance review template.
  • Although HR tracks percentage of completion of learning plan templates, they do not follow up on the execution of the learning plan. However, initial steps towards this have been taken by incorporating this information into the year-end performance review template.
Performance Management

The Performance Management Program is integrated with other HR programs, including learning and development, career planning and total rewards. The Performance Management tools and processes enable distinction between high, average and low performers. Individual goals are set at the beginning of the year and feedback is provided throughout the year through formal mid-year and year-end reviews. The Performance Management Program holds managers accountable for ensuring that the Performance Management processes are followed and that appropriate recognition or actions are taken to address low performance situations. Standard templates are in place to capture performance plans and performance review results.

Controlled
  • Tools and templates exist for objective setting and year-end performance reviews.
  • Guide for managing poor performance exists in draft form, and as such, is not yet available to staff.
  • Mid-year reviews are required, but are not formally documented.
  • HR provides the tools and guidance through the process, but does not proactively flag items for follow-up (e.g., where low performance is indicated, HR doesn't flag and ensure that remedial action plans are in place).
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