Prior to evolving into My Healthy Workplace, My Workplace was developed to improve the workplace for McGill staff. A summary of some initiatives launched by My Workplace can be found below. Also, results from the Learning Organization Survey that was launched and had two iterations under My Workplace can be found here.


Phase II



Building a Great Ideas Pipeline

Throughout the survey and discussion groups, employees repeated time and again that it’s difficult to bring great ideas to fruition at McGill. When they come up with better ways of doing things, McGill must push its bureaucracy out of the way. The My Workplace team will look at ways to solicit and advance employees’ ideas.

Examine how other institutions have implemented similar initiatives, and if feasible, propose a way to build our own Great Ideas Pipeline at McGill.

After looking at what our peers have done in this area, we developed and implemented a pilot program at McGill -- to create our own Great Ideas Pipeline for at least one year, and possibly make it permanent if it seems to be adding value. The pipeline is open and receiving ideas!

Training and support for new academic administrators

Faculty members who take on administrative roles must learn new supervisory skills on the fly with no formal management training available, and sometimes struggle to empower their staff, provide constructive feedback and manage their teams effectively. Together with Organizational Development and the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), the My Workplace team will assess training offerings at McGill and elsewhere and propose an action plan for McGill.

Led by the Office of the Provost, assess how McGill and other institutions train academic staff who supervise administrative/support employees, and then propose ways to improve our own training.

In a process led by the Office of the Provost, we've surveyed other universities and our research indicates that they're doing some exciting things in this area. We've also worked with McGill's faculties to identify our needs, and learned enough to assist the Provost's team in developing a training / orientation curriculum for all new Deans, Associate Deans, Chairs, Directors and other academic administrators. These courses were offered by the first time in the summer of 2016.

Lower-cost professional courses for employees

Certain non-credit courses offered by the School of Continuing Studies do not qualify for the staff tuition waiver. Executive Institute courses can be quite expensive as well, despite their 50 per cent discount for McGill staff. It was proposed at our Macdonald Campus discussion group that when these courses are not completely filled by paying students, the remaining spots could be offered to employees at a large discount. The My Workplace team will explore the feasibility of this idea.

Explore ways to reduce the cost of Continuing Studies and Executive Institute courses for McGill staff.

We reached out to the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) and the Desautels Executive Institute (DEI), and as of fall 2016, a 50% discount can be applied to the first five employees who sign up for each non-credit, non-transcript professional development workshop offered by the SCS's Career and Professional Development unit. As well, the DEI is offering a 50% tuition rebate on a limited number of seats in their professional development programming for McGill employees. 

Publicizing avenues of escalation for staff

At the discussion groups and in the survey, some administrative and support staff members expressed concerns about isolation and inequity – stemming both from their workplace culture and their supervisors’ management styles. As a result, some individuals feel “stuck” and powerless, unaware of avenues through which they could voice their concerns. In partnership with Human Resources, the My Workplace team will prepare an inventory of current escalation avenues available to staff, and promote these via the HR website.

Compile a list of information resources and possible actions that employees can take if they feel they've been treated unfairly, and post it to the HR website.

The list has been compiled, and posted on the HR website.

Information-sharing between major administrative projects

My Workplace will connect with and support projects with significant implications for our administrative workforce – including the new HR information system (R2R). It makes strategic sense to support cross-fertilization between major change initiatives at McGill.

Ensure that My Workplace's activities are aligned with R2R and other large initiatives.

The My Workplace team has reached out to R2R to help promote alignment and will continue to reach out to other project teams in future.

Phase I





Financial Services

Bank reconciliation process for CAD general deposit

Reduce cycle time by 3 days/month.

Model and formulas completed for CAD general deposit.  Testing phase launched.  Also planning to tackle debit and credit reconciliation process.  

Financial Services

Cheque distribution

Outsource printing and distribution of paper cheques to a third-party provider. 


Financial Services

Refine expense report process

Identify persistent issues within the expense report process, particularly "client-side" issues; document best and/or Lean practices currently being used within other units; meet with Faculty Financial Officers from all Faculties to discuss best/Lean practices and to obtain their input/buy-in for potential improvements; update processes standardize these across all units.

Team includes Financial Services staff and Financial Officers from the Schulich School of Music.  Group received LEAN training together.  Project is being implemented in Music with new streamlined training materials and processes being tested live, with participation from academics and front-line users.   

Human Resources

Interface between Staffing and Total Comp

Review the hiring process and its interface with Total Compensation to identify opportunities for process streamlining and simplification. 


Information Technology Services

Employee recognition and engagement

Develop a suite of non-monetary options for recognising employee achievements and enhancing employee engagement, work satisfaction and retention. 

Project has been named one of four “priorities” for IT services and will be treated as an on-going initiative. Workshops being run with all directors in IT services.   

Procurement Services

Vendor list maintenance

Implement improvements found following a LEAN Value Stream Mapping project on the vendor maintenance process.

The team reviewed the vendor list maintenance process within a LEAN value stream mapping framework and implemented a variety of improvements and streamlining measures.  

Procurement Services

Streamlining change-orders

Develop a process for integrating change-orders from client units during the procurement process.

The team identified a technology solution, which, once implemented will automate a previously manual process that required the duplicate entry of information received from client units in separate systems.  Within Procurement Services, the solution will reduce the workloads of the project team members by an estimated 25%, freeing their time to be more responsive to the needs of the University. 

Procurement Services

Annual reconciliation of standing orders

Develop a process to govern an annual review of standing orders to ensure they are up-to-date and an accurate reflection of the needs of the client units. 

The needs of this project are expected to be met through the implementation of a technology solution which will enable previously inaccessible functionality within the McGill Marketplace system.    

University Services

Construction Project Budget Approval and Contract Amendments

Refine and strengthen key project approval mechanisms in University Services to enhance compliance, administrative efficiency as well as employee and client satisfaction. 

Focusing on the budged and contract increase approval process, the project team conducted a review of the required approvers and the reasoning behind each signature.  Some signature steps were eliminated entirely while other approvers now have a clear understanding of their role in the approval process.  The project team has designed a call for tender and hopes to identify an appropriate vendor by December 2016 to automate budget approvals, FOAPAL validation, and document tracking functions. 


Communications & External Relations

Preferred suppliers for mass email platforms

Identify a group of preferred suppliers for mass email communications in order to facilitate the use of these tools and make it more affordable across the University, setting a precedent for allowing CER to work on a preferred supplier model for other communications services, such as web and app development, etc.

Parameters sent to Procurement Services to begin identifying appropriate vendors.   

Communications & External Relations

Parameters for allocating career development opportunities

Implement appropriate parameters for the allocation of career development opportunities within the unit as a basis for improved managerial decision-making and greater equity among staff. 

On hold (no new funding for career development) 

Communications & External Relations

Service inventory

Clearly define CER’s service offerings to other McGill units, what they entail, and how to request them.

Project plan created, on hold for now.

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