Excellence Canada Drivers

Four major drivers of Healthy Workplace

Excellence Canada's Healthy Workplace standard is based on four major drivers with 31 success factors. These drivers bear significant resemblance with opportunities for improvement raised by McGill employees in recent Learning Organization and Employee Engagement Surveys. 


a) It is important that the senior leadership team endorses and supports a set of Guiding Principles which were developed with input from all stakeholders, and communicated widely across the organization

b) The organization has stated and communicated its commitment to a healthy workplace, and has allocated financial, human and other resources to improve the health of employees

c) The organization has a method to review and ensure compliance with relevant provincial and national case law, regulations and standards, e.g., employment standards, labour relations rulings, human rights legislation, law of torts, Workers’ Compensation laws, occupational health and safety legislation, employment contract law, privacy and confidentiality, and other legal system influences

d) In the decision-making process, the organization considers the wide-spread health impact of decisions on employees and their families

e) The organization fosters a work environment where coworkers and supervisors are supportive and responsive to employees’ physical and psychological health, safety and well-being. The leaders actively “walk the talk”

f) The organization works at improving the interpersonal skills of employees at all levels, as well as the emotional intelligence and leadership abilities of people managers, so that they can effectively lead and positively influence organizational culture and the health and well-being of employees

g) There is a plan to provide education to all employees to increase awareness on the benefits associated with both physical and psychological health and safety

h) There is mutual responsibility and clear cascading of accountability for healthy workplace priorities and continuous improvement throughout the organization

i) The corporate social responsibility plan demonstrates the organization’s commitment to family, community and society, and includes participation of all levels of employees

People Engagement

a) Human Resource policies address relevant human rights legislation and issues to protect against harassment and discrimination and these policies promote diversity, equity and inclusivity in the workplace

b) The organization fosters a transparent work environment where employees clearly understand their roles and responsibilities as outlined in current position descriptions, and the impact of their role on the Vision, Mission, and Values of the organization

c) There is a system in place for recruitment, selection, and on-boarding of employees

d) There is a system in place for the management of employee performance and retention

e) A Return-to-Work and disability management system is in place

f) Management provides various avenues for employees to provide feedback, and to put forward innovative ideas and suggestions for improvement

g) Barriers to participation in healthy workplace programs are identified and their removal is incorporated into the Healthy Workplace Action Plan

h) Barriers for employees seeking assistance with health and other job related issues have been identified and their removal is incorporated into the Healthy Workplace Action Plan

i) There are formal and informal mechanisms in place to recognize the contribution of employees and teams on an ongoing basis

Planning and Programs

a) Assessment is regularly conducted to identify physical and psychological health and safety hazards and risks, and to evaluate mental health and workplace culture

b) A committee oversees the development and execution of the Healthy Workplace Plan and a senior leader is engaged as the Sponsor of the Plan

c) The Healthy Workplace Plan has been developed and clearly links to the Strategic Plan and related operational and business plans. S.M.A.R.T. goals are based on current evaluations and needs assessments, addressing key elements of a healthy workplace and have been communicated across the organization

d) Key stakeholders have been consulted to assess physical and psychological health and safety risk factors and to identify healthy workplace issues

e) Assessment results are analyzed according to degrees of risk, and preventive measures are updated accordingly or new preventive measures are implemented

f) The organization has identified and is tracking key indicators, e.g., human resources, health and safety, and Voice of the Employee data

g) Programs and initiatives for a healthy workplace have been designed and implemented based on identified needs and address risks identified

h) A plan for evaluation, e.g., outcomes, impact, and cost-benefit of the healthy workplace plan and related programs and initiatives has been established and implemented

i) The organization uses a variety of methods to promote physical and psychological health and safety in the workplace and communicate the results of the evaluation processes, action plans and related goals

Process and Risk

a) Organizational structure, work processes and job design are assessed for their impact on employee physical and psychological health and safety, and issues are analyzed, addressed effectively, documented and communicated

b) There is a process to manage workload and expectations so that employee tasks and responsibilities can be accomplished successfully within the time generally available during normal working hours. Issues affecting employees’ workload have been assessed for the impact on employee health and safety; and strategies have been put in place to address the issues

c) Employee teams are engaged and help to choose and/or create solutions for identified physical and psychological health and safety risks

d) As organizational changes occur, new policies and programs are introduced and process changes are made, as part of a change management program

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