Developing Your Potential

The best person to chart your career path is you. But we don’t expect you to go it alone. We have developed practical strategies to support your learning and development. As a learning organization, we are continually learning from experience and generating ideas and creating new and better strategies to support a dynamic workforce delivering quality services.

We encourage learning and recognize performance.

There is no limit to learning. We offer exceptional learning opportunities, programs, courses and special events. In addition to formal training, conferences and workshops, there are many informal learning opportunities on the job.

Our employees and their managers develop Performance Development Plans that outline the specific tasks, projects or assignments that the employee will be accountable for in the year ahead. In addition to performance commitments, employees discuss their career aspirations with their manager – where they want to go and how to get there – and work on an individualized Learning Development Plan. Employees are expected to set learning goals, use the references and tools available to them from OPS and other sources, and to seek advice and coaching from their colleagues in addition to their managers. Learning and development opportunities can be customized to build on strengths and fill in gaps in an employee’s career profile.

The OPS intranet includes a wealth of information, tools and resources for OPS employees. Employees have access, in some cases 24/7, through electronic self-service to a variety of employee and business supports, including training opportunities.

We develop leaders from the ground up.

The OPS nurtures leadership development at all levels of the organization. Leadership is not about job title or status. It is about the role every member of the OPS team has in continually building the organization.

Our strategy for managing talent focuses on identifying, assessing, developing and deploying talent, ensuring that our employees receive the kind of developmental opportunities they need and that the OPS has – and continues to have – the right people in the right places at the right time.

The OPS has a strategy for developing talent for senior management positions. It focuses on building capacity among potential senior managers to deliver, transform, inspire and connect.

There are many opportunities to network.

Given the size of the OPS and the complexity of public issues, networking with colleagues is a way of life. There are numerous “community of practice” groups in the OPS, many of which started as informal get-togethers among colleagues and developed into more formal organizations that are now part of the organizational fabric of the public service.

Mentoring, with experienced people acting as role models and giving advice to less experienced colleagues, has a long tradition in the OPS. You may find a mentor in your own office or working with others on an interministerial project or helping to organize an OPS event.

OPS Interministerial Councils bring together managers from different ministries to tackle issues that require cooperative action. It is a network of networks, from the local to the regional to the provincial level. The councils have led the way in promoting collaboration among ministries and with other levels of government. There are more than 600 OPS managers participating in interministerial activities.

Tomorrow’s Ontario Public Service, or TOPS, is a forum of OPS professionals from across the province that has over 3,500 members. Its mandate is Link, Lead and Learn. TOPS supports this mandate by offering events, programs and volunteer opportunities for members to expand their professional network, discover their capacity to lead, and learn how to steer their career in the OPS.

You can find exciting developmental challenges here.

We look at individual potential, as well as current skills and experience. We help employees seek out the kinds of assignments that will help them develop their potential.

OPS employees who want new work experiences don’t have to leave the public service. There are always special projects and new challenges in the OPS. We offer many opportunities, both permanent and temporary across Ontario. Expand your horizons.

Employee well-being is important to us.

We are committed to promoting a healthy, safe and respectful workplace.

Our health and wellness initiatives focus on promoting healthy living, providing a safe and healthy workplace, and encouraging a supportive work culture.

One example is our Employee Assistance Program that offers free and confidential support to all employees on a range of issues, 24 hours a day.

We are also committed to hearing what our employees think – it is important to us. We survey OPS employees regularly on job satisfaction, commitment to the organization and the overall OPS work environment, and respond to the results.

We provide opportunities to get involved and support the community.

The OPS has its own Federated Health Campaign and also actively supports the United Way with a series of fundraising events and initiatives.

The Spirit program encourages and recognizes OPS employees who volunteer outside work hours. Every year, Spirit chooses a signature campaign that offers volunteer opportunities for all members of the OPS. Some examples from recent years are support for literacy, Tsunami relief and Habitat build.

We value and recognize our people.

The OPS recognizes employee efforts. We have an employee recognition program to foster a culture of recognition. Employee contributions are recognized in annual awards both formal and informal. Most ministries also have their own recognition programs, like the Emerald awards in the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and the Edge awards in the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Every year, the OPS recognizes and celebrates people from across the organization who have completed successful initiatives and projects. Here are some recent examples.

Amethyst Awards
The 2006 Amethyst Awards recognized Linda D. Lane in the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services for her contribution to the well-being of the OPS as a whole. Linda wanted to inspire women in the OPS to achieve their career and personal goals. On her own time, she started the Women of Influence and Inspiration Seminars across the OPS.

Other Amethyst Awards in 2006 recognized how dedicated staff in the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks are working to protect the environment – Geoffrey Carpentier for work in pesticides and waste management; Jack A. Donnan for work on economics and the environment; Catherine Grant for air quality regulation; and Vince Taguchi for testing for toxic chemicals in water.

Showcase Ontario Awards of Excellence
The 2006 information technology educational conference, exhibition and award event recognized some of our province's most innovative projects and the exceptional OPS people behind them. For example in the ‘Business Value and Results through Technology’ category, a team at Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry won an award for improving fire management in northwestern Ontario with the use of satellite technology. In this same category, the top honours was awarded to the in-house developed technology that is supporting the ‘apply online’ function behind this website.

Public Sector Quality Fair
The 2006 event showcased service quality excellence within Ontario in the federal, provincial, municipal and broader public sector. The Northern Recruitment Pilot was recognized for breaking new ground in the delivery of recruitment services across the OPS. For the first time ever, one-window access and delivery of recruitment services was provided to all OPS managers across Northern Ontario.

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