CREATING OUR FUTURE TOGETHER BCIT PEOPLE VISION 2022
The British Columbia Institute of Technology acknowledges that our campuses are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Nations of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam).
Introducing the BCIT People Vision We are delighted to introduce BCIT’s first People Vision (the Vision), a plan that describes our goals and priorities in respect of our people. Employees share a strong sense of pride in and ambition for BCIT, and the People Vision creates a framework for our efforts to support their development, create an inspiring workplace, and honour their commitment to the Institute. BCIT started work on the Vision in late 2019, progressively widening our scope of engagement through 2020 and the first half of 2021. Led by BCIT Human Resources and People Development (HR), the process was highly reflective, with inputs ranging from employee surveys, to a review of our people practices, to iterative discussions with different stakeholders from across the organization. The result is a People Vision, rather than an HR plan, and this is an important distinction. In many ways, the Vision is an employeecentred representation of the BCIT Strategic Plan. And just as its development was collaborative and consultative, successful implementation of the People Vision is dependent on continued partnership across the organization. We have heard through this exercise that our employees share a passion for our students, and the People Vision reflects this commitment to learning and service excellence. They also share a passion for our promise to our partners and to the province—notably connectedness and innovation—and these are important themes in the Vision. At the same time, we know that there are issues to address in how our employees experience BCIT. There is a felt need for continued progress in addressing these challenges and for greater consistency and agility: a journey to which our leaders are fully committed. The Vision has been significantly shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, which began just a few months into the development process. Conversations were sparked not only by the anxieties and opportunities engendered by the crisis, but also by resolute optimism and hope for the future. Elements such as employee wellness, inclusion, and flexibility are prominent as a result, and there is a general recognition that individuals are expecting—and needing—more from their employers as they contemplate their professional and personal lives at this unique juncture in history. We look forward to working with our employees to help advance the Vision as we create our future together. Our commitment to being a people-focused organization has never mattered more.
Kathy Kinloch Ana Lopez President Vice-President Human Resources & People Development
Focus on People BCIT’s Strategic Plan articulates three commitments that represent our primary areas of work and our responsibilities to our most important stakeholders: our learners, our employees, and our partners. We are intent on being a people-focused organization that delivers future-proof applied education, amplifying our impact through globally relevant connections. Putting people at the core of everything we do is paramount. Our mandate is to educate people, and the people who work at BCIT are what make us distinct. In a complex and uncertain world, we must ensure that BCIT is a place in which all people are developing while feeling valued, supported, and connected. We aspire to be a true learning organization. The creation of BCIT’s first People Vision derives from this commitment. Our students are, rightly, the focus of multiple ongoing initiatives, notably those reflected in the Education, Strategic Enrolment Management, and Internationalization plans. The Vision seeks to articulate our objectives and priorities in empowering our employees. This is a strong signal to those who work at BCIT, and something that we believe will further differentiate BCIT as an employer of choice.
OUR VISION Empowering people
Inspiring global progress
OUR MISSION Partnering learners and industry for success through workforce development
OUR VALUES Excellence
OUR COMMITMENTS PEOPLE-FOCUSED ORGANIZATION
FUTURE-PROOF APPLIED EDUCATION
GLOBALLY RELEVANT CONNECTIONS
Learner support and services
Renewal in flexible studies
Indigenous perspective and priorities
Interdisciplinary and integrative learning
New models of collaboration
Process and system redesign
Augmented and sustainable environments
Open and representative community
The connection with BCIT’s Strategic Plan is strongest in four of our nine organizational initiatives, all of which are integral to the Vision: employee development, process and system redesign, Indigenous perspectives and priorities, and open and representative community. We have made positive strides in leadership development and must continue to invest in the growth of all our people; leaders across BCIT will play a key role in helping advance the Vision. Our ongoing campaign to strengthen processes and systems, many of which impact the effectiveness and experience of our employees, is a key enabler of the Vision, reinforcing the urgency of digital transformation. And our work in the areas of diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and Indigenization provides important touchstones for the Vision, highlighting principles and objectives that employees can expect BCIT to prioritize in the workplace. The Vision is a long-awaited component of BCIT’s strategic planning system. We have taken a considered approach to its creation, and it is one of the last critical pieces to fall into place. The Vision is not only highly aligned with and supportive of other organizational plans, but our approach to its development and implementation also reflects our experience in these other endeavours. The Vision provides an integral platform for all our efforts, both strategic and operational, to fulfill BCIT’s vision of empowering people, shaping BC, and inspiring global progress.
BCIT Values Our values guide our behaviour—our approaches to teaching and learning and our internal and external interactions. Ultimately, our values must inform how we work and how we make decisions. The BCIT Values and People Vision are inextricably linked. At BCIT, we strive to:
ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE We strive to achieve excellence in everything we do and to accomplish real and measurable results.
EMBRACE INNOVATION We embrace innovation, ignited by imagination and creativity, to improve our approaches, opportunities, and outcomes.
CHAMPION DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION We champion diversity of experiences, ideas, cultures, and perspectives, fostering a community permeated with equality and inclusivity.
PURSUE COLLABORATION We believe in the power of collaboration to amplify our efforts.
ENGAGE WITH RESPECT We work from a position of respect for others’ expertise, insights, and inherent worth, and we reflect a respect for future generations in our passion for sustainability.
Our Starting Point Conversations through the planning process confirmed that our employees are proud to work at BCIT and are both ambitious and excited about its future. Our outstanding learner outcomes and industry relationships are meaningful and tangible to employees. Our unique provincial polytechnic mandate and our potential for impact, in British Columbia and worldwide, are powerful motivators. But our employees face challenges. In addition to legacy processes and systems, there are structural and cultural barriers to collaboration and efficiency that impede our capacity for action. In many ways, BCIT has grown faster than the organization has evolved, and there are inconsistencies in roles and accountabilities as a result, as well as skills gaps. We have extraordinary people, but we are highly dependent on those who contribute unique expertise, and our organizational population is aging. At the same time, we know that regional and sector-specific competition for talent is acute. The repositioning of HR as a strategic partner is well underway, providing people and managers across the Institute with the resources and advice to navigate these complexities and help employees take advantage of the opportunities associated with working at BCIT. In addition to leadership development, key areas of progress championed by HR include organizational values and employee wellness, collectively strengthening the capacity of our people. BCIT’s successful pivot in the spring of 2020 to primarily remote teaching and working demonstrated the agility and resilience of our employees. Notwithstanding the extraordinary personal challenges faced by so many, the pandemic served to imbue our people with a shared sense of alignment and accomplishment. It also helped establish a new level of trust throughout the organization, with employees demonstrating their capacity to work productively and collaboratively, despite the turbulence around them. Employees overwhelmingly cite the frequency and openness of communications from BCIT leadership as critical to their work experience and wellness during this period. The Vision creates a mechanism through which we can both pay tribute to our people and channel our efforts to promote their success as we together strive to position BCIT for sustained success in a reshaped world. It applies equally to our full-time and part-time studies faculty and staff. The time is now for people across the Institute to come together to put in place the practices and supports that will chart the future of work at BCIT, helping make the experience of employees a defining feature of BCIT, alongside that of our learners and partners.
Our Objectives Three objectives emerged naturally as we contemplated the development of a People Vision. These themes are seen as foundational, but also aspirational, creating the focal points for the BCIT People Vision.
GROWTH We aspire to support the personal and professional development of our employees, at the same time strengthening our organizational capacity for impact.
EFFECTIVENESS We aspire to create a workplace that promotes and facilitates momentum, collaboration, and efficiency in all that we do.
CULTURE We aspire to foster a collegial and positive environment that supports our employees in doing and being their best, knowing that their supervisors and peers have their backs. The objectives are mutually reinforcing, with progress in each likely to strengthen the other two elements. It is important that BCIT retain focus on all three as we move forward in operationalizing the Vision.
Our People Proposition and Core Areas Guided by these objectives, we articulated BCIT’s first people proposition, capturing our collective commitment to supporting our people as they, in turn, support BCIT. The proposition articulates, for both current and prospective employees, our vision for their relationship with BCIT. To progress this proposition and the objectives of the People Vision, BCIT needs to sharpen its focus on five interdependent core areas that are fundamental to our employees and our commitment to being a people-first organization. Each of these represents a vital area of ongoing and planned activity, and there are synergies between them that reinforce the importance of an integrated approach.
WELLNESS Support for our people in prioritizing their own health by leading a balanced lifestyle, underpinned by the creation of a workplace where employees can thrive. EMPOWERMENT Processes and competencies that enable employees to work productively and confidently in ways that advance the mission of BCIT. ACCOUNTABILITY S ystems that motivate and support responsibility and initiative in how employees fulfill their current roles and prepare themselves for future roles. TALENT Practices that help BCIT attract, develop, promote, and retain employees, enabling both personal development and organizational capacity building. CONNECTEDNESS Mechanisms that leverage individual employee contributions in ways that yield more than the sum of the parts, inspiring a shared sense of community and purpose. 8
Our Strategies We developed three people strategies to guide our efforts in each of these five core areas. Like our organizational efforts around Indigenization and sustainability, the People Vision is not timebound. These strategies represent areas of focus that are expected to persist and frame our work for several years. Consistent with implementation of BCIT’s Strategic Plan, these will be translated annually into a set of coordinated actions that reflect the current priorities and context, beginning in fiscal year 2023.
mployee resilience. We will sustain our efforts to provide employees with relevant and accessible ∆ Eeducation and resources to support their health and resilience, refining these supports as employee needs change, not least with the return to a new normal as COVID-19 recedes.
espect, diversity, and inclusion. We will extend and deepen our programming to foster a ∆ Rcommunity that embraces respect, diversity, and inclusion, building on experience within and beyond BCIT, and promoting Indigenous reconciliation and anti-racism as crucial aims in this work.
mbedded BCIT Values. We will continue to reinforce and celebrate the BCIT Values, including ∆ Erespect, diversity, and inclusion, with sustained attention to embedding them in our workplace and holding ourselves accountable to these principles in our decisions and actions.
roject and change management. We will invest in project and change management capacity ∆ Pthrough training and recruitment. The importance of these capabilities has only been reinforced through implementation of the Strategic Plan and associated organizational transformation.
enewal and innovation. We will enhance training and other resources to build skills and support ∆ Rinnovation. This is critical given the rapid pace of change in today’s world, applying both to faculty in their teaching practices and to all employees in how we reflect, operate, and interact.
ew ways of working. We will take advantage of the opportunity created by the pandemic for ∆ Nthoughtful change in how we work. We will leverage technology and process renewal to increase our effectiveness and embrace flexible models as a complement to our campus-based workplace.
decision processes. We will evolve and apply more consistently data-based, streamlined, ∆ Eandffective automated decision processes that equip our employees with timely information and clear lines of responsibility, both critical to them performing their roles successfully and efficiently.
competencies. Building on the development of leadership competencies and initiation ∆ Lofeadership a more holistic assessment of our leaders, we will work to embed these standards in the hiring, development, and assessment of all those who assume or aspire to leadership positions at BCIT.
development. We will promote and support greater role clarity and consistency ∆ Pinerformance performance development practices, working with our employees to establish individual development plans and ensure that they are able to access relevant mentoring and training.
earch and recruitment excellence. We will continue to refine and share best practices associated ∆ Swith search and recruitment, seeking to enhance our capacity to consistently attract and hire the people who will thrive at BCIT and contribute to our strategic and operational endeavours.
oherent onboarding. We will strengthen our onboarding approach and resources to provide new ∆ Cemployees with the support in finding their way at BCIT in a mode relevant to their context and to solicit their early feedback in order that we may course correct if needed.
planning. We will ensure that our employees understand career development options ∆ Watorkforce BCIT and, in parallel, we will adopt a more systematic, coordinated, and data-based approach to workforce planning to inform the allocation of our most important resource: our people.
and service. We will create structures and systems that foster partnerships and ∆ Ca ollaboration strong service orientation. We will be guided by the needs of others, within and beyond BCIT, and know that we can rely on other employees to support and celebrate our efforts.
ross-functional working. We will mobilize cross-functional teams where appropriate to progress ∆ Cstrategic priorities. Working effectively across BCIT is critical if we are to leverage our collective strengths and address the complex challenges and opportunities around us.
wo-way communication. We will establish and maintain channels that promote conversations ∆ Tacross BCIT, knowing that connections with each other and our leaders, together with information transparency, are essential to an engaged culture and community.
Advancing the People Vision The BCIT Senior Team, Deans, and Board of Governors recognize the importance of the People Vision, especially at this juncture in institutional and global history. It makes visible our intentional and integrated investment in the people of BCIT. It also signals and supports the ongoing professionalization of people practices that has been underway at BCIT under the auspices of the Strategic Plan. The Vision will be a roadmap for the Institute in the decisions we make and actions we take in respect of our employees. While the Vision is championed by HR, it will only take hold through collaboration and a concerted paninstitutional effort. The various parties have different roles to play, consistent with HR’s commitment to equipping and positioning itself as a strategic partner to the organization. HR contributes domain expertise, knowledge management in respect of people processes, and advice to those in the organization with people responsibilities. Schools and the service units with which they partner have the accountability for most people decisions and actions, accessing support from HR when appropriate. In addition to contributing different skills, HR generally takes the organizational view in respect of people matters, and Schools and service units, their respective local perspectives. HR initiates and incubates BCIT-wide efforts to advance growth, effectiveness, and culture. Schools and service units translate people processes and programs into practice, also providing constructive input and improvement ideas. Working together, they provide employees with holistic and contextualized support, and they will ensure progress across the five core areas of the Vision. In the shorter term, areas of organizational focus will include wellness and anti-racism, in addition to support for employees as they return to our campuses and new ways of working are developed and normalized. Employee communications and community building will be a priority, together with the establishment of the Polytechnic Academy to engage our faculty in the professional development that is crucial for both their growth and the excellence of our student experience. We have established a dedicated People Vision Team to guide the efforts of BCIT in this domain. A microcosm of our approach, each of the core areas has co-leads with relevant expertise and experience, with the team together representing the academy, the President’s Office, IT Services, and Marketing and Communications, as well as HR. We are also creating a senior advisory group from across BCIT campuses and functions to support implementation. These individuals will provide input and counsel from their positions and perspectives at BCIT, and they will help champion the Vision and ensure alignment and coordination throughout the organization.
Our Accountability We are taking an integrated and intentional approach to implementation, based on organizational experience from the advancement of the BCIT Strategic Plan. In parallel with the budgeting and strategic planning cycles, each year we will develop a People Vision action program. The hopes and expectations of employees are constantly evolving, as are the priorities of BCIT, the external environment, and the state of practice in human resources. In resetting the action program annually, we will retain the flexibility to shift our attention to areas of new or heightened need, as well as take stock of progress and retune as appropriate. We will adopt a formal approach to program management, working through the People Vision Team to align resource allocation with priorities, to support implementation with coordinated community communications, and to monitor progress in the actions agreed on for the year. In addition to keeping track of how well we are doing against our action program, we are intent on more fundamental evaluation. We will assess and manage our performance through a scorecard comprised of key indicators that represent the five core areas of the Vision. It will take time before these metrics stabilize and, in some cases, we may need to rely upon proxies in the interim. Signalling both the importance of this work and our commitment to accountability, these will likely include employee perspectives on the workplace and their career opportunities at BCIT, as well as measures such as employee retention and the proportion of positions filled by internal candidates. The review and renewal of the employee engagement survey to align with the Vision is an important step in this process, as feedback from our people is crucial if we are to succeed fully in advancing this Vision—and respond to changing employee needs as appropriate. The People Vision has been informed meaningfully by the lived experience of our employees as they navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It creates an important platform for personal and institutional resilience and recovery. As we look ahead to a world reshaped by the health and social crises of 2020–2021, we are optimistic and excited about our potential at BCIT to create our future together.