Legislative Assembly of B.C. Workplace Review

Download the Final Report here.

Information and Backgrounder

Who is conducting the Review: 

The Legislative Assembly has engaged ADR Education – an independent consulting firm with no affiliation or pre-existing relationship with the Legislative Assembly – to conduct a Workplace Review. This process was initiated by the Legislative Assembly Management Committee in response to a recommendation from the Speaker’s report (released in January 2019) and is being overseen by a working group comprised of three MLAs Sonia Furstenau, Mary Polak and Janet Routledge. The five practitioners dedicated to this project are Jess McNamara, Jamie Chicanot, Andrew Fulton, Robert Pidgeon and Mallorie Nicholson (the review team). ADR Education is a national conflict engagement firm, with partners and associates located across the country. The partnership was formed in 2001 using the base of 15 years of cross Canada intervention and training delivery services. ADR Education specializes in the design and delivery of a wide array of collaborative conflict engagement processes. These include mediation, facilitated conversations, coaching, workplace reviews/assessments, group facilitation, and workplace restoration processes. More information about the Firm and its personnel can be found here – www.adreducation.ca

The Workplace Review – What it is all about: 

ADR Education has a unique approach to workplace health that accents the need for organizations to learn, grow and move forward from their organizational challenges while building on their strengths and positive attributes. We enter workplaces as invited resources to help identify themes of conflict and define them without attributing blame. Workplace Reviews are used to explore stakeholders’ lived experiences – their thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and impressions – of an organization’s environment and culture. The Review process is intended to seek ways to enhance organizational health and wellbeing through inclusive engagement and collaborative participation. 

The approach to this Workplace Review process is informed by a spirit of curiosity and a commitment to improve the Legislative Assembly workplace environment; it is an enquiry about the working environment of the Legislative Assembly from the perspectives of those who work in it; it is therefore NOT lead or directed by Legislative Assembly management and is NOT an investigation or fact-finding exercise of any kind. The reviewer’s job is not to critically determine the trustworthiness or factual accuracy of anything that is shared with them. On the contrary, the review team are focused on capturing and reflecting the subjective experiences, feelings, and opinions of members of the Legislative Assembly workplace community. Doing so enables the creation of workplace culture narratives which illuminate important organizational dynamics, challenges, and opportunities for positive change. 

The intention is to engage directly with stakeholders and to support the development of workplace culture narratives. In order to bring about positive change to any work environment, it is essential that the stakeholders be the influencers and agents of that change. Hence, we believe that Workplace Reviews should focus on discovering the ways people can inform and effectively participate in addressing issues in their workplace to enhance its health and functionality. This includes identifying and reflecting on challenges and opportunities while being encouraged to contribute to the creation of a more functional (i.e. healthier) future-state. The objective is therefore to create safe spaces to learn about organizational health, culture, conflict and functionality.

All information gathered through the Review process is private and will be kept strictly confidential. The review team will ensure that all information received during the review process is without attribution (i.e. names or other personal identifiers will not be present in the data pool, or any resultant reports etc.). Audio recording will not be used and transcripts will not be produced. This is in keeping with the primary objective of better understanding the workplace issues – rather than ascribing blame or judgment – so that they can be addressed and repaired. Any resultant reports will only identify frequently and consistently raised perspectives (themes) of those interviewed. Direct, un-attributable quotes will be included to help express and contextualize the themes. The quotes will represent similar statements that were heard frequently and are sufficiently general so as not to identify the person quoted. 

Given that this process is not an investigation nor is it intended to address specific workplace complaints, it is important to note that if anyone has specific complaints or concerns relating to bullying, harassment, discrimination and/or other alleged breaches of Legislative Assembly policy, they will be directed to Human Resources for advice and support. 

The Process – what you can expect: 

The Review will be carried out using a phased approach. As a participant-driven methodology, multiple opportunities for voluntary engagement will be provided along the way. 

Phase 1| Initial Design and Preliminary Scan 

  • Review policies, procedures and legislation relevant to the Legislative Assembly work environment. • Facilitate multiple departmental awareness/orientation meetings to explain the Workplace Review process and encourage participation from current staff. 
  • Review team collects data from participants through a variety of engagement methods. These may include voluntary one-on-one interviews (on and off site), focus groups (organized by department), email submissions made directly to a unique adreducation.ca email address, and online surveys (data and servers hosted in Canada). The objective is to achieve the widest possible participation among current staff, and an appropriate level of participation (scope) of former staff. 
  • This phase – emphasizing inclusion throughout – culminates in obtaining a comprehensive ‘data set’ (both qualitative and quantitative) that reflects the diversity of Legislative Assembly staff lived experiences. 
  • Qualitative (and limited quantitative) analysis is conducted to identify recurring themes in the data (i.e. identifying common issues, perceptions and organizational narratives). 
  • Themes are compared/considered against relevant policies and procedures. 
  • A Summary Report is drafted that describes organizational strengths, the main themes requiring action and improvement, and provides a set of recommendations for positive change with an accent on restorative and reconciliatory opportunities for the organization. 
  • Engage leaders, employee groups, and relevant committees in facilitated interviews and/or focus group style meetings to suggest areas of focus for the review, finalize procedural approach and scope, and obtain buy-in. 

Phase 2| Data Collection and Narrative Development 

Phase 3| Assessment and Reporting

  • Summary Report is published on the Legislative Assembly Management Committee website. 
  • Consideration of workplace restoration/reconciliation activities in response to what is discovered in the Review. 
  • Summary Report is published on the Legislative Assembly Management Committee website. 
  • Consideration of workplace restoration/reconciliation activities in response to what is discovered in the Review. 

Please feel free to contact the Review team at bclegreview@adreducation.ca with any questions or concerns about this process, or to learn more.

The presenter showed skill in weaving between theory and practice... from theoretical examples to sensitive hot topics.

ADR's approach is exceptional. They are able to take a complex subject and distill it into digestible components

Teaching methods are fantastic!

The team was effective. Our case was set for a two week trial but was mediated in one day!

I've seen a lot of manuals for this kind of thing in my time, and this one is by far the best.

Very accomplished presenters excited about what they are teaching...easy to be with and very approachable.

Excellent facilitating. Keeping on track, taking control at the appropriate times.

For our staff to see how the skills can be used specifically in their work makes them take notice.

Your ability to customize the course so it was directly relevant to the work we do made it all the more useful.