Description: OPS_BLK_ENG






30 July 2012



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service



2012 MEMBER engagement SURVEY





That the Ottawa Police Services Board receive this report for information.




The Ottawa Police Service has regularly surveyed members on a variety of workplace issues since amalgamation (1995, 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2009).  The 2012 Member Engagement Survey is the sixth such survey and is designed to obtain members’ feedback on a range of issues such as job satisfaction, work/life balance, work relationships, resources to do their job, supervision, senior management, skills and professional development, and perceptions of operational performance and service to the community.  The findings serve to identify areas where the Service is doing well in supporting its members, along with areas for improvement.  The results are a key input to the 2013-2015 Business Plan.




The 2012 Member Survey retains many of the benchmark questions from previous surveys to allow for comparative analysis and to identify trends, while updating others to ensure a relevant measurement of overall organizational health.  For the first time, the survey is focused on measuring member engagement as opposed to member satisfaction. 


To understand the level of ‘engagement’, Talent Map, an Ottawa-based firm specializing in employee engagement research, was retained to conduct, analyze, and report the findings of the online survey of Ottawa Police members.  Using Talent Map’s Engagement Model, the survey was designed to determine:



Thirteen workplace and culture dimensions were examined (see Figure 1), to assess their degree of influence on member engagement.  Three dimensions (Job Mobility, Safety, and Ethics) were created specifically to recognize the nature of the Ottawa Police environment.


Figure 1: Member Survey Dimensions



New questions were introduced on the following areas:


·        Career development and the tenure process;

·        Work/life balance;

·        Information-sharing and communication;

·        Senior leadership; and


·        Ethics.



In drafting the survey, input was also sought from senior members of the Resourcing and Development Directorate (RDD), along with the Senior Officers’ Association and the Ottawa Police Association.


Between 14 March and 03 April 2012, a total of 1,389 members participated in the on-line survey via a secure external website to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of member responses.  The resulting 72 percent response rate is significantly higher than the previous highest rate (53% in 2006).  By industry convention, the results are considered accurate to within ±1.75 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.  The demographics of respondents are representative of the current profile of Ottawa Police members. 


Overall, the 2012 survey results indicate that most members are satisfied in terms of their compensation, work environment, and relationships with immediate supervisors.  On the other hand, the survey shows that work needs to be done in terms of how connected members feel with: the OPS’s organizational vision; the level of information and communication being shared in the organization; and job mobility, including promotions, transfers and the Tenure Program. 


Our members told us…


·        Sixty one percent (61%) of OPS members hold favourable views on overall engagement in their job (e.g. whether they’re proud to work for OPS, inspired to do their best, provided with a sense of personal accomplishment, etc) – see Figure 2.  This compares to a Talent Map benchmark[1] average of 67 percent.


Figure 2: OPS Overall Engagement Scores, 2012


·        Eleven percent of OPS members are highly engaged, 26 percent are engaged, 43 percent are sometimes engaged, and 20 percent are disengaged compared to the respective Talent Map benchmark proportions of 18 percent, 30 percent, 36 percent, and 16 percent.


Some of the member survey dimensions are particularly important for OPS...


·        Drivers of Engagement are those workplace dimensions that have the strongest statistical impact and influence on engagement.  Based on the member responses, the OPS’ Engagement drivers are, in order of influence – (1) Professional Growth; (2) Organizational Vision; (3) Senior Leadership; followed closely by (4) Ethics.


·        OPS shows strength in: Compensation (77%), Work Environment (75%) and Immediate Supervisor (71%).


·        On the other hand, OPS shows weakness in: Organizational Vision (36%), Information & Communication (36%) and Job Mobility (11%).


·        The results indicate a concern among the OPS members regarding Job Mobility; although this is consistent with the lower scores on job mobility in previous OPS surveys.


The findings indicate opportunities in the following areas…


·        Opportunity to improve engagement in Corporate Support and Patrol Directorate and similarly, focus engagement efforts at the Constable and Special Constable ranks.


o   Constables score very low on two of the three key drivers (Organizational Vision and Senior Leadership).  Special Constables score considerably lower than other groups on Safety and Professional Growth.


o   Corporate Support has lower percentages of favourable responses compared to the overall organization on almost all dimensions.


o   Given the large size of the Patrol group, OPS would benefit and generate a greater overall impact for the organization by focusing its engagement improvement efforts towards this group.


·        Organizational vision is a strong driver of engagement and a low performing dimension.  There is an opportunity to communicate OPS vision throughout the entire organization, and reconnect the vision to members’ daily work activities.




The 2012 Member Survey forms part of the Ottawa Police Service’s ongoing performance monitoring to comply with Provincial Adequacy Standards for Business Planning and Ottawa Police Services Board Policy AI-001, Framework for Business Planning. 




Internal consultation with members on their views and concerns is a key input to the 2012 Environmental Scan and will assist the Board and Police Service to identify the strategic priorities for the 2013-2015 Business Plan.  Additional internal and community consultation will occur as part of the business planning process.




There are no immediate financial impacts or implications from the results of the member survey. 




The member survey is a valuable means of measuring employee engagement and identifying important workplace issues.  It is an important tool for the Ottawa Police to improve career and professional development, work/life balance, policies, procedures, accountability, and service to the community.


With a high response rate of 72 percent, members have demonstrated that they care, are committed to working to improve the organization, and eager to inform decision-making within the Ottawa Police.


The Ottawa Police has already taken steps to address issues of support and job satisfaction, most recently through:


·        Work with Special Constables on safety and training;

·        Evaluation of the Civilian Career Initiative, communication of outcomes, and next steps; and

·        Recent extension of “The Real You” Pilot Program to include another 100 members.


The Ottawa Police will continue to address members’ issues on an ongoing basis, implement change as necessary, and regularly monitor progress through future employee surveys and through ongoing internal consultations.  Further actions will be taking place, in order to address the issues raised, including but not limited to:


·        Sharing information related to the direction of the Ottawa Police Service;

·        Continuing to listen to and engage with members;

·        Conducting an evaluation of the Tenure Program to determine required improvements;

·        Exploring the development of a peer support program for members;

·        Measuring the impact of actions taken to improve the level of engagement and satisfaction; and

·        Continuing to digest and analyze the results of the survey.


OPS is committed to an approach where everyone matters in this organization and where the work of our members is important and vital to our vision and mission, and service to the community.  A key part of that approach is clear and consistent communication and employee well-being. OPS wants to ensure that the members of this organization feel connected, are taken care of, and are supported.


Originally signed


Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police


Annex A  (Executive Summary: 2012 Member Survey)














This document contains information that reports on activities related to the Ottawa Police Business Plan.


[1] TM benchmark refers to aggregate survey results for their clients that employ over 1,000 people.  A variation of greater than ±5 percentage points is considered significant.