Leadership Voices

Responding to the Organizational Climate Survey

President Maggie Matear


Around this time last year, I presented the results of the 2023 Selkirk College Organizational Climate Survey (OCS) during a town hall. Many of you had taken the time to share your thoughts in an anonymous survey that was analyzed by the research team at Selkirk Innovates.

The goal of the OCS was to see how we’re doing in terms of creating a healthy and positive workplace culture. Thanks to the great participation rate, the results are statistically significant. That means they provide us with a credible baseline from which we can measure our progress toward being a truly excellent place to work. We’re committed to offering the survey every two years so we can continue to learn and track how we’re doing.

I hope you’ll agree we’re making headway on some of your suggestions. I’ve highlighted five of them here and described how we’re addressing them.

Restoring a Sense of Community Post-COVID-19

It can be challenging to cultivate a sense of community when we’re spread across nine locations! We’ve been evaluating and sometimes reinventing college-wide events—the Employee Welcome Back event, the Retirement & Recognition Dinner, the Employee Holiday Gathering, etc.—to make them more relevant to you. This is a work in progress and we’re always open to suggestions. Please don’t hesitate to share ideas with me or anyone on the Leadership Team.

Improving Communications

We now have a weekly employee newsletter with information on new projects, success stories, upcoming events, opportunities for input on policy and planning, a regular blog from leaders and much more. Please find a few minutes to skim through this every week—it will help you get better connected!

We’ve also started creating dedicated web pages for college committees where you can see the purpose, goals and membership of committees (like Space Utilization, and Strategic Planning), as well as updates where appropriate.

Enhancing Consultation and Feedback Loops

We have a formal process for policy review—both academic and administrative—that provides extensive consultation opportunities. This means we’ll be better prepared for the implications of policies once they’re enacted. We offered more than a dozen sessions for strategic plan input, as well as an online survey. And we’ve committed to doing the OCS every two years—the next one will be in early 2025.

Increasing Transparency in Decision-Making

This is an important part of a good workplace culture. Transparent decision-making occurs when everyone is aware of how a decision was made, and of the rationale for the decision.

We’ve tried to increase this by including information about decisions in the weekly newsletter; during meetings of schools, divisions and supervisor groups; and by creating new web pages for standing committees (such as Strategic Planning and Space Utilization).

Increasing Focus on Diversity so Everyone Feels Welcome and Included

Working with the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED) Advisory Committee, we’ve developed an accountability framework for leadership that will help monitor and track commitments.

We plan to share this with you at regular intervals so everyone can see not only how we’re doing but also how they themselves have a role in helping us reach our EDI goals.

A Strong, Sustainable and Equitable Future for Selkirk College

I’m celebrating my second anniversary here at Selkirk College this month—I can’t tell you where the time has gone! But I can say this is the most amazing place I’ve ever worked. Every day, I get to come in and work with incredibly smart, interesting, dedicated people. Every day, I get to see students grow and flourish and move one step closer to their goals.

I feel so fortunate to be part of Selkirk College, and together with you, I am committed to making our organization and its culture even more strong, equitable and sustainable.