Now that the temperature is rising, we can enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces the municipality has to offer. A special thank you to all of the municipal workers who help keep our outdoor spaces beautiful for all to enjoy.
Now more than ever, organizations are realizing the health benefits for employees who prioritize self care. Investing in self care, whether that is being physically active, ensuring we are getting adequate sleep, setting boundaries or practicing gratitude helps us to develop skills in resiliency, no matter what life throws our way.
Our Health Safety & Wellness team provides employees the tools they need to avoid burnout, helping to create a culture of physical, mental and spiritual wellness.
Your Wellness Specialist has been busy over the past few months facilitating Lunch & Learn and team health sessions at various Business Units, performing health audits, coordinating relaxation massage clinics, and providing quick tips on Wellness Wednesdays.
Be a leader in wellness by championing healthier options among your colleagues. If you are interested in learning more about the services provided by our wellness expert or want to be a ‘wellness champion’, please contact Melanie Bower, Wellness Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On March 12, leaders from across the organization gathered for the HRM Leadership Summit. It was an opportunity to reward, recognize and appreciate our leaders for all that they do. Attendees heard from inspirational speakers, connected with colleagues and had fun. Yes, there was even Bollywood dancing.
As well, we are gearing up for the 2020 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), the largest multi-sporting event ever to be held in Halifax (K’jipuktuk) and Nova Scotia. Paul Forrest, Project Manager, 2020 NAIG, shared some of the details on the municipality’s in-kind support of this marquee event which will see 5,000 athletes descend on our city from July 19 to 26, 2020.
Employees and community members came together throughout February to participate in this year’s African Heritage Month (AHM) activities which included our inaugural flag raising, employee tours of Africville Museum and the Black Cultural Centre, lunch & learns, a panel discussion and more.
Spring is a time of rejuvenation and that same renewal is happening across our organization and community. See how our spaces have been made over to better serve employees and our citizens.
Solid Waste Resources, now located at Acadia Centre in Lower Sackville
Recently, the Alderney Gate Pedway celebrated its grand reopening. The revitalized space serves as a hub for gathering and better connects adjoining facilities – creating a vibrant and diverse space for all to enjoy.
It is clear by these transformations, and many others, that the work we do each day demonstrates performance excellence and has a lasting effect on how our citizens experience our communities.
Every day, employees across our organization display excellence in their work. From improving products, services or processes, our employees are always delivering on their jobs with an eye to continuous improvement. Whether incremental improvements over time, or breakthrough advances all at once, there is no wrong way to approach process improvement.
A before photo of
one of the service bays at Halifax Transit’s Ragged Lake Depot.
Note the mix of 32-watt F32T8 fluorescents.
An after photo of
the same bay re-lamped with our 10-watt 5000K Philips InstantFITs.
A dramatic improvement!
As I continue to make my way around the municipality, I am continually impressed with our employees and the remarkable work they do. I want to highlight our Parks & Recreation team who are creating meaningful experiences and welcoming spaces across our municipality. Katelyn Mcleod, a Youth Advocate Worker based out of the Youth Centre in Sackville, is doing incredible work and their new space, The Den, shows just how successful we are when we work with partner organizations on a common goal. The Den officially opened this past fall and is a safe and inclusive space for youth located in the Acadia Centre.
Performance excellence. Continuous improvement. Customer service. These terms are likely more familiar to you now than they were just a year ago. But they’re much more than just topics to discuss at team meetings. They’re at the core of our journey to becoming a public-sector organization that strives for excellence in all that we do.
Of course, performance excellence is not new. Teams of dedicated employees across our organization have been demonstrating it in their daily activities long before we formalized it as a corporate priority. Performance excellence is now a systematic and strategic way for us all to deliver on our municipal priorities of Service Delivery and Service Excellence, by providing efficient, effective and sustainable delivery of services that respond to our customers’ needs, while simultaneously lowering delivery costs.
From the roads and rides we share, to the public spaces and culture we enjoy, and the essential services we access – municipal programs and services impact the lives of our customers, arguably more than any other level of government.
For this reason, municipalities must strive for continuous improvement with a goal of excellence and we must recognize providing exceptional customer service as both a priority and a personal responsibility.
A team of staff from across the organization have developed a Corporate Customer Service Strategy (CCSS) – our roadmap to understanding and meeting customers’ needs, and to building a performance excellence culture within our organization. It focuses on providing easy, convenient service to citizens whether they choose to interact with us online, in person, by phone, or by correspondence.
To help bring the CCSS to life, we have developed Customer Service Guidelines, which highlight some of the tools available when interacting with our diverse customer base.
These documents underscore the importance of providing our customers with the service they need, when they need it. We must ensure that our customers are informed about the programs and services we offer, and we must measure the quality of their customer experience, so we can take appropriate steps to improve it as necessary.
In today’s environment, citizens and stakeholders expect quick, accurate and consistent answers from government agencies. No matter who your customer is, or what service you are providing, I encourage you to consider how you will use these resources to deliver high-value results for citizens and colleagues.
Today, Mayor Savage raised the Mi’kmaq Grand Council flag on behalf of the municipality to mark Treaty Day and the beginning of Mi’kmaq History Month. Treaty Day commemorations reaffirm the historic presence of the Mi’kmaw who have occupied the land for thousands of years.
Each year, our rich Mi’kmaq history and culture is celebrated through story, song, dance and more, all highlighting the foundational contributions of the Mi’kmaq people to Nova Scotia. It is also a time to reflect on our relationship with Mi’kmaq communities and come together in shared dialogue, reconciliation and celebration.
In October 2015, Halifax Regional Council passed a Statement of Reconciliation to support the municipality’s work with Mi’kmaq and Urban Indigenous communities. Since then, the municipality has established Urban Indigenous Services, part of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, which serves as a collaborative partner for business units on municipal programs, policies and service delivery for Urban Indigenous Peoples.
As well, the municipality will soon officially launch our new passenger ferry named in honour of Rita Joe, a Mi’kmaq poet and songwriter from Whycocomagh on Cape Breton Island. She is often referred to as the “poet laureate” of the Mi’kmaq people.
Legacy Spaces are designated spaces dedicated to providing accurate information regarding Indigenous history and our journey of reconciliation. Ours will serve as a symbol and reminder for employees and visitors of the important work each of us needs to do for the promises of our country to be fulfilled.
The establishment of this space and related initiatives help renew the municipality’s commitment to reconciliation and being an equitable workplace for Indigenous peoples.
Please join me in celebrating Mi’kmaq History Month as part of our efforts to strengthen our relationship with the Mi’kmaq people.
View select videos below created by the Mi'kmaq History Month Committee in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Mi'kmaq History Month.