NAV CANADA Seeks to Provide the Best Employee Experience
NAV CANADA is focused on recruiting and retaining quality employees in the National Capital Region and across Canada for a competitive 21st century work environment.
“We try to provide the best candidate experience when candidates are thinking of joining NAV CANADA. And once they’re here, we do our best to provide them with the best employee experience,” says Lyne Wilson, Assistant Vice-President of talent management for the private company responsible for managing 18 million square kilometres of Canadian and related oceanic airspace.
NAV CANADA’s 5,200 employees provide critical air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services, and electronic aids to navigation.
For air traffic controllers, which comprise about 2,000 positions, decision making and problem solving skills are paramount. Also important: resiliency, adaptability, the ability to receive feedback including constructive criticism, and the ability to perform well in stressful simulations in preparation for a real emergency involving human lives.
When searching for leadership talent across Canada, NAV CANADA seeks employees who demonstrate leadership capabilities. The company has developed a leader success profile that identifies various capabilities they expect will define future leadership and succession, says Raymond Bohn, the firm’s Executive Vice-President of Human Resources and Communications & Public Affairs.
This profile assesses eight capabilities, including: the ability to lead and inspire others; execute results; influence stakeholders; collaborate and create synergies through working partnerships; set directional strategy; business judgment; ability to innovate; and the ability to build talent.
NAV CANADA also conducts an annual two-day CEO leadership forum with its managers, with one day devoted to organizational leadership, and the second to personal leadership. “It gives them the opportunity to reflect on who they are as leaders along with their values and what their leadership purpose is,” says Bohn.
Key NAV CANADA values include respect, excellence, customer service, and diversity & inclusion. Furthermore, “the people in our organization take our safety mandate very seriously in terms of all of the work that they do,” stresses Bohn.
The company also devotes time to heralding its employees. There is an annual recognition program called the ‘Points of Pride’ celebration, which recognizes their very best accomplishments.
NAV CANADA also offers a strong wellness program to support its emphasis on keeping employees healthy, including having an employee wellness coordinator in each of its main centres to provide healthy life coaching and support to employees, Wilson says.
More than 500 employees volunteer in various internal, peer support wellness programs to assist other employees in areas that include support and mentoring to employees through critical incident stress management, mental health related issues, and substance use.
“Employees really like that opportunity to provide support to others,” says Wilson.
NAV CANADA offers free fitness club access in buildings where a club is onsite, and discounts for certain fitness club memberships outside the premises.
Employees also participate in various community charitable events, sometimes representing NAV CANADA on company time.
“We are essentially a monopoly, so we’re cautious of not spending too much money on marketing our brand,” says Bohn. “But we do a lot within communities. We have donated a total of about $500,000 to a number of different charitable organizations this year.” Recently, NAV CANADA was a recipient of the Sanofi Canada Wellness Pioneer Award. It’s an award that highlights NAV CANADA’s leadership role in the wellness space, particularly their focus on mental health and peer programs.