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Home / case studies / Case study: How Stantec promotes employee development

Case study: How Stantec promotes employee development

Stantec is a leading international professional services company in the design and consulting industry, providing professional consulting, construction and construction management services. By fortifying its talent pool, Stantec gains an advantage over its competition, helps employees grow, develop, and reach their full potential, reduces voluntary turnover and increases employee engagement.

This case study is based on the 2017 Sustainability Report by Stantec published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Investing in its teams so as to provide fulfilling careers for its people, helping them set and then surpass their individual goals, is a top priority for Stantec.  Tweet This! In order to promote employee development Stantec took action to:
  • offer learning opportunities
  • provide mentoring
  • encourage employee participation in professional associations
  • provide performance feedback

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2017 Sustainability Report Stantec identified a range of material issues, such as economic performance, energy use, environmental compliance, occupational health and safety, non-discrimination, anti-corruption, customer privacy. Among these, promoting employee development stands out as a key material issue for Stantec.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Stantec engages with: 

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Employees

 

 

 

 

·      Employee engagement surveys

·      Focus groups

·      One-on-one meetings

·      Integrity Hotline (third party)

·      Post-acquisition surveys

·      Diversity and Inclusion councils

·      Career Development Performance Reviews

·      Employee Resource Groups

Clients

 

·      Regular meetings with account managers

·      Ad-hoc meetings and calls with account and project managers and senior leaders

·      Brown-bag get-togethers to share lessons
learned and best practices

·      Client surveys, questionnaires, and requests for proposals

·      Debriefs and bidder conferences for proposed projects

·      Informal discussions at industry and professional association events

·      Joint participation on technical committees

Investors

 

 

 

·      Annual General Meetings

·      Earnings conference calls

·      Investor conference presentations

·      Ad-hoc meetings and calls with Investor Relations and Finance teams

·      Investor disclosure requests

·      Industry research and publications

·      Informal discussions at industry and professional association events

Communities ·      Stantec in the Community Week (across the Company)

·      Locally driven engagement initiatives (varies by region and locale)

Subcontractors and business partners ·      Subcontractor prequalifications

·      Joint project work

·      Ad-hoc meetings with project managers and senior leaders

Vendors ·      Contract negotiations

·      Quarterly business reviews

·      Ad-hoc meetings with Procurement team

Regulators ·      Interactions during project work

·      Informal discussions at industry and professional association events

·      Joint participation on technical committees

Industry

 

·      Informal discussions at industry and professional association events

·      Joint participation on technical committees

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Stantec used various tools and processes to engage with key stakeholders, asking them to identify the sustainability topics that mattered most to them.

What actions were taken by Stantec to promote employee development?

In its 2017 Sustainability Report Stantec reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee development:

  • Offering learning opportunities
  • Stantec provides both internal (e.g. leadership development, project management, commercial acumen) and external training (e.g. job-specific skills, technical skills development, graduate programmes, conferences), also providing opportunities for employees to be coached or mentored. Additionally, Stantec offers knowledge communities and experiential learning like new initiatives, challenging work, and stretch assignments. Virtual learning options give employees flexibility when scheduling learning opportunities and minimise Stantec’s carbon footprint, by reducing business travel. Stantec’s Learning and Development team designs courses and workshops and delivers them to its global workforce. Accredited as an IACET (International Association for Continuing Education and Training) provider, Stantec offers high-quality instructor-led learning opportunities that follow industry-recognised instructional design principles. Content is measurable and based on learning outcomes and objectives, enabling Stantec to provide professional development hours or CEUs (continuing education units) to support employees’ professional licensing requirements. In 2017, Stantec provided integration-focused learning opportunities for nearly 1,400 Canada and US employees from recently acquired companies as well as leadership, technical, and business skills learning programmes in its Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America geographies.
  • Providing mentoring
  • Stantec believes in learning through exposure and has a mentor-protégé framework that connects mentors with employees at various stages in their development. The mentor-protégé relationship is designed to meet the protégé’s personal and professional needs, with the framework providing best practices, advice, and hands-on worksheets for the mentor and protégé to build a relationship that meets their individual goals.
  • Encouraging employee participation in professional associations
  • Stantec encourages employee participation in professional and technical associations and societies. Employees are encouraged to obtain their professional registrations, as soon as they are eligible. Financial assistance is often provided by Stantec for memberships and required exams and in many geographies, employees seeking degrees in relevant fields of study can get their tuition reimbursed.
  • Providing performance feedback
  • Stantec’s annual multidimensional performance appraisals help employees evaluate successes of the previous year and set clearly defined goals and objectives for the coming year. Through assessments, reviews, and coaching from supervisors, employees measure achievements, review their contributions, identify career development and training opportunities, and establish strategic performance objectives.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

2) Disclosure 404-3 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews

 

Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Employee training and education

Disclosure 404-3 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews corresponds to:

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



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By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI-Standards Certified and IEMA approved Course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Stantec, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Stantec: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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