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Employee Satisfaction
2003 Public Accountability Statement
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PAS page 50 image For our customers, employees are the face and heart of Scotiabank. That's why we're committed to ensuring the highest levels of satisfaction and engagement possible among our employees. In this way, we can ensure the highest level of customer service excellence delivered by engaged, insightful, committed employees.



Employee Satisfaction

To support and guide our employees in the delivery of superior customer service, Scotiabank focuses on five corporate values - integrity, respect, commitment, insight and spirit - incorporating them in all the programs and services that touch our employees.

In the following pages, we highlight some of the ways that we are building an organization in which all of our employees can flourish and take pride.

Workplace flexibility [ top ]

Since 1996, the Scotiabank Group has offered alternative work arrangements as a means of providing workplace flexibility. To help employees balance their work with other life responsibilities, Scotiabank offers job sharing, flexible work days, opportunities to work from home and part-time roles.

In 2003, 1,051 Scotiabankers took part in formal alternative work arrangements. Some took advantage of this to care for elderly parents, others returned to school. Some simply wanted to devote more time to their parenting responsibilities. To keep pace with ever-changing employee needs, we made revisions to our existing policy by creating broader program definitions and we streamlined the application and administrative procedures.

A safe and healthy workplace [ top ]

Scotiabank has always taken steps to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers. In 2003, we implemented a new Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) program that complies with recent federal government legislation. The OHS program introduces training, health and safety contacts and improved processes to address concerns and report incidents. Employees are encouraged to participate as health and safety representatives, as first aid attendants, or simply by helping to maintain a hazard-free workplace.

The past year clearly demonstrated the importance of health and safety programs in the workplace, particularly during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis in Canada and Asia. The Scotiabank Group actively communicated relevant information from public health authorities to employees. We accommodated any employees who received instructions from health-care providers to be in isolation, established an employee business travel moratorium to and from the Far East, and implemented business continuity plans to ensure that our critical business operations could continue to operate and serve clients.

A diverse workforce [ top ]

As the most international of the Canadian banks, headquartered in the world's most multicultural nation, Scotiabank has a long history of treating all people fairly, equitably and with respect. Our leadership position was endorsed by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, when it deemed Scotiabank as the first of the major banks to be fully compliant with the Employment Equity Act, following an extensive audit of all of the Bank's policies and practices last October. The commission chose to spotlight several of our programs in its own 2002 report, including our Aboriginal programs, EmployAbility Forum and Transition Assistance Program sponsorship.

We continue to use the Employment Relationships Plan to integrate diversity and other workplace initiatives into our business processes. This year, in adopting our balanced scorecard approach (see competitive compensation, page 54), we included diversity targets as one of the performance measures used to evaluate company leaders.

The annual Employment Relationships Trend Report continues to measure progress within each business line in terms of diversity, workplace flexibility and employee satisfaction. We are working towards automating this report so that managers will be able to check, in real time, on their division or business unit's progress towards set goals.

Women [ top ]

More than 72 per cent of Scotiabank's employees are women. To continue to remove barriers to career advancement, we assist them in developing skills and competencies to pursue senior management level positions through progressive policies and programs.

This year, the representation of women at the executive level (vice-presidents and above) is at 19.6 per cent, up 0.7% from 2002. While this represents an improvement, Scotiabank is committed to making greater progress in this area and to taking a leadership position among the top banks in Canada, against which it currently falls short. Backed by the full support of the organization's leadership, Scotiabank will initiate a comprehensive program that will aim to achieve a 22 per cent level of representation of women in senior leadership positions by the end of fiscal 2004.

Scotiabank has already launched Scotiawomen's Connection, a global network of senior women throughout the Scotiabank Group who are actively involved in sharing information on career advancement, mentoring others and reaching out to the community at large to support initiatives that help women become financially independent. Chapters of the women's network are also being launched in Scotiabank Jamaica and Scotiabank Inverlat in Mexico.

Female commercial bankers in central Ontario recently formed a network, woBANKERS, to help increase the number of women in commercial banking roles and to support greater networking, mentoring, training and development.

Scotia Capital is a founding member of Women in Capital Markets (WCM), which promotes the entry, involvement, development and advancement of women in capital markets. More than 30 Scotiabank Group employees are actively involved in WCM as mentors, personal and career development speakers and role models.

Other programs, including revisions to our recruitment program, a renewed focus on our career advancement program, and a robust mentoring program are being developed to help increase opportunities for women at Scotiabank.

Aboriginal peoples [ top ]

In 2003, 1.2 per cent of Scotiabank employees were Aboriginal. Scotiabank's long-standing Aboriginal recruitment and retention strategy has resulted in various outreach activities and support mechanisms for Aboriginal persons once they enter the Bank's workforce. For example, members of the Toronto Region Aboriginal Employee Circle meet several times a year to network.

To help integrate members of the Aboriginal community into our workforce, employees from many Executive Offices departments took part in an Aboriginal Inclusion in the Workplace workshop. Participants learned about ways to create a supportive work environment to recruit and retain Aboriginal people.

Scotiabank also actively sponsors key initiatives and organizations, such as the National Aboriginal Career Symposium, the University of Toronto Aboriginal Mentor in Residence Program, the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers, the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards and the Aboriginal Music Awards.

Persons with disabilities [ top ]

In 2003, 3.0 per cent of Scotiabank employees were people with disabilities - up 1.4 per cent from 2002. Scotiabank is collaborating with the Disabled Persons for Employment Equity Human Rights Group on action plans to recruit, develop and retain more employees with disabilities over a four-year period.

In 2003, Scotiabank hosted its first-ever EmployAbility Forum. The one-day forum provided Scotiabank recruiters with information on how to more effectively attract and retain disabled individuals. The event included case studies and role-playing to inform recruiters on how to deal with workplace accommodation and address attitudinal barriers to hiring persons with disabilities. Scotiabank intends to host similar forums in major urban centres across Canada.

Scotiabank recently accepted an award from the departments of National Defence and Veterans Affairs for its sponsorship of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). TAP members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have been medically discharged from service post their resumes to the TAP website. Scotiabank recruiters are able to access the database, which contains an inventory of more than 400 skilled, trained and knowledgeable job applicants with proven work records.

The Scotiabank Global Learning Office hosted a forum for its training and development vendors to educate them on accommodation and accessibility requirements of participants with disabilities. The forum included demonstrations of adaptive technologies used by Scotiabank employees. Vendors were encouraged to consider the needs of learners with disabilities so that they can participate fully in training and learning initiatives.

Visible minorities [ top ]

Today, one in five Scotiabank employees in Canada - just over 20 per cent - is a member of a visible minority group. We've used recruitment, promotion, compensation, training and career planning programs to successfully increase the number of visible minorities in management roles by 63 per cent in the last five years. In 2003, representation of visible minorities at the senior management level (vice-president and above) was 8.7 per cent.

The Bank continues to sponsor the Harry Jerome Awards and scholarships, which recognize the achievements of young African-Canadians. These young individuals are an important talent pool for recruitment purposes.

Examples of other 2003 diversity initiatives: [ top ]

  • Scotiabank continues to support the Ability Edge program, a not-for-profit initiative that offers paid internships with various organizations to post-secondary graduates with disabilities. In 2003, 12 interns with disabilities participated in the program at Scotiabank.
  • Scotiabank is again the lead sponsor for the Women's Executive Network's (WXN) breakfast series that brings together women from Scotiabank, and from all sectors of the Canadian workforce, to network and share important information on entrepreneurship and advancing women into senior management.
  • In 2003, Scotiabank was also the lead sponsor of the Women in Leadership Foundation's career panels for female and Aboriginal students on several Canadian university campuses.
  • The adaptive technology project was launched to ensure that employees who are blind or visually impaired have access to web-based and other technology tools necessary to perform their job duties. The project's ultimate objective is to integrate accessibility requirements into Scotiabank technology-based tools used by employees.
  • As members of the independent, voluntary committee, Scotiabankers For Universal Access (SFUA), 46 employees work together to propose recommendations on issues concerning employees with disabilities.
  • The Scotiabank Group hosts an annual luncheon to strengthen relationships for the purpose of recruitment. In 2003, it was held in Toronto and included representatives from First Nations/Aboriginal offices and special needs offices from universities in southern Ontario and surrounding areas.
  • The Scotiability Fund covers a number of costs relating to special employee accommodation requirements, with more than $250,000 per year allocated from the fund. For example, we recently purchased specialized voice activation hardware and software for an employee, and installed braille premises markings for Executive Offices employees.
  • We are also partnering with the Canadian Hearing Society, which resulted in the publication of Breaking the Sound Barriers, a resource to help employers attract and retain employees who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.

Open, two-way communication [ top ]

In addition to keeping employees informed of all matters related to employment, Scotiabank believes strongly in the importance of enabling them to have their opinions heard. We encourage two-way communication to ensure that employees have a clear understanding of corporate goals and strategy, easy access to day-to-day information relating to their employment, performance, benefits and services, and the opportunity to freely express their views and preferences.

We support a direct dialogue between employees and their managers through our performance management process, which relies on regular, ongoing conversations between employees and their managers. We also support it when we implement new policies and programs, when we leverage the interactive capabilities of web-based communication, and through toll-free phone lines that employees can use for a variety of purposes. For example, in 2003, the HR Call Centre handled more than 106,000 calls and 7,000 e-mail enquiries, providing easy, one-stop answers to employees' human resources-related questions. And HR Passport, our intranet site for employment-related information, offers online access to training, benefits and employment information for all Scotiabank Group employees in Canada.

One of the principal means for employees to express their views is the annual employee satisfaction survey known as ViewPoint. This year, more than 43,000 employees in Canada and over 30 other countries participated - an 88 per cent response rate. Scotiabank is proud of its employees' interest in being heard, and especially of the fact that 83 per cent of employees responded favourably when asked if their area was "a great place to work."

Employees can participate directly in improving the employee and customer experience by contributing their ideas and feedback to help us improve how the company operates. A variety of employee surveys and a formal Chain of Communication process are in place to help employees voice any concerns or offer suggestions. In 2003, 7,861 calls were received by Team Voice, a toll-free phone and e-mail service that domestic employees can use to comment on policies, procedures and programs that affect their ability to deliver outstanding customer service.

The Staff Ombuds Office - a confidential, impartial resource to help employees resolve workplace conflict or facilitate positive change - responded to approximately 800 cases in 2003. The office aims to empower employees by providing them with the skills, tools and support they need to handle issues on their own and effect positive change in the workplace. In 83 per cent of cases in the past year, employees were able to handle the situation themselves (58 per cent), or the case required no further action (25 per cent). And in Jamaica, a parallel position was created to help employees there, the first such position to be created by an employer in that country.

Additional communications: [ top ]

  • The Ideas in Action program rewards employees for submitting suggestions which, when implemented, result in cost savings or other benefits for the Bank. In 2003, we received 3,235 employee submissions, and the ideas that were implemented generated $220,260 in savings to the Bank. This year, we also created an intranet site to make it easier for employees to learn about and submit their suggestions.
  • In 2003, we distributed voluntarily the first annual report of the Scotiabank Pension Plan to all active and inactive members, to keep them informed about the operation, governance standards and financial status of their pension plan. Communication feedback was very positive, with 95% of 4,000 survey respondents stating that the report was very or somewhat informative.

Wellness [ top ]

Scotiabank recognizes the importance employees place on wellness - be it physical, emotional or general well-being. Scotiabank also views wellness as an important contributor to our business success.

Scotiabank has offered an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) since 1990 to help employees deal with personal crises and obtain advice, tools and resources to manage any personal challenges via phone or in-person counselling. EAP recently improved its accessibility by introducing e-counselling, so that employees can interact with a counsellor in a confidential, online setting or access information via the newly redesigned website, WorkLife Plus online.

Respecting human rights [ top ]

We believe that Scotiabank employees are entitled to a workplace where fairness is the rule and their basic human rights are respected. We will not tolerate any behaviour that conflicts with the spirit or intent of the Canadian Human Rights act, nor with any other human rights and anti-discrimination laws that apply to the Bank's operations, inside or outside of Canada. Any employee who does not uphold these principles will be disciplined, up to and including dismissal. We promote a fair and respectful work environment through measures such as our Guidelines for Business Conduct and a harassment policy (see page 11), training video, and the Chain of Communication procedure.

Competitive compensation [ top ]

Scotiabank is committed to providing a total compensation package that is internally equitable, externally competitive and sustainable. Comprised of salary, long and short-term incentives, benefits, employee share ownership plans, pension and recognition programs, the package is designed to provide direction and focus for employees by aligning compensation with performance that supports business objectives. In 2003, Scotiabank provided more than $3.3 billion in salaries and benefits to employees in Canada and around the world.

  • To encourage behaviours and activities that support our corpo-rate values, we have developed a performance management system at the Scotiabank Group that uses a balanced score-card approach. The scorecard is a tool that takes into account both business and individual performance and focuses on financial, operational, customer and people objectives, including effective leadership.
  • In 2003, we improved our flexible benefit plan by contributing an additional $5.6 million to the plan. Enhancements included the elimination of medical/dental deductibles and the expansion of drug choices, health and vision services that employees can claim.
  • More than 25,000 people in Canada are active members of a Scotiabank Group pension plan.
  • In 2003, 84.1 per cent of our Canadian employees participated in our Employee Share Ownership Plan. Internationally, 76 per cent of eligible employees took part in available employee share ownership plans.
  • Approximately 98 per cent of eligible Scotiabank employees participate in the Canadian Incentive Pay Program, which allows employees to share in the success of the organization if they achieve performance standards and the organization achieves performance goals based on criteria such as customer service and financial results. The Canadian Incentive Pay program distributed more than $95 million to eligible employees in 2003.
  • Overseas, approximately 3,800 employees in 31 countries participated in the Bank's International Incentive Program, which rewards employees in their local currency and takes into account competitive local rates and inflation levels. In 2003, the program paid out the equivalent of approximately CDN$9.2 million.

Recognizing achievement [ top ]

Through a number of Bank-wide recognition programs, as well as specialized programs tailored to individual business areas, we celebrate the achievements of employees and teams to show our appreciation for their contributions. Here are a few examples:

  • Scotia Applause is a web-based recognition program that rewards employees for demonstrating activities and behaviours that help improve customer loyalty and satisfaction. The program is currently available to more than 30,000 Canadian employees across the Scotiabank Group, with 82 per cent of eligible employees registered. It is being expanded to other areas of the Bank so that even more employees can take part.
  • During the past year, Scotia intek, our systems and operation group, introduced Beyond Expectation, a new reward program that acknowledged 190 employees for their outstanding contributions to the group's business partners, leadership and the community.

Training and development [ top ]

Training and development programs are an important investment by Scotiabank in the satisfaction and productivity of our employees. In 2003, we spent approximately $51 million on training - roughly $1,800 per employee. Last year, nearly 28,000 Canadian employees completed many thousands of internal and external courses.

Since launching My Learning Centre, the organization's online training and development resource, Canadian Retail and Commercial Banking employees have been better empowered to plan their career development and enroll in courses to build their skills. During 2003, 271,552 Canadian course registrations were processed on the website.

To keep pace with evolving training requirements and employee feedback, last year we offered 116 more courses to Scotiabank Group employees.