People and Culture
Our Definition and Approach
ATB strives to be an employer of choice by providing a workplace where team members feel proud and engaged to make a difference.
To deliver world-class client experiences, we need world-class talent. Attracting, developing and retaining that talent is foundational to building a workforce with diverse skills, competencies, experiences and perspectives. We provide fair rewards and compensation in alignment with market, business and individual performance.
Our approach includes creating parity of experience in ATB workspaces, regardless of position and location. To achieve this, we consider accessibility, spatial diversity that suits a multitude of workstyles, inclusion of remote team members in celebrations and team building, recording key conversations and meetings for those who cannot attend and encouraging different modes of communication and interaction.
The Great Resignation
The Great Resignation—also known as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle—is an ongoing worldwide trend of voluntary resignation that began during the 2021 calendar year. Resignations at ATB nearly doubled between 2020 and 2021, from 242 to 429.
The turnover rate of 13% was the highest we’ve experienced in five years, but is still below national and global benchmarks. The 2021 Canadian company employee turnover average was 21%.
The top reasons team members are leaving ATB, as identified through exit surveys, are career opportunity/progression, new and challenging work and higher compensation. As ATB is a Crown corporation of the Government of Alberta, our organization has been impacted by restrictions, introduced in 2018, related to increasing our team members’ base salaries.
The impact is being seen most notably in our Technology, Innovation and Engineering; Experience Office; ATB Wealth and ATB Business teams. The resignations present an opportunity to tap into a high-quality talent market of candidates who are seeking flexibility and opportunities to work within a purpose-driven organization. A talent acquisition squad is focused on attracting people to prioritized roles, and the hiring volume of new team members has increased from 655 in 2020 to 1,244 in 2021.
To support the improvement of retention rates, there has been a focus on recognizing top talent, with an emphasis on providing development opportunities and aligning high-potential team members to the most critical work.
In April 2021, we launched ATB ID—a collection of shared values and behaviours that aligns with our updated Purpose and Strategy and represents how we will execute on our strategies and remain purpose-driven.
ATB ID was built using input and feedback from more than 1,200 team members. It combines the best of what we already were with the behaviours and mindsets we must adopt to be successful in the future.
Our ATB IDs are:
- Client Obsessed: Engaging with intense curiosity, serving with deep expertise, building and maintaining client trust and delivering value.
- Driven to Perform: Pursuing growth and expertise, seeking and sharing feedback, executing with fierce accountability and celebrating.
- Champions of Belonging: Celebrating diversity, enabling a culture of inclusion, building safe and equitable spaces and bringing our whole selves to work.
- One ATB: Putting our purpose first, busting silos and building networks, focusing on the strategy and making data-based decisions.
We introduced ATB ID with a fully remote live event attended by over 4,600 team members.
The event included executive-sponsored activities, team member stories and learning programs. As a takeaway, everyone was asked to consider how the ATB IDs can enhance their role, participation and contributions within ATB, to positively impact our clients and their experiences.
Investing in Critical Roles at ATB
We recently conducted an assessment to identify the critical roles required to execute against our 10-year strategy. The output will be an enterprise heat map of roles that are emerging, evolving and dissolving. The map will be used to inform our overall reskilling strategy.
This work includes designing our new leader system and multi-dimensional curriculum. The leader system and organization-wide core skills are key components to our learning strategy, as they identify the capabilities needed to both execute on our 10-year strategic plan and enable team members for future success.
Two programs for leaders were piloted in 2021: a Situational Leadership program and the Ignite Greatness program, which includes a 360° assessment. Both programs are foundational for leaders to understand who they are as leaders and to identify areas for growth.
Upskilling and Re-skilling Our Team
Degreed Intelligence is a learning platform that supports our team members in quickly and easily understanding, building and activating skills.
Learning teams use the platform to create personalized development plans that continuously engage team members with the tools, content and people that matter to them. Team members create a dynamic profile that reflects the skills, experience and achievements they possess. Profiles update as team members consume learning content and track skill development.
Skills, not roles, are the new currency that helps team members be more mobile within the organization and allows ATB to maximize transferable skills across the organization as we flex to meet the needs of our clients.
In FY2022, we implemented Degreed to help support our future strategy of a talent marketplace. Advanced analytics help us understand the supply and demand for skills at ATB by providing real-time insights we can use to focus upskilling and re-skilling efforts.
Belonging at ATB
Diversity and inclusivity contributes to attracting and retaining the best and brightest team members.
ATB is a great place to work because our workforce has diverse skills, backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Creating an environment where everyone can feel like they belong and are included is something each of us must make a conscious effort to ensure every day.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
In recognition of the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, ATB launched an enterprise-wide learning initiative that leverages the University of Alberta’s Indigenous Canada course. Approximately 50 to 100 team members gathered in small sharing circles biweekly to discuss the previous module. We do this in order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.
Count Yourself In
Count Yourself In is a program that helps ATB be more intentional about meeting the needs of diverse team members.
Team members are encouraged to provide demographic data, including gender identity, sexual orientation, Indigenous identity, disability status, race, religious affiliation and dependent(s) status.
While information collected is kept strictly confidential and cannot be used to identify any individual team member in the system, it will help us to better understand and meet their needs as we navigate processes like equitable statutory holidays, parental leaves and accessibility. It also enables additional analyses related to the unbiased and equitable application of our policies and procedures.
Gender Equity Assessment
ATB participated in the Target Gender Equality accelerator program facilitated by Global Compact Network Canada—the Canadian chapter of the United Nations Global Compact.
Participating in this assessment provided us with baseline data and will support the building of targets and next steps to increase gender equity at ATB.
Our result was a score of 27% (“improver”). While not as high as Canada’s national average of 34%, it presents a rich opportunity for growth. For example, ATB scored well for our Workplace Harassment policy, but one area where we can improve is the effective communication of this policy.
The findings from this assessment will help to narrow our focus as we define next steps.
Our ATB 101 program is focused on growing student work experience and engagement. It gives students the unique opportunity to contribute to ATB through challenging, meaningful and diverse opportunities.
The traditional capstone project—in which students would research, develop and present solutions for ATB in various areas of our business—shifted its focus this year to giving back to the community.
Students worked to find and implement solutions for gaps faced by three organizations that empower Indigenous youth: Spirit North, the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association (ANFCA) and the Inner City Youth Development Association.
This unique ATB 101 opportunity resulted in $10,000 being distributed among the three organizations. These funds were used to:
- Help Spirit North address the transportation issues they are facing.
- Buy podcasting equipment so ANFCA could develop a podcast that connects Elders to Indigenous youth.
- Hold two open houses at the Inner City High School, which allowed them to exceed their student recruitment targets for the year.
Team Member Networks
Team member networks (TMNs) are ATB employee resource groups created by team members who share certain interests or identities. TMNs help to build awareness and create inclusive, safer spaces for members and allies of that community. TMNs give communities a powerful voice in influencing the important equity-based matters of the organization, representing diverse perspectives across diverse demographics.
An important addition to our TMNs has been the Inclusion Council—a collective of team members from TMNs, including TMN chairs and co-chairs, and representation from our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging team, who work collaboratively on diversity and inclusion issues.
A new governance model for the Inclusion Council and TMNs will establish an executive council of senior leaders who will provide guidance, sponsorship and support to the TMNs.
Our recognition program, Everyday Heroes (EDH), allows team members to thank each other in meaningful ways, while allowing others across the organization to see and join in. An average of 500 recognitions are exchanged daily. In 2021, our Employee Appreciation Day campaign resulted in 13,200 recognitions in a single day. Monthly, 76% of team members and 91% of people leaders participate.
In addition to our quarterly EDH awards—which recognize high-performing individuals and have been a staple of our program for a number of years—the recently introduced YES Award recognizes achievements by groups who had a positive and wide impact on business initiatives and team members. There were 1,293 YES Award recipients over the past year.
We also have the ability to activate campaigns through which team members can donate their EDH points to causes. EDH campaigns in 2021 included Stop Asian Hate, International Women’s Day, Support for Ukraine, National Depression Screening Day, Access to Education through United Way, and observing Canada Day with donations to Native Counselling Services of Alberta. These campaigns resulted in more than $24,000 in donations.
Health, Safety and Well-Being
Our Definition and Approach
ATB wants team members to bring their best self to work every day by having Total Health—a commitment to balance in all aspects of life, including physical, mental, spiritual and financial wellness.
We believe in providing a safe, respectful and healthy workplace and that team members have a voice in what that means at ATB.
Our commitment to health, safety and well-being extends beyond the walls of our organization, as we recognize that many of our internal programs and policies can also have a positive impact on our clients and the communities we serve.
Occupational Health and Safety at ATB
ATB prioritizes the health and safety of all team members, who complete Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) learning as a requirement of our annual compliance training and recertification process.
All OH&S policies and documents are reviewed and updated annually. ATB’s OH&S Management System is also reviewed as legislation evolves. Our Joint Health and Safety Committee is led by team members, providing a conduit for team feedback about OH&S concerns.
Annual hazard assessments for each work site are conducted to determine if existing controls are adequate. To streamline incident reporting and investigation, OH&S launched a new incident reporting app. The app has led to a 30% increase in reporting volume, resulting in hazards being addressed and team members and clients receiving prompt medical attention, as required.
ATB also completes annual Certificate of Recognition audit certification to ensure provincial OH&S standards are met or exceeded. To support team members who work statically in an office setting each day, more than 200 virtual ergonomic assessments were completed in 2021. Our OH&S team has provided self-serve ergonomic resources to create spaces that are designed for health and comfort.
Places and Spaces
Our Workplace 2030 strategy focuses on the intentional connection of people, space and technology to optimize culture, performance and real estate.
A particular focus in this area has been on hybrid design—where work is best performed and how to leverage the best of onsite and remote work.
We recognize that hybrid work arrangements, combined with distributed teams, create an ongoing need for virtual social connection. We are currently evaluating virtual platforms that further our goal of creating spaces that foster creativity and collaboration, enhance enterprise culture and strengthen productivity and performance.
Total Wellness at ATB
Throughout the pandemic, we have monitored team member mental health and stress via voluntary pulse surveys.
Anonymized reporting from ATB’s employee and family assistance program (EFAP) provider reflects that the most prevalent personal issues were stress, depression and anxiety. Workplace stressors were primarily related to workload, work-life balance and lack of control.
Our digital EFAP has been accessed by 27% of team members, with a satisfaction rating of 91%. We continue to promote the digital EFAP, the Headversity app (providing mental health supports and resilience training for team members) and leader learning through the Working Mind (a training program designed to promote mental health and reduce stigma in the workplace). We also ensure that mental health emergency numbers are accessible across our platforms.
Our holistic approach to total wellness includes EQ Care—a digital solution for physical health. This 12-month pilot is a direct-to-physician digital health solution that reduces the time spent in waiting rooms, lessens the need to take time off work and provides access to a physician or healthcare provider in as little as two minutes. Activities like checking test results, submitting requests for prescription refills and communicating with doctors can all be done online. Since EQ Care launched, 21% of team members have signed up to use the service.
Update on COVID-19 at ATB
As COVID-19 variants continued throughout 2021, we were able to leverage existing procedures and introduce new measures—such as rapid testing and vaccination requirements—to keep ATB aligned with shifting public health measures.
That experience has emphasized the importance of having a robust process in place in case of potential future events.
We are now focused on creating safe and welcoming spaces for team members who have been working remotely and are returning to the workplace. This includes daily professional cleaning of our sites and providing access to masks, sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
We will also continue to offer team members the hybrid option of remote and on-location work, to support them after their return.
Mobile Vaccination Clinic
Led by the Industry for Vaccination Coalition of Alberta, through the Business Council of Alberta, more than 20 corporate partners banded together to help end the pandemic by making COVID-19 vaccines more accessible.
ATB’s support helped the mobile vaccination clinic bus visit 40 rural and remote communities, including 11 Indigenous communities, between November 2021 and January 2022. More than 1,000 vaccinations were administered.
The mobile vaccination clinic is considered a success story for how business and government can come together to solve societal challenges.