English/2017-11-29

De Octet.ca

[modifier] Describe a time when I made a suggestion to improve the work in my organization

The staffing process in the government is a very tedious process. It has many steps, involving many departments of the organization (HR, managers, IT, Phoenix!, etc.) and could extend over a long period of time.

Every second week, we have a division management committee (aka « CG » for « Comité de gestion»). There is a recurring item on the agenda for staffing actions. To discuss this, we use an Excel file containing all the staffing process and actions, past, present and future.

A month ago we realized that we had a problem. The problem was that the table of the Excel file was in chronological order. Each section's chief had to go through all the actions, looking for the specific items related to their section. It was a combersome process and, at the end, the chiefs weren't sure if they had looked at every relevant item.

The Excel sheet was build this way because the division administrative assistant, Ginette, needs to know what is and isn't submitted to the Directors General staff meeting. This is her main usage for this file: this DG meeting occurs every second week and she has to submit only the new items: she needs to know where to draw the line in the table, so chronological order is ideal for her.

After a long discussion with Ginette, and some technical explorations on my side, I came with the idea of standardizing the writing of the chronological entry column and section's name column. Doing so, the table could be ordered either by date, which would be useful for her, or by section's name, which would allow the chiefs to see all the relevant items at a glance. On top of that, I proposed that the file be located on the network, instead of the administrative assistant local computer. This would allow everyone to access the latest version of the file at any moment, instead of looking through their emails wondering which file was the most recent.

The location of this file on the network has already been sent in emails, so I know it's been useful. The next CG being this afternoon, I will know if the chiefs are able to rank the table in the right order, and if this is useful for them.


[modifier] Give an opinion and information on air quality in the workplace

Indoor air quality is a very important health issue, in our home as in the workplace. Sadly it is often overlooked.

In fact, we often tend to think that having an interior « that smells good » is important. While this might be true, there are two ways to achieve this.

The first way is to make use of an interior deodorant. But there is important information about this: all these deodorants are, in fact, pollutants. They degrade indoor air quality. This is also true for personal perfume that also emits particles into the air (that's the whole point of perfume...).

This is why, in part, we have a « no perfume policy » in our workplace. It is not healthy to have perfume, personal or not, at work. Moreover, some people have an intolerance to perfume, which is another good reason in support of this policy.

The second way is by attacking the problem at its roots: the odour's source must be removed. In the workplace good hygiene (personal or not) is key to having good air quality. This is for this reason that we have showers available for workers who are using their bikes to come to work or are doing sport during the lunch hour. This can also be done in our home by opening a window from time to time to have fresh air, and remove the interior pollutants. Cleaning the dishes regularly might also help!

In short, air quality must be good in any place you are, the workplace being one of them.

Outils personnels