Region of Peel Culture Strategy

Table of Contents


The Peel Story

The Region of Peel is recognized across Canada and around the world as a leader in public service. To develop the Region's 20-year Strategic Plan, our community was asked to imagine Peel in 2035. Input was received online and in person from thousands of individuals and

several community organizations. This input was used by Regional Council to develop the plan.

Our Strategic Plan sets out a roadmap that includes a bold vision for our community, a unifying mission for our organization and the outcomes we are collectively striving

to achieve.

We define Community for Life as a place where everyone enjoys a sense of belonging and has access to the services and opportunities they need to thrive throughout each stage of their life.

About this Strategy

This document establishes the Region of Peel's first Organizational Culture strategy. Organizational Culture has gained awareness and prominence in recent years as a key enabler to achieving business outcomes. Broadly speaking, Culture is the personality of an organization. It defines "who we are" and can either hinder or support collaboration, innovation, inclusion and achievement of goals (Aborlo & Edwinah, 2014).

Culture Journey

The launch of the Region's 20-year strategic plan in 2015 provided an opportunity to examine not just what we do, but how we do it. To achieve Community for Life for our residents, we must also achieve it internally as an organization.

In 2017, we introduced Regional Values to the organization and we defined an aspirational culture. These Regional Values are intended to guide the behaviour changes needed to reach our aspirational culture – a culture that is open, dynamic, innovative, collaborative and inclusive. In 2017 the Office of Culture and Inclusion was established to lead the organization on its culture journey.

As with other organizational priorities, culture must be led, monitored and measured to ensure it reflects the organization and its vision. While appointing a team to lead this work is important, it cannot be lost that the real work of culture change happens through others.

Culture change requires participation and support from everyone. This strategy impacts programs, policies, processes and services across the organization. It connects with planning efforts and strategies across all departments. It is only through the commitment, support and leadership of others that culture change can be realized.


The Region is engaged in a wide range of activities that contribute to shifting culture. It is important we develop a framework for culture change so we can begin to track, measure and report on the experience of our workforce and of residents who access our programs and services. The Region has a positive reputation for delivering customer service. However, we recognize there is room to improve how we do the work and the experience that people have at work.

Through this Culture Strategy, the Region stands to build an inclusive work environment where employees experience a sense of belonging and feel safe to say what they think. Engaging in this strategy will also increase trust, team effectiveness, collaboration, empowerment and innovation.

The Office of Culture and Inclusion

The Office of Culture & Inclusion ('the Office") plays a key role preparing, equipping and supporting individual and organizational capabilities to drive culture change.

With the help of others across the organization, the Office identifies and mitigates points of tension where "current culture" limits or prevents progress toward culture change.

Culture is:
The Office fulfils the following roles:

Overview of Strategy

This Culture Strategy draws insights from best practice literature, employee feedback and current and future opportunities identified within our own organization.

This Strategy creates a foundation to formally shift the Region's culture from one that is rule-driven, hierarchical and risk-averse to one that is open, dynamic, innovative, collaborative and inclusive. This is achieved through applying the change management principles of the Prosci Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement (ADKAR) model to guide and influence behavioural change efforts.

The partnership and support of others is critical to this work. It is through the work of internal partners including but not limited to: Human Resources, Organizational Development, Marketing and Communications, Procurement and Digital and Information Services, that we address operational levers such as policies, practices and platforms which in turn improve program and service delivery, and the experience that employees have at work. To this end, the impact of the Region's Culture Strategy is achieved by working with and through others.


The mandate of the Region of Peel's Culture strategy is Working with you to create a cohesive organizational culture to achieve the outcomes of our strategic plan.

At the Region of Peel, culture refers to our shared values that define our organization and are reflected in our behaviours.


Culture influences and reinforces the way things get done at work. Benefits to a positive organizational culture include: employee engagement, talent attraction and retention, physical and psychological health and well-being, commitment and productivity, performance and effectiveness (Cameron & Quinn, 1999). Culture impacts how members of an organization interact and work with each other, clients and stakeholders.

Implementation of this Strategy creates an infrastructure that will assist us in achieving the Region's strategic outcomes. The Regional Values are the foundation that the organization's vision and mission rest on. By engaging in this Strategy, the Region can manage operational, reputational and financial risks with greater insight and effectiveness while fostering a sense of belonging, trust and safety.

Strategy Framework

The Culture Strategy (2017-2021) is built upon the Regional Values and guides the behaviour changes needed across the organization to evolve how we work.

The Strategy is comprised of three components:

This Culture Strategy is unique in that its success relies heavily on people changing their behaviour. This strategy can guide the work, but the work itself is driven and achieved through others. All leaders, departments and staff need to support and live the Regional Values and own their role in driving culture change. Sub-cultures will continue to exist as the Region's business is diverse.

From Public Works to Health and Human Services, to Corporate Services, Digital & Information Services and Finance, it is expected that teams, departments and divisions will have their cultural nuances. What unites us (the organization) is our shared vision of Community for Life and our Regional Values that articulate behaviours which enable our ability to successfully achieve Community for Life.

Leading Government is future-oriented and accountable. Thriving Communities are integrated, safe, and complete. Living People's lives are improved in their time of need.

Strategy Approach

The Culture Strategy guides how our Regional Values will drive the behaviour changes needed to evolve our workplace culture and address the things that impede our ability to be successful. It is through the commitment and work of others (people leaders and staff) that culture becomes a key influencer and enabler to achieving the Region's strategic outcomes.

Strategy execution and sustainment will be driven within the organization through the following guiding principles:

Strategy Outcomes

The long-term outcome of the Culture Strategy is to create a workplace that is open, dynamic, collaborative, innovative and inclusive. A work environment where everyone experiences a sense of belonging and is unified around our vision, mission and values.

We achieve that by every employee, at every level, living our Regional Values. By establishing Culture as a forethought and embedding it into systems, processes, practices etc.

In this unique way, the Regional Values are the expected outcomes of the Culture Strategy. The outcomes and related behaviour statements, success indicators and strategies to achieve success are described:

Outcome 1: We are empowered to make a difference
Success indicators
Strategies to achieve Success
Outcome 2: We are all leaders in the work we do
Success indicators
Strategies to achieve success
Outcome 3: We pursue and embrace purposeful change
Success indicators
Strategy to achieve success

Build capacity to lead and support each other through change

Outcome 4: We are genuine and transparent

Success indicators
Strategy to achieve success

Increase meaningful dialogue and feedback

Outcome 5: We care about and support everyone's well-being and success

Success indicators
Strategies to achieve success

Outcome 6: We find and implement solutions together

Success indicators
Strategy to achieve success

Co-design solutions and collaborate with partners to bring culture, accessibility, diversity and inclusion perspectives to large impact projects and initiatives

Outcome 7: We provide excellent customer service every time
Success indicators

Strategies to Achieve Success

Approach to Culture Change

Change management is about people and behaviour. The ultimate success of achieving culture change is 100% dependent on people's behaviour. Change management efforts, as they pertain to the Culture Strategy, are focused on preparing, equipping and supporting employees to achieve our (the organization) aspirational culture: a workplace that is open, dynamic, collaborative, innovative and inclusive; where everyone experiences a sense of belonging and is unified around our vision, mission and values.

As key deliverables and activities are planned, Change Management activities will follow the Prosci® methodology and principles of Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement (ADKAR) to support change across the organization. A sustainability plan will ensure continuation and evolution of the Region's culture journey.

Implementation Framework

The Culture Strategy is comprised of three implementation phases over 5 years which align with the ADKAR change management approach.

Phase 1: Awareness and Desire (Years 1 and 2 years)

Initiatives in phase 1 focus on increasing staff Awareness and Desire of the Regional Values and the organization's aspirational culture. These include but are not limited to:

Phase Two: Education, Knowledge and Ability (Years 2 and 3 years)

Initiatives in phase 2 facilitate increased education, knowledge and ability of staff related to culture, accessibility, diversity and inclusion. These include but are not limited to:

Phase Three: Reinforcement and Sustainment (Years 3 to 5)

Initiatives in phase 3 support the reinforcement and sustainment of an organizational culture that is open, dynamic, collaborative, innovative and inclusive.

These include but are not limited to:

Measurement & Reporting

A Culture Index (CI) is in place to measure culture change progress over time. The Culture Index aligns to the Values and measures specific behaviours associated with each value. The Index is integrated into the Biennial Employee Survey which is completed by Regional employees.

An operational measurement framework is also in place to measure the impact and effectiveness of activities, initiatives and tactics to advance culture across the Region. Regular and continuous monitoring of this framework allows for adjustments as needed.

Achievements and progress will be reported several times per year by way of reports to the Executive Leadership Team and Regional Council, as well as annually in the Region's Community for Life report.


Changing organizational culture is not easy and takes time. It also takes:

It is through the implementation of this Culture Strategy that by 2021, the organization will have made significant shifts in the ways we approach our work and the interactions we have with others. Being intentional about our choices, actions and behaviours and modeling the Regional Values and Leadership Competencies will achieve culture change over time and remove the impediments that get in the way of becoming the organization we aspire to be.

"If we can connect what we stand for as individuals with what our organization is capable of, there is little we can't accomplish"

~ Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

If you have questions or would like more information about this strategy, email