Outstanding Work Environment

The University provides a fulfilling environment in which to work, learn, and live, reflecting our values and encouraging the open exchange of ideas and opinions.

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.
 Gautama Buddha

UBC’s workforce is 21,000 strong. That’s 21,000 unique worlds: individuals with their own families and friends, volunteer commitments, and myriad personal passions. Where they meet is at work, and together they have created not only a world-leading academic institution but also one of Canada’s best places to work.

Recognizing that an organization is its people, UBC strives first to retain the faculty and staff who have shaped its present success and then to attract those who can best help it uphold the commitments made in this plan.

UBC sustains an inclusive atmosphere of collegiality and respect by increasing its investment in the coordinated orientation of new recruits, development and recognition programs, health and well-being initiatives, and leader training and support.

Spectacular natural surroundings and visionary campus plans help make UBC an outstanding place to work, learn, and live. But at the heart of UBC’s world are its people.


  • Ensure processes and supports are in place to recruit first choice applicants for staff and faculty positions
  • Expand opportunities for professional and personal development and career progression at UBC
  • Expand faculty/staff relocation services to the Okanagan campus
  • Increase linkages between performance and academic priorities, administrative effectiveness and the budget framework
  • Develop and implement effective communication vehicles for faculty and staff


  • The Board of Governors adopted The University Community on Campus – UBC’s Housing Action Plan, to improve housing affordability and choice on the Vancouver campus for faculty, staff and students
  • A common look and feel for recruiting advertising and career websites was implemented, making templates widely available for use across UBC and identifying a preferred advertising vendor to help departments appropriately advertise career openings
  • Launched web-based recruiting for faculty positions
  • Relocation Services were implemented at the Okanagan campus
  • Dual career hiring is supported on both campuses, and opportunities for consistent communication on support and process were identified and are being addressed
  • A Gender & Diversity in Leadership Initiative at the Vancouver campus was launched
  • Leadership development programs on both campuses to include building capacity in leading and navigating change were expanded
  • A Career Transition service for staff at the Vancouver campus was piloted
  • “StoryBox”,  a university wide database for sharing and communicating stories to internal communicators, was implemented
  • A new vehicle for Executive communications at the Okanagan campus was implemented
  • UBC was named one of BC’s top employers for the 7th year in a row, and one of Canada’s Greenest Employers


  • Increase coordination of mid-level plans to provide a respectful, inclusive and collegial work environment
  • Diversify and expand healthy workplace initiatives
  • Ensure that academic and administrative heads and directors have the training, time and support they require to be effective
  • Continue to implement recommendations of the Task Force on Family Responsibilities


  • Meetings were held across the mid-level strategic plans to look at points of integration with the next version of the Outstanding Work Environment mid-level plan
  • “Responding with Respect” presentations were developed and co-presented with the Canadian Mental Health Association, to focus on Mental Health at UBC
  • Offered Mental Health First Aid training
  • Increased awareness of Employee & Family Assistance Program through outreach to groups that are often harder to reach due to the nature of their daily work
  • UBC Thrive on both campuses continued, with a focus on how different facets of health relate to building positive mental health
  • Offered free influenza immunization clinics
  • A community network on psychological safety in the workplace was initiated, involving multiple partners in the Okanagan valley
  • Continued academic leadership programs at both campuses and coaching availableto all new Heads, Directors and Associate Deans
  • Expanded UBC Coaching Services to provide free one-on-one coaching services with a professional coach to staff and faculty.  Plan developed to sustain growth and support development of the coaches
  • Continued to support Uniterra’s Leave for Change program that provides financial support for 6 staff members to pursue short-term volunteer opportunities in developing countries
  • New social family friendly activities through the Work-Life Relocation Office at the Vancouver campus were implemented