Corporate Responsibility Report 2013

Learning & Development


Learning and Development

We align our Learning and Development programs with our business strategies, which include making our people and culture a competitive advantage, and being an employer of choice. Our goal is to be recognized as a top organization for developing and retaining our talent.

  • We offer ongoing training throughout the organization, starting with our on-boarding program for new employees. Our senior executives participate in our iLead Leadership Development program, which is offered to managers.
  • We continue to develop, pilot, and offer training programs to build the skill sets that are essential for the success of our organization.
  • We evaluate our courses for improvement using a robust course evaluation methodology to measure the impact of training on our employees’ learning application and performance improvement.

Investing in our people

"Our drive is to create an exciting work environment, one where people will recommend us to their friends and one where we’re recognized by word of mouth as an excellent employer.”
- Brian Vaasjo, President & CEO

Capital Power School of Business

Capital Power School of Business is designed to create a strong learning and development culture. Core programs and courses, such as leadership development and professional business skills, are offered. A total of 522 employees went through Capital Power School of Business training in 2013.

New courses and initatives in 2013

The following new courses were offered in 2013:

  • Speak Strong provides employees with the information they need to convey confidence, communicate clearly, and connect with any audience.
  • Diversity and Inclusion eLearning.
  • Several customized team effectiveness workshops covering topics such as:
    • managing conflict
    • building trust
    • communication
    • building team charters

Building diverse and inclusive teams

In late 2013, Capital Power launched a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiative to recognize the importance and benefit of strong diversity of thought.

A D&I cross-functional committee was established to research, communicate, and create long-term momentum for the initiative.

“Creating teams of people with diverse perspectives and different but complementary strengths and tendencies makes the teams better able to solve complex problems and expedite innovation in the midst of a rapidly changing environment,” explained Kate Chisholm, Senior Vice President, Legal and External Relations. (Kate Chisholm was recognized as a 2012 Canadian Diversity Champion [PDF] by Women of Influence magazine.)

The initiative was introduced to employees at leadership meetings and all-employee site meetings by Brian Vaasjo, Capital Power’s President & CEO. Company-wide interactive eLearning was also conducted, a D&I component was incorporated into Strong Start/iLead, employee training and internal communications were shared by email, and information was added to our intranet. D&I remains a focused initiative in 2014.

Strong Start Orientation and on-boarding program

Our interactive Strong Start Orientation and on-boarding program welcomes new employees and gives them a foot forward in their first 100 days on the job. New employees complete an online e-learning course within their first week of employment, followed by the Strong Start – Connecting In Orientation.

In 2013, 69 participants completed either a classroom or virtual session.

Training to the top – iLead program

Strong leadership benefits everyone at Capital Power. This leadership development program builds Capital Power's competitive advantage by establishing a rich, broad, bench strength around the theory and practice of leadership within our company.

The custom iLead Leadership Development Program is a key business objective intended to establish a rich, broad bench-strength around the theory and practice of leadership. Through distinct courses, iLead offers interactive learning opportunities for leaders to share learning and insights and to grow with others in a similar role. A total of 170 employees attended 14 iLead courses in 2013.

MORE: Mentorship supporting women to succeed

We had another successful year of the MORE program (Mentoring, Opportunities & Real Experience), with 40 women participating in the 2013-2014 program year. Developed by Capital Power, the MORE program emerged to inspire up-and-coming professional women in Edmonton by connecting them with some of the most successful women in the city’s business community. Capital Power joined with other companies to inspire young professionals by providing individual mentorship relationships and six interactive group sessions for both mentees and mentors throughout the year.

Apprenticeships, technical and health and safety training

Technical training, apprenticeships, and health and safety training are managed and budgeted within each department or business unit based on occupational requirements

SWEP – Student Work Experience Program

Every career deserves a solid start. Twenty-three future leaders gained valuable work experience through the launch of Capital Power’s Summer Work Experience Program. The program selected the best and the brightest of the next generation to spend eight weeks of their summer in various areas of the company. They had the opportunity to network with employees and participate in several ‘Learning Days’, which covered resume writing, interview skills, public speaking, and career planning.

“I learned so much…the experience was so inspirational and helped me feel more comfortable with my people skills. I loved coming together with the larger group for the learning days.” Kristin Washington, SWEP Student.

“This experience blew my expectations out of the water. My supervisor was great, my other colleagues were fantastic, and I really enjoyed my summer." Steven Cousens, SWEP Student.


The After-Hours Personal Development Program helps employees fund their certificates, diplomas and degrees, and individual courses. We provide up to $3,000 per year for full-time employees and $1,500 per year for part-time permanent employees.

In 2013, 62 employees took advantage of after-hours learning opportunities with reimbursements totaling more than $97,681 — an average of $1,575 per employee.

A taste of work life – grade nines came to experience

Grade nine can be tough. You're on top in your school, but you know you've got big challenges ahead. What better time than this for some life lessons outside the classroom? Capital Power employees certainly agreed with the idea. For participants in the “Take Your Grade Nine Student to Work” event, it’s a chance to expose kids to a positive work culture — a way to show pride in the place these parents call home five days a week. By sitting together through presentations and discussions throughout the day, it’s also a way to demonstrate the importance of life-long learning.

Seven moms, dads, aunts and uncles from the Edmonton office, along with their grade niners, visited our Genesee Generating Station to learn about its state-of-the art turbine technology. The tour was hosted by a Genesee senior manager and was followed by lunch with our Senior Vice President of Legal and External Relations, Kate Chisholm. The students had a chance to talk about their own goals and ambitions in response to the colourful lessons from Kate’s career.

The group also heard from a Human Resources representative who shared insights on what options, steps, and opportunities the students should consider during their high-school years and beyond. The day wrapped-up with students spending time alongside their adult, getting a feel for the dynamics of an office environment.

Instruction at an iLead course for employees, part of the Capital Power School of Business.

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