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Helping Immigrants Build a Future in Canada

A refreshed vision and set of values that better articulated ISSofBC’s work and brought them to life across the organization.

The Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) has been providing a supportive environment for newcomers to Canada since 1972.

It has grown to become one of the largest immigrant-serving agencies in Canada, with a national and international reputation in the field of migrant issues and services for immigrants and refugees. As its 50th anniversary approached, ISSofBC’s new CEO saw an opportunity to renew the organization’s vision and values, alongside completion of a new strategic plan. Without straying far from its roots, it had grown into a large, culturally diverse organization with multiple offices. A refreshed vision and set of values generated through engagement with all staff would encourage a healthy, effective team culture.

ISSofBC engaged Junxion to facilitate this work, and to help the organization embed and embody its new values.

The Challenge 

ISSofBC is a culturally diverse organization with more than 400 staff from around the world. Articulating a clear and compelling vision of success and surfacing the shared values were deemed essential to protecting and enhancing a healthy and effective team culture. 

Establishing a bold new vision, as part of a new strategic plan, was deemed imperative as ISSofBC looks ahead to its next few years of service and growth. At the same time, ISSofBC’s existing values were still relevant, but the moment was opportune to review and renew them to ensure the organizational culture is aligned to the ambitious transformation to which ISSofBC aspires: a country where communities are more fulfilled and sustainable as a result of immigration. 

How We Helped

We started by distributing a customized values survey to all staff, engaging everyone to help ensure the new values reflect the best of the already strong organizational culture. The results informed a half-day workshop with senior management and staff to draft updated values. In a second workshop, Junxion supported participants in articulating a draft 10-year vision. 

These outcomes were captured in a report setting out a new vision and set of values—including the principles that underpin those values and the behaviours leaders hope to train, coach, and measure throughout ISSofBC’s departments and teams.

The new values were shared with staff at a ‘town hall’ meeting. Junxion then designed a second all-staff survey to explore how ISSofBC employees are currently living their new values. We confirmed the strength of the existing culture and identified some key, strategic interventions leaders and managers can take to further enhance the culture. These interventions were presented in a managers’ workshop, during which we developed an action plan to embed the values more deeply, effectively, and consistently across ISSofBC. 

Measuring Success 

The strength of the results of the second survey indicates that while there is room for improvement the organization has a good foundation from which to build. It also serves as a baseline against which to measure progress in the years ahead. This analysis gives senior management the evidence and confidence to determine how to build on existing strengths, address the gaps, and continue to lead a strong and healthy organization.

We’re really pleased with what Junxion has helped us to achieve. People are feeling energized and empowered. While there’s work to be done, it’s affirming to realize that we’re already living these values. ISSofBC now has a strong foundation from which to move forward, and this valuable work will support a wider transformation process. We’re ready to take the next steps—thank you, Junxion!

– Jonathan OldmanCEO, Immigrant Services Society of BC
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