My workplace

The City of Guelph is committed to creating a healthy, fun and rewarding work experience. We like to create teams where employees feel valued and are active with creating great value for our community.

Learn more about what makes City of Guelph a great place for you.

Corporate Values

The City of Guelph Corporate Values are:

  • Integrity – Operate with integrity
  • Service – Community-driven
  • Inclusion – Stronger for our differences
  • Wellness – Adaptable and resilient
  • Learning – Always learning

Code of conduct

All employees are ambassadors for the City of Guelph. You may be a full-time, part-time, casual or temporary employee. Regardless of your employment status, you are a City employee and influence how the public views the organization. The Code of Conduct Policy outlines acceptable employee behaviour to help ensure that our actions do not result in personal gain or conflict with our duties and obligations as employees. The following provides an overview of some key aspects of the policy.


Confidential information

Includes information obtained through employment with the City that is not available to the public.

Personal information

Recorded information that identifies an individual (e.g., address, name, phone number, medical records, financial records, etc.).

Conflict of interest

A situation in which an employee has or is perceived to have personal or private interests that may compete with the public interests of the corporation or with the public interest. These interests can make it difficult to remain impartial.

Policy snapshot

Confidential and personal information

As City employees, we may have access to confidential, privileged and/or personal information. We may need this information to perform our job but we are not to disclose or use this information unless it is necessary to perform our duties.

Gifts and hospitality

Gifts are nice to receive; however, to preserve the integrity and image of the corporation, we are not to receive gifts, benefits and/or hospitality from the public. Some exceptions to this are noted in the policy. To help figure out if it’s okay to accept a gift, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you uncomfortable telling your manager about receiving the gift, benefit or hospitality?
  • Is this gift/benefit or hospitality being offered in exchange for a favour or benefit?

Political activity

We work in a political environment and in an election year, this environment can become especially tough to navigate.

While performing our jobs, we need to appear to be politically neutral. This means that while on the job we need to avoid expressing our personal views about contentious policy issues, matters of public controversy or showing support for one candidate or elected official over another.

Also, employees may exercise their civic right to run for office, they just need to seek a leave absence between the day of nomination and the end of voting.

Should an employee be elected, they will be required to resign from their employment. Holding an elected position while being an employee of the City would be a conflict of interest.

Public criticism

We all have different personal views on the policies, programs and decisions the City makes but as employees we are expected to support these decisions and not publicly criticize the corporation. This includes, but is not limited to, writing letters to the editor, giving interviews, making negative statements to members of the public or posting on social media sites.

It’s in the details

The Code of Conduct policy is available to all employees, and it is important that you have some time to review it with your leader.


Whether it’s about how to interpret the policy or to report non-compliance, contact your immediate manager or the Organizational Development Specialist in Human Resources. (519-822-1260 extension 6947) or email: [email protected]


Employees shall act in a responsible and respectful manner that does not place other employees at risk of sensitivity or allergic reaction. The purpose of this guideline is to bring awareness to the sensitivity of certain employees who may be affected by chemical-based fragrances. This guideline applies to all City of Guelph full time, part-time, casual and temporary employees.

Dress guidelines

You never get a second chance to make a first impression – so please use your best judgement.

Our Business Casual Dress Guidelines can help you to make choices, knowing there is a clear range of acceptable clothing choices for our team members. Business Casual wear means clean, neat, professional clothing that is less formal than regular business attire. Some examples of appropriate attire (for non-uniformed staff) include:

  • Collared sports shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Casual oxfords/loafers
  • Casual slacks
  • Business suits with Bermuda length shorts (city shorts)
  • We are happy to accommodate any individual needs in keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. If you require an accommodation, it is helpful to discuss with your new leader in advance of your first day

Additional Considerations

  • You should take your day’s schedule into account. For example, if you are attending a Council meeting or meeting with external customers, more traditional business attire would be appropriate.
  • Employees working outside must be wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment at all times, and you may also have a uniform like a City t-shirt or having a name badge that clearly identifies you as a member of our staff.

Harassment and discrimination

The City expects and promotes respectful interactions that show regard for the rights, dignity and health and safety of all. Our Workplace Harassment and Discrimination policy is consistent with the spirit and provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code and should be read in conjunction with any applicable collective
agreement provisions.

If you feel that you have been witness to, or experienced harassment or discrimination, we urge you to contact your supervisor. You can also access a confidential telephone line at 519 822-1260 extension 2682.

What is harassment?

Quite simply, it is any unwelcome and ongoing inappropriate actions in the workplace, inconsistent with our Corporate Value of Wellness and considered to be humiliating, demeaning, offensive and intimidating. A single action can also be considered harassment, depending on how severe it is.

Examples of Harassment include:

  • Racial slurs or insults
  • Unwanted remarks or jokes of a sexual nature
  • Unwanted sexual propositions or invitations
  • Imitating a person’s accent or speech impediment
  • Making fun of someone because they are gay
  • Mocking a person’s ethnic or racial features
  • Criticizing another person’s religious beliefs
  • Refusing to work with someone because of their gender, race, ethnic background, religion or disability
  • Circulating or displaying sexually explicit, racist or derogatory materials
  • Patronizing behaviour or language which reinforces stereotypes

Harassment is not:

  • Appropriate direction, delegation or discipline given by your supervisor
  • Stressful events that take place while performing your job
  • Friendly teasing or bantering that is mutually acceptable and not offensive to others

What is sexual harassment?

Unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature that can include a sexual invitation or advance, or a threat of punishment for the rejection of a sexual advance, made by a person in a position to grant or deny a benefit or advancement.

Examples of sexual harassment can include:

  • Unwanted and inappropriate physical touching
  • Unwelcome sexually-oriented remarks, invitations, requests, jokes and gestures
  • Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, propositions
  • Displaying or distributing sexually offensive materials

What is discrimination?

Unfavourable or unfair treatment of an employee based on a “prohibited ground”. Prohibited grounds include race, ancestry, place of origin of birth, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, age, record of offences, marital status, same-sex partnership status, family status, handicap, sex and sexual orientation.

Examples of discrimination can include:

  • Assigning certain types of work to women and other work to men
  • Denying a person a job/promotion on the basis of a prohibited ground
  • Refusing to work with someone or different treatment of someone on the basis of a prohibited ground

Your responsibilities:

  • Accountability for your behaviour
  • Responsible for letting others know when their behaviour offends you (if you are comfortable doing so)
  • Willing to report harassment/discrimination to a leader if it happens to you, or you witness it happening to a co-worker

Supervisor responsibilities:

  • Fostering respectful interactions in the workplace
  • Providing information, training and clear expectations
  • Ensuring employees are aware of the policy
  • Modelling the Corporate Values
  • Immediately supporting employees or volunteers who come forward with complaints under the policy
  • Notifying Human Resources as soon as they are aware of harassment and discrimination, regardless of whether the employee wishes to pursue a complaint
  • All supervisors are legally responsible for creating and maintaining a workplace free of harassment and discrimination

Informal resolution

If you feel you are the target of offensive behaviour, as a first step (if you feel comfortable), you are encouraged to raise your concern with the offender in person, by phone or in writing. Human Resources can assist you with this and can act as an informal mediator. The person may not realize their behaviour is offensive and unwelcome. A clear message from you may stop their behaviour. If it doesn’t, you need to issue a formal complaint.

Formal complaint

To issue a formal complaint, you can do one of 3 things:

  1. Submit a written complaint to Human Resources. You can write this on your own or with assistance of an investigator in Human Resources, a leader in the organization, or a Peer Link.
  2. File a grievance, as applicable under a relevant Collective agreement
  3. File a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal for incidents which are covered under the Ontario Human Rights Code

The City expects and promotes respectful interactions that show regard for the rights, dignity and health and safety of all. Our Harassment and Discrimination policy is consistent with the spirit and provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code and should be read in conjunction with any applicable collective agreement provisions.

If you feel that you have been witness to, or experienced Harassment or Discrimination, we urge you to contact your supervisor. You can also access a confidential telephone line at 519 822-1260 extension 2682 or extension 2658.

Performance management

We strive to support an environment where our staff feels pride in their work and commitment towards our corporate values. We recognize that every employee requires feedback on how they are performing in their position and as an employee of the Corporation in general. This includes praise for good performance and coaching on how to improve on deficiencies in performance. The goal of our performance management model is to recognize strong performance and support the development of productive employees and work environments. The key to good performance management is communication.


As part-time employees at the City of Guelph, the day to day leadership you receive may be from lead hands, coordinators as well as Supervisors of the operations (aquatics, parks, camps, etc.) you are working for. We strive to provide our staff with timely and specific feedback regarding your performance. All our leaders participate in a basic leadership orientation program as well as skills development sessions throughout the year, to assist in the development of their communication and performance management skills.

As an employee, you can expect that your contributions will be recognized consistently, in a manner that you best understand. Your leader will likely spend some time during your orientation period to get to understand what best motivates you.

If there are areas where performance change is required, your leaders will respond to you in a timely manner, to help ensure that the performance can be improved quickly. Towards the end of your scheduled part-time or seasonal work experience, your leader will participate in an exit interview, featuring an opportunity to discuss your performance related to the skills and behaviours that are valued and essential in our work teams.

What is Coaching for Performance in our Workplace?

  • Coaching is a method of directing, instructing and training a person or group of people, with the aim to achieve some goal or develop specific skills.
  • Coaching is used to identify concerns with the employee’s performance and identifies the expectations required for improvement.
  • Coaching sessions help to clarify the expectation with the employee and their performance. An employee should be able to confirm that they understand the behaviour changes that are required to help improve performance.
  • You will receive a document that details the issues discussed and the plans for performance improvement as a record of the coaching session.

What is Progressive Discipline in our Workplace?

  • The goal of progressive discipline is correcting poor behaviour and creating a better and more productive employee. The key to a good discipline process is communication; speaking with the employee face to face.
  • Leaders need to decide if the misconduct is minor or severe. Take into account factors like:
    • Severity, seriousness and/or frequency of the problem
    • Employee’s work history
    • Effect on the organization, etc.
  • Some forms of misconduct are deemed to be severe, and a leader may choose to proceed directly to suspension or termination.

If you have questions about how your performance is recognized, please contact your Supervisor. Additional questions can be directed to myHR at extension 6947.

Computers, mobile phones and social media

The City of Guelph computers, mobile phones, social media accounts and other technologies are important tools that help us in our daily work with our community and team members. It might surprise you to learn that the information you share on the technology can be considered “public” and may be viewed by the community. We have set the following expectations to help us in our commitment to creating and upholding a respectful workplace:

  • We should be ethical and honest in how we are using the technologies
  • Try to be mindful of other’s needs if you are sharing the technology
  • Show respect for intellectual property, ownership of information, system security mechanisms.
  • Be sure to respect a person’s rights to privacy and freedom from intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance.
  • You should use the technologies for legitimate business use during assigned duties. Incidental use which does not interfere with the performance of duties and is of reasonable duration and frequency is acceptable
  • In most cases, you can use your personal devices at breaks
  • Behave in a way that is legal and in keeping with our City policies
  • Misuse may include disciplinary action.

Guidelines for City of Guelph employees using personal web or social media properties

City of Guelph employees are encouraged to support the City’s official social media activities. The City also asks employees to follow a few basic guidelines when participating in their own personal websites, blogs and/or social networking channels:

Please share the City’s official messages

If you like what the City is doing, share it, comment on it, give yourself or others credit for working on it.

Refer customer service questions to the City’s official channels

If you’re asked a question about City operations, refer people to the City’s official customer service channels on Facebook, Twitter,, or by phone or email.

Maintain confidentiality and privacy

Do not post private or confidential information about your co-workers, and do not discuss situations involving named, pictured or otherwise identifiable individuals without their permission. Do not share City information that is not already available to the public.

Follow the City of Guelph’s codes of conduct, corporate values and policies

When we’re online, we’re in public and we serve the public with integrity, honesty and respect. Do not share content that reflects poorly on you, your co-workers or the City.

Opinions expressed on an employee’s personal website, blog and/or social media account do not necessarily reflect the official position of the City of Guelph.

Wellness at work

Wellness LogoWellness is… family, work, friends, identity, self-esteem, physical fitness and skills.

“A wellness strategy that addresses the physical, social and psychosocial needs of employees, and maintains and enhances the current commitment to employee health, safety and wellness.”

The wellness strategy will:

  • Assist the organization to deliver on its Corporate Value promise of wellness for our people
  • Provide employees with opportunities to demonstrate the behaviours associated with the Corporate Value of Wellness
  • Contribute to, complement and build upon the efforts of other City programs to realize:
    • Improved employee morale, engagement and productivity
    • Enhanced organizational culture
    • Health benefit cost containment
    • Reduced absenteeism and turnover

Some of our many programs that support wellness for our part-time and seasonal staff members include:

  • Safety Programming
  • A recognition program to support team morale and employee engagement
  • Employee appreciation events
  • Career Services
  • Health programs (fitness activities, lectures, support initiatives and interest groups)

Learn more about our programs on the “Wellness Board” in your work area.