May 2022 Update

by | Jun 1, 2022 | General

Montreal, May 2022 – It has been almost a year since our last update and I want to provide visibility and follow-up on the steps we have taken to implement the action plan from the 2021 workplace assessment report. I am thankful for the resilience and determination the team has shown as we have gone through the process of working on the company structure, policy, governance, communication and HR. 

In response to the external audit results and three-tiered plan highlighted in the previous update, Management and I have acted on the recommendations and implemented the following:

  • HR Effectiveness
    • Created a policy promoting civility, prevention, and resolution of conflicts and harassment situations at work (available HERE)
    • The support of an external HR consulting firm with policy training sessions for all stakeholders.
    • Review and communicate policies and procedures on an ongoing basis to ensure alignment with best practices.
    • Communication
      • Developed an Intranet for better internal communications and to store studio information such as general information, memos, staff news, and announcements so the team can access everything at any time.
      • Hired a Senior Communications Advisor to improve internal collaboration.
      • Organizational structure and culture
        • Defined and clarified the company’s mission, vision, and values.
        • Clarified roles and responsibilities of each employee.

      To further improve our studio and better position our team for success and give our employees a voice we implemented the following:

      • The recruitment of an HR Director 
      • The establishment of an Ombuds Service to assist with the fair and expeditious resolution of complaints in an impartial, confidential and independent manner. (Available HERE)
      • The recruitment of an inclusion and diversity expert to provide guidance on our current and upcoming games, and to create an Inclusion and Diversity policy for the studio.
      • A Wellness Committee was implemented.
      • An anonymous quarterly check-in survey to monitor physical and mental health and provide feedback to the wellness committee.

      In addition to the changes noted above, the next few months will focus on: 

      • Review and propose an organizational chart for greater efficiency.
      • Develop a career path and development plan for every member of the studio.
      • Review, train, and communicate the performance management process to employees.

      Simon Darveau has continued to be cooperative and understanding while we have worked on restructuring the studio and improving workplace culture. To aid this effort, he has been participating in ongoing management and organizational behavior coaching from a third party for the past year and a half. Simon is currently working on an unannounced Research & Development project in a non-managerial role.

      As part of a global review process of Season – which includes external playtest and experts consultation – Simon has also been asked by the team to provide an external perspective to the project for elements that could be confusing for the player or could be polished. His notes are passed to the producer, along with playtest data and the expert external consultation report, for the team evaluation.

      This entire process has been a valuable experience and we will continue to have a structure in place that allows our team members to express their concerns and provide feedback to our management team, our HR department, and our Ombudsperson. This structure gives us a foundation to continue to build upon as we strive to improve our workplace culture.

      We thank those who had the courage to speak out, those who have helped us make these changes, and our partners and fellow development studios for their mentorship and guidance.

      Amélie Lamarche