Leadership / New Executives Programs

New Executives Programs


APEX is keenly focused on supporting new executives to successfully navigate and excel throughout their career journey. We rely on our Advisory Services intelligence, leadership surveys and other relevant data, to ensure a specific focus on the wellness of new executives. We also leverage partnerships with external stakeholders to deliver our programming that provide training, support, and a mentoring network to assist new executives.

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Our Past New Executive Surveys

APEX recognizes that surveys have been an important driver of improvements in achieving better individual and organizational health.

The 5th Survey of new Executives was launched electronically on February 21st 2022 to 425 new Executives (members of APEX for less than a year, members of APEX who renewed for their second year and those executives who chose not to renew their membership after the first year).

The goal of the survey was to better understand the realities of new Executives and how to best serve this community and enhance their APEX experience.  APEX has taken a new approach in 2021-22 to survey new executives in their first year of membership, those who chose to renew their membership for a second year and executives who chose not to renew their membership. Overall members feel comfortable in their role and look to APEX to provide additional supports and services that are best provided by someone other than their home department or agency. The general sentiment is contentment. APEX checks all of the major boxes of a strong relationship. A large majority feel APEX is trustworthy, reliable, accessible and focused on supporting them in their career. However, most have only moderate levels of familiarity with the range of programs and services available to them. Rather than combatting negative impressions, APEX members are just looking for more information. APEX will use these findings to deliver more clearly laid out communications, more explanations about what is offered and more information about how APEX can serve them and how their membership can be used to its full potential.

APEX 2019 Survey of New Executives – Results

The 4th Annual Survey of new Executives was launched electronically on October 30th, 2019 to 620 Executives appointed between July 2018 and June 2019. A total of 236 new Executives completed the survey, a response rate of 36%.

The goal of the survey was to seek the views and input of new Executives on joining the Executive ranks and to broaden our understanding of what is important to them. This includes identifying the challenges they face, as well as how the Federal Public Service and APEX can better support them. Key questions centered around their reasons for wanting to become an Executive, the challenges facing the community, the developmental opportunities they were provided and their onboarding experience.

In addition to having been sent to individual respondents, the results have also been shared with the Clerk of the Privy Council, the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer and the Canada School of Public Service.

We encourage the entire EX community to review the results of the survey and to use the findings in guiding their internal departmental processes related to the management and development of new Executives.

APEX 2018 Survey of New Executives – Results

The 3rd Annual Survey of new Executives was launched electronically on September 28th, 2018 to 605 Executives appointed between July 2017 and June 2018.

The goal of the survey was to obtain a snapshot of the views of new EXs on their entry into the Executive group in order to get a sense of how they perceive the work and what their top-of-mind issues are. Of the 605 Executives surveyed, 222 (36%) responded – ranging in age from 30 to over 60 years old.

In the survey, new EXs indicated that they pursued Executive positions for increased challenges, to participate in senior level decision-making and to use their skills and experience. They also identified the top two development opportunities that prepared them for their new Executive roles as exposure to Senior Management and opportunities to undertake acting assignments.

The development opportunities undertaken by new EXs that proved helpful in preparing them for their Executive role included Senior Management exposure, acting assignments, coaching and mentoring and language training. Development opportunities not undertaken that would have been helpful include job shadowing, leadership training and work assignments at level.

In terms of their onboarding experience, new EX’s indicated they were most satisfied with the welcome received from employees and on-the-job learning. However, 21.6% were dissatisfied with the overall orientation received towards their new job and an additional 13.2% indicated not receiving any formal orientation whatsoever.

With respect to the Phoenix pay system, 47.6% of new EXs said that Phoenix is having a large/very large effect on the pay/compensation of their staff, while 54.7% indicated spending an average of 1 to 3 hours weekly dealing with their own pay/compensation issues.

Notwithstanding the issues and concerns outlined above, a majority of new EXs (88%) told us that they are somewhat or very satisfied with their job in general – a slight increase over the 2017 figure of 84%.

We encourage the entire EX community to review the full results of the survey and to use the findings to help guide their own internal departmental processes in relation to the hiring and management of new Executives.

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