Public service job satisfaction: the survey results – Canadian Government Executive

NEWS

SEARCH

Public Sector
February 25, 2013

Public service job satisfaction: the survey results

We often explore the challenges facing the pubic sector workplace today. It is instructive to go back two years to the results of the 2011 federal Public Service Employee Survey, that tell us what employees think about where they work.  Interestingly, the results have barely changed since 2008, which doesn’t bode well for future transformation.

Taken every three years, this is the latest feedback on what is going wrong and what is working in public service. The report is available here, and the model for management that it is based off of is available here. Below are some of the most interesting results, and to make for easy reading all percentages are based on the positive answers only (i.e. taking strongly agree and somewhat agree together).

The most discouraging:

  • The results of this survey show that many public service employees lack confidence in senior management’s competence and ability to communicate. Only 52% of those asked responded positivity to the statement “I have confidence in the senior management of my department or agency” (question 44). Only 45% agreed that “senior management in my department or agency makes effective and timely decisions” (question 45), and only 53% agreed that “essential information flows effectively from senior management to staff” (question 47).
  • Additionally, only 54% of public service employees asked are “satisfied with the way in which informal complains on workplace issues are resolved” (question 26), suggesting that they feel little recourse is possible through management for workplace woes.
  • Stagnation and conventionality are also issues. Only 56% of public service employees asked feel that they are “encouraged to be innovative or take initiative” (question 16).

The most fantastic:

  • The most positive results of the survey might be those regarding the use of both official languages in the workplace. Positive responses were in the high 80’s and 90’s with regards to availability of bilingual materials and training, and most felt that they could write, speak, and attend meetings in the official language of their choice (questions 2, 21, 3, 33, and 25).

 The most idiosyncratic:

  • Many responses to the survey produced complex answers. For instance, 84% feel that their job is a good fit with their skills, with most respondents strongly agreeing (question 19). However, only 65% agreed that their department hires the right people, with most respondents somewhat agreeing (question 35). It would seem that most public service employees believe that they are competent, but that they are the exception to the department’s hiring practices; a result that might say more about self-perception than about the public service. This might also be a response to perceived bias: only 58% believe that “the process of selecting a person for a position is done fairly” (question 36).
  • Also, while 82% of respondents said yes to the statement “I like my job” (question 7), only 64% would recommend their “department or agency as a great place to work” (question 51).
  • The perception of diversity also has mixed results. 88% of respondents agreed, most strongly, that “in my work unit, every individual, regardless of race, colour, gender or disability would be/is accepted as an equal member of the team” (question 27).  Conflictingly, however, many have reported discrimination on the job, the highest percentages coming in for sex and age (question 68).

Most public servants doubt that senior management “will try to resolve concerns raised in this survey” (with only 47% agreeing, question 46). But, according to the results of this survey, management interested in doing so should focus on: improving communication with staff and responding to their problems; encouraging the taking of initiative; taking steps to reduce the perception of bias in the hiring procedure; and, making it clear that harassment will not be tolerated.

Public service employees feel that the problems in their workplaces are recurrent and are still not being addressed. What do you think? Tell us in the comments!

 

 

About this author

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Public Sector
 
Today, the challenges facing governments are increasingly shifting away from traditional,...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Have you ever met a virtual human being? By common definition,...
 
In today’s workplace, individuals increasingly face dynamic and difficult challenges that...
 
In a rather unusual, quiet manner this past summer, a new...
 
We are happy to share with you the September 2017 issue...
 
We are pleased to provide you with an opportunity to help...
 
Innovation is vital in every sector; public service is no exception....
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, George Ross, Editor-in-Chief of CGE...
 
For over 20 years, Canadian Government Executive (CGE) has been a...
 
In this episode, Editor-in-Chief of CGE, George Ross talks with Sir...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA Alliance) is Canada’s One Voice...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Risk is always present in any undertaking, no matter the size...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
In this issue of Canadian Government Executive, our lead story is...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
The bootleg fentanyl overdose crisis that is sweeping across Western provinces...
 
Terrorism operates with deadly regularity. In June 2016, a gunman who...
 
It’s a common notion that young workers born in the mid-1990s...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
The association representing more than 42,000 physicians and medical students in...
 
Yesterday, arbitrator Michel G. Picher accepted Canada Post’s proposal during final...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Over the past forty years, ministers have grown remarkably more media-sensitive...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
On June 7, over 40 senior executives from within the public...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
As much a 20 per cent of grade seven students in...
 
The actions and decisions of public servants have consequences for the...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Things just get curiouser and curiouser. Lewis Carroll (1865): ’s Adventures...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Eight years ago, the always prolific University of Chicago Law School...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Prime Minister Trudeau is off on one of the most intense...
 
That the new Liberal Government has embraced ‘open government’ is hardly...
 
Meet Bob Heart.  He is an outstanding employee who works hard...
 
There is no shortage of examples of businesses that effectively used...
 
This year is the “International Year of Evaluation”, an area that...
 
By Craig Killough In March of this year, the Prime Minister’s Advisory...
 
Written By Jason McNaught The Public Service Alliance of Canada was...
 
Written by Jason McNaught Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page doesn’t...
 
Public servants deliver the government’s agenda and serve Canadians in policy,...
 
As with any other industry, technology plays a vital role within...
 
In 1990, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada published The...
 
Our jobs can define us, and this can be dangerous. I...
 
The Veterans Ombudsman’s office is accepting nominations for the Veterans Ombudsman’s...
 
“I wasn’t really nervous until he hooked up the wires,” said...
 
CGE columnist David Zussman, Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management in...
 
The public service is a funny beast. We have so many...
 
The health of our public service executive cadre should matter not...
 
The government of Saskatchewan gave the Premier’s Award for Excellence in...
 
Since the Clerk’s Blueprint 2020 launch in June, departments have been working full...
 
What’s the purpose of jargon? Jargon that is incomprehensible to the...
 
Can an organization change through new leadership alone?...
 
The official travel card suppliers for federal employees of the government...
 
Anxiety, fatigue, and exhaustion in a leader can burnout the team....
 
Passing on shared knowledge and letting new leaders emerge are ways...
 
When the public face of an organization or a well-known leader...
 
HR has a poor reputation for innovation. After all, risk might...
 
What do you do if you’re a leader in a large...
 
School bullying has been an issue in the news, and it’s...
 
The simple basics of brainstorming are forgotten far too often, and...
 
Motivation can be linked to the following job characteristics: skill variety,...
 
Taken every three years, this is the latest feedback on what...
 
What matters most to managers?High productivity? Efficiency and organization? How about...
 
It remains perennially important to distinguish between what makes a great...
 
A public relations mishap can be turned into positive attention, as...
 
James Kendrick’s January article The Right Leadership got me thinking about...
 
With innovation, the question is not just how, but who? Who...
 
In October, the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service...
 
Last spring, the Mental Health Commission of Canada launched the country’s...
 
The best of the Editor’s Choice articles...
 
In the Nineteenth Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the...
 
Air travel can be stressful and harmful. While the destination may...
 
They told us that technology would usher in the ‘era of...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.3 March 2007 I am writing this from my...
 
Whether it’s travel, improving your golf swing or finally tackling the...
 
Quote of the week “Unless a public sector executive knows a...
 
Is retirement on your horizon? Do you plan to finish with...
 
Mental health matters. No one knows this better than Sylvie Giasson....
Today, the challenges facing governments are increasingly shifting away from traditional,...

Member Login

Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.