Frequently asked questions: 2014 Public Service Employee Survey

  • 1. What is the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES)?

    The PSES is a survey of all federal public servants that has been conducted every three years since 1999. The survey measures employees’ opinions in relation to employee engagement, leadership, the workforce and the workplace. The PSES is led by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, in collaboration with Statistics Canada.

  • 2. What are the main objectives of the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES)?

    The main objectives of the PSES are to provide information on topics such as leadership, performance management and employee engagement and to facilitate the continuous improvement of people management practices in the federal public service. Better people management practices lead to better results for the public service, and in turn, better results for Canadians. The survey results are also an important source of information for the Management Accountability Framework.

  • 3. When did the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) last take place?

    The PSES was last conducted between and .

  • 4. Who participated in the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey?

    Employees in 93 federal departments and agencies for which the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is the employer as well as participating separate agencies were invited to participate in the survey.

    All indeterminate, term, seasonal, casual and student employees, and Governor in Council appointees were invited to participate. As in previous surveys, ministers' exempt staff, private sector contractors or consultants, and employees on parental leave or leave without pay were not included.

  • 5. How many employees responded to the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey?

    In 2014, 182,165 out of 255,245 employees responded to the survey, for a response rate of 71.4%. Response rates for previous years were as follows: 2011, 72.2%: 2008, 65.8%: 2005, 58.9%: 2002, 57.8%: and 1999, 54.6%.

  • 6. Can the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) results be compared with those from 2011 and 2008?

    Approximately 80% of the questions in the 2011 PSES and over 50% of the questions in the 2008 PSES remained unchanged for the 2014 PSES. Results for those questions are comparable over time.

  • 7. Are employees’ responses to the Public Service Employee Survey confidential?

    Yes.Statistics Canada is required under the Statistics Act to protect the confidentiality of employees’ responses and ensure that no data are released that can be traced to individuals. Responses are always combined with those of other employees within departments or agencies. Statistics Canada does not publish or share individual responses or results for very small groups (i.e., fewer than 10).

  • 8. Are the results of the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) publicly available?

    Yes. The aggregated 2014 PSES results are available in HTML table format. Aggregated results are available for the overall public service and organizations, and they are broken down by demographic characteristics such as gender, age and tenure, and by the organizational structure.

    Data files in Excel and CSV format containing the aggregated results are also available to the public. They can be accessed through the Open Data Portal.

  • 9. How are the results of the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) used?

    The PSES results provide departments and agencies an opportunity to strengthen people management and employee engagement within their organization. Departments and agencies are invited to share findings from the survey to their employees, and to work with them and other stakeholders to identify and implement concrete solutions to respond to issues raised in the survey.

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