Highlights: 2014 Public Service Employee Survey
- The 2014 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) was developed in collaboration with many stakeholders across the federal public service as well as bargaining agents through the National Joint Council.
- The response rate of the 2014 PSES was 71.4%, similar to the 2011 response rate of 72.2%.
- The 2014 PSES results show stability in many areas, with some variation over time for others.
- Positive trends over time were noted for questions pertaining to immediate supervisor, performance management, workload, and aspects of a respectful and ethical workplace.
- Some trends over time highlight areas for improvement, such as training, career development, work-life balance, empowerment, and organizational performance.
- The 2014 PSES results and the activities underway with Blueprint 2020 will support our efforts to shape a modern Public Service for the future.
- To better understand harassment and discrimination issues that were raised in previous Public Service Employee Surveys, new questions were added to the 2014 survey.
- According to the 2014 results, 19% of employees experienced harassment and 8% of employees experienced discrimination in the past two years Footnote 1.
- The survey results will assist organizations to make positive changes, including fostering a workplace free of harassment and discrimination.
The 2014 PSES results show that the majority of employees are engaged in their work and their organization. However, some indicators of engagement have decreased over time. In 2014:
- 93% of employees agreed that they are willing to put in the extra effort to get the job done, similar to 2011 (94%)
- 79% of employees felt that they like their job, a decrease from 82% in 2011 and 84% in 2008
- 74% of employees reported that they get a sense of satisfaction from their work, a decrease from 2011 (76%) and from 2008 (77%)
Generally, employees were more positive about their immediate supervisor than about their senior management, and this gap has grown over time. In 2014, roughly three quarters of employees expressed favourable views of their immediate supervisor, but only about half did so with regard to their senior managers. In 2014:
- 75% of employees felt that their supervisor keeps them informed about issues affecting their work, an increase from 2011 (73%) and 2008 (71%)
- 47% of employees indicated that essential information flows effectively from senior management to staff, compared with 48% in 2011 and 51% in 2008
Consistent with the intent of the new Directive on Performance Management that took effect across the core public administration in 2014:
- 79% of employees indicated that their work is assessed against identified goals and objectives, an increase from 2011 and 2008 (75% and 73%, respectively)
- 72% of employees felt that they receive useful feedback about their job performance, up from 2011 and 2008 (70% and 67%, respectively)
Training and Development
The 2014 results show that employees feel less positive about the training they receive and about support and opportunities for career development in their organization. In 2014:
- 63% of employees indicated that they get the training they need to do their job, a decrease from 2011 (69%) and 2008 (68%)
- 52% of employees felt that their organization does a good job of supporting career development, lower than in 2011 (55%) and 2008 (56%)
Based on the 2014 results, indicators of empowerment are not as high as in 2011. In 2014:
- 66% of employees believed that they have support to provide a high level of service, a decrease from 2011 (75%)
- 62% of employees believed that they have opportunities to provide input into decisions that affect their work, down from 68% in 2011
Work-life Balance and Workload
In terms of work-life balance and workload, in 2014:
- 78% of employees indicated that their immediate supervisor supports the use of flexible work arrangements, higher than in 2011 (75%)
- 70% of employees reported that they can complete their assigned workload during their regular working hours, similar to 2011 (69%) and higher than in 2008 (64%)
- 71% of employees agreed that they have support for work-life balance, down from 2011 (75%)
The survey asked employees whether the quality of their work suffers as a result of certain factors. For these questions, a higher percentage reflects a more negative outcome. In 2014, employees cited the following factors as affecting the quality of their work “Always/Almost always” or “Often”:
- Having to do the same or more work but with fewer resources: 48%, higher than in 2011 (44%) and 2008 (42%)
- Too many approval stages: 48%, an increase from 2011 (45%) and 2008 (43%)
- Overly complicated or unnecessary business processes: 44%
Respectful and Ethical Workplace
According to the 2014 results, most public service employees believe they work in a respectful and ethical workplace:
- 94% of employees indicated that they have positive working relationships with their colleagues, same as in 2011
- 80% of employees felt that their colleagues behave in a respectful manner
- 79% of employees felt that their organization respects them, an increase from 2011 (76%) and 2008 (74%)
- 82% of employees believed that employees in their organization carry out their duties in the public’s interest, up 4 percentage points from 2011 (78%)
In 2014, 19% of employees indicated that they had been harassed in the past two years Footnote 2. The most common types of harassment among those who indicated harassment were:
- Offensive remarks (57%)
- Unfair treatment (46%)
- Being excluded or ignored (43%)
Of those who felt they had been harassed:
- 7% indicated that they had filed a grievance or formal complaint
- 25% reported that they had taken no action
Eight percent of employees indicated that they had experienced discrimination in the past two years Footnote 3. The most common types of discrimination among those who had indicated discrimination were:
- Sex (24%)
- Age (23%)
- Race (20%)
Of those who indicated they had experienced discrimination:
- 7% reported that they had filed a grievance or formal complaint
- 48% indicated that they had taken no action
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