The 2019 Australian Public Service Commission employee census results are now available. The Commission achieved a strong response rate this year of 94 per cent. Over the past 12 months, the Commission has experienced a lot of changes ranging from the development and implementation of a 2019-2022 strategic vision, to an organisational restructure and a Capability Review, to position ourselves for the future. The employee census results reflect these changes, both in the feedback on the Commission's strengths and areas for improvement:
- In comparison to 2018, a greater portion of staff, just over 80 per cent, agreed that they receive respect from colleagues and feel consulted about the changes.
- In terms of communication, leadership and culture, staff believe the Commission has a culture that promotes and fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace.
- It is important to note that, compared to 2018, the largest overall decline in positive results, particularly on effective communication, was reported in the leadership area.
- While staff believe the Commission performs well in communicating externally, the Commission needs to focus on ensuring internal communication is improved.
- In terms of performance management and staff development, overall the results show that the Commission needs to improve performance management. One in five employees reported that performance expectations are unclear and ambiguous, and just under half of the respondents agreed that their overall experience of performance management has been useful for their development
The Commission has already taken steps to address these areas for improvement. The Commission has a refreshed SES Band 1 team which, together with our EL2 cohort, recently held a leadership forum to discuss how we position the Commission for the future. This will be a continued conversation to develop and implement a strategy to realise the outcomes of the Commission's recent Capability Review.
The Commission will be consulting broadly with staff in the coming weeks about how we can improve the performance management framework to remove ambiguity around expectations and provide clear pathways for development. This will be in combination with a communication strategy about what resources are available to assist managers and employees to make the most of performance discussions. This Commission is committed to building a performance culture where supervisors and employees are responsible for managing performance and have access to appropriate learning and development.