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Employee engagement and employee health and wellbeing

In the APS, employee engagement varies across segments of the workforce (for example, by age or classification level) and is related to important organisational outcomes including intention to leave, hours worked and the use of sick leave.18 The State of the Service Report 2011–12 indicated that the relationship between employee engagement and the use of sick leave was statistically significant but weak. This result led to the conclusion that the main cause of sick leave use was employee ill health.19 The relationship between employee health and engagement, however, is clear. Figure 4.7 shows that employees who had a medical condition that required reasonable adjustment or in some way affected their ability to do their job demonstrated substantially lower engagement levels than employees who did not.

Figure 4.7 The effect of having a medical condition on employee engagement, 2013

Source: Employee census

 

The relationship between employee engagement and experiencing a work-related injury or illness is somewhat more complex though. Figure 4.8 shows that employees who reported they were injured or experienced a work-related illness, showed significantly lower levels of all elements of employee engagement than those who had not. However, almost no relationship exists between employee engagement and whether an employee submitted a claim for compensation for a work-related injury or illness. So, while the occurrence of an injury is related to employee engagement, it would appear that the processes agencies have in place to support employees receiving compensation for a work-related injury have little to no impact on employee engagement.

Figure 4.8 Have you been injured or become ill due to work? 2013

Source: Employee census

Footnotes

18 Australian Public Service Commission, State of the Service Report 2011–12, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, (2012), pp. 75–104.

19 Australian Public Service Commission, State of the Service Report 2011–12, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, (2012), pp. 94–95.