The 2021 APS Employee Census Overall Results
The 2021 APS Employee Census was administered from 10 May 2021 to 11 June 2021. Responses were received from 109,537 APS employees across 101 agencies. This represents the largest number of responses ever received for the annual survey. While the resulting response rate of 77% is slightly lower than the 78% obtained in 2020, it equals the 77% response rate of 2019.
The majority of respondents rated their workgroup’s overall performance for the last month as either very good (55%) or excellent (27%). A similarly large proportion also rated their agency’s success in meeting its goals and objectives as very good (56%) or excellent (16%).
The majority of employees agreed their workgroup has the appropriate skills, capabilities and knowledge to perform well (81%) and that they cooperate to get the job done (87%). Most indicated their workgroup uses time and resources efficiently (77%) and readily adapts to new priorities and tasks (86%).
The APS Employee Census uses a model of employee engagement that measures the emotional connection and commitment employees have to working for their organisation. The Employee Engagement Index score for the APS remained stable from 2020 to 2021 at 73%. This indicates the pattern of more positive results that was seen in 2020 has largely been retained. For example, in 2021 the majority of respondents (83%) believed strongly in the purpose and objectives of their agency (82% in 2020). The majority of respondents were also happy to go that ‘extra mile’ at work (91%) and work beyond what is required to achieve their agency’s objectives (83%).
In 2021, respondents’ perceptions of APS leadership remained broadly positive. For example, two-thirds (66%) of respondents agreed their immediate SES manager promoted cooperation within and between agencies (64% in 2020). Similarly, three-quarters (73%) agreed their immediate SES manager ensured their work contributed to the strategic direction of the agency and the APS (71% in 2020; 67% in 2019).
For supervisors, the majority (87%) of employees agreed their immediate supervisor ensures their workgroup delivers on its responsibilities (85% in 2020).
The Wellbeing Index in the APS Employee Census measures both the practical and cultural elements that allow for a sustainable and healthy working environment. In 2021, the APS Wellbeing Index score was 68%. Although this represents a decline from 2020 (70%), the 2021 Wellbeing Index score remains higher than the result in 2019 (67%).
In 2021, one in three respondents (34%) reported feeling burned out by their work. While this represents a decline from the 36% who felt the same in 2020, this remains important to continue monitoring in future administration of the APS Employee Census.
APS Values and the Code of Conduct
The proportion of respondents experiencing bullying and harassment decreased slightly in 2021 (11.7%, down from 11.8% in 2020). Similarly, the proportion of respondents who perceived discrimination in 2021 (11.5%) also decreased slightly (11.7% in 2020).
3.8% of employees indicated having witnessed corruption in 2021, a slight increase from 3.5% in 2020.