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Key findings

This chapter has examined the contribution a positive APS leadership climate makes to the ability of the APS workforce to sustain high levels of performance and productivity in turbulent times. Leaders play a significant role in creating the environment in which employees contribute to the productivity of the APS. As reflected in employee engagement and employee perceptions of change management skills and ethical leadership, in 2012–13 there was an overall improvement in satisfaction with the leadership capabilities of immediate supervisors and SES. There remain, however, areas where improvements can still be made.

The majority of agencies have identified the need to improve the systems and processes used to manage and monitor the implementation of change. Additionally, the appropriateness of decision-making delegation was questioned for many agencies in the capability review program, which highlighted potentially negative outcomes of excessively centralised decision making. In addressing these issues, it may be that targeted change communication that shows how leaders are involved in delivering change is likely to have positive impact on how change is perceived by employees. Likewise, deliberate strategies to harness the complementary capabilities of senior leaders and immediate supervisors in making workplace decisions may yield positive outcomes for the continued responsiveness and effectiveness of the APS.