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Microagency survey results 2012


Since 1998, the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has had a legislated requirement to produce an annual report summarizing the state of the Australian Public Service (APS) over the previous 12 months; to date, 14 State of the Service Reports (SOSR) have been produced.

The SOSR is compiled using a wide range of data sources with much of it coming from the SOSR Employee Survey. Administered annually to a large sample of APS employees[1], the SOSR Employee Survey provides information about the opinions and attitudes of the APS workforce. While the Employee Survey has been progressively expanded to cover more agencies over the years, agencies with less than 100 employees (the so called “micro-agencies”) have remained out of scope.

In early 2011, micro-agencies were invited to participate in a modified version of the SOSR Employee Survey (see Annex A). The Micro-Agency Snapshot (the Snapshot) was administered over a two week period between August and September 2011.

The Report

This report presents the results of the Snapshot. The Snapshot is divided into six sections which are similar to those in the 2010–11 SOSR; these are:

  • Section 1: Employee engagement
  • Section 2: Leadership and culture
  • Section 3: Employee health and wellbeing
  • Section 4: Performance management
  • Section 5: Recruitment and retention
  • Section 6: Innovation and social media

This report presents results for all employees who participated in the Snapshot; a total of 388 employees from 13 different agencies participated in the Snapshot, which represents a response rate of 62.38%. For further detail on the demographics of respondents is at Annex B.

  • [1] A total of 10,222 APS employees responded to the 2011 SOSR Employee Survey.
  • [2] Scottish Executive Social Research (2007). Employee Engagement in the Public Sector: A Review of the Literature, Edinburgh.
  • [3] State of the Service Report 2010—11
  • [4] Job Engagement: t(9946)=3.22, p<0.001, ?2=0.001; Team Engagement: t(9985)=4.45, p<0.001, ?2=0.002; Supervisor Engagement: t(9900)=3.91, p<0.001, ?2=0.002; Agency Engagement: t(8391)=6.65, p<0.001, ?2=0.005; UK Engagement Index: t(10207)=5.25, p<0.001, ?2=0.003.
  • [5] Job Engagement: f(2,216)=41.03, p<0.001, ?2=0.276; Team Engagement: f(2, 211)=22.02, p<0.001, ?2=0.172; Supervisor Engagement: f(215)=20.39, p<0.001, ?2=0.159; Agency Engagement: f(2, 187)=23.49, p<0.001, ?2=0.201;
  • [6] Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin 2010—11.
  • [7] Satisfied individuals are those who selected either “Agree/Satisfied” or “Strongly agree/Very satisfied” for each item.
  • [8] Job Engagement: f(2, 365)=61.88, p<0.001, ?2=0.25; Team Engagement: f(2, 359)=58.73, P<0.001, ?2=0.25; Supervisor Engagement: f(2, 357)=49.35, P<0.001, ?2=0.22; Agency Engagement: f(2, 312)=123.40, p<0.001, ?2=0.44.
  • [9] Job Engagement: f(2, 367)=60.30, p<0.001, ?2=0.25; Team Engagement: f(2, 362)=55.36, p<0.001, ?2=0.24; Supervisor Engagement: f(2, 359)=44.78, p<0.001, ?2=0.20; Agency Engagement: f(2, 315)=157.51, p<0.001, ?2=0.50.
  • [10] The workplace elements measured by the HSE Tool are: the demands of the workplace, the amount of control the employee has, the support they receive from their manager and their peers, the levels of conflict in the workplace, how well the employee understands their role in the organisation, and how well change is managed in the organisation.
  • [11] The Gold Standard is an average score taken from a number of high performing UK organisations.
  • [12] Demand: t(10078)=0.95, p=0.34; Control: t(10198)=5.96, p<0.001, ?2=0.003; Manager support: t(9760)=2.71, p=0.007, ?2=0.003; Peer support: t(10203)=1.44, p=0.15; Relationships: t(10188)=-0.56, p=0.58; Role Clarity: t(10231)=2.63, p=0.008, ?2=0.003; Change management: t(10213)=4.71, p<0.001, ?2=0.003.
  • [13] Job engagement: t(306)=2.91, p=0.004, ?2=0.03; Team engagement: t(303)=2.52, p=0.01, ?2=0.02; Supervisor Engagement: t(301)=0.28, p=0.78, ?2<0.001; Agency engagement: t(255)=1.07, p=0.28, ?2=0.004.
  • [14] Participation rate is calculated as the percentage of employees who knew a program was offered that reported accessing it.
  • [15] State of the Service Report 2010-11
  • [16] For the purpose of this survey, a decision relating to engagement or promotion is based on merit if:
    • (a) an assessment is made of the relative suitability of the candidates for the duties, using a competitive selection process; and
    • (b) the assessment is based on the relationship between the candidates’ work-related qualities and the work-related qualities genuinely required for the duties; and
    • (c) the assessment focuses on the relative capacity of the candidates to achieve outcomes related to the duties; and
    • (d) the assessment is the primary consideration in making the decision.
  • [17] For the purpose of this survey, governance covers the set of responsibilities and practices, policies and procedures, exercised by an agency’s executive, to provide strategic direction, ensure objectives are achieved, manage risks and use resources responsibly and with accountability.
  • [18]To assist in your calculations, a fortnight of full-time work (without any additional hours) is often approximately 75 hours.
  • [19]For the purpose of this survey, one day is the equivalent of 7.5 hours in calculating time off.
  • [20]Off-the-job activities can include seminars, conferences, classroom training courses, leadership programs, academic study or formal in-house programs.
  • [21] 2 (2)=3.78, a=0.151
Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018