Public Service Employee Survey - Summary Report by den54914

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									            P U B L I C S E R V I C E E M P L O Y E E S U R V E Y

                           S U M M A R Y R E P O R T

1.    B ACKGROUND
From May 17 to June 7, 2007, employees in Part I (Civil Service) of the provincial
Public Service participated in the first-ever New Brunswick Public Service Employee
Survey. The survey is an inter-jurisdictional initiative between the Public Services of
several provinces. Government of New Brunswick (GNB) employees had the
opportunity to express their views on issues such as their work environment, work-life
balance and career development. Most questions were identical to those in employee
surveys conducted by other provinces as part of the inter-jurisdictional initiative.

The survey will:
      �	 provide GNB management with insights into the current level of engagement
        
         and data to act upon in areas of opportunity;
      �	 help shape the Public Service for today and the future, and ensure the voice
        
         of GNB employees is heard during the process; and
      �	 provide benchmarks to guide efforts for improving employee engagement.
        

The same survey will be conducted in Part II (school districts) and Part III (regional
health authorities) of the Public Service later this year.



2.    RES PO NSE R ATE AN D AC C U R AC Y OF RE SU L TS
The survey was sent to 11,595 employees and 6,728 completed surveys were
returned, which represents a 58% response rate. The response rate is similar to other
jurisdictions in Canada where response rates ranged from 43% to 58% with a mean
response rate of 50% (where data was available). The sampling accuracy (margin of
error) is +/- 0.8%, 19 times out of 20. Respondents as a whole were broadly
representative of GNB employees in all survey demographic aspects.

A number of measures were taken to guarantee the confidentiality of respondents and
ensure the validity of the results and analysis. The survey was directly distributed to
employees by an independent firm, OpenVenue E-Research Solutions. The completed
electronic surveys were then directly returned to OpenVenue. A second independent
firm, Atlantic Evaluation Group, received the data from OpenVenue, and produced and
interpreted the results. Atlantic Evaluation Group used Statistics Canada privacy
standards when reporting results.
The survey responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics (e.g. proportions,
means). Factor analysis and other statistics were performed to identify themes (groups
of related statements or factors) among the responses.



3.     WORK F ACTORS MOST IMPORT ANT TO EMPLOYEES

Employees were presented with 16 factors that influence their work and were asked to
select the five factors most important to them. The responses tell us what employees
value most in their work.
The work factors most often selected by employees were:
        Being treated with respect and consideration
       �                                                (49% of respondents)
        A
       �  chance to do challenging and interesting work               (44%)
        Having the opportunity to balance work and personal life
       �                                                              (38%)
        Working for a manager I respect
       �                                                              (37%)
        My
       �  pay                                                         (37%)


After analyzing the survey responses, Atlantic Evaluation Group found that seven of the
sixteen factors were statistically linked and could be grouped into two conceptual
themes:
        Compensation & Job Security
       � 
        Fulfillment & Aspiration
       � 

The Compensation & Job Security theme includes three factors:
        Pay
       �                                                    31% of respondents chose two
        Benefits
       �                                                    or more of the Compensation &
        Job
       �  Security                                          Job Security factors as
                                                            important to them in their work.


The Fulfillment & Aspiration theme includes four factors:
                                                            35% percent of respondents
       � Having ideas adopted and put into use              chose two or more of the
       � Making a difference in the province                Fulfillment & Aspiration
       � Learning new skills and developing talents         factors as important to them
       � Doing challenging and interesting work             in their work.

Employees who selected a factor in one of the themes were likely to select another
factor in the same theme. Conversely, employees who selected a factor in one theme
were less likely to select a factor in the other theme. In other words, employees who
seek fulfillment and aspiration from their work are likely to attach less importance to
compensation and job security issues, while employees who seek compensation and
job security are likely to attach less importance to fulfillment and aspiration issues.

Public Service Employee Survey - September 2007                                       2
Compensation & Job Security is more important for employees with 25 or more years
of service (36%), and less important for those with less than two years of service (23%)
and employees under age 25 (23%). It is more important for administrative (38%) and
technical (36%) job categories, and less important for middle managers (19%) and
senior executives (20%). Employees planning to leave their employment with GNB do
not attach greater or lesser importance to Compensation & Job Security than those
planning to stay.
Fulfillment & Aspiration is more important for employees with less than two years of
service (44%) than GNB employees as a whole (35%). It is more important for
professionals (44%), middle managers (50%) and senior executives (64%), and less
important for administrative (26%) and labour (15%) job categories. Employees unsure
whether they would leave their employment with GNB were more likely to select
Fulfillment & Aspiration factors than both those planning to leave or planning to stay.
Providing opportunities for fulfillment and aspiration may be an important factor for
increasing employee retention.


Significantly, a number of factors that do not form part of the Compensation & Job
Security or Fulfillment & Aspiration themes were selected by a large proportion of
employees:
        Being treated with respect and consideration
       �                                                                   (49%)
        Having the opportunity to balance work and personal life
       �                                                                   (38%)
        Working for a manager I respect
       �                                                                   (37%)


These three factors were selected by employees regardless of whether they tended to
select Compensation & Job Security factors or Fulfillment & Aspiration factors.
Therefore, these factors represent more Universally Shared Values among Public
Service employees.


Knowing which work factors public servants consider most important to them will help
GNB determine key areas on which to focus as it develops employee recruitment and
retention strategies and strives to increase employee engagement.




Public Service Employee Survey - September 2007                                        3
         Table 1: Work Factors Most Important to Employees

                                                           
          
                                                                                                              Proportion of 
                                                                                                             employees who 
     Theme            Factor                                                                               selected the factors 


     Compensation  My pay                                                                                          37% 
     & Job          Job security                                                                                   35% 
     Security       My benefits (Example: Pension, health and dental, long­term disability, group life)            34% 
                    A chance to do challenging and interesting work                                                44% 
     Fulfillment &  A chance to learn new skills and develop my talents                                            29% 
     Aspiration     A chance to make a difference in the province                                                  22% 
                    A chance to have my ideas adopted and put into use                                             20% 
                    Being treated with respect and consideration                                                   49% 
     Universal 
     Values         Having the opportunity to balance work and personal life                                       38% 
                    Working for a manager I respect                                                                37% 
                    The authority to make decisions about how I do my job                                          34% 
                    A chance to get daily enjoyment from my job                                                    33% 
     Other  
                    Opportunity for advancement                                                                    31% 
     (not grouped 
     into themes)  Working with people I like                                                                      29% 
                    Having good physical working conditions                                                        15% 
                    The opportunity to work for a respected organization                                            8% 




4.       EMPLOYEE S ATISF ACTION AN D ENG AGEMENT 
While the preceding section tells us what employees value in their work, the responses
to the next series of questions tell us to what extent employees are satisfied and
engaged by their work. Employees were asked to express their level of agreement with
22 statements about various aspects of their employment with the Public Service.

Satisfaction surveys such as this one normally reflect a high level of agreement. The
baseline for a favourable agreement level is set at ≥ 75% agreement (somewhat
agree + strongly agree). Agreement levels significantly below 75% can be viewed as
opportunities for improvement.

The individual statements with the highest levels of agreement are:
      �	 I have positive working relationships with my co-workers.
                                                                   (93% agreement)
      �	 I know how my work contributes to the achievement of my
        
         department or agency’s goals.                                       (90%)
      �	 My job is a good fit with my skills and interests.
                                                                             (86%)
      �	 Overall, I am satisfied in my work as a GNB employee.
                                                                             (80%)
      �	 The work expectations placed on me by my manager are reasonable. (78%)
        



Public Service Employee Survey - September 2007                                                                             4
The individual statements with the lowest levels of agreement are:
         I
      �  have opportunities for career growth within GNB.              (40% agreement)
         I
      �  have opportunities for career growth within my department or agency. (41%)
      �  Essential information flows effectively from senior leadership to staff. (53%)
         I
      �  receive meaningful recognition for work well done.                       (60%)
         I
      �  have confidence in the senior leadership of my department of agency. (61%)

After analyzing the survey responses, Atlantic Evaluation Group was able to group 16
of the 22 individual statements into four statistically related conceptual themes.
Employees who agreed with one statement within a theme also tended to agree with
the other statements within the theme (see Table 2 for the grouping of the statements
among the themes). The four themes are:
       � Satisfaction with the Employer
       � Support & Recognition
       � Leadership
       � Career Growth & Development

The remaining six individual statements (not used in the four themes above) broadly
reflect a fifth conceptual theme:
        �  Job Satisfaction

On average, four out of five employees (82%) agree with the statements
indicating Job Satisfaction. Among the responses to the various statements in the
Job Satisfaction theme, nine out of ten employees say they have positive working
relationships with their co-workers and know how their work contributes to the
achievement of their department or agency's goals. More than eight out ten employees
say that their job is a good fit with their skills and interests. Three quarters of
employees have reasonable expectations placed on them by their manager and feel
inspired to give their best. Seven out of ten employees feel that they have an
opportunity to provide input into decisions that affect their work, which presents an area
of opportunity for improvement in the Job Satisfaction theme.

Job Satisfaction is high for all employees, but particularly high for those with less than
two years of service (87% agreement). Job satisfaction is higher among employees
not planning to leave their employment with GNB (87%) and lower, but still high, among
those planning to leave within the next two years (75%) or unsure about leaving (75%).

On average, seven out of ten employees (70%) agree with the statements
indicating Satisfaction with the Employer. Among the responses to the various
statements in the Satisfaction with the Employer theme, four out of five employees are
satisfied with their work as a GNB employee, and three quarters of employees are
proud to tell people they work for their department or agency. Two thirds of employees
are satisfied with their department or agency and would recommend it as a great place
to work. Two thirds of employees would also prefer staying with GNB even if offered a
similar job elsewhere.


Public Service Employee Survey - September 2007                                          5
Satisfaction with the Employer is higher among employees with less than two years of
service (84% agreement) and lower among those with 15-19 and 20-24 years of
service (65% and 64% respectively). Satisfaction with the Employer is higher among
temporary employees (81%) than permanent employees (69%), and higher among
employees not planning to leave their employment with GNB (81%) than employees
planning to leave within the next two years (58%) or the next three to five years (62%).

On average, two thirds of employees (66%) agree with the statements indicating
satisfaction with Support and Recognition. Among the responses to the various
statements in the Support and Recognition theme, seven out of ten employees are
satisfied with the quality of the supervision they receive and say they have support at
work to balance their work and personal life. Two thirds of employees say that
innovation is valued in their work and that they have support at work to provide a high
level of service. Six out of ten employees feel their manager provides regular feedback
on their performance and that they receive meaningful recognition for work well done.

Agreement with Support & Recognition is higher among temporary employees (75%)
than permanent employees (65%). It is higher among employees not planning to leave
their employment with GNB (73%) and lower among employees planning to leave in
the next two years (58%) or in the next three to five years (60%).

On average, more than half of employees (57%) agree with the statements
indicating satisfaction with Leadership.            Among the responses to the two
statements in the Leadership theme, six out of ten employees express confidence in
the senior leadership of their department or agency while five out of ten employees say
that essential information flows effectively from senior leadership to staff.

Agreement with Leadership is higher among employees with less than two years of
service (79%) and lower among those with 15-19 years of service (50%). It is higher
among employees not planning to leave GNB (64%) and lower among those planning
to leave within the next five years (50%). Leadership has higher levels of agreement
among younger employees, with 80% agreement among those under 25 years of age
and 63% agreement among those age 25 to 34.

On average, half of employees (50%) agree with the statements indicating
satisfaction with Career Growth and Development. Among the responses to the
three statements in the Career Growth & Development theme, two thirds of employees
feel their department or agency supports their work-related learning and development.
Four out of ten employees say they have opportunities for career growth within their
department, agency and GNB as a whole.

Agreement with Career Growth & Development is higher among employees not
planning to leave GNB (58%), and lower among those planning to leave in the next two
years (39%) or in the next three to five years (44%). Younger employees rate Career
Growth & Development higher, with 61% agreement among those under age 25 and
59% agreement among those age 25 to 34.

Public Service Employee Survey - September 2007                                        6
The levels of agreement with the statements about Leadership (57%) and Career
Growth & Development (50%) are significantly lower than the established threshold of
75%. The results for these two themes clearly identify areas of opportunity where GNB
can develop and implement initiatives for improvement.

Planning to leave employment with GNB was the most powerful predictor for the five
Satisfaction and Engagement themes. Employees not planning to leave have higher
levels of agreement, and those planning to leave or unsure about leaving consistently
have lower agreement levels across the five themes. This indicates that plans to leave
employment are related to opinions on work-related statements.


        Table 2: Employee Satisfaction and Engagement
         
                                                                                                    Proportion of 
                                                                                                                           Overall 
                                                                                                    employees who 
    Theme             Statement                                                                                            theme 
                                                                                                    agreed with the 
                                                                                                                           response 
                                                                                                    statements 
                      I have positive working relationships with my coworkers.                            93% 
                      I know how my work contributes to the achievement of my department or 
                                                                                                              90% 
                      agency's goals. 
    Job 
                      My job is a good fit with my skills and interests.                                      86%              82% 
    Satisfaction * 
                      The work expectations placed on me by my manager are reasonable.                        78% 
                      I am inspired to give my very best.                                                     75%** 
                      I have opportunity to provide input into decisions that affect my work.                 68% 
                      Overall, I am satisfied in my work as a GNB employee.                                   80%** 
                      I am proud to tell people I work for the department or agency.                          75%** 
    Satisfaction 
                                                                                                                               70% 
    with Employer  I would prefer to stay with GNB, even if offered a similar job elsewhere.                  66%** 
                      I am satisfied with my department or agency.                                            65%** 
                      I would recommend my department or agency as a great place to work.                     64%** 
                      I am satisfied with the quality of supervision I receive.                               73% 
                      I have support at work to balance my work and personal life.                            70% 
    Support and       I have support at work to provide a high level of service.                              67% 
                                                                                                                               66% 
    Recognition  Innovation is valued in my work.                                                             64% 
                      My manager provides regular feedback on my performance.                                 62% 
                      I receive meaningful recognition for work well done.                                    60% 
                      I have confidence in the senior leadership of my department or agency.                  61% 
    Leadership                                                                                                                 57% 
                      Essential information flows effectively from senior leadership to staff.                53% 
                      My department or agency supports my work related learning and 
    Career Growth  development.                                                                               68% 
    and                                                                                                                        50% 
    Development  I have opportunities for career growth within my department or agency.                       41% 
                      I have opportunities for career growth within GNB.                                      40% 
             * Items in this theme were not statistically related to each other as with items in the four other themes (as 

             identified through factor analysis).
   
             ** See first paragraph on page 8.
   




Public Service Employee Survey - September 2007                                                                                  7
Six of the 22 Satisfaction and Engagement statements in Table 2 are used by
participating provinces to build an Engagement Index (average of the responses to the
statements indicated by **). The Engagement Index for the New Brunswick Public
Service is 71% compared to an average Engagement Index of 66% for the other
provinces who have conducted the survey.

Among the 22 statements in Table 2, 19 have also been used by other participating
provinces. Overall, GNB employees express a higher level of agreement (69%) with the
19 common statements than the inter-jurisdictional average (63%).


5.     EMPLOYEE RETENTION
As the labour market becomes more competitive, it is important that the New Brunswick
Government, as an employer, understands the intention of its employees about
pursuing their careers within the Public Service. Therefore, the survey asked
employees to indicate whether they were planning to leave their employment with GNB.
If yes, they were asked to indicate within what time frame and their reason for leaving.

Almost a quarter of employees (23%) plan to leave their employment with GNB
within the next 5 years (8% within the next 2 years and an additional 15% within the
next 3 to 5 years). A further 25% of employees are unsure about whether they plan to
leave.

Not surprisingly, employees with 25 or more years worked for GNB are more likely to
leave in the next five years (50% plan to leave), as are employees age 55 and older
(67% plan to leave). There are noteworthy differences among job categories: only one
in five administrative and professional employees plan to leave whereas over a third of
senior executives plan to leave. Temporary employees are less likely to leave (16%
plan to leave) than permanent employees (24% plan to leave).

Among employees planning to leave within the next five years, 72% stated retirement
as their reason for leaving. Other reasons for leaving include:

       � Management (lack of support communication or recognition)        (7%)
       � Pursuing other employment opportunities                          (6%)
       � End of contract or term employment                               (4%)
       � Job itself (not interesting work or lack of challenge)           (3%)
       � Other                                                            (8%)

Levels of agreement with the five Satisfaction and Engagement themes discussed in
Section 4 vary significantly among employees planning to leave their employment with
GNB as compared to those who do not plan to leave. Employees with low ratings of
Job Satisfaction, Satisfaction with the Employer, Support & Recognition, Leadership,
and Career Growth & Development are more likely to be planning to leave their
employment with GNB. This indicates that work-related issues have a significant
impact on employee retention.

Public Service Employee Survey - September 2007                                       8
On the other hand, responses to the two themes among Work Factors Most Important
to Employees (Compensation & Job Security and Fulfillment & Aspiration) do not vary
significantly among employees who are planning to leave their employment with GNB
and those planning to stay.

The survey results confirm that GNB faces a significant human resources challenge in
terms of replacing departing employees. Particular attention will have to be paid to
succession planning to ensure the right people with the right skills and knowledge will
be available to fill the roles and responsibilities of positions vacated by retiring
employees.



6.     MOVING FORWARD
The Government of New Brunswick is committed to following up on the results of the
survey to further increase the levels of employee engagement. The survey will provide
benchmarks to measure changes in employee engagement when the survey is
repeated in approximately two years.

Increasing employee engagement is crucial for:
      �	 fostering a dynamic and innovative workforce committed to providing quality
         
         public services, and consequently increasing customer satisfaction; and
      �	 helping to attract, develop and retain talent as the Government of New
         
         Brunswick faces demographic challenges as an employer. 




Public Service Employee Survey - September 2007                                       9

								
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