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Challenges and opportunities

The AIHW continues to depend on highly skilled and competent people to achieve its strategic goals and is committed to the ongoing development of all staff, especially in relation to retaining and enhancing critical capabilities. We have continued to rely on engaging contract staff to complete our expanded work program and deliver our commitments while managing staff numbers within the Average Staffing Level (ASL) cap that has been set for all APS agencies. At the end of June 2019 we had a total of 498 active staff including 157 contract staff (31%). While this is a challenge and there is a risk to having such a high proportion of contract staff, we are actively managing this by engaging appropriately skilled people, offering long-term contracts where possible, providing meaningful and challenging work, and offering contract staff with the same opportunities as ongoing staff. Overall the integration of contract staff across the AIHW has proven to be exceptionally successful.

We strive to provide a workplace that offers unique, fulfilling and challenging work, in a friendly and nurturing environment that promotes the professional and personal development of all individuals. Results from the 2019 APS Employee Census validated that we have an excellent workplace culture and that all staff value the organisation and take pride in the work we do. Employee engagement at the AIHW remains high, and ahead of similar-sized agencies, specialist agencies and the overall APS.

In the APS Census, Employee Engagement is titled ‘Say, Stay, Strive’. Under this section, 93% of staff stated they were proud to work for the AIHW, 93% would recommend it as a good place to work, and 96% were happy to go the ‘extra mile’ at work when required. We also received positive results for wellbeing, and workplace culture. In terms of wellbeing, we received a wellbeing index score of 80%.

The wellbeing score provides an indication of the state of emotional and physical health and wellbeing among employees. It measures both the practical and cultural elements that allow for a sustainable and healthy working environment. Both APS and contract staff were invited to participate in the Census this year and the response rate achieved was 89%, an extremely positive result given the significant growth of the AIHW in the last 12 months.