In most years the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) conducts the State of the Service Employee Census in April and May. OPC then includes detailed information from the survey in our annual report. In 2020, the survey has been delayed until later in the year due to the COVID-19 crisis. Consequently, there are no results that can be included in the Annual Report this year.
However, OPC did run a “pulse” survey of staff.
With the majority of OPC staff currently working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OPC’s People Committee was tasked by SMT to look into the effectiveness of current staff engagement and support arrangements.
In May a survey consisting of 16 questions was sent to all staff and contractors.
The survey had responses from 80 people, which is 78% of current employees and contractors.
The survey results were overwhelmingly positive and show that, in the current environment, employees feel engaged with, and supported by, OPC:
- 86% of survey respondents indicated that they agree or strongly agree that they are satisfied with their overall engagement experience with OPC, in the current environment;
- 85% of survey respondents indicated that they are satisfied or very satisfied with the overall support received from OPC; and
- 88% of survey respondents indicated that they were happy with the frequency and volume of communication from OPC.
Consultation and engagement framework
OPC identified four themes from the 2019 State of the Service report for OPC to focus on: building capability, valuing our staff, innovation, and diversity and inclusion.
These themes fed into a new Consultation and Engagement Framework which was released in October 2019. The Framework resulted in a number of changes to the way management consult and engage with staff in OPC, including the establishment of a number of new committees: the People Committee, the Business Operations Committee, the Joint Publications and Drafting Working Group and the Champions Network.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown further underlined the importance of the four themes identified from the APS Census. The pandemic and shutdown provided opportunities for OPC to build our capabilities in terms of flexibility, resilience and innovation, and focused our attention on the need for greater communication with all of our staff.
During the shutdown, the People Committee conducted OPC’s COVID-19 Employee Pulse Survey, producing an insightful report for senior management. Despite the uncertainty of the times, and the increased pressure for staff as a result of the shutdown, the Survey showed strong improvements in relation to staff engagement and staff’s sense of being valued.