What a downer

Just 54 percent of provincial government employees are confident in the senior leadership of the ministries and agencies they work for, while only 50 percent agree their executives "provide clear direction for the future." Those are just some of the troubling figures included in this year's work environment survey, which was completed by 84 percent of the civil service. The survey, which was obtained by Public Eye, found 50 percent agree "essential information flows efficiently" from senior leaders to staff. And 47 percent agree they have "opportunities for career growth" in government. All those figures are down from the previous's years survey. In email, the premier's deputy minister Allan Seckel stated such decreases are "not surprising. It has been a difficult year shaped by tough budget decisions, the natural uncertainty of an election cycle and the unfortunate reality of workforce adjustment." But he promised to look for "opportunities in the months ahead to get your input on the concerns you raised in this year's survey." The following is a complete copy of Mr. Seckel's email and the survey.

From: Seckel, Allan
Sent: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 10:32 AM
Subject: 2010 Work Environment Survey Results

Good morning.

From April 19 to May 7, 84 per cent of BC Public Service employees completed the 2010 Work Environment Survey (WES), our annual gauge of your individual engagement, commitment and satisfaction with your work, your organization and your career. The corporate results have now been tabulated by BC Stats, and I wanted to share those with you this morning.

The full report on the corporate WES results is now available for all of you to read on the @Work site. I encourage you to review it, not just for the results but also to get an understanding of how the survey analysis works. In the months ahead, I will be looking for opportunities to get your input on the major concerns you have raised in this year's corporate results so that we can work together to improve on those priorities.

Overall, the employee engagement score for the BC Public Service is 64, representing a drop of four points compared to last year. In some ways, that decrease is not surprising. It has been a difficult year shaped by tough budget decisions, the natural uncertainty of an election cycle and the unfortunate reality of workforce adjustment. We know that all of these things have an impact on the professionals of the public service. While we devoted significant effort to minimizing the need for workforce adjustment, the survey results show that there are also some other key areas where many of you feel you could have used more support.

But the test of any good employer is how effectively we respond to difficult times. While it is naturally disappointing to see our engagement score decrease, I think it is in some ways a positive thing because it provides a powerful reminder of just how important the vision set out in Being the Best is. Our focus for the next year will be to get back on track with our continuing commitment to that vision, and I will be looking for more opportunities in the months ahead to get your input on the concerns you raised in this year's survey. I expect similar conversations will take place with your ministry executives to discuss your ministry results when they are available in a couple of weeks.

I do think there is some important perspective to be found in remembering that, despite the decrease this year, our level of engagement remains well above where it was when we first administered WES in 2006. We have made great strides as an organization since then, and so much of that is because of the input and ideas many of you have contributed. I can tell you that, lest there be any doubt, the entire corporate executive is as committed as ever to that vision of being a leading employer. I hope you share that commitment and take advantage of this opportunity to take stock of where we are and share ideas for how we move forward.

Allan Seckel
Deputy Minister to the Premier and
Head of the BC Public Service

Provincial government 2010 work environment survey

4 Comments

The most galling part of these surveys isn't the pitiful results year after year, it's the spin they put on it.

Skip the fluff, read the appendix that shows 'disagree, neutral, agree' percentages. To get a good idea just what it's like to work in government, I would advise paying attention to the 'agree' column only.

Only the appendix shows the results for all questions that were asked. The summary is garbage and should be ignored. You'll understand why when you read the appendix.

Sean please please PLEASE get the ministry only results for MCFD!

"While it is naturally disappointing to see our engagement score decrease, I think it is in some ways a positive thing because it provides a powerful reminder of just how important the vision set out in Being the Best is. Our focus for the next year will be to get back on track with our continuing commitment to that vision"

84% took the survey, most of those know they mean nothing to the bureaucrats running the ship into the rocks. They've been doing these for years, they never mean anything and they never do anything about the honest feedback they get.

Seckel is well aware, as the guy in charge of the Public Service, that the only "vision" right now is many more hundreds of public sector workers losing their jobs and ability to feed their families and pay for their housing and what they and their families need to survive. There is no such thing as "Being the Best" in the BC public service at this point in time. Being the cheapest, and being less than even mediocre and sometimes outright bottom of the barrel is what gets you ahead in the BC government these days. While the best lose their jobs, or jump the sinking ship if they can.

"the test of any good employer is how effectively we respond to difficult times."

The proof is in the pudding, what's the attrition rate across government? The BC Liberals took a proud tradition of service to the people of BC and they've turned being a public sector worker it into a bruising endurance race to the bottom for the citizens of BC and for it's workers.

I'm sure MCFD Min Mary Polak has garnered high approval ratings. Nobody named Josef was stuffing the ballot box with rose pedals.

Josef, are you paid by the word?

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