The buck stops where?

Earlier, we reported on the organizations that have some of the worst work environment survey scores in the provincial government. Some of them responded to a request for comment - with Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell personally stepping forward to address the issue. Others did not. But we also received a statement from civil service head Allan Seckel, which was forwarded to us by the ministry of citizens' services. In it, Mr. Seckel wrote the surveys provide "an opportunity for employees to share their honest views so that we can become a better employer." The civil service head acknowledged work environment scores across government are lower this year, in part because of "tough budget decisions, the natural uncertainty of an election cycle and the unfortunate reality of workforce adjustment." But those scores are still higher than they were in 2006. The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned statement, which doesn't directly deal with the problems experienced by Shared Services BC, the now-defunct Olympic Games secretariat, as well as the forests and children's ministries.

* The annual Work Environment Survey is a critical tool in helping make the BC Public Service a more competitive employer that can recruit and retain the skilled professionals needed to serve the people of B.C.

* It is more than a mere satisfaction survey - it is an opportunity for employees to share their honest views so that we can become a better employer.

* Overall, the employee engagement score for the BC Public Service is 64, representing a drop of four points compared to last year.

?* Despite the decrease this year, our level of engagement remains well above where it was when we first administered WES in 2006 and the Province of BC remains among Canada's top 100 employers ?

?* While significant effort has been devoted to minimizing the need for workforce adjustment, the survey results show that there are also some other key areas where staff feel they could have used more support. ?

?* I have communicated to all government staff about our WES results, noting that 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. ?

Allan Seckel

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