Staff satisfaction

A challenging year that has resulted in a decline in satisfaction and engagement

Staff satisfaction 66%, compared to 89% last year
Staff engagement 69%, compared to 82% last year, above NSW public sector result of 61%

A different approach to surveying our staff

For many years we have conducted our own Audit Office Employee Opinion Survey. In 2012, the NSW government introduced the cross-sector ‘People Matter Employee Survey’. In 2017–18, for the first time, we combined the two surveys, working with the NSW Public Service Commission to include questions from our own survey in the People Matter survey. This allowed us to run one consolidated employee survey in June 2018.

Survey participation high

Ninety-five per cent of staff participated in the People Matter survey, up considerably on the 29 per cent who participated last year. However, this year’s participation rate is consistent with the 95 per cent of staff who completed our Audit Office Employee Opinion Survey last year.

Employee satisfaction down

Sixty-six per cent of respondents indicated they were ‘satisfied’ to ‘extremely satisfied’ working at the Audit Office, down from 89 per cent last year and well below our 80 per cent target.


Staff satisfaction %

Employee engagement down

Employee engagement was 69 per cent, which is a slight improvement on last year’s People Matter survey result of 66, but down significantly on last year’s Audit Office survey result of 83. Given our Audit Office survey had a significantly higher participation rate last year compared to the People Matter survey, we have concluded that the Audit Office survey comparator is more accurate for this measure. Consequently, employee engagement is down on last year. However, our employee engagement is above the NSW public sector result of 61.

Although overall employee morale remained steady at 78 per cent, employees feeling motivated to put in extra effort than normally required reduced from 94 per cent in last year’s Audit Office survey to 71 per cent, and just below the 72 per cent result for the rest of the NSW public sector. Employees who would recommend the Audit Office as a great place to work reduced significantly from 90 per cent in last year’s Audit Office survey to 71 per cent this year.


Staff morale %

Several areas of strength

This year’s People Matter survey results show several areas of strength for the Audit Office where our results were at 89 per cent or above. The top five results are:

  • My workgroup strives to achieve client satisfaction
  • My organisation respects individual differences
  • I have informal feedback conversations with my manager throughout the year
  • I understand what is expected of me to do well in my role
  • People in my workgroup treat each other with respect.

Areas employees feel we need to improve

The areas our employees believe we perform the least well in, with results of 60 per cent or below, are:

  • I have confidence in the way recruitment decisions are made
  • I believe action will be taken on the results from this survey by my organisation
  • I feel that change is handled well in my organisation
  • I have confidence in the ways my organisation resolves grievances
  • The Audit Office has sufficient resources to deliver value to clients.

We benchmark well against the NSW public sector

A big advantage for us in participating in the cross-sector People Matter survey is that we can benchmark our results against other NSW public sector organisations. In 2017–18, we had the same or better result compared to the rest of the NSW public sector for 57 of the 62 measures, or 92 per cent. Some of the areas we performed extremely well in compared to the rest of the sector include:

  • 77 per cent of our staff agreed their organisation is committed to developing its employees, compared to 52 per cent in the rest of the NSW public sector
  • 84 per cent of our staff agreed senior managers genuinely support the career advancement of women, compared to 60 per cent in the rest of the NSW public sector
  • 81 per cent of staff agreed they have scheduled feedback conversations with their manager throughout the year, compared to 58 per cent in the rest of the NSW public sector.

The year ahead

Our employees have indicated to us through the People Matter survey that there are several areas we will need to focus on in the coming year to better meet their needs. In 2018–19, we will begin a consultative and collaborative process of working with our employees to formulate a People Matter Action Plan. To ensure this plan receives the maximum focus and attention possible, it will be developed and implemented as part of our ‘Working Better, Working Together’ strategic initiative, and be a key focus for the Leadership Team throughout the year.

For more information on our strategic initiatives see the year ahead.