At around mid-year, each year, the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) carries out an employee census. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is always keen to participate in the census as it is an opportunity to gain valuable insight into employee views about the workplace, and also, into how the Authority compares to the broader Australian Public Service across the range of topics surveyed. Most importantly, for the Authority, it is an impartial way of establishing a collective view of common themes around what we do well and what needs improvement.
In 2019 the Employee Census was open between 6 May 2019 and 7 June 2019. It collected information on a range of important issues that aligned with the Authority’s focus areas. These included topics such as:
- employee engagement
- performance management
- recruitment and retention, and
- leadership and communication
The Authority had a response rate of 78 per cent in the 2019 Employee Census. This result gives us confidence that the feedback we have is representative of staff views at the time the Census was completed.
It was pleasing to see the ‘engagement’ score remained high in 2019, with staff identifying very strongly with the purpose and objectives of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The Authority's operations are highly dependent on its personnel and it is clear through the census results that we benefit from a committed workforce, willing to ‘go the extra mile’ and contribute to the organisation’s success. There has been a positive shift over the past year in the proportion of people who saw the alignment between their role and the priorities in the Corporate Plan; and there was also a strong positive shift in the levels of collaboration people are seeing across different areas of the organisation. The significant increase in the proportion of people who agreed the expectations of their role are clear; and who felt the organisation provides effective learning and development opportunities to help them to succeed in their role, has been encouraging.
The results have been reviewed by the Senior Management Team as well as each work area within the Authority to help ‘unpack’ the results; to agree on success stories as well as identify opportunities for improvement through targeted actions. A number of initiatives are planned at both whole of organisation and Branch level. Two key areas of focus for the Authority during 2019–20 will be the way the Senior Executive Services (SES) group works together in setting and communicating priorities, and a continued emphasis on staff wellbeing.