​Introduction

Staff engagement and workplace culture are primary factors that enable us to meet our core objectives. We have several data sources that we have selected to gauge our performance in this area. The Australian Public Service (APS) employee census is conducted to give employees an opportunity to provide feedback to the agency about work-related issues and includes measures for staff engagement, wellbeing, and promotion of inclusion and diversity. The data is used by the agency to inform agency programs, activities and workforce planning. Our process for individual performance review uses an in-house online platform that enables us to collect information about employee participation in the process.

Data

Because the 2020 APS census (normally conducted in May) was delayed until late 2020 due to COVID-19, results from the 2019 census compared to the 2018 census are reported here. We have selected those measures from the census (described in box below) that relate best to our performance in staff engagement and culture.

Description of Census measures (from survey results provided to us from the APS):

  • The employee engagement score is based on responses to statements that reflect “the employees emotional connection and commitment to the agency”.
  • The wellbeing index is based on responses to statements the reflect both “the practical and cultural elements that allow for a sustainable and healthy working and environment”.
  • The inclusion and diversity scores are based on employee responses to the statement “My agency supports and actively promotes an inclusive workplace culture”.

The Individual Work and Development Plan (IWDP) is part of the performance review process that is completed by all FSANZ employees. It records individual’s work and development plans for the coming 12 months. The IWDP is designed to guide the direction of what is required, allowing flexibility for employees to tailor it to individual and organisational needs. It is also designed to engage supervisors and employees in regular informal conversations to reflect on achievements. FSANZ monitors participation in the IWDP process to support the link between individual and organisation performance.

Results

Outcome ​Performance measure ​Results ​Context

Staff are engaged and have corresponding levels of weng

​Employee engagement scores

% positive (2019)

% positive (2018)

Wellbeing index (2019)

Wellbeing index (2018)

Inclusion and diversity scores

% positive (2019)

% positive (2018)

74%

72%

62%

65%

 

70%

55%

​The 2019 employee engagement scores and wellbeing index were not substantially different from 2018.

The 2019 scores for all three areas (i.e. including inclusion and diversity scores)  are down -1%, -7% and -5% respectively compared to similar sized agencies in the APS.

In 2019-20 we undertook a number of measures to support staff engagement and workplace culture. These included the introduction of the Health & Wellbeing plan, implementation of the culture action plan, and the embedding of the FSANZ Values.

Our workplace culture delivers high performance

​Percentage of staff completing IWDP reviews by deadline:

  • 1st quarter
  • Mid-year
  • 3rd quarter
  • End of year

 

95.83

93.33

88.33

84.07

​The high degree of completion of the IWDP process reflects staff commitment to FSANZ performance and development.

Case study – FSANZ Values and Behaviours

Values have been a focus for the agency as they are critical to improving or maintaining a high degree of staff engagement and performance. In close consultation with all FSANZ staff, our culture team developed a set of FSANZ-shared values and their associated behaviours in early 2019. These internally focussed values were created to complement the APS ICARE values*. The behaviours, which exemplify each value, help provide context to when ‘we hit the target’ or conversely, when ‘we miss the target.’ The values guide our performance, ensuring that we work together and promote a constructive work culture within the agency.

The FSANZ values, known by the acronym 'DAART', and each values' by-lines are:

  • Develop: support people to grow and develop
  • Achieve: collaborate to achieve a common goal
  • Accountable: responsible for my commitments, behaviours and actions:
  • Respect: build open and supportive relationships
  • Transparent: build trust by being genuine, clear and consistent

In the 2019-20 FY, the agency worked to embed the values into our core business processes and day-to-day work. Actions that were undertaken included: incorporating the FSANZ values into performance review discussions, cross checking the FSANZ values with internal policies and procedures and revising as needed, and staff training in applying FSANZ values. In addition we held “Values Week” for each of the values where staff participated in a number of activities designed to apply the values in how we approach our work and relate to each other.

*https://www.apsc.gov.au/aps-values-1

Conclusion

The 2019 APS survey results indicate that the wellbeing index is not matched by employee engagement. Improvement in the wellbeing index is a focus for the agency to ensure sustainable performance. In 2019-20 we undertook a number of measures to support staff engagement and workplace culture. These included the introduction of the Health & Wellbeing plan, implementation of the culture action plan, and the embedding of the FSANZ Values. The 2019 census showed good improvement in the inclusion and diversity score and reflects our commitment to diversity through our 2020-23 Diversity and Inclusion Plan. Results on completion of IWDP reviews suggests that we are performing well in this activity.

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