People Matter Employee Survey 2014


The online 2014 NSW People Matter Employee Survey was open to all staff across the NSW public sector from 5 May to 30 May 2014. The next survey will be conducted in May, 2016.

The survey is an opportunity for all NSW public sector employees to have their say about their workplace and to help make the public sector a better place to work. The survey seeks views on how well the public sector values and employment principles are applied within each organisation and gathers information on the way in which organisations, managers and workgroups operate.

Main Findings Report

People Matter Employee Survey 2014 Main Findings ReportThe 2014 People Matter Employee Survey (PMES) Main Findings Report (PDF 1.8MB) is now available. The findings of the PMES, the second of its kind in NSW, assesses levels of employee engagement, determines the extent to which Departments and agencies are embedding the NSW government sector core values, ensures workplaces are supporting diversity and ethical behaviour, and give employees the opportunity to voice their opinions about their workplace experiences.


Response rates and reports across the sector

Department and agency results are available by clicking on the links below.

  Number of responses  Response rate
Education and Communities  22,137 19.7%
Family and Community Services 6,033 29.2%
Health 17,189  13.0%
Justice 6,365
Planning and Environment  2,357 40.4%
Premier and Cabinet 649 47.4%
Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services 2,826 37.7%
Transport 7,517 27.3% 
Treasury and Finance 4907 64.7%
Separate agencies 1,678 49.4%
State-owned corporations 1,610  9.0%
Other entities  282 39.4% 
Overall sector response rate   19.4%

How results are used 

The People Matter Employee Survey 2014 provides an important source of information which will be used by the PSC in a number of ways, now as well as in the future. The PSC will use these results of the People Matter Employee Survey 2014 to:

  • Continue to build the evidence base of NSW Public Sector workforce management issues, strengths and weaknesses in the sector, and work towards feasible public sector performance improvement strategies.
  • Assess the survey results alongside other PSC data sources and strengthen knowledge of the state of NSW Public Sector.
  • Identify workforce issues emerging in this survey, and evolve the survey in future years to understand these in more detail, the next survey is due to be run in 2016.
  • Support Departments and agencies in communicating the results of the survey to staff.

Most importantly, the results of the survey can be used throughout the sector by employees, managers, workgroups, agencies and Departments. These results allow for improvement strategies to be evidence based. The PSC encourages all sector employees to engage with the results of the survey and think about how change can be affected at an individual, organisational and systems level to improve results over time.

What were some of the responses to the 2012 PMES?

  • In general survey participants told us that they take pride in the organisation they work for, and that they have a strong sense that their immediate workplace is based on integrity and trust.
  • They also told us that they and their colleagues strive to achieve the best possible services for customers, that they are generally happy with their work and with their teams.
  • Another strong positive response was that survey participants generally felt that their organisation’s involvement in the community was not only part of their organisations’ purpose but that this was a strong motivator for their work.
  • Based on feedback from survey participants the level of employee engagement in NSW can now be compared with other government sectors in Australia and the UK.
  • Survey participants were however critical of a number of areas that need attention in the workplace, including the need for a more consistent approach for performance management, the need for improvements to organisational communication, particularly from senior leaders  and the imperative to address bullying in the workplace.
  • In 2012 survey participants asked for a free text box in the survey to give their views in more detail.

… and how they were acted upon?

A number of approaches have been put in place in the NSW public sector since the last PMES survey in 2012 to address some of the key areas of concern. In terms of the three key themes from the 2012 survey – the need to improve performance development practices; the importance of communication particularly from senior managers and the level of bullying – actions have  included:

  • Development and implementation of performance development systems which align individual goals to organisational results and are focussed on informal and formal performance feedback – the need for both forms of feedback was a clear message from the 2012 survey
  • An investment in the capability of senior managers across the sector through  an Executive Development Program
  • A direction to all agencies to report on how bullying is being addressed in their organisation and each agency has reported back to the Commissioner on these processes.

The 2014 PMES included a free text section for respondents to have their views included in detail.


The Public Service Commission acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which our office stands.