People Matter Employee Survey 2017


PMES 2017 LogoThe NSW People Matter Employee Survey was open to all employees across the NSW Government sector during June 2017.

The survey provides an important opportunity for almost 400,000 employees to have a say about their workplace and to help make the public sector a better place to work.

The survey asks employees about experiences with their own work and working with their team, managers and the organisation.

The survey is coordinated by the Public Service Commission working in collaboration with public sector departments and agencies.

2017 Reports

2017 Main Findings

People Matter Employee Survey 2017 Main FindingsThe 2017 Main Findings report (PDF 3.1MB) for the NSW public sector People Matter Employee Survey contains detailed results at sector and cluster levels. 

The findings show the many strengths of the NSW public sector workforce:

  • Employee engagement across the sector remains steady at 65% (p5)
  • Engagement with work remains strong at 72% (p11)
  • More employees feel that action will be taken on the feedback they provide (p51)
  • Job satisfaction has increased across all clusters (p14)
  • Service to customers was the highest ranked public service value (p31)
  • 85% agree that their workgroup strives to achieve customer/client satisfaction (p32)
  • 78% agree that their workgroup works collaboratively to achieve its objectives (p21)
  • 75% have had informal feedback from their manager (p24)
  • 74% agree that people in their workgroup treat each other with respect (p32)
  • 74% agree that personal background is not a barrier to success (p38)
  • 70% feel that their manager communicates effectively with them (p20)
  • 69% feel that their organisation focuses on improving its work (p21).

The findings also highlight employee concerns that need to be addressed:

  • There has been a downward trend in bullying and other types of unacceptable behaviour over the 2012, 2014 and 2016 surveys (p35) but further work is required in this area. Sector wide and agency level campaigns are ongoing and gaining traction.
  • Views about recruitment practices are generally low, and the level of agreement varies across clusters (p28).
  • Performance management is improving but not yet fully embedded. The majority of comments suggest there are gaps relating to implementation to be addressed (p25).
  • Overall, employees are more positive about their immediate work environment (job, workgroup and direct manager) and less positive about the more distant environment (senior managers and the organisation).
  • Leadership and the perception of senior managers remain a challenge across the sector, a finding that leaders will be working to reverse.

Responses from individual employees are confidential and strict rules are in place to safeguard privacy at every stage of the survey process.

2017 Reports for departments and agencies

Name Response rate (Per cent) Number of responses
NSW Public Sector
42 140,063
39 30,920
Family and Community Services
42 6,354
Finance, Services and Innovation
93 6,747
36 48,839
81 4,583
42 17,068
Planning and Environment
81 6,273
Premier and Cabinet
87 756
46 12,427
84 1,353
Independent Agencies
56 4,742

Accessible version of the reports

Should you require an accessible version of a report, please email

How the results will be used

Public sector organisations receive reports that summarise the response from their employees. The results are used by organisations to identify areas of good practice and to make improvements where needed using the evidence from the survey.

The Public Service Commission uses the results to report on the overall performance of the public sector and to inform different types of sector wide workforce management initiatives.

Most importantly, the results of the survey can be used throughout the sector by employees, managers and work groups. The Public Service Commission encourages all employees and managers 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 workplace practices.

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