The Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) has been conducted every three years since 1999. It provides employees the opportunity to anonymously voice their opinions on their leadership, workforce and work environment. It is conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer.
The survey results enable managers and employees to discuss the strengths and areas for improvement in people management at all levels of their organization. The results also feed into deputy heads’ performance assessments.
The main objectives of the survey are to:
It is a recognized leading practice for employers to conduct regular employee surveys. To help engage employees and ensure an efficient and effective workplace, it is important to have reliable information on the state of the public service and the people and the organizations within it. Ongoing survey initiatives such as the PSES help identify opportunities to optimize excellence in people management, innovation and productivity.
The Management Accountability Framework (MAF) sets out the Treasury Board's expectations of senior public service managers for good public service management. It defines the conditions that need to be in place to ensure government is well-managed and to promote management excellence. Excellence in people management is a key component of MAF.
Certain results of the PSES are incorporated directly into the MAF assessments and the areas measured change from survey to survey. For example, results of the 2008 PSES questions related to official languages, rewards and recognition, and learning were incorporated in the 2008-2009 departmental MAF assessments. The 2010-2011 MAF assessments, however, will include results of the 2011 PSES on questions related to values and ethics, employee engagement, executive leadership, diversity, employee learning, performance management, workload and workforce planning effectiveness, as well as official languages.
Every organization that participates in the PSES is expected to develop an action plan to address areas for improvement. Further, the results of some questions in the PSES are incorporated into deputy heads' Management Accountability Framework (MAF) assessments, which are publically available.