Facts, figures and visuals on survey respondents feelings on public sector values

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About the public sector values

The 7 core public sector values guide the ethics and behaviour of everyone who works in the public sector.

There’s a strong link between workplace culture and how staff perceive their organisation lives the public sector values.

Read more about the values in the code of conduct.

Key findings

The key findings are for the Victorian public sector.

The lowest levels of positive agreement were results for impartiality and integrity.

This is consistent with previous surveys and reflects low confidence in:

  • recruitment practices
  • safe reporting processes
  • how leaders demonstrate honesty and integrity

Falls in positive views

Positive views of:

  • responsiveness fell to 87% from 89% in 2019, but is the best performing value
  • impartiality fell to 68% from 73% in 2019
  • accountability fell to 76% from 79% in 2019.

Improvements in positive views

Positive views of:

  • integrity rose to 70% from 68% in 2019
  • human rights rose to 80% from 79% in 2019
  • leadership rose to 73% from 72% in 2019.

Positive views that have stayed the same

Positive views of respect have stayed the same at 78% in 2021 and 2019.


Responsiveness in 2019 and 2021

This graph shows the percentage of respondents who agree their workgroup seeks to deliver timely and quality advice and services.

A commitment to responsiveness can help build trust and lead to better outcomes.

The results combine agree and strongly agree answers to these statements:

  • My manager ensures clients receive a high standard of service.
  • My workgroup strives to provide high-quality advice and services.
  • My workgroup strives to deliver services in a timely manner.

Integrity in 2019 and 2021

This graph shows the percentage of respondents who agree their organisation, managers and workgroup act with integrity.

It measures integrity as:

  • being fair, honest and transparent
  • conducting ourselves properly
  • using public sector powers responsibly.

The Victorian community needs high trust in how everyone in the public sector works and what they do.

The results combine agree and strongly agree answers to these statements:

  • I feel safe to challenge inappropriate behaviour at work.
  • My manager demonstrates honesty and integrity.
  • My organisation is committed to earning a high level of public trust.
  • My organisation does not tolerate improper conduct.
  • I am confident that I would be protected from reprisal for reporting improper conduct.
  • Senior leaders demonstrate honesty and integrity.
  • People in my workgroup are honest, open and transparent in their dealings.
  • People in my workgroup appropriately manage conflicts of interest.

Impartiality in 2019 and 2021

This graph shows the percentage of respondents who agree their organisation and workgroup make objective and fair decisions:

  • based on merit
  • without bias, favouritism or self-interest.

The results combine agree and strongly agree answers to these statements:

  • My organisation makes fair recruitment and promotion decisions, based on merit.
  • My workgroup focuses on making decisions informed by all relevant facts.
  • My workgroup places a priority on acting fairly and without bias.
  • People in my workgroup are politically impartial in their work.

Accountability in 2019 and 2021

This graph shows the percentage of respondents who agree that they and their workgroup:

  • work to clear objectives
  • are accountable for what they do and the resources they use.

The results combine agree and strongly agree answers to these statements:

  • I clearly understand what I am expected to do in this job.
  • I understand how my job contributes to my organisation’s purpose.
  • Senior leaders provide clear strategy and direction.
  • My workgroup strives to make the best use of its resources.
  • My workgroup has clear lines of responsibility.

Respect in 2019 and 2021

This graph shows the percentage of respondents who agree that their manager and workgroup show respect for their colleagues, other public officials and members of the Victorian community by: 

  • treating them fairly and objectively 
  • ensuring freedom from discrimination, harassment and bullying 
  • using their views to improve outcomes on an ongoing basis.

The results combine agree and strongly agree answers to these statements: 

  • My manager listens to what I have to say.
  • My manager keeps me informed about what’s going on.
  • My manager treats employees with dignity and respect. 
  • My organisation encourages respectful workplace behaviours. 
  • My organisation takes steps to eliminate bullying, harassment and discrimination.
  • My workgroup respectfully consults with clients and stakeholders to improve outcomes.
  • People in my workgroup treat each other with respect.

Leadership in 2019 and 2021

This graph shows the percentage of respondents who agree their leaders apply and promote the Victorian public sector values.

Leading by example is important to developing a positive workplace culture and helps build trust with the Victorian community.

The results combine agree and strongly agree answers to these statements:

  • My manager models my organisation’s values.
  • Senior leaders model my organisation’s value.

Human rights in 2019 and 2021

This graph shows the percentage of respondents who agree that human rights are understood and applied in their organisation.

Under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, organisations must consider human rights in how they work and act.

The results combine agree and strongly agree answers to these statements:

  • I understand how the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities applies to my work.
  • My workgroup values human rights.
  • My organisation encourages employees to act in ways that are consistent with human rights.
  • My organisation respects the human rights of employees.