Facts, figures and visuals on survey respondent wellbeing

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How to read the data on this page

Don’t use this data to represent the whole public sector.

Some organisations weren’t able to take part in the 2020 survey as they were responding to the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

These were:

  • 16 metropolitan and large regional health services
  • 10 other hospitals
  • Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • Victoria Police

With some results, some numbers may add up to more than 100% as respondents could select more than one answer.

Read more about the 2020 survey

Who took part in the 2020 survey


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Due to the varied representation of some industry groups in the 2020 survey, there may be bias in the results.

The under-represented industry groups in the 2020 survey are:

  • Police and emergency services
  • Public health care

The over-represented industry groups in the 2020 survey are:

  • TAFE and other education
  • Victorian Public Service
  • Water and land management

The 2020 survey results may not be a reliable indicator of employee opinions or experiences compared to surveys in other years.

The data for % of public sector workforce comes from our annual workforce data collection.

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Work-related stress

Work-related stress is an employee’s stress response to work. This may include responses that are:

  • physical, like headaches, indigestion, tiredness, slow reactions, shortness of breath or illness
  • mental, like difficulty in decision-making or forgetfulness
  • emotional, like irritability, excess worrying, feeling worthless, anxiety, defensiveness, anger or mood swings
  • behavioural, like diminished performance, withdrawal behaviours or impulsive behaviour

Lower work-related stress is linked to positive organisational outcomes, such as job retention and performance.

In the 2020 survey, 1 in 4 respondents said they experienced high or severe work-related stress. This is in line with past surveys.

Current levels of work-related stress


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Causes of work-related stress


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Emotional effects of work

Emotional effects of work are the positive and negative feelings respondents experienced in the 3 months before the survey.

Positive feelings may lead to higher wellbeing and job satisfaction and a lower chance of burnout.

Each respondent was asked to rate how often they felt happy, enthusiastic, worried and miserable as:

  • Never or very rarely
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very often or always

Nearly half of respondents said work made them feel often, very often or always happy or enthusiastic.
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Psychological safety climate

Psychosocial safety climate question results are what respondents said about how safe and secure they feel at their organisation.

A good safety climate leads to higher productivity and employee wellbeing.

A bad safety climate may lead to:

  • poor work quality
  • negative acts such as bullying and harassment
  • mental health problems such as depression, distress and emotional exhaustion
  • sickness absence
  • presenteeism (coming to work when sick)
  • worker compensation
  • reduced engagement


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How we work out the percentage agreement

To find the average agreement:

  1. find out what percentage of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with each individual question
  2. add these together and divide them by the number of questions e.g. if there were 2 questions in a measure, 20% of respondents may had agreed or strongly agreed with the first question and 40% of respondents may have agreed or strongly agreed with the second question.
  3. add these numbers together and divide them by the number of questions (20 + 40 / 2 = 30)
  4. come to the average e.g. 30% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the questions in this measure

 

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Engagement

Engagement results are what respondents said about how engaged they feel with their organisation as a result of the work they do.

High engagement may lead to greater satisfaction and lower absences, turnover and workplace stress.


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How we work out the engagement score

The engagement score is out of 100 and is the average of these weightings for all engagement question responses:

  • 100 points for strongly agree
  • 75 points for agree
  • 50 points for neither agree nor disagree
  • 25 points for disagree
  • 0 points for strongly disagree

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Satisfaction

Satisfaction is one way to see how satisfied respondents are with their jobs, work-life balance and careers.

In 2020, 66% of respondents were satisfied with their current job, work-life balance and career development.

High satisfaction may lead to improved engagement, performance and lower absences and turnover.

Results


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How we work out the percentage satisfied

To work out the percentage satisfied, we:

  1. Add up the respondents who agreed or strongly agreed e.g. 60 employees agreed or disagreed
  2. Add up the respondents who agreed, strongly agreed, neither agreed nor disagreed, disagreed and strongly disagreed e.g. 120 respondents answered the question
  3. Divide the totals together e.g. 50% either agreed or strongly agreed

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