Caroline Wawzonek: Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Yellowknife — November 3, 2022

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Madam Speaker, as the Minister responsible for the public service I can say without question that employees are the GNWT’s most important resource. An engaged workforce that is committed to its work is critical to the delivery of quality programs and services to residents across the territory. This is why the Government of the Northwest Territories, like many other public and private sector employers in Canada, wants to ensure that public servants are engaged and satisfied at work.

This past year, the GNWT completed the first Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey since 2016. This survey is conducted by jurisdictions across Canada. It measures employee commitment and satisfaction across all government departments and regions and serves as an important pulse check so that we can understand and respond to any areas needing improvement. The results of the survey guide dialogue between management, employees, and human resource specialists. The 2021 Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey response rate was 48.0 percent.

Madam Speaker, the majority of this year’s survey indices remained relatively unchanged from the GNWT’s 2016 scores. The three categories where the GNWT aggregate scored above the previous survey were Development, Leadership, and Diversity & Inclusion, with Diversity and Inclusion having the highest increase, 5.8 percentage points, when compared to the 2016 score.

In comparison to other jurisdictions, the GNWT scored above the interjurisdictional average in over half of the questions, including for all statements under the Capacity, Development and Excellence and Innovation categories, and for two thirds of statements under the Culture category. Most notably, the GNWT scored 11.4 percentage points higher than the interjurisdictional average on the statement: “My organization supports my work-related learning and development.”
Madam Speaker, although we scored better in some categories than other jurisdictions, there are areas of improvement that need to be addressed, one being employee morale.  Since the last 2016 survey, employee morale has gone down 3.4%. While some of that decline is likely the result of running this survey in the midst of a pandemic that affected work life balance, limited travel and contributed to higher turnover rates; I do not consider this to be the only challenge we face, and it does not alter the need to take action.

There are also some notable disparities in scores between departments. Appropriately, departments have received individual guides with detailed results to help them interpret the survey results so that they can take the appropriate steps to address some of the challenges identified by their employees.

In addition, Madam Speaker, the Department of Finance is also establishing an inter-departmental working group with the aim of improving workplace satisfaction across the GNWT. This working group will provide concrete meaningful actions and resources for departments and agencies to adapt.

I want to thank all employees who took the time to complete the Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey. The GNWT values your input and will do everything it can to ensure you are working in a safe, healthy environment that contributes to your success, and the overall success of the communities in which you serve.

Our employees’ outlook, priorities and expectations are changing, Madam Speaker, and we need to remain live to these changes and adapt accordingly. I look forward to seeing the good work that will come from these survey results.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.