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Tuesday, 3 May 1994
Page: 89

(Question No. 805)


Senator Calvert asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 24 November 1993:

  (1) What was the purpose of the Staff Attitude Survey conducted by Towers Perrin, Melbourne at the Insurance and Superannuation Commission.

  (2) What was the total cost of this survey.

  (3) Why was the staff attitude survey conducted.

  (4) What were the results of the survey.

  (5) What length of time was spent on the survey by staff.

  (6) How many staff were involved in the survey.

  (7) How will the results of the survey be used within the department.

  (8) How many other staff attitude surveys have occurred in the departments overseen by the Treasurer in the 1991-92 and 1992-93 financial years and the 1993-94 financial year to date.

  (9) What costs were associated with these surveys.

  (10) Are there any plans for further staff attitude surveys with the Treasurer's Departments in the 1993-94 financial year and the 1994-95 and 1995-96 financial years.


Senator Cook —The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The staff attitude survey in the ISC in 1993 was conducted by Towers Perrin, Canberra. The purpose of the Staff Attitude Survey is to enhance the performance of the Insurance and Superannuation Commission and the job satisfaction of staff by listening to and acting upon staff views.

  (2) $22,300 including questionnaire design, printing, data entry, analysis and reporting.

  (3) The specific objective is to provide data about staff perceptions of the Insurance and Superannuation Commission's performance, to assist in setting human resource management priorities and evaluating the impact of management initiatives over time.

  (4) The survey asked 98 questions of staff and the results show the percentage response favourable, neutral and unfavourable in each of these items. The 1993 results were compared with the results of a smaller staff survey in 1992 and showed more positive staff attitudes on almost all indicators including communication, empowerment, teamwork and cooperation, commitment and satisfaction, performance reward alignment, satisfaction with pay, quality orientation and external focus, and supervisor support. In most areas, the ISC compares favourably with public service averages, with relative strengths in supervisor support, empowerment, quality orientation and external focus. Staff perceptions about training and leadership are virtually unchanged from 1992 to 1993 and are lower than public service averages.

  The main report has been made available to all managers in the ISC and the summary report has been made available to all staff. The main report notes that the ISC has already put in place many programs to improve human resource management and development and that this trend should continue. Recommendations focus on improving the ISC's performance in areas where the perceptions of staff are relatively less positive. They address management issues, especially managing people, perceptions about EEO and safety, technology and training. Action on the recommendations is continuing to receive consideration by the ISC and most work areas are locally addressing the issues raised by the survey.

  (5) It was anticipated that staff would spend 20 minutes filling out the survey. Total time spent on the survey by staff was approximately 102 hours or 14 person-days.

  (6) 411 staff were sent surveys, 308 staff replied.

  (7) The results of the survey provide useful data to the ISC to assist in the evaluation of human resource management initiatives and to measure changes in staff's perceptions of organisational performance and staff well being over time. Line managers are using the survey to identify priorities for improving management performance and staff productivity in their work places.

  (8) In the Insurance and Superannuation Commission a staff attitude survey was conducted in the 1992-93 financial year and a second survey in the 1993-94 financial year. There was no staff attitude survey conducted during the 1991-92 financial year.

  (9) There was no cost to the Insurance and Superannuation Commission for the staff attitude survey conducted in the 1992-93 financial year. The cost for the financial year 1993-94 was $22,300.

  (10) The Insurance and Superannuation Commission will consider the conduct of further staff attitude surveys for the 1994-95 and 1995-96 financial years in the context of competing budget priorities.