The Ministry of Justice's 2016 employee engagement research shows the ministry was assessed by its employees at levels below the State Sector Benchmark, although its own engagement index rose from 2015.
Results of the survey were obtained through an Official Information Act request by the Office of the Leader of the Opposition and given to media organisations and the New Zealand Law Society.
The ministry says it conducted employee engagement surveys in 2012, 2014 and 2015, while in 2013 and 2016 it conducted a smaller "pulse check".
The 2016 survey, Working for Justice 2016. 'Checking In', was conducted in May 2016 as a pulse check on the progress made since a full survey in 2015. It was run by IBM and all ministry employees were invited to participate in the 16-question survey.
A total of 2,628 ministry staff responded, giving a response rate of 75.6%. The survey summary says this was down from the 82.0% response in the 2015 survey "but nevertheless a strong response rate for an organisation the size of the ministry".
The overall Employee Engagement Index across the ministry in 2016 was 50.1% - an increase of 2.7% from 2015, and considered to be on a par with the 2014 score of 51.1%.
"Compared to the Core Public Sector, the engagement level in the Ministry of Justice continues to sit meaningfully below (17.7%)," the summary states.
Improvements from 2015
"In 2015, results highlighted a strong desire for people at the Ministry of Justice to feel valued as individuals, including stronger leader-staff connection, feeling that their well-being is looked after, their views and opinions listened to and their contribution valued through recognition and reward (financial and non-financial)," says the summary.
"Results of the 2016 pulse survey show that progress has made [sic] in a number of the above mentioned areas. Compared to 2015, people have a higher level of confidence that the Ministry of Justice is committed to their health and safety (+5.6 percentage points, a key driver of engagement in 2015); are more likely to perceive that the pay and benefits they receive are fair for what they do (+4.5 percentage points); are more confident that their views and opinions are being listened to by the ministry (+3.7 percentage points, a key driver of engagement in 2015)."
Declines from 2015
The summary says the three areas showing a significant decline in the results in 2016 all relate to a performance culture: team members behaving in accordance with the ministry's values (down 3.1%), people being held accountable for performance (down 5.9%), and availability of feedback and coaching that helps improve performance (down 5.5%).
"The results may be a reflection of the higher visibility of the organisational values and the performance measurement framework," it says. "That is, people are becoming less tolerant of performance that is below standard and behaviours that are not aligned with the ministry's values."
The results in 2015 highlighted a lack of clear direction of where the ministry was heading, the summary says.
"The 2016 pulse survey results show a further decline on people's clarity of the ministry's vision and roadmap (-2.8 and 9.6 percentage points below the Core Public Sector Benchmark), along with a drop in people's confidence that the ministry is delivering on promises made to its customers (-2.3 and 21.5 percentage points below the core Public Sector Benchmark)."
Ministry of Justice "Checking In" Survey results
|Question||MOJ 2016||SS Benchmark
|The Ministry of Justice has a clear vision of where it's going
and how it's going to get there
|The ministry is interested in the views and opinions of its
|The ministry delivers on the promises it makes to its
|The ministry is making the changes it needs to be successful
in the future
|People are held accountable for their performance in my
|People in my team behave in a way that is consistent with
the ministry's values
|The ministry is committed to the Health and Safety of its
|The pay and benefits I receive are fair for the work I do||28.7%||44.4%||24.2%|
|I feel my contribution is valued in the ministry||39.1%||57.5%||37.8%|
|The feedback and coaching I get helps me to improve my
|The Ministry of Justice inspires me to do the best I can in
my job every day
|Overall, I'm satisfied with my job||57.0%||68.5%||54.4%|
|I take an active interest in what happens in the ministry||61.8%||79.2%||56.8%|
|I feel inspired to go the extra mile to help the ministry succeed||52.7%||69.5%||51.5%|
|I feel a sense of commitment to the ministry||58.1%||75.9%||54.0%|
|I would recommend the ministry as a great place to work||36.0%||60.2%||35.0%|
"MOJ 2016" = Working for Justice - Checking In survey, May 2016;
"SS Benchmark 2016" = State Sector Benchmark 2016;
"MOJ 2015" = Engagement Survey, 2015.