Search the internet and you will find versions of the often repeated quote that “people join companies but leave managers”. Managers have a profound impact on employee experiences. They direct the day-to-day activities of employees. They are role models and establish the pattern of acceptable behaviours in the workplace.
- “Satisfaction with immediate supervisor shows a high degree of stability”
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We know from the APS employee census that positive perceptions of immediate supervisors are linked with employee engagement, work performance and innovation in the workplace. They are ultimately linked to productivity. Common sense would lead a person to conclude that individuals are more likely to contribute to agency goals if managers communicate clearly and offer good support and direction. Employee census results confirm this.
Satisfaction with immediate supervisor performance is measured against each of the 10 competencies assessed in the APS employee census. Results are stable year on year. It is good to see that APS employees rate their supervisors positively on their ability to achieve results, their personal drive and their integrity. Employees are less supportive of supervisors’ ability to develop and motivate people, or to encourage innovation.
Employee satisfaction with immediate supervisor competencies (Integrated Leadership System)
Learn more about this chart: view data and full question set for Figure 1.
Noticeable differences occur in satisfaction with immediate supervisors when compared across classification level. The Senior Executive Service (SES) show higher levels of satisfaction than either Executive level (EL) or APS level employees.
Senior employees will often have more senior supervisors who are more experienced and who have had the opportunity to refine their skills over time. Results from the employee census show that the SES have more positive views of most aspects of the workplace than other employees.
Figure 2. Employee satisfaction with immediate supervisor competencies by classification level (Integrated Leadership System)
Learn more about this chart: view data and full question set for Figure 2.
Employee census results show that the function of an agency is linked to perceptions of managers. Employees in policy agencies are generally more positive about their immediate supervisors. Surprisingly though, employees in policy agencies report less encouragement from managers to be innovative than more specialist agencies. Agency size has an impact as well. Employees in larger operational agencies are the least positive across the 10 immediate supervisor competencies assessed in the employee census.
Learn more about the APS employee census and APS immediate supervisor competencies by clicking the ‘Learn More’ menu tab at the top of this page.
Figure 3. Employee satisfaction with immediate supervisor competencies by agency function (Integrated Leadership System)
Learn more about this chart: view data and full question set for Figure 3.
The idea that people leave bad managers is backed up by employee census results. Employees planning on leaving their agency either immediately or in the short term are those who are least satisfied with their immediate supervisors. Conversely, employees with longer term career aspirations within their agency are the most satisfied.
Figure 4. Employee satisfaction with immediate supervisor competencies related to intention to leave (Integrated Leadership System)
Learn more about this chart: view data and full question set for Figure 4.
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Read the State of the Service Report 2014–15 on the APSC website.