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WORKPLACE DYNAMICS IN NEW ZEALAND PUBLIC SERVICES 2013 Geoff Plimmer Jessie Wilson Jane Bryson Stephen Blumenfeld Noelle Donnelly Bill Ryan The Industrial.

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Presentation on theme: "WORKPLACE DYNAMICS IN NEW ZEALAND PUBLIC SERVICES 2013 Geoff Plimmer Jessie Wilson Jane Bryson Stephen Blumenfeld Noelle Donnelly Bill Ryan The Industrial."— Presentation transcript:

1 WORKPLACE DYNAMICS IN NEW ZEALAND PUBLIC SERVICES 2013 Geoff Plimmer Jessie Wilson Jane Bryson Stephen Blumenfeld Noelle Donnelly Bill Ryan The Industrial Relations Centre (IRC) and the School of Management Victoria University of Wellington

2 Key points 49,611 of the PSA members invited to participate Between 3 and 24 April ,762 responses A response rate of 32% Survey comprised sets of standardised questions – 5-point Likert scales, 1= positive/agree, 3= neutral, 5 = negative/disagree

3 The context, change agenda Better Public Services (BPS) – New focus on results, leadership [transformational?], people and organisational capability – Step change required – Released early 2012, over a year ago Performance Improvement Reviews (PIF) – Concerns about performance and leadership – Poor on strategic management, better on operational and ministerial responsiveness Budget cuts Work intensification, erosion of rights, low management skill, personal accountability

4 Profile of the typical participant 48 years of age female New Zealand European/Pakeha works full-time in a clerical or administrative capacity more highly educated than the national average paid above the New Zealand wage and salary average heterosexual, married involved in community life through voluntary work in the areas of sport, education, health/social support or religious/spiritual activities

5 Employment and occupational distribution 44.8% -public service agencies (N = 6452) 25.7% - district health boards (N = 3702) 12.3% - state sector agencies (N = 1778) 12.1% - local government bodies (e.g., district councils; N = 1741) 5.1% - a variety of community orgs (N = 729) 340 organisations represented by the PSA Over 45% are in professional, registered service worker, manager or scientist positions

6 Officials are committed and motivated… Most agree they are motivated (M = 4.04, SD =.54) [Neutral coded as 3] And are relatively committed to their organisation (M = 3.59, SD =.88) But are motivated more to making a difference to society (87.9%) or their job (84.5%) than their organisation (67.9%)

7 …do pressured but decent work 51.3% say they work more than their contracted working hours (M = 6 hours per week) but report reasonable levels of workload (M- 3.01, SD.78) 51.5% of women report extra working hours 83% not compensated 42% say never seem to have enough time to get everything done 47.2% indicate too much work for one person to do

8 High rates of bullying Almost a third of participants reported being bullied in the last six months, with 6.2% experiencing bullying frequently (4.6% daily or weekly) In other New Zealand research using the same method, 12.4% of respondents reported having been bullied now and then, compared to 26.2% in the current survey (O'Driscoll et al., 2011)O'Driscoll et al., 2011

9 Organisational overview Next sections focus on workplace processes, organisational systems and climate, perceptions of management, organisational performance including ambidexterity Interpretive frame – What would a high-performing, well-organised, well- managed public organisation look like? – especially one capable of being innovative whilst maintaining business- as-usual? – In other words, how ready to enact BPS/PIF? Assumption that most/all scores should be in the positive range and some well above – i.e. high percentage of staff rate organisations above 3 (neutral) on most/all indicators

10 Workplace processes Have reasonable authority, information, and knowledge to do their jobs, but feel unrewarded and have limited voice outside their immediate jobs. Authority/autonomy M = 3.57 Information M = 3, SD.79 RewardsM = 2.64, SD.90 Knowledge M= 3.16, SD.70 (5=positive/agree; 3=neutral; 1=negative/disagree) Low ratings for management knowledge and opportunities for upward worker input Lowest ratings for rewards for extra effort, recognition and praise

11 Organisational systems and climate Although organisational and workplace goals and procedures are clear, they are not particularly efficient or well-designed Organisational goals – M = 3.56, SD.81 – 58.1% can clearly explain the direction (mission, values, purpose) of this org… Communication, co-operation - M = 2.73, SD.92 Innovation – M= 2.81, SD.86 Processes - M = 3.27, SD.87 (5=positive/agree; 3=neutral; 1=negative/disagree) – Clear policies and procedures for work – 61.6% – Efficient and well designed – 37.1% Note tendency towards pervasive ambivalence starting to emerge in responses

12 Perceptions of managers… Managers are considerate in some respects but not particularly fair, honest or trustworthy (M = 3.12, SD =.95)

13 …more perceptions of managers Are risk averse, overly political and not strong on development of subordinates or organisations (M = 2.79, SD =.81)

14 Organisational performance Organisational performance not rated highly (M = 2.79, SD =.81). – An example item is This organisation is achieving its full potential. (5=positive/agree; 3=neutral; 1=negative/disagree) Adaptability – also low (M = 2.90, SD =.88). – Example: The management systems in this organisations are flexible enough to respond quickly to changes Alignment – slightly better (M = 3.04, SD =.79). – Example: My organisation wastes resources on unproductive activities

15 Ambidexterity


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