Making local government a great place to work
Did you know, two-thirds of local government employees rate their workplace as a great place to work?
Flexibility, purpose, empowerment and diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what council employees consider makes their workplace great, according to our survey of 1500 NSW local government employees published in ‘People Matter for Local Government’ research paper.
Placing emphasis on employee engagement can have significant benefits for local government organisations, including higher productivity and performance, increased employee retention, reduced sickness, absence and stress, better customer service, greater creativity, improved wellbeing and morale, and makes the organisation more attractive to talent.
Two-thirds of employees have a strong desire to advance their careers in the local government sector.
The survey indicated that 95 per cent of local government employees are highly enthusiastic when it comes to looking for ways to perform their job better. They also have a firm belief in the purpose driving their work, with 87 per cent having a strong appreciation of how their role contributes to positive outcomes for their council and community.
Two-thirds of local government employees anticipated that they would continue to work in their current organisation, with 75 per cent of respondents indicating they were likely to remain in the local government sector for five years or more.
What makes a local government organisation a great place to work?
The research also identifies key factors critical to fostering employee engagement:
- Flexibility and wellbeing: More than two-thirds of respondents utilised flexible working arrangements, including flexible start and finish times.
- Diversity and inclusion: The majority of respondents said their workplaces encouraged diversity and inclusion, with 85 per cent considering diversity leading to better business outcomes.
- Empowerment: 80 per cent of respondents feel they are empowered to suggest ideas on how they can improve ways of working.
- Collaboration: Around 80 per cent felt their colleagues worked collaboratively and they received help and support from their team members to achieve goals.
Around 30 per cent of local government employees believe change is not handled well in their organisation, with a need for improved communication and management of change.
Where is there room for improvement?
- Technology: Tools and equipment were identified as a key area for improvement, particularly mobile devices to assist outdoor and off-site workers with reporting, on-site information and workplace management
- Communicating and managing change: 29 per cent of respondents perceived that change was not currently handled well within their organisation, with need for clearer direction of organisational goals, and more effective leadership and management of change identified as a top area for improvement.
- Career and development: Improved opportunities for career advancement, learning and development programs were identified among the top three motivational factors. Although 65 per cent of employees have a strong desire to advance their careers, around 30 per cent feel dissatisfied with the current opportunities available to them.
Want to know more?
Interested in learning more about improving employee engagement in your organisation?
Learn more about leading change, workforce planning, organising and managing local government, or consider other areas of professional development specific to local government.
You can also contact the Institute's Research team:
Program Specialist – Leadership
UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance