The APS Employee Census surveys all APS employees, including those at the Library, to track their perceptions about leadership, workplace conditions, culture and environment. The Census results assist with framing priorities and areas of focus for future Library workforce and workplace initiatives.

The Library has a proactive approach to the Employee Census results, sharing them with all staff and actively consulting through a staff Consultative Committee. The Committee includes nominated staff representatives, union delegate representatives and the NLA Executive, and is chaired by the Library’s Director-General, Dr Marie-Louise Ayres.

In 2018 the Library established a Feedback in Action (FIA) program to analyse the significant trends from the Library’s APS Census results and to draw on these to frame initiatives that respond to key aspects of the Library’s workforce culture and employee engagement.

The Library actively promotes participation in the Employee Census and in 2019 this resulted in a broader representation of views with 72% of eligible staff participating.

Insights from the 2019 Census

The Library’s engagement (76%), wellbeing (69%) and innovation (66%) scores are on par or above APS benchmarks. However, the Library has identified that the gap is narrowing over time.

Things we are doing well

  • Enabling staff to improve the way work is performed
  • Providing opportunities for staff to utilise their skills
  • Active encouragement of ethical workplace behaviours
  • Access to flexible work opportunities
  • A workforce that is committed to and takes pride in the Library’s work and goals

Things we have improved on from last year

  • An understanding of corruption
  • Workgroups commitment to workplace safety
  • Opportunities for mobility within the Library

Areas we could improve

  • Effective communication, both general internal and between the SES and employees
  • Opportunities for career progression including mobility outside the Library
  • Performance Management
  • Staff recognition
  • Management of risks
  • Promotion of health and wellbeing

At the time of the 2019 Census the Library was addressing a number of the themes highlighted in the results, the impact of which may be realised in future survey results, including the:

  • introduction of a new employee recognition process and event, and
  • refresh of the Library’s Performance Management Framework. Identified as trend of significance in the 2018 Employee Census results by the Library’s Consultative Committee for action through the FIA program.

Internal communication and career mobility have also been on the agenda in 2019 with:

  • the development of a Communications Strategy and internal communications being assigned to the Office of the Director-General, and
  • a leadership development project undertaken to explore mobility opportunities across the cultural sector.

The trend of significance identified by the Library’s Consultative Committee to be explored through the 2020 FIA program will be Working Well Together. The project will consider themes around workplace culture, respect and inclusion, effective performance, and staff recognition.