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Employees gave international trade ministry, MCFD lowest marks for work environment

Workers in the ministries responsible for international trade, children and family development, and agriculture gave the lowest scores for employee engagement in the British Columbia government last year.

At the other end, employees in the Government Communications and Public Engagement office and the B.C. Public Service Agency gave the highest scores on the surveys.

The B.C. government measures employee engagement through a work environment survey every two years. The surveys asked employees whether they agreed, disagreed or were neutral on 73 questions such as "I am satisfied with my job", "innovation is valued in my work" and "I have confidence in the senior leadership of my Ministry/organization."

In 2013, employees in GCPE, part of the ministry of technology, innovation and citizens' services headed by Andrew Wilkinson, gave the highest overall engagement score at 71. The office includes the people who do media relations and community engagement for the government. Categories GCPE employees gave top marks in included job satisfaction, empowerment and respectful environment.

The BCPSA, which provides human resources leadership and services for the government, had the second highest score at 69. It is part of the ministry of finance, headed by Mike de Jong. Categories where BCSPA employees gave top scores included stress and workload, professional development, "vision, mission and goals" and supervisory-level management.

International trade, where Teresa Wat has been minister for a year, had the lowest overall engagement score at 58, followed by MCFD at 60 and agriculture at 61.

Workers at MCFD, where Stephanie Cadieux is minister, gave the lowest marks of any public service employees on executive-level management, organization satisfaction, empowerment and professional development. International trade gave the lowest ratings for job satisfaction and empowerment (tied with MCFD).

The worst "stress and workload" marks were given by staff in the environment ministry, MCFD and the environmental assessment office.

And the worst ratings for "vison, mission and goals" went to Aboriginal relations and reconciliation, MCFD and environment.

Full results, which communications officials several months ago refused to release to The Tyee, are available on the Data BC website.

The Tyee reported in January that the overall engagement score at the health ministry had dropped by seven points since 2011 when the surveys were last completed. That drop was matched at the environmental assessment office and the ministry of jobs, tourism and skills training. Only the ministry of community, sport and cultural development dropped further, by 10 points.

Engagement scores at the new ministry of natural gas, however, went up by nine points from 2011.

BC Stats conducted the surveys in October, 2013, for the public service agency.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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