APS Employee Census 2023: results

Date published:
29 November 2023

The Australian Public Service (APS) employee census is an important process in collecting information on:

  • employee engagement
  • workforce composition
  • senior leadership
  • immediate supervisors
  • workplace culture
  • inclusion and wellbeing
  • ways of working
  • general impressions of the APS.

The department uses employee census results to assess and monitor staff engagement and understand what is important to our people, what we are doing well and what we can focus on improving. 

All reporting is subject to strict privacy rules.

This year is the first year that all agencies are required to publish their action plans in response to the census. Our action plan has been developed in consultation with staff and executive, focusing on 3 main themes: communication, innovation and change. 

We will continue to track the progress of our actions over the year. 

Census Action Plan 2023

Following the 2023 APS Employee Census, we have developed this action plan in response to the findings. We will check in with a pulse survey midway through the census cycle to see how we are going.

What we do well

We have a strong culture of inclusion and flexible work practices, and a large portion of staff would recommend DISR as a good place to work. Teamwork and collaboration across the department is positive.

Our approach

In all that we do, we are: 

  • Curious: embracing learning, accepting failure and building feedback into our everyday work life. 
  • Connected: broadening and deepening our ties with each other and our stakeholders. 
  • Collaborative: working together, and with others to solve challenges. 
  • Caring: supporting staff wellbeing and ensuring we thrive, both individually and as a team.


What we’ll do better

Connect and communicate across the organisation and across our geographical footprint. 

Leaders in an office near you more often.

What we’re committed to

Improving engagement by increasing the effectiveness and impact of our communication program and ensure it covers the whole DISR geographical footprint by: 

  • Reviewing our communication channels and content preferences for our staff taking account of the diverse locations and type of work we do. 
  • Developing and implementing a communications strategy to disseminate relevant and timely information to all staff. 
  • Hold townhalls to communicate corporate messaging, priorities and achievements.


What we’ll do better

Create a work environment that supports innovation by simplifying decision-making and trying new things. 

Recognise success. ‘Fail fast’ when we have to and learn from it.

What we’re committed to

Recognising and encouraging innovation across the department by providing staff with opportunities to contribute to new ideas, remove unnecessary layers of decision-making and consider lessons learnt. We will: 

  • Pilot Innovation working groups to understand and recognise where innovation is occurring across the department.
  • Develop guidance material and provide advice to staff and managers so that decisions can be made faster, at the appropriate level, closer to where information is held.


What we’ll do better

Build capability to successfully manage change with a renewed understanding and readiness for change. 

Preparation for, and response to, change in our own work environment.

What we’re committed to

Ensuring our people are supported and have the training, tools and resources they need to successfully navigate through change. We will: 

  • Develop our change management tools and resources to support our managers in enabling change, aligning with the APS Change Management Framework.
  • Promote available learning resources including Resilience and Psychosocial Safety Training.