17 February 2017
Staff engagement is up at the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), the organisation’s second annual engagement survey has revealed.
In 2015, the NZDF began measuring engagement, using an annual external engagement survey used widely in the public and private sectors in many countries. This has allowed the Defence Force to benchmark its results against other uniformed organisations, including Police, Corrections and Customs.
Known within the NZDF as its annual “Census” survey, the snapshot helps Defence Force leaders make evidence-based decisions and better policy for the 14,000 military personnel and civilian staff.
The NZDF has just released the results from its 2016 survey, which shows a lift in engagement and strong military morale.
The 2016 results show that the NZDF led the uniform sector in 14 of the 16 common focus areas, including common purpose, communication, wellbeing, safety, and attitudes to team and job.
“We’ve had a small increase in our overall engagement score, lifting by 1.5 points to 63.6,” NZDF’s Chief People Officer Debbie Francis said. “That’s important because an engaged workforce stays longer and gives more to the organisation. This puts the NZDF’s engagement score on a par with other uniformed organisations.” (Uniformed Benchmark = 63.3)
The survey shows about 85 per cent of NZDF personnel record their morale as satisfactory or better – with half of all Defence Force personnel describing their morale as “high” or “very high”.
The morale score is consistent with other results from the Census survey – for example, 82 per cent of NZDF staff said they were proud to be part of the organisation.
“We’ve seen results lift in the improvement areas we focused on from 2015 – two-way communication and our people hearing more from leaders. People have appreciated, for example, the Chief of Defence visiting all our camps and bases to answer questions,” Ms Francis said.
“Census 2016 has shown us areas for further improvement and our Defence Force will focus on building greater understanding about NZDF’s common purpose, and a greater focus on performance issues in 2017.
“Our people have told us they want us to get better at letting people know when they are doing a good job, and when people aren’t performing well, to have conversations and see how we can support them to improve.”
The results of the survey are available here.