Frequently Asked Questions

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  •  Why are employee surveys done?

Since February 2004, employee surveys have been a regular part of how many government gathers employee input about their work environment.

Regular surveying provides employees with an opportunity to anonymously share information about their workplace, and helps management progress on issues that are important to employees and identify priority areas for action.

  •  How can you assure my anonymity?

The survey responses are not connected to your name. All individual answers are anonymous. Senior management receives a summary of the information collected. Based on explicit guidelines for reporting on results, a minimum number of respondents within a group is required before summary results can be released.

Comments are grouped under themes to further protect individual anonymity.

  •  I did not receive, or have misplaced my e-mail or survey package.

Send an e-mail to or call 1-855-216-8850.

  •  Who conducts the survey?

The Evaluation and Accountability unit of the Public Service Commission conducts this employee survey.

The Evaluation and Accountability unit is required to adhere to the Canadian Evaluation Guidelines for Ethical Conduct, and Program Evaluation Standards. We follow sampling, analysis and reporting guidelines, which are based on best practice including Statistics Canada Guidelines, the FOIPOP Act and Rules of Conduct and Good Practices for market researchers.

  •  How are questions selected for the survey?

An Employee Engagement Inter-jurisdictional Team, with representation from most provinces and territories, as well as the Federal Government, developed common employee survey questions to measure employee engagement for use by interested public service jurisdictions across Canada. The How's Work Going? employee survey incorporates all common questions.

Questions are submitted by departmental management to gather information for the additional development or refinement of programs/policies or initiatives.

  •  Who participates in the survey?

All permanent civil servants, term, casual, contract and seasonal employees including CUPE Local 1867 and NSGEU Local 480, are encouraged to participate.

  •  How will the employee survey benefit me?

The employee survey provides an opportunity for you to provide candid input to help shape your work environment and create a better workplace for you and your colleagues.

  •  Why does the survey ask if I am in a designated group?

Government values diversity in the workforce, therefore it is important to determine if there are work environment differences for designated group members (Aboriginal people, African Nova Scotians or racially visible persons, and persons with disabilities) compared to the perceptions of non-designated group members.

  •  What will be done with the information that concerns the designated groups?

This information will help determine specific areas that require attention in order to create a more supportive and diverse work environment. A report will be produced for the corporate Diversity Round Table and posted online. Department level diversity reports are not created in order to protect the anonymity of employees.

  •  Can I choose not to complete the section concerning the designated groups?

Yes. The self-identification portion of the survey is voluntary. If you choose to do so, your information is confidential and will be presented in a summary format to protect individual anonymity.

  •  What will be done with the results?

The results will be shared with Senior Leadership teams and they may further engage employees in further research activities or committees, to explore the issues raised in the survey, so that specific action plans can be developed.

  •  What has been done since the 2004 survey?

There has been progress since 2004. The most notable changes have been:

  • employees prefer to stay with the Government of Nova Scotia even if offered a similar job elsewhere;
  • new disclosure of wrongdoing regulations and policies were developed and implemented in 2005;
  • Government continues to make progress on how employee perceptions of their departments value diversity; and
  • a new Fair Hiring policy, and a new Employment Equity policy were implemented in 2008.

  •  Can I see my department's/office's results?

All departments/offices will have a report posted on the employee survey website. If you do not see your department listed, that means either your department did not have a high enough level of participation for a separate report and is then included in a group report.

  •  Does the PSC produce special reports/analyses?

Yes. Evaluators conduct additional analysis for diversity issues. This report will be posted to the employee survey website.

  •  What is survey day?

Deputies may chose a survey day during the survey period. The day will serve as a reminder for employees who may not have had the opportunity to fill out their survey. The day will encourage employees to set aside a few minutes to complete the survey.

  •  Who can I contact for more information?

Visit the survey website, Your senior management team can respond to questions about your department's results and any follow up activities. For questions about the survey program, or corporate results, contact Kathy Cox-Brown at the Public Service Commission's Evaluation and Accountability division at or by phone at (902) 424-1746.