2018 People Matter Survey: Speak Up!

The 2018 People Matter survey is being held from 10 September to 23 September.

People Matter is a survey for all employees of the Northern Territory Public Service (NTPS). The survey is a directive of the Northern Territory Government and will collect information from employees on a range of measures. This year the focus is on:

  • Individual performance and professional development
  • Organisational change
  • Job satisfaction
  • Employee wellbeing and engagement

The survey is voluntary, however, your participation is important as it is a great way to share what it’s like to work in your agency and provide feedback about how your agency is performing, both in terms of what is being done well and what can be improved. The Commissioner for Public Employment, and your CEO, encourage you to take this opportunity to have your say about your workplace.

The insights collected through the survey provide a powerful basis for making NTPS agencies better places to work through the development of strategies and programs to improve agency and whole of sector organisational performance.  They also help to shine a light on what we are doing well.

The only way to access the survey is via the link that is sent to all employees by email from our survey provider ORC International, and through reminder emails. The link will be sent on 10 September 2018.

Why you should participate

Share your experience and ideas

Taking part in the survey is valuable because you can provide ideas to the decision makers about how to improve your workplace.

Your responses are never linked back to you

The survey is completely confidential so you can confidently share your views. Strict business rules apply so all data is de-identified and responses are combined. Reports are only available for groups with 10 or more respondents and reports will only include demographic information for groups with 30 or more respondents.

A 3rd party survey provider you can trust

ORC International, an external expert survey provider is managing the survey. They meet all internal and national privacy standards. You can trust that they take every measure to ensure your privacy is protected and there is no way of tracing individuals in reports that agencies receive. The NTPS will never receive individual responses.

You have a choice

The survey is voluntary, however it is a great way to provide feedback about what it’s like to work in your agency and how your agency is performing.

It's endorsed from the top

The survey is endorsed and supported by the Commissioner for Public Employment and your agency’s Chief Executive.

It's quick and easy

The survey will only take about 15 minutes to complete online. Do it at your desk, on your phone or at home - the choice is yours.

You get to shape a better NTPS

At the end of the survey results will be delivered to your agency and used to guide the development of programs and policies for the benefit of all employees.

Why the survey is important

Importance for your agency

Your views about your work environment are important.  Participating in the survey is your opportunity to voice your views.  Survey responses help agencies to understand what is working well, and where improvements could be made.

Survey results will show how engaged employees are and levels of job satisfaction. Results will also show employee perceptions about how well managers are managing, how well change is implemented, and employee access to professional development and its impact.

Survey results are an important evidence-base that your agency can use to design targeted workforce initiatives to improve your work environment and the productivity of your agency.  This is important at all levels of the organisation as it has an impact on attracting and retaining employees. Previously, some agencies have used their results to develop targeted programs such as anti-bullying and workplace culture improvements.

Survey results also provide benchmarks to measure improvements and change over time.  For example, some results from this year’s survey will be compared to 2016 results.  This is important, particularly if your agency implemented workforce programs based on the 2016 results.  Your agency’s results can be compared to other NTPS agencies and the NTPS as a whole to provide a view of how well your agency is doing and areas that may need improvement.

Importance for the whole of sector

A key strength of the survey is that the same set of questions is asked across all NTPS agencies. This provides the opportunity to compare like for like agencies as a way of measuring performance and also to see where great practice is happening.

At a whole of sector level, it’s important to understand the overall experience of employees so that we can work towards as much consistency as possible in the workplace for all employees regardless of where they work.

In addition, at a whole of sector level the survey results allow us to target and develop policies that support employees to have a great experience working in the NTPS no matter which agency they work in.

At a national level, some of the information gathered in the survey allows a comparison with other states and territories so we can see how well the NTPS stacks up against other state and territory governments in employee engagement and satisfaction.

Privacy Statement

We take your privacy seriously.  This means we take every measure to ensure that your privacy is protected throughout the survey process and there is no way of tracing individuals in reports or through the de-identified survey data.  We protect your privacy in several ways:

Legislative compliance The survey is delivered in full compliance with the NT Information Act and the Information Privacy Principles.
Contractual requirements

Survey data is collected and collated by an external survey company. This data cannot be passed onto the NTPS except as de-identified data that complies with strict business rules.  The survey company must comply with the NT Information Act,the Information Privacy Principles, and any other undertakings that the NTPS deems necessary to protect your privacy.  The NTPS will only have access to de-identified information.

The raw data that results from this survey will be housed in a secure data repository that complies with NTG ICT security requirements maintained by the survey company.  The NTPS will never have access to your individual responses or raw data.

The data will be held securely by the survey company and when their contract ends they will hold on to the data until a new provider is engaged who will then hold all existing data and any new data.  Survey data is retained so that results’ comparisons can be made from one survey to the next.

Strict business rules

Only the external survey company has access to raw data from survey responses.  When you submit your survey it is broken into separate pieces of data.  Identifying information is removed from survey responses. There are strict business rules that govern how the resulting data may be put together which the survey company is contracted to meet.

Reports can only be produced where there are 10 or more respondents. Demographic information such as age, gender, years of service etc, are included in the whole NTPS, whole agency reports, and large divisional reports for teams of 30 or more respondents.  Demographics are reported separately to survey responses so there is no possible way to associate or put back together the data to identify an individual with their answers to survey questions. Where people work in small teams the results are rolled up and included in the next report level.

Protecting your privacy

The survey is conducted on a confidential basis so you can share your views with confidence that your responses will never be linked back to you. The survey does not seek to collect personal information except to understand the make-up of our workforce.  Responses will never be used to identify any individual.

ORC International, an expert external organisation in government employee research, will collect the data and manage the survey from start to finish.  Your responses to the survey are never held by the NTPS so the raw data will never be able to be accessed by anyone in the NTPS.

After the survey, ORC International provides reports containing de-identified data to your agency and the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment.

ORC International is legally bound to comply with the NTPS People Matter Survey Privacy Statement as well as the NT Information Act 2015 and Information Privacy Principles.  You can trust that every measure is being taken to protect your privacy and anonymity when you complete the survey.  There is, put simply, no way of tracing individuals in the reports that are provided to agencies.

How to data reporting protects your privacy

Strict business rules apply so all data is de-identified, and can only be reported in certain ways.

So for example, the information about age of all respondents is collected in one ‘bucket’, the information about gender is collected in another ‘bucket’ etc. The responses to the actual questions are also collected in a bucket for each question.

Your demographic information (age, gender, NTPS classification etc) is combined with demographic data from all other respondents in your work group/division/agency and this information is reported separately from the responses to the survey questions.

The data rules

Data rule 1

10 or more responses must be received for response to be include in that level report.

So, reports of survey responses are only available where 10 or more employees have responded.  If there are fewer than 10 responses for the team a report cannot be generated. The responses will be combined with your division or your agency responses to ensure anonymity but still count towards overall responses.

An example of the data rule 1 is shown below:

Data rule 2:

30 or more responses must be received for demographic data to be linked to answers.

So, in the example here if an agency is wanting to drill down into the data to see what a particular group of people selected for question 12 they might select the following demographic characteristics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Classification
  • Answer to a particular question (in this case Q12)

In this example:

  • The age profile meets the minimum number of 30 respondents (42 respondents)
  • The gender profile meets the minimum number of 30 respondents (30 respondents)
  • The classification profile does not meet the minimum number of 30 respondents (8 respondents)

Therefore, the responses for question 12 will not be available with this combination of demographics. They could, however, remove the classification variable and see the response for question 12 with the two demographic characteristics of age and gender because the minimum number of 30 is met for both age and gender.


Survey results are provided to agencies after the survey and provide the evidence for agencies to plan their response. Agencies will share with employees the outcome of the survey.

Ad Hoc reports

Ad Hoc Reports can also be produced for certain groups of employees within agencies (providing the reporting business rules are met).  For example, engagement scores for employees with disability, job satisfaction rates for men, number of women employees who have a performance agreement in place etc.

These reports can be very important for understanding the experience of specific groups of people and this is the reason that the demographic questions are asked.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the People Matter Survey?

The People Matter Survey is an employee perception survey run by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment (OCPE) to gain an understanding of employee’s perceptions of working in the NTPS. It is an online survey that you are invited to participate in.

Do I have to fill in the survey?

Yes please! But seriously, while we really really want you to complete the survey, participation is entirely voluntary. Think of the bigger picture though…your views matter and can really help make a difference to the NTPS for everyone so taking the time to complete it is worthwhile, right?

Why should I fill out the survey?

  • Most often, people working on the ground can see what’s working well, what’s not and what needs to improve. Here’s your chance to tell your senior leaders about what it’s like to work in your agency and how your agency is performing.
  • You get the opportunity to provide ideas right to the top about how to improve your workplace.
  • The survey is completely confidential so you can confidently share your views with confidence that your response will not be traced back to you. Strict business rules and privacy legislation apply so all data is de-identified and responses are combined before they are reported. Reports are only available for groups with 10 or over respondents and reports will only include demographic information for groups with 30 or more respondents.
  • The survey is endorsed and supported by the Commissioner for Public Employment and your agency’s Chief Executives. They want to understand what it is like to work in your agency and they want your ideas about how to improve things.
  • The survey will only take about 15 minutes to complete online either at work, on your phone or at home. You can spare the time, right?
  • You get to be part of something bigger that will have a positive impact for us all.

How is my confidentiality protected?

Confidentiality is really important when collecting your views about your workplace and working in the NTPS. You need to know that you can be honest when filling out the survey and your response won’t be traced back to you.

The People Matter Survey is completely confidential. To ensure this, OCPE engaged an external provider to collect and process responses on its behalf so that all responses are held outside of NTG network or systems. The external provider for the 2018 survey is ORC International. They meet all internal, Territory and national privacy standards and international standards (ISO). You can trust that they take every measure to ensure your privacy is protected and there is no way of tracing individuals in reports that agencies receive. The NTPS will never receive your individual response.

Read the Privacy Statement

Read more about how your privacy is protected

What is the point of this survey?

The point of this survey is simple…to make the NTPS a better place to work! But, breaking it down even further, there are two main points to the survey:

Point 1: to give your agency and the wider whole of sector an understanding of employees’ experiences of working in the NTPS. At an agency level this is very important because the survey results provide a clear indication to agency senior leadership of how the agency is performing in terms of agency culture, values and staff well-being. The survey results also provide the same information for the whole of the NTPS.

Point 2: to understand areas where we are not doing well so something can actually be done about it. This includes the development of targeted and responsive initiatives and policies at an agency level as well as at a whole of sector level. At the end of the survey results will be delivered to your agency and used to guide the development of programs and policies for the benefit of all employees.

What types of questions are asked in the survey?

The survey ask multiple choice questions and provides statements with the options of agreeing, disagreeing or remaining neutral. General questions are about:

  • How happy and connected you are to you your work, your agency and what matters to you most
  • What it’s like working in your agency
  • How your senior leadership is doing
  • Your access to learning and development opportunities
  • Performance planning and feedback
  • How change is managed by your leaders

There are also a set of questions that provide demographic information. These include:

  • Age
  • Length of service
  • Gender and ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Salary

Why do you ask questions about my age, salary etc?

Demographic questions are asked to provide an additional layer of context to the responses received. This helps your agency and the whole of sector respond to the survey results. For example, if the survey results show that employees with disability are not having their individual support needs met, then it provides an opportunity for the agency to make changes in procedures and policy to ensure this is corrected. Without asking about disability, then we would not have this information.

Demographic information is never provided with individual responses back to the agency or to anyone in the NTPS. That information is strictly managed by the external survey provider, ORC International.

Do I have to answer every question?

Yes you do. The reason all questions are compulsory is because it is important for the overall results to get a full data set for all respondents. This gives a richer overall picture of the experience of all the NTPS employees.

Why is my exact work team not mentioned in the agency teams breakdown?

If your team has a small number of employees then some teams have been grouped. This is very important to protect your confidentiality. Just follow the instructions and look for your team within a bigger group.

How are comments treated? What happens with my comments in the questions where I can type a response?

In the survey there are 2 questions where you have the opportunity to provide general feedback and suggestions. This is a great way of providing feedback about what is working well and what requires improvement in your agency.

The response you provide for these questions will be provided directly to your agency CEO or their assigned delegate. Where the comments identify an employee by name, names will be removed before comments are distributed. In addition, we ask that you do not provide personal information that you do not want your agency CEO to read as generally comments will be provided to the CEO exactly as received (with the exception of those comments naming another individual by name).

At no time will comments provided be attached to the demographics of the person who completed the survey.

Will my manager see my feedback or find out who said what?

Absolutely not!

There are three elements of data for this survey. They are:

  1. The responses to multiple choice questions
  2. Demographic information (your age, education level, length of service, salary etc)
  3. Your open text comments to the two open questions

These elements are treated differently – see below

Multiple choice questions: All responses are combined into a report. In some cases it will be for your immediate team if there are at least 10 responses for that team. If there are less than 10 responses for your team, then the responses are delivered in a report for the higher level work group or division.

Demographic information (age ranges, salaries etc) are only available 30 or more people in a particular team, work group or division have completed the survey. This is to make sure that you cannot be identified.

Comments in the two questions that are not multiple choice can only be viewed by your agency CEO or the person who they have delegated to have access. This is extremely tightly controlled by our survey provider so you can absolutely trust that providing your feedback is safe and secure.

How long does it take to complete?

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. It’s quick and easy, so please take the time!

Can I complete the survey at home?

Yes you can! All you need to do is forward the email you receive with the survey link to your home email. Then you can access it on your mobile device or home computer.

What do I do if I don’t get time to fill it all out in one sitting?

The survey will stay open indefinitely if you need to leave it temporarily. If you are using a shared computer make sure you exit the survey before you leave. If you need to exit the survey before it’s completed, the password you save on the next page will allow you to return to the same section later.
Please note that if you save and exit the survey to complete later, you will not be able to review or amend questions which you have already answered.

Is there a timeout on the survey if I start it and then leave it open on my desktop?

No the survey will not time out if you leave it open on your desktop. If you need to leave it without completing the survey, please save and exit so you can come back later.

Who do I contact if I need help with the survey?

If you have a technical question about completing the survey, ORC International have a helpline that you can call on 1800 065 312. The helpline is available 8.00am to 4.30 weekdays during the survey period. Otherwise you can email supportau@orcinternational.com and ORC will respond within 24 hours (Mon-Fri).

Other key contacts

What happens with the results?

After the survey, your agency gets a set of reports containing combined responses to the survey. These are combined depending on the number of team respondents. Reports are presented in a summary and do not include individual demographics (such as age, gender, salary, occupation type and length of service). For teams with less than 10 respondents, reports cannot be produced because the base is too small.

Read more about reports

Will my agency share the results with the staff?

How agencies share results will vary. Options include:

  • Making reports available across the agency
  • Team meetings to discuss results
  • Action planning at various levels of the agency
  • Sharing of action plans once developed

Key contacts

For technical issues when completing the survey

Call 1800 065 312. The helpline is available 8.00am to 4.30pm weekdays during the survey period.

Email supportau@orcinternational.com and ORC will respond within 24 hours (Mon-Fri).

For questions about privacy / the intent of the survey / reporting

Call OCPE 08 8999 3703

Email people.matter@nt.gov.au

For questions about the agency structure in the surveyContact your agency Survey Champion who is located in your HR team

Last updated: 13 September 2018