Morale among territorial government employees dipped 3.4 per cent, according to newly-released results from the 2021 GNWT Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey.

Retention took the biggest hit, falling by 11.9 per cent compared to the 2016 survey, the last one taken.

Also in decline was work-life balance, which was down 8.1 per cent.

“It is expected that many of the changes seen in retention (turnover rate) and work-life balance, which measures the average vacation leave taken by employees, have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the safety restrictions put in place that limited travel to and from the NWT,” the GNWT stated in its report, which was made public on Sept. 27.

Tumbling the most in the Employee Engagement Index was favourability to the statement “I am proud to tell people I work for the GNWT” — it fell to 64.6 per cent from 70.9 per cent in 2016.

The level of commitment that civil servants feel toward their employer dropped by 1.6 per cent while employee engagement was 0.9 per cent lower.

Despite this, satisfaction among government workers relating to leadership; health, safety and wellness; diversity and inclusion; and culture rose by 1.2 per cent and well-being was up by 0.9 per cent.

The survey, which began in 2006, is offered every five years.

“(The survey) is intended to provide the GNWT and its departments with feedback and metrics that will assist in targeting areas in need of improvement, as well as to demonstrate what is working well and where efforts are having the desired impacts,” the territorial government stated.

In the category of excellence and innovation, the index slid 1.2 per cent to 65.8 per cent. The biggest decline within this category was among the percentage of employees who agreed with the statement, “overall, people in the GNWT strive to improve its results.” Only 54.2 per cent of government workers felt that was true.

However, 61.1 per cent of survey respondents agreed that innovation is valued in their workplace, which was only down by 0.4 per cent from 2016.

A much higher 82.2 per cent of the government’s labour force said their job gives them the chance to do challenging and interesting work, which was up 3.4 per cent from the previous survey.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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  1. So moral is down. Have to wonder why. Don’t feel a bit sorry for them either.
    Most were at home for the past two years and receiving full pay. Services were few and far between.
    Many in the private sector lost their jobs or experienced reduced hours and pay due to the pandemic.