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People Matter is an employee perception survey that is regularly conducted across state government public sectors and provides important information and insights for departments, organisations and sector stakeholders on workplace experiences and employee engagement. 

Local government makes up almost 10% of the total public sector workforce in Australia. This research utilises a tailored version of the People Matter survey tool to gain feedback on employee experiences and perceptions of working in the local government sector. 

The research is with a sample of employees from NSW local government in a pilot study to explore how the People Matter survey can be utilised in local government. A project reference group of NSW local government stakeholders provided advice and guidance on the survey and council engagement. 

Approximately 1500 NSW local government employees responded to the anonymous survey from an estimated fifteen local government areas between December 2016 and April 2017. 

Widespread use of the People Matter for Local Government survey would provide an opportunity to further strengthen effective local government management practices and workforce planning activities by highlighting perceptions and feedback from the workforce. 

It offers an opportunity for local government employees to have a say about their workplace and for their ideas to contribute to better working practices and environments. Further work in this area could provide comparisons between state and local government workforces and provide the evidence base for the development of a local government capability framework.

This pilot study provides a sample of the views of employees working in local government in NSW.

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