Circling the bowl - NRC employee satisfaction dives since 2011

The article at http://www.blacklocks.ca/concierge-group-in-turmoil/ teases that the concierge group (read "NRC") is in turmoil. The page itself is hidden behind a "members only" login, but I have a couple of the stats that they base this on. The numbers themselves do not tell the whole story, however - it's really the change in the numbers since "The Harper Government" decided to change the NRC's mandate.

The full story will come out when the department-by-department results from the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey are released, but I can compare some of the numbers from the article* with the comparable questions from the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey. The results are quite honestly shocking - and this is from a person who has been watching this all go down.

Let's start with the "less shocking" ones first, shall we?

  • The article states that 61% of current NRC employees feel that “The quality of my work suffers because of constantly changing priorities.” In 2011, the same number was 44%.

  • In 2014, 53% says that their workload is unreasonable. In 2011, that was 41%.

But now lets get into some of the - to me - shocking results:

  • In 2014, only 16% of NRC employees strongly agreed with the statement “I am satisfied with my job at the National Research Council right now.” In 2011 you ask? 46%.

  • In the same question, 30% disagreed with that statement in 2014, while in 2011 only 7% disagreed.

  • In 2011, 41% of respondants said they had "strong faith in management." Today? 2%.

Look at those last three for a moment. 30% fewer employees are strongly satisfied with their jobs, 23% more are dissatisfied, and a shocking 39% fewer have strong faith in their management.

[Note: If you want to frame these in an even worse light, check out the percentage delta defined as

(100% * (2014 result - 2011 result)/ 2011 result).

Then the last three numbers become -65%, 328%, and -95%. Pretty apalling, don't you think?]

Looking at even this brief sample it is clear that saying "NRC is in turmoil" is an amazing understatement. It's a disaster area that is unprecedented even in government.

Given this level of dissatisfaction I can only wonder at how effective the organization is at meeting their new mandate. Would it be safe to assume that "not very" is the best possible face to put on it?

If this was a publically traded company there would be a shareholder revolt and the upper management and board would be sacked. Given that this is a government entity I guess that makes the politicians the "board" and us - well - I guess we're the shareholders.

Thankfully, there is a "shareholders meeting" (i.e. general election") coming up. Let's stage that "shareholder revolt" at the ballot box, shall we?


  • The rest of this article assumes that the numbers that I have in my possession are accurate not only to the article but to the NRC surveys. That caveat should be obvious, but I would rather point it out explicitely than have someone point it out and think I'm an idiot. There are plenty of other reasons to think I'm an idiot.