Work Environment Survey: FAQs

When does the 2018 Work Environment Survey (WES) take place?

WES will be open from January 30 to February 23, 2018. Due to the volume of survey invitations to be delivered, some employees will receive their survey invitation on January 31.

Do I have to complete the survey?

The survey is completely voluntary but all eligible employees are strongly encouraged to complete it. The more completed questionnaires we receive, the more accurately your work environment will be represented. Your executives and strategic human resource groups use this information to direct resources and inform areas for development and improvement.

If you choose to not complete the survey, you don't need to inform BC Stats unless you want to be removed from the reminder list.

Why wasn't I sent an invitation?

Your employment status as of January 16, 2018 may have made you ineligible to participate in the survey. If you think you are eligible (see next question) and didn't receive an invitation, let us know.

Who is eligible to complete the survey?

The survey is available to all regular and auxiliary employees who are:

  • Covered under the BC Public Service Act
  • Employed directly by any organization (such as a ministry, agency, office or commission of the Province) whose head reports to the Deputy Minister to the Premier
  • Listed as an active employee in the Corporate Human Resource Information and Payroll System (CHIPS) as of January 16, 2018 (hired prior to this date and not on long-term leave on January 16)

Data from the Corporate Human Resource Information and Payroll System (CHIPS) as of January 16, 2018 is used to create the population list for WES. Your responses will be combined with all others within your work unit as of this date. With the fluidity of organizational structures, adhering to this date ensures your responses are accurately grouped to reflect the structure at the time of measurement.

Which workplace should I be thinking about when I respond?

Answer the survey questions based on where you were working on January 16, 2018.

I accidentally deleted my email invitation. May I get another one?

If you believe you have deleted your email invitation, first search your email for “Invitation” or “Work Environment Survey.” These phrases are in the subject line of your email invitation. The email will be addressed from Lori Halls. Otherwise, contact BC Stats to have another invitation sent.

Why is my UserID invalid?

If your browser window reads, “Already submitted. Thank you for your participation! This survey is already completed.” it is most likely that you have already submitted your survey. Each eligible employee can only complete the survey once.

If you forwarded or shared your link, and a colleague has completed the survey using your personalized link, our systems would have recorded you as having already completed the survey. This is why we ask that employees do not forward the email invitation to colleagues. Please contact BC Stats if this has occurred.

If you typed in the userID yourself, and your browser window reads, “The userID supplied is not valid. Please try again,” then please check your invitation and try typing it in again. Note that there are no letters in the userID, only numbers.

Why are the executives listed in my survey incorrect?

A list of executive names is provided in the section evaluating the executive team. During the pre-survey preparations, your Strategic HR noted the executive names for each department to the best of their ability. However, it is possible that the executive list contains an error or that you are listed in the wrong work unit. If the list does not seem to reflect who your executive(s) were as of January 16, 2018 please contact BC Stats.

If you are an executive member, your name may appear in the list of executive names. Consider the other members of the executive team when responding in this section (don't evaluate yourself).

Is the Work Environment Survey anonymous?

The survey is confidential but not anonymous.

What’s the difference?

With anonymous surveys, we don’t know who completed the survey and have no way of linking employee responses with demographic characteristics. That limits the usefulness of the survey as the only possible analysis is a single report for the BC Public Service overall.

A confidential survey means that BC Stats (and only BC Stats) has access to the individual responses. Each eligible employee is assigned a unique userID which is used to link individual responses with corresponding demographic information. This enables BC Stats to summarize results by ministry, work unit, or according to service years or occupational group. When survey results are published, individual responses are combined with the responses of others so no one can be identified.

How is my data protected?

BC Stats takes every step to ensure the confidentiality of responses to this survey. Your answers will be kept confidential in accordance with the Statistics Act and will only be used for statistical and research purposes. When survey results are published, your responses will be combined with the responses of others so that you cannot be identified.

Section 30 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) requires us to protect personal information by making reasonable security arrangements against such risks as unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure or disposal. BC Stats policies and procedures as well as technical and physical security measures are in place to protect against these risks.

How is my confidentiality protected in the open-ended responses?

BC Stats ensures that respondent confidentiality is maintained by ‘cleaning’ responses to the open-ended questions that are used as sample comments in reporting. Cleaning refers to the replacement of any information that may identify the respondent by a general descriptor in square brackets. This may include references to work place location, names of programs or other specific personal information.  For example, “Since I am the only manager on the 3rd floor it is difficult to stay in the loop with other managers.” may become, “Since I am the only [position in a location], it is difficult to stay in the loop with other [position]s.”

When can I expect to see the survey results?

A significant amount of data cleaning and analysis is required before BC Stats can disseminate work unit and ministry results. Once available, each ministry decides how and when they release their survey results. Please connect with your ministry’s strategic human resource group or your ministry’s intranet to learn more about the release schedule.

This year, your individual results can be viewed immediately after completion of the survey via MyWES.