How to use People Matter survey data

The People Matter Employee Survey is an important tool for measuring how we are travelling as an organisation, how employees feel about working here, and how we can improve our organisational culture and processes.

People matter survey logo

What is People Matter?

The People Matter Employee Survey (PMES) is an annual survey of all NSW public service staff. In operation since 2012, it is conducted by the Public Service Commission.

The survey includes multiple people management and wellbeing related questions on a 5-point answer scale of strongly agree to strongly disagree, with a neutral neither agree nor disagree option.

The 9 key topics explored in the survey include employee engagement, engagement with work, senior managers, communication, high performance, public sector values, diversity and inclusion, flexible work satisfaction and action taken on results.

Altogether, it provides a key tool for measuring employee engagement and can assist in shaping people-related strategies.

How does People Matter relate to the Department of Education?

PMES is the opportunity for permanent and temporary employees, both teaching and non-teaching, to tell the department how they feel about where we work. One of the goals in our Strategic Plan is: “Education is a great place to work and our workforce is of the highest calibre”. This annual survey is an important tool that measures how we are travelling as an organisation, how we feel about working here and how we can improve our organisational culture and processes.

People Matter is a broad NSW public sector survey designed to be applied across multiple government sector departments and agencies, including Education, Health, Justice, Transport, Finance, and Planning and Environment. As a result, the survey uses a number of generic terms. The following table explains what these terms mean in the context of the Department of Education.



ORGANISATION The Department of Education.


Your immediate team (e.g. your school).


The group of people you or your organisation provide a service to (e.g. students and or parents at a school).


The person in your immediate workgroup, team or project to whom you report on a daily basis. If you work for more than one team, please think of the manager/supervisor/team leader with whom you work most frequently (e.g. head teacher, assistant/deputy principals and principal).


The group of senior managers within the organisation, not an individual manager (e.g. the Executive team, the Secretary and their Deputies, Executive Directors, Directors Educational Leadership).

What can People Matter tell us about school leadership, people and practices?

The People Matter Employee Survey is a valuable tool to assist schools in understanding what teachers and support staff think about working with the Department of Education. It provides greater insight into our culture, level of employee engagement, aspects of leadership, diversity, wellbeing and workplace experiences.

In the spirit of the People Matter Survey, this data should be used in a positive way, as a source of evidence for setting people-related strategies which seek to improve the working environment for staff and support better outcomes for students.

Where can I access my People Matter results?

School-level reports are available for those schools that receive more than 10 responses to the survey. People matter results can be sourced from your Directors, Public Schools and the department’s Business Intelligence system, Scout.


A number of resources have been created to help you both promote engagement in the PMES survey and get the most out of your results, including a new 30-minute MyPL module to assist principals accessing their online data.

What should I consider when interpreting my results? >

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