Press release

Largest staff attitude survey in UK shows majority of civil servants positive about their work

Nine in ten civil servants are interested in their work and more than three-quarters work with their team to find ways to improve services.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Nine in ten civil servants are interested in their work and more than three-quarters work with their team to find ways to improve the service they provide, according to the results of the 2011 Civil Service People Survey published today.

The Survey, the largest staff attitude survey in the UK, received almost 300,000 responses - a response rate of 60%. The overall employee engagement rate stood at 56%, unchanged from 2010.

The benchmark score for most of the other themes in the survey has remained unchanged, although there are small positive increases in the leadership and managing change theme. Only one theme, pay and benefits, has seen a decrease in the benchmark score.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office said:

This is not an easy time for civil servants, but their work is absolutely vital in helping to address the deficit without hitting the services the public receive. I am proud of the work they have done to make efficiency savings and it is a tribute to them that they have maintained their focus and commitment throughout, a fact borne out by this survey.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell said:

This has been a year of change for the civil service, yet today’s results show that civil servants across the country remain positive about the task ahead. I am particularly pleased that so many remain committed to the fundamental purpose and objectives, which is reflected in the hard work and dedication we see every day.

The Civil Service is committed to measuring the engagement levels of staff, and the factors which influence and drive engagement, so that managers have the best information available to motivate their staff. Effective employee engagement is a crucial component of improving performance, driving efficiency and reducing sickness absence.

Running a single survey across the Civil Service rather than separate surveys in each Department and Agency has lead to a reduction in the cost of staff survey activity to just 38 per cent of what the Civil Service paid for separate surveys in 2008/9.

Notes to editors

  1. The Civil Service Staff Survey is available online at:
  2. The People Survey is carried out each autumn. This year the fieldwork started on 19 September and closed on 21 October
  3. Departments and agencies will be publishing their own results over the next 2 months after they have shared the results with their staff. On 1 February 2012 a summary dataset of all participating organisations scores will be published on
Published 23 November 2011