BC Public Service Work Environment Survey

Frequently Asked Questions


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The Work Environment Survey (WES) was in the field from October 6, 2015 through October 30, 2015.

Do you have a question about WES? You have come to the right page.

Our philosophy about questions is simple:

  • All questions are good questions.
  • There are probably many people with the same question.
  • The only bad question is the one that doesn’t get asked.

Over the years we have been asked many questions about the BC Public Service Work Environment Survey (WES). We have compiled a list of the most common questions asked by employees, managers, executives, human resource professionals, statisticians and other interested parties. These questions and our answers are listed below. See if you can find the answer to your question here. If your question is not answered, email us at Work.Environment.Survey@gov.bc.ca.


History & Objective

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  • How did the survey begin?

  • What does the WES measure?

  • Why is the survey important?

  • What is employee engagement?

  • How did the BC Public Service Employee Engagement Model get developed?

  • Why is the model displayed as a ‘house’ diagram?

  • Why are other survey questions included if engagement is the focus?

Eligibility & Access

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  • Which workplace should I be thinking about when I respond?

  • Why September 15, 2015?

  • Why should I complete the survey?

  • Who is eligible to complete the survey?

  • Why wasn’t I sent an invitation?

Treatment of the Data

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  • Is the Work Environment Survey confidential or anonymous?

  • How is the collected data treated?

  • Where is the data collected stored?

  • What are the WES reporting criteria?

  • What about the qualitative (comment) results? How is it used in combination with the quantitative (scaled) data?

  • How do the comments get turned into themes?

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

Analysis & Reporting

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  • When can I expect to see the survey results?

  • What are model drivers?

  • Does the Employee Engagement Model change over time?

  • How do the model changes impact comparisons over time?

  • How do I interpret year-to-year changes in my organization?

  • Why aren’t all of the survey questions used in the model?

  • If only 40 questions are used in the model, why ask respondents the other survey questions?

  • Where did the survey response scale come from?

  • If the survey used a 5-point scale, why are the results displayed in only three categories (Agree, Neutral, and Disagree) in reports?

  • If the results are only reported in three categories, why not just use a 3-point survey response scale?

  • Why is there a neutral response option on the survey?

  • How do you calculate the average scores for the survey questions?

  • How are the scores for drivers calculated?

  • What is the importance of the average score?

  • How do I use average scores?

  • Why is the average score for Engagement not an average of all the driver scores in the model?

  • How is the average score for Engagement calculated?

  • Why isn’t there a report for my work unit?

  • Why don’t the work unit reports have year-over-year comparisons?

  • Why don’t the numbers in my report add up?

Additional questions can be directed to BC Stats by emailing: Work.Environment.Survey@gov.bc.ca.

Thank you for your interest and support!