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Three Out of Four Chilean Government Employees Find Their Jobs Satisfying and Motivating

Chile conducted its fourth civil service survey, which covered 27,000 workers at 125 public institutions

SANTIAGO, Chile - Three out of four public servants in Chile say they find their job satisfying, motivating and engaging, while seven out of 10 say they are committed to their organization. These findings are from the 2023 National Survey of Public Servants, which was conducted by the Chilean Civil Service with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), University College London, Oxford University and Roskilde University.

Nearly 27,000 people from 125 government agencies participated in this survey of civil servants, which was conducted from June to August 2023 and was the largest in the country’s history.

The results reveal that 66% of workers would recommend their agency as a good place to work. It also found that the quality of the government’s recruitment and selection has been improving over the last decade, and that people feel a greater sense of job security. 

The survey also found that the civil service needs to continue striving to be more diverse and inclusive: 17% of respondents said they had experienced some type of discrimination at work because of their origin or personal characteristics, and 18% said they had suffered harassment at work. Rates of reported harassment were higher among women (20%), people who identify their gender as non-binary or other (28%) and people with disabilities (30%). 

The survey collected data on the work attitudes of civil servants and how they perceive key practices at their agencies for managing people. It also gathered information on respondents’ demographic characteristics in order to draw connections between these characteristics and their work attitudes and perception of the management practices included in the survey. 

The survey results were presented today by the undersecretary of finance, Heidi Berner; the director of the civil service, Felipe Melo; the IDB Operations Chief in Chile, Pablo Angelelli; and professors Christian Schuster of University College London and Javier Fuenzalida of Oxford University. 

Civil service director Felipe Melo emphasized that "having studies that give us insight about the perspective of government employees helps us make better decisions. For example, we’re working to better address the problem of discrimination and lack of inclusion policies, which is why in 2023 we teamed up with the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality to launch the ‘Prevent’ plan. This plan involves training all government officials on gender equality issues." Melo added that the Comptroller's Office is currently reviewing a new General Gender Standard. The standard aims to prompt government agencies to take measures for greater equity and inclusion, as well as to strengthen the processes for preventing mistreatment or harassment in the workplace.  

The general manager of the Southern Cone Country Department and IDB representative in Chile, Florencia Attademo-Hirt, emphasized that "national surveys of public servants shed light on the policies and practices that agencies need to have in place to uphold high standards for meritocracy, motivation and employee wellbeing. Evidence shows that job satisfaction among government officials impacts how well the government functions and the quality of the services it delivers. The up-to-date information that Chile gains from this survey is therefore valuable for strategically managing its civil service." 

Professor Christian Schuster of University College London, who co-founded the Global Survey of Public Servants, highlighted that "this survey places Chile among the group of OECD countries that conduct regular surveys of public servants  so they can base how they manage government organizations on evidence. The survey showcases areas where the country has improved, like people’s sense of job security and merit-based hiring, but also reveals persistent challenges like salary competitiveness and diversity management.”

Javier Fuenzalida, a researcher at Oxford University and co-director of the survey  along with Christian Schuster, remarked that "for several of the work attitudes and management practices examined in the survey, there is a high degree of heterogeneity among agencies. So even when there is a common institutional framework, the way the agency is managed does have a significant impact on performance. As in previous versions of the survey, we provided each participating agency with a specialized report with steps for improving how they manage people within their organization."

See the 2023 National Survey of Public Servants in this link (available in Spanish).    

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research projects and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region. Take our virtual tour.


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