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Culture at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C)
- Average rating for Culture, based on 17 reviews7.9 / 10
Please describe your company's culture both in the office and after hours. Let us know about the structure and hierarchy, cooperation and teamwork, and socialising amongst colleagues.
The culture as a whole is very good, with some excellent teams and areas and some average teams and areas. Especially the "traditional' PMC functions are highly dependent on their line agencies and can take on a lot of their characteristics. These areas are generally, although not always, quite flat in their management structures, staff are empowered and given responsibility. Indigenous Affairs is more laid back and hierarchical, with more of an emphasis on damage minimisation rather than maximising positive outcomes. Indigenous Affairs is also less "political" and more empathetic, while other functions can be a bit more adversarial. Overall though, a really fantastic culture that mostly empowers staff and creates positive connections. People are almost always willing to help. There isn't a hell of a lot of after hours socialising, but that's more of a function of Canberra than DPMC. Senior Executives come to things like Social Club events, and people go out together, but there isn't the Friday night drinks as a team like other organisations.
Depending on area it can be quite hierarchical in terms of clearances and also time off. Department has a social club. Department tried to support diversity and flexible working opportunities (job share, part time hours etc) Sometimes can be inflexible - i.e. moving between a grad role and another role in government (an opportunity that you have 'won'). Often confusing HR/Entry Levels advice regarding rotations etc.
In general, culture is very work-focussed. Some teams socialise during or after work but this is not common. Structure and hierarchy varies widely across the different areas. In general, higher-up staff are approachable.
There is an expectation to undertake long hours, which is not always appreciated. It is a very clear hierarchy within the APS, which is a struggle at times. However, my colleagues are incredibly intelligent and committed, and the teamwork is a key element of work.
Culture at the working level is generally very positive, with most supervisors wanting the best of their employees and working hard to support them and maintain a good work-life balance. The Senior Executive sometimes do not practice what they preach (for example the Department is going through a significant Work Your Way transition to become more agile and paper-light, though these changes are forced upon the larger Department while the Executive continue in the old ways).
This varies across divisions. Overall I am satisfied with the Department culture.
During office hours all staff are friendly and obliging. Willing to sit with you at lunch. Many staff do not socialise outside of work hours.
Very social; encouraging attitudes from senior figures; excellent training opportunities
I do not perfume any after hour duties and nobody disturb me ever. Our organization is well structured, good teams and there are number of social events and opportunities to engage which provide great opportunity for networking.
Graduate, Canberra, ACT
Varies from team to team. Good teams are awesome - some of the best I've worked with. Others are average and tense.
While the Public Service can seem hierarchical, from my experience PM&C is a place that rewards good work no matter what level you are. There are regular social events and activities and the Department is committed to its transformation agenda and making itself a better place to work.
The organisation fosters an inclusive workplace culture that advocates for and promotes flexible working arrangements. A large deal of employees work in part-time arrangements and working remotely is encouraged. Flexible working hours are also facilitated in the interests of promoting good work-life balance. The structure and hierarchy of the organisation can be rigid at times, which does stifle a degree of innovation and makes it difficult for the ideas of lower-level employees to be heard by senior management. Teams value cooperation and cohesion and work to ensure that work is shared among employees so that people are not overloaded or stressed. When busy periods occur, I have found that teams pull together and support each other in order to get work done. The organisation promotes socialising amongst colleagues through its Social Club, which organises networking events and other social activities that staff can attend. Most teams also arrange their own social activities, such as after-work dinners or drinks.