On June 20, 2018 the City of Columbia awarded CPS HR Consulting the bid to conduct an "Employee Engagement Survey" to provide information to leadership as to what issues employees felt were most important to them.
CPS HR Consulting administered the survey to all permanent city employees between Nov. 28 and Dec. 21, 2018. Sixty-two percent of employees responded to the survey. The survey included 67 questions in 10 categories, 13 demographic questions, one question asking if the employee plans to stay or leave City employment within the next year.
In an email announcing the survey results to employees, Interim City Manager John Glascock told staff members, "We heard loud and clear that you want to feel valued and appreciated for the work you do. We heard you say leadership in managing change as well as training and development are two of the most important issues for the majority of those who participated in the survey."
Survey highlights included:
- Overall, 27 percent of the respondents are "fully engaged," with 50 percent "somewhat engaged," and 23 percent "not engaged." The percentage of fully engaged employees is below national benchmarks, including government (30 percent), local government (31 percent), and the private sector (44 percent). The "somewhat-engaged" (50 percent) is above benchmark data.
- Among the workplace factors included in the survey, "Leadership and Management Change - Department Leaders" and "Training and Development" have the highest relative importance and lowest scores.
- Among the six organizational cultural questions included in the survey, the highest importance and lowest scoring was, "I feel valued for the work I do."
- In response to the question, "Are you considering leaving your current position within the next year?" 56 percent of the respondents reported they intend to stay, 24 percent intend to leave and 20 percent "preferred not to say."
According to the survey, the City should focus on the following areas to improve engagement. These items are categorized as having low scores but with high influence and have the greatest potential to improve overall engagement:
- Leadership and Managing Change - Department Leaders: "I feel change is managed well within my department"
- Training and Development: "I am given real opportunities for me to improve my skills in my organization"
- Training and Development: "There are opportunities for me to develop my career in my organization"
- Organizational Culture: "I feel valued for the work I do"
Areas that the City should maintain include items that have high influence and already have a high score. The suggestion is to continue to focus on these areas to maintain engagement. The areas to maintain include:
- Leadership and Managing Change - Department Leaders: "I have a high level of respect for my department’s leaders"
- Leadership and Managing Change - Department Leaders: "I feel my department as a whole is managed well"
- Leadership and Managing Change - Department Leaders: "I believe the actions of my department's leaders are consistent with the City’s values"
- Mission: "I feel I can make a difference working for the City"
- Training and Development: "I get the information I need to do my job"
- My Work: "I have opportunities to provide input on decisions which affect my work"
CPS HR recommends that the City:
- Share and act on the survey results, broadly communicate across the City on the actions it plans to take, and periodically report on progress
- Closely review the survey results for specific demographic groups
- Review department-specific results to identify effective approaches that can be shared across departments
"Over the next 12-18 months, I expect leadership to use the information and tools in the report to improve our teams’ engagement levels. We have and will lean on our Operational Excellence Team, CPS HR Consulting, and other resources to improve," Glascock said. "We will evaluate our progress on a regular basis, and in 18 months we’ll survey staff again to see if we have moved the needle."
An electronic copy of the report is attached.