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Survey checks City of Edmonton employees’ satisfaction, confidence in leadership

Click to play video 'Survey gauges City of Edmonton employees’ satisfaction' Survey gauges City of Edmonton employees’ satisfaction
WATCH ABOVE: The results are in for a survey looking at job satisfaction among City of Edmonton employees. Nicole Stillger reports. – Feb 6, 2020

The City of Edmonton is once again taking the pulse of its employees. But unlike a 2017 survey that uncovered concerns regarding bullying and harassment in the workplace, this one is more of a check-in.

READ MORE: 1 in 5 City of Edmonton employees say they’ve been harassed on the job

The survey that was done in 2017 is bi-annual while the one that saw results released Thursday happens every three months. The goal is to have the city be more responsive to employee feedback.

The most recent check-in was in December. It found city employees are looking for six elements while on the job: meaning, growth, support, wellness, leadership and empowerment.

The Employee Experience survey asked 10 questions, and out of about 14,000 employees, more than 6,700 responded. They were asked to respond to each question on a scale of one to five. Participants left over 13,000 comments.

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Interim city manager Adam Laughlin said it’s the number of comments, rather than the actual ratings, that is encouraging to him.

“That’s key that we’re continuing to move the needle on an engaged employee — one that wants to share feedback with us — which is fantastic.”

Areas where the city scored the lowest are:

  • Confidence in the executive leadership team
  • Feeling free to speak their mind without fear of negative consequences
“We need to up our leadership game across the city, ELT [executive leadership team] included. ELT – our branch managers, our directors, and our people leaders… the 1,300 who are out there actually interacting with front-line staff on a daily basis,” said Kim Armstrong, employee services deputy city manager.

“While I would have obviously hoped for a better result, I’m an eternal optimist and I really believe culture change takes time,” Armstrong said.

“It’s not a one-and-done; this is a continual journey.”

Of the employees who responded to the survey, about three-quarters said the work they do is meaningful.

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READ MORE: More City of Edmonton employees feel harassed, discriminated against; citizens increasingly part of problem: report

Over the past year, the city worked on 13 different projects and initiatives to enhance employees’ experiences. These include developing women as leaders, introducing a new employee recognition and appreciation framework, building leadership among employees and delivering respectful workplace training.

The next check-in is scheduled for March.

The city’s bi-annual survey will be conducted in September, during which issues like harassment and discrimination will be addressed.

WATCH BELOW (Nov. 20, 2017): They are hired to serve the taxpayer, but are they happy at their work? The satisfaction of City of Edmonton employees is under the microscope with a recent survey that shows some experience a workplace culture of harassment and bullying. Vinesh Pratap reports.

Click to play video 'City of Edmonton employee survey finds harassment, bullying in the workplace' City of Edmonton employee survey finds harassment, bullying in the workplace
City of Edmonton employee survey finds harassment, bullying in the workplace – Nov 20, 2017