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City Completes Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey

City of Pensacola

Almost eight in 10 Pensacola city employees have responded to a new survey, gauging their on-the-job engagement and satisfaction.

Conducted during April and May by the Atlanta-based firm Sperduto & Associates, the survey results were released to department heads last week, and now go public.

“We had 76% of employees participate. So that was a very large number. We beat what our goal was, so we’re excited about that. It told us a lot of things,” said Mayor Grover Robinson, who made the announcement at Monday’s weekly news conference.

According to the survey, 67% of employees are satisfied to work for the City of Pensacola.

“The good news is, two-thirds of our people appear to be satisfied and enjoy working for the city,” said Robinson. “Now unfortunately, only 49% of those are engaged. When you look at the numbers – the numbers aren’t there to be critical one way or the other; the numbers are say, ‘how can we do a better job about engaging?’”

The survey was a recommendation from the Mayor’s Transition Team Report. It was identified by Team Chairman Quint Studer as an important action item to help improve employee performance and morale. The findings, he said in early March, are based on three criteria: mission, vision and values.

“If you take this report and look at retribution, that’s not what this is about,” said Studer. “This is about getting feedback; just like a football team would look at their feedback and say, ‘OK, what can we learn from this, and how can we provide people the skills to be successful?’”

It’s all about learning something new, said Studer, putting in the time to get up to speed; putting it into practice, and dealing with any resulting changes.

“Because if all you’ve done it is ‘this way,’ think of yourself when your company gets a new software system; how difficult that is, a period of transition,” said Studer. “I think our report will keep Mayor Robinson busy for the first term. This isn’t a short-term think at all.”

Credit Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media
Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson.

The survey used a series of questions with a five-point scale, measuring employee attitudes in 13 areas – such as city image, recognition and development, work pressure, progress and job security. Also compensation and benefits, says Mayor Grover Robinson.

“Every one of the surveys says, ‘hey, compensation always a part of it.’ So, it’s a little bit of adjustment but even on that, we were fairly low on compensation,” said the Mayor. “We realize that; we’re already making moves with the budget that will be released very shortly, [including] some things we’re doing for compensation. We’ll be looking to present that as we move forward.”

Through the survey, Mayor Robinson hopes to gain insight into how to better engage employees – getting them to feel good about what they do, which in turn, he feels, would help provide better service to Pensacola residents through motivating and engaging the city’s workforce.

“This necessarily isn’t saying bad or good; it’s just simply saying, ‘this is where we are, and here are the things that we can actually make a difference in,’” said Robinson. “And pointing us to things that we can do better; and how we manage our employees in what we do, and how we can make a difference in getting them engaged.”

Results of the survey are at www.cityofpensacola.com.