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Mayor Robinson talks about COVID-19 and employee survey at weekly press briefing

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City of Pensacola
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Screenshot by WUWF Public Media

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson spoke on a number of subjects, at Monday’s weekly news conference at City Hall including employee attitudes, and COVID-19.

“A couple of things going on this week – we have a city council meeting,” said the mayor. “In addition to that we’ve got the city survey – [on] employee satisfaction and engagement,” said Robinson at the start of his remarks.

The 3rd annual survey is a product of a recommendation by Robinson’s Transition Team Report, identified as an important to help improve employee performance and morale.

“Seventy-three percent of the employees are satisfied to work for the city, and more than half of them are highly engaged in their work,” said the mayor. “This has been a principle we’ve brought in here. We provide services every day – that’s what we do. We need people positively engaged; they do that, they do a better job and I see that when I go work with them.”

The survey consisted of questions on a five-point scale, measuring employee attitudes on 13 factors. They include city image, recognition and development, compensation and benefits, work pressure, progress and job security, among others.

“The city of Pensacola ranks in the 65th percentile when compared to some other organizations nationwide; this is an increase of 7 percentile points from 2020,” said Robinson. “We’re the only public organization in this. We’re continuing to see improvement as we go against private-sector companies.”

And there were other numbers in the survey that also landed on the positive side.

“[The] 73% of the employees that are satisfied, which is a 1% increase from 2020; 59% of the employees are highly engaged in their work – which is a 3% increase from 2020,” the mayor said. “I hope to soon start back working with departments; when I do that I see employees engaged actively and what they do, in making a better community.”

The COVID-19 landscape continues to improve in the western Panhandle, according to figures shared by the mayor. The positivity rate has dropped to 4.9 percent – similar to what was experienced last spring and early summer before the onset of the Delta variant.

“Hospitalizations Friday went to 48; Saturday 47, Sunday 44, and Monday 45,” said Robinson. “Really, the hospitals began feeling comfortable once we got below 100; but obviously we understand COVID is not going away, so we highly encourage you to look at vaccination if you haven’t done that.”

The city is approaching the 70% vaccination mark for its employees, fueled in part by a $100 incentive program which rolled out in July, and is scheduled to extend into next month. Meanwhile, discussions are underway by Robinson and area health officials on what could be the pandemic’s next chapter.

“At this point, nobody’s said there was anything they saw across the world of significance that we need to be thinking about at this time,” he said. “We have better plans to flex up with things like monoclonal and other stuff if we need to. The hospitals are continuing to feel more comfortable; they obviously don’t want to get to where we were with Delta.”

The plus side, said the mayor, is that everyone’s learning more and more about the virus as it’s experienced more. That way, he says things are better, but repeats COVID-19 is not going away totally.

“Again, if you haven’t gotten your vaccine we certainly highly encourage you to do so, and if you have a vaccine that requires a booster we encourage you to get that as well,” the mayor said.

And Mayor Grover Robinson announced that the final Mayor's Neighborhood Cleanup for 2021 will be this Saturday in a portion of the Scenic Heights and the east side of the Spanish Trail area. Information on what’s eligible for pickup, and what’s not, is at cityofpensacola.com.

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.