Austin City Council discusses recent survey taken by city employees at Monday work session

Austin City Administrator Craig Clark discussed a recent survey taken by employees of the city of Austin with the Austin City Council at a work session following their regularly scheduled meeting at the city council chambers Monday evening.  Andy Zimney with Employee Strategies of Minneapolis recently reviewed the results of the survey taken by employees of the city of Austin at a special meeting of the Austin City Council at the J.C. Hormel Nature Center.  Zimney stated to the council and city staff on hand that the survey overall resulted in low scores, and he indicated that there are opportunities for improvement.  KAUS spoke with Austin Mayor Steve King during the “Meet the Mayor” segment of “Wright Here, Right Now” and he stated that the council will be looking to get more in-depth as to what can be done to help city employees to move forward and to engage them at a different level….

Zimney stated that there were 122 responses to the survey, with 11 one-on-one interviews with 20 people participating in focus groups.  Zimney indicated to those on hand that the average score for a first-time assessment is 57% for positive responses to all questions, and he stated that Austin’s average score for positive responses was 30%. Zimney noted that overall, only 25% of employees had a positive response for their satisfaction of working at the city, and he added that the lowest scoring question on the survey was, “do my benefits meet my needs,” as Zimney indicated that only 8% of respondents responded positively to the question.  

City of Austin employees stated, according to Zimney, that the attributes they associated with an ideal job were honesty, integrity, respect, to be appreciated, supportive and trustworthy.  Employees stated in the survey, according to Zimney, that the attributes about working for the city of Austin were undervalued, unappreciated, frustrated, dividing and challenging. During discussion Monday evening, Clark noted that in response to the survey question concerning benefits meeting the needs of city employees, the city will be moving from a 57% city and 43% employee funding system for health insurance to 75% city and 25% employee going forward, and he also noted that initiatives to be implemented by the city from the survey results will include a wellness committee, which will be established by the end of October, and also a cross-functional two-day retreat.  

City departments will have their sessions on October 4th where they will be able to give feedback on the survey, and that information will be compiled and relayed to the city council.