By Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive.
This week, several hundred of you joined me for a virtual Employee Town Hall. I always appreciate being able to update you on County priorities and hearing your thoughts and questions – unvarnished and direct!
I can always count on a few of you asking a pointed question – and I’m glad you feel comfortable doing so.
If you couldn’t join us this week, you can grab your favorite snack and beverage and watch it here:
I regret that during the Town Hall I accidentally missed one of the questions we received in advance. I want to assure the person who submitted it that it wasn’t intentional, and I’d like to answer it now.
Here’s the question:
How is morale with county staff? Has there been any formal or informal measurement of how individuals or teams have weathered the COVID changes to our work lives?
Thanks for the question! First, in 2019 we started conducting an annual employee engagement survey – prior to that we were doing it every two years. Even in the face of a challenging of 2020, we decided not to skip doing the survey. The results can be found on Open Pierce County.
Two questions I look at particularly carefully are #16 (“Overall, I am satisfied with my job”) and #17 (“I would recommend Pierce County as an employer to others”). Both of those responses improved from 2019 to 2020! We plan to conduct the survey again this year. Look for it in the next few months.
However, I really like to hear directly from those “in the trenches” who are serving our residents. Based on the conversations I have had with many of our colleagues in 2020 they are tired, but proud of the critically important work that we have been doing for our community. So, I know that those employees are engaged and dedicated to their work. I think that translates to strong morale.
Having said that, I must admit that I’m probably not the best person to assess an employee’s morale. It would surprise no one that when I talk with folks, our conversations are energetic and animated. It’s as if they want to be on their “best behavior.” I get it.
But our question writer’s query is important. So, I’ll toss it to you – how are you doing? I invite you to send a quick email to me and let me know.
I certainly hope that you are feeling happy in your work, despite the many challenges that I realize you may be facing. We’ve all struggled but as more of us are getting vaccinated (I have an appointment for Saturday), we can see a more normal world on the horizon. Just like our Spring weather, the dark storms of winter are behind us. We still have some April showers ahead, but the May flowers are coming.
First published on the Pierce County website.