2020 Engagement Survey changes  

Every year, the employee engagement team recommends improvements to the data and survey process that enhance the employee experience, increase the effectiveness of the data, and provide more useful analysis. That said, the team always retains the two most important elements of the survey: trending data, and the confidentiality and anonymity of participants.

Changes to this year’s Employee Engagement Survey are:

  • Everyone will take the survey electronically
  • Data will be available four weeks sooner, creating more time for action planning
  • Demographic questions are optional, will be more specific, and the option for “prefer not to disclose” has been removed. Instead, people who do not want to answer a question can skip it.

In 2020, the biggest change will be everyone taking the survey electronically. With the move from paper to electronic for all participants, data will be available four weeks sooner and there will be more time for action planning.

The move from paper to electronic surveys was identified early on as a way to provide more time for action planning. This was a request raised consistently for the past couple of years, but it prompted questions about how participation might be affected by employees’ perceptions of privacy and their comfort with iPads as the vehicle for taking the survey. Alleviating these concerns, an electronic survey pilot in Metro Transit showed employees would be more likely to participate in the survey using a tablet, and would also feel more comfortable answering the questions honestly.

This year employees in Metro Transit, the Solid Waste Division and the Roads Division will take the survey on iPads. Eliminating the time it takes to process paper surveys means data will be reported back in three weeks, one month sooner than last year. This provides more time for action planning, which has been a major concern for many. It will also save 80 reams of paper, or roughly five trees each year.

Survey participants will also notice changes to demographic questions. After hearing back from employees who felt the categories did not accurately reflect their identity, and in consultation with the King County employee affinity groups, the demographic questions now offer more choices under each race/ethnicity. To lower the risk of losing demographic data in categories with few responses, categories may be combined together as needed, but where possible, will stay more specific. As always, these demographic questions are optional to answer.

Thank you for your continued feedback and get ready to take the 2020 Employee Engagement Survey!