Taking action on September pulse survey responses
The most recent employee engagement pulse survey found that Engagement, Well-being, and Belonging indices are all trending upwards since the previous survey, and that a sense of belonging among teams can help reduce stress and increase well-being.
The pulse survey, conducted in September 2021, took a deeper dive into belonging to better understand how our public service work benefits when employees have a strong sense of belonging and well-being.
Key findings included:
- Well-being, engagement, and belonging are all trending up for most demographics, except 51 and older where belonging and engagement have decreased.
- There were significant increases in employee concerns about contracting COVID-19, mental health, and emotional demands of work.
- At King County, a strong sense of belonging is associated with:
- Much lower levels of workplace stress:
- Only 23% of employees with a high sense of belonging report regularly feeling excessive stress at work compared to 52% of employees with a low sense of belonging.
- Employees with a low sense of belonging are more likely to experience stress related to conflict with co-workers, uncertainty about their role/work, a lack of control over their work, or a poor relationship with their manager.
- Much greater willingness to stay at the organization if offered a similar job at another company:
- 84% of employees with a high sense of belonging are willing to stay at the organization compared to only 38% of employees with a low sense of belonging.
- Much greater enthusiasm for work:
- 94% of employees with a high sense of belonging are enthusiastic about their work compared to only 67% of employees with a low sense of belonging.
- Much lower levels of workplace stress:
At the same time, more than three-quarters (76%) of expected action plans have been entered. Of those, almost half (44%) are focused specifically on improving employees’ sense of belonging.
Popular actions include:
- Team activities to build belonging
- 3 things that have most shaped people
- “I am, but I am not”
- Rose and thorn
- Regular practices to promote connection
- Ice breakers at the beginning of meetings
- 1-5 check ins
- Recognizing people for effort and growth
- Creating opportunities for collective problem solving
- Engaging people in decisions impacting them
- Make it a practice to ask team for input and incorporate what is shared.
Summary of key findings and recommended responses
|Engagement, Well-being, and Belonging indices are all trending upwards since the June 2021 survey.||Continue to execute action plans focused on belonging and well-being.|
|Employees feel that they have the resources to manage their health but mental health concerns and concerns about contracting COVID-19 are increasing.||Leaders and managers should continue to show support for employee health and well-being especially around issues of mental health.|
|A sense of belonging among teams can help reduce stress and increase well-being. Leaders and managers play a critical role in creating this sense of belonging.||Leaders and managers can help build a culture of belonging and well-being by shifting away from trauma holding crisis management and toward a healing, relational culture. Specifically, leaders and managers should be intentional about including employees in decision making, showing appreciation, and creating safe spaces for listening/sharing different perspectives. Senior and department leadership can help this by demonstrating behaviors that model vulnerability, empathy, and inclusion.|
|On-site workers are less familiar with important Office of Equity and Social Justice (OESJ) communication topics compared to remote workers.||OESJ topics should be communicated using channels that are inclusive of on-site workers that may not work at a computer with regular access to email.|
The survey was a random sample of Executive Branch employees, conducted via email and QR code invitation. A total of 877 responses were collected between Sept. 8 – 27, 2021.