The most recent survey of City of Edmonton employees suggests many workers don't feel comfortable reporting problems in the workplace.
Filled out by employees throughout December, the "check-in" survey contained eight questions or statements about working for the city, and a space to enter in any further feedback.
- How happy are you working at the City of Edmonton?
- I would recommend the City of Edmonton as a great place to work
- The work that I do at the City of Edmonton is meaningful to me
- I feel safe at my workplace. At work, I feel cared about as a person
- I have good opportunities to learn and grow at the City of Edmonton
- I feel satisfied with the recognition or praise I receive for my work
- I have confidence in the executive leadership team
- I feel free to speak my mind without fear of negative consequences
More than 6,700 employees participated in the survey, a participation rate of 55 per cent.
Respondents were asked to rank each statement on a scale from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree," with a score for each response.
The lowest-scoring statement, with an average score of 51, was "I feel free to speak my mind without fear of negative consequences."
The survey also suggested that confidence in executive leadership at city hall is also flagging, with that statement receiving an average score of 52 out of 100.
But the majority of respondents agreed that the work they do for the city is meaningful to them and that they felt safe at work, making those the highest-scoring statement.
The last two long-form employee surveys in 2016 and 2018 found roughly one in five city employees had witnessed or experienced harassment at work.
The December 2019 survey did not including any questions about harassment or bullying, but city staff say those will be included in a long-form survey this September.
The city also launched the Employee Experience, a program it says takes "a new approach to inspire and engage employees to do their best work in serving Edmontonians." The approach will include the opening of a "safe disclosure office"
"We have done a tremendous amount of work this past year, work that will continue to advance a healthy, vibrant, employee experience," said Deputy City Manager Kim Armstrong.
More than 8,700 employees took part in last year's survey.
It showed a significant drop in confidence in then-City Manager Linda Cochrane as well as the deputy city managers' ability to achieve the city's goals.
Cochrane announced her retirement in October 2019 after 38 years on the job.