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General Overview

We know that in order to provide great service to the public, King County needs to be a great place to work. The 2017 King County Employee Survey is an important tool to help us get there.  The employee survey provides an opportunity to check-in with all employees to learn what is going well and where we need to improve. That is why your participation is critical – we need each employee to provide their point of view so that we can really understand what employees want and need to be fully engaged in their work.

We will continue to conduct the all-employee survey annually.  This will allow us to measure our progress in making change within the organization.  By participating, you will help us measure our progress from last year and determine areas still needing improvement.

Employees in all branches and departments of King County, except the Superior Court, District Court and the Sheriff’s Office, will be invited to complete the survey. All employees who are not Short Term Temps and started before August 25, 2017 are eligible to take the survey.

Additional support is available for employees with disabilities or who would like to participate in their native language by completing the survey over the phone directly with ORC International.

No. Participation is voluntary; however, please make sure you take the opportunity to speak up. We need to get as many responses as possible to produce more reliable and robust data, while also ensuring that the views we act upon are representative of all our employees.

The first countywide employee survey was conducted in 2009 to inform the development of the King County Strategic Plan, and a follow-up survey was conducted in 2012. In 2015, we started conducting annual employee engagement surveys that report down to the workgroup level. The results for the 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2016 surveys can be found here

The survey is coordinated by the Executive’s Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget, in partnership with Human Resources. An external consultant, ORC International, is managing the survey administration and will analyze the data after the end of the survey period. ORC is the same consultant that managed the King County 2015 employee engagement survey. 

 

ORC International is a global organization established in 1938.  Since it was founded, ORC International has always been at the forefront of developing new research approaches, and has a clear vision of how the latest technological tools can be utilized by tomorrow’s researcher. ORC International produces their work for their customers using the most appropriate technology based solutions thanks to advanced expertise in the field of IT.

ORC International specializes in many areas of research, including employee research and customer research. They have a great deal of specialist experience when it comes to running employee opinion surveys with a variety of public sector organizations. They bring their clients together regularly to exchange survey data and discuss best practice.

You can visit their website http://www.orcinternational.com/US/Pages/default.aspx to find out more.

 

All representatives are listed in the table below.

Ian Coleman, KCIT

Mary Louis, DPD

Shawn Abernethy, DES

Janet Parks, OLR

Lorraine Patterson, DNRP

Jason Argo, HRD

Hikari Tamura, DAJD

Vince Vu, PSB/Exec

Tina Abbott, DPH

Jonathan Larson, Assessor

Ann McBroom, ADR

Kendall LeVan Hodson, Elections

Cheryl Binetti, DOT

Heidi Parkington, PAO

Don Moritz, DPER

Janine Weihe, Legislative Branch

Liz Causby-Miles, DCHS

Teresa Bailey, DJA


Survey Questionnaire Overview

As a guide, the survey will take 10-20 minutes, with most people completing the survey in less than 15 minutes during the pilot test. The time taken depends on how long you think about your responses.

 

The survey will ask questions about your work unit. Every work organization is different. However, when answering questions about your “work unit,” please consider your co-workers with whom you interact with the most on a regular basis. Work groups can be called “units,” “sections,” “groups,” or even an “office” depending on the size of your overall organization.

 

Supervisor/manager questions should be based on the person who provides you the most direct supervision.  A supervisor may be a Chief, Sergeant, Lead, etc. Contact your survey representative for more clarification on who your supervisor/manager is. 

The leadership questions have been reworded to have the names of people or refer to teams of people the question refers to

The only change is to the leadership questions. To add clarity, names of people will appear in these questions

You can select ‘Prefer not to disclose’ if you are not comfortable answering the personal demographic questions at the end of the survey. However, we would really appreciate you answering as many of these questions as you feel comfortable. In order for us to address issues of equity based on employee demographics, we need to know this information and the more employees providing this information, the better our data quality.

Confidentiality

King County is committed to increasing equity, fairness, opportunity and social justice in all we do.  This includes equity in our employee experiences.  We are asking for you to complete “personal details” questions so that we can learn whether employees with different backgrounds and characteristics have significantly different work experiences at King County. This information will only be reported in the aggregate for groups 6 or larger.

For example, information such as a respondent’s length of service will help us to identify whether there are any special issues or any support needed for new recruits.  Another example would be a respondent’s gender information helping to identify whether there are any equity issues that we need to explore further.

So please complete the personal details section. It will make the survey more meaningful. It will in no way lead to you being identified.

 

ORC International belongs to numerous market research organizations such as, The Council of   American Survey Research Organizations, Market Research Society and The European Society for Opinion and Market Research. As such, ORC abides to a strict industry code of conduct that protects the individual confidentiality of all survey participants. Reporting of the results will be for groups of no fewer than six respondents and, in the majority of cases, the groups will likely be considerably larger. Where a group is larger than ten respondents but ORC feels that there is a risk that an individual could be identified, then the results will not be reported.

Any personal details in the questionnaire will not be used to identify how individuals have responded to the survey, but rather to understand any differences across employee groups within King County.

ORC is legally bound to ensure that no one from King County has access to identifiable raw data. 

 

No. Work unit reports maintain the same level of confidentiality as the department and division level reports. Only work units with 6 or more employees responding to the survey will receive a report. Only questions with 6 or more employees answering will be included in the report.

Reporting Results

Department/Office level response rates for online surveys will be reported on the Employee Survey Webpage (here) daily. Paper survey response rates will be add to the webpage weekly. Survey representatives for each department/office will receive response rates once a week.

Countywide and Department results will be reported back to employees in mid-November. You will see your group’s results when you convene for action planning in January and February. 

Since the 2015 survey nearly 600 action plans have been created to address the issues employees raised and the major themes that emerged. These have included work-group level actions like team building and creation of development plans for everyone, and it has included enterprise-wide actions like

  • Creation of Investing In You, our unified strategy to build a workplace where you have the tools and support to innovate, achieve your career goals and do your best work.
  • Expansion the Bridge Fellowship program to provide leadership and development opportunities to more employees.
  • Creation of an intensive leadership training program, Leadership Essentials, to help managers and supervisors support their employees to do their best work.
  • Executive Constantine has launched quarterly listening sessions with employees, met with employees on employee site visits, and continued his employee video messages.
  • Multiple departments have worked to improve communications channels and build understanding of division and department priorities.

 

These responses will be evaluated for themes and patterns. The frequency of these themes and patterns will be reported. Answers that could compromise the anonymity of an employee will not be reported.  

This helps us to identify priorities in different parts of the organization and whether we need to take action on a workgroup, division, department, or a county-wide basis.

We have learned from prior survey experience that high level results can inform high-level actions, but employees may not directly see and feel the impact of their participation. We are using local survey results so that employees can be actively involved in developing action plans that will make their work place better.  

 

The demographic questions are used to see how employee engagement differs between groups of employees in various demographic groups. Only groups of 6 or larger will be reported on to maintain confidentiality. This information is reviewed with an equity lens so that the County can address any issues that are highlighted by the results.

King County has many resources available to help workgroups make action plans. Action plan tool kits addressing different aspects of engagement are available hereWe are providing training to supervisors and managers to have conversations with workgroups about what can be done together to make a better workplace.  Additional support can be requested from your HR-SDM, Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation and facilitation support) and Employee Assistance Program.  You can also look for trainings through King County Learning and Development.  We will be continuing to develop and identify resources and will share ideas over the coming month.

 



 

Please contact your survey representative, listed below.

Ian Coleman, KCIT

Mary Louis, DPD

Shawn Abernethy, DES

Janet Parks, OLR

Lorraine Patterson, DNRP

Jason Argo, HRD

Hikari Tamura, DAJD

Vince Vu, PSB/Exec

Tina Abbott, DPH

Jonathan Larson, Assessor

Ann McBroom, ADR

Kendall LeVan Hodson, Elections

Cheryl Binetti, DOT

Heidi Parkington, PAO

Don Moritz, DPER

Kymber Waltmunson, Legislative Branch

Liz Causby-Miles, DCHS

Teresa Bailey, DJA

 

Please contact your survey representative, listed below.

Ian Coleman, KCIT

Mary Louis, DPD

Shawn Abernethy, DES

Janet Parks, OLR

Lorraine Patterson, DNRP

Jason Argo, HRD

Hikari Tamura, DAJD

Vince Vu, PSB/Exec

Tina Abbott, DPH

Jonathan Larson, Assessor

Ann McBroom, ADR

Kendall LeVan Hodson, Elections

Cheryl Binetti, DOT

Heidi Parkington, PAO

Don Moritz, DPER

Janine Weihe, Legislative Branch

Liz Causby-Miles, DCHS

Teresa Bailey, DJA

 

Online Survey FAQs

No. The survey is being hosted by ORC International on their server; therefore, no one within King County has access to individual responses at any point. ORC’s policies and procedures will protect your responses.  ORC International is bound by the Market Research code of conduct for employee research and promises to guarantee the anonymity and confidentiality of all respondents to the survey. 

You will receive an email from ORC International. The email address will be 2017KCEmployeeSurvey@orcsurvey.com. The subject of the email will be "King County Employee Survey – 2017".

The online survey does not force a respondent to answer every question, as we are aware that there are always situations where a respondent may be unable to or may not wish to answer a question.

All questions are optional. Even though all the questions are optional we would really appreciate you answering as many as you feel comfortable – the more data we have to support the question, the better we can address issues and make changes in that area

 

No. Each survey link is unique. Only one person can use a survey link. Each employee must use the survey link they were emailed.

If you have not yet reached the end of the survey and submitted all responses (you will be prompted at the end of the survey that you have submitted your responses) you can use the browser back button (usually an arrow pointing to the left) to go to the previous page with the question response that you wish to change, and you can then make the change. Once you have made the change, you can click the submit button which will take you to the next page of questions. However, you will then have to answer all the following questions again to the end of the questionnaire.

 

From experience, this does not often occur. Generally it is hard enough to get people to complete the survey once. If there was something strange happening, this could be seen from the response rate, as it would go above 100%. ORC International also has processes in place that monitor highly unusual response patterns to combat against this type of issue.

 

Yes, however, after browsing please go back to the beginning of the survey and fill in your responses.  If you press the ‘next’ button at the end, your survey is going to be submitted and a blank survey with no responses is then sent back to ORC International.

 

Internet Explorer is the preferred browser, but the survey can be taken in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. 

 

If you need to come out of the online survey midway through completing it, you will be able to save your place and go back to complete your survey at a different time.  All you need to do is click on the survey link that was e-mailed to you originally and you will be taken directly to the point where you left the survey previously.  However, please note that you will not be able to then go back and change the responses to the questions you had answered previously, you will only be able to answer the remaining questions.

 

In rare circumstances, a browser isn’t displaying the survey correctly. The radio dials will display the option they align to if you hover your mouse over them.  Also, you can try:

  • Taking the survey in a different browser
  • Taking the survey on a smart phone
  • Narrowing your IE browser – the survey should them mimic the mobile phone setup.

We are sorry for the inconvenience and are continuing to search for the cause of the display issue.

If you are concerned that your responses were not logged properly because of the formatting, please email 2017KCEmployeeSurvey@orcinternational.com.  They can reset your responses and send you  a fresh survey.

If you have checked your junk email and it isn’t there, please contact KCEmployeeSurvey@kingcounty.gov

Please ONLY use the link on the original invitation, or invitations that come directly from ORC. If your link from ORC takes you to the end of the survey, please email 2017KCEmployeeSurvey@orcinternational.com to have them resend your invitation.

Since 2015 the employee engagement survey has been conducted annually so we can better understand what drives employee engagement and monitor if our responses to the survey are having a positive impact. Results of previous surveys can be found here