An RTI request for Gympie council’s staff surveys, initially refused by CEO Bernard Smith, has ended with them being made public. Photo Renee Albrecht/Gympie Times
An RTI request for Gympie council’s staff surveys, initially refused by CEO Bernard Smith, has ended with them being made public. Photo Renee Albrecht/Gympie Times

Council finally hands over staff surveys

A NEWLY revealed Gympie Regional Council staff survey does not paint a rosy picture for the organisation with less than three in 10 staff members satisfied with the organisation – but many are still proud of their jobs.

This is the upshot of the council’s last internal staff survey, which has been publicly released following a successful Right to Information request from The Gympie Times.

According to the results, compiled in 2018, less than three out of every 10 staff members were strongly satisfied with the council.

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However about 60 per cent of respondents said they were proud to work for the council and that it provided a safe environment.

Gympie council’s staff surveys for the past decade have finally been made public.
Gympie council’s staff surveys for the past decade have finally been made public.

The survey was completed by 87 per cent of the council’s staff.

A comparison between the 2015 and 2018 results by survey takers Insync Surveys revealed staff opinion of the council sank considerably over that time.

In 2018 only 34 per cent of staff said they understood why senior management made changes (down from 54 per cent) and 32 per cent said the council was well regarded by employees (down from 43 per cent).

Almost half did not feel the council staff were recognised in proportion to how well they did their job.

“Customer and market focus” was the lowest performing area for the council with only one in four respondents saying it was being done well.

Infrastructure Services was the worst rated council directorate. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Infrastructure Services was the worst rated council directorate. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times

Only 18 per cent strongly agreed the council was using customer feedback to improve, and 19 per cent of staff felt the council was great at communicating the level of external customer satisfaction to employees.

Eight out of 10 staff members did not feel the council was continuously improving how it did things.

Internal co-operation was a problem, too.

Only 20 per cent were satisfied with the goods and services provided by other parts of the council, and an even smaller number (14 per cent) had strong trust among the people in the council.

Less than two in 10 staff members strongly agreed they knew why the council made changes.

The news was not all bad for the council, though.

The new councillors will have more information about the council’s internal organisation than they have had previously. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
The new councillors will have more information about the council’s internal organisation than they have had previously. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times

Along with their workplace pride and health and safety, half of staff members strongly agreed they had the skills and knowledge to do their jobs, and 57 per cent were satisfied with their job.

Planning and Development, a popular target for criticism by the community, was the most favoured area internally; it not only scored the highest ratings by a wide margin, but also placed in the top 10 per cent of all the councils surveyed in 2018 by Insync.

In comparison, Infrastructure Services took a beating, recording the lowest scores for performance and engagement.

Less than half of the council’s staff said they looked forward to going to work each day and three out of four members did not agree that the council had clear goals and objectives.