Why is employee satisfaction and engagement a priority?

Employees have a unique perspective on how well state government works and how it can be improved. The state values its employees and seeks to provide them with a positive work environment. In return, engaged employees have been shown to have higher productivity, lower turnover, and provide innovative and high quality customer service to the people of Washington state.

How do we measure?

The Employer of Choice (EOC) score is calculated using an average of positive responses to 13 questions in the annual Employee Engagement Survey. These 13 questions fall into four indicator categories: Job Satisfaction, Employee Engagement, Respect and Feedback, and Customer Value. Each respondent is assigned a weight based on the size of the agency they work for when calculated at the statewide level.

What are the performance targets?

In early 2017, the state of Washington set targets to continue improving state government as an Employer of Choice from 65 percent to 67 percent by January 2020. A two-percentage point increase was also targeted for each Employer of Choice indicator.

How are we doing?

The results for the 2017 Employee Engagement Survey, conducted in the fall of 2017, showed record highs in nearly every area. The response rate for the survey was 75 percent, a state survey record. The good news continued with the state increasing its Employer of Choice score by 2 percentage points, meeting the target two survey cycles early. This increase was the largest gain in EOC performance history for the state of Washington. In fact, no EOC question decreased, with four questions increasing by more than 3 percentage points.
Job Satisfaction (72%) is currently at an all-time high, along with employees continuing to rate their supervisors highly for treating them with dignity and respect (86%) and understanding how their work connects to the goals of their agency (82%).
As of now, the state will seek to maintain and build off the positive ratings. The next survey will be administered in the fall of 2018 with results available in January 2019.

Statewide Results

The table below shows the current 2017 statewide percentpositive scores for the Employer of Choice survey questions, the questions andtheir short descriptions.

What are we working on?

Results Washington, Office of Financial Management, Department of Enterprise Services, and state agencies are working together on the following statewide improvement strategies:
·         Continuing to develop employees as problem-solvers and leaders as coaches through classes offered by Department of    Enterprise Services’ Lean Transformation office, monthly Lean advisors meetings, and Lean consulting. Individual agencies are also offering learning opportunities in Lean and sharing resources.
 
·         Monitoring and improving the HR Employee Engagement Toolkit. Launched in May 2015 to build and support HR’s capacity to help improve employee engagement, State HR, with oversight from the HR Development Working Committee, will work with agency partners to improve this product based on user feedback.
 
·         Design and pilot the first track of Leading Teams for mid-managers with the goal of improving leader performance through shared competencies and improved trainings.
 
·         Building and delivering a statewide Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to improve the state of Washington’s ability to attract, engage and retain employees.
 
·         Develop and implement statewide strategies to support employee innovation with the goal of access to resources and information aimed at creating a culture that supports employee problem solving and innovation.
 
·         Identify root causes of customer service question gap by exploring question issues with the goal of obtaining actionable information and data to craft strategies aimed at addressing the root causes.
Leaders and staff within each agency are also continually working to identify, implement and assess internal strategies to improve the overall employee experience

How can you help?

Employees are encouraged to continue to share ongoing feedback with their supervisors and managers so that agencies and the state can continuously improve as an Employer of Choice.If you have questions, please contact us at shrplanning@ofm.wa.gov.