Employee satisfaction surveys and response rates

The Department of Law of the City and County of Denver posted its 2003 Employee Attitude Survey Results.  The 37-pager offers much to consider.  For instance, only 29% (54) of the 185-person Department of Law completed the web-based survey.  And, of those 54, about 60% of them were lawyers.  Those in the occupational groups of “general administrative,” “support services,” and “clerical” combined for about the same number as the lawyer total. 

Perhaps apathy dampens the participation rates of non-lawyers: “Nothing will change for us and we don’t really count,” they may think.  Mix in a bit of misunderstanding of the survey and its purposes to further hold back their responding.  Perhaps some language barriers, or even worries about confidentiality have a chilling effect.

In sum, the overall participation rate falls below what a law department should expect, of both lawyers and non-lawyers.  A department should assuage these concerns and promote the importance of everyone taking part in employee morale and values surveys.

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