Reposted from the Oregonian, March 12, 2014.
A new survey of Multnomah County’s government employees shows they are largely happy with their jobs, but there’s room for improvement upon relationships between managers and employees, and workers of different races.
The 2013 Countywide Employee Survey, which was released last Thursday, includes responses from about 3,000 county workers. The results offer a glimpse of who is working for the county, and how they feel about their work.
Women make up about two-thirds of respondents to the survey, and 75 percent of respondents are white.
Survey participation varied from department to department. Eighty-five percent of workers in the Department of Community Services took the survey, while only 43 percent of Sheriff’s Office workers responded.
Generally, survey respondents identified as mostly happy with their jobs, with job satisfaction increasing from 80 percent to 83 percent since the last time the survey was taken 2011.
Not all the results were good, though. Twelve percent of respondents said they feel intimidated by their supervisor, and 20 percent said they would not feel comfortable speaking up if they noticed discriminatory or unethical behavior in the workplace.
Overall, minorities noticed racial disparities at work more often than their white counterparts. Only 4 percent of white employees disagreed with the statement, “People in my work unit are accepting of people of different races, cultures, and backgrounds.”
Meanwhile, 16 percent of black or African American respondents disagreed.
More than a quarter of black employees, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders reported their race or ethnicity negatively affects their experience at work.
While the numbers were identified as cause for concern, they represented an improvement since 2011, when 35 percent of black employees reported perceived discrimination at work.
The data also highlighted an aging workforce that, soon, could create many job openings at the county. Thirty-five percent of county employees are Baby Boomersbetween age 51 and 70. Nearly 20 percent of county employees expect to retire within the next five years.