Employee Survey


The Town of Chapel Hill partnered with the UNC School of Government earlier this year to conduct an employee engagement study about the Town workplace. The study was designed to solicit employee perspectives on a range of topics in order to gain a better understanding of how the organization values its employees and how employees feel about the Town as a place to work. The study was comprised of two parts: 1) confidential in-person interviews with a small, random sample of employees, followed by 2) a survey sent to all Town employees, including those paid on an hourly basis. More information on the study, the survey instrument and the results are provided below.


Many of the changes and initiatives currently underway (such as the EPMD system, Policies and Procedures Revision Project, Compensation and Classification Study, creation of the Ombuds Office, and development of the Town’s adopted values of RESPECT) are the result of feedback received from Town employees over the past several years. In order to gauge the perceived effects of these initiatives and to learn more about employee perspectives on the workplace climate, engagement and communications, we recently worked with the School of Government to conduct a Town-wide Employee Engagement survey.


We chose to conduct this study for a number of reasons. As previously mentioned, the Town is currently engaged in several initiatives in response to employee feedback. The study was designed to solicit employee perspectives on these initiatives so we can measure the effects of changes made over time. We hope to use the data as a benchmark to better determine what is working, what is not having the intended effects and what we can do to continue to foster the type of work environment in which we all want to work. Additionally, we were interested in learning more about job satisfaction and employee morale in the workplace, including perspectives on how the organization values its most important asset – its employees.


Surveys were distributed to employees beginning in the spring of 2013. We intend to conduct the survey every other year, with this first survey serving as a benchmark so that we can  measure the effects of changes made over time.


The Town worked with Professor Leisha Dehart-Davis at UNC’s School of Government to conduct the study. Regular employees and program support employees received surveys, which were distributed first electronically, then in hard-copy. Participation was voluntary and raw data with identifiers confidential, as required by the University’s Institutional Review Board.


The questions asked in the survey were based off of interests express by the Senior Management Team, as well as information gathered from randomly selected Town staff who participated in interviews. The survey was rolled out in phases – electronically for employees with email addresses and paper copies for those who did not have email. Aggregate results were share with employees and made public in October 2013.

The Survey Instrument and Presentation of Results



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