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Polco News & Knowledge

Damema Details: Why Your Local Government Needs The National Employee Survey

- By Damema Mann -

Let’s talk about workplace climate surveys for local governments. Here at National Research Center, Inc. (NRC), we have a benchmarking survey called The National Employee SurveyTM  (The NESTM). I’ve touched upon this subject before. But today I want to get into some details about why I think it’s critical for your organization to conduct The NES.


Why The National Employee Survey?

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is critical to a healthy organization, whether it’s in the public or private sector.  Your employees need to feel heard and valued. In order to connect, they must be engaged. The National Employee Survey is a great tool to engage city staff. It allows employees to let you know where you’re excelling and where they think the organization could be doing a better job. We know that happy, engaged employees help to create more livable communities and provide better customer service for residents. So it is vital for managers to create a thriving environment for employees.


Impartial Third Party

Your organization may already be conducting internal employee surveys. But it is critical to bring in a third party for anonymity and survey quality overall. Employees absolutely must trust that their responses are anonymous, so they can be candid. If they believe their answers can be traced, some employees might not even complete the survey at all. This may leave managers missing feedback from whole segments of the organization who don’t feel comfortable with an internal survey. So an employee survey conducted by a neutral third party encourages participation and honesty, yielding higher quality results overall.


Low Burden

Conducting an employee survey in-house puts a burden on your staff. They could be using their time on other important things. The NES is structured like many of our other benchmarking surveys. It’s designed as a turnkey service. We are pros at breaking down the whole process and walking you through how it all works. The NES is primarily done online, so there are very few hard costs associated with it. This makes it one of our most inexpensive surveys and is accessible to cities and towns of any size. The questionnaire is standardized, so your employees don’t have to spend time researching best practices, what to measure and how to measure it. We’ve already done that for you.



Since the tool is mostly standardized, we ask the same questions to dozens of communities that have participated in The NES all across the country. We’ve created an average rating for each item on the survey with that data, which helps give your results context. The NES is for local governments only. So you’re not benchmarked against private sector companies that might have a lot more resources and perks to offer their employees. That’s not really a fair playing field. What you really want to know is how your organization stacks up against other local governments across the country, and with The NES you can see that.


Actionable Data

The NES gives you high quality results because it’s standardized and conducted by an anonymous 3rd party. We want to help make that data actionable for you. NRC is here to help however we can. If you want us to come out and present results, to facilitate workshops or to run focus groups - we are happy to do that.  Even if you just want some advice over the phone, that’s what we’re here for.


The National Employee Survey


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