2022 continued to be a year of transition for many local governments. An unprecedented amount of funding is available through climate, infrastructure, and Covid relief bills. Trust and polarization issues have trickled down to the local level. And many government agencies are working to adjust to the new norms of the workplace.
Shifts in the the local government landscape nudged many leaders to turn toward data and community engagement to make better decisions and solve problems collectively. Our most popular articles of the year reflect this—they investigate new hurdles caused by change and how to overcome them.
Trust in local governments has declined in recent years, with misinformation and polarization contributing to the slip. At the beginning of the year, we announced the launch of The Local Government Trust Index survey as a way for municipalities to measure public confidence. The popular read discusses how three very different cities used the survey and what it taught them about their community’s faith in government.
Nearly 70% of government officials say political division negatively impacts their organization, according to a recent Polco survey. In this article, we look at what some leaders are doing to combat polarization and misinformation and how community engagement is key to bridging the divide.
Each year Polco and ICMA present the Voice of The People Awards to local governments that listen to their residents and act on their feedback. It’s helpful to learn from successful cities and exciting to see new community engagement strategies put into action. It’s why this winner announcement was one of the top reads of the year.
Conference season means a lot of time on your feet while staying on your A-Game. Bringing a few simple, but helpful, items can keep you energized and ready throughout the day. We updated this blog post for 2022 to help local government leaders prep for the ICMA conference in Columbus, Ohio.
Surveying gives decision-makers the information they need to improve their communities. But it’s not so easy to convert data into action. This popular blog post gives leaders six simple steps on how they can use their results to execute a plan.
Polco partnered with academic, technology, and government leaders to launch GPAL, a collaboration that distilled public datasets into easy-to-read insights. The all-new data is readily available to Polco subscribers. GPAL data simplifies how local governments can measure performance and makes decision-making easier than ever before, which are a few reasons why this announcement was a top read of 2022.
Last year The White House passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, giving local governments access to over $1 trillion. The problem is many governments do not know how to apply for IIJA grants. Polco created a survey that asked leaders their thoughts on grant applications. NLC used that information to form the Infrastructure Hub, a resource that helps local governments access IIJA funds.
Goodyear, Arizona's workplace needed some improvement. They started measuring employee sentiment over eight years ago with The National Employee Survey to see what they could change. Officials created a game plan based on employee feedback. After years of effort, Goodyear is one of the top-rated workplaces today.
Many law enforcement agencies have struggled to keep employees and hire new ones. The National Employee Survey for Law Enforcement investigates how sheriff and police staff members feel about their jobs. The survey shows which areas agencies can target to improve their workplace and keep employees around.
Our most popular post of the year explores why so many government workers left their jobs at the start of the pandemic. Many workers continue to look for better pay and more flexibility. Local governments have been slow to respond to the new norms of the workplace, but adjusting is necessary if they want to keep people around. The article was originally published in ICMA’s PM Magazine and was the publication’s top-read article as well.