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City of Columbia, MO: Employee Satisfaction Survey and Performance Management Consulting

In 2006, Evergreen Solutions worked with the City of Columbia, Missouri to conduct a general survey of employee satisfaction for approximately 1,200 City employees. The primary purpose of the survey was to provide the City with information regarding satisfaction with City operational methods. Additional purposes were to identify new benefits desired and to gather information that will assist in policy decisions.

Evergreen Solutions consultants conducted focus groups, developed and administered the survey, and performed a comprehensive analysis, including cross-tabular analysis by department. Final results of the survey were presented formally to the City Council and City employees. The City intends to repeat the satisfaction survey within the next year to track progress and tailor efforts to continually improve internal employee relations.

One of the themes employees identified in the survey was their desire for a more effective mechanism for evaluating and rewarding employees. This led to the City of Columbia retaining Evergreen Solutions again in 2007 to assist with a comprehensive review of its performance management system. Based on data collected through focus groups, employee surveys, interviews, and best practice research, Evergreen Solutions created a new performance management system that was consistent, objective, and constructive. The system combined performance factors from each level of the organization including the individual, department, and organizational levels. Our consultants also provided on-site training for the use of the performance appraisal program with supervisors and on-site meetings with non-supervisory employees to provide them with an overview of the performance appraisal program.

In mid-2008, the City of Columbia re-contracted with Evergreen Solutions to review implementation and application of the performance management system one year after initial implementation. Evergreen Solutions consultants met with employees again through focus groups and interviews to collect additional input on the first year of system implementation. Evergreen Solutions then presented additional recommendations for revision of the performance management system and provide training to employees on goal-setting. In the end, the City of Columbia now has a performance appraisal program that will improve employee and supervisor accountability and improve service delivery.