A message from Auditor McGuirk:
Why is the Auditor conducting a survey?
The Auditor’s Office is conducting an audit of the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One goal for every audit is to give voice to what employees are experiencing. My team and I developed this survey to provide an opportunity for employees to communicate their experiences during the pandemic.
What makes this different from other surveys at the county?
I understand that some departments and divisions have already conducted their own employee surveys and focus groups. I am glad that county leaders are soliciting employee feedback and acknowledge that many employees have already spent a lot of time communicating their thoughts and concerns.
This survey is different because:
The County Auditor is independently elected and outside the county’s management hierarchy. The County Auditor offers an outside perspective on areas for improvement and accountability, which is different from county management’s perspective. Because we are independent, I hope that employees will feel free to express concerns honestly without fear of retribution.
Reports from our office are always public. We commit to publishing survey results on our webpage and making public recommendations for change, based on the results.
We will look at the whole county. We will be able to compare departments, to learn from departments that are doing well and identify ones that need improvement.
Is participation in the survey voluntary?
Yes. But a survey’s reliability and accuracy is dependent upon how many people participate. We hope as many employees will participate as possible so our audit can accurately reflect what you are experiencing.
Is the survey anonymous?
Yes, the survey is anonymous. No one will know if you took the survey (or did not take it). We hope you will take it.
The survey will be sent to you via Survey Monkey. Your response will not be linked to your email address, name, employee ID, IP address, or any other identifying information. The only people who will see raw data, including any comments that may contain personally identifiable information, are the three people assigned to the survey within the Auditor’s Office.
How do you keep survey data anonymous when tracking demographic data?
The survey does include a number of demographic questions. This information helps us provide you with information about how different demographic groups are experiencing work during the pandemic. In theory, someone accessing the entirety of this information might be able to identify an individual. This is also why we will not share raw data (see the next question).
The only people with access to the raw data are the three people conducting the survey in the Auditor’s Office. It would be very difficult for them to identify an individual, even with access to raw data. My staff adhere to strict professional ethical standards and will not attempt to identify any individual respondents and will not share personally identifying information. To further protect employee identities, we will not release survey data about any group that is less than 30 people. We encourage you to complete the demographic section, but as with the rest of the survey, responding to demographic questions is voluntary.
Will you share my data?
We will not share any personally identifiable data with anyone outside of our office, and this includes with anyone in county management or with any county elected officials. Results will be reported at a high level, in broad categories. We do not share comments that include personally identifying information with anyone outside the Auditor’s Office. In our reporting, we may include people’s answers to open-ended questions as examples, but we will not include quotes that include personally identifying information.
How did you design the survey?
We included questions about workplace safety based on our research into evolving guidance from the CDC, OSHA, OHA, and county leadership. The survey also includes questions you may be familiar with because they have been a part of the Auditor’s Ethical Culture survey and past employee surveys put out by the Department of County Management’s Evaluation and Research Unit.
How were employees involved in creating the survey?
Members of the Evaluation and Research Unit’s Survey Advisory Group generously shared their expertise and provided valuable feedback on our survey during development. Members of this group includes representation from county ERGs and equity committees from departments across the county. We also received feedback from AFSCME Local 88 leadership. We are very grateful for their contributions.
How will you report on the survey results?
We will report on survey results in two ways. We will present survey results in a report that we make available online to all county employees. We will use survey results to inform our audit of the county’s pandemic response.
What are the risks to taking the survey?
Taking the survey is low risk. Some potential risks are the opportunity cost of the time you use taking the survey, potential to be upset by a question, and a slight risk of loss of confidentiality due to a data breach. As noted above, there are multiple protections to your data and anonymity, and this risk is low.
What if I would rather be interviewed?
We hope you will take the survey to help us have survey results that are as accurate as possible. If you would also like to be interviewed for the audit, you can reach out to me at email@example.com at any time if you would like to talk with me or my staff, and we will set a time that works well for you for a conversation.