The State Worker

What State Worker blog users say about their jobs

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If working for the State of California is like investing in Wall Street, blog users who participated in a (highly unscientific) poll on this blog are more likely to “sell” than state workers who took the same (scientific) poll conducted by the state this summer.

Still, some positive trends emerged, including respondents’ strong belief that their jobs benefit Californians.

Respondents to The State Worker’s online survey, posted in two parts on Sept. 4 and Sept. 8, tended to be harder on their employers when asked to rate 10 statements on a scale from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” The percentage of positive responses on the blog was consistently lower than the percentage of positive responses to the same statements in the state’s official survey.

The statement, “People where I work are accountable for results,” drew the widest disparity, with 65 percent of state survey respondents somewhat or strongly agreeing, compared to just 36 percent of blog survey respondents (who may well include non-state workers) who somewhat or strongly agreed.

Other statements with at least a 20-percentage-point difference in responses: “I have confidence in my supervisor,” “I feel valued as an employee,” “I receive recognition for good work” and “I have the opportunity to develop within the position I hold.”

The online poll contains some positive news, however.

“I believe my work makes a difference in the lives of Californians,” received “somewhat agree” or “strongly agree” responses from 84 percent of blog respondents. That was just 8 percentage points less than what the state found in its official survey. The statement scored the highest agreement rating on both polls.

And despite the comparatively downbeat tenor of the online poll responses, six of the 10 statements rated “somewhat agree” or “strongly agree” at least half of the time. Just under one-half of online respondents, 49 percent, said they somewhat or strongly agreed with, “I have the opportunity to develop within the position I hold.”

The State Worker’s online survey drew 430 unique responses over the course of two weeks ending Sept. 17. The state issued 5,000 surveys via the Internet and conventional mail, and 2,604 state employees anonymously submitted their responses between mid-June and mid-August.

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