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Why can’t a public sector employer improve their employee satisfaction ratings?

A fast-growing urban area was finding it difficult to move certain indicators on their employee satisfaction questionnaire, despite sustained effort.

Employee research is uniquely tricky, since all research events are also interventions in the system. We use an Appreciative Inquiry philosophy to guide our approach in these situations, where the focus is on envisioning a better future, instead of complaining about what isn’t working today.

Senior executives attended the discussions, and heard the stories, dreams and frustrations of employees, giving them the personal insight needed to lead change.