Council’s promise problem


Just half of City Hall staffers believe Queenstown’s council delivers on its promises to the public, a new survey reveals.

Staff also appear less than impressed with the way teams work together and how poor performance is dealt with, while only 54 per cent say they rarely think about jumping ship.

But when it comes to having supportive bosses and good health and safety, they’re much more upbeat.

The results come as new figures show the organisation’s headcount has skyrocketed, more than doubling in two years.

In the 2015/16 year the council employed 213 people. By October last year, that rose to 499.

Council people and capability director Meghan Pagey says that’s due to “significant growth” across the district.

And if you’re keen to join the ranks, you’re in luck – as of the start of the year, the council had 40 vacancies.

Mountain Scene requested a copy of the council’s Staff Engagement Survey, an annual questionnaire that canvasses employees about everything from health and safety to learning opportunities and performance recognition.

Pagey says council’s “very happy” with the results.

“We look at the shift from last year to this year. We always focus on staff culture and satisfaction with their roles.”

According to the survey, 56 per cent of staff thought the council delivered on its promises to customers, 41.4 per cent thought teams in the organisation worked well together, and 44.7 per cent thought the organisation rewards outstanding success.

On the positive side, 88.7 per cent thought the person they reported to treated people with respect, 77.4 per cent were proud to work for council, and 68.5 per cent were “extremely satisfied” with the council as a place to work.

Pagey says improving collaboration between different teams within council was a “key” priority. She’s “comfortable” with the number of vacancies, which equates to about 10 per cent of the workforce.

A lot of the vacant roles were in the consenting and property and infrastructure areas.

“They’re technical roles, which are more challenging to fill,” Pagey says.

She doesn’t believe it’s impacting processing times.

“We’ve got statutory timeframes to meet, and we do everything we can to meet them.”

That means farming work out to contractors, she says.