Employees in Flower Mound gave high marks for their overall job satisfaction in a recent survey, but still communicated concerns about compensation, among other results.

Town employees were surveyed on their attitudes on a number of issues that included not just compensation but also work schedule, leave, perks and environment. It was the first survey since 2018 and the fifth survey conducted by the town. These findings were revealed at the Flower Mound Town Council meeting June 5.

Surveys are conducted every two years, but the survey was skipped in 2020, during the pandemic, because conducting the survey would not have been a good use of funds during that time, said J.P. Walton, strategic services manager for the town. The survey was conducted by the National Research Center, which was recently purchased by Polco. A survey for residents will be conducted this year, Walton said.

Walton presented the findings of the 2022 Employee Survey, the 2022 Supplemental Employee Survey, and the employee recruitment and retention practices that were initiated based on the results of those surveys, according to city information.

A Town Council agenda memo stated the purpose of this item was to present employee feedback and provide council with an update to the town's strategic plan to evaluate and refresh the town's employment/workforce recruitment and retention strategies.

A closer look

On job satisfaction in the employee survey, of which 395 people responded, 86% of employees said they were satisfied with their job, and 92% said they planned on working with the city a year from now. But when asked how they ranked compensation—ranging from pay to benefits to incentives/bonuses—just 38% of respondents rated the town as excellent or good. That mark was 60% in 2018. But employees gave high marks—78% as either excellent or good—to benefits provided, which include vacation, sick leave, health care, retirement plan and more.

Respondents gave the town a 68% score on work-life balance and a 63% score on work schedule flexibility. In the supplemental survey, which focused on compensation, work schedule, environment, leave and perks, 294 employees participated. In terms of rank, from one to five, 184 respondents thought compensation was the important issue, followed by 62 marking work schedule, 30 marking environment, 17 marking leave and one marking perks.

What else?

In the category of schedule, employees seemed to like the idea of a four-day, 40-hour work week—130 of 294 respondents ranked it first among three categories—and a hybrid schedule that lets them work from the office and home; 108 ranked it first. Additionally, 139 respondents ranked merit raises based on annual performance evaluation first in compensation, and 84 ranked more recognition of staff first in the environment category.

The action taken

A compensation and classification study will be conducted this fiscal year, and staffers may take advantage of the alternative work schedule and working from home.

“We had these on the books, but I would just say it’s not something that’s been utilized as much as it could be,” Walton said about the alternative schedule and working from home.

He said for recruitment purposes, prospective employees expect to see an alternative work schedule and the opportunity to work from home for a limited number of days in a week. On the retention side, Walton said, these initiatives have helped the town keep staffers who might have decided to retire or look for a job somewhere else.

“What we’ve realized is we got very good feedback from both of these initiatives,” he said, adding that he expects to see these initiatives continue because of the good results and the town wants to continue to make efforts to appreciate employees.