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Battered by some as a boorish boss, Rocky Anderson is touting an anonymous survey of city employees that says morale in the mayor's office is about the highest in the city.
Anderson said Wednesday he wasn't surprised by the survey results. "That's why it's so frustrating for me to read constantly in the media these characterizations that simply don't jibe with what the reality is. It's wrong to generalize the situation in this office from the feelings of a few people who were terminated because I didn't feel that they were getting the job done."
Earlier this month, Anderson fired his spokeswoman, Deeda Seed, and his longtime assistant, Christy Cordwell, quit. Seed said the work environment was hostile, that the mayor berates employees. Anderson later issued an unusual statement that included an apology "if I said or did anything that hurt or caused anxiety to anyone."
The employee survey was conducted in November. Almost 2,000 employees - or 76 percent of the city - answered 94 questions. Brigham Young University's statistics department and the company NCS Pearson tabulated the results. The city started the survey under former Mayor Deedee Corradini and first used it during Anderson's first term in 2002.
Phyllis Caruth, a manager in the city's human resources department, compares the survey to a health check.
I see it as a way to say, 'Do we have a healthy environment? How's the morale? What do we need to do differently?'
Overall, job satisfaction is high. Employees have a lot of pride in their work. We need to focus on recognition. Basically, we're not ill. We don't have cancer.
All told, 70 percent of the respondents said they are satisfied with their jobs.
But there also are unhappy workers throughout City Hall, according to some of the written comments. Some complained about pay, about poor supervisors and about being micromanaged.
In terms of job satisfaction, employees in the Redevelopment Agency office are the least happy (40 percent were satisfied). City Council office workers are the most satisfied (at 85 percent), followed by the mayor's office (80 percent).
Employees in the mayor's office reported they are recognized for good work and that there is a strong sense of teamwork according to the survey.
Forty people have come and gone from Anderson's office since he took office in 2000. That number doesn't include turnover among department leaders who report to the mayor.
Anderson said the turnover number is misleading.
"We have an amazing team of people in this office, many of whom have been there since the very beginning of my administration - and we love each other."