This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Commissioned by Salt Lake City Library officials to gauge employee morale and trust in management, a new survey reveals high levels of job satisfaction but little faith in Director Beth Elder.
On a scale of 1 to 7, overall pride in working for the library scored a 5.7. Nearly three-quarters of employee respondents said they know and understand the library's strategy and mission. Satisfaction with benefits notched a 5.9. And staffers, weighing in with a 5, deem the library a good place to work.
The "employee engagement" poll, conducted by Riverton-based Lighthouse Research, queried 87 percent of library employees and carried a 3.4 percent margin of error.
"The results tell a story about the Salt Lake City Library of today," Elder said in a statement. "We want to build on the positive attributes of our organization, and this survey has helped us identify where we can improve as we become the library our community will need tomorrow."
On average, librarians gave a 5.7 rating to their overall satisfaction with their supervisors. And employees gave a 5.8 to whether their immediate supervisor encourages open and honest communication.
The results on Elder and her "Executive Leadership Team" paint a darker portrait. Employees gave them a 2.6 on open and honest communication, along with a 3 on caring about staff and volunteers.
In addition, "concerns about the director" ranked the highest under the "one thing" the library could do to improve service to the community.
"Respondents generally expressed dissatisfaction with the communication they receive from the Executive Leadership Team. They felt the Executive Leadership Team does not encourage open and honest communication, does not communicate information the employees need to know about the library, and has not communicated a vision of the future that motivates the employees," the survey reads. "In fact, the lowest average scores among all rating scale questions dealt with these three communication issues involving the Executive Leadership Team."
What's more, the survey reveals library management, according to most employees, is not committed to providing high-quality products and services to patrons.
"When asked what could be done to make the library a better place to work," the survey continues, "39 percent of respondents suggested resolving concerns or issues with either the director or her Executive Leadership Team."
Elder said she and her inner circle are committed to "better communicating" their vision.