Exclusive read: Internal survey of St. Petersburg Times' staffers

in Uncategorized by

I don’t think Tash and Co. will be too happy about me publishing it, but below isan internal survey of the staff of the St. Petersburg Times. Actually,Tashshould be relatively pleased withthe results of the wide-ranging questionnaire, even if there is some concernamong some Times‘ staffers about senior management’s leadership. Still, the Times‘ staff appears to be incredibly, almost fiercely, proud of their company. Overall, 77% of Times‘ staffers said they were satisfied with the company, and 76% said they were satisfied with their jobs.

This is the Executive Summary, followed by a PowerPoint presentation detailing the results of the survey.

Survey Shows Staffers?Commitment, Concerns

Almost nine out of 10 staffers answered the company? survey. With such strong participation, we now have a clear sense of how staffers see the top strengths and improvement opportunities for the St. Petersburg Times.

? am extremely grateful that so many staffers took part in the survey, which is a healthy sign in its own right,?said Paul Tash, Chairman and CEO. ?he results show some enormous strengths and where there are concerns, they will help guide our decisions in the months ahead.?

Similar to the process following the 2004 survey, the next phase of the work begins with taking a closer look at the results. The lion? share of that work will happen within departments, where leaders will hold meetings to better understand the responses and determine next steps. These meetings and action plans will unfold over the course of several months. We will report overall progress later this year.

Despite the tough economy and decisions made in response, staffers continue to feel an overwhelming sense of pride in the company and in their jobs. They understand how their work contributes to the company? goals and are committed to seeing the Times succeed. Compared to 2004, staffers now have more confidence in how the company responds to changes in the marketplace. Overall, 77% said they were satisfied with the company, and 76% said they were satisfied with their jobs.

Better handle on performance management

Seven years ago, most staffers said the Times tolerated poor performance. That? no longer the case. Specifically, 81% of staffers now feel colleagues within their departments are held accountable to produce high quality products and/or services.

Continued confidence in immediate supervisors

On average, 71% of staffers have a favorable impression about their supervisors. They say their bosses provide them with clear direction and feedback, give them the freedom to do their jobs, show them appreciation for a job well done and encourage teamwork and cooperation, not only within their departments but across the company. Moreover, they believe their supervisors proactively handle problems and keep promises and commitments.

Communications needs strengthening

About half of staffers felt communication was good between departments and work groups. Feelings were about the same when it came to whether there are good ways for staffers to communicate their ideas and concerns upwards. Additionally, only 38% of staffers felt it was safe to say what you think at the Times, about the same as in 2004.

Pay and benefits are concerning

Less than a third of staffers felt their health insurance and retirement benefits were competitive. As for pay, 36% felt their pay was competitive to what they could earn elsewhere. Additionally, 41% of staffers agreed that the changes to pay and benefits over the past few years were appropriate, given the economic downturn and the company? challenges.

Need for more professional development

Half of staffers felt there were good opportunities for them at the Times if they performed well and developed their skills. And less than a third said their supervisors took time to discuss their career interests and were helpful in charting their careers.

[scribd id=52529383 key=key-jlc33gjxxn6mfa0ju5 mode=list]

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.