Employee surveys provide an interesting view of an organization from the inside out. If done well, people do not feel intimidated and you can get a good look at what makes the organization tick. Surveys tend to be a sounding board, so trends are more important than actual numbers.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently published its results for 2019. The first number that grabbed my eye was the equal distribution of men versus women, at 50/50. This is far better than numbers I recall from my personal experience at HFC, Citi, Chase, and First Union National Bank.
The agency operated with 1,424 FTE and had a 65.2% response rate, which represented 929 people.
Work environment is favorable, but there is opportunity
- Staff like what they do:
- Only 6.3% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement.
- However, a large number of staff did not feel as
if they had sufficient resources.
- Less than half strongly agreed or disagreed that they had sufficient resources to do their job.
- 58.7% believed their workload was reasonable.
- Only 3.8% did not see the importance of their work.
- A large block of staff, 36.4%, did not feel personally empowered at their job.
- Almost a quarter of the team, 24.8%, did not feel as if their talents were used well.
Co-worker perception seemed somewhat low
- There was a high perception of those who knew what was expected of them at work at 92.3% indicating agreement or neutral.
- The steps taken to deal with a poor performer was low, with 41.6% disagreeing with the statement, “In my work unit, steps are taken to deal with a poor performer.”
- And to the question of “In my work unit, differences in performance were recognized in a meaningful manner”, 40.4% disagreed.
My surprise: Mixed reviews on upper management
- There were strong indications of collaboration among work groups, with only 16% disagreeing about the level of cooperation.
- In answering the question about senior leadership maintaining high standards for honesty, ratings were far below my perception of the CFPB. 12.8% strongly agreed to the question, 26.7% agreed, 27.7% were neutral. 15.3% disagreed and 17.6% strongly disagreed.
- To their question of “How satisfied are you with the policies and practices of senior leaders, only 30.3% answered favorably, less than the 30.4% who were neutral and the 39.3% who responded negatively.
At the end of the day, job satisfaction was better than average, but more were happier with their job than their pay.
- 15.7% disagreed that “Considering everything how satisfied are you with your job.”
- But more than a quarter did not respond well on pay: 27.1% were not satisfied with their pay.
- 23% were not happy with the organization.
There are a few takeaways from the CFPB staff survey. The work environment appears good. There seemed to be issues on dealing with lower ranked staff, and senior management seems to have some work in front of them. There are rumblings by a quarter of the crew on management, which is not out of bounds on many other surveys of this type.
Keep in mind. A happy regulator is a friendly regulator.
Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group