‘Don’t work here’

A STAFF culture survey at Perth council last July showed most employees would warn others against taking up a job there.

The “Cultyr” scorecard was conducted just before state-appointed commissioners left; the result’s worse than during a tumultuous 2017. 

Among the dozens of questions, a “promoter” score measures how likely they are to recommend the city as a good workplace to a friend. 

In the mid-2017 survey (taken as former lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi’s misconduct trial dragged through the courts) the score was -32. It dropped to -51 in 2019 as the state inquiry was in full swing and commissioners were drastically overhauling operations. 2020’s report rates it only barely better at -46. 

The score subtracts the number of employees warning people off from those a bit more positive. Women were notably less likely to recommend working there than men (-50 compared to -28). 

Most employees didn’t blame the commissioners, saying their behaviour had started strongly and kept improving.

But they wanted more encouragement from senior staff, training, career progression, appreciation and respect.

Staff reckoned the workplace was getting better in most areas and the executive were now working together. 

Despite not recommending it to others, more than half (55 per cent) still thought it was a good place to work. 

Lord mayor Basil Zempilas, elected after the survey was complete, said: “We know there is a lot to do and as part of the new leadership I will be working with councillors and the CEO to build the culture and ensure accountability of our city.”

A new survey’s due to start this month as required by the inquiry. It includes councillors for the first time.

by DAVID BELL

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