How are Texas State Agencies performing during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Some of the most reliable answers can be found in survey results from those on the front lines – agency employees themselves.
Our research group at UT Austin conducts the Survey of Employee Engagement. This survey has been utilized in Texas for over 30 years and is included in the LBB and Governor’s Budget and Policy Division’s Agency Strategic Planning Instructions. The survey data are collected biennially across most state agencies (see below). We are able to evaluate, in real-time, the perceptions of state employees during the crisis.
Now more than ever, the successful delivery of state services is in the hands of our dedicated State of Texas agency workforce and their full engagement is critical. The graphic below shows responses of thousands of state employee perceptions prior to COVID-19 impacting agencies (baseline), to early March as awareness grew, to late March when many are working from home, to present day.
State Employee Insights
My Workplace is Safe: down 25% but recovering.
I have the Resources to do my Job: down, slow to improve.
Effectively Working with the Public: down but again approaching baseline.
Technology effectiveness: sharp drop but strong recovery.
As illustrated, the emergence of COVID-19 in March has had a considerable negative impact on perceptions of a safe working environment, adequate resources, working with the public, and the effectiveness of technology, but through leadership and the engagement of employees, the negative impacts are being mitigated as state government continues to respond to the challenge.
What do we do next?
Continue to collect data. Leadership needs data. Several agencies are yet to be surveyed (below). Contemporary data are essential guides for decision making. We will work with our partners to ensure efforts continue.
A rapidly evolving workplace requires insights. We are crafting additional analysis to address remote work, service delivery, and continuity, technology, communication during change, back to work plans, and overall employee engagement.
Keep you posted. Additional analysis and insights are being updated in the table (below).
Agency Participation Listing
Scheduled in the next few months:
Health and Human Services Dept of Family and Prot Srvs. TX Juvenile Justice Dept
Participated this Iteration (2019/2020)
|Animal Health Comm.||Railroad Comm. of TX||TX Dept of Info Resources|
|Bd of Architectural Examiners||Real ESt Comm.||TX Dept of Insurance|
|Bd of Dental Examiners||St Ofc of Admin Hearings||TX Dept of Motor Vehicles|
|Bd of Prof Eng and Land Surveyors||St Ofc of Risk Management||TX Dept of Transportation|
|Bond Review Bd||St Pension Review Bd||TX Education Agency|
|Credit Union Dept||Teacher Retirement System||TX Historical Com.|
|Dept of Housing & Comm Affairs||TX A&M Forest Service||TX Medical Bd|
|Dept of Public Safety||TX Alcoholic Beverage Comm.||TX Military Dept|
|Dept of Savings & Mort Lending||TX Bd of Nursing||TX Ofc of Consum Credit Com.|
|Dept of St Health Services||TX Bd of Pharmacy||TX Public Finance Authority|
|Employees Retirement System||TX Bd of Prof Geoscientists||TX School for the Deaf|
|ECPTOTE||TX Com. on Environ Quality||TX St Bd of Plumbing Exam|
|Lottery Comm.||TX Com. on Fire Protection||TX St Library & Archives Com.|
|Ofc of Public Insurance Counsel||TX Com. on St Emerg Comm.||TX St Preservation Bd|
|Parks and Wildlife Dept||TX Com. on the Arts||TX Veterans Comm.|
|Public Utility Comm.||TX Coun. for Devel Disabilities||TX Water Development Bd|
|TX Dept of Banking||TX Workforce Solutions|
Not Currently Scheduled to Participate this Iteration (Past Participants)
|Ofc of Court Administration||TX Dept of Licensing & Reg||TX Vet Medical Diagnostic Lab|
|St Comm on Judicial Conduct||TX Racing Commission||TX Transportation Institute|
|TX Facilities Commission||Funeral Service Comm||School for Blind & Vis Impaired|
|TX Com. on Law Enforce.||TX Optometry Board||Higher Ed Coord Board|
|Ofc of Injured Empl Counsel||Dept of Agriculture|