Trust and Confidence Report

Our People Survey

The Our People and Performance plan was approved in 2016 and laid a blueprint for how the City of Hamilton invests in our employees. We recognize that people are great assets and want to understand what employees need to be supported and engaged at work.

In September 2017, the City of Hamilton conducted a voluntary City-wide employee survey called, Our People Survey. This confidential survey will be conducted again in the Fall of 2020 and 2023 allowing us to gain new insights into our strengths as well as future improvement opportunities that will impact performance and employee engagement.


The survey’s objective is to collect meaningful feedback from employees that will help us to:

  • Drive honest conversations
  • Leading to thoughtful actions
  • Resulting in higher levels of performance and employee engagement which will increase the public’s trust and confidence in our City’s government.
Images of Lifeguards at rec centre, water employees at construction site and forestry employees planting flowers


The survey measured five key areas:

  1. Engagement: to determine how employees feel about their role at the City.
  2. Culture: to understand if employees feel our five culture values are lived in our everyday actions.
  3. Workplace Ethics & Integrity: to determine if employees perceive our behaviours to be aligned with our Code of Conduct.
  4. Health, Safety & Wellness: to understand how we are doing with regard to physical and psychological safety.
  5. Workforce Census & Demographics: to understand the composition of our workforce.

Forestry team photo with Our People Survey sign

As 2017 was the kick off year, this survey was critically important in establishing benchmark data to help us understand where we are today, what we are doing well, and where there are opportunities for improvement.

2017 Our People Survey Results

In February 2018, we began to roll out the results from the Our People Survey across the organization in an open and transparent manner. This may take two to three months depending on the size of the Department/Division. The overall City-wide results are positive, with Hamilton scoring higher on average than the survey vendor’s benchmark database of organizations, which includes other municipal comparators. There are areas for improvement as well, and the City will be working with staff to build action plans to address those areas.

The scores for the five key focus areas were as follows:

Scale Strongly Disagree Disagree Somewhat Disagree Neutral Somewhat Agree Agree Strongly Agree
Range 0 - 8.2% 8.3 - 24.9% 25 - 41.6% 41.7 - 58.2% 58.3 - 74.9% 75 - 91.5% 91.6 - 100%

These results show that overall City employees are very clear on the purpose of their job and feel a high sense of commitment to client/citizen service. Questions related to support for diversity in the workplace scored very high indicating that staff are very proud to be City employees. Although some divisions experienced lower overall scores compared to others, all divisions had notable areas of strength.

Additional Resources

City of Hamilton 2017 Survey Results - This report provides high level findings for the organization, summarized as averages of all respondent scores.

Our People Survey Results presentation to General Issues Committee (of Council) on February 27, 2018.

Results Sharing and Action Planning

The results of the Our People Survey have now been shared with all employees of the City. During the 2018 summer months, City work groups met to create action plans to respond to the issues and opportunities that emerged from the results.

In the fall of 2018 leaders provided information on their team’s action plans through a corporate reporting tool. 

As of November 30, 2018, 203 action plans have been reported through the corporate reporting tool, with 750 individual actions being implemented. The action plans reported are primarily focused in the areas of communication, work manageability and team morale which is reflective of the Our People Survey results.

The City is requiring that leaders report their action plan status corporately on a quarterly basis until the City re-surveys staff in the fall of 2020.