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Workforce Development: Employee Engagement

What is employee engagement?

WSDOT listens to employees and acts on their feedback. We do this through (click through tabs below):


Job satisfaction index

How do we measure job satisfaction?

We survey employees annually. Survey results and targets for the two statements "In general, I'm satisfied with my job" and "I would recommend my agency as a great place to work" are equally weighted in the job satisfaction index. We aim to increase the percentage of surveyed WSDOT employees who respond positively to the statements by February 2021.


Progress     Target    
2019 2021
Job satisfaction index
73%  Arrow to right  70% meets or exceeds status icon
Exceeds goal

Why did we pick this target?

WSDOT’s job satisfaction index target of 70% (equally-weighted index of 74% for job satisfaction and 66% for employees recommending the agency as a great place to work) align with the overall response of employees from 75 state agencies in previous annual Employee Engagement surveys. A total of 5,099 WSDOT employees responded with a 73% positive response rate (76% positive score for job satisfaction and a 70% positive score for recommending the agency as a great place to work), exceeding the agency's goal of 70%.




Note: Percent of respondents who answered the question either "4 - Usually" or "5 - Almost Always or "Always" See Department of Transportation Washington State Employee Engagement Survey 2017 (pdf, 732kb). (2018 report available soon)


More about job satisfaction

Why is employee job satisfaction a priority?

Workforce Development is one of the three goals supporting WSDOT’s investment to appeal to the internal workforce and attract prospective talent. Under this goal, WSDOT strives to be an employer of choice – attracting and retaining a skilled, diverse workforce – valuing employee development and engagement supported by a modern work environment. WSDOT recognizes that if employees are engaged, their job satisfaction levels increase. Employees have a unique perspective on how well state government works and how it can be improved. The state values its employees and seeks to provide them with a positive work environment. In return, engaged employees have been shown to have higher productivity, lower turnover, and provide innovative and high quality customer service to the people of Washington State.

How are we doing?

In an effort to be an employer of choice, WSDOT has attempted to distinguish ourselves as a desirable place to work. Employees have great opportunities for growth and development, from training, mentoring, and advancement and even lateral movement to expand their experience with WSDOT. In addition, WSDOT has implemented statewide telework policy, an Infant at Work policy, and is investing in training programs to foster greater engagement between employees and supervisors at all levels.

What are we working on?

The Washington State Employee Engagement Survey measures employee satisfaction with several components of the work environment, or “conditions of engagement” that can be grouped into categories based on the scope of the question. The survey includes two questions that closely approximate “outcomes of engagement,” namely, general job satisfaction and employees’ likelihood of recommending their agency as a great place to work. Survey results help us understand current levels of engagement in the workforce, compare across groups and time, and determine which conditions of engagement are the “key drivers” of engagement outcomes. Understanding the employee engagement landscape is the first step in making improvements that will lead to higher individual performance, enhanced organizational performance and ultimately, better government for Washingtonians. Responses will help WSDOT leaders, managers and supervisors guide and measure their improvement efforts. WSDOT is committed to increase job satisfaction by engaging with employees to learn what is important to them.

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SmartHealth participation

How do we measure SmartHealth participation?

We aim to increase the number of WSDOT employees who register for SmartHealth to 55% by January 2021.


Progress Target
2018 2021
Registration percent
57% Arrow to right 55% Meets or exceeds target status icon
Exceeds target

Why did we pick this target?

Fifty-seven percent of SmartHealth eligible employees registered to participate in 2018, up five percentage points from 2017, when 52% registered. This exceeds both WSDOT's goal of 55% of eligible employees registered by 2021 and the state average of 47% of employees registered to participate. SmartHealth continues to develop and offer additional resources to help support eligible employees in their wellness journey.

Note: Percent of respondents who answered the question either "4 - Usually" or "5 - Almost Always or "Always" See Department of Transportation "Washington State Employee Engagement Survey 2017" (pdf, 732kb). (2018 report available soon)


More about SmartHealth

Why is SmartHealth important?

SmartHealth is an evidence-based health and wellness portal, providing employees a focus on positive lifestyle behavior changes. These changes can add quality to life and reduce health-related costs. Recent studies by SmartHealth and the Office of Financial Management compared agency well-being scores with job satisfaction, sick leave, turnover, and employee engagement.
SmartHealth uses a Well-being Assessment (WBA) that highlights strengths and opportunities for employees to improve their health, well-being and productivity. Employees have the opportunity win incentives by completing their Well-Being Assessment and earning SmartHealth points. WSDOT encourages employees to make time for their own well-being so they can be their best at home, at work and in their community. Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) subscribers and their spouse or state-registered domestic partner enrolled in an eligible PEBB medical plan can participate in SmartHealth

How are we doing?

WSDOT and WA Wellness are working together to increase SmartHealth participation. WSDOT’s Wellness Program developed statewide challenges and hosted SmartHealth-related activities statewide as a part of this effort.

What are we working on?

Fifty-seven percent of SmartHealth eligible WSDOT employees registered to participate in 2018, up five percentage points from 2017, when 52% registered. This exceeds the state average of 47% of employees registered to participate.
Seventy-two percent of SmartHealth eligible WSDOT employees completed WBAs in 2018, which was well above the 59% average for all other state agencies.

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