Each year, all staff and volunteers are invited to take part in a survey, allowing us to gauge job satisfaction and engagement across the Group. In 2019, 939 employees and volunteers took part in the survey, an increase of 25% on the previous year.

Participants are given a series of statements and asked for the extent to which they agreed or disagreed using the following options: ‘strongly agree’, ‘agree’, ‘unsure’, ‘disagree’ or ‘strongly disagree’.

Responses are gauged using a ‘net agreement score’ which is the proportion of positive responses (strongly agree + agree) to each statement, minus the proportion of negative responses (disagree + strongly disagree). Results, therefore, can range from -100% to +100%. We aim to achieve scores of over +80% for all measures of satisfaction and engagement.

Job satisfaction

The section relating to job satisfaction showed a number of very encouraging results. The following statements received net agreement scores of over +80%:

  • I enjoy working with members of my team (+95%)
  • I am proud to work for the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire and Family (+89%)
  • In general I am happy at work (+88%)
  • Overall I am satisfied with my current job (+85%)

The following statements showed areas for improvement:

  • I would recommend the Devonshire Group to prospective employees (+79%)
  • The organisation supports my work life balance (+77%)
  • I feel valued for the work that I do (+88%)
  • The area in which I take my break and the staff facilities are satisfactory (+65%)

On balance, the survey provides positive assurance of the wellbeing of our staff and volunteers. The results compare favourably with national statistics, which suggest that net job satisfaction in the private sector is +45%1. While these results are no doubt reassuring, in the Devonshire Group we strive to improve in everything we do and hope to improve scores in all areas.

1 CIPD, Employee Outlook – Spring 2017


The majority of statements relating to staff and volunteer engagement scored highly, with the following statements receiving net agreement scores of over +80%:

  • I am happy to go the extra mile to provide ‘extraordinary’ customer service (+95%)
  • I am happy to go the extra mile to help internal relationships (+94%)
  • I feel able to make decisions when dealing with customer / visitor issues / colleagues (+88%)
  • The following statements showed areas for improvement:
  • I feel encouraged to be my best (+76%)
  • I feel I can have my say or am listened to by managers (+72%)
  • My suggestions for improvement are taken seriously by my manager (+62%)

The proportion of staff and volunteers in the Devonshire Group who are actively engaged at work is high compared with national averages. Research in Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report suggests that only 11% of employees in the UK are engaged at work, with the majority of employees (68%) not engaged2.

Both the delivery of exceptional customer service and the dedication to fostering strong relationships with colleagues align well with the Group’s core values: ‘Always improving’, ‘Decency’ and ‘Being inclusive’. High engagement within the Devonshire Group is something to be celebrated and encouraged further.

2 Gallup, State of the Global Workplace 2017

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