Each year, all colleagues and volunteers are invited to take part in a survey, allowing us to gauge job satisfaction and engagement across the Group. In 2020, 836 people took part in the survey, which represents a response rate of 68%.

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. Consistent with last year’s results, the following statements received net agreement scores of over +80%:

  • I enjoy working with members of my team (+96%)
  • I am proud to work for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and Family (+91%)
  • In general I am happy at work (+87%)
  • Overall I am satisfied with my current job (+86%)

The following statements, which showed room for improvement in 2019, all improved significantly in 2020:

  • I would recommend the Devonshire Group to prospective employees (+84%) (5% increase)
  • The organisation supports my work life balance (+83%) (6% increase)
  • I feel valued for the work that I do (+72%) (6% increase)

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


In 2020, as in previous years, a number of statements relating to staff and volunteer engagement scored exceptionally highly. The following statements received net agreement scores of over +80%:

  • I am happy to go the extra mile to provide “extraordinary” customer service (+96%)
  • I am happy to go the extra mile to help internal relationships (+95%)
  • I feel able to make decisions when dealing with customer / visitor issues / colleagues (+88%)

As is the case for job satisfaction, the statements on engagement which showed room for improvement in 2019 showed the most significant increases:

  • I feel encouraged to be my best (+79%) (4% increase)
  • My suggestions for improvement are taken seriously by my manager (+68%) (6% increase)

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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