PUD communication needs improvement

Grays Harbor PUD officials hope a recent employee survey indicating that employees are not satisfied with the level of teamwork and communications will be the grist to help the utility move forward under the direction of new General Manager Dave Ward.

Most of the survey results reflected positively on the PUD: about 90 percent of respondents said they understand what is expected of them at work, and about 92 percent said they are committed to doing quality work.

But results also showed that most employees feel communication at the PUD is lacking — especially between management and employees. About 71 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that “management communicates a clear sense of direction” and about 63 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that “the district communicates information about changes that affect employees.”

The survey also showed some issues with teamwork, as about 77 percent of employees disagreed with the statement that “there is a strong feeling of teamwork and cooperation within the district.”

Ward said that while these aren’t necessarily positive numbers, they leave the utility in great spot to move forward.

“But there’s some easy stuff for us to work on, like communicating a clear sense of direction,” Ward said. “All we have to do is come up with a strategic plan. I don’t care if it doesn’t look great right now, it’s a benchmark for us to improve.”

“We are going to focus on those areas that need improvements,” he added. “The worst thing we could do is just do nothing with this information.”

PUD Commission President Russ Skolrood said he knows improvement won’t be easy, but he looks forward to the results.

“We’re not there, we’re a long ways from where we want to be,” Skolrood said. “And it’s going to take a lot of work, it’s not going to be fun and games and Kumbaya circles. It’s going to be digging in, everybody doing their part.”

“But I’m pretty excited to see where we are in a year,” he added. “I think that will be a good story.”

Amelia Dickson: 360-537-3936 or adickson@thedailyworld.com. Twitter: @DW_Amelia