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Housing, Environmental and Economic Development

Grounds Maintenance Service Quality Questionnaire Results 2009

INTRODUCTION
In May 2009, a self completion questionnaire was sent via e mail to internal users of the
Grounds Maintenance Service.

The questionnaire forms part of a rolling programme of consultation which is carried out by
Grounds Maintenance and is a repeat of the exercise undertaken in October 2005 and March
2007.
OBJECTIVES OF PROJECT
The objective of the consultation was to establish the opinion of internal users of the services
provided by Grounds Maintenance during the financial year, 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009

Wherever possible, the results of this exercise will be compared to the previous exercises in
order to determine if customer satisfaction of the services provided by Grounds Maintenance is
improving and also to establish where there may be areas for concern.
METHODOLOGY
The questionnaire was sent via e mail to internal users of the Grounds Maintenance Service.
The questionnaire was issued directly to dedicated contact people for properties where a
maintenance schedule has been issued by Ground Maintenance with a request for it to be
cascaded to the relevant people.

The questionnaire was anonymous however; the customer could add their name and position if
they chose to.

SPSS was the tool used by the Strategy Section to analyse the questionnaire.
RESPONSE RATE
The response rate for previous surveys was:

™ 2005 49%
™ 2007 52%

22 people returned the questionnaire. Unfortunately, not all departments were able to confirm
how many people the questionnaire was forwarded to therefore a response rate is unable to be
calculated for 2009.
DEMOGRAPHICS
As this questionnaire was anonymous, demographic information is not available for this
survey. We can however, confirm the position held by 17 of the 22 people who completed the
questionnaire. The positions held have been highlighted in the table below and confirm that the
majority of returns were submitted by Head Teachers.

Position Held

8 7
7
6 5 5
5
4
3 2
2 1 1 1
1
0
Team Leader Head Teacher Admin Officer Managers Residential Janitor Unknown
Officers

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RESULTS

The questionnaire consisted of five questions:

™ Were you satisfied with the standard of grounds maintenance?


™ Are you aware of the Annual Maintenance schedule for your property?
™ Were you satisfied with the frequency of grass cutting?
™ How do you rate the courtesy of Grounds Maintenance Staff?
™ Overall, how would you rate the service provided by Grounds Maintenance?

At the end of the questionnaire customers were given the opportunity to expand on their
answers or add any comments relating to the Grounds Maintenance Service.

A full copy of the data and all comments received has been attached as Appendix 1 and 2
respectively. As a quick reference a summary of the data collected (excluding comments) has
been attached as Appendix 3.

STANDARD OF GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

We asked our customers if they were satisfied with the standard of Grounds Maintenance.
Compared with previous years there has been a decline in satisfaction levels for the standard
of grounds maintenance. Figures for 2009 confirm that half of those who responded to this
survey said they were not satisfied.

Were you satisfied with the standard of Grounds


Maintenance?

100%

80% 68%
63%
60% 50%
Yes
40%

20%

0%
2005 2007 2009

Comments received regarding the standard of grounds maintenance included the following:

™ More care when weeding garden (Flowers and plants disappeared during weeding)
™ The grass is not kept well, the edges are not done regularly
™ Grounds could be more appealing if the cut grass was removed
™ Pitch has not been maintained to a safe standard for children to use
™ There is no frequency to weeding or pruning of shrubs
™ Weeds growing between flag stones and around the solum of the building
™ Litter and grass cuttings not being either collected or disposed of
™ Weeding does not seem to take place

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MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

The Grounds Maintenance Section issue a maintenance schedule for each property they
maintain. We asked our customers if they were aware of the annual maintenance schedule for
their property. Although there was a slight increase, this year results were disappointing with
almost three quarters (73%) of those who responded stating that they were not aware of the
annual maintenance schedule for their property.
(This question was not asked in 2005)
Comments included:
™ Can I have a copy of the Annual Maintenance Schedule
™ A schedule re duties of staff and frequency of visits would be helpful
Where clients have provided contact details, requests for information with regard to the
maintenance schedule have been passed to the Section Head for the relevant action.

Are you aware of the Annual Maintenance


Schedule for your property?

100%

80%

60%
Yes
40%
24% 27%

20%

0%
2007 2009

Previous results from 2007 highlighted that only 24% of respondents were aware of the annual
maintenance schedule for the property. As part of the action plan to address this issue, the
Grounds Maintenance section proposed that specific contacts from within each of the
directorates should be identified. In future, these contacts would be issued with all relevant
information with regards to ground maintenance. The contacts would then be responsible for
ensuring that grounds maintenance issues were cascaded to the appropriate people. An
assumption was made that this would include cascading annual maintenance schedules for
the properties.

As previously stated, this questionnaire was forwarded to the main contacts within each
directorate with a request to cascade to the most relevant people. As almost three quarters of
respondents (73%) said that they were unaware of the annual maintenance schedule it raises
questions about the cascade of information. In order for clients to accurately rate the service
provided they need to be aware of what they can expect from the service. Clients are saying
that they do not know what the annual maintenance schedule is therefore this is an issue that
could be considered for further investigation.

GRASS CUTTING FREQUENCY


We asked our customers if they were satisfied with the frequency of grass cutting.
Unfortunately, satisfaction levels for this factor also ranked lower than previous years with a
little over half (59%) of the respondents saying that they were satisfied.

Further analysis of this indicates that there is a higher level of dissatisfaction with the grass
cutting frequency from the clients who are unaware of the annual maintenance schedule.
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Were you satisfied with the frequency of grass
cutting?
100%

80% 67% 68%


59%
60%
Yes
40%

20%

0%
2005 2007 2009

As can be seen from the table below, where clients are aware of the annual maintenance
schedule 83% are satisfied with the frequency of grass cutting compared to 50% satisfaction
rate of the clients who do not know what the frequency of grass cutting is or should be.

Were you satisfied with the frequency of


grass cutting?
Yes No
Are you aware of the Annual Yes 83.3% 16.7%
Maintenance schedule for your 50.0% 50.0%
property? No

Although several respondents stated that they were not satisfied with the frequency of grass
cutting, only two clients outlined reason associated with grass cutting frequency i.e.
™ There is more to maintaining grounds than cutting grass
™ I believe that events outwith the control of Land Services resulted in a lower frequency
of grass cuts than anticipated.

COURTESY OF STAFF

This factor has ranked consistently high over the three questionnaires carried out with this
years results increasing to 82% of respondents ranking our staff as courteous or very
courteous

It would appear that where dissatisfaction with staff was recorded, clients said that staff should
make more effort to acknowledge residents and staff when carrying out their duties. Comments
included:
™ Staff go straight to cut the grass and there is no communication with school staff
™ Operatives do not speak to the staff in the home. They come, cut the grass and leave

How courteous did you find the Grounds Maintenance Staff?

100% 82%
80%
60%
40% 12%
20% 6%
0%
Uncourteous/Very Uncourteous Neither Nor Courteous/Very Courteous
2005 6% 17% 78%
2007 6% 24% 70%
2009 6% 12% 82%

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OVERALL SATISFACTION WITH GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

For the second time running, satisfaction levels have dropped for overall satisfaction with
grounds maintenance. Although 64% of those who responded felt that the overall grounds
maintenance service was good or satisfactory, over a third (37%) rated the service as poor.

Satisfaction Monitoring - Internal Clients

100%
80%
60%
32% 32% 37%
40%
20%
0%
Good Satisfactory Poor
2005 43% 38% 19%
2007 37% 37% 26%
2009 32% 32% 37%

The decline in overall satisfaction requires that we ask ourselves, are we meeting our
customer’s expectations? Again there may be a link with the lack of awareness of the annual
maintenance schedule and the work taking place however, this would need further
investigation. Further analysis of the data again indicates that clients aware of the annual
maintenance schedule are more satisfied with the overall service provided by grounds
maintenance.

Overall satisfaction with Grounds


Maintenance Service
Good Satisfactory Poor
Are you aware of the Annual Maintenance Yes 50.0% 33.3% 16.7%
schedule for your property? No 23.1% 30.8% 46.2%

Some of the comments outlining reasons for dissatisfaction have been highlighted through out
the report. The comments fell into four main themes i.e. weeding, removal of grass, trimming of
trees and maintenance of borders. A sample of these comments has been listed below:

™ Help with hard areas would be good


™ Helpful if paths were weeded
™ We didn’t receive any plants or help with our vegetable garden this year
™ Other areas of the garden could be given attention i.e bushes, trees trimmed weeds
killed
™ No work is ever done on our borders
™ No plants have ever been put into our garden
™ More maintenance with borders and main garden area
™ Some flowers in the grounds would be nice

A copy of all comments received is attached to this report as Appendix 2 and will be passed to
the Section Head of Grounds Maintenance for information and action where required.

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AREAS FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION

2005-2009 Data Comparison

100%

80%

60%

40%

20%

0% Satisfied with the Aware of the annual Satisfied with the Staff are
Overall satisfaction
standard of grounds maintenance frequency of grass courteous/very
good/satisfactory
maintenance schedule cutting courteous
2005 68% 67% 78% 81%
2007 63% 24% 68% 70% 74%
2009 50% 27% 59% 82% 64%

The above table combines the results from the five questions over the three consultation
exercises. Of the five questions asked, satisfaction levels have declined for three of them. The
areas of concern fell into four main themes: i.e. weeding, removal of grass, trimming of trees
and maintenance of borders.

As with the previous consultation, doubts have been cast over the awareness of the annual
maintenance schedule. What we are unable to confirm by looking at the results is whether or
not the areas of concern outlined above are included in the maintenance schedule or not. If
they are included and we are not completing them then we would expect to see dissatisfaction
levels falling as is highlighted above.

Further investigation would need to take place to establish if the annual maintenance schedule
is going to the relevant people. Consideration could be given to how we are currently
presenting this information? Do we provide a summary of the information? A summary could
highlight the frequency of activities carried out and areas of activity that would not be taking
place.

The clients who are not aware of the annual maintenance programme appear to be the most
dissatisfied. We therefore need to close the gap between the clients perception of what we
should be providing against the agreed maintenance schedule. Given the above results it
seems that in order to improve satisfaction consideration should be given to raising awareness
of the schedule with the relevant people.

As previously stated, a full list of the data used, commentary received and a summary of the
data can be viewed in Appendix 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

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Housing, Environmental and Economic Development
Grounds Maintenance Service Quality Questionnaire Results 2009

Results

Appendix 1

Data

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Housing, Environmental and Economic Development
Grounds Maintenance Service Quality Questionnaire Results 2009

Satisfaction Levels Yes No


Were you satisfied with the standard of Grounds Maintenance Count 11 11
% 50.0% 50.0%

Count 6 16
Are you aware of the Annual Maintenance schedule for your % 27.3% 72.7%
property?

Were you satisfied with the frequency of grass cutting? Count 13 9


% 59.1% 40.9%

Courtesy of our staff


Frequency Valid Percent
Valid Very Un-courteous 1 5.9
Neither/Nor 2 11.8
Courteous 5 29.4
Very Courteous 9 52.9
Total 17 100.0
Missing System 5
Total 22

Overall satisfaction with Grounds Maintenance Service


Frequency Valid Percent
Valid Good 6 31.6
Satisfactory 6 31.6
Poor 7 36.8
Total 19 100.0
Missing System 3
Total 22

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Housing, Environmental and Economic Development
Grounds Maintenance Service Quality Questionnaire Results 2009

Were you satisfied with the frequency of


grass cutting?
Yes No
Are you aware of the Annual Yes 5 1
Maintenance schedule for 83.3% 16.7%
your property?
No 8 8
50.0% 50.0%
Total Count 13 9
% within Are you 59.1% 40.9%
aware of the Annual
Maintenance
schedule for your
property?

Overall satisfaction with Grounds Maintenance


Service
Good Satisfactory Poor
Are you aware of the Yes Count 3 2 1
Annual Maintenance
% within Are you 50.0% 33.3% 16.7%
schedule for your
aware of the
property?
Annual
Maintenance
schedule for your
property?
No Count 3 4 6
% within Are you 23.1% 30.8% 46.2%
aware of the
Annual
Maintenance
schedule for your
property?
Total Count 6 6 7
% within Are you 31.6% 31.6% 36.8%
aware of the
Annual
Maintenance
schedule for your
property?

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Housing, Environmental and Economic Development
Grounds Maintenance Service Quality Questionnaire Results 2009

Results

Appendix 2

Comments

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Housing, Environmental and Economic Development
Grounds Maintenance Service Quality Questionnaire Results 2009

Comments received
2 I would qualify the response to Q3 by saying that I believe that events outwith the control of
Land Services resulted in a lower frequency of grass cuts than anticipated.
3 More help with weed control of hard areas and paths would be good. Also, I would appreciate
more care when weeding garden areas as quite a few of our flowers and plants disappeared
during weeding.
5 It would be helpful if the weeding of footpaths leading from fire exits of all three Corporate
buildings could be added to the annual maintenance programme. At the moment we have to
request this a couple of times during the summer months each year. Can a copy of the Annual
Maintenance schedules for Garshake. Rosebery and Municipal Buildings be sent to me please?
7 The grass is not kept well; the edges are not done regularly. I have asked by phone for help
with the vegetable garden as in the past years and have been given nothing. We usually get
tomato and pepper plants too but not this year. We have been given nothing and it’s too late in
the season to go and buy our own!
8 The service is currently very poor.
9 A schedule to let us know the duties of the staff and the frequency of visits would be helpful
10 The grounds could be made more appealing if the grass was lifted , other area's of the garden
could be given attention, i.e. bushes, trees trimmed, weeds killed etc
11 Only grass cutting required at the centre and I contact this section to arrange help with the
management of weeds on the paved area around the building.
12 Although our grass and hedge get cut no work is ever done to our borders and no plants have
ever been put in the garden.
15 Pitch has not been maintained to a safe standard for children to use. However, a synthetic pitch
is planned for the future. Staff go straight to cut grass and there is no communication with
school staff.
16 I would like more maintenance of the borders and main grass areas.
18 There is no frequency to weeding or pruning of shrubs. This is a building used by the public on
a daily basis which looks like a mess because of weeds growing between flag stones and
around the solum of the building, litter and grass cuttings not being either collected or disposed
of.
19 I have scored the courtesy of staff as a 1 as they do not speak to the staff in the home they
come cut the grass and leave. There is more to maintaining grounds than cutting grass. Some
flowers in the grounds would be nice for residents. Weeding does not seem to take place.
20 Satisfied with grass cutting, it is in our contract for courtyard to be weeded quarterly and this
does not always happen. Also the surrounding moat like design around the building is full of
weeds; this requires weed-killer spraying and general weeding done.

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Housing, Environmental and Economic Development
Grounds Maintenance Service Quality Questionnaire Results 2009

Results

Appendix 3

Data Summary

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Housing, Environmental and Economic Development
Grounds Maintenance Service Quality Questionnaire Results 2009

Service Quality Questionnaire 2009


Summary of Data

The questions below relate to the Grounds Maintenance work that has been carried out within
the grounds of your property from 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009

Yes No
1. Were you satisfied with the standard of Grounds Maintenance?
50% 50%
2. Are you aware of the Annual Maintenance schedule for your
property? 27.3% 72.7%

3. Were you satisfied with the frequency of grass cutting?


59.1% 40.9%

Very Un- Un- Neither/ Courteous Very


Courteous Courteous Nor Courteous
1 2 3 4 5
4. Please rate the courtesy of 5.9% 0% 11.8% 29.4% 52.9%
our staff on a scale of 1-5
with 5 being very courteous

Good Satisfactory Poor


5. Overall how would you rate 31.6% 31.6% 36.8%
our service?

Comments. Themes included:

™ Weeding
™ Maintenance of borders
™ Grass removal
™ Trimming of trees

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