2005 Staff Opinion Survey
J. Bernard Machen, President
Last year we conducted our first University-wide faculty opinion survey, in which we asked our faculty a series of questions about their work experiences and the functioning of the University. Feedback we received was incredibly valuable in identifying both strengths we need to sustain and areas in need of improvement.
I am writing today to let you know that this spring we will be conducting a University-wide opinion survey of all administrators and staff, and to ask for your assistance. This project is based on my belief that improvement is fueled by direct and candid feedback.
The content of the survey will cover a broad range of issues and will be similar in some aspects to the one we used for the faculty. To manage this process we are again working with ISR, the external consultant who conducted the faculty survey. ISR is meeting with several department heads and employees to discuss how the survey might be revised and improved to meet our current needs.
After ISR has received all of the completed surveys and tabulated the results, they will provide detailed views of colleges, and/or departments and units from the perspective of your employees. The survey will, of course, protect respondent anonymity and confidentiality. Results will include a comparison with ISR’s national benchmarks.
What am I asking you to do, specifically?
First, be aware that the University’s Academic & Professional Assembly (APA) is coordinating the survey process. Individuals from this team will be providing you with information about the process and they will be consulting some of you regarding your needs in the reporting of the results (e.g. how to “roll-up” departments or units that do not meet the 10 respondent minimum, how to best distribute reports in your college or division, etc.). Please respond quickly to any requests of this group. If you have questions about the process, please contact Jani Sherrard, APA President, firstname.lastname@example.org, 392-8408.
Second, act as a visible champion of this process. Stress the value to employees of their feedback and let them know they’ll be hearing about the results. I’ve created an Employee Memo Template for you to use in letting your employees know about the survey and the new Staff Survey Web site, which includes frequently asked questions. Please modify as you see fit, or discuss with them in person if you prefer, but please do let them know about the survey.
In mid-March, I will be sending a letter directly to all employees encouraging them to complete the survey. In addition, we are developing a communications campaign including posters, electronic marquee, myUFL portal, articles in campus publications, etc.
Most importantly, view the findings with an open mind, share them with employees, and take appropriate action in response. No organization is perfect—there’s always a list of things that can be improved.
This process will identify the 2-3 priority areas that will have the biggest benefit, and focusing on these will provide ample returns in the engagement of our employees and the success of our institution.
Thank you for your help.