Communication from VC in July 2008 to all staff
Staff survey – headline results
I´d like to thank all of you who completed the survey in March. We had a very good response rate, with 47 percent of all staff sending in a completed questionnaire. This response came from a representative cross section of all staff so we can be broadly confident that their views represent those of everyone.
We have just received the first results plus some benchmarks for a wide range of similar organisations. More work needs to be done on the analysis but I wanted to share the key results with you as soon as possible.
First, there are lots of positives and many of us think this is a good place to work. We score very well on several fronts with more than 70 percent of all staff:
- being proud to work here and would recommend it to others as an excellent place to work;
- liking the flexibility of the work they do and how well colleagues co-operate with each other;
- appreciating the way their job makes good use of their skills and gives them a sense of personal accomplishment;
- holding a positive view of their total benefits package (pay, pension entitlement, leave etc), and
- feeling that the University has a very positive approach to its students and to external organisations with whom it works.
Of course not everyone feels positive about all these things so we need to continue to work more at these so everyone benefits as much as possible. In many of these positives we are well above comparable benchmark organisations, for example on the total pay and other rewards package.
Second, there are several things that we need to improve to make this an even better workplace for everyone. You have given us a clear message that we need to:
- improve communications all round, including ensuring that all Heads of Department and senior managers (including the new University Executive Board) are more visible and communicate better;
- reward good performance more transparently and give clearer feedback on staff performance;
- get professional and support departments to work better with academic departments (and vice versa);
- manage change more satisfactorily, and
- ensure that more colleagues feel they can challenge things they disagree with.
Likewise with the positives, so with the negatives and there are significant numbers of staff who think we do these things well so we need to look closely at areas where these do go well and spread the good practice.
What is happening next?
First, the new University Executive Board will receive a full report on the survey at the beginning of the new academic year and I will be asking the new Faculty PVCs, the Registrar and Secretary and the Director of Finance to discuss the results for each of their areas with their Heads of Department.
Second, we will be sending all staff a summary of the key results measured against the benchmarks together with information on the steps that the Faculty PVCs, Registrar and Secretary, and Director of Finance intend to take to foster the good practice revealed by the survey and address those things where we need to do better. We hope to send this out shortly after the beginning of the new academic year. Of course improving things will take time and we won´t be able to do everything at once, but this survey shows where we should focus our efforts.
Finally can I emphasise how useful this survey is proving to be. It has given us a wealth of information about how colleagues feel about working here. There is lots of good news but also things to work on. So thanks once again to those of you who took part in the survey.
And as the academic year draws to a close and the season of annual holidays approaches can I wish all colleagues a happy, refreshing and well deserved holiday.
With my best wishes