Report to Council Staff Opinion Survey HR Director 6 March 2009.
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Report to Council Staff Opinion Survey HR Director 6 March 2009
Why we ran the survey The purpose of the survey was to: Find out what really matters to staff, what’s working well, and what we could do better. Identify changes we could make to improve staff satisfaction. Establish a baseline for future surveys to enable us to measure change over time. The 2008 staff survey was the first survey of all University staff since the 2001 organisational ‘wellbeing’ survey, so it had been some time since the views of all staff had been sought in this way.
Response rates The overall response rate to the survey was 61%; response rates by job group are shown below:
Key positive issues (taken from the Summary Report): Most respondents said that they are interested in the University, to them it is not ‘just a job’, and it is a good place to work (93%) and that the University respects equally people of different nationality/ethnicity (95%), religion (98%) and sexual orientation (98%). Most respondents felt that their Department delivers a good quality service to students and service users (90%). Most respondents said that they enjoy their work (93%); their work offers them the opportunity to use their abilities (88%) and initiative (91%); and that they are able to decide on their own how to go about doing their work (91%). Most respondents have a clear understanding about their role within the University (89%), and about the expected standards of performance (91%) and behaviour (97%). Most respondents said that their line manager/supervisor is approachable (90%), open and honest with them (87%), respects and values them (87%), is available when needed (82%), and supportive in a personal crisis (90%). They also felt that they had sufficient authority to make decisions (85%). Most respondents feel that the University offers access to good pension schemes (96%), and think that holiday entitlement (93%) and the sick pay scheme are good (95%).
Key areas for improvement (taken from the Summary Report): Many respondents feel that more could be done to help them prepare for and cope with change (74%). Many respondents feel that different parts of the University do not communicate effectively with each other (65%) and that communication between senior management and staff is ineffective (48%). Many also felt that co-operation between Departments is not good (56%). Many respondents said that their development opportunities have not helped them do their job more effectively (55%), that there are limited opportunities for them for career progression in the University (38%) and that more could be done to retain the University’s most talented people (52%). Many respondents feel that they have had to put in a lot of extra time over the last 12 months to meet the demands of their workload (56%), and they do not have time to carry out all their work (49%). Many also felt that too many approvals are needed for routine decisions and that they are required to do unimportant tasks which prevent them from completing more important ones (45%).
To Summarise: Key Positive Issues: Job satisfaction Diversity and equality Quality of service My role My immediate manager/supervisor Benefits (holiday, pensions, sick pay) Key Areas for Improvement: Workload and work demands Managing change Communication between departments Staff development and career progression
Process from receipt of results through to production of action plans: A Steering Group was set up to oversee the process for developing action plans at two levels: a)Strategic level action plans A subgroup of SMG was set up to address those strategic issues, which affect the University as a whole, which emerged from the staff survey results. This group is developing an action plan which will be available shortly. Functional action plans On receipt of the summary report, we identified members of staff who were leading on each of the functional areas in the survey (i.e. Diversity and Equality, Work Related stress, etc). A number of meetings of the functional leads were held during Summer 2008 to discuss the formulation of action plans and any overlaps between areas. Functional action plans were then developed, and reviewed by the Employee Engagement Steering Group in December 2008. The plans are now being finalised, following feedback from the Steering Group, and will be available shortly to all staff.
Process from receipt of results through to production of action plans continued: b) Departmental action plans Departments with more than ten survey respondents received a departmental report during October/November 2008, following briefings to HoDs on departmental action planning in Sept/Oct 08. Smaller departments were not able to receive a report for reasons of preserving anonymity. Having received their report, departments were asked to produce an action plan to address the key issues raised by the survey for that department. HoDs consulted with staff and in some departments focus groups, facilitated by Professional & Organisational Development, were held. The deadline for departmental action plans was 13 February 2009, and the Employee Engagement Steering Group will review the plans in April 2009.
Some examples of actions included in the Functional Action Plans: 1. Leadership: improve leadership capability through provision of in-house leadership programmes (currently being piloted) provide bite-size sessions for managers on a range of topics, to encourage the sharing of best practice 2. Communications: Improve knowledge of the work of SMG, by revamping the SMG web pages, holding Q&A sessions with SMG members open for all staff to attend, making summaries of discussions available and publishing profiles of SMG in the University Magazine. Improve communications between departments, by, for example, sharing best practice via internal communications between HoDs
3. Harassment & Bullying: Review of the Harassment Policy Review the publicity materials relating to sources of support and advice for staff experiencing bullying and harassment Review of the provision of training on dealing with harassment and bullying 4. Performance Review: Review the effectiveness of the current performance review process Review and expand the current performance review training programmes
5. Staff Development: Induction: review induction processes with a view to ensuring that all staff have clarity about the requirements of their roles Development needs: provide clearly defined aims, outcomes and suitability descriptions for all development programmes and activities, to ensure that staff access the right intervention to meet their development need. 6. Rewards: Introduce voluntary benefits for staff (Reward Extra) – implemented Introduce generic role profiles and career pathways for support staff to facilitate career progression
7. Work Life Balance: Introduce a revised policy on flexible working, extending the ‘right to request’ flexible working to all staff. Introduce a policy on home and remote working, as part of the flexible working options available to staff Further work is being undertaken on the following action plans: Physical Environment (Keith Lilley, Director of Facilities Management) Health, Safety and Welfare, and Work-related Stress (Tom Fleming, Director of Health and Safety) These action plans will be made available as soon as they are complete.
Staff Survey Web address: Further information on the staff survey is available from: www.york.ac.uk/staffsurvey Staff Survey Summary Report address: http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/hr/staffsurvey/documents/ summary_report.pdf