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Employee Insights

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Stanford University Human Resources (UHR) is committed to understanding what employees value most about Stanford to inform planning and priorities for employee programs.

We can gather insights in many ways: assessing help ticket inquiries, conducting broad and targeted surveys, polling, and hosting focus groups. When you offer your feedback, it helps employee program managers gauge the effectiveness of offerings and identify future improvements or new services. 

You can always share your feedback directly by emailing

Current and ongoing listening efforts

In addition to the school or individual programs across Stanford that may ask for your feedback, here are some recent activities where UHR has partnered with other schools or units to capture your perspective.  

  • Learning Needs Assessment manager survey (Fall 2023) 

In Sept., UHR launched a survey for all people managers to assess learning and development needs for managers and their teams in order to be highly successful in contributing to Stanford’s mission. 

What to expect

Summarized results from the assessment will be shared with UHR leaders to inform strategic planning for learning and development courses and programs in the future. Additionally, a summary of insights and priorities will be communicated through an email to all people managers. The data collected from this assessment are not intended for academic publication.

  • Employee Value Proposition research (Summer - Fall 2023) 

    This project started in fall 2019, and was halted by the pandemic. The initial research included leadership interviews and a staff survey from a sampling of your peers. The survey was conducted in February 2020 and focused on understanding your perceptions of Stanford as an employer and which aspects of your employee experience you value most. More than 1,900 staff shared feedback. This research informed our recruitment messaging and the redesign of our Careers website in 2021. 

    The world - and our workplace - have changed dramatically over the past three years due to the global pandemic, social and economic injustices, political turmoil, climate change, and even technological advances. For that reason, we’re revisiting some of the insights from 2020 to update those results to reflect what employees and candidates want from their workplace today so that we can speak to what is authentic and relevant. 

    What to expect

    In Sep. and Oct., we will conduct eight focus group sessions -- six for employees and two for candidates. A sampling of employees in high-volume/high-demand positions with less than five years of service will receive an email invitation through Qualtrics from Stanford University HR to participate in a 90-minute focus group session led by our employer branding partner, Radancy. We will ask those employees to share their perspectives on what attracted them to Stanford and what compelled them to stay. Insights gained will be used primarily to inform our future recruiting efforts and the Careers website. We will also review findings to inform planning related to other employee programs. Learn more about this project by contacting your school/unit HR Director, or by emailing the UHR project team at 

  • Cardinal at Work website navigation user experience (Spring and Summer 2023) 

    UHR is partnering with user experience experts in Stanford Web Services to do a several-month study focused on identifying key improvements that allow you to easily and quickly find important information on the website when you need it. Our goal is to improve your overall user experience with more effective and intuitive navigation.

    What to expect

    A call for volunteers appeared in the Cardinal at Work Insider and on the website in May and we are now collecting information from online card sorting, usability testing, and online task testing sessions. The sessions are proving to be highly valuable and there is one more round of testing later this summer, for which we already have volunteers lined up.  If you have any questions, email 

  • Flexible Work Survey (Oct-Dec. 2022)

    In fall 2022, all schools and most units collaborated on a survey to assess your experience with flexible work policies and practices. The insights are being used now to enhance work practices as we look toward the future of work, particularly how you can plan for collaborative on-site work, run efficient meetings, build connections on your team and with colleagues, and create an effective and comfortable workspace. 

    What to expect

    If your school or unit participated in the survey, you will receive updates from your leadership. Additionally, read the Sept. 6 feature Building the Future of Distributed Work to learn more about enhancing how we work and engage in a distributed workplace. Learn more about the Flexible Work survey on the Cardinal at Work website. 

  • Benefits Open Enrollment and wellness experience (annually) 

    Following the annual Open Enrollment period each fall, Stanford Benefits and BeWell invite you to share feedback navigating the benefits election process and your insights on wellness and employee program offerings. The findings are used to inform communications and future health and wellness programming. 

  • Affordability Task Force (ATF) survey (2020) 

    The cross-functional task force conducted a comprehensive survey and other research of the Stanford community between 2018 and 2020 to understand regional affordability challenges for those of us living in the Bay Area. As a result of the task force’s work, new programs and services were implemented between 2020 and 2022. To learn more about the ATF’s efforts, visit Stanford’s Affordability website.