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2015 Staff Survey Results

Below is an infographic summary of the 2015 Staff Survey results. Results were also shared broadly in the March 3 Stanford Report feature article, “2015 Staff Survey Results."

Summary of Results

A university-wide survey of Stanford’s staff members was conducted October 12-30, 2015, to gather feedback about the staff employee experience in a consistent and confidential way. Results were presented to leaders from December 2015 through February 2016.

Here is your feedback.

Survey Administration


  • Out of 11,942 staff invited to participate, 7,226 or 61% responded
  • The staff survey was administered online and by paper, and was available in three different languages


9 out of 10 Staff are Proud to Work at Stanford-- far and above the average for employers in and out of academia.

Fantastic Workplace

76% of staff feel Stanford is a great place to work compared to other companies.

Feedback Themes:

The overall level of staff engagement at Stanford is extremely high. Stanford’s engagement results exceeded that of other Higher Education institutions in the United States, supporting Stanford's brand as a best-in-class university.

When compared to the High Performing Companies that are regularly listed on the best workplaces lists — many of which are in the Bay Area — staff feel the areas of alignment and agility need to be a focus moving forward. In addition, a desire to collaborate with others across schools, VP areas and departments was a theme.

Staff are very confident in our future as an organization and want to apply skills, talents and experiences to continuously minimize administrative barriers and streamline workplace processes.

Key Strengths to Maintain or Enhance

  • 90% of staff respondents feel Stanford provides a healthy and safe place to work.
  • 83% of staff respondents feel people of all backgrounds can succeed at Stanford.
  • 81% of staff respondents feel Stanford provides opportunities to learn new skills.

Key Opportunities for Workplace Improvement

  • 60% of staff respondents said their leaders set clear priorities for their work groups, and that they were satisfied with the information they receive from management
  • 61% of staff respondents rated performance management favorably.
  • 63% of staff respondents rated collaboration favorably and identified an opportunity to actively support the sharing of best practices across different areas of the university.


We compared our results against data from other staff in four-year universities nationwide and high-performing companies, with which we compete for the best talent in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • Stanford scored 9 or more points higher than the Higher Ed benchmark on pride, confidence, skill development and health & safety.
  • Stanford falls below the High Performing Company benchmark in areas of feedback, accountability & recognition.

Themes from Comments

About two-thirds of staff submitting the survey shared comments in response to the open-ended question, “What else do you want to add about working at Stanford?”

The top themes that surfaced were the immense pride at working for such a preeminent university, as well as challenges related to working and living in the Bay Area.

Our Next Steps

Below is a snapshot of upcoming milestones for the 2015 Staff Survey initiative:

  • February – March 2016: Results shared broadly
  • March – April 2016: Discovery phase
  • April – May 2016: Action planning phase
  • Summer – Fall 2016: Execution and ongoing communications