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2018 Staff Survey Results - Web Accessible Version

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Below is an infographic summary of the 2018 Staff Survey results. Results were also shared broadly in the January 24 Stanford Report.

Summary of Results

Stanford’s staff members shared their voices in a university-wide survey focused solely on their employee experience, conducted October 8-26, 2018. This survey continued efforts started in 2015 to gather feedback in a consistent and confidential way to identify what we are doing well, and where we can invest in the future of our staff.

Here is your feedback. 

Survey Participation

  • 66.7% response rate.
  • Out of 13,122 staff invited to participate, 8,754 shared their voice.


9 out of 10 staff are proud to work at Stanford, and 86% are very confident in Stanford's future success.

Engagement Drivers

The overall level of staff engagement at Stanford is extremely high, with an increase in staff feeling energized by their job.

  • Alignment has considerably improved from 2015, including 76% of staff seeing a clear link between their work and school/unit goals and objectives.
  • Collaboration exceeds the Higher Education benchmark* at 64%. However, respondents see opportunities for greater cooperation and sharing of best practices.
  • Efficiency is our greatest opportunity for improvement at 42%, with scores declining slightly from 2015 and remaining below the U.S. High Performing benchmark. 
  • Inclusion remains strong, with 80% of respondents noting Stanford encourages and promotes diversity of backgrounds, talents, and perspectives; while that is a high score, it falls below the U.S. High Performing benchmark*. 

Strengths to Maintain or Enhance

  • 83% of staff respondents feel their workgroup is continually improving the quality of work they do.
  • 81% of staff respondents feel Stanford provides opportunities to learn new skills.
  • 77% of staff respondents feel their immediate supervisor communicates useful information.

Key Opportunities for Workplace Improvement

  • 60% of staff respondents see cooperation across different departments, groups and school/units.
  • 81% of staff respondents feel people of all backgrounds can succeed at Stanford. 
  • 49% of staff respondents feel work processes are well organized and efficient.


*We compared our 2018 survey results against data from our 2015 staff survey, results from other four-year universities nationwide, and U.S. high-performing companies. 

  • Stanford scored higher than the Higher Education benchmark in all categories: Agility, Collaboration, Continuous Improvement, Development, Efficiency, Engagement, Inclusion, Openness, Performance Management, and Respect & Trust.
  • Stanford falls below the U.S. High Performing benchmark in the areas of Efficiency, Collaboration, and Performance Management. 

Themes from Comments

72% of staff who participated in the survey shared comments in the open-ended question, “What else do you want to add about working at Stanford?”

The top themes that surfaced revealed that staff are proud to work for Stanford and support the university’s mission. The majority noted that they find meaning in their work. 

Respondents also revealed that affordability remains a key challenge to living in the Bay Area, and expressed a desire for more flexibility with work arrangements. 


Questions about the staff survey results? Contact: