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Stanford Staff Survey FAQ

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Who do I contact if I have questions about the survey and results?

For questions regarding the 2018 staff survey, please email us at or contact your school or VP area survey liaison.


Why did Stanford conduct a staff survey?

The staff survey is important to understanding how connected you feel to the university, and what would improve your Cardinal at Work experience. As seen with the results and impact from the 2015 staff survey, your feedback also helps to identify the most important areas to focus our improvement efforts and key strengths that we need to sustain and build upon.

What are the objectives of the 2018 staff survey?

The staff engagement survey has two main purposes.

1. To capture the employee experience: 

  • Maintain a consistent, reliable and confidential method for empowering staff to provide feedback
  • Highlight the workplace environment of our staff community over time and compared to other leading organizations

2. To make data-driven decisions:

  • Use results to support university directives and initiatives
  • Determine what actions should be reinforced and maintained because they are working well
  • Identify what actions can improve areas of opportunity
  • Leverage best-practice resources to help support action plans
Who was invited to participate in the survey?

Benefits-eligible staff who were hired as of September 4, 2018, were invited to share their voice. Staff classified as exempt, non-exempt, bargaining unit, non-academic, Athletics coaches, academic librarians and academic researchers (including SLAC) were also included.

Why were faculty not invited to participate in the survey?

The focus of this survey was on the Stanford staff experience. Faculty are surveyed separately and have ongoing opportunities to share their experiences with their leaders.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the survey?

For questions regarding the 2018 Staff Engagement Survey, please email Trevor M. Bateson and Jen Welch at

Survey Results & Communication

Will I receive an update on the university-wide survey results?

A broad overview of the university-wide results was shared with all employees in the Stanford Report on January 24, 2019. A follow-up to the Stanford Report article will feature in the Cardinal at Work Insider on February 4.

If you are not provided with an overview of the survey results for your school or business unit by spring quarter of 2019, ask your supervisor or contact your human resource representative. 

What do the survey liaisons do with the results?

After survey liaisons and their leadership teams analyze their school/unit's results, they will communicate the findings and identify what is working well and key priorities to drive positive change. 

How will the school/unit survey results be shared?

Each school or unit will determine how their results will be shared. For questions regarding your school/unit results, please contact your staff survey liaison.

Who is the survey liaison for my school/unit?

Each school or unit has one or more survey liaisons who partner with their leaders to review results from their specific organizations. 

Who receives the survey results?

The survey liaisons from each school/unit partner with their leadership teams to review the results of their specific organization. If there are fewer than five (5) respondents from your group, your responses will be combined with the responses of other employees and contribute to the overall results. Results will never be reported if there are fewer than (5) respondents in aggregate. 

Survey Background and Analysis

What categories were included in the staff survey?
  • Engagement: Employees’ pride, energy, and optimism that fuels their discretionary effort
  • Agility: The organization’s ability to implement and adapt to innovation and changes
  • Alignment: Your understanding of organizational goals and customers’ expectations and how they align to your personal work objectives
  • Collaboration: How well information is shared and people cooperate together, especially across schools and units.
  • Continuous Improvement: How effectively employees and work groups are improving
  • Development: Career/skill development and opportunity
  • Efficiency: The effectiveness of processes and ease at which they can be improved
  • Inclusion & Diversity: People are heard, valued and can succeed regardless of where they come from
  • Openness: Upward and downward communication effectiveness
  • Performance Management: Performance management, accountability and recognition
  • Respect & Trust: Feeling respected as an employee and trusting peers and leaders
  • Other: Additional topics including safety, work/life balance, benefits, and compensation
Were the 2018 survey questions the same questions from the 2015 survey?

Yes. Most of the questions in the 2018 staff survey were the same questions that were asked in 2015. This allows us to compare our results this year to 2015 and see how engagement amongst Stanford staff has been impacted by key actions taken.

What types of questions were asked in the staff survey?

The staff survey included core questions from 12 survey categories, including questions about the entire university, your specific work group, university leadership and your direct supervisor. There were also five self-response questions that help to show the unique staff experience working at Stanford.

Protecting Your Confidentiality

Who has access to the results?

Each school /unit will determine how reports are distributed.

Results are only reported in summary form and never reported when there are fewer than five (5) people in a given organization, department, or demographic group. Comments will only be reported in a group if there are at least fifteen (15) respondents. 

Are responses confidential?

Yes. Stanford does not have access to any individual responses and is not interested in identifying individual responses. To ensure confidentiality, results are not reported on any group with fewer than (5) responses.

Download the full confidentiality statement

What does confidential mean?

Confidential means Stanford has created a survey process that protects your survey data. Your survey results have been submitted securely to CultureIQ, the survey administrator, who has safeguards in place to prevent you from being identified by your individual responses.

What happens with the comments provided in the survey?

Comments will only be reported in a group if there were at least fifteen (15) respondents. 

Why were there demographic questions?

Stanford employees represent diverse communities. It's important to understand the unique feedback from these various groups to know how well we are meeting their needs and to identify opportunities for improvement. To protect your results, for demographic variables including those considered sensitive (such as age, gender and race/ethnicity) to be reported, there must have been at least twenty (20) respondents in a group and at least five (5) respondents for any specific demographic value.