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5-Minute Staff Survey Check-In Results: Manager Plays Important Role in Communication Stream

Group of four colleagues, three male and one female, talking outside

In October, staff were asked to provide feedback on their communication experience around the 2015 Staff Survey results. The brief “5-Minute Staff Survey Check-In” gauged awareness of the results, as well as the preferred communication channels for future surveys and associated initiatives.

Of the 12,571 benefits-eligible staff invited to participate, 41% shared their feedback (5,213 respondents). Overall, a majority of staff shared positive feedback about how results were communicated.

The Results

Staff who took the survey in fall 2015 indicated:

  • They were aware of the Staff Survey results (74%)
  • The information was conveyed in a clear and understandable way (68%)

Staff who were hired after the survey was conducted shared these viewpoints:

  • Awareness of the results (55%)
  • Agreed results were referenced in school/unit communications (39%)

Staff indicated they received the Staff Survey results primarily through:

  • Department/Division Manager (37%)
  • Broader communications such as the Cardinal at Work Insider, the Stanford Report or the Cardinal at Work website (34%)
  • School/unit leaders (22%)

In terms of how staff prefer to receive future communications, it’s clear that department/division managers, supervisors and school/unit leaders play a critical role in the communication process. Staff preferred information be distributed through:

  • Department/division managers, immediate supervisors or school/unit leaders (51%)
  • Cardinal at Work Insider and the Stanford Report (37%)

On the other hand, new hires shared a different perspective and preferred broad communication channels such as the Cardinal at Work Insider and Stanford Report (52%) over communication from department/division managers, immediate supervisors or school/unit leaders (39%).

Check-In Survey to Shape Future Communication

Results from the 5-Minute Staff Survey Check-In will inform communication about future survey results and related actions, both within schools and units and from a university-wide perspective. For example, knowing staff have a preference for hearing survey results from their manager, and that new staff hires prefer viewing the Cardinal at Work Insider and the Stanford Report will prompt a more holistic approach to communication for future surveys to ensure various communication channels are used.

Manager-specific tools may be created, such as talking points and email templates so they may take a proactive approach to communicating to staff. Broad communications in both the Cardinal at Work Insider and the Stanford Report will continue, and possibly a direct email may be used to ensure all staff receive the results.

2015 Staff Survey — Actions in Progress

Since announcing the Staff Survey results in March, the feedback has been used in strategic planning both at the institutional and school/unit levels, aligning with large initiatives already underway. Additionally, a number of schools/units have taken specific steps to address areas of opportunity.

A report is now being compiled by University HR to document the many ways staff survey feedback has been used and will continue to be used to strengthen our workplace.

A few examples of work in progress or completed include:

  • Institutional process and system improvements: The Administrative Planning Executive (APEx) committee, whose purpose is to address broad employee engagement issues and drive the university toward higher administrative excellence, has identified key opportunities to address process and system efficiencies. Last summer, APEx members conducted focus groups with nearly 400 staff to “drill down” to the specific processes and systems that are in need of attention. Examples of the ideas raised include:  Improve ability to contact staff using StanfordWho; increase support through additional Help Desk staff and easier access to information; review policies for efficiencies, review training programs, and more focus on system integration and system improvements. Findings are now being reviewed by leaders for prioritization.
  • Improve internal communication: Two units have created secure websites to foster connection among their staff, and to enable quick access to key information and tools for their employees, with a third unit considering that option. These units have seen efficiency gains as staff no longer have to hunt around in various Box folders or websites for the information and tools needed for their work.
  • Streamline work processes: One school has eliminated a step in their gift award process that previously required a great number of hours to accomplish, and which, after analysis, was deemed no longer needed due to technology upgrades. This is an efficiency gain that has streamlined a cumbersome process.

A summary of how survey results have been used will be shared in Winter quarter, 2017. The next staff engagement survey is tentatively slated for fall 2017.

View results from the 2015 Staff Survey and the Check-In Survey

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