Vanderbilt Staff Community survey to begin Oct. 17

by Nancy Humphrey

Vanderbilt University and Medical Center staff will participate together this year in the employee engagement survey. Beginning Monday, Oct. 17, the Vanderbilt Staff Community Survey will be emailed directly to staff from an outside vendor, HR Solutions, a Chicago-based company that conducts opinion surveys for more than 500 organizations. Staff members are encouraged to complete the online-only, confidential survey by Monday, Oct. 31.

The survey, composed of 58 questions about the organization’s strategy and mission, communication within the organization, overall job satisfaction, pay, benefits, training and development, will take about 20 minutes to complete. Employees, who will remain anonymous, will have an opportunity to give feedback about their manager or supervisor as well as a new question about the next level of leadership (supervisor of the person they report to). The email, from HR Solutions, will have “Vanderbilt Staff Community Survey” in the subject line.

“Employee engagement surveys give us an opportunity to hear from employees on a variety of topics that both interest and affect them,” said Traci Nordberg, associate vice chancellor and Chief Human Resource Officer. “Vanderbilt is committed to being a great place to work and we want to know what matters and how to engage our employees in our mission and their work. The work environment and our culture are best when we have strong employee-supervisor relationships, clear and frequent communication, and programs that support our employees’ needs. This is a great way for employees to share their experience and suggestions with Vanderbilt leadership.”

This survey will be offered to staff, while faculty should expect a survey in the middle of next year that is more relevant to their academic, scholarly and clinical endeavors.

Data from the staff survey will be available to executive leadership about three weeks after the survey ends, and will be shared with direct managers and supervisors after that, as long as the work team has five or more employees responding to the survey.

Eligible staff (part-time and full-time employees as of Sept. 1) will receive an individual code in the email from the vendor. If the code is shared, the results will not be counted because each code can only be used once. For employees without Internet access, lab times will be available for taking the survey.

Pam Brown, director of the Organizational Effectiveness Team for Vanderbilt’s office of Human Resources, said the survey is a good starting point for future in-depth discussion. “We have had high participation in the past and are aiming for 80 percent this year. A large participation rate means the results provide an accurate picture of our strengths and areas of concern.”

In areas where the survey results suggest room for improvement or more focus, supervisors and the work group will create an action plan together for resolving the concern.

“The staff community survey is just the beginning of the discussion,” Brown said. “It’s an opportunity to talk about what really matters and to be able to sit down and talk with your group about issues, acknowledging strengths and addressing concerns.”



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