Seeking out and acting upon staff members’ feedback is integral to maintaining a positive staff experience. Our leadership team is interested to hear what you think about working at the University, as well as what could be done to improve the Southampton staff experience. A number of areas raised in the previous survey have been acted upon and this is your chance to influence future decisions.
As President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Christopher Snowden explains, the survey is an opportunity for our staff community to provide their honest opinions to help build a clear and insightful snapshot of what it’s like to work at the University.
It is important that we get a measure of how staff are feeling. The survey results will help us see what we are doing well, as well as where we need to make improvements in order to be a great place to work and to achieve our strategic goals, which will ultimately impact on the University community and the experience of our students.
We can make working at Southampton more fulfilling and move forward more easily if people are engaged with their work and our future direction. It’s for that reason that I’d really encourage every member of staff to use their voice and take the time to complete the survey.
How can I complete this year’s survey?
All staff will be emailed a link to the survey on the morning of Wednesday 17 October.
Paper copies will be available for staff who do not have access to a computer at work. The paper copies will be sent by post to those on long-term leave or sickness absence, and handed out by line managers to those who are working.
A computer terminal will be made available and clearly labelled in Building 37 on Highfield Campus, specifically for staff who would like to complete the survey online. Using the link that’s emailed to you, you’ll also be able to fill the survey out using your own digital devices, such as iPads or smart phones.
The survey should take 15 minutes to fill in, and all line managers will allow their staff the time to complete it.
Will my answers be anonymous?
Yes. All answers submitted to the survey will be anonymised. No one at the University will be able to see individual responses.
What if I’m the only member in my team who completes the survey? How will you keep my answers anonymous?
Should fewer than 10 members of a team respond to the survey, the answers of those who do respond will be added to, and reported as, part of a larger team’s results.
How will you ensure anonymity and how will the survey results be collected and analysed?
To maintain the confidentiality of all feedback submitted, a leading, independent survey company (ORC International) administers and analyses the survey on the University’s behalf. ORC International runs surveys for many universities and companies.
What changes have been made as a result of the feedback gathered from the last Staff Engagement Survey in 2016?
The following are just some examples of changes made as a result of the last survey.
To help staff understand our strategy, we’re providing regular communications about our restructure through the Vice-Chancellor’s all-staff addresses and drop-in visits, on SUSSED, Connects Staff and through line managers.
The University has enhanced and increased the number of courses on management skills and how to improve individuals’ ability to work with change. More than 60 per cent of line managers have already attended these courses. Attendees say the workshops are helping them to become more effective in their roles.
The launch of the #UoSrespect campaign promotes the view that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.
In response to comments about rewarding and recognising our community, our staff achievements are celebrated in a revamped and higher profile annual Vice-Chancellor’s Awards. Over 600 nominations have been received over the last two years.
Across professional services and faculties there are many more examples of positive change as a result of the last survey.
Dorota Sikorska, Engagement Champion within Electronics and Computer Science, explains how a low response rate prompted an action plan to improve engagement.
One of our actions was to set up a series of workshops/seminars and away days aimed at involving staff in the running of the Faculty and encouraging them to share their concerns and find solutions together. High attendance has already demonstrated a shift in the right direction.
In Finance, staff feedback in the survey focused on the lack of training and development opportunities.
Lesley North, Engagement Champion, said:
We’ve responded to concerns by setting up a regular training and development forum, as well as network meetings/lunches and appointing development coordinators. All of these changes have been well received.
Compared to previous years, is there anything different about how the results of the 2018 survey will be acted upon?
Stephanie Semmence, Employee Development Specialist, in the Leadership and Development Team, explains what changes have been put in place to improve the effectiveness of the 2018 survey:
It’s so important to act on our results, so the Leadership and Management Development Team will be creating a number of resources to support this. Next year, we will run Action Planning Workshops for line managers, giving them the tools they need to make effective plans and to see them through.
Can you tell me more about how the results of this year’s survey will be acted upon?
Our line managers will discuss survey results and key themes with their team members. Working together, and supported by our Staff Engagement Champions, they will then develop a plan – focusing on two or three achievable goals – to transform the feedback gathered into actions.
Keep a look out for more information about the survey on SUSSED, on posters around the University and in emails from your manager, and share your views once the survey is open.
Key dates for the Staff Engagement Survey
|17 October||Survey starts|
|7 November||Survey closes|
|w/c 3 December||Headline results shared with University Executive Board|
|w/c 10 December||Headline results shared with all staff|
|Jan and Feb 2019||Results Forums set up in faculties and Professional Services|
You can find more details about the survey, as well as copies of the 2016 survey results on the Strategy Sharepoint site. If you are unable to find the answer to your question about the survey, please email your question to: LeadershipandManagementDevelopment@soton.ac.uk.