Staff Engagement Survey — initial results and what happens next

In April/May this year most of you completed our Staff Engagement Survey — our first since 2011. Thanks once again for sharing your views on how you feel about working at the University of Nottingham. We can now share the high-level results and outline what will happen next across the University.

We worked with Gallup to deliver the survey and are the very first UK university to attempt to measure staff engagement in this way. The response rate of 61% is very positive. It shows most of you are interested in feeding back on your working environment and improving how you and colleagues engage within the University.

Survey results – what you told us

The survey results highlight that there is much work to be done to achieve the aims of our People Strategy — part of Global Strategy 2020. While there are areas where we are doing well, the results clearly show that there are areas where we need to do better in supporting colleagues — particularly in understanding the University’s strategic aims, and the part you play in achieving them.

Our relative strengths are: many of you feel the work your colleagues do is of a high quality; and in the last six months many of you have discussed your progress with your manager. A significant number of you also told us you felt you had a ‘best friend’ at work.

Our weaknesses lie around a deep institutional understanding of the University’s mission and purpose: whether the strategy makes your job seem important; whether you felt you had the opportunity to do what you do best every day; and whether you fully understand what’s expected of you in your role.

Jaspal Kaur, Director of HR, said: “The results of the survey provide a solid basis on which to improve our communication and engagement with colleagues across the institution. I want to thank again everyone who took part in this important process.

“By collecting and analysing the experiences and opinions of colleagues working at all levels within our University we can begin to paint a more accurate picture of the working environment and, most importantly, reflect on how we can improve it. Engagement is everybody’s responsibility and we all have our part to play.”

What happens next

Every Department in the University has been tasked with discussing their results with all staff, and using the outcomes to create action plans which build on strengths and address areas of weakness.

A network of Engagement Champions has also been created to support the culture change needed to improve engagement across the University, and they will guide and support this process. Expected timings are as follows:

• Monday 10 July — Identified managers and Engagement Champions receive access to their results
• July to October — Discussions take place with colleagues within departments and action plans are drafted
• September — UEB discuss institution-wide implications of the survey and action planning progress
• Early November — Local and University-level action plans in place, with Engagement Champions driving implementation of the plans across all Departments
• December — HR review action plans to report to UEB
• January 2018 — Action plans and report reviewed by UEB to ensure appropriate progress is being made
• Throughout 2018 — Implementation and ongoing review of action plans, sharing best practice through our Engagement Champions network

Engagement Champions will be in contact over the coming weeks with more detailed next steps for your area.

The University-level action plan will incorporate four themes: leadership and management; wellbeing and inclusivity; talent and development; and communications and change. This plan will be available for all staff to view once it’s complete.

We have also recently completed a comprehensive review and refresh of our Global Strategy 2020, with many of you adding your voice to the consultation process. UEB and the senior leadership team will be driving communication of the refreshed strategy over the coming months, helping colleagues understand the part they play in helping achieve our aims and objectives. We will also be sharing progress and good news stories about colleagues and departments who have contributed so far.

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