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Staff Survey

In line with our commitment to people and strategy, The University of Waikato regularly conducts University-wide staff surveys. The first of these took place in September 2009, the second in April/May 2012 and third in August/September 2014. Thank you to all staff who completed the survey – we achieved an outstanding 66% response rate in 2009, 67% in 2012, and 68% in 2014 which made sure that the results provided a true reflection of the perceptions and feelings of staff.

The fourth Staff Survey took place between 16 and 30 October 2015. It was a shorter version of the full survey (25 items rather than 145) and provides a snapshot of staff perceptions which can be benchmarked against previous surveys and other Australasian Universities. Results will be shared with staff in early 2016.

Overall Success

Overall the response has been very favourable with the University of Waikato scoring equal to or better in 20 of the 34 areas that could be benchmarked against than the 39 other universities that used the survey. There were three scales of excellent in the areas of Job Satisfaction, Position Clarity and Team Work and the landscape/grounds of the University were consistently rated extremely positively. Postgraduate Supervision joined the list of excellent scales in 2014

   Scales/Items 2009 Results 2012 Results 2014 Results
   Job Satisfaction 82% favourable 83% favourable 83% favourable
   Position Clarity 85% favourable 85% favourable 84% favourable
   Team Work 85% favourable 85% favourable 84% favourable
   Grounds/Landscaping 92% favourable 94% favourable 93% favourable
   Postgraduate Supervision     80% favourable

The feedback received through the survey has provided important information for planning and continuous improvement. Detailed analysis and reports are provided to managers of portfolio areas covered by the survey (e.g. Facilities, Safety and Wellbeing, eLearning, Research, Technology, etc.) which has helped them to better understand and manage their operational areas.

Some of the key responses to areas where change was indicated in the survey results are listed below. For a full summary of 2009, 2012 and 2014 survey results please click here. Info

Some Key Messages from Staff

•89% of staff like the work they do
•83% say their work gives them a feeling of personal accomplishment
•87% of staff understand their goals and objectives and know what is required of them in their jobs
•88% of staff understand how their job contributes to the overall success of the University
•93% of staff feel we have great grounds
•89% of staff have good working relationships with their co-workers
•82% say that their co-workers give them help and support
•81% say they work well as a team with their co-workers
•83% of staff feel a sense of loyalty to the University and 84% are proud to say they work here
•85% of staff say they are willing to put in extra effort

KPIs Based on Staff Survey Results

Institutional Key Performance Indicator 8:

Maintain the overall response rate in the University’s three-yearly staff engagement survey (67) and
a. improve the result in the ‘Progress’ index (57) and
b. maintain the result in the ‘Job Satisfaction’ scale (83%).

All were achieved in 2014.

Workforce Plan Key Performance Indicator 10:

Maintain the overall response rate in the 2014/15 staff survey and
a. improve the results in the Progress index (57%)
b. maintain the results in the Job Satisfaction scale (83%)
c. improve the results in the Results Focus scale (71%)
d. improve the results in the Diversity scale (67%)
e. maintain the results in the Safety scale (67%)
f. improve the results in the Leadership scale (43%)
g. improve the results in the Cross-Unit Co-operation scale (27%)
h. improve the results in the Learning and Development scale (52%)
i. improve the results in the Performance and Professional goal setting scale (59%)

Items c and d remained the same as 2012. All other targets were achieved in 2014.

Our Ongoing Responses to the Survey

wesaid response
  • Improved confidence in the ability of senior management
  • Our senior leaders to be better role models for staff
  • The senior leadership team (SLT) was redefined, their purpose was clarified and new members were appointed
  • Development of a web page identifying SLT members with links from the online staff survey
  • Senior leaders have undertaken professional development and executive coaching
  • Members of the SLT are expected to fulfil the nine core values and behaviours in the Waikato leadership and management development model
  • Senior management to become better at keeping people informed about what is going on
  • Senior management to be better at listening to other staff
  • Increased staff contact and presentations by the Vice-Chancellor and members of SLT
  • New two-way communication tools were introduced, including VC OnDemand, VC TV, VC Q&A
  • Community and the Official Circular are being better utilised to keep people informed about what is going on
  • Highlighting important information through Need to Know section in Community, new design of staff home page on the universitywebsite, increased frequency of notification updates in iWaikato, etc.
  • Wide and inclusive consultation process for development of new University Strategy 2014-2017
  • A number of local initiatives have also been developed:
    • Improved communication through regular Deans' newsletters and reports
    • Frequency of meetings with staff and managers has been increased in some areas by Deans/Directors
    • Greater involvement of staff in decision making (e.g. Te Piringa/Law staff involved in designed of new Law/Management building, etc.)
  Overall the Leadership result improved by 14 percentage points from 33% in 2009 to 47% in 2014
  • More time and effort spent on career planning
  • More opportunities to develop skills needed for career progression
  • More opportunities for individual careers to progress at the University of Waikato
  Overall the Career Opportunities result improved by 7 percentage points from 34% in 2009 to 41% in 2014
  • Improve cross-unit cooperation at the University of Waikato
  • A number of cross-institutional initiatives have been undertaken to strengthen communication and cooperation between units including institutional projects, forums and networks (e.g. Managers, Chairpersons and Administrators Forums, Professional Development Network, development of a Project Management framework.)
  • Organisational and Committee structures reviewed and strengthened
  • Operational Service Partnership Agreements currently being developed collaboratively between Divisions and Faculties
  • Business Intelligence project underway to enhance information flow across the organisation
  • Enhanced networking opportunities through introduction of Vice-Chancellor's monthly drinks and nibbles on a Friday afternoon held in different venues
  • Managers' Leadership Forum hosted by different areas each month to enhance understanding of local processes, services, challenges and expectations
  • FASS has introduced twice yearly events to build team-spirit and ethos of community
  Overall the Cross-Unit Cooperation result improved by 7 percentage points from 24% in 2009 to 31% in 2014


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