Second Survey to Gauge Staff Engagement at UCSF

by Elena Zhukova

UCSF's Campus Life Services staff had fun during a recent photo shoot.

Originally appeared on UCSF News. Article by Lisa Cisneros.

UC San Francisco will issue a second survey beginning next week to gauge the level of engagement of campus and medical center staff.

The Gallup organization, which conducted the 2011 employee engagement survey, will administer a similar, confidential online survey beginning March 4 and ending March 22.

UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, said the 2013 survey is an important tool to follow up on the first survey to further gauge the University’s success in engaging its staff as they work to achieve the University’s mission and strategic plan.

At UCSF, we strive to build a work environment that supports staff engagement — one that is conducive to fulfilling our advancing health worldwide mission,” she said in an email to UCSF staff. “One of the primary ways we gauge our success in building a supportive work environment is by periodically gathering the opinions of our staff.”

Next week, Gallup will send every UCSF staff employee instructions and a code via email that will give them access to complete the confidential assessment via a secured Internet connection. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Some staff will be provided paper surveys.

Opportunity to Voice Opinions Candidly, Confidentially

The survey provides each employee an opportunity to express his/her voice candidly and confidentially. As it did before, UCSF will then develop post-survey action plans that will contribute further to UCSF being a great place to work, one of its five goals in its strategic plan. This new survey also will help evaluate progress made since the first engagement survey in 2011.

Gallup will hold staff responses completely confidential. All responses will be reported anonymously without reference to identity of any respondents. Once the results have been reported and analyzed, UCSF will inform staff about what was learned and managers will be asked to take the next steps.

The 2013 Staff Engagement Survey is different from the inclusion survey, which was conducted in late 2012. The inclusion survey was conducted throughout the UC system and is intended to assess workplace climate, which can motivate or de-motivate an employee. The UCSF Staff Engagement Survey assesses the level of involvement in, commitment to, and enthusiasm about their work at UCSF.

As the second largest employer in San Francisco, UCSF has regularly conducted staff surveys (2011, 2008, 2006, 2003 and 2001) to get critical feedback on how the University can help individuals and the institution reach their potential.

UCSF has been working to turn the results of the 2011 employee engagement survey into meaningful changes for staff. The survey results showed a need for improvement. See sidebar for details.

2011 Staff Survey Findings

  • 27 percent of respondents said they feel engaged in their work, 53 percent are not engaged and 20 percent are actively disengaged, meaning that they may be counterproductive at work.
  • Researchers, nurses and teachers are the groups who reported highest engagement in their work.
  • One a scale of one to five, UCSF received an overall engagement score of 3.60, which is lower then Gallup’s other health care clients.
  • When asked what UCSF could do to make this an even better place to work, the top five answers were: address pay/salary issues (23 percent); improve management (15 percent); focus on improving morale and work environment (14 percent) and treat employees fairly (11 percent).
Responding to 2011 Staff Survey Findings

UCSF conducted a mini survey last year to find out whether managers shared the April 2011 survey results and how well they’ve responded to the findings.

A total of 2,398 people, or 16 percent of UCSF employees who were initially surveyed, participated in the follow-up mini survey in April 2012.
 
Of those who responded, 75 percent indicated that managers shared the results with their teams. Of that, more than 64 percent of respondents said their managers developed an action plan to address the findings, and about 50 percent said they’ve seen progress from that plan.
 
While UCSF sought to involve 100 percent of its employees, it’s encouraging that many reviewed the findings and a majority saw goals set for making UCSF a workplace of choice, David Odato, associate vice chancellor of Human Resources, said at the time.
 
The effort to engage employees is a work in progress. UCSF is urging its employees to continue the dialogue and help the University come up with innovative ways to improve the work environment and get engaged in the work. 
 
UCSF’s “Great Manager” initiative provides managers with necessary tools for success and offers training sessions to help them use the engagement survey results to identify the needs of their teams. The initiative also has inspired a series of profiles of top-performing managers, based on results from the survey, to share best practices. Read the latest profile.