Message from the Vice-Chancellor: staff engagement survey results and next phase

7 June 2013

At the end of last year the University launched the first phase of a staff opinion survey to help us to recognise the University's strengths and identify how we can be better in areas such as job satisfaction, collaboration, career opportunities, equity, work management, leadership and innovation.

I would like to thank those colleagues who took the time to participate in the survey and to share with you all the results and our plans for next steps.

We invited one quarter of continuing and fixed-term employees to participate in the first phase, and more than 1000 colleagues responded, which was sufficient to achieve an error rate of only 2.6 percent.

You can find information about the phase one results on theintranet, but I would like to give you a high-level overview. At a University-wide level we received favourable scores in some areas (including organisational commitment, role clarity, mission and values, supervision and colleagues) and less favourable scores in others (including change and innovation, cross-unit cooperation, leadership, processes, facilities and career opportunities). These results, both in terms of strengths and weaknesses, are broadly reflective of sector trends when benchmarked against other Group of Eight and Australian universities.

I am conscious that some time has passed since we launched the survey, but wanted to assure you that we have been considering the phase one results carefully. They have provided us with an initial barometer of how you feel about working here, as well as evaluating the progress of our2011-2015 Strategic Plan.

They have also informed our next steps. We had initially planned to conduct the survey in four stages - inviting the participation of 25 percent of staff every six months - but in considering the phase one results, we have decided to open phase two of the survey to all continuing and fixed-term staff who were not invited to participate in phase one. This revised approach will provide a larger sample of meaningful data much sooner to inform our future plans - including work to improve our systems and the way we collaborate as an institution. That data will also enable us not only to assess University-wide information, but also to obtain valid data at the levels of faculties, schools and professional service units.

Colleagues eligible to participate in phase two will receive an invitation email in early August. I understand that many of you may have already completed a number of surveys recently, but this survey is a really valuable opportunity for us to get comparative data from right across the institution. If you are invited to participate, please do take the time to share your views: your thoughts about working here are important.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Spence