2014 Climate Survey

UHD Staff Work Climate Survey
Fall 2014
Summary & Highlights
PS Consulting
Philippa Strelitz, PhD
Austin, Texas
[email protected]
Survey Goals
• Engage 3rd party to manage concerns re: confidentiality
• Gain perspective on staff & faculty views of work
• Identify perceptions of areas of satisfaction &
• Help clarify areas of opportunity
• Leverage insight:
– Strategic planning
– Communication
– Intervention
Staff Survey Development Process
• Met with President Flores & other members
of Senior Administration
• Met with Staff Advising Group x 2
• Met with Diversity Leadership Group
• Data ownership - UHD Administration
Survey Limitations
• Data analysis limited by collection of
demographic data re:
– Race/ethnicity
– Age/generation
– Gender
– Departmental affiliation
– Etc.
University Work Climate Effectiveness
Value Proposition
Towards Courageous Collaboration
Opening to
Act Together
to Safety
Opening to
Builds trust
Opening to
Shared Purpose
& Plans
the Work
Survey Overview
• The staff survey included questions regarding:
UHD Vision, Mission and Goals
Professional Relationships
Growth and Development
The Annual Evaluation Process
Workload and Balance
Staff Services and Facilities
Diversity at UHD
Survey Participation
Surveys distributed: 596
Surveys submitted: 391
Response rate: 66%
Raffle winners:
– Lynn Baker
– Joshua Wood
– Kevin Dorsey
Survey Highlights
Receiving Feedback
Honest feedback
Courage & Humility
Conflicting Perceptions
Perception & Reality
UHD Vision, Mission & Goals
Comment Themes
• Confidence & pride in UHD
• Desire for UHD to better distinguish itself among other area
institutions of higher education
• Desire for more transparency, efficiency in Strategic Planning
• Desire for more clarity re: action plans to operationalize
Missions, Vision & Strategic Plan
• Desire for more recognition re: the role of staff in realizing
UHD Mission, Vision & Goals
Confidence & Pride in UHD
I graduated from UHD and so I have seen the
university from different vantage points. Since, I
have started to work here I have seen it grow
exponentially in its character, student body and
many more things. I am, more than ever, a
proud Gator staff member and alumna.
Desire for Transparency, Efficiency in
Strategic Planning
I know that not everyone respects the strategic
plan (including the vision, mission, and goals)
nor takes it seriously. I would like to see the facts
surrounding our progress more openly and
pragmatically presented, with no hype.
Professional Relationships
Comment Themes
• Reflection on the prevalence of turnover due to work climate
issues – concern re: achievement of UHD Mission, Vision &
Goals if not adequately addressed
• Conflicting perspectives re: effectiveness, fairness
commitment to healthy work climate of various supervisors
– Concerns re: fairness, favoritism, bias, communication
• Desire for more positive recognition – sense that most
feedback is largely negative
• Recognition for positive contributions of the Provost
Perspective on Work Climate
Effectiveness is LOCAL
In my department, you can speak openly without
fear of reprisal. It's not the same for other
Concerns re: Feedback
Working in a blame-focused environment is not
only stifling, it creates a culture of fear making
optimal performance difficult.
Desire for Effective Leadership
Supervisors need continuing training regarding
neutrality, fairness, open- mindedness, individual
Engagement at UHD
Comment Themes
• Sense that workload makes participation in committees, Staff
Council prohibitive
• Sense that Staff Council is undervalued by Senior
• Sense that hourly staff discouraged from participation in
University Events
• Sense that faculty not invested in building faculty-staff
Sense that staff engagement is not recognized formally
Barriers to Engagement
It's really difficult to help participate in
university events especially since some of our
position tasks prevent us from doing so. There
are so many deadlines to meet but not enough
staffing support.
Desire for Strong Staff Council
Faculty Senate has a lot of power and Staff
Council has none.
Enhance Engagement Through Formal
It is difficult to expect engagement from staff
when there is no recognition of their
contributions to the University.
Growth & Development
Comment Themes
• Concern re: lack of training for staff in new positions; strong
expressions of desire for additional skill building
• Concerns re: lack of internal promotions
• Sense that professional development is underfunded for staff;
even if supervisors are supportive - may not be possible bc of
• Concern re: lack of opportunities for upward mobility
Desire for Staff Training
Training for staff members is needed more than
ever. Some of us are put into positions with no
training and are expected to shine, when we feel
like we are being set-up to fail.
Barriers to Training
Though training is available, the skeleton
staffing does not provide the opportunity for
staff to take the time away from their jobs to
participate in training.
The Annual Evaluation Process
Comment Themes
• Concern with the quality of annual evaluation
feedback & effectiveness of supervisors (esp. new
ones) in performing this important job responsibility
• Concern that fairness in the performance evaluation
process is undermined by lack of effective
onboarding/training for new staff
• Concern that some staff aren't being evaluated by
supervisors with direct knowledge of their
Opportunity for Enhanced
When I first started my position it felt like I was
thrown into a jungle. The training was
Workload & Balance
Comment Themes
• Significant perception of understaffing
• Concerns with workload:
– Lack of equitable distribution
– Inconsistency with workload from day to day is unsettling
– Perception of presence of “performance punishment”
• Sense that experience of overload is exacerbated by “just in
time” mentality
• Sense that employee flexibility & work life balance is
undermined by effectiveness of TRAM
Staffing & Workload
The work load is HUGE which I love. The number
of staff members at my department are LOW
which I don't love.
Just-in-time Planning is Suboptimal
There is a culture of last- minute, lack of
planning mentality that is becoming the norm as
opposed to an occasional occurrence.
TRAM & Work Culture
The way TRAM has been implemented in our
department has left many staff strongly at odds
with UHD. It has removed all flexibility from
schedules and has created a rigid and unfriendly
Onboarding at UHD
Comment Themes
• Perception of lack of effective training upon hiring
• Perception of lack of opportunities for professional
– Concern exacerbated by perception that supervisors have access to
professional development – but don’t offer same opportunities to staff
• Sense that culture discourages promotion from within
• Sense that some faculty not effective supervisors – and do not
receive any leadership training for their roles
Better Onboarding Please!
There are no formal training procedures. I've
been in four different departments and not one
had a formal training process in place. You learn
by trial and error. I don't understand the
"transition form peer to supervisor" reference
since staff is not actively encouraged to develop
Diversity at UHD
Comment Themes
• Perception that UHD staff have been effective in achieving
• Perception that UHD provides meaningful and rewarding
opportunities for diverse staff
• Sense that there is a need for more clearly articulated strategy
re: diversity at UHD
– To leverage existing diversity from a marketing perspective
– To ensure that all populations, including whites, are understood to be
critical components of diversity at UHD
• Desire for a more diversity at Senior Administration level –
particularly among African Americans
Thank You UHD!
It is a wonderful journey for me here at UHD.
My experience here has created an endless path
for my future and for the future of my family. It
has been of great benefit for me and for my
community. If you want to be the at your best
then you must learn from the best. Thank you
for your experience here.
Enhancing Diversity & Quality Hiring
Can go Hand in Hand
In my area every effort is made to hire and
promote based on merit. As it happens, we are
able to do this while simultaneously hiring and
promoting a diverse group of people. There are
talented people in all ethnic groups and we have
found that if we just let the process play out
based 'most qualified' we end up with diversity.
Final Survey Comments
• Strong desire for transparent communication of survey
• Concern re: maintenance of confidentiality in surveys;
potential for reprisal
• Concerns with understaffing
• Concerns with work climate and effective leadership in
SOME areas
• Desire for staff contributions to be better recognized
• Expressions of appreciation for opportunity to work at
Staffing is an Ongoing Problem
Lack of staffing at UHD leads to problems …a
lack of cross training within departments. Lack
of succession planning and cross training across
all areas of UHD make it hard to recover from
the retirement/voluntary termination of long
term university employees.
UHD Forever
Although, no organization is perfect. I have
thoroughly enjoyed my time here at UHD. I have
excelled in my career as well as developed new
skills. I plan on continuing my employment with
UHD up until retirement.
Some Considerations for Moving
• Work to better articulate core concepts embedded in Mission &
Vision statement
• Work to communicate staff & faculty roles in realizing Mission,
Vision & UHD goals
• Develop strategy for enhancing staff/faculty communication &
• Consider strategically addressing need for more consistent and
effective leadership at supervisory level
– Esp. re: managing interpersonal team dynamics, mentoring, workload
distribution, giving performance feedback
• Develop strategy to address onboarding at supervisor and staff
• Develop strategy for leveraging diversity at UHD and assessing
retention of underrepresented staff in leadership roles
Next Steps?
• Additional review of survey data by
President’s Office, UHD Cabinet
• Guidelines for review of implications of survey
findings at Division, Department Levels
• Development of Action Plans
• Commitment to reassess
Survey Report Out Reflections
• Do the survey findings align with your
• Are there any surprises?
• What do the findings suggest regarding
necessary clarifications, responses,
Final Take Aways??
PS Consulting
Philippa Strelitz, PhD
Austin, Texas
[email protected]

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