Next week Loyola will conduct its third University-wide Faculty and Staff Opinion Survey. As you may remember, we held our first two opinion surveys in 2007 and 2010, and we are committed to revisiting the survey periodically as a way to assess our progress and continually improve our workplace.
Following the 2010 survey, we learned that employee engagement levels were strong and that respondents were cautiously optimistic about the future of the University. We also saw significant improvements in the areas of pay and benefits, as well as in senior leadership communication. We also identified areas for improvement and implemented many changes in response. In the last five years, among other improvements, we have:
- Addressed concerns regarding pay and benefits by creating a Benefits Committee, a group of faculty and staff members who work with the benefits department to brainstorm and identify competitive, family-friendly benefit plans including increasing our University retirement contribution from 8 percent to 10 percent.
- Provided an online annual “Total Benefits Statement” that captures information on compensation, benefits, and work-life benefits in one easily accessed location.
- Created the Office of Staff Mission and Formation, which builds stronger links between staff members and the University’s mission.
- Continuously improved campus spaces, including the introduction of a faculty and staff lounge on the Lake Shore Campus, a fitness center and new retail space at the Water Tower Campus, and the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing building at the Health Sciences Campus.
While these are just a few of the things we’ve focused on at the University level for the past several years, each division or school also implemented action plans to address the areas of improvement identified within their group.
Similar to past years, the 2015 survey is designed to gauge the opinions of faculty and staff about the workplace. The survey will take no longer than 20 minutes to complete and will cover areas such as professional development, leadership, mission, benefits, and teamwork.
To ensure that all responses are kept confidential, we have commissioned Towers Watson to administer the survey. As was the case in past years, the entire survey process will be totally confidential. All surveys will be returned directly to Towers Watson for tabulation, and no one at Loyola will see any individually completed surveys. Statistical summaries of the results for various employee groups will be reported, ensuring that no individuals will be identified by their responses. We hope this gives you the freedom to be candid in sharing your thoughts and perceptions.
On Monday, March 9, full-time faculty and full- and part-time staff members (only individuals hired prior to February 9) will receive an e-mail message from Towers Watson that will contain instructions on how to access the survey. Your survey must be submitted by March 20 for your feedback to be included in the final results.
Results of the survey are expected by the end of April, and we will report on high-level University-wide findings in early May. Using these results, we will develop University-wide divisional action plans for the next few years. Each division and school will also report on their individual group’s findings.
Thank you in advance for your participation in the survey. In 2010, we achieved a participation rate of 77 percent, and we hope to see that number increase this year. I look forward to your thoughtful and honest feedback.
Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.