Employee engagement survey: communicating the results

Email sent from Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and Rachel Brealey, Chief Operating Officer, on 23 May.

Dear colleagues,

Today we are publishing the results of the University’s employee engagement survey.

When we launched the survey in February, we encouraged you to take part to tell us what matters most to you, what’s working and what’s not. Our survey covered a range of themes covering equity, diversity and inclusion; health, safety and wellbeing; ways of working; leadership and more.

You responded in record numbers. It was great to see such strong engagement with the survey – the final figure of 5,284 responses represents 56% of our employee community. Thank you so much to everyone who participated.

Colleagues also left more than 30,000 comments on their experiences at the University, which clearly demonstrates the huge passion, and the investment people have in both our community and our culture.

Headline results

Here are some of the key findings that we should all be particularly proud of:

  • 82% of colleagues felt that ‘their immediate manager cared about their wellbeing’
  • 80% felt ‘they had the autonomy to do their jobs effectively’
  • 79% ‘know what they need to do to be successful’
  • 75% ‘feel they can behave in a way that is consistent with the University values’

There are also some results that demonstrate less favourable engagement, with a number of specific areas that need careful consideration and improvement:  

  • 28% of colleagues say ‘the University strategy or vision motivates them’
  • 29% say ‘they feel their voice counts’
  • 29% say ‘University leaders demonstrate that people are important to institutional success’

You can view the full results of the survey on our dedicated Employee engagement survey Sharepoint site. If you have any further questions, please contact staffengagement@leeds.ac.uk.

Our next steps

As we all take time to consider the survey results, it’s right to celebrate the many positive things about university life in Leeds and reflect on our strengths as an institution. It’s also important not to shy away from the concerns raised by colleagues.  

Our bold and ambitious strategy will help support a healthy and fulfilled employee community and make the University a great and rewarding place to work. Responses to the questions asked in the survey will also help to underpin some of the University’s strategic key performance indicators including equity, diversity and inclusion; health, safety and wellbeing; ways of working; research culture; and leadership. Through these we can monitor, report back on progress and – most importantly – continue to take action in these areas.

The many free text comments received through the survey also provide us with further insight regarding the areas for us to reflect and improve as a community. Some relate to the very essence of our culture and the way we work together, which we see as vitally important to our employee community and to the delivery of our strategic ambitions. Our Engagement team will continue to carry out in-depth analysis of these comments and will be working with each faculty and service to ensure that these outputs are embedded within improvement action planning, alongside the responses to each question.

Over the next few weeks, leaders and managers across the institution will spend time digesting, analysing and reflecting on the results, before facilitating further discussions with teams across our community to plan actions.  The results of the survey will also be discussed at the next meeting of Leadership Forum in June, and between June and October we will be reflecting what the results mean at an institutional level and asking all our faculties and professional services to consider and develop their action plans. Once these plans have been developed, we will provide regular updates to you on the actions that will make a difference to our community.

Making the University the strong, compassionate and inclusive institution we all want is a collaborative effort.  We very much need your continued support for the next stage of this process, as we work together to bring meaningful positive change for the benefit of all members of our community.
If we are to realise our vision to change the world for the better, we must continue to change as an organisation, strengthen our community and build real confidence in our future. 

Best wishes,

Professor Simone Buitendijk
Vice-Chancellor and President

Professor Hai-Sui Yu 
Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Rachel Brealey
Chief Operating Officer

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