Western 2023 Faculty and Staff Experience Survey Questions & Answers

Why conduct this survey?

We want Western to be a great place to work. Engaged Faculty and Staff members contribute enormously to their faculty or division, they are essential to Western’s success, and they help inspire positive change. The Western 2023 Faculty & Staff Experience survey gives those who work at Western a voice to help us identify what is working well, and where there is opportunity for improvement within teams and across Western. Western leaders support this survey and are interested to hear what you have to say. Information gathered will be used to:

  • Encourage dialogue and action planning to improve the work experience within a faculty, division or university-wide.
  • Help advance the ambitious goals set out in Towards Western at 150 and in Faculty and department strategic plans
  • Provide a benchmark to measure progress over time

Is this replacing the WE SPEAK Survey?

Yes. In 2020, Western conducted the WE SPEAK survey. Since then, so much has changed at Western, and in the world. The Western 2023 Faculty and Staff Experience Survey takes a new approach, designed with an eye to the future – more than 50% of the questions are new. The Survey is action-oriented and aligned with commitments made in our strategic plan.

How will I take part in the survey?

You will receive an email from Metrics@Work, the company hired to conduct our survey. It will contain a unique link to the survey for you to use. This will ensure everyone takes the survey only once. If someone requires an alternative format, a paper copy will also be available in Human Resources.

When will the survey take place?

The survey will be available online from March 16 to 31, 2023.

What kind of questions will I be asked?

The survey is designed to provide you with an opportunity to express your views about your day-to-day work experience in your team or work unit, and at Western. Example of topics include questions about workplace communication, collaboration, interest in your work, feeling safe at work, inclusion, professional growth and learning. There are two open response questions to write further comments.

Faculty members have additional questions related to such topics as support for research, student supervision, career support & advancement.

You will be asked to indicate a rating of how much you agree or disagree with a particular statement.

How long will the survey take to complete?

The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes of your time and can be completed on a mobile device, tablet, or desktop computer.

What is engagement?

Engagement is a key measure in this survey. Think about times when you have been really “into your work” and time passed by quickly or you felt a strong sense of accomplishment - that gives you a sense of what it means to be engaged. Engagement is more than job satisfaction.

“A positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigour, dedication, and absorption.” (Source: Wilmar Schaufeli, Utrecht University)

Why does engagement matter?

If Western is to be among the world’s best Universities we need a workplace where faculty and staff are engaged, finding their careers fulfilling, and feeling pride in their work.

Research shows engagement is a win-win: “Employees who are engaged in their work and committed to their organization are more likely to stay, are absent less frequently, and perform more effectively than those who are not. Where engagement often shows its strongest effects is on discretionary effort – a willingness to go above and beyond minimal requirements. Importantly, engagement also relates positively to employees’ own physical and psychological well-being.” (Source: Professor John Meyer, Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Western University)

What are the benefits of completing the survey?

This survey provides you with an opportunity to express your views about your day-to-day work experience at Western. Your participation is vital to provide an accurate picture of what it is like to work at Western. You will contribute to enhancing the work experience at Western by identifying strengths and areas where change may be required and by stimulating meaningful discussions.

While this is a survey for Western faculty and staff, importantly, each Faculty and Division and larger departments will receive a unique report of what the work experience is like in their own area. Deans, Vice Provosts, and AVPs will be sharing the results in the spring and summer with their faculty and staff for dialogue and discussion about what is going well and where there are opportunities to improve.

Who is Metrics@Work?

Metrics@Work of St.Catherines, Ontario is conducting the survey on Western’s behalf. They were selected through an RFP process and have extensive experience working with clients in higher education, health care, and other public sector organizations.

How can I be sure that my answers are confidential?

Western will only receive anonymous, aggregated group data from Metrics@Work – not individual responses.

Who will see the responses to commentary questions?

There are two open-response questions about a person's overall work experience at Western. Comments received will be themed by Metrics@Work and are provided in an overall summary report to Western. Comments are not included in Faculty/Division/Department results.

What information will be shared with Metrics@Work?

Western will provide the survey company with a list of emails for all individuals who are eligible to take the survey. In order to collate the results in a meaningful way, the company will also receive employment-related information such as:

  • faculty/department/unit
  • employee group
  • whether you are a leader, faculty or staff member
  •  full or part-time employee

When will results be available?

We expect to receive the results of the survey in the late spring of 2023. Western will provide all members of the Western community with an overview of the university-wide results.

Deans, Vice-Provosts, and Associate Vice-Presidents will be given survey data specific to their area. They are asked to share those results with faculty and staff members over the late spring and summer for discussion and action planning.

Is the survey voluntary?

Yes, participation is voluntary. We really hope you will take the time to respond because a high participation rate leads to better information. This survey information is often the starting point for discussions that lead to important changes.

Who is invited to take the survey?

The survey will be sent to all full-time and part-time faculty and staff whose primary relationship with Western is employment. It will not include student staff roles or Schulich clinical faculty.

What has happened with past survey results at Western?

Many faculties and departments have held team meetings, focus groups and other planning sessions and used the data from the survey to encourage dialogue and start a process to undertake change in their units.

Survey results have informed the development of several Western-wide strategies to support faculty and staff in the areas of employee wellness, communication, professional and career development. Examples include:

We’re excited to see what the 2023 results might help inform for Western’s future.

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