2017 Staff Engagement Survey FAQs

What do we mean by staff engagement and why are we measuring it?

A measure of staff engagement tells us how empowered and committed our staff are; how connected they feel to our University and how motivated they are to contribute to organisational success. Staff who are actively engaged are involved in and enthusiast about their work. They are more likely to have reduced sickness absence, increased productivity, and are better able to make positive and innovative contributions in the workplace.

The Staff Survey will give staff the opportunity to have their say about what it is like working for the University. The results will help spark a conversation which will lead us together into actions that will make a positive difference to each of our working lives. 

The survey doesn’t ask which department I’m in – how will you group our responses?
Each member of staff will receive a unique link to their own individual survey. Behind the survey sits a map of the organisation’s structure with limited staff data which enables Gallup to group responses into Faculties, Schools and Departments. The University will not receive any individual responses and will only be provided with summary reports per department where there are four or more respondents.
When will the survey run, what will be asked and how long will it take to complete?
The survey will run from Monday 24 April 2017 to Friday 19 May 2017. The survey will be short and will utilise Gallup’s Q12 – 12 statements which establish an accurate measure of staff engagement. Alongside these we will also be measuring some key strategically-important areas including change management, collaboration, inclusiveness, supervisor effectiveness and wellbeing. The University will also be measuring ‘world-class engagement’; which looks specifically at the role that leaders play in helping their organisations attain high levels of engagement, advocacy and wellbeing.  
Who are Gallup?
Gallup are an independent research organisation, leading experts in research-based performance management and pioneers in the science of engagement. Gallup have worked with organisations from all over the world, and have helped many Universities to drive staff and student engagement.
What are the Q12 and why do Gallup use these?

Originally, Gallup interviewed more than 1 million employees and asked hundreds of questions about countless aspects of the workplace. Using the initial data, Gallup determined which items best linked to workplace performance. More than 25 million employees have now answered these 12 items.

Gallup searched for patterns in the data: Which items were simply different ways of measuring the same factor? Which were the best items to measure each factor? Gallup researchers were searching for items to which the most engaged employees (those who were loyal and productive) answered positively, and everyone else (the average performers and the disengaged) answered neutrally or negatively.

From this research, Gallup discovered that 12 items can measure the strength of a workplace. These 12 items do not capture everything about the workplace, but they do capture the degree to which employees are getting their performance needs met. They measure the core elements needed to attract, focus and retain the most talented individuals. Gallup’s Q12 survey enables managers and staff to focus on the workplace elements that can be directly improved.

Gallup perform ongoing analysis to ensure that the 12 items continue to link to and predict important business outcomes such as productivity, customer (student) experience, turnover, absenteeism, safety and quality. 

Is the survey anonymous? Will the results be kept confidential?
The results will be kept strictly confidential and the University will not receive any individual responses or identifying information. Gallup will provide engagement results for groups with only four or more survey participants.
Why do you ask personal questions about me?
The University is committed to developing a culture focused on equality, diversity and inclusion. Staff are invited to provide demographic information about themselves to help us understand the views and experiences of different members of our community. The information provided will be kept entirely confidential and will not be traced back to you as an individual. The University will not have access to raw data and will only be provided with summary reports. The information will be used by Gallup for statistical and research purposes only and will be stored securely. 
What happens if I’m on maternity/paternity or sick leave?
Staff on parental or sick leave will still have the same opportunity to complete the Staff Survey. You will receive your unique survey link via email on the 24 April 2017. 
What do I need to do if I require the survey in a different format?
If you require the survey in a different format please contact Gallup Client Support for assistance.
How will the results be analysed?
The data will be analysed and results provided by Gallup, who will use these to identify the drivers for engagement across the University and their variation across groups. They will investigate how the Q12 items correlate with our additional questions to understand and highlight the areas where the University’s aims are thriving and where they can be improved. Gallup are well-versed in helping organisations understand their external benchmarks. The current Gallup Overall Database includes 6.7 million respondents from 219 organisations globally. They will help us compare ourselves against relevant benchmarks to support us in setting appropriate targets and goals for improvement.
What happens after the survey?
Managers across the University will be given access to Gallup Online, an information and e-learning delivery platform which will allow them to view their own team’s anonymised results. Managers should share the staff engagement results with their teams to spark the conversation on workplace issues, to identify the team’s strengths and to prioritise areas for improvement. This conversation will lead to an important, local-level action planning session which aims to transform a team into one that is highly engaged. 
Will the results really lead to action? Can the results help create change in the University?
The University is committed to using the results to implement organisational and local changes that better meet staff workplace needs. From our last survey in 2011 we have since implemented a number of organisational initiatives based on the key areas for improvement, including more regular communication from senior management (i.e. VC/Global Strategy Roadshows), and the implementation of the workload model to improve workload pressures. However, the University recognises that there is more that can be done. Partnering with Gallup will provide us with the guidance and support to make the most out of this opportunity to improve our University.We are all responsible for improving our workplace through our behaviours, actions and our communications. Every employee can play a role in analysing what the results mean, determining what to improve and making sure that plans turn into action.
How do you have an action planning conversation?
This conversation includes the following steps:
  1. Identify a team performance goal
  2. Discuss the results as team to understand the issues
  3. Identify concrete actions that the team can take to address the priority issues
  4. Identify issues that need to be elevated to the next level in the organisation for action
  5. Follow up on the planned actions to ensure that they are implemented.
Where can I find out more information about the survey?
For more information about the survey please contact the People and Culture Team.
Why is the data from the Staff Engagement Survey processed in the United States?
Gallup UK is a subsidiary of Gallup US where all databases are maintained and therefore they do all of their data processing in the United States. However, Gallup is a signatory to Privacy Shield and takes all steps to protect the confidentiality of information that is sent to the US. More information about the Privacy Statement is readily available here. The Privacy Shield is mentioned in section 7.