Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 35.51
Liaison Sarah Mittlefehldt
Submission Date March 2, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Northern Michigan University
PA-12: Assessing Employee Satisfaction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.47 / 1.00 Sarah Mittlefehldt
Co-Chair, Sustainability Advisory Council
Earth, Environmental & Geographical Sciences
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution conducted a survey or other evaluation that allows for anonymous feedback to measure employee satisfaction and engagement during the previous three years?:

Percentage of employees (staff and faculty) assessed, directly or by representative sample (0-100):

A brief description of the institution’s methodology for evaluating employee satisfaction and engagement:

The 2013 Employee Satisfaction Survey was used as a baseline for evaluating employee satisfaction and engagement. Results were broken down by division as well as represented and non-represented groups to understand issues specific to the various campus stakeholders. Action plans were completed at the division level to address specific suggestions and concerns raised through the survey process. A key area for improvement noted in the survey was the lack of transparency in the executive level decision-making and communication processes. This was one of the driving factors for launching an AQIP action project in June of 2015 to specifically address transparency in decision-making and communication.

A follow-up transparency survey conducted in November of 2015, which included open-ended questions and allowed participants to provide direct feedback regarding opportunities to improve transparency in campus decision-making processes. More than sixty pages of comments were coded and analyzed to determine major themes. In addition, the Transparency Steering Committee held a campus forum to share the results of the employee and student surveys and to solicit additional feedback regarding tools and resources needed to enhance campus-wide decision-making and communication processes. Approximately fifty employees and students attended the forum. Members of the steering committee also completed interviews with members of senior and executive leadership to gain further insights into the resources needed to improve transparency in decision-making processes.

Approximately twenty NMU leaders, including members of our Board of Trustees, were interviewed in this phase of the data collection process. Data from all sources were used to define the project goals for the AQIP action project committee.

A brief description of the mechanism(s) by which the institution addresses issues raised by the evaluation (including examples from the previous three years):

The Transparency Action Project was initiated as a result of the 2013 Employee Satisfaction Survey. The work of the Transparency Action Project committee resulted in various tools, resources and recommendations to help address issues raised in both surveys. Resources include:

- A campus pulse calendar to inform decision-makers of the most appropriate times during the academic year to solicit input from key stakeholders on campus
- Online decision-maps which break down key decision-making processes into step-by- step detail (e.g. the budget process, facilities decisions, hiring)
- An Idea Forum online tool which provides interested stakeholders with the opportunity to provide feedback on project ideas in the earlier stages of development
- Supervisor training which covers key knowledge and skill areas to enhance communication, increase participative decision-making and improve employee engagement
- Committee opportunity webpage that identifies campus committee vacancies, who can join the committee, and how to join the committee. This information willbe linked to a new committee database site which notes the purpose, membership, and by-laws of standing university committees.

Recommendations include:
- Executive-sponsored open forums to be held at least twice a year to discuss and collect feedback on current campus issues
- The next employee engagement survey to be completed in Fall/Winter 2017.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.