Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 88.00
Liaison Sam Lubow
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
PA-12: Assessing Employee Satisfaction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

From October 10-26, 2018, all Stanford non-academic staff, Athletics coaches, and academic staff researchers and librarians were invited to participate in a university-wide staff engagement survey. While individual groups have been surveying their employees and collecting feedback for years, the 2018 staff survey represents only the second-ever university-wide staff survey. The survey was deployed online and via paper and available in English and Spanish.

Each school and unit identified one or more survey liaison(s) to be the primary point(s) of contact related to the survey, and to shepherd the process, from communicating to staff to encourage participation in the survey to post-survey communication of results and moving the process forward to identify actions to make workplace improvements. Survey liaisons were trained to use the online results portal to generate reports, and are currently partnering with their leaders to identify next steps.

University HR managed these projects, working closely with a steering committee and later, each school and unit’s designated survey liaison(s), to administer the survey and results, and to develop action plans based on local results.

Almost 9,000 staff members shared their voice in the 2018 Staff Engagement Survey, representing a 6% increase over the 2015 staff survey response rate. The survey results are currently being analyzed and will be shared with our leadership team in January 2019 to identify what is working well at the university, along with our greatest opportunities to improve. Stanford will compare the 2018 results to those collected 2015, and to external benchmarks including other four-year academic institutions and companies identified as best places to work. Some early-released results indicate 81% of staff feel Stanford provides opportunities to learn new skills and 76% of staff see a clear link between their work and school/unit goals and objectives. Results like these will also help inform initiatives currently underway at the university-wide level (as part of the President and Provost’s Long-Range Vision), and will be used locally to make improvements within individual groups, departments, and programs.

In 2018, Stanford also established an Affordability Task Force to address the most concerning and complex affordability challenges faced by the local community. The task force is charged with developing a set of sustainable, wide-spread, data-informed recommendations to address near- and long-term affordability issues for the university’s populations who are most impacted by these regional challenges. Topics to be considered include housing, child care, transportation, and benefits. The first step of the Affordability Task Force was to administer a campus-wide survey in early 2019 to collect input and feedback on affordability issues and how they personally affect our community members. Formal recommendations will be presented to the community based on survey data in mid-2019.

The instrument used for the climate surveys draws from the Faculty Quality of Life Survey developed in 2008 by the Provost’s Panel on Faculty Equity and Quality of Life, which incorporated common core questions on quality of life issues developed by the American Association of Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE) and retained some questions from an earlier survey in 2003. Following the 2008 survey, the Provost’s Panel conducted an interview study with underrepresented minority faculty to specifically address URM faculty’s experience of collegiality, recognition, mentoring and voice in decision-making. Two reports on the findings with accompanying recommendations from the Panel on Faculty Equity were released in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The findings from these reports and the 2008 survey will be compared to the newest Faculty Quality of Life survey being sent to all faculty in January 2019. A separate effort by the Affordability Task Force will be gathering input from faculty through a detailed affordability assessment immediately following the Faculty Quality of Life Survey.

Several departments have conducted climate surveys of their faculty, instructors, students, trainees and staff relevant to diversity, equity and inclusion in order to assess their climates as part of preparing and recruiting new department leadership. For instance, between 2015 and 2017, the School of Medicine has conducted 8 departmental climate surveys of over 1,000 faculty. These department-level climate surveys are able to assess faculty satisfaction and sense of inclusion and equity that previous campus-wide surveys haven’t been able to gauge.

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 results will first be shared with President and Provost to identify key priorities at the university-wide level, and then will be communicated to leaders of schools and units to identify priorities within their organizations. Survey liaisons and leaders will have the opportunity to attend workshops led by the survey vendor to help groups make meaningful change based on their survey results.

Results will be communicated broadly in Stanford’s public daily news platform The Stanford Report and posted to the Cardinal at Work website: https://cardinalatwork.stanford.edu/working-stanford/staff-survey
A unique aspect of this second-ever staff engagement survey is that the university has a new President and Provost from the 2015 staff engagement survey. The two of them have spearheaded a massive strategic planning effort, which has culminated in the long-range vision: ourvision.stanford.edu Due to major initiatives underway, with hundreds of faculty and staff researching issues that surfaced during the submission of ideas about what the future holds for our institution, we have an opportunity to align findings from the staff engagement survey with university-wide issues and direction. As a result, our approach to action planning based on the results will be to connect, where possible, staff engagement survey results with initiatives now in progress. It is anticipated that this approach should result in greater visibility to staff that key workplace challenges are being addressed.

Both the quantitative and qualitative parts of the department surveys show great variations in faculty satisfaction and problem areas by department. For example, equity in workload distribution could be an issue in some departments but not others. The detailed comments allow school and department leaders to zoom into specific areas where improvements have been made or are needed. Again, these areas vary greatly by department. In general, faculty surveyed in these department-level studies are satisfied and engaged in making their departments a positive workplace. All results are considered by school and department leaders with the support of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

In addition to the Faculty Quality of Life survey sent to all Faculty, the School of Medicine in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost or Faculty Development and Diversity, separately conducted a series of departmental climate surveys during 2015 – 2017, with a total population of over 1,200 faculty members.

In addition to the Faculty Quality of Life survey sent to all Faculty, the School of Medicine in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost or Faculty Development and Diversity, separately conducted a series of departmental climate surveys during 2015 – 2017, with a total population of over 1,200 faculty members.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.