Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.35
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Nov. 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Houston
PA-10: Assessing Employee Satisfaction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution conducted an employee satisfaction and engagement survey or other evaluation that meets the criteria for this credit?:

The percentage of employees (staff and faculty) assessed, directly or by representative sample:

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

In 2011, the UH Staff Affairs Subcommittee of the UH Staff Council consulted with Dr. Lisa Penney (Associate Professor, Organizational Psychology) to develop and administer a survey to understand staff morale issues, including the factors that drive morale and how morale affects organizationally valued outcomes.

In the summer of 2012, the UH Staff Council requested that a follow-up survey be administered in Fall 2012. Based on the results of the 2011 Survey and staff feedback, several changes were made to the 2012 survey. Because of staff concerns about the anonymity of their responses, no demographic information was collected in the 2012 survey. The survey length was also reduced by 42%. Finally, new items were added to the survey to gather more detailed information about two issues that staff identified as important in the 2011 Survey: communication quality and staff perceptions of fairness. However, the main goal of this survey, as in 2011, was to examine staff attitudes regarding their jobs and UH, identify aspects of the work environment that drive staff attitudes, and examine potential consequences of these attitudes.

UH staff received an email invitation from Staff Council to participate in an online version of the survey over a two-week period in November through December 2012. Paper surveys in English and Spanish were also made available to staff with limited or no computer access. The survey contained 96 items and one open-ended item inviting staff to leave comments. Survey participants were asked to respond to a number of questions using a five-point likert scale (e.g., strongly disagree to strongly agree). All scales are reliable and valid measures of their respective constructs. Of the 1,169 staff members who attempted the online survey, 932 (80%) completed the entire survey and 333 (35.7%) included comments at the end. The survey participants represent every division and college on the main campus, as well as positions ranging from technical service craft (e.g., electrician, groundskeeper) to executive (e.g., deans, associate vice presidents).

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

Survey results indicate that staff are satisfied with their jobs in general (76%) and committed to UH (62%); thus we did not target those attitudes for further investigation. However, staff satisfaction with pay (16%) and promotions (20%), as well as perceptions of reward fairness (32%) were relatively low. A comparison of UH staff attitudes in 2011 and 2012 indicated few significant changes. However, although the 2011 survey indicated that staff in Technical & Service Craft jobs experienced more challenges to morale and poorer attitudes, the results of the 2012 survey indicate that the attitudes of those in Technical & Service Crafts jobs have increased to a level that is on par with attitudes of other staff at UH.

Together, these results suggest that the primary issue regarding staff morale is one of feeling under appreciated. The data resulted in at least four strategies for managers at all levels who desire to improve staff morale: 1) communicate important information that affects staff to them in a clear and timely manner; 2) be open and candid in all communications with staff, particularly with information that pertains to performance feedback, raises, and promotion opportunities; 3) communicate with staff regarding what role they play in helping UH solidify its status as a Tier 1 research university; 4) find informal ways to demonstrate appreciation for staff contributions.

Moreover, there are several strategies supervisors can implement to improve morale: 1) performance expectations should be communicated to staff in clear, unambiguous terms; 2) procedures and standards for pay and promotion decisions should be explained thoroughly and in clear, unambiguous terms; and 3) provide staff with accurate performance feedback year-round so that they know where they stand.

The year the employee satisfaction and engagement evaluation was last administered:

The website URL where information about the institution’s employee satisfaction and engagement assessment is available:
Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.