Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.21
Liaison Julie Hopper
Submission Date July 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Southern California
PA-13: Assessing Employee Satisfaction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Elias Platte-Bermeo
Sustainability Program Assistant
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 assessed, directly or by representative sample:

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

The USC Values Poll was administered from October 14 - November 3, 2019. USC partnered with The Barrett Values Centre (BVC) to develop and administer the Values Poll, which was customized specifically for USC. The Barrett Values Centre (BVC) cultural transformation assessment is a globally-recognized process used by organizations to understand the values that are of importance to their people -employees, leaders, and stakeholders. USC used this approach as an initial step to explore values and culture.

Each respondent was asked four values questions and one open-ended question: to identify their personal values, their school/unit’s values, their experience of USC’s current values, and their desired values for USC’s culture.

For Questions 1 - 4, respondents could select their Top 10 values from a "values list" of 107 personal and 102 organizational values. The open-ended question was included to gather additional feedback and comments. Respondents were asked to select their role, school or unit, and had the option to provide their gender identity and race-ethnicity. This allowed BVC to receive input from groups who are thriving within the overall USC culture and groups who are identifying challenges within that same culture.

The Values Poll questions asked were:
Q1. Which 10 values/behaviors most reflect who you are?
Q2. Which 10 values/behaviors most reflect your experience of your immediate environment (school or unit)?
Q3. Which 10 values/behaviors most reflect your experience of USC as a whole?
Q4. Which 10 values/behaviors do you believe are essential for USC to achieve its highest potential?
Q5. Is there anything else you would like to add? (open-ended question). [Over 6,000 comments were made in response to this question.]

More information: https://change.usc.edu/files/2019/12/USC_Cultural_Values_Poll_Findings_Dec_2019.pdf.

A brief description of the mechanism(s) by which the institution addresses issues raised by the evaluation:

The Values Poll results were shared with the USC Community in December 2019, followed by a series of 175+ Town halls and Discussion sessions designed to offer the community an opportunity to share their perspectives on the Top 10 values/poll results, behaviors that best align with an enhanced culture, and identification of systems and processes (recommended actions) to prioritize improvements. Engagement and input from governance bodies (President's Culture Commission, Academic Senate, Staff Assembly, Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate Student Government), Working Group on University Culture, Culture Network Members, and scheduled Leader Debriefs (33 sessions held twice with all 22 Deans and 13 Administrative Units SVPs) in January 2020 and May - August 2020 was critical in ensuring the
1) refinement of Unifying Values;
2) identification and development of aligned behaviors for each value;
3) recommended actions on systems and process improvements to enhance culture.

These values, behaviors, and actions were shared with President Carol Folt and USC's senior leadership team in October 2020, were unanimously approved, and were shared with the USC Community on November 16, 2020.

In spring 2021, USC moved forward on the USC Culture Journey with a multi-pronged approach toward culture transformation:
1) Culture Focus Areas identified (Diversity + Equity + Inclusion, Well-being, People Development, Addressing Concerns and Values) continue to be evolved through the University's Culture Council (evolution of President's Culture Committee), in partnership with Focus Areas Imitative Sponsors and Initiative Leads to ensure alignment across systems/process improvements over the next several years;
2) Continuing Leader Touchpoints and school/unit leader engagement is supported to best identify those areas of opportunity to support unit/schools exploring culture work (to date as of Fall 2020, six units have identified and started development work on culture enhancements);
3) Community engagement through Culture Journey: Values Series events; monthly events around values themes are occurring from February - June 2021 (keynote speakers, community panels represented by faculty, staff, student, alumni panelists), lunch and learn sessions on values, and Working Together Workshops for deeper explorations/best practices and resources on bringing values to life in a professional context;
4) development of a refined Code of Ethics and Compliance for staff/faculty as a living document aligning values, behaviors, policies, and ethical decision-making.

USC is also developing metrics to measure culture transformation success (participation rates in events; school/unit partnerships, as examples), and is anticipating conducting a culture/values poll in 2022 to ascertain progress.

Website URL where information about the employee satisfaction and engagement evaluation is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.