When the university decided to conduct a massive internal-climate survey administered by an outside entity, the goal was to present a secure, confidential questionnaire in which employees could give anonymous feedback about their work life. The university wanted to know if they are satisfied with their work, and whether they felt it was important and meaningful. A high participation rate would be key to initiating meaningful workplace improvement.
All university staff, except those at the Applied Physics Laboratory, were asked to participate.
The survey, themed "Help Build a Better Workplace," was administered by the Gallup Organization, and 68 percent of the university's approximately 5,000 staff members surveyed weighed in. Answers were rated on a scale of 1 ("strongly disagree" or "extremely dissatisfied") to 5 "strongly agree" or "extremely satisfied").
Among the findings: Employees say they know what is expected of them at work (4.23); their supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about them as a person (4.06); and they know how their work contributes to the university's mission (4.06).
Lower on the scale were responses to questions about whether their immediate supervisor keeps them informed about what's going on at the university (3.44); leadership communicates effectively with the rest of the organization (3.13); or the mission or purpose of their organization makes them feel that their job is important (3.01).
"Employees' feedback and thoughts are critical to our efforts to reach the desired level of engagement at Johns Hopkins University," says Charlene Hayes, vice president for human resources. "We want to use this year to ensure that we address the issues identified in the survey and are well-prepared to administer it again in 2014."
Hayes says that members of the HR organization will be reaching out to all division and department leaders to understand each area's needs and how they can best support them in increasing engagement within their work units.
The full results of the survey have been posted online at http://collaborate.johnshopkins.edu/sites/talent/JHULibrary/All_JHU_Summary_2012.pdf.
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