Western University


What is the WE SPEAK: Faculty & Staff Survey 2012?

This survey is designed to provide you with an opportunity to express your views about your day-to-day work experience at Western.

Survey results will provide valuable insights about a number of key topics related to positive work environments. Example topics include: work engagement, workplace safety, communication and collaboration, involvement in decision-making, individual and team recognition, respect and opportunities for learning and career advancement. Questions ask you to indicate your rating about how much you agree or disagree with a particular statement.

There are three open response questions to express your ideas about how to make the workplace better and an opportunity to provide feedback about Western’s Strategic Plan as it undergoes a review this academic year.

Why conduct this survey?

We want Western to be a great place to work.  We want to identify what is working well, and where there is opportunity for improvement.  Western’s President Vice-President Group and Deans support your completion of this confidential survey and are interested to hear what you have to say. Information gathered from the survey will be used to:

  • Encourage dialogue and action planning to improve the work experience within a faculty, division, or system-wide
  • Inform the strategic plan as it undergoes review and renewal  
  • Provide a benchmark to measure our progress against.
  • Overall Western results will be shared with Western’s campus community. 

What are the benefits of completing a survey?

Your participation in this confidential survey is vital to helping provide an accurate picture of what it is like to work at Western. By completing the survey you will contribute to enhancing the work experience at Western.

When will the survey take place?

The survey closing date has been extened one week to December 14, 2012.

Is the survey voluntary?

Participation is voluntary... and we hope you do respond. A high participation rate leads to better information that will serve as the basis for dialogue about what is working well and where there is room for improvement.

How long will the survey take to complete?

The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.  Leaders are asked to provide up to 30 minutes of work time to support employees to complete the survey  

How is the survey administered?

Western is working in collaboration with Metrics@Work, a survey firm with extensive experience in both the public and university sector.  Metrics@Work is located in St. Catharines, Ontario; they will handle the administration and secure data housing of the survey.

  • All full-time and part-time faculty and staff will receive an e-mail link to the on-line survey from Metrics@Work inviting participation.
  • If a paper survey is preferred these will be made available through your immediate leader or by contacting Metrics@Work.

Can anyone at Western see my responses?

No. The anonymity and confidentiality of responses to the survey are of top importance.

  • No information that can identify individual respondents is being reported to the University. 
  • Faculty/Department or Division reports are generated only where the participation rates are high enough to support anonymity and confidentiality. If you choose to complete the open-ended questions, they will be reviewed by Metrics@Work and they will remove any identifiers, such as names or references to specific work units/departments so that anonymity and confidentiality is protected.
  • Metrics@Work will destroy on-line and paper records three months following survey administration.

How will faculty and staff be invited to participate?

We want a strong response because a high participation rate leads to better information that will serve as the basis for dialogue about what is working well and where there is room for improvement.

The President/Vice President team will send an e-mail invitation to all staff and faculty informing them of the survey. Survey “Ambassadors” from across Western will assist leaders in their work unit/department by providing up-to-date information and to encourage colleagues to participate in the survey on a voluntary basis. Western’s Communication staff will announce and provide on-going broadcasts about the survey through the website and Western News.  Metrics@Work will send general e-mail reminders once the survey is in process.

Who should I talk to if I have questions about completing my survey?

If you have questions, concerns or if you require the survey in an alternate format or need to make alternate arrangements to access the survey, please let your leader know. Send your survey questions to WE SPEAK  or call HR Help at 519-661-2194.

From November 19 until December 7, 2012, when the survey is available to all staff and faculty, if you would like to speak directly with someone from Metrics@Work about the survey, call Metrics@Work during regular business hours at 1-800-726-4082 ext. 21 (available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday) or email Metrics@Work .

What has happened as a result of previous culture surveys done at Western?

Making meaningful use of survey results, to strengthen engagement and build a collaborative culture is a key focus of this and past culture surveys. Western last completed staff and faculty culture surveys in 2006 and 2003 and the results of these surveys helped shape and guide a number of strategies both at the faculty/division/department and on Western-wide levels. Examples of strategies to help support a more collaborative and constructive culture include:

-        Western Staff and Leaders’ Conference

-        Professional Network Forum

-        Western Leaders’ Forum

-        Western Award of Excellence for Staff

-        Improved access to Educational Assistance resources for Staff

-        Ongoing skill development workshops for leaders

-        Academic Leaders Summer Conference and BASICS Program

Following each of these surveys, many faculties and divisions held debrief meetings and created action plans to improve the local work experience.