Know Better Place, a workplace culture program in the UConn Health Center’s human resources department, has announced the results of “engagement08,” the Health Center’s first employee engagement survey.
Nearly 1,600 employees responded to the survey between Oct. 22 and Nov. 12, a participation rate of 30 percent.
More than nine in 10 respondents say they have a good overall understanding of what they’re supposed to be doing in their job, and that they recognize or praise others for doing good work. Nearly eight in 10 say they understand the Health Center’s mission.
The survey results are available on the Web at http://employees.uchc.edu/engagement/engagement08.html.
“This survey is a way for us to measure employee engagement at the Health Center,” says Cindy Couture of Know Better Place.
“Engaged employees feel a real sense of connection to their workplace. They believe in what they do, feel valued, and have a stronger commitment to stay with the organization.”
Roughly three in four say that they feel motivated to contribute their best ideas and efforts, that they understand how their unit or department contributes to the Health Center’s success, and that what they do in their job contributes to the Health Center’s vision.
“The overall findings are encouraging,” says Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, the Health Center’s vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “These findings identify consistent areas of strength, as well as opportunities for improvement within our organization.”
About half say that they feel their opinion counts and that the Health Center provides opportunities for development in their job, while 36 percent say they work in a group that deals with conflict openly and effectively.
“In today’s healthcare environment, it is vital for us to identify employee engagement levels in order to attract and retain the best workforce possible,” Couture says.
“This quantitative and qualitative data provide a benchmark for future surveys, which will allow us to track our progress. Plus it’s a tool to help us identify best practices, as well as areas where we can improve.”
The questions were separated into four categories. Those related to connection and commitment returned the highest engagement score, 36 percent, followed by those related to vision or mission, 26 percent, teamwork and respect, 19 percent, and manager and organizational support, 19 percent. The engagement score is based on the number of respondents who answered “strongly agree” to a given survey question.
“Improvements in staff retention, productivity, and customer satisfaction have all been linked with an engaged workforce,” Couture says. “We want to create an environment that supports a high level of employee engagement”.
Three of the survey questions matched questions from a 2005 culture and diversity survey, with the results showing modest improvements in the areas of understanding the Health Center’s mission, motivation to contribute best ideas and efforts, and feeling that the individual job is rewarding.
“This is an important step in moving the Health Center toward the vision of being nationally known as an essential destination for outstanding health care,” Laurencin says.
“Based on information from this survey, we already have started looking into ways to make positive changes. This will be a continual process.”
Officials plan to administer the survey every other year.