August 7, 2009

Staff and faculty satisfaction survey set for Sept. 8-25

Staff and faculty satisfaction survey set for Sept. 8-25

The Vanderbilt Medical Center faculty and staff survey will be conducted Sept. 8-25.

The survey, formerly called the community survey, was postponed from the traditional spring slot in order to avoid the busy times of annual budgeting and job performance evaluations and to allow for the selection of a new vendor.

“Vanderbilt is committed to hearing from our community of faculty and staff. The survey is a critical tool in improving communication and providing the opportunity to have a say in how we continue to make Vanderbilt a great place to work,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “The information that comes from this survey helps us know what types of actions are needed to improve satisfaction and performance,” Balser said.

There is a new vendor for the survey this year — HR Solutions Inc., a Chicago-based company that conducts opinion surveys for more than 500 health care organizations.

The survey's data — faculty and staff will remain anonymous answering the questions — will be available to managers more quickly under the new vendor. Initial results will be back by Oct. 19 and available to leadership by Nov. 2.

Pam Brown, director of the Organizational Effectiveness Team for Vanderbilt's Human Resources, said the survey will give answers about engagement, and is a “great starting point for further in-depth discussion.”

“We want to know how the entire organization feels about overall direction and our mission, as well as communication, job satisfaction, pay, benefits, training and development. We can then follow up with dialogue — conversations that help us make progress.”

The simple survey will also be less repetitive. Reduced from 63 to 57 questions, it will take less time to complete (about 10 minutes) than surveys from past years. Also, previously, each question required two responses in order to provide both a performance score and an importance score.

In the new survey, only one response is needed for each question.
Nearly everyone will take the survey online, although there will be some paper copies available for those who do not have regular computer access.

There is also no “not applicable or N/A” option on the list of answers this year. If one can't answer a question because they haven't had experience in that area, the answer should be left blank, Brown said. A glossary will be provided with the survey, helping to clarify any terms in the survey that might be confusing.”

In 2008, there was a 70 percent response rate with 11,123 individuals completing the survey.

“Since 1999, we have used our community surveys as a process to help guide us, to help us understand what's important about the environment we work in and to make Vanderbilt a better place to work, “ said Marilyn Dubree, Executive Chief Nursing Officer.