May 25, 2001

VUMC polls employees

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VUMC polls employees

Employees can now express their opinions about pay, benefits, and overall working conditions at Vanderbilt University Medical Center through a confidential survey.

Beginning June 4, VUMC employees will be asked to complete the survey conducted by outside consulting firm Morehead Associates.

The survey consists of 50 questions and will take about 15 minutes to complete. Employees have the option of completing the survey online or requesting a paper version. The survey will be online at This Web site will not be available until June 4.

Paper surveys can be obtained from the employee’s survey ambassador. Surveys must be completed with a #2 pencil, placed in the confidential envelope, and put it in one of the locked drop boxes located around campus.

All responses will be collected by Morehead Associates and will be kept anonymous and confidential. Individual responses will not be revealed. Results from the survey will be collected and distributed to supervisors. If your work group contains less than five people, the survey results will be passed to the next highest supervisor.

This is the second employee survey conducted at the Medical Center. Two years ago, employees were polled about the working environment at Vanderbilt and the opinions resulted in important change, according to Joel Lee, director of communications. “The most consistently raised issue was free parking for patients and families,” Lee said. “Now, we offer this service.”

The last survey indicated that people were satisfied with the work environment and were committed to the mission of VUMC. “This was very powerful,” Lee said. “However, there were things to work on. People were not comfortable with our performance measurements and promotion policies.”

As a result of the survey, the pay-for -performance system was approved. Through this policy, employees are evaluated based on job descriptions. In short, employee raises are now based on performance.

Medical center employees were also awarded a portion of the financial success of the hospital after a successful fiscal year. Employees stated that they did not share in the financial success of the Medical Center. To answer this concern, the Medical Center administration awarded a one-time cash bonus to all employees last year and launched the new pay-for-performance system this year.

The last survey resulted in a 68 percent response rate. This year, the administration is hoping for an 80 percent response rate.

“We clearly welcome and value the opinions of our employees,” said Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “We encourage everyone to take the time and complete this year’s survey. Your thoughts and opinions have shaped policy in the past and will most likely influence future decisions.”