With a total of 10,539 participants, the 2017 systemwide staff engagement survey demonstrated significant improvements from 2015 in a number of areas, including supervision and performance management, and an increase in overall engagement.

As part of an ongoing effort to better understand how engaged UC employees are, 20,000 staff were randomly selected to receive the survey about working for UC. Questions on topics related to engagement were asked in order to create an overall engagement score. Fifty-one percent of those selected completed the survey, the highest participation rate since the survey began.

Areas in which respondents noted improvement included supervision, communication and performance management. For example, participants were significantly more likely to feel that their personal contributions are recognized than in 2015, and to credit their supervisors with helping them make time for development activities.

Managing organizational change, central to employee engagement, is an area of growing concern for survey respondents. Participants responded less favorably than in past surveys to questions about how recent major organizational changes across the UC system have been planned, explained and executed.

“While challenges were identified, UC continues to make progress toward our workplace engagement goals,” explained Dwaine B. Duckett, vice president of Systemwide Human Resources. “As we have with past surveys, we encourage people at each location to add local content to the data to create positive change.”

The survey was developed five years ago by the Council of University of California Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) in collaboration with Systemwide Human Resources’ Employee Relations department and Willis Towers Watson, a national firm specializing in workforce opinion survey research.

Union-represented employees did not participate in the survey because UC receives their feedback through their union representatives during the collective bargaining process.

In the next few months, CUCSA and local staff assemblies will be working with local Human Resources officers to communicate detailed systemwide and location-specific results, and generate ideas for improvements.

Watch for more information about the survey results at your location in the coming months.