UM-Flint Staff Satisfaction & Engagement Survey

Results & Recommendations


"What do staff want?" That was the question asked at Staff Council's 2018 summer retreat that prompted the creation of a committee charged with designing, administering, analyzing, and ultimately recommending actions based on what came to be called the Staff Satisfaction & Engagement Survey.

Our first ever Staff Satisfication and Engagement Survey was launched in November, 2019, boasting a participation rate of 53 percent! Although the university — like the rest of the world — has drastically changed since last November due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey provides a valuable snapshot in time and important baseline data from which to build when life and work start to resemble "normal" again.

Eight recommendations/action items that Staff Council presented to the University leadership. University leadership is supportive of the recommendations and are committed to partnering with Staff Council on each recommendation.   

Below are the reports from both the open and close-ended questions from each of the eight sections of the survey. You must have a University of Michigan ID/login-credential to access the survey results.

Thank you again for your ongoing interest and participation!

Staff Council Survey Committee

  • Bob Mabbitt (former committee chair) | University Communications and Marketing
  • Gary Ashley | Office of Engaged Learning
  • Suzanne Shivnen | College of Arts and Sciences
  • Andre Louis | Office of Research and Economic Development
  • Shanae Dawson* | K-12 Partnerships
  • Matt Bohlen* | Office of Graduate Programs
  • Sadé Wilson** | Center for Educator Preparation

* Committee member for survey design/development phase
** Committee member for survey analysis/reporting phase

Demographic Information

Questions in this section asked for basic demographic information about the staff. The demographic categories selected are the standard ones used by University of Michigan-Flint. That allows more accurate and consistent analysis now and in the future. 

Recommended & Approved Action Item: 

In terms of race and ethnicity, take concerted actions to better align the makeup of UM-Flint's staff with the communities the university serves and the community in which it is located.

Results for Demographics Section

Section 1 | Status Report

Questions in this section addressed morale and assessed efforts to improve it.

Recommended & Approved Action Item: 

Organize more social events specifically designed to build cross-unit relationships and/or recognize staff accomplishments/value. It may make sense for the staff council to spearhead such an effort, as it received many favorable endorsements in this section.

Results for Section 1 Closed Questions

Results for Section 1 Open-ended Questions

Read more about how the survey committee coded open-ended questions.

Section 2 | Stability

Questions in this section explored the pace, predictability, and productivity of work at UM-Flint.

The following definition was included after the section overview statement, before the questions: 

workplace stability - a work environment free from high turnover, frequent leadership changes, changes to responsibilities/duties/tasks, changes to organizational structure, and/or changes to core mission/charge.

Recommended & Approved Action Item: 

Establish a professional development (PD) program/curriculum designed specifically for supervisors that focuses on: 

  • Cultural competency and other diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) considerations
  • Effective organizational communication practices
  • Fundamentals of supervision/management at UM-Flint

Results for Section 2 Closed Questions

Results for Section 2 Open-ended Questions

Read more about how the survey committee coded open-ended questions.

Section 3 | Support

Questions in this section focused on resources available to staff.

Recommended & Approved Action Item: 

Bring staffing levels into better balance with workloads.

Results for Section 3 Closed Questions

Results for Section 3 Open-ended Questions

Read more about how the survey committee coded open-ended questions.

Section 4 | Say-So

Questions in this section explored how staff feel about existing outlets and entities for getting ideas heard, questions answered, and concerns addressed.

When specific outlets/entities were mentioned in the survey, they were hyperlinked to web pages where respondents could find more information.

Recommended & Approved Action Item: 

Explore ways to improve working relationships across units. For example, encouraging or incentivizing participation in UM-Flint related volunteer opportunities on campus and in the community. Data also indicate supervisors have a particularly important communication role both within units and as a main channel/connection outside of the unit.

Results for Section 4 Closed Questions

Results for Section 4 Open-ended Questions

Read more about how the survey committee coded open-ended questions.

Section 5 | Stature

Questions in this section explored staff members’ perceptions about their professional status and value to the university.

Recommended & Approved Action Item: 

Ensure job classifications and associated compensation are consistent and fair. Data also indicate an opportunity to address the fact that many staff members do not feel that they can or should communicate with colleagues “above” them in the organization.

Results for Section 5 Closed Questions

Results for Section 5 Open-ended Questions

Read more about how the survey committee coded open-ended questions.

Section 6 | Safe & Secure

Questions in this section measured perceptions about physical safety and experiences with "exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile conduct." (language used in the 2017 Rankin Climate Survey).

It is important to note that this section asked about two distinct topics: “public safety” and “personal treatment.” Both topics were the subject of distinct closed questions but combined in the open-ended question, creating a “double-barrelled question.” Read more about that in the Survey Shortcomings & Key Takeaways section. Ultimately, however, the survey committee was able to utilize responses from both parts to make two recommendations for this section.

Recommended & Approved Action Items:

Section 6A: Public Safety

Explore ways to increase the visibility of public safety on campus. Data also indicate that better monitoring of access to buildings and increased traffic enforcement would be valued in their own right, as well as part of an overall effort to increase visibility.

Results for Section 6A Closed Questions

Results for Section 6A Open-ended Questions

Section 6B: Personal Treatment

Improve communication about the reporting mechanisms and other resources available to staff when they experience "exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile conduct.” Data also indicate that most of this negative behavior originates from fellow staff members, which is something staff council and others should factor into programming, etc.

Results for Section 6B Closed Questions

Results for Section 6B Open-ended Questions

Read more about how the survey committee coded open-ended questions.

Section 7 | Seeking Solutions

Questions in the final section measured staff interest in specific proposals for addressing previously identified concerns.

Recommended & Approved Action Item: 

Allow staff members to evaluate their supervisors. Data also indicate clear preferences among work/life balance options (flextime, working remotely, and “4/10s.”)

Results for Section 7 Closed Questions

Results for Section 7 Open-ended Questions

Read more about how the survey committee coded open-ended questions.