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2019 Employee Engagement Survey results

As discussed in Executive Vice President – Chief Operating Officer & Chief of Staff Rachael Nava’s email earlier today, we’re pleased to announce that we have received the 2019 Employee Engagement Survey results. This article provides more detail regarding UCOP survey results, trends and the timeline for communication and action planning.

Survey results and trends

UCOP Sustainable Engagement, the overall measure of UCOP engagement, increased 2 points to a strong favorable score of 77% — the same level as the UC system and the U.S. norm. Overall, survey results were stable or trending slightly upwards, with a few exceptions where more focus is needed.

Our top three scoring topics have stayed in the top three and even improved over the surveys from 2015, 2017 and 2019. These include:

  1. Image/Brand (81%): Pride in the UC system and mission bolstered the score, while continuing focus is needed on improving employee opinion of our UCOP “campus.”
  2. Sustainable Engagement (77%): Strengths included flexible schedules, employee motivation to go above and beyond and association with UC.
  3. Supervision (75%): Supervisors’ ability to treating employees with respect, informing their teams about issues that affect them and listening to diverse opinions before reaching conclusions contributed to a strong performance in this topic area.

Two of the three areas most needing improvement — Performance Management and Career Development — have been in the bottom three over the last three surveys. These areas have shown improvement, and we will continue to focus on them. One new topic, Leadership, also entered into the bottom three.

  1. Leadership (53%): This new category focuses on leadership’s communication of long-term strategic direction and the level of contact between senior leadership and all employees.
  2. Career Development (56%): This category focuses on the ability to achieve career objectives and having resources to manage one’s own career at UC. This score is an improvement from 52% in 2015.
  3. Performance Management (57%): Over two-thirds of employees feel that their contributions are recognized and their performance is evaluated fairly. The factor that lowers this score is employees feeling that UCOP could do a better job matching pay to performance. The score for matching pay to performance has improved 8 points (from 27% to 35% favorable) since 2015 but continues to pose a challenge due to a limited merit pool. Overall, the Performance Management category improved from 51% in 2015.

View the full survey results.

Action Planning

The Employee Engagement & Diversity Group (EEDG), UCOP Culture, Engagement & Diversity, members of the OP Staff Assembly and UCOP Human Resources will work together to review results and develop plans with the intention of focusing effort where it is most needed — in the areas with the greatest opportunity for improvement.

We’ve already begun working on some key areas for improvement; other areas need additional initiatives and actions. Here is an overview of our progress:

  • Leadership: As this is a new survey topic, this area will require development and collaboration between leadership and staff to develop an action plan that bridges the perceived gaps. Work is already underway on the development of a UCOP strategic framework, which will roll out in 2020.
  • Career Development: UCOP HR has created, and is implementing, a new five-year Learning & Development strategy in response to previous survey results and the organization’s needs. UCOP HR is excited to bring new learning opportunities to all staff and will seek and welcome feedback along the way.
  • Performance Management: An interdepartmental UCOP Performance Management Process workgroup has been hard at work this year to:
    • Make the process more useful for employees and supervisors
    • Increase focus on employee growth and development
    • Support employees and their supervisors in conversations about the employee’s work and performance

Additionally, UCOP will replace the performance management tool starting with goal-setting in summer 2020. The new system will streamline the experience and support the new process. With these improvements in process and tools, we hope to help employees further understand how performance relates to pay within our merit pool constraints.

Next Steps

  • In-person sessions to discuss the Engagement Survey Results in greater detail will be scheduled in early December. Look for details in Link.
  • EEDG and UCOP HR (both functions of UCOP Operations) will lead and coordinate centralized action-planning efforts and seek to involve as many voices throughout the process as possible. It is our expectation that each division will deeply engage in the process and share accountability for continued improvements in employee engagement.
  • Ongoing communication linking our actions to survey results will be shared through Link and other communication vehicles.
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