Most Yale employees like their jobs, but many are feeling less committed to the University than in the recent past, according to the results of the 2010 workplace survey released Monday.
The bi-annual survey went out to non-faculty University staff last November. Eighty percent of staff completed the survey — the highest rate since the first survey in 2005 — and their answers indicated an overall improvement in morale throughout the University. But while two-thirds of employees feel positively about their jobs, overall commitment to careers at Yale has fallen slightly, and those polled said they have lost some faith in the decisions of senior administrators and the direction the University is taking.
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University administrators said, given the many cuts they have had to make since the 2008 survey, they expected satisfaction to dip.
“At one level, it’s not surprising. We’ve been through very difficult times economically and had to make very difficult reductions in staffing,” University President Richard Levin said. “Many people have had to experience a difficult work environment [as a result].”
The results of the survey will be used to shape the University’s human resources policies going forward; conversations about the survey results will continue in the departments in the coming weeks, Levin said. The 2008 survey led to a number of concrete changes, including the addition of a short-term disability package for employees.
Deborah Stanley-McAulay, the University’s diversity officer and the director of the survey, and Michael Peel, the director of human resources and sponsor of the survey, did not respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.
In the 2008 survey, 86 percent of respondents said they felt confident that the University had a clear long-term plan; last year, that number dropped to 76 percent. Similarly, 59 percent of respondents expressed confidence in the decisions of senior administrators in 2008, but only 50 percent said the same in the 2010 survey. Overall, though, responses were positive — for the average question, 62 percent of responses were positive, compared with 20 percent neutral and 18 percent negative responses. And a number of areas saw gains in worker satisfaction since 2008, including diversity, productivity and teamwork.
In an interview with the Yale Daily Bulletin published Monday, Peel said he hopes to create more individual development plans for staff that allow for additional feedback from managers.
“Yale also lacks clear career paths in many parts of our organization,” Peel told the Bulletin. “As a result, too many staff members have to take full responsibility for their own development, often with little help from their manager. We clearly need to strengthen our staff development processes, and that will be a key goal for the coming year.”
The next workplace survey will be issued in 2012.
Drew Henderson contributed reporting.