Pulse survey: spring's results

29 July 2021

Since August, the U of A for Tomorrow (UAT) team has sent out monthly pulse surveys to 7,000 employees across the institution to gain a sense of how the university community is feeling about both academic and administrative transformation. Every month, the survey is sent to 700 randomly-selected employees and receives an average response rate of 36.6 per cent. This survey is an opportunity to take the pulse of our community on a few key questions relating to the UAT initiative, such as: Do staff and faculty have the information they need? Do they feel that their voices are being heard? Do they understand the purpose of UAT?

Each month, we analyze the responses received and see how we are doing compared to previous months, and use your feedback to adjust our communications and change management activities.

As restructuring continues and we transition to the new operating model, it’s important that we continue to hear your feedback. Here are our findings from May and June.

May and June's results

May's results (with a 42 per cent response rate) suggest that staff's confidence in the UAT program took a dip, before recovering in June's results (with a 35 per cent response rate). In addition, staff seem to be moving through the change curve becoming more interested in the details of UAT’s progress and starting to recognize opportunities for positive changes.

Findings

Staff and faculty have responded that they broadly understand the vision of UAT and have an overall strong understanding of the reasons for transformation and the intent behind academic and administrative restructuring. However, the following few areas have seen a dip in positivity:

  • Confidence in achieving the future university vision
  • Satisfaction with U of A’s financial management
  • Feel that feedback is being heard

We hope these details can provide further clarity and rebuild confidence.

Confidence in achieving the future university vision

UAT was established to institute a future university vision that will set us up to remain relevant, responsive, and nimble. While the new university operating model is a significant shift from the current way in which we operate, it is key to achieving the university's goals. The model promotes consistency, avoids duplication, and supports a university-wide service culture.

Colleges will provide an opportunity to enhance collaboration and connection across faculties and disciplines, and the administrative model will allow for economies of scale and more-efficient work across the institution. For example, the new Staff Service Centre will function as the single entry point for all administrative requests in the future.

But please know that we are on time and on plan. For up to date information on SET timelines, please see our timeline. You can also read the president's optimism for the future concerning the government's Alberta 2030 plan.

Satisfaction with U of A’s financial management

It’s evident that the UAT initiative is working. For an overview of what we have completed in just one year, you can read our Year one UAT retrospective article. For example, we have achieved 54 per cent ($68M annually) of the savings planned by 2023, continually engaged with the university community, and launched the administrative and academic operating models that will allow staff to work more efficiently.

Watch for the transition update report coming out early September for detailed commitments for the rest of 2021.

Feel that feedback is heard

Over the past year, we have conducted hundreds of engagement workshops, stakeholder consultations, and large-forum meetings involving staff and faculty from across the university, and your feedback has helped inform and revamp changes to UAT. For example, we are updating our process redesign methodology after receiving feedback from the community. In response to faculties and units telling us that they are struggling with people moving before the work, SET is developing a surge capacity program to help fill the gaps throughout the transition process. When we heard that staff were worried about applying for jobs, HRHSE organized workshops to help staff craft their resumes and update their interview skills.

We read all of your feedback carefully and take as much as we can into consideration moving forward.

Thoughts, please!

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to complete a survey. Everyone across the university has a chance to receive a survey each month, and this feedback is invaluable and helps us point our efforts in the right direction.

The next pulse survey will be sent out on August 25. It should take 5-10 minutes to complete and is both anonymous and confidential (the responses will only be shared as aggregated data). If you receive one, please share your honest feedback—you’ll have a week to do so once the survey hits your inbox.

Get in touch with us

If you haven't received a Pulse Survey this month, the UAT team is always looking to hear your feedback and suggestions as we move forward in transitioning to the new operating model. There are many ways to share your thoughts including:

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