Emerson faculty and staff have pride in the College and good relationships with their supervisors, according to the results of the Emerson360 Community Climate Survey, released this week.
Developed by a committee of Emerson faculty and staff with national survey provider ModernThink, and administered in November 2017, Emerson360 asked participants questions in a wide range of categories, including Job Satisfaction/Support, Senior Leadership, Collaboration, and Respect & Appreciation.
Sixty percent of faculty and staff took the survey, a high percentage of respondents in surveys of this type, according to ModernThink.
Emerson and ModernThink administered a similar community climate survey in Fall 2014. Year over year, the results in most categories were fairly similar.
“The Emerson360 Community Climate Survey provides a valuable opportunity for members of the Emerson community to provide feedback about their perceptions and experiences at the College,” Sylvia Spears, vice president of the Social Justice Center, said. “The most important aspect of conducting this survey is actually what we do in response to the information that we receive from our community.”
Top and Bottom Statements
The survey consisted of 60 statements across 15 categories, to which participants responded on a spectrum of “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.” There also were four “custom statements” tailored specifically to the Emerson community.
The statements that garnered the most positive responses were:
- Diversity and inclusion are important values to me. (96 percent)
- I have a good relationship with my supervisor/department chair (88 percent)
- I understand how my job contributes to Emerson’s mission (85 percent)
- My supervisor/department chair regularly models Emerson’s values (80 percent)
- I know what to do if I receive a report of interpersonal violence. (80 percent)
Other statements scoring well fell under the categories of job satisfaction, work/life balance, and Emerson pride.
Statements receiving the most negative responses were:
- My department has adequate faculty/staff to achieve our goals. (38 percent)
- I am paid fairly for my work. (32 percent)
- Our recognition and awards programs are meaningful to me. (32 percent)
- Faculty and staff are meaningfully involved in institutional planning. (29 percent)
- Our orientation program prepares new faculty and staff to be effective. (27 percent)
Statements regarding career advancement, teamwork, shared governance, and the review process also scored poorly.
Differences Among Job Categories
In some cases, what role an employee has at Emerson affected how they felt about their jobs and the community climate. Respondents were asked to self-identify as Faculty, Exempt Staff (salaried), Non-exempt staff (hourly), and Executive (vice presidents and deans).
All four job categories gave the Pride category high marks.
Executives rated all but two categories either “good” or “very good to excellent.” Top categories were Pride; Compensation, Benefits & Work/Life Balance; and the Emerson Custom Statements (tied at 92 percent); and Professional Development (83 percent).
(Emerson Custom Statements were: “Senior leadership values my experience and service to Emerson,” “Diversity and inclusion are important values to me,” “I know what to do if I receive a report of interpersonal violence,” and, new in 2017, “I have sufficient opportunities and support to participate in civic or community engagement.”)
Faculty gave top ratings to the Custom Statements (73 percent), followed closely by a three-way tie between Job Satisfaction/Support, Pride, and Supervisors/Department Chairs (72 percent).
Pride and Supervisors were tied for number one at 76 percent among salaried staff, followed by the Custom Statements (73 percent). Hourly staff gave their Supervisors top grades (78 percent), with Pride (73 percent), Facilities, and the Custom Statements (tied at 67 percent) close behind.
2014 to 2017
The vast majority of statements included in the survey were substantially similar or identical to the statements used in 2014. In a little over a third of statements, there was a change in positive and/or negative responses of five percentage points or more, a shift that ModernThink considers statistically significant.
Following a spate of building projects on campus, respondents reported being happier with the College’s facilities, as positive responses jumped to 55 percent from 48 percent. And 57 percent of people said they have the resources they need to do their job, versus 49 percent in 2014.
Supervisors and department chairs came out looking good in 2017, as did intradepartmental communication and collaboration; most statements in those areas received more positive responses than in 2014, or stayed the same. Communication from senior leadership, however, dipped 9 percentage points, from 54 percent positive to 45 percent.
The biggest drops year over year came in the areas of Policies, Resources & Efficiency, and Shared Governance.
Director of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Robert Amelio has been meeting with the Campus Climate Committee to go over the results of the survey in detail and discuss ways to use the results.
One option the committee is considering, Amelio said, is creating a kind of “best practices” tool by looking at departments that scored highly in a particular area and investigating what they’ve been doing to achieve that.
In the coming weeks, Amelio and members of the committee will hit the road to present vice presidents, deans, chairs, and other divisional leaders with detailed results from their division, as well as discuss the results at the next Staff Forum in March.
To view the 2017 survey results, go to: http://www.emerson.edu/social-justice-center/access-equity/emerson360-community-climate-survey.