Employee Engagement Survey

Background

NILIE_logo-B-300x196


In his October 23, 2020 email, Dr. Avendano announced the upcoming dissemination of a Collegewide Employee Engagement Survey. Once again, the Office of Human Resources partnered with North Carolina State University’s National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE). Measuring employee engagement provides an opportunity to understand faculty and staff perspectives while continuing a comprehensive view towards student success. The FSCJ Employee Engagement Survey was available for completion from October 27 through November 20. Following the launch of the survey on October 27, Chief Human Resource Officer, Mark Lacey, provided additional details and further encouraged participation in his email on November 18.

In addition, HR also developed a 20-question survey for adjunct faculty and part-time staff to measure employee engagment. Both surveys provided an opportunity to understand faculty and staff perspectives while continuing a comprehensive view towards student success. 

NILIE utilizes the Personal Assessment of the College Environment (PACE) online survey tool.  In order to conduct the survey,  NILIE states that PACE is “…an innovative online survey instrument that allows institutions to easily assess their progress and highlight areas for growth, define areas needing change or improvement, and set the stage for more in-depth strategic planning.”

The PACE survey is designed to promote open and constructive communication. The survey helps establish priorities for organizational change by obtaining the satisfaction estimate of employees concerning the College climate. For this survey, “climate” refers to the prevailing condition that affects satisfaction (e.g., morale and feelings) and productivity (e.g., task completion or goal attainment) at a particular point in time.

Using a five-point scale, the PACE survey asks respondents to evaluate the College on four climate factors: institutional structure, supervisory relationships, teamwork and student focus.

  • The Institutional Structure climate factor focuses on the mission, leadership, spirit of cooperation, structural organization, decision-making and communication within the institution.  
  • Supervisory Relationships provides insight into the relationship between an employee and a supervisor and an employee’s ability to be creative and express ideas related to the employee’s work.  
  • Teamwork explores the spirit of cooperation within work teams and effective coordination within teams.
  • The Student Focus climate factor considers the centrality of students to the actions of the institution as well as the extent to which students are prepared for post-institution endeavors.
     

Together, the unique focus of each actor provides a comprehensive picture of the climate at an institution.

The results from the PACE survey are useful in many ways, including:

  • As a guide to institutional climate before, during or after a structural change in institutional organization or leadership.
  • As a means to better understand issues.
  • To develop a strategic plan or evaluate the effectiveness of strategic plan implementation.
  • To assess the effectiveness of a new institutional initiative, project or practice.
  • To measure growth or change in institutional climate and effectiveness over a multi-year period.

 


Survey Results

As detailed in the Executive Summary, the PACE survey was administered to 1,329 full-time faculty and staff. (Click here for a sample of the survey invitation from NILIE.) Of those invites, 703 (53%) completed the survey.

The 703 employees completed 46 standard PACE questions organized into the four climate factors referenced above. Respondents rated the four factors on a five-point scale ranging from a low of “1” to a high of “5.” Additionally, respondents were asked 2 qualitative questions. New for 2020, the survey included 19 racial diversity questions. For the qualitative questions, NILIE researchers analyzed individual comments and included all samplings in the report.

The 2020 survey results yielded an overall mean rating of 4.078, which was an improvement over the previous year of 3.709. This is reflected in the PACE Report and captured below. Also, our overall score slightly exceeded the mean of 3.710 in comparison to other bachelor/associate degree schools and was slightly below the NILIE normbase of 3.800.

means climate

Table 5. Climate Factor Mean Comparisons

FSCJ compared with:


FSCJ 2018 Bacc./Assoc. NILIE Normbase
Climate Factor N Mean Mean Sig. Effect Size Mean Sig. Effect Size Mean Sig. Effect Size
Overall 701 4.078 3.709 *** .535 3.710
***
.493 3.800 ***
.368
Institutional Structure
701 3.802
3.265 *** .635 3.368
***
.486 3.502
***
.330
Student Focus
701 4.187 3.853 *** .519 3.955
*** .346 4.060
***
.193
Supervisory Relationship
701 4.239 3.972 *** .333 3.818
*** .470 3.867
***
.416
Teamwork
701 4.236 3.988 *** .280 3.866
***
.379 3.907
***
.342

 

The data in the Personnel Classification Report below provides a breakdown of the overall mean score by employee classification and is segmented into the four climate factors. Please note that “Staff” in this analysis includes professional and career employees as defined by FSCJ.

 

means by personnel classification and climate factor

Table 5. Climate Factor Means by Personnel Classification


Overall Faculty
Administrator
Staff
Climate Factor Mean
N
Mean
N
Mean
N
Mean
Overall 4.708
177
4.015
71
4.265
418
4.092
Institutional Structure
3.802
177
3.730
71
4.016
418
3.813
Student Focus
4.187
177 4.143
71
4.276
417
4.197
Supervisory Relationship
4.239
177
4.187
71
4.435
418
4.252
Teamwork
4.236
177
4.101
71
4.514
418
4.274

 

When disaggregated by the custom Personnel Classification demographic category of the PACE instrument, Administrator rated the campus climate the highest with a mean score of 4.265, followed by Professional (4.128), Career (4.076), and Faculty (4.015). Table 6 below depicts these results along with a comparison to 2018.

 

Table 6. Overall Item Mean Comparisons by Personnel Classification

FSCJ compared with:


2020 2018
What is you personnel classification?
N
Mean
Mean
Sig.
Effect Size
Overall 701
4.078
3.709
***
.536
Faculty
177
4.015
3.528
***
.672
Career
288
4.076
3.834
***
.360
Professional
130
4.128
3.766
***
.532
Administrator
71
4.265
3.795
***
.790

Highest Rated Mean Scores
Using the 46-item PACE instrument, the five questions with the highest rated mean score on the five-point rating scale are: 

  • The extent to which I feel my job is relevant to this institution’s mission, 4.633.
  • The extent to which my supervisor expresses confidence in my work, 4.494.
  • The extent to which professional development and training opportunities are available, 4.397.
  • The extent to which my supervisor is open to the ideas, opinions and beliefs of everyone, 4.391.
  • The extent to which student diverstiy is important at this institution, 4.348.

Lowest Rated Mean Scores
Using the 46-item PACE instrument, the five questions with the lowest rated mean score on the five-point rating scale are: 

  • The extent to which this institution is appropriately organized, 3.392.
  • The extent to which I am able to appropriately influence the direction of this institution, 3.490.
  • The extent to which I have the opportunity for advancement within this institution, 3.498.
  • The extent to which decisions are made at the appropriate level at this institution, 3.620.
  • The extent to which administrative processes are clearly defined, 3.638.

Part-time/
Adjunct Survey Results

With the introduction of this 20-question survey, 273 responses were received with an overall mean rating of 4.453.

Highest Rated Mean Scores
Using the 20-question survey, the three questions with the highest rated mean score are: 

  • I feel my job is relevant to this institution's mission, 4.685.
  • My supervisor maintains an environment that is supportive of people from different races/ethnicities, 4.618.
  • My supervisor treats all employees equally based on racial/ethnic background, 4.612.

Lowest Rated Mean Scores
Using the 20-question survey, the three questions with the lowest rated mean score are: 

  • I have the opportunity for advancement within this institution, 3.461.
  • People of different racial/ethnic backgrounds are well-represented among senior administrators (e.g. President, VP, Deans), 4.16.
  • My work is guided by clearly defined administrative processes, 4.283.

 


Racial Diversity Survey Results

Part of this year’s survey included 19 questions addressing the racial climate at the College. With 685 responses, the overall mean rating is 4.198 which is higher than the average for the bachelor/associate's and NILIE normbase comparison groups.

Table 5. Climate Factor Mean Comparisons

FSCJ compared with:


FSCJ 2018 Bacc./Assoc. NILIE Normbase
Climate Factor N Mean Mean Sig. Effect Size Mean Sig. Effect Size Mean Sig. Effect Size
Overall 701 4.078 3.709 *** .535 3.710
***
.493 3.800 ***
.368
Institutional Structure
701 3.802
3.265 *** .635 3.368
***
.486 3.502
***
.330
Student Focus
701 4.187 3.853 *** .519 3.955
*** .346 4.060
***
.193
Supervisory Relationship
701 4.239 3.972 *** .333 3.818
*** .470 3.867
***
.416
Teamwork
701 4.236 3.988 *** .280 3.866
***
.379 3.907
***
.342

Summary

For the third time we participated in the survey and each year have seen improvement. In 2020 our overall mean score improved once again and is now above not only the average for the bachelor/associate's comparison group, but also the NILIE normbase which includes all institutions participating in the survey. Each employee group's (faculty, career, professional, and administrative) overall mean score also increased.

For this iteration of this survey, the College had been under the leadership of Dr. Avendano for approximately 15 months. Additionally, we were seven months into dealing with the pandemic. Of significant note is the amount of positive feedback of the new leadership.

With three years of survey results, we continue to build on our knowledge about the climate of FSCJ. This in turn helps to focus on areas of strength and areas for improvement.

As we know, it takes dedicated effort and open communication from all of us to positively impact the success of our students. As we have seen, especially with this past year, there is always change which in turn presents opportunities.

We sincerely appreciate those who took the time to share your experiences through this survey. Your input and continued engagement is critical in making FSCJ an even better institution for all of us and most importantly for the students and community we serve. Thank you.

 


Additional Resources


 

Part-time/
Adjunct Survey Reports


 


National Initiative for Leadership & Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE). (2021). Florida State College at Jacksonville: Personal Assessment of the College Environment. NC State University: College of Education.

NILIE. (2021).  PACE Survey. Retrieved on February 26, 2021 from https://nilie.ncsu.edu/pace-climate-survey/