Employee Engagement Survey



In her October 27, 2017 email, Dr. Bioteau announced the upcoming dissemination of a Collegewide Employee Engagement Survey. The FSCJ Employee Engagement Survey was available for completion from October 31 through November 22. Measuring employee engagement provides an opportunity to understand faculty and staff perspectives while continuing a comprehensive view towards student success.

In order to conduct the survey, the Office of Human Resources partnered with North Carolina State University’s National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE). NILIE utilizes the Personal Assessment of the College Environment (PACE) online survey tool. 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.”Following the launch of the survey on October 31, Chief Human Resource Officer, Mark Lacey, provided additional details and further encouraged participation in his email on November 17.

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 factor 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 1,320 full-time faculty and staff. (Click here for a sample of the survey invitation from NILIE.) Of those invites, 809 (61.3%) completed the survey.

The 809 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 12 questions specifically related to student success, 17 custom questions, and 2 qualitative questions. For the qualitative questions, NILIE researchers analyzed individual comments and included a 20% sampling in the report.

The survey results yielded an overall mean rating of 3.599. This is reflected in the PACE Report and captured below. This compares to other bachelor/associate degree schools’ mean of 3.670 and the NILIE Normbase of 3.724.

means climate


The data in the Personnel Classification Report below provides a breakdown of the overall mean score by employee classification and 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
climate factor means by personnel classification


When disaggregated by the custom Personnel Classification demographic category of the PACE instrument, Administrators rated the campus climate the highest with a mean score of 3.885, followed by Professional (3.712), Career (3.610), and Faculty (3.471).


overall item mean comparisons by personnel

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, 4.413.
  • The extent to which my supervisor expresses confidence in my work, 4.283.
  • The extent to which my supervisor is open to the ideas, opinions and beliefs of everyone, 4.201.
  • The extent to which student ethnic and cultural diversity are important at this institution, 4.014.
  • The extent to which there is a spirit of cooperation within my work team, 3.975.

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, 2.499.
  • The extent to which information is shared within this institution, 2.770.
  • The extent to which I am able to appropriately influence the direction of this institution, 2.812.
  • The extent to which decisions are made at the appropriate level at this institution, 2.896.
  • The extent to which a spirit of cooperation exists at this institution, 2.962.



The College has undergone significant changes to the institutional structure. The data indicates there is a climate of cohesiveness among the respective work teams; employees feel their efforts are respected and value adding. It was reported that immediate supervisors support work-life balance and models the institution’s values. The lowest rated mean scores seem to reflect the transition to a one-college culture and the restructuring that has occurred. This includes changes to the institutional structure at the division level (e.g., within academic affairs and student services areas) as well as at the department level. Beyond the immediate supervisor, the survey results indicated a need for more visible engagement and support from leadership along with communicating a clear vision for the College.

The survey provides helpful data to identify a baseline for areas of strength as well as areas where further efforts should be dedicated. It will take hard work and better communications to all employees to make sure the College continues to move forward toward our vision. Change is challenging and is an ongoing process. We need to be better, we want to be better and your continued engagement will help us in our efforts to achieve this.

Thank you to those who took the time to share your experiences through this survey. Your input will be critical in making FSCJ an even better institution for all of us.


Next Steps

1.  Share Survey Results
 OnPoint (February 12, 2018)
      •   Town Hall meetings





Tues, April 3

1:30 p.m. –2:30 p.m.

Kent Campus


Wed, April 4

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Deerwood Center


Thur, April 5

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

North Campus


Wed, April 11

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Downtown Campus


Thurs, April 12

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

South Campus


2.  Gather Additional Information on Opportunities for Improvement

      •   Town Hall meetings
      •   Micro Survey

3.  Integrate Additional Information Gathered from College Community