Employee Engagement Survey



In his October 26, 2018 email, Interim President Kevin Hyde announced the upcoming dissemination of a Collegewide Employee Engagement Survey. For the second year in a row, 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 30 through November 21. Following the launch of the survey on October 30, Chief Human Resource Officer, Mark Lacey, provided additional details and further encouraged participation in his email on November 16.

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 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 1,300 full-time faculty and staff. (Click here for a sample of the survey invitation from NILIE.) Of those invites, 722 (56%) completed the survey.

The 722 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. New for 2018, the survey included 13 change readiness questions. For the qualitative questions, NILIE researchers analyzed individual comments and included a 40% sampling in the report.

The 2018 survey results yielded an overall mean rating of 3.709, which was an improvement over the previous year of 3.599. This is reflected in the PACE Report and captured below. Also, our overall score slightly exceeded the mean of 3.684 in comparison to other bachelor/associate degree schools and was slightly below the and the NILIE Normbase of 3.774.

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 and account to view results based on FSCJ's employee group classifications. Career rated the campus climate the highest with a mean score of 3.834, followed by Administrator (3.795), Professional (3.766), and Faculty (3.528). Table 8 below depicts these results along with a comparison to 2017.


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, 4.470.
  • The extent to which my supervisor expresses confidence in my work, 4.320.
  • The extent to which my supervisor is open to the ideas, opinions and beliefs of everyone, 4.214.
  • The extent to which my supervisor seriously considers my ideas, 4.055.
  • The extent to which student ethnic and cultural diversity are important at this institution, 4.014.

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, 2.667.
  • The extent to which information is shared within this institution, 3.004.
  • The extent to which I am able to appropriately influence the direction of this institution, 3.017.
  • The extent to which decisions are made at the appropriate level at this institution, 3.038.
  • The extent to which open and ethical communication is practiced at this institution, 3.087.



With our baseline established in 2017, we saw improvement across the board in the 2018 results. Our overall mean score improved and is now above the average for the bachelor/associate's comparison group. The results show strengths in the areas of supervisory relationships and teamwork. While there are many positives, there is still work to be done. Areas of focus continue to be the climate factors of institutional structure and student focus. 

The College has continued to undergo changes in the institutional structure under new leadership and through reorganizations. There was significant feedback regarding the positive changes under the leadership of Interim President and that the College is headed in the right direction. Improvements were also noted in relation to the ERP and our students experience. Other strengths were the ability for employees to balance their personal lives along with the relationship with their immediate supervisor. Communication at the College has improved but still has room to grow. This also includes dedicating focus on change management. The survey also pointed out the desire for further inclusion and collaboration in decision making.

Now that we have two years of survey results, we can focus on how we compare to other institutions along with further evaluating how FSCJ changed from 2017 to 2018. As we have said before, it will continue to take dedicated effort and open communication from all of us to increase the success of our students. Change is constant and 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.


Next Steps

1.  Share Survey Results

  • OnPoint Webex (February 25, 2019)
  • Presentation Slide
  • Via email communication to all employees
  • Workshops

2.  Gather Additional Input and Feedback     

3.  Integrate Survey Results

4.  Conduct Survey in Fall 2020


 National Initiative for Leadership & Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE). (2019). Florida State College at Jacksonville: Personal Assessment of the College Environment. NC State University: College of Education.

 NILIE. (2019).  PACE Survey. Retrieved on February 25, 2019 from https://nilie.ncsu.edu/nilie/pace-survey/