Planned improvement measures after satisfaction survey

19 June 2018

An initial overall analysis of the, in general, positive results from this year's employee satisfaction survey has been completed. The University Management has now picked out certain prioritised areas for a more in-depth analysis and the measures intended to improve factors in need of revision. These factors are, for instance, workload and recovery, internal information, bullying and harassment.


Photo: Malin Grönborg

The outcome of the 2018 employee satisfaction survey is generally positive. For instance, Umeå University has increased its employee experience index from 66 (in 2014) to 69 (in 2018), and hence takes a top position among the higher education institutions that also undertook the survey.

Areas and questions that have developed positively compared to previous surveys are leadership, performance reviews, workplace climate, the sense of pride of representing Umeå University, vision and objectives, and topics of equal treatment.

Lars Nordlander, head of human resources at Umeå University.

Photo: Ulrika Bergfors

"To maintain this trend, and to continuously improve the results also in the future, it is important to continue to develop also in those areas that we are successful in," says Lars Nordlander, head of human resources.

The analysis also shows further areas that we have a reason to pay attention to, a few of which are workload, internal information and communications, work environment for lecturers, work environment efforts, discrimination and harassment, knowledge of the University's vision and objectives and common values, also feedback to and from managers.

The areas that the University Management deem necessary to prioritise and continue to develop through further analyses are workload/recovery, internal information and discrimination and harassment. This efforts will also take into account other sources of data, such as absence record, for instance the high level of sick leaves exceeding 28 days among women.

"On the basis of this in-depth work environment analysis, we will focus this autumn on formulating concretised measures and activities into an action plan. The plan will undergo internal approval by the trade unions and be a part of the strategic work environment plan at Umeå University," says Lars Nordlander.

Areas that need particular attention:

  • Workload, work-life balance and recovery: Several answers to questions within this area signify a heavy workload for some employees. Simultaneously, many people also deem their workload as manageable.
  • Internal information and communications: This is an area that is generally low, and that has followed an evidently negative trend in comparison to the 2014 survey. First and foremost, this concerns how employees are unaware of where to turn for more information (or unable to find information on the intranet).
  • Lecturers have the lowest employee experience index: The employee group with the lowest results in several areas (primarily workload, working conditions, recovery, and work-life balance). Relatively many long-term sick leaves occur among our lecturers.
  • Work environment: The results are showing low participation in the efforts of improving the work environment and a lack in knowledge of how to act in the case of an emergency, the latter is an area that the University had already noted as an area with room for improvement.
  • Discrimination / harassment / psychological harassment: Even if improvements that have been carried out are noticeable within this area, the fact still remains that members of staff report having been subjected to harassment at their workplace.
  • Objectives / interim objectives / vision and common values: This is an area that generally speaking shows poor results. Work has been commenced to concretise the University common values, something which will hopefully clarify and improve some of these issues.
  • Leadership: The results are showing that managers can be better at providing feedback, but also the reverse. Many employees could be better at providing feedback to their nearest manager.

For more information, please contact:

Lars Mähler
Development consultant at the Office for Human Resources

Lars Nordlander
Head of the Office for Human Resources

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