ORC International statistics has shown University of Sussex staff satisfaction to be below the “norms of the Universities (UK) benchmark” in over half of the issues surveyed, The Badger has discovered.
The report compares Sussex staff satisfaction, measured in a 2014 staff survey, to other Universities in the UK.
This report comes after a Sussex University staff survey, which was organised by the University itself, asked its employees whether or not, among other issues, they believe that their senior management “provide effective leadership”, to which only 22 percent of respondents gave a positive response, 15 percentage points below the Universities UK benchmark.
Additional questions that received low scores in the University’s staff survey asked whether or not the University “manages change effectively”, to which 13 percent of respondents gave a positive opinion. It asked if “when changes are made they are usually for the better”, to which 14 percent of responses were positive.
Additionally, it asked whether or not the respondents “believe that action will be taken in the University in response to the results of this survey”, to which 20 percent of those surveyed said yes. At 20 percent, The University scored 22 points below the benchmark for this question, their worst result in the report.
The University of Sussex did not rank above the benchmark in any of the 36 questions asked to its employees.
Out of a total of the 3,107 staff that were invited to participate in the survey, 1,537 staff members decided to respond. This represents a response rate of just over 49 percent.
The questions in the survey that received more positive answers were those that asked whether or not staff “have good relationships with my colleagues”, to which 91 percent responded positively. When asked to respond to the statement, “It is clear to me who my line manager is”, 87 percent of the responses were positive; and 86 percent of participants responded positively to the phrase “my work is interesting to me”.
However, despite these more positive results, the ORC International report showed that out of all of the 36 questions extended to staff members in the survey, 18 results were within 5 percentage points either side of the benchmark and 18 were 5 percentage points or more below the benchmark.
Commenting on the survey results, Professor Luke Martell, an academic in the University’s Sociology department, said: “the survey shows staff have positive experiences working with colleagues in schools and units but significant disquiet about management. This reflects feelings about the outsourcing, handling of student protest and expansion”.
He added: “Many hope the survey results will lead to more consensual and inclusive management, rather than a top-down business-style approach”.
In response to these results the University has said that an institutional plan will be developed in order to focus on the key issues coming out of the survey.
A University spokesperson said:”The views of our staff are extremely important to us and since we received the results of the survey at the end of last year, we have been discussing these across all the schools and professional services divisions. We have also shared the results with the recognised trade unions. Over the coming weeks, we will developing an institutional action plan which will focus on the key issues raised in the survey. We’ve also asked our staff to let us know about specific ideas they may have and will be feeding this into the action plan. Our expectation is that we will now conduct a regular annual survey to get the views of staff and to address any issues raised.”