Workplace Experiences Survey FAQs: Faculty & Staff


When is the Workplace Experience Survey open?

The Workplace Experiences Survey was available November 1-21, 2017. Interested in sharing your feedback on other aspects of the UBC experience? Sign up for the UBC Open Minds Forum.

What is the survey about?

As UBC staff and faculty, the survey is your opportunity to share your experience of UBC as a workplace. It includes questions about academic excellence, collaboration, communications, engagement, health & wellbeing, immediate unit head/manager, inclusion & respect, innovation, job satisfaction, professional growth, student focus, UBC’s senior leadership, work environment, and work/life integration.

Faculty and staff received tailored versions of the questionnaire so that the questions are relevant to you and your experience, and that survey data is specific and meaningful. For example, faculty received questions related to tenure and promotion, and support for teaching and research.

Why does UBC conduct the Workplace Experiences Survey?

UBC is committed to conducting the Workplace Experiences Survey every three years because, in order to foster an outstanding work environment, we need to give all faculty and staff the opportunity to provide direct, confidential feedback on their workplace experience.

Your workplace experience has an impact on research, learning, the student experience, and community engagement. We’re a Top 40 research institution where open, innovate thinking is changing the world! The survey is your opportunity to share feedback on your experience being part of it.

What was the participation rate for 2017?

The participation rate in the 2017 Workplace Experiences Survey was 37%. Note that this is a preliminary figure and does not include paper surveys.

When will the campus-wide results be shared?

Survey responses are now being analyzed by TalentMap. In early February 2018, the overall survey findings will be shared at Open Sessions at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses and the overall report will be made available online. In February-March 2018, units eligible for a unit-level report (i.e. those with ten or more respondents) will receive their reports.

Is it possible to identify and link my responses back to me?

No. Responses are anonymous and confidential. While overall results will be shared in campus-wide reports, unit-level reports will be generated only if ten or more responses are received to uphold anonymity and they will be shared directly with the unit.

UBC is working with survey consultant TalentMap to administer the survey, analyze the data, and produce survey reports. The survey is accessible through an open link so your participation is not tied to you or your CWL.

What are pulse surveys?

We heard feedback from faculties and departments that three years is a considerable amount of time between surveys. Pulse surveys are shorter versions of the WES that look at one or two themes. Faculties and departments can conduct a pulse survey to gauge whether actions taken as a result of the previous survey have had a positive impact.

If my responses are anonymous, why was I asked questions about my academic rank and department?

The questions about academic rank help correctly stream respondents into broader categories, as well as to help with any UBC-wide analysis of the different experiences of faculty in different academic ranks. For example, this information could help us understand whether perceptions of the tenure process and research and teaching support are different depending on rank.

Reports generated for Faculties and departments will only indicate whether respondents are tenure-stream faculty or sessionals provided there are at least 10 respondents in each category. In other words, unit-level reports will not include any information about respondents’ academic ranks. Additionally, the overall reports produced for UBC and shared broadly with faculty and staff won’t include this information.

It’s important to identify your department in the survey to ensure that aggregated responses are streamed into the correct departments and Faculties so that we can generate reports at the Faculty and department levels. This is particularly important for smaller departments, because at least 10 responses are needed to produce a report.

How is my privacy being protected?

UBC uses a third-party survey consultant, TalentMap, to administer the survey and analyze the survey data. All individual survey feedback will be confidential and anonymous, and survey reports will only be generated if there are 10 or more respondents. The online survey will be hosted on servers in Canada and entry of data from completed paper surveys will occur in Canada. This practice complies with Canadian privacy laws.

How is this survey different from UniForum?

The purpose of the Workplace Experiences Survey is to understand both faculty and staff experiences of UBC as a workplace. For instance, the survey includes questions related to work environment, professional growth, and health & wellbeing.

In contrast, UniForum is an annual data collection process gathering information from staff, librarians, and Extended Learning program directors to better understand, at an organizational level, how we deliver which services, where those services are, and how those services are most-effectively aligned to our academic mission so that we may enhance both the outcomes of and satisfaction with our service delivery.

Do other universities conduct surveys like this with their faculty and staff?

Yes, it’s common practice.

Were the 2014 survey results shared? If so, where can I find them?

The survey results were shared at Town Halls in Vancouver and the Okanagan in late February 2015. The UBC-wide results, including a video, are available on the 2014 Workplace Experiences Survey website results page. The unit-level reports were shared with faculties, departments and units in March 2015.