Workplace Experiences Survey FAQs: Faculty & Staff


When is the Workplace Experience Survey open?

The survey will be open over four weeks this fall, November 1-21, 2017. The survey is offered every three years, with the most recent one in 2014.

Who can take the survey?

The survey is open to people employed at UBC with faculty and staff appointments. It is not open to those employed with clinical and student appointments.

Is taking the survey mandatory?

The survey is not mandatory. However, we strongly encourage all faculty and staff to participate because the higher the response rate the more representative the survey data will be. That means that we will be better able to identify and focus on the priorities that will make the greatest difference to the faculty and staff experience at UBC.

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.

You’ll receive a tailored version of the questionnaire, depending on whether you are faculty or staff so that the questions are relevant to you and your experience, and that survey data is specific and meaningful. For example, faculty will receive 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.

Why should I take the survey?

The survey is your opportunity to share confidentially and anonymously comprehensive feedback on your experience at UBC. Your feedback is used to help inform future priorities and initiatives at UBC. It may also be used to shape plans and programs locally in your unit. Of course, the choices the university and individual units make are based on the input captured in the survey, that’s why it’s important for staff and faculty to participate.

How do I take the survey?

All faculty and staff will receive a UBC Broadcast Email on November 1st with a link to the survey. At that time, the survey link will also be posted at www.ubc.ca/wes. You are encouraged to complete the survey during work hours. The online survey takes about 15-20 minutes, either by computer or mobile device.

Paper surveys are available for those who do not use a computer at work.

How can I encourage my colleagues to participate?

It’s important to capture the experiences of all faculty and staff so that we have a representative picture from the resulting data. You can take simple actions or strike up friendly competition to challenge your colleagues to participate.

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.

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.