And the survey says …

It’s that time again – employee satisfaction survey time.

The annual survey conducted by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning, which asks employees to rate their satisfaction with various university services, went out across campus this week.

“Carleton’s employees work hard on behalf of students and researchers and the community and society and we depend on one another for support,” says Ian Calvert, assistant vice-president of OIRP.

“So it’s essential we find out whether the support we provide is meeting our colleagues’ needs. The survey provides a simple, effective way to give that feedback.”

Each spring, employees are sent a survey with questions regarding up to 15 different services. Once the results are in, they are analyzed, then shared with managers who are expected to devise action plans for improvements. Satisfaction is then measured a year or two later to ensure progress is being made.

Since 2004, there has been an overall trend of improvement across the board, he says. There has been a “significant improvement” in 14 areas, including, the bookstore, parking, graphic services, payroll, building maintenance and computer networks.

OIRP conducts a wide variety of surveys, including a student version of the satisfaction survey each fall.

“Last year, we surveyed graduating undergraduates and 91 per cent of them said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their decision (to attend Carleton). So we think we’ve got a good thing going at Carleton and we’re trying to make it even better,” Calvert adds.

And there’s a direct link between employee/student satisfaction and service excellence.

“Service Excellence provides the framework which outlines the expectations for all of us to work with.  It’s a good reminder how we can provide the best possible service,” adds Calvert, referring to the campus-wide initiative launched in February.

“There are 25, 000 students at Carleton now and several thousand employees, so it’s a real challenge to serve someone in a way that makes them feel that you’re focused on their requirements and that you’re really meeting their needs.”

Despite the progress to date, there is still room for improvement and that’s why he stresses that it’s important for employees take 15 minutes and complete the satisfaction survey.

“That small amount of time could make a big difference to the people that are depending on their feedback,” he says.

Calvert admits there are services that garner regular feedback – such as study space.

“Our students tell us they need more study space and we certainly are trying to respond. We’ve worked to add tables and chairs in various locations across the campus. As we occupy the two new buildings and we create space in existing buildings, we’ll have an opportunity to go further in that direction,” he adds.

“Carleton employees really care about giving good service. That’s a strength, that’s a competitive advantage. Why would someone want to come to Carleton? Well, one reason … is that they’d know we care and we would treat them well.”

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