UNE employees encouraged to use their Voice

Published 26 May 2010

voice_surveyThe “Voice” Staff Satisfaction Survey is being held again at UNE from May 17 to May 28, 2010, providing an opportunity for all staff members to voice their opinions on the UNE workplace.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Jim Barber has welcomed the Voice survey as an opportunity to understand the views of UNE employees on their workplace, as well as to measure the progress UNE has made since the first iteration of the Voice Survey at UNE in 2007.

“It is apparent that progress has been made at UNE since the 2007 Voice survey, which is very encouraging. The results we received in 2007 left us with some ground to make up. I believe that UNE has made significant effort to do this, and while there is still further improvement required, the 2010 data will provide a measure of our progress to date and assist to inform our future actions,” he continued.

Professor Barber emphasised how important it was that all staff participate in the Voice Survey. “To date, 27 per cent of all UNE employees have responded to the survey. Obviously the more employees that respond, the more meaningful the data will be. We are aiming for a similar response rate to 2007, which was 63 per cent.”

Developed by a team of researchers and consultants in the Voice Project at Macquarie University, the Voice Survey anonymously measures staff opinion of 31 work practices and outcomes including leadership, cooperation, safety, professional development and teamwork.

The survey assists organisations to understand the health of the organisation from the prospective of all employees. It provides a channel for “bottom-up” communication for employees, and helps management teams diagnose strengths, weaknesses and risk in the organisation as well as individual work areas.

This survey has been conducted within a wide array of organisations over the past seven years. To date, 29 Australian universities have participated in the Voice Project as well as a range of public and private sector organisations including Blackmores, Panasonic, Roche and Wesfarmers.  The collection of data from more than 1900 organisations  and thousands of employees across multiple business sectors and industries and thousands of employees allow allows participating organisations to effectively benchmark their survey results.

When it was conducted in November 2007, 63 per cent of all UNE staff members responded.

“The 2007 participation rate was an excellent response to the introduction of the Voice Staff Satisfaction at UNE, and ideally we would like to achieve a similar response rate this time around,” said the Acting Manager of UNE Organisational Development Unit and Voice Survey Project Manager, Bronwyn Kirk. From early 2008, significant effort was made by the VC Unit and ODU to communicate the results of the Voice survey to all staff and individual work areas. The outcomes of the survey recommended priority action in the areas of cross-unit cooperation, leadership and recruitment and selection, processes and services and involvement of staff in organisational development.

Much work has been done across the university to improve in these areas, and in order to continue this work, all staff are strongly encouraged to identify areas of UNE still requiring attention and resources.

Responses to the survey are anonymous, and the results will be reported back to UNE from Macquarie University in a way that will prevent any individual person’s responses from being identified. The survey takes about 20-30 minutes to complete, and is available online. It needs to be completed by Friday 28 May.

For more information on completing the survey, contact Bronwyn Kirk on extension 5018 (e-mail: bronwyn.kirk@une.edu.au).