May 23, 2008

Lincoln acts to lift morale of discontented staff

The University of Lincoln is implementing an action plan to improve staff morale after an internal survey revealed that only 49 per cent of respondents felt "valued" by the university.

The survey, which polled more than 800 employees, 64 per cent of staff, was undertaken at the end of last year. The results were published in the current issue of the University of Lincoln magazine Contact. The poll suggests that staff believe the university falls short on managing change, communication, reducing bureaucracy and offering career progression.

Of those surveyed, 86 per cent said they felt more could be done to help them "prepare for and cope with change" and 57 per cent felt they were "required to do unimportant tasks which prevent them from completing more important ones". On the subject of career advancement, 59 per cent said that there were not enough opportunities for progression in the university.

The action plan, drawn up in response to the results, includes developing a communications plan for major changes, a framework for staff development and promotion and "less use of paper/memos and more face-to-face and telephone contact".

"When the staff survey was conducted, we were halfway through the appraisal year and only 57 per cent of staff surveyed had had their appraisal," said Jayne Billam, the university's director of human resources. "This can lead to staff not feeling valued."

"Now up to 90 per cent of people have been appraised. We had the highest level of staff engagement for our staff survey ... (and) the largest response in the sector compared to the other 32 HEIs surveyed by the independent survey specialist Capita," Ms Billam said. "The survey also showed positive results, with 83 per cent (of respondents) saying that the university was a good place to work."


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