Jan. 23, 2024

UCalgary prioritizes employee engagement focus with new survey

Faculty and staff are encouraged to share feedback, as survey results will inform action plans under Ahead of Tomorrow strategic plan
Employee engagement
UCalgary staff participate in 2023 Support Staff Learning Exchange with guests from the University of Manitoba. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Open and honest feedback from faculty and staff is an integral part of the University of Calgary's commitment to establishing clearer and simpler processes under the Ahead of Tomorrow strategic plan. To further inform action plans for the initiatives outlined in the strategic plan, an employee engagement survey is set to roll out on Jan. 30.  

This survey is the first step in a new chapter of listening, learning and creating meaningful change as we work toward the ambitious goals set out in Ahead of Tomorrow. 

Supporting the goals of the strategic plan 

Since the last engagement survey was conducted in 2017, much has changed at UCalgary, including the launch of a new strategic plan last year. The upcoming survey is a crucial component of a multi-year employee engagement focus to gather insight into current levels of employee commitment and satisfaction across various dimensions. The results of the survey will set a baseline for measurement going forward and will inform the development of both institutional and faculty/unit action plans. It will also help UCalgary continue to build engagement and retention strategies aligned with Ahead of Tomorrow. 

 "We've just launched a new strategic plan and, in order to deliver on that plan, we need a high level of commitment from our employees,” says Mike Van Hee, vice-president (services). “We want the University of Calgary to be the best place our people have ever worked, and this survey is a chance to see where we're currently at and where we can make some positive changes."  

The engaged participation of faculty and staff is vital in achieving the ambitious goals set out in the strategic plan. The survey will offer an opportunity for people who have worked at the university for at least six months to voice their honest perspectives on their roles, process improvements, professional development, teamwork, innovation, leadership, work-life balance and more.  

"Ahead of Tomorrow is very ambitious," says Van Hee. "The only way we're going to get there is with our morale and engagement firing on all cylinders. We need the best of everyone."  

The survey is particularly critical in achieving Strategy 4 of the strategic plan, which aims to make UCalgary’s processes clearer, simpler and better than any other university. The feedback from the survey will help identify which processes need attention and guide the university’s focus on professional development. 

Make your voice heard 

"Our faculty and staff are at the very heart of our institution,” says UCalgary President Ed McCauley. “Their insight is invaluable to our continuous growth and improvement. Through this survey, we hope to hear from everyone and use this feedback to make our university better than ever."  

Van Hee encourages all employees to participate in the survey: "It's an opportunity to make your voice heard. It's completely anonymous and confidential. If people choose not to participate, they would be missing an opportunity to have a voice and to have a say on some critical aspects of our organization." 

Commitment to positive change 

In partnership with third-party organization, TalentMap, the university will ensure the survey results will be entirely anonymous and confidential. The feedback from the survey will be aggregated and used to identify priority areas for improvement and inform action plans.  

UCalgary continues to uphold its commitment to being a place where people can start something meaningful —  a commitment to its faculty and staff, to its students and to the community. Aligned with this commitment, the upcoming survey is simply the first step in a multi-year listening strategy. After the survey has closed, a What We Heard report will be released and next steps will be identified. 

All faculty and staff are encouraged to take part in the survey and share valuable feedback that will support the university’s commitment to fostering a positive organizational culture. The survey opens Jan. 30 and closes Feb. 26. Learn more. 

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