Spinning the staff survey

Here is something a new member wrote and said he didm’t mind if we published it.

After our head of department’s admirable efforts to get us to complete the Staff Survey, I was disappointed to say the least at Paul Stephenson’s misleading spin on the results in the Surrey Life newsletter (Summer 2014 issue).

Where there was a high positive percentage score, he quoted the percentage; where there was a low positive percentage score, he only told us about the shift in percentage from the previous year.

So, the following have been airbrushed out of the account:

4. In my team, we have the resources we need to complete our work effectively; only 49% agree; 30% disagree

10. I have an awareness of the University’s new ‘Create Wonder’ brand: 42% do not.

11. I am aware of the 5 new University values introduced in January 2014: 50% are not

12. The University does a good job of keeping me informed about matters affecting me: only 53% think so

14. There is good communication between people in different parts of the organisation: only 31% think so; 40% disagree

35. I feel I could approach a member of the Executive Board if I wanted to raise something with them: only 32% agree; 41% think not

36. I trust the University’s Executive Board to lead the organisation effectively: only 44% agree

39. If so did the changes improve working arrangements/ make no difference/ make matters worse?: only 39% think changes made things better; 40% think changes made things worse

46. I believe progression is fair at the University: only 39% agree

Given the way that the figures have been interpreted, it is perhaps no wonder that only 69% of staff engaged in the survey, and that:

53. Where I work effective action has been taken on the results of the last staff survey: only 26% agree.

I don’t suppose anything can be done about this, but I wonder what the point of a survey is unless the results are acknowledged fairly, and acted upon.