2015 Staff Survey Findings Summary

The 2015 Staff Survey Findings report presents the complete results of Georgia State University’s staff climate survey. The 2013 staff survey was developed in collaboration with the university’s Staff Council, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, and the Office of Institutional Research.

The results presented in the report are based on responses from 1173 university staff who completed the survey during its administration during June and July, 2015. The response rate was approximately 44%, and the instrument reliability is excellent according standard measures.

The report begins with an overview of survey development and methodology. Section one presents the respondent characteristics. The second section presents descriptive data that reveals the general response patterns associated with questions on job satisfaction, mentoring, and training or professional development opportunities. Section three addresses issues around employee retention. The fourth section explores the relationship between employee satisfaction and demographics and section five compares the 2015 and 2013 staff survey findings. Recommendations regarding the survey findings are offered at the end of the report. Comprehensive data tables can be found in the appendices.

Major Findings

  • When compared to the 2013 survey, the 2015 survey results indicated a significantly improved university staff climate in the areas of environment, job functions and performance, and communication.
  • Overall, respondents indicated a high overall satisfaction with their job environment. They believe their department/unit supports an inclusive understanding of diversity and they have developed close relationships with their colleagues. As in 2013, staff gave job function and performance items generally high scores, but the inability of departments to deal effectively with poor performance by staff remains the lowest scoring item. Staff responses show that communication with supervisors and administrators has increased since the 2013 survey.
  • While staff retention remains an important issue, slightly less than half of the respondents indicated that they had seriously considered leaving their job in the past year. Of those, almost two-thirds have looked at job openings in other areas of the university and over half have applied for jobs outside of the university. Two-fifths have had job interviews. As in the 2013 survey, lack of career advancement and adequate compensation were reasons cited for considering leaving their job. A non-supportive work environment and poor management were also noted factors. Those who have considered leaving have significantly lower mean scores on all satisfaction items compared to those who have not considered leaving. As in the 2013 survey, those staff in their current position between four and eight years continue to be the at-risk group for leaving the university.
  • A quarter of the respondents indicated that they had someone who mentors them in their professional workplace role. Staff who are mentored have significantly higher mean scores in the areas of environment, job function and performance, and communication than those who are not mentored. Also, they are less likely to have considered leaving their job than those respondents who do not have a mentor.
  • Georgia State staff are well educated with just under half having earned graduate degrees.
  • The large majority of respondents indicated that they are able to take advantage of training or professional development. As in 2013, time issues, lack of funding, and support by management remain barriers for those who are unable to take advantage of training and professional develop opportunities. There is a significant relationship between training and job satisfaction. Those who have not had training or opportunities for professional development score lower on the majority of satisfaction and subscale items.
    ills, but they do not believe as strongly that they can advance in their career.

The 2015 staff survey was a Staff Council initiative and approved by the University Administrative Council. The findings from previous surveys have provided invaluable insight into the perspectives of staff employees that have helped shaped the development of a variety of university initiatives and programs. For example, the results of the earlier 2013 staff survey helped inform the funding of a university-wide training initiative. The Staff Council and other university decision-making bodies will use the 2015 survey findings to shape many staff-focused initiatives.

As with the 2013 survey, numerous respondents indicated that they appreciated the opportunity to take the staff survey and felt that the survey played an important part in giving staff an opportunity to express their views on important  topics. The Staff Council plans to conduct the staff survey again in 2017, with adjustments to the survey content and administration to be made in relation to the consolidation effort with Georgia Perimeter College.