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University of Iowa News Release

September 14, 2006

UI Workplace Survey Shows Strong Staff, Faculty Commitment

A recent campus-wide University of Iowa survey, Working at IOWA, shows that UI staff and faculty know what is expected of them in the workplace, understand how their jobs fit into the big picture at Iowa, are focused on excellent service, have what they need to do their jobs, and are always on the lookout for more effective ways to do their jobs.

"To achieve our goal to be a top educational institution, we need engaged faculty and staff motivated to do their best and leaders creating the environment for faculty and staff to excel. Working at IOWA is an initiative that will help us move forward," says Interim President Gary Fethke.

Conducted online, the survey invited all regular faculty and staff working at least half-time at Iowa to respond to 53 statements that measured employee well-being, communication, confidence in leadership vision, cooperation/collaboration, supervisory effectiveness, engagement, flexibility, and customer focus.  Out of 14,590 faculty and staff receiving the survey, 43 per cent responded to the survey.

Laura Reed, UI director of organizational effectiveness and associate director of human resources, chaired the committee that implemented the Working At IOWA survey.

"Our committee judged that the University's strengths could be determined by those statements that elicited the largest percentage of agreement, and our areas of improvement by those statements with largest percentage of disagreement," Reed says.

The statements faculty and staff most agreed with were:

--I look for more effective ways to do my work (99%).

--I know what is expected of me in my job (95%).

--I understand how my job fits into the overall mission of the UI (94%).

--My workplace has a strong focus on providing excellent service (90%).

--I have the basic resources I need to do my job (90%).

Statements that faculty and staff most disagreed with were:

--Poor performance is managed appropriately (45%).

--I am kept informed of our workplace budget status (38%).

--Work-related conflicts are managed constructively (36%).

--Workloads are distributed fairly (34%).

--I am confident there is a clear plan to strengthen the UI (30%).

In its report, the committee made a number of recommendations to build upon the University's strengths. Among them is to recognize the University's successes and share information; to encourage all faculty and staff to upgrade their skills and learning; and to work with supervisors to provide opportunities for employees to participate as members of University-sponsored committees.

For areas of improvement, the committee recommends that more effort be made to recognize staff and faculty successes, improve communication regarding organizational priorities, and improve the skills of supervisors and leaders in conflict resolution, workload distribution and performance management. 

For more information, including the complete survey results, see: http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/working

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Charles S. Drum, 319-384-0048, mailto:charles-drum@uiowa.edu; Program: Laura Reed, 319-353-2312, laura-reed@uiowa.edu