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College releases results of employee survey

More than 86 percent of respondents to an employee survey at William and Mary are proud to say they work at the College, according to the results of a report released Friday. In addition, more than 95% believe their job gives them a sense of personal satisfaction. Employees at the College feel as if their contributions are important.

The comprehensive climate survey of classified, hourly and administrative/professional faculty was conducted in July as the result of a promise by William and Mary President Gene R. Nichol to collect data to help guide the ongoing development of the University Human Resources Management System. The new HR system will be implemented in July 2008 as part of the state’s higher education restructuring initiative. Nichol announced the study last spring at a public forum with employees.

“I am heartened, but not surprised, that so many who responded to this survey indicated they are proud to work here – I understand the feeling,” Nichol said. “But these results also provide us with critical information on the current working climate at the College, especially as we look to examine what we are doing well and where we have more work to do. It is something we will be discussing a great deal in the coming year.”

In addition to the survey, Nichol said, William and Mary was moving forward with hiring a College ombudsman – a commitment the president made to employees during the public forum last semester. The College expects to have someone in that position by the end of the semester, said Nichol, adding he will also schedule another public forum for employees later this semester.

According to the survey results, 55.5 percent of eligible employees (928 out of 1671) participated in the survey, which was conducted by the Office of Human Resources. Employees at both the William and Mary’s main campus in Williamsburg and the College’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester were asked a wide-ranging series of questions regarding working at the College, as well as how they would rate the institution and their department. The survey covered such areas as compensation and benefits, training and resources, communication and management.

“The results have provided us with a great deal of valuable data on the working environment here at the College,” said Vice President for Administration Anna Martin. “Most importantly they tell us that our employees not only take great pride in their own work, but care about the overall health of the institution as well. We are indeed fortunate to have such a dedicated and skilled workforce.”

The results also indicate areas that need improvement such as communication, compensation and additional resources to meet the current workload, Martin said. The results will inform the development of the new HR system and provide perspective for senior management, she added.

“The survey is a powerful reminder of the importance of clear, strong lines of communication,” Martin said. “We want our employees to know we hear them.”

The College distributed the survey to employees through a variety of means. Employees were first sent an email invitation to complete an online survey. The College also held sessions with paper surveys for employees without access to computers. Of the 928 employees who participated, 510 were classified employees, 247 were administrative/professional faculty, and 44 were hourly. According to results, 127 respondents did not report their status.

The complete survey is available on the College’s Web site at http://www.wm.edu/hr/restructure/ and paper copies are available at the Office of Human Resources located in the Thiemes House at 303 Richmond Road in Williamsburg.