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Your Voice, Our Manchester – University-level results

31 Mar 2021

A message from Vice-President for Research Colette Fagan and Director of Human Resources Karen Heaton

Pulse survey results

Dear colleagues

Thank you to everyone who took part in the short online staff survey which People Insight ran on our behalf between 1-19 March 2021. We asked a range of questions about our University’s response to COVID-19 over the past 12 months and in particular your wellbeing. 

We can now share the initial University-level results with you.  We will be carrying out further analysis of the results and will publish this over the coming weeks.  The findings will be used to make decisions about best to support colleagues as we prepare to emerge from the pandemic and build for the future.

Response rate

We had a response rate of 47% across the whole University and out of 12,007 staff who were eligible to take part, 5,700 responded.  This response rate is within the usual range for pulse surveys (40-70%). With the sample size and response rate achieved we can be 95% confident that the results are reliable where the percentage point difference is at least 3%.**

Benchmarks

People Insight work with a wide range of higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK which means we are able to benchmark some of our questions against a group of 15 Russell Group (RG) universities and/or a wider group of 42 HEIs which includes the 15 RG institutions. 

Headline results of what we do well:

Support during lockdown

  • 73% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they felt supported by the University during lockdown. We outperformed the HEI benchmark group by +12% and the Russell Group (RG) benchmark by +11% on this measure.
  • 75% of respondents said their manager made an effort to keep in touch with them during lockdown.
  • 69% agreed or strongly agreed that they had the tools, resources and processes to carry out their work. On this measure we outperformed the HEI benchmark group by +12% and the RG benchmark by +11%.

Leadership

  • 72% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the University does a good job of keeping them informed about matters affecting them. We outperformed the HEI benchmark group by +12% and the RG benchmark by +10% on this measure.
  • Across the theme of leadership and the three leadership questions asked in the survey (The University does a good job of keeping me informed about matters affecting me; senior leaders manage and lead the University well; and senior leaders are open and honest in their communications with staff) we outperformed the RG benchmark by +7% and the HEI benchmark by +6%.
  • 44% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that senior leaders manage and lead the University well, 28% neither agreed nor disagreed and 28% disagreed or strongly disagreed.  We outperformed the RG benchmark by +4% on this question.
  • 52% strongly agreed or agreed that senior leaders are open and honest in their communications whilst 21% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Health and wellbeing

  • 93% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they were aware of the University’s health and wellbeing support services.
  • 75% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their manager supports their health and wellbeing. 

Working from home

  • Respondents said that the main benefits of working during lockdown were saving time on commuting (80% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement) and being able to work flexible hours (76% agreed or strongly agreed). 

Headline results of items for further consideration to inform our ways of working:

Working from home

  • Whilst 50% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more productive working from home, 23% disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement.
  • 46% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that online meetings were more efficient than meeting in-person, whilst 24% disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement.

Support and recognition

  • Whilst 52% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they felt valued and recognised for the work they were doing, 27% disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement.  As a University we were -4% below the HEI benchmark on this measure.

Leadership

  • We note that while the above results for leadership are positive overall, a sizeable minority of staff (28%) have told us there is room for improvement in how senior leaders manage, lead and communicate and we need to consider what more we can do or do differently.

Health and wellbeing

  • Only 50% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would feel confident to speak with their line manager if they were experiencing poor mental health and 28% disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement.
  • 53% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the University cared about their health and wellbeing and 20% disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement.  We underperformed against the HEI benchmark by -2% on this measure.
  • 62% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they were able to manage their current workload, however 72% of staff agreed or strongly agreed that they had put in extra time to meet the demands of their workload over the past 12 months. 

Further analysis will be carried out on the results at a University-wide and local level and this will be shared in the coming weeks.

Best wishes

Professor Colette Fagan, Vice-President for Research

Karen Heaton, Director of Human Resources

**Statistical theory which underpins survey design tells us that with a population size of 12,007 our achieved sample size (5,700) is markedly above the minimum (2,007) and allows us to be confident that the results are reliable with a 2% margin of error and at the 95 confidence level.