Case Study

Commitment to regular employee listening

University College of Estate Management

University College of Estate Management (UCEM) senior leadership are highly committed to listening to employees and taking action and have developed a six-monthly survey rhythm to achieve this.

A survey overhaul to gather better feedback

University College of Estate Management (UCEM) began surveying their employees in 2013. Initially, the organisation used the Gallup Q12 format and conducted their surveys in-house. UCEM found that this approach was very demanding work wise for their team and decided to outsource the survey process.

Working with Agenda Consulting as their survey partner enables UCEM to:

  • Relieve workload
  • Use more robust analysis
  • Gather better insights
  • Have the support of years of expertise
  • Have the flexibility to take the best approach

Securing commitment from senior leadership

UCEM’s survey approach is driven by their senior leaders’ commitment to gathering feedback and acting on it, wherever possible.

Employee engagement is a key metric on UCEM’s organisational performance dashboard. This helps to keep employee engagement high profile and means that progress and plans are regularly discussed at a senior level.

On top of their survey programme, UCEM uses further initiatives to capture employee voice and ensure that employees are consulted as part of decision making.

Finding the best survey rhythm

UCEM runs their pulse surveys in June and November each year. This fits well with the rhythms of the academic year, catching staff at a time when they are in-between academic and other activities.

Running two pulse surveys per year allows UCEM to:

  • see how views change over time
  • see the impact of actions taken from previous surveys
  • identify when issues are persisting
  • drill-down into areas that need improvement

This survey rhythm means that UCEM’s results aren’t a one-off, but instead, patterns can be identified.

To have an engaged workforce means to have a happy, healthy environment where people enjoy coming to work. If our employees are happy and doing a great job, then our students will have the best experience that they can studying with UCEM. That’s what it’s all about.

Driving meaningful change

For UCEM, it is vital that they show their employees that they are listening by linking their employee survey results with organisational plans.

When the survey results are reported, UCEM:

  • pull out the key themes including a particular focus on the open comments
  • discuss the results at a senior level, including an honest, constructive discussion on the feedback gathered and actions proposed
  • openly sharing all of the above with staff, via All Staff meetings

Actions taken are clearly communicated in a “you said, we did” structure, so as to be as transparent as possible for employees.

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