2016 Survey Focus Areas

As we continue to build a strong foundation for our ideal workplace, there are still opportunities for growth to address. Six key areas of improvement emerged that were identified as critical to your satisfaction in work and life:

  • Awareness and consistency around supervisory feedback
  • Support for finances and debt
  • Health benefits and support for health issues
  • Consistency of policy application
  • Connection to the mission and direction of the university
  •  Recognition and promotional opportunities

 

Supervisor feedback

Intent

To provide ongoing education about sharing feedback and available tools and resources, as well as to develop guidance that can be applied broadly across all colleges and units.

Data highlights

  • 41% of employees responded that they agree or strongly agree that they can provide feedback about their supervisor's performance, up from 35% in 2011.
  • Further survey data shows that 44% of the population, given the opportunity, have either provided feedback occasionally or have not provided at all. The most common rationale of those not providing supervisor feedback are fear of retaliation, lack of anonymity, and impact on supervisor relationship.

Deliverables

  • The Leadership Skills for Success were refreshed to better align with Cornell's expectations of its leaders.
  • Implement pulse surveys throughout the year to provide multiple opportunities, outside of the employee performance dialogue process, to gather feedback from direct reports and peers to broaden anonymity.

Finances

Intent

To support employees as they navigate their financial options and demands today, and plan for the future.

Data highlights

  • 63 percent of employees responded that personal finances and/or debt cause some or a great deal of stress for them.
  • 46% of employees do not feel they are compensated fairly for the work they do.
  • Additionally, 45% of relocating staff noted challenges with housing cost and/or availability in the FY16 Acclimation Survey.

Deliverables

  • Focus on education/presentations for financial health and retirement health including 52 group presentations in 2017, with over 2,000 attendees across campus, plus additional one-on-one counseling/education sessions with staff and retirement plan vendors.
  • Created resource page Navigated Personal Finances and Debt  to provide easy access to programs and support available to Cornell employees.
  • Researched employee financial support programs offered by other employers to identify possible opportunities.
  • Next steps include reaching out to employee groups to better understand employee needs and identify possible new support options.

Health

Intent

To ensure employees have the resources to care for themselves and their families, and in turn, bring their best self to work.

Data highlights

  • 47% of employees named “Concern about own health” as a source of some or a great deal of stress in the 2016 Employee Survey, up 1.7% from 2011.
  • 32% of employees named "Care of someone who is ill, disabled, or aging" as a source of some or a great deal of stress in the 2016 Employee Survey, up 3.5% from 2011.

Deliverables

  • Overall review and re-structuring/re-design of health plan information and presentation on the Benefits website
    • Completed a redesign of Cornell/vendor health information and presentation of annual health information for both Open Enrollment and Option Transfer for 2018.
  • Completed review of health plans (and other benefit plans) in relation to usage of gender terminology and comparison of coverage and support for LGBTQIA+ faculty and staff. Findings were presented to Employee Assembly.
  • Designed and Implemented Cornell’s policy under New York Paid Family Leave Act (NYPFL)
    • Providing compensated NYPFL leave for staff who are facing:
      • The need to care for a family member with a serious health condition
      • The desire to provide bonding for a newborn or newly adopted child
    • Coordinated this leave with current Parental Leave, enhancing the benefit
    • After careful review, Cornell implemented this NYPFL at the fourth year implementation level (67% for 12 weeks of leave) paid on full salary
  • Completed negotiation and renewal of Cornell/Aetna health plans for 2018, with a focus on plan enhancement (where possible) and mitigating cost increases to both staff and Cornell.
    • Despite continued growth in medical and Rx claims, negotiated to maintain current level of plan design (no reductions) and to need to pass on only a modest increase in staff contributions
  • Have initiated the work and design of re-constituting a group of approximately 15 vendors, service providers and Cornell groups – to review Cornell and community needs relating to health.  With a proposal of starting in 2018, the group will be tasked with determining 3-5 high health needs areas per year, and focusing a concerted effort on education, prevention, treatment, and providing resources (both local and national) to assist Cornell staff and Ithaca area community with health-related issues.
  • Began design and staffing to offer a new benefits service model in 2018, including enhanced counseling on health, retirement, with additional access to resources, etc.

Policy

Intent

To educate and expose staff and supervisors to the differences between policy and programs and emphasize the responsibility of supervisors to administer policies in a fair manner.

Recommendations

  • Communicate:  “Policy Briefs”, “Did you know?...”, and policy FAQs enhancing education about policies and programs.
  • Educate: Focus content on the differences between policy and programs, the intent (or spirit) of policies, and fair administration of policies.
  • Measure: Report out on findings; focus communications and education on key issues of interest.

Data highlights

The survey results indicate roughly 20% * dissatisfaction around the fairness of policy administration:

  • 18.7% employee responders (880) believe that policies are not administered fairly within their department or unit.
    • 22% reported neutral
  • 21.8% employee responders (1018) believe that policies are not administered fairly across units.
    • 38.9% reported neutral

Moreover, roughly 25% of 1,700 respondents (1 in 4) in band F, G, H, I believe that policies are not administered fairly across units.

Team

  • Kristine Mahoney - CHE (Team Lead)
  • Dawn McWilliams - Engineering
  • Eileen Grabosky - CIS
  • Laura Johnson-Kelly -NES
  • Lauran Jacoby - DHR
  • Megan Whitman - Engineering
  • Eric Lee - CVM
  • Craig Wiggers - A&S
  • Barb Friedman - CIT
  • Marissa Consalvi – CALS

University connection

Intent

Provide staff with the information they need to connect their work to the mission, and address the challenge of multiple sources of information. Ensure employees have straightforward and timely messages that both inform and inspire. Further promote transparency to fosters trust, responsibility, and open dialogue.

Staff feel connected to the mission when:

  • Leaders share Univeristy priorites and challenges
  • Staff know where to find information
  • Supervisors explain why work done by staff matters
  • Staff contribute to achieving Univeristy goals

Recommendations

  • Communicate: Monthly Pawprint message from a senior leader conveying strategy, initiatives, challenges through the lens of staff concerns/interests; also disseminate via public forums (i.e. CUFF, EA meetings).
  • Educate: Partner with HR to include in New Hire/New supervisor trainings; increase supervisor knowledge of University direction and how to align employees roles with that direction.
  • Measure: Catalog types of messages sent out and use data collected to assess if employees are more connected to the University mission. Revise as needed.

Data highlights

Three survey questions were rated significantly lower in the 2016 survey than the 2011 survey:

  • “University leadership has a clear vision for the future of the University”
  • “I have a clear understanding of the strategic goals and objectives of Cornell as a whole”
  • “I do not hear about University plans via rumors”

In 2011, employees agreed at a rate of 40% - 51%. In 2016, their agreement fell to 31% - 41%.

Team

  • Kelley Yeomans - IPP (Team Lead)
  • Kim Kopko - CHE
  • Betsy Collins - A&S
  • Tanya Grove - DHR
  • Sara Leanne Eddleman - A&S
  • William Searle - Budget & Planning
  • Alexis Brubaker - EHS
  • Daniel Richter - Engineering
  • Hei Hei Depew - CHE
  • Scott Butler - CVM
  • Beth Lyons - CIT
  • Sarah Brylinski - IPP

Recognition

Intent

Venn Diagram of Inclusion, Recognition, and Promotion

The feeling of belonging and enjoying your work is at the nexus of inclusion, recognition, and promotion.

Recommendations

  • Communicate: Internal unit-level sharing of nominations; public celebration of awardees and staff transitions; communication of best practices and ideas for inclusion and recognition.
  • Educate: Embed new practices and cultural changes in training for all new hires, supervisors, faculty; share successes and highlight transitions to new positions.
  • Measure: Report on use of reward/innovation funds and allocations by unit; quantify clickthrough rates, amend communication as appropriate.

Data highlights

  • 36% of employees are satisfied with their opportunities for promotion. 
  • 47% of employees responded that Cornell does a good job of recognizing the contributions of staff.
  • 68% of employees feel as through they belong at Cornell.

Team

  • Susi Varvayanis - CVM (Team Lead)
  • Verne Thalheimer - SCJ COB
  • Tammy Shapiro - A&S
  • Maria Wolff - DHR
  • Kim Potter - Vet
  • Wendy Franzese  - SCL - EA
  • Ilana Dimbleby - AAD
  • Anne Sieverding - ILR
  • Erik Gray - IPP
  • Alice Cho - CIS
  • Keeley Boerman - A&S