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Health Center seeks faculty, staff feedback

by Kristina Goodnough - October 27, 2008

Through Nov. 12, faculty and staff at the Health Center are asked to share their perceptions and opinions about the Health Center through a confidential survey.

“The survey has several goals,” says Cindy Couture of Know Better Place, the workplace culture change initiative that is sponsoring the survey together with the Health Center’s human resources department.

“We want to evaluate how connected the staff and faculty feel to the Health Center; assess how well the mission, vision, and strategies are communicated; identify areas of strength as well as opportunities for improvement; and continue to improve our standing as an employer.”

A summary of the results will be presented to the Health Center community within 90 days of the survey closing date.

The survey takes only minutes to complete, according to Couture. Employees can access it through a link in the daily broadcast messages, through the Know Better Place web site (employees.uchc.edu), and at kiosks located in the lobbies of the Food Court, the Munson Road, Dowling South, and Medical Arts and Research buildings, the Human Resources reception area in the Administrative Services Building, and at clinical offices in East and West Hartford.

Individuals who don’t have access to a workstation computer or kiosk can obtain paper copies of the survey at the volunteer desk in the hospital lobby and at the Human Resources reception desk.

“We’re trying to make sure it’s easy and convenient to take the survey,” says Couture.

Know Better Place and Human Resources have partnered with the Connecticut Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to conduct the survey.

“AHEC will receive the surveys, handle the data, and maintain the confidentiality of respondents,” Couture says. “Aggregate results will be reported without any personal identifying information.”

The survey is scheduled to be a biennial event, says Alexis Crean, human resources education and staff development specialist for the human resources department.

Ken Lowell, information systems administrator, fills out the Health Center survey in the reception area of the Human Resources Department.
Ken Lowell, information systems administrator, fills out the Health Center survey in the reception area of the Human Resources Department. Photo by Chris DeFrancesco

“Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual process, and we want to make sure the voices of our faculty and staff are well represented in any changes we make.”

The survey follows the culture and diversity survey conducted in 2005 by the Collaborative Center for Clinical Care Improvement (C4I) and the Office of Diversity and Equity, which provided baseline data about the Health Center’s workplace culture.

The Know Better Place culture change initiative was established in 2007 in response to feedback from that survey.

Three questions in the 2005 survey relating to engagement are included in the current survey, to provide a measure of whether change has taken place since then.

Based on the feedback provided in the new survey, it will be possible to evaluate employee perceptions, identify best practices, and plan improvements, says Crean.

Couture says engagement represents a higher degree of commitment to the workplace than satisfaction. According to industry experts, engaged employees feel a sense of connection to their workplace; they believe in what they do and feel valued for doing it.

Their commitment to stay with the organization improves and, as a result, they and the organization are more productive.

“The Health Center wants to be an employer of ‘first choice’ in the region, with the ability to attract and retain a diverse, high quality staff,” says Couture. “The survey can help us continue moving towards that goal.”

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