WMU administration to launch employee engagement survey

Contact: Jeanne Baron

WMYou survey graphic.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University will launch a comprehensive survey next week that will help its senior leaders better understand employees' work experiences and measure progress on meeting WMU's employee-related strategic goals and priorities.

Called the WMYou Employee Engagement Survey, this confidential, online questionnaire is designed to gather input specifically from employees. The survey period will start Monday, March 18, and run through Friday, April 5.

"Western Michigan University has a distinguished record of providing students with the knowledge, skill and experience that enable them to achieve success. So, thank you for your commitment to our students and our University," President Edward Montgomery told employees in a March 11 email message announcing the survey project.

"We aspire to be a university of choice. We need to learn more about your experience with the choice you made to work here. Our last comprehensive engagement survey was in 2012, and the time is right for us to conduct another survey of our employees."

WMYou Survey

Staffer Cris Obreiter hands out juice at an ROTC blood Drive.

Whether working blood drives or numerous other events, faculty and staff continually build WMU's dynamic campus community.

The survey will take about 20 minutes to complete and is open to all WMU full- and part-time benefits-eligible faculty and staff, and members of the Professional Instructors Organization and Teaching Assistants Union.

About 3,800 people in those groups will receive an email invitation March 18 from ModernThink to take the survey. ModernThink is the external firm WMU is partnering with to administer the questionnaire.

The firm will provide unique password information allowing eligible participants to log into the survey at any time 24 hours a day, seven days a week—from work or home using an internet-capable computer, tablet or phone.

This year's employee survey will serve as a baseline for collecting engagement and satisfaction data. A survey website has been set up to explain the project and share information about findings as well as about WMU's action plans for responding to employee concerns, monitoring progress on addressing concerns, and resurveying employees in two or three years.

"The senior leadership team joins me in our commitment to transparency. We will share the survey results and openly respond to its findings," Montgomery said in his email message to employees.

"Thank you for your investment in advancing Western Michigan University. Your voice matters. Join me in taking the survey—we look forward to your feedback."

Confidential and anonymous

To ensure employees provide candid feedback, participation in the survey is confidential and responses will be reported anonymously. Participants will complete the survey on ModernThink's private server. WMU has no access to the server or the raw data the company will collect, and no one at the University will know if or how any employee personally responded.

In addition, individual email addresses are only being used to notify employees how to access the survey, send reminders about completing the survey and confirm that only one survey is completed per employee. Addresses will be purged from ModernThink's system once the survey project is finished.

Valley Dining Hall worker sets up food service station.

It takes thousands of dedicated and engaged employees to keep the University running smoothly.

Montgomery asks that supervisory personnel at all levels allow their employees to take the survey during work time and, if necessary, provide them with access to an internet-capable computer or mobile device. For convenience, the survey also can be completed in any campus computer lab that is open to employees. One of these labs, the Bernhard Computing Center, is open 24 hours this semester from Sunday through Thursday.

Montgomery says he hopes employees will make the survey a priority and that there will be 100 percent participation in this important feedback opportunity.

More information and a video message from Montgomery are available on the WMYou Employee Engagement Survey website. Details about campus computer labs, including hours and availability to employees, can be found online.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.