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Curtin University
Note to staff

24 November 2014


2014 Your Voice survey results

I would like to thank staff for their participation in the 2014 Your Voice survey. It is an important source of feedback on how staff feel about working at Curtin. The response rate this year was 67% which, in light of the amount of change occurring at Curtin in August when the survey was administered, compares well with the response rate of 71% achieved in 2012.

The 2014 Your Voice survey results are now available through OASIS under the “my work” tab. I encourage you to view the whole of University results as well as the results for your portfolio or faculty and local work area.

The results are presented in terms of the percentage of staff agreeing or strongly agreeing with the respective sets of items, with a high percentage indicating a positive outcome. I was very pleased to see that overall job satisfaction (82%); extent of role clarity (83%), priority placed on safety (86%); recognition of talent (82%); and quality of teamwork (88%) remain high.

There are significant improvements (three to five per cent increases from 2012) in core areas of teaching, research and community engagement. Positive trends (increases of four to six per cent) are also evident in satisfaction with local management and progress towards addressing rewards and recognition; discrimination; safety and local management.

For the first time, we have been able to compare ourselves with a benchmark comprising the Group of Eight (GO8) universities and other Australian Technology Network (ATN) universities, as a combined group. These results show that we are well ahead in terms of recruitment and selection and staff involvement in decision-making. We also compare favourably in the areas of organisational direction, rewards and recognition, technology and safety.

While these are pleasing results, it is very clear that we need to significantly improve the staff experience in a number of core areas if we are to flourish and strengthen as an institution. Some of these are long standing issues of concern – in particular, the perceptions of the Senior Executive Team (only 44% agreeing or strongly agreeing that the senior executives provide positive role modelling; communicate effectively; and listen to staff). Other areas that need to be improved include the management of change and the capacity for innovation (32%); efficiency of processes (49%); and cross unit co-operation (35%). Of concern is the fact that staff’s perception of whether Curtin is ethical has also declined by six per cent to 66%. Workload and career opportunities also remain areas that require ongoing attention.

In addition to the survey results, we received valuable feedback from three qualitative questions with over 40% of respondents taking time to provide detailed commentary. Comments around the personal impact of recent changes (particularly Academic Reshaping and EQUIP) and the Living Our Values initiative have given us a rich source of feedback about the impact of these programs. This feedback will be reviewed to help identify opportunities for improvement.

It is pleasing that 95% of respondent sessional staff report that they like the work they do and that there has been a significant improvement in sessional staff feeling valued (up seven per cent to 62%). Career opportunities (31%) remain the most significant concern for our sessional staff.

The latest survey results will be a core focus of my attention and that of the whole Senior Executive Team (SET) in the coming months. You have my commitment that we will work to fully understand the results and we will put in place action plans at all levels to respond to the concerns raised by staff, starting with a University-wide Action Plan led by members of the SET and followed by portfolio/faculty plans and local area plans. By the end of June 2015, we should have in place a comprehensive set of priority actions to address the issues that have been highlighted in the survey.

A series of Town Hall events will take place in the coming months to share the results and plans with staff, to promote dialogue on how we should tackle some of the long standing issues, and to establish the framework for action planning, monitoring and reporting on progress. I welcome your input into these events. I am very keen to hear not only staff responses to the results, but also to hear specific suggestions as to how the findings might be addressed.

The Organisational Development Unit and Human Resource Business Consultants are available to help areas interpret their results and identify priorities, and I would urge everyone to participate in this process.


  1. Igor Bray November 26, 2014 4:46pm

    I must congratulate the Senior Executive for having the courage to go through with the Your Voice survey at this challenging time. Unfortunately, this is only the first and the easiest step in addressing our institutional problems. We need a cultural change where everyone remembers that the business of the university is teaching and research, and that all activities must be assessed against their value-add to this business. Since teaching and research are intellectual activities they cannot be micromanaged. The only way for these activities to thrive is for there to be a dialogue between the doers and the facilitators. The facilitators must begin with “How can I help?”.

    • William Ryan November 27, 2014 9:53am

      Thanks Igor for this. I know that the senior team thought long and hard about going with the survey in this time of transition for the University but they really wanted to hear how everyone was going. There is plenty to cheer about in the results, as much as plenty to address. Ian Callahan and I will be addressing the YV results broadly at the Academic Board pre-meeting on People and Culture in 402:208 tomorrow Friday Nov 28 at 9am. for anyone interested. All welcome.

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