Skip to main content

Staff Pulse Survey

Listening to our staff through regular survey activity is an essential way to understand your experience of working at Queen's and use the feedback provided to inform decision making and shape the best possible employee experience for all. Together with our survey provider, People Insight, we ran our first Pulse Survey between Monday 18 January 2021 and Friday 5 February 2021. The survey was designed in the context of our changing working environment as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It sought to better understand how staff are feeling, how we can best support you and to inform how teaching and research is delivered. 

The survey results have been shared with the University Executive Board and also our Staff Survey Working Group and Staff Forum. All staff can now view full Institutional Staff Survey 2021 results via Queen's Online.

Given the crossover between the Pulse Survey and the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown Survey launched in September 2020 by the Queen's Gender Initiative (QGI), we have worked together to review your combined feedback and ensure that any action taken reflects the feedback provided by our staff. You can view the results from the QGI survey via their Engendering Solutions Project webpages.   

Based on the feedback provided through both surveys, we are pleased to be able to share a summary of the recommendations which are supported by the University Executive Board (UEB) and Standing Committee, and align both with ongoing work across Queen’s and Strategy 2030.

  1. Renewed commitment to the Athena SWAN core meeting hours of 10.00am to 4.00pm, where possible, for formal meetings* and committees. Refinement of the number of meetings, scheduling and duration is recommended to prevent an “always-on” culture and meeting burnout. See the new 'Preventing an Always On Culture and Meeting Burnout' Guidance'.
    *This applies to internal meetings and should not impact the scheduling of teaching or research activities.
  2. Continue to develop our wellbeing and mental health support portfolio, particularly for those juggling work with home pressures such as caring and home schooling.
  3. Provide clarity in relation to our return to campus in line with the NI Executive and PHA guidance, and reassurance of the wide range of safety measures in place. 
  4. On our return to campus, retain some of flexible and blended working practices from lockdown working. Feedback from the Surveys are informing the ongoing work of the Flexible Working Practices Working Group. This is linked to nurturing and embedding the new levels of trust that have grown during the pandemic in line with our core values, ICARE.
  5. Assess and seek to balance academic workloads. Findings from the Surveys are informing the ongoing work of the Workload Allocation Working Group.
  6. Implement measures within Academic Progression and Probation processes to mitigate the effect of lockdown on academic progression. Measures are already in place for the present year and ‘Covid-19 memory’ will continue, for further details see the People and People and Culture website. Further measures should be considered to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on research productivity for some academics.
  7. Provide more opportunities for social interaction to improve connectivity and reduce feelings of isolation for some colleagues.
  8. Alongside positive feedback on our communications e.g. the COVID19 FAQs resource, it was also highlighted where we can improve, including timing, messaging and the ways in which we communicate.

These recommendations will be developed into an Action Plan in consultation with Faculties, Schools and Directorates, and shared with you in due course.

There has been a considerable amount of action undertaken since the 2019 Staff Survey, much of which will respond to the feedback provided in the 2021 Pulse Survey. This included the introduction of new Flexible Working Guiding Principles and Workload Allocation Guidance and the development of behaviours aligned to our Core Values, ICARE. This activity has evolved in response to the pandemic and you can read about the ongoing activity Staff Survey Reporting And Action Planning.