Vital Voices create Vital Actions: Faculty and staff engagement survey launching soon 

February 27, 2023  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees, ,

Approximately a 3-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • Two weeks from today will be the launch of the Vital Voices faculty and staff engagement survey.
  • The survey will be “an opportunity to provide continuous feedback on the organization’s ongoing improvement efforts.”
  • Executive rounding, increased breakroom space and improved retention efforts are just three of the actions taken as the result of last year’s survey.

The annual Vital Voices faculty and staff engagement survey is launching soon, and Michigan Medicine wants your feedback. This year’s survey will open March 13 and run through March 24.

“The Vital Voices survey is an important opportunity for faculty and staff to share feedback with the organization about what is working well and where we can make improvements,” said Deloris Hunt, M.S.A., chief human resources officer at Michigan Medicine. “The survey is not meant to be a starting or stopping point, but should be viewed as an opportunity to provide continuous feedback on the organization’s ongoing improvement efforts. We use the yearly results to monitor our efforts and identify areas where we need to make changes.”

Local leaders also utilize the results to create yearly action plans and monitor progress in their areas. Based on feedback from the survey, leaders can modify their improvement plans to ensure improvement efforts reflect the needs of faculty and staff in their areas.

“These annual surveys help to bring the significant needs of faculty into sharper focus, and highlight areas to prioritize among the many significant needs,” said Debra F. Weinstein, M.D., executive vice dean for academic affairs and chief academic officer for Michigan Medicine. “Faculty at academic medical centers across the country are facing many of the same tough challenges, especially in the clinical realm, which unfortunately don’t have quick fixes. We are committed to working together to address these as quickly as possible.”

Below is more information on steps that have been taken to address feedback provided in last year’s survey, and information about what to expect in this year’s survey.

Vital actions

Following last year’s survey Michigan Medicine leaders took steps to address feedback provided by faculty and staff in the survey, including adding breakroom space in several areas across the organization and introducing a new executive rounding initiative.

“We have only completed two months of executive rounding, but it has already given us a great opportunity to connect with staff and celebrate their successes, listen to their concerns, and learn about their daily work,” said Hunt. “Rounding is considered a best practice, and leadership has engaged with some of the segments to identify issues that need to be addressed. Similarly, as we continue executive rounding across the organization, what we learn from our staff will drive future improvement opportunities.”

Developing the executive rounding process was one of the key actions driven by the results of last year’s survey, but leaders across the organization have also taken steps to implement additional improvements in response to feedback from faculty and staff, including:

  • Expanding break room space for staff in several areas of the organization
  • Opening a new recharge room in University Hospital in March 2023
  • Sharing email norms encouraging faculty and staff to utilize tools to reduce email burden
  • Launching several faculty-focused initiatives aimed at reducing administrative burden, improving transparency and communication, and implementing an exit survey to learn from faculty who leave the organization
  • Supporting work towards more equitable representation of faculty in leadership positions and of faculty who receive endowed professorships
  • An Advancing Inclusive Leadership Committee (AIL) is also working to increase our percentage of under-represented identities in leadership positions
  • Increasing focus on faculty retention
  • Increasing focus on staff recruitment and retention through monthly job fairs for critical areas, referral bonus programs, and advertising campaigns
  • Launching an annual celebration of women in academic medicine (with the initial 2023 event focused on faculty)
  • Ongoing work to Build a Culture that Thrives: Preventing Retaliation, including creation of a campuswide learning module, which can be found by clicking here 

Additionally, the Wellness Office met with many departments to review their 2022 survey well-being results, discuss goals, and aggregate feedback and themes to address at the system level with leaders and key partners. They are also working with a group of faculty associates to address key drivers of burnout. More information on the Faculty Associate Program can be found on the Wellness website by clicking here.

Headlines has shared information on many of the above initiatives throughout the year. To find more details, click here to visit the Headlines website and search using keywords.

Vital voices

“I want to encourage you all to continue to make your voices heard and participate in this year’s Vital Voices engagement survey,” said Hunt. “The annual survey be viewed as a ‘checkpoint,’ giving you an opportunity to provide ongoing feedback on what is and is not working well. Leaders across the organization have been working hard to make improvements based on last year’s results, and this year’s survey will give us an opportunity to make sure we are still on the right track.”  

Stay tuned to Headlines for more information when the survey window opens on Monday, March 13.

In the meantime, you can visit the employee engagement website to revisit last year’s results and to find materials to help you prepare for this year’s survey. The employee engagement website can be found by clicking here.