Staff survey 2019

IT Services Staff Survey Results 2019

The University of Birmingham last surveyed all staff in 2016. In IT Services, a range of action items were identified as a result of the responses however there has been little to no follow up to check progress.

The IT Services Staff Survey 2019 was specifically designed to include some of the questions asked in 2016 in order to check on progress, and includes a new range of questions which, combined with the University questions, consider staff engagement and satisfaction in more detail.

The survey report is designed to provide an overview of the feedback gathered, using aggregated responses in order to protect staff anonymity.

Why we care about employee engagement

There is plenty of evidence which shows that higher levels of employee engagement lead to increased workplace productivity, lower rates of sick leave and Health and Safety incidents, decreased attrition, and an improvement in workplace culture and relationships. Even more importantly, there is a direct link between high levels of employee engagement and a positive customer experience. 

How we measure employee engagement

 For the purposes of quick and convenient progress monitoring during upcoming quarterly ‘pulse’ surveys, we used two recommender (promoter) index scores which consider IT staff attitudes to the University as a place to study and IT Services as a place to work; and an overarching engagement index score.

The survey asks four questions specific to employee engagement, four questions specific to the local working environment, and a series of questions designed to tell us how we are performing in the following four categories:

Index scores

 L  E  A  D




These questions seek to understand levels of confidence in IT Services both at a directorate leadership level and localised team level. 

 These questions consider expectation management, consultation effectiveness, and collaboration. They are designed to understand whether we feel enabled and empowered to perform our jobs. 

Stronger organisational alignment supports increased satisfaction levels in the workplace and increases the likelihood of successful workplace change. These questions are designed to understand how well aligned we are to IT Services, and the overarching University strategic vision. 

 These questions are designed to understand development opportunities within IT Services, combined with the likelihood of staff taking charge of their development opportunities through means such as the performance development process. 

Free text comments

We asked colleagues, if they were in charge of IT Services, what would they stop, start and continue doing. In each case, responses were analysed, common sentiment themes identified, and example responses provided.

Results Summary

Engagement levels across IT Services are consistent with scores you would expect to see in an organisation with good engagement levels, where 72% positive response is an accepted benchmark score for engagement index questions.

Results suggest that this sound engagement score is linked to a sense of belonging within individual teams and acknowledgement that staff feel aligned to the overall vision of the University. However, there are significant frustrations within IT Services as a whole with leadership, enablement, and development. 

Teams with the most consistently positive ratings are Service Management and the Project Office. Teams with the most consistently negative ratings are Architecture and Applications Services.

Results also point to a silo approach to the working environment, with higher scores for questions relating to the direct team environment contrasting with lower scores for questions relating to IT Services as a whole. 

What can you expect in response?


ITLT have committed to three Action Areas and related Action Items which respond to your lowest scoring responses and the most common themes from your free text answers.

 Top 11 Lowest Scoring Questions Engagement Theme Action Area
 IT Services Leadership has communicated a vision that motivates me   Alignment  1
 IT Services is in a position to really succeed over the next three years   Alignment  1
 There is open and honest two-way communication in IT Services   Leadership  1
 IT Services leadership demonstrates that people are key to the University’s success   Leadership  1
 I have confidence in IT Services Leadership   Leadership  1
 Other departments within IT Services collaborate well with us to get the job   Enablement  1
 Other departments within the University collaborate well with us to get the job done   Enablement  2
 Most of the systems and processes here support us getting our work done effectively   Enablement  2
 I am appropriately involved in the decisions that affect my work   Enablement  1
 I have access to the learning and development I need to do my job well   Development  3
 I receive regular feedback on my performance   Development  3
Free text comment theme                                  Frequency    Action Area
 Stop over complicating things  30  2
 Continue cultivating culture  26  1
 Stop overstretching resources  25  2
 Continue working together  23  1
 Start improving two-way communication  22  1
 Continue change initiatives  21  2
 Start developing staff development  20  3
 Start fixing the foundations  17  2
 Stop old-school thinking  17  2
 Continue being customer centric  15  2
 Stop working in silos  12  1
 Stop the pseudo engagement  12  1
 Start managing performance  12  3
 Start focusing on our end users  12  2
 Continue using evidence to support decisions  8  2

Our action areas

Action Areas
 Action Area 1: Improving Culture and Engagement  Action Area 2: Foundation Fixing Action Area 3: People Planning 
 We will encourage increased collaboration aimed at breaking down silos, improving access to information, and involvement in decision making.  We will demonstrate a commitment to Foundation Fixing through customer focussed, evidence based continuous improvement of our systems and processes.  We will develop a People Plan for IT which considers staff development in accordance with staff survey results and the needs which are identified through the development of our Digital Strategic Framework.
  • Implement ITS Communication and Engagement Strategy 2019-22
  • Introduce a Manager’s Monthly Briefing Pack for cascade to ITS staff
  • Provide Digital Strategy engagement opportunities for ITS staff
  • Increasing visibility/awareness of ITLT/ITOMT – both people and purpose
  • Improve transparency of messaging/ongoing strategic narrative
  • Improve access to internal messaging/narrative – (eg. trial Yammer within ITS)
  • Support and resource IT Social Committee to improve social events and activities
  • Once finalised, display values (and behaviours) within common meeting spaces
  • Process improvement, resilience and change workshop opportunities for ITS staff
  • Protected team times for process improvement initiatives and automation, and initiate Process Improvement Groups to look at specific coordination issues between teams
  • Introduction of ‘simplification and standardisation’, ‘collaboration, co-creation and coordination’ communications narratives
  • Using Digital Strategy workshops – focus on what it could be, and how we get there
  • Ensuring Digital Strategy provides a clear connection for all IT staff
  • Define, develop and promote standard best practice for common liaison mechanisms such as meetings, presentations, email, calendar management, collaboration etc
  • Liaise with HR, POD and Strategic Change to support our Action Area work
  • Leadership development for ITLT / ITOMT and next level line management group
  • Strategic change requirements for IT Services staff
  • Skills gap analysis and associated staff development recommendations
  • Work with the Birmingham Professional to develop, promote and embed values and behaviours
  • Enhanced PDR / feedback opportunities for ITS staff focussed on (when developed and introduced) values and behaviours
  • Protected time for leadership for strategic planning/ implementation/change 

What we expect from you

We all have a role to play in improving the way we work in IT Services Staff Survey. Here are your three Action Areas: 

  1. Find out more about the Action Areas, what they mean, and the work we're doing in response to your feedback at the next IT Service All Staff Briefing Session on Wednesday 17 July. You will receive your invitation very soon…
  2. Read the IT Newsletter for regular Survey Action Reports and the latest on how we're helping make important things happen.
  3. Get Involved in opportunities provided to have your say. Come along to Digital Strategic Framework workshops, respond to the first Pulse Survey next month and the next annual survey, and share your important and/or interesting IT information with your colleagues by sending it to 

Download the full report. 


Professional Services